The exterior of my house needs painting and I know I can't do the work myself. However, my neighbors recently got burned by a painting contractor who did shoddy work and refused to fix the problems. How can I be sure I'm choosing a reliable contractor so this doesn't happen to me?
Terrence M. ~ Dallas, Texas
One of the best ways to choose a house painting contractor is by contacting referrals. Your neighbors may have had a bad experience with their painting contractor, but you may have other neighbors or friends who had good luck with a house painting contractor.
You might also contact paint or home improvement stores to see if they can recommend any house painting contractors. Some remodeling Web sites also have lists of contractors who have been screened to help ensure they are reputable and provide good service.
When you hire a house painting contractor, structure the payment schedule so that you can be assured you'll be satisfied with the completed work. Hold a significant portion of the project's payment until the work is complete, and it can be a good idea to hold some amount of the total payment until 30 days after the project is complete. This is called retainage, and helps to ensure that the contractor will return to take care of any issues which may become evident after the job is supposedly complete.