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Contracting A Painter (house interior) Update 2nd Estimate

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by fire_N_ice, Sep 28, 2007.

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  1. fire_N_ice

    fire_N_ice Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2007
    Messages:
    148
    Loc:
    Monmouth County, NJ
    Hello, I need some advice as far as what to expect from a painter. I realize all contractors are not the same and need some advice as to what to expect from a quality painter. My wife and I got an estimate from 1 person so far and need to know if it is customary for the painter to ask for money upfront? (1.5K) For supplies and to get started?????? ($3650 total)
    Here are some other concerns:
    *License is in process (NJ Requires one) he said takes a while so far 6 months???
    *If we pay cash, including upfront, no tax will be charged????
    I did not get a good vibe when he said $1500 cash upfront.
    *He has references but could not produce a client letter or otherwise.

    This just did not sit right with me but this is the first time for us contracting. Any advice/ Past experiences/thoughts or comments would be a great help , Thanks, Chris

    Wife got a 2nd Estimate:

    40 years in business, has lots of references.
    Price 2300 including supplies
    Nothing upfront; if we’re happy after 3 or 4 days, we pay some, and the balance after job is done
    No primer because walls already painted.
    Will fix nail pops
    Will use 1 coat of Benjamin Moore Navajo White (off white type color); when I said why not 2, he said it’s not needed, but if it looks like a 2nd coat is needed, he will fix it
    When I expressed concern about having things spelled out he said a contract is up to us. The only things he won’t paint are basement stairs area, garage, ceilings, and closet shelves. He said he’s “heard it all” in his years in the business, but we’re not dealing with amateurs; he will make sure the job is done right and not cut corners.

    No license either

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  2. senorFrog

    senorFrog New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    285
    I think you know what to do re this guy.

    Go to a local paint store (Home Depot and Lowes don't count) or a Shermin Williams and ask who they recommend. They should be able to give you several cards. Pick three, call em, get quotes and decide from there.

    You can use www.superpages.com to find a local paint store.
  3. Harley

    Harley Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2006
    Messages:
    997
    Loc:
    Ashfield, MA
    Chris:

    It does seem a little shady to me. What is the total estimate, if I can ask? $1,500 up front does seem like a pretty big chunk for supplies. I don't buy the "licensing delay either. Something doesn't smell right. I agree with SF.... get some recommendations from a paint store - they are bound to have a few names of some of their good regular customers.
  4. nshif

    nshif New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2006
    Messages:
    954
    Loc:
    Pioneer, Ca (near Lake Tahoe)
    RUN away from this guy, things will only get worse. Frog has the best advice go with the recomendation of a good qualty paint dealer or local builder.
  5. njtomatoguy

    njtomatoguy Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2006
    Messages:
    458
    Loc:
    Maple Shade, NJ
    Fire,
    Stay away-
    If it's the contractors licence he is talking about, he's supposed to have it BEFORE doing any work. He had plenty of notice if he's been in business a while..

    My parents had awesome work done with Zee's painting from that area. Zee was referred by a friend, and does all the work for their circle of friends.
    Hope this helps,
    Bob
  6. Harley

    Harley Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2006
    Messages:
    997
    Loc:
    Ashfield, MA
    The second one sounds a lot better... I'd avoid the first one completely - the 1/2 up front and the b/s about the license doesn't make sense. Maybe you could get a 3rd from NJT's recommendation if that's in your area.

    As far as a "license"... that really depends on the state .... some may require a contractor's license, and some require simple registration to "do business in" that state. The second one that said he doesn't have a licence to do the work could be right... and likely - he probably doesn't need one. I would, check however, before I would let someone work on the house at a minimun show some evidence of insurance - the 2nd one likely does have that.

    Back to the license thing - Again - I don't know what may be required in NJ to do interior paint work, but 6 months is B/S. From personal experience I can tell you that the process to get the license to do business as a contractor in NJ takes less than a month (and that's for an out of state contractor bidding on a municipal contract). So - my guess is it is an easy process if there is anything needed at all - at least the 2'nd one was straight-forward, rather than saying anything was tied up for 1/2 year.
  7. senorFrog

    senorFrog New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    285
    Will you stop making this hard on yourself? Trust me, they keep the cards of the reputable painters at the paint store. Painting is one of the easiest things you'll have done to your house. Don't complicate it. Sounds like you're doing the whole house, so you don't get a second chance at this. The only way to know is to get at least three quotes, ask questions about how they plan to do the job, why they plan to do it that way and check references. Remember, your local paint store already weeded out some of the bad ones.

    Re primer if you're going latex over oil, then you need to sand and prime or use a product called EZ Sand. If it's oil over oil or latex over latex, then you shouldn't need to prime. However, I personally would. Re finish, two coats is a must, especially for a white. With a single finish coat you'll def see holidays. With no primer and a single finish coat the guy has reduced his workload by two-thirds. Painting is ALL PREP. Def get the ceiling done. It's easy to do, the BM flat white ceiling paint is not pricey. You'll be surprised how they have yellowed over time, especially in the kitchen.

    Make sure they use a quality brand brush and roller like Purdy, or you'll have brush bristles and roller nap all over your house, which will drive you mad.

    http://www.purdycorp.com/
  8. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    990
    Loc:
    Western Massachusetts
    yep, any paint retailer will have the cards of contractors they work with, and most wont reccommend someone who is...er...questionable. There is something about gut feeling here too....I concur...second guy. I dont know if you are looking for support in your gut feeling from the general populace here, but.......
  9. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Here is a tip if using two coats a primer and final coat I use the finish coat and tint the primer with it. Not needed if you are covering it with a similar color over the same paint
    latex or oil over oil. I mean the tinting

    In our state,MA. painters do not need to be licenced but they should be insured.. Personally I prefer to use oil based pain over wood trim originally,,
    but if already covered with latex I would stick with latex As for money down for supplies? Ask how many gallons of paint is required and factor $35 per gallon plus

    it is also fair for a painter to include a brush or rollers or two in the material bid. and other associated cost for the use of their equipment like ladders drop cloths figure about 250 at most above the pain t cost. Some may add a day of two labor in for money down also fair. Remember trust has to exist both ways the guy doing the jib and the guy paying neither have a prior history of a working relationship

    If you state requires a license to paint there is a reason probably from poor quality of work of r homeowners getting burnt in the past or simply licensing requires proof of insurance

    Licensing fees go into a general fund that is used to help homeowner that get burnt. The leverage of having the sate pull the license of such crappy painters, or less than model business practices
  10. fire_N_ice

    fire_N_ice Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2007
    Messages:
    148
    Loc:
    Monmouth County, NJ
    Just got back from a paintstore close to the town in which my M/F-I-L lives and they gave me 4 business cards (THANK YOU). As of 12:30, 1 is there right now.
    Not contracting for my house, but my mother-in-laws . My wife and I are helping them this time. As well as your help, Thanks!!!!!
    I never would of thought to go to a paint store.
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