It’s that time of year again when thoughts turn to sprucing up the house, after six months of battening down the hatches!
The light nights are fast approaching, the first flowers are breaking through, and the TV ad breaks are dominated by travel agents – it’s a sure sign that Spring is on its way.
Understandably, most people banish thoughts of doing up their home or office until Christmas is out of the way.
But then, almost as soon as the chimes of Big Ben have died down on January 1st, they are again thinking of the jobs they need to do over the next few months.
This is not without its pitfalls – home improvements are one of the biggest causes of arguments and stress for couples and families.
They create mess, can be expensive, and things can go wrong. They can also take a while, particularly if the work has to fit in around our daily working lives.
For those reasons, many choose to employ a specialist for painting and decorating projects.
However, it’s important to choose wisely.
Choosing the wrong painting contractor could create issues, particularly if they are unreliable – if they fail to turn up, or don’t turn up on time, the project will take much longer than it should.
And it could make the project more expensive.
You may need to sack the first contractor and choose another, which puts you back to Square One, having to go through the whole selection process again – this time with the added stress of living with a half-decorated room.
To avoid all of this, you need to meet a few contractors and get to know them before you make a decision.
The best painting contractors take the time to sit down with potential customers and talk through their ideas, going over possible problems and discussing timescales.
They will be experienced enough to advise on whether ideas will work, and make suggestions to improve your ideas if necessary.
You will learn a lot in those meetings. Price is a key factor, of course, but it’s not the only one in your decision. It’s far more important to have someone you get on with, someone you can trust to do a good job.
Ask for references or testimonials. They will give you an idea of what this company is like to work with, and whether they have taken on similar projects to yours in the past.
Painting contractors live and die on their reputation – their business can’t survive without recommendations from previous customers.
Ideally they will also be able to provide before and after images of their recent projects, to help you visualise what they can do.
If they have a website, check it for references and images before your meeting – you can then ask questions which relate to your own project.
Painting and decorating can be incredibly stressful. If you are going to use a painting contractor, spending a little time researching local firms can make a big difference.
You could save yourself a lot of time, effort and money in the long run.