How to evaluate a Painting Proposal
When hiring painting contractors, many homeowners in the Woodlands, Texas, complain about huge discrepancies in the details included in painting estimates. From our experience, getting a comprehensive painting estimate is the first step of getting a satisfactory paint job –it will help you skip the confusion and choose the right contractor.
Why do Painting Proposals Differ?
One of the most common mistakes that homeowners make is to simply invite a bunch of contractors to their home, show them around and ask them for a painting estimate. Maybe they assumed that professional painters know it all. Well, it’s true that they understand their trade, but one painter’s approach might be different from another’s.
As a result, the submitted painting proposals will differ in the Job description, price, timelines, and the scope of work. In the end, it becomes nearly impossible to compare the submitted proposals. For instance, one bidder may include 1 paint coat plus the primer. Another bidder may skip the primer. Yet a different contractor may skip sanding –maybe they didn’t notice the previous paint flaking.
Such estimating inconsistencies would make it difficult for you to make comparisons and choose the best offer. You might even need to redo the bidding process in order to find a suitable contractor. Even worse, the homeowner may need to revisit the proposal in the middle of the project to include that primer that was skipped in the winning proposal.
How to Minimize Bidding Proposal Discrepancies
It might not be possible to get matching painting estimates since most painting contractors have slightly differing proposal formats. However, you can minimize these discrepancies by simply providing all bidders with a project description. It doesn’t have to be too detailed or complicated. You can even make it verbal –just be sure to keep it exactly the same for every bidder.
During the estimation, visit even after sharing the project description, some bidders might recommend something different from what you described. Unless you find the recommendation absolutely necessary, resist the temptation to stray from your description. Remember, your goal is to get comparable proposals.
Therefore, even if you like the new recommendation, request them to price the new item separately. This way, when the time comes to compare the estimates, you will not end up trying to compare apples to oranges.
What to Look for in a Painting Proposal
Whether you’re simply looking to improve the curb appeal of your home in the Woodlands or restore its entire exterior paint job, a painting proposal should include the following points;
• Executive summary: in this section, contractors should include details such as credentials, licensing, insurance, and specialties. This section also needs to have contact information such as the company’s address, phone, email, website, and opening hours. Some contractors include testimonials from previous customers.
• Project descriptions: this section should include the job description and the scope of work. The estimated area of the surface to be painted will be included, preparation work (power washing, sanding, stripping, etc.), repairs and special wall treatments required (e.g. damp spots, mold growth etc.) and the number of primer/paint coats that would be used.
• Information about products: Painting contractors use this section to describe or list the products they will use on the project. This may include oil-based paint, acrylic latex finish, primers, stains, and so on. The equipment they will bring which include drop cloths, tape, pressure washer, paint brushes, rollers, ladders, scaffolding, etc. If you have any product preferences such as a particular paint or primer brand, let the contractor specify that in this section.
• Cost estimates: The cost estimates for the contractor should be close to estimates provided by other bidders. If the difference is significantly high, be sure to ask for justification from the contractor. Ask about any items that might be missing from the painting proposal such as the number of gallons of paint that would be used. Most painters will also add the timelines and payment schedule.
One of the most essential things when reviewing a painting contractor proposal is to ensure that he has included all the details as discussed. Since work crews aren’t authorized to take on tasks beyond what is specified in the proposal, the contractor might charge you extra for any additional work required.