Hiring a professional painter

Discussion in 'Painting Forum' started by wood712, Nov 3, 2018.

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  1. Nov 3, 2018 #1

    wood712

    wood712

    wood712

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    Starting a new thread because did a quick search, but didn’t find anything.

    Requesting information from those that have experience hiring professional painters.

    Is the following normal practice when hiring painters? A painter provided a detailed written quote for a paint job in my home. Once the job was actually in process, the painter stated that the written quote was actually for just a single coat and in order to provide adequate coverage for a proper job, a second coat would be required at additional cost.

    The way he spoke was that this was normal practice and it was just assumed that I would automatically accept the additional cost to have the job completed. The assumption was so strong that without me agreeing to anything, he was completely skipping areas and stated that he would take care of it when he returned for the second coat.

    This all seemed rather odd to me. Waiting until a job is in process and then declaring that in order to satisfactorily complete the job it will cost more than what was originally quoted just doesn’t seem right.

    So again, is this normal practice?
     
  2. Nov 3, 2018 #2

    joecaption

    joecaption

    joecaption

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    Sound fishy to me.
    Give us some more info as to why it needs that second coat.
    New drywall, changing colors, lots of repairs to the wall?
    Any real painter should be able to just look at a job and know about 99% of the time if the job will need priming and or two coats and price the job accordly or have at least added a line to the quote stating what a second coat would cost.
    EG: All new drywall should be primed and painted two coats. (Primer and paint in one is a marketing ploy to trick DIY's into thinking there saving a step, real life does not work that way, you need real primer)
     
  3. Nov 3, 2018 #3

    bud16415

    bud16415

    bud16415

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    I hate to speak badly about any trade, but I have seen more shady stuff with painters over the year than any other trade. So to answer your question is this normal? IMO I would say yes. Is this right and proper? No. And there are many great honest paint contractors out there.


    I once saw a painter tell an older woman when she asked that he had quoted 2 coats of paint and was only doing one, he showed her with his brush going up this is one coat and then brushing down this is the second coat.


    I watched a painter painting a wood house without scraping first tell me it saves time he scrapes with his left hand and paints with his right hand at the same time.


    Closer to what you are asking I once had a wooden house painted a light yellow. They did a good job scraping and then he told me don’t be in shock when you come home from work today as we are priming your house with oil primer and the way we do it is we are using up all our old primer so your house will be a few different colors. I didn’t like the idea but he said don’t worry it is all good quality primer and not old or anything. So I get home and the house looked like dark green camo. The next day I get the call and he tells me there is going to be an up charge because the light yellow is taking 3 coats to cover the dark primer. I told him that’s fine he can paint 3 coats or go buy white oil primmer and do it again, ether way he wasn’t getting an additional penny. I got home that night and the house was white. As a side note that paint job held up for 20 years.


    We don’t know the wording of what you signed or how much you paid up front. I have learned over the years to get things spelled out in advance and if the contractor doesn’t do it I write up my own description of the project and have him sign it.


    Now on the other hand there are legitimate reasons for finding things that were not known or couldn’t be know before a project is started. When such things are found you have to deal with them one at a time. Not knowing 2 coats of paint will be needed IMO is not such a problem.
     
  4. Nov 3, 2018 #4

    Snoonyb

    Snoonyb

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    Ethics and integrity, as well as bait and switch, unfortunately, have long been lexicons of the construction industry.

    Read your contract, carefully, because if it isn't contained within the 4 corners of the document, it doesn't happen, and it's not open to hope, or wish, or verbal adjustment, without an accompanying document.
     
  5. Nov 3, 2018 #5

    slownsteady

    slownsteady

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    Would you be willing to post a pic of the contract, or the exact wording? I'm interested to know how he can provide a written contract and try to talk his way out of it. On the flip side of this coin, how carefully did you read the contract?
    In this age of "language without meaning", just the addition of a small word like "if" can give a vendor reason to change the price of everything.
     
  6. Nov 3, 2018 #6

    wood712

    wood712

    wood712

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    Thank you all for the information and advice.

    There was no contract, just a written quote listing everything to be done and the cost for the different items. I can post a picture of it.

    There was a color change on the walls from off-white to a very light shade of blue. Also, some trim was going from dark brown to white.

    The sad part of all this is that my wife and I had actually started the job ourselves months ago, and the areas that we did look better than what the "professional" did. We were just never able to find the time to complete the job. That is why we hired him to come in and get things done in one day. So much for that idea.
     
  7. Nov 4, 2018 #7

    slownsteady

    slownsteady

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    A written quote should have been enough...if he itemized what he was going to do. But to be honest, I doubt I would have thought to specify how many coats of paint to be included. But guaranteed, i will be thinking of it from now on.
     
  8. Nov 4, 2018 #8

    joecaption

    joecaption

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    As always I have a little story about a painting job gone bad.
    A woman I used to live with asked me to paint just one small bedroom.
    I told her is she would help move all the stuff out of the room clean the walls I'd do it.
    Instead I come home and see a strange truck in the yard and there's some ya hoo in the room painting.
    He had already painted the walls and was standing on top of the bed with no drop cloth painting the whole ceiling with a brush!
    #1, He painted the walls before the ceiling, so there was ceiling paint splatter all over the walls .
    #2, He never cleaned anything and just painted over the dirt and spider webs.
    #3, It was stained and polyed trim and he had paint all over it.
    #4, There was paint all over the carpet, furniture, bedding.
    #5, There was a hole in the sheetrock where a door knob had punched a hole, and his idea of "fixing it" was to stuff newspaper in the hole and used GP drywall mud to fill the hole.
     
  9. Nov 4, 2018 #9

    bud16415

    bud16415

    bud16415

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    It’s easy you write, “Two coats minimum but full coverage must be achieved and additional coats if required.”


    It is up to the professional to look at what you have what you spec for primer and paint and then determine what it will cost him to complete the work and what profit he wants to make.


    The danger of over specification it will scare some tradesmen away or cause some to over quote as they know you are not going to be a person to let things slide.


    I once wrote a detailed spec for a large addition and I had detailed drawings of what I wanted. The first builder that came out threw the papers in my face saying he and his crew don’t work this way, they build great homes but they do it their way. The second guy was just coming off a five million dollar home looked at my stuff and smiled and said this is great he wished his last project was so clearly laid out and that I had done most of his work for him. He was back the next day with his price and had no problem signing and agreeing to the specs.


    Hiring someone is trusting someone and if you don’t have a history with them there is a huge risk. The quoting process is one chance you have to learn something about them. You can also ask for references.
     
  10. Nov 4, 2018 #10

    wood712

    wood712

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    This has been a learning lesson.

    Just trying to decide whether or not to give him another chance. Leaning heavily towards no.

    The late news of a required second coat at additional cost was not the only issue. There’s also the following:

    Several areas of trim were missed completely and did not get even one coat.
    1. Kitchen walls beside refrigerator hadn’t been painted at all. When I mentioned this, he said that it would be done when he came back to do the second coat. (Again, there was never any agreement made on doing a second coat.) I stated that I wanted to get at least the first coat done now since didn’t know if or when we would be able to have him back to do a second coat. He hastily painted both walls using just a brush. Those walls (although not highly visible because of refrigerator) look exactly as one might expect from being hastily painted with a brush. Also got paint on cabinet and didn’t bother to clean it off.
    2. Repaired a water-damaged area of the ceiling. The area was sagging with a hole. The repair consisted of drywall repair screen and compound on the hole. There was no attempt made to reduce the sag, and adding compound made the sag more pronounced. Two days later, there were already cracks in the repair.
    3. Second area of ceiling was repaired. This was at a seam and the tape was missing. No drywall tape was used and the repair was made by just spreading on some compound. Being a mere novice at this, I do not know if replacement of tape is necessary or not.
    4. Only half of ceiling was painted. This was not really the fault of the painter. The Lowes paint department salesperson provided two cans of paint with different bases when assisting my wife with obtaining the required supplies on the painter’s list. This was not discovered until after 6 :00 pm when the second can of ceiling paint was being poured into the roller pan.
    Things didn’t seem quite right when at same time he informed me that the quote was for just one coat, he also stated that he required payment in cash. Don’t know about others, but we normally don’t have $1300 in cash just lying about.

    As things stand now, he was given $500 cash and a check for $700 (the remaining $100 was to be paid when he finished the ceiling). After he left and problems were discovered, a stop payment order was issued against the check and painter was notified.
     
  11. Nov 4, 2018 #11

    bud16415

    bud16415

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    IMO you don’t want him back and you will be out the 500 plus the materials you bought.


    This forum covers all aspects of home repair and building practices and a large amount of the people coming here are DIYers. Is this painting project something you think you could do? Drywall repairs and painting are a good place to start if you want to try saving money and getting the job done right by doing it yourself. If there are reasons you can’t do the work we understand that also and hope you picked up some useful information to help with selecting the next painter.
     
    slownsteady likes this.

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