How to Find a Good Painter & Decorator
Feel like your painted walls need spruced up or perhaps you fancy a complete décor change? The trouble is, you’re not confident doing it yourself – and anyway, you don’t have the time? The answer is, of course, to bring in the professionals.
But you might be wondering how to find a good painter and decorator. And, once you have him or her lined up, how do you go about commissioning them? Well, read on, because we have the answers here in this guide.
5 Reasons to Hire a Painter and Decorator
You may be weighing up doing the job yourself versus getting a professional in. Here are 5 reasons it is beneficial to hire someone:
1. For a More Professional Job
Yes, you probably could do a little painting and decorating yourself. Putting up wallpaper might just be pushing it a bit though. Having said that, even if you do get out your paintbrush there’s no guarantee your walls are going to look better once you’ve finished. So, why not save yourself the angst and hire a professional painter and decorator to do the work in the first place?
Getting in a professional painter means he or she will do all the prep work before getting started and they’ll clean up afterwards. That means laying out the dust sheets, prepping the walls, sanding boards and cleaning the brushes. The more experienced the professional, the neater they’ll be.
You’ll get the job done in at least half the time (probably more) if you hire a professional painter and decorator. An experienced decorator knows all the tricks to save time and has the skills to get around all the difficult parts.
4. They Have All the Correct Tools
A professional painter will turn up with everything they need to paint and decorate your home. That means everything from brushes, dust sheets and rollers to paint trays and ladders. It saves you from having to fork out for these items which afterwards would just sit in a cupboard for years.
5. They Are Insured
You will find that the majority of professional painters and decorators have health and safety insurance. This means that should they have an accident while doing their job, they will be covered. Some painters provide a satisfaction guarantee and even a time-limited warranty.
Where to Find a Painter and Decorator
There are various means you can employ when pondering how to find a good painter and decorator, from checking out reviews to asking fellow tradespeople. Here are some of the main methods of how to find a good painter and decorator right here:
Head for the painting and decorating page on our website and make an enquiry. We will then get back to you with a curated list of painters and decorators that are perfect for your specific job.
Online directories charge painters and decorators to appear on their pages. It’s a digital form of yellow pages and can be another good starting point.
Looking at reviews left by past clients of a painter and decorator will give you an idea of that individual’s ability and character. There is no guarantee the reviews are genuine, but if they are accompanied by ‘before and after’ photos then there is a good chance they are.
Posting a request for a local painter and decorator on your town’s community page is another tried and tested means of how to find a good painter and decorator in your locale.
Ask Other People
Family, friends, work colleagues, neighbours – all these people are a good source of recommendations for a good painter and decorator.
Ask Other Tradespeople
Tradespeople tend to know one another well, especially if they have worked on jobs together. Otherwise, they will have heard comments from other tradespeople. This way you’ll find out how good a potential painter and decorator is, in addition to what kind of person they are.
Choosing a Good Painter and Decorator
Check Their Experience and Accreditations
A painter and decorator who has years of experience in the trade is often a sure-fire bet. He or she will be able to tackle complicated jobs because they’ve probably worked on similar in the past. They won’t be fazed by strange decor requests and will carry out the role quickly and efficiently.
Read Their Reviews
It’s always a good idea to search for reviews from past customers. Try and find jobs that are similar to yours and see how the professional got on. You’ll find reviews on the painter and decorator’s website, as well as on popular review sites online.
Check Previous Work
The best – and most trustworthy – reviews are those which also contain plenty of images. This lets you judge the work for yourself. You can also ask the professional if you could see evidence of previous work. If the painter and decorator is good he or she will have no problem with that. It’s then a case of going along to look at it for yourself.
Ask People That Have Used Them
When you do go and look at a previous job you can also ask the homeowner what the decorator was like to work with. Was he or she chatty, easy to get on with, or just preferred to get on with the job in peace and without interruption?
Ask for a survey
A good decorator will turn up at your home to take a look at the scale of the job and give you a quote shortly afterwards. It’s difficult to give a precise quote otherwise.
It may be that they will be able to advise on a particular finish that you are unsure of. He or she will also want to hear if you have any particular likes or dislikes, while also getting an idea of your budget.
If you want your decorator to buy the paint or wallpaper for you because they get a trade discount then you will probably have to pay for these upfront.
If you are having the whole house painted then that’s a lengthy job and you may be asked to make a partial payment upfront. Once the job is finished, check for snagging, before handing over the rest of the payment.
Get Quotes to Compare Costs
Always get at least three like-for-like quotes and ask for them in writing. This may be via paper or by email.
Ask for a detailed breakdown of costs to ensure there are no hidden charges such as wallpaper removal, weekend working or for parking (especially if you live in a busy city centre area). And on that note, you may find your decorator increases the cost if, during the job, it is discovered that the walls are cracked and need skimming or some other form of repair.
When actively working out how to find a good painter and decorator by inviting them to your home to quote, make sure you aren’t charged. Any painter and decorator who asks for payment for this should be uninvited.
At this stage, you can ask about whether you will be expected to supply any materials, such as dust sheets. You’ll also find out if you need to move any furniture.
Ask if they need space to store their materials when not on the job and when they will work. It’s also a good idea to check that it is the individual who turns up to quote that will actually be carrying out the job.
It wouldn’t be the first time a professional has turned up and then left his far less experienced apprentices to finish a job.
A typical 4.5m by 4m room costs around £400 to paint. If you’re looking for external painting then you can expect to pay upwards of around £1400 for a semi-detached house. A two-bedroom flat should work out at around £2,000.
A typical seven-hour day rate for professional painters and decorators is around £330. This is for the labour alone. Paint, wallpaper and other materials used will be in addition to this. And, when it comes to materials, these differ greatly. Go for high-end paint from Farrow and Ball and you will pay around four times more than a similar-sized tin and type at B&Q, for instance.
Another factor that will affect cost is, of course, where you live. Painters and decorators will cost more in London than in rural Scotland or Wales, for instance.
Doing the Job Yourself
The trouble with painting and decorating a property yourself is that you’ll know where all the ‘poor’ bits are. And you won’t be able to forget them.
When you get in a professional they take over and you don’t have to think about it again. Also, you can be sure there won’t be any issues with a badly painted window pane etc.