Avoiding the Contractor Nightmare
legitimate painting companies are not the standard, they are the exception
Nightmare Story from one of our past customers (A worth-while read)
About a year ago, we purchased a “fixer-upper” and got to work. We hired a painting contractor that was referred to us through a local paint store – the price was too good to pass up. The painter told us he was licensed and trying to build and expand his business – so he was giving us a good deal to help us out and he wanted our referrals. The painter showed up 2 days late and only worked 1/2 day on the prep day. Once we were 1/2 through the painting of the interior of the house, the painter told us he needed more time and had under-estimated the job. We told him we were open to more time and offered him more money for the extra time – we just wanted the job done right. The painter walked off the job a day later and left it incomplete with no follow up or return calls when we called or texted him. The painted areas that were “complete” were not done with good quality, consistency, or detail. His masking tape removal ripped off the paper from some sheetrock walls, he had sprayed over cabinets without prepping or priming… you name it, it was a mess. Paint was peeling and bubbling off of surfaces. We reported the painter to CSLB and it turns out he was not licensed and that he got in big trouble with a large fine due to our complaint. Apparently these guys are a dime a dozen. There was a recent sting operation 3 blocks from our house that caught 8 unlicensed contractors in one fell swoop!
When it came time to painting the exterior of our house, we were not going to make the same mistake we did with the interior painter. I found Larson Bros. and reviewed their online profiles on their website and Yelp. Their reviews seemed too good to be true. Having been through the ringer with a scammer prior to Larson Bros, I was very skeptical. What we found when working with Larson Bros. was customer service that surpassed any expectations. Jesse and Sam are the most accessible. personable, accommodating contractors we have worked with to date. Their crew (Edgar) was always on time with a smile on their faces, professional, well spoken, and got the job done with great quality and finished before the time that was budgeted. We have extremely detailed taste, and when it came time to address any nit-picky touch up details that we found, Edgar was there the next day with a smile and a paint brush in hand and waited patiently to ensure we were happy.
We are back in touch with Larson Bros. about 6 months later to book more work. I won’t look to anyone else. The price options are very competitive, their service is excellent, and they stand behind their quality work. Look no further – Larson Bros. are the painters you want!
How Do I Avoid The Contractor Nightmare?
- Make sure the contractor has an established reputation that they care about and extends farther than word of mouth. A friend can give you a great recommendation, but how do you know what the contractor did on the Job before that one? A guarantee is only as good as the reputation of the company that gives it out. If a Contractor does not have a reputation online, then they have nothing to lose if they do a poor job on your project, they can move onto the next one.
- Get everything in writing. No matter how small it may seem, if it is important to you, then make sure to get it in writing. A contractor can promise the world, but the only way you can hold them accountable is to have everything they said in writing. Emails work great, but if it is important make sure it is on the contract.
- Find out who is going to do the work. Is it going to be a newly hired painter? or an unskilled worker? Do they have backround checks?
- Find out the Contractor’s process for dealing with an issue if one does arise on your project? How have they dealt with them in the past?
- The CSLB (California State License Board) is easy to use and you can check up on anyone’s license in a matter of minutes to see whether they have knocks against their record or not
- A BIG piece of the puzzle that is easy to look over is whether or not they carry workers compensation. You can check the CSLB to see who is covered and who isn’t. Is the contractor planning to use workers that aren’t covered on your home?
Is there an Easier Way? The better question, Do you want a painting contractor or a Company?
As a reputable company, we have standards and policies set to make sure you have A Better Painting Experience.
- Reputation for making people happy with their paint jobs
- Use Specialization for all aspects of project to make sure you have the best experience possible
- Estimators estimate to make sure you get thorough estimates quickly.
- Painters Paint
- Foreman Manage projects to make sure quality is always there
- Scheduler in office to make sure you are always updated with the schedule.
- Send proof of insurance on every project we do.
- Offer Professional color assistance to make the color choice easier
- Employees are never paid “under the table” so they are always covered under our insurance
- All Employees have had physicals, backround checks and continue to have ongoing safety and on-site training.