What’s the Real Key?

Choosing a contractor is a difficult decisionMultiple factors come into play when hiring a painter or other contractor to perform work at your home. Through LaffCo. Painting’s experience with hundreds of customers, we’re confident in the most important factor.

Matching Results with Expectations – An Example

When choosing restaurants, you typically choose one recommended by a friend and/or one where the food is good. You also almost always know in advance what you’re willing to spend on the meal and what you’re looking to get from the dinner.

For example, if you go to Applebee’s, you’ll find decent food at a reasonable price. Morton’s, on the other hand, results in an amazing steak and a costly check. Since you knew the approximate price beforehand, the check is not surprising nor are you opposed to paying.

Hiring a Painter – Adjusting Priorities

When it comes to hiring a painter (or any contractor), most homeowners want a steak from Morton’s with prices from Applebee’s. In our experience, homeowners consistently take the lowest bid when choosing between providers.

Unfortunately, the lowest-cost provider offers the lowest price for a reason. Some popular reasons include:

  • The contractor is not legitimate (lacks insurance and/or certification, needs payment in cash, doesn’t pay taxes, etc).
  • The contractor uses bait-and-switch tactics (offering a low bid but adding on prices as the project continues or cuts corners).
  • The contractor uses undocumented workers as part of their crew.
  • The contractor’s workmanship is poor and does not receive positive online reviews.
  • The contractor is new to contracting and looking for their first customers.

What are your goals for the project?

What do you want out of your project? A list of priorities is helpful. When evaluating contractors, let them know your priorities.

If a homeowner indicated that budget was most important, I would take that into consideration when planning the job and building the proposal. For example, we might elect to use slightly lower quality paint/materials.

Choosing goals is important – they set you up to make the right decision.

The Most Important Factor in Hiring a Painter

When asked, the vast majority of homeowners indicate quality of work as the key factor when hiring a contractor. However, more often than not, the decision is based on price.

The most important factor is something else entirely – trust.

When hiring a contractor myself, my list of priorities looks like this:

  1. Do I like and trust the contractor?
  2. Do I believe he/she will do good work? Have I seen consistent, positive results from prior work?
  3. Can they finish the project within my budget? (Notice, this is very different than ‘Are they the cheapest?’)
  4. Do I trust the contractor?
  5. Do I really trust the contractor?

For me, I have to like the person. I have to feel confident with them in my home and around my family. Trust comes first, quality second, and price third.

If your list includes price first, you’ll certainly get what you pay for, so be sure to choose wisely!

What’s on your list today? How did you choose your most recent contractor?

Actively looking for a painting contractor for an interior or exterior project? Contact LaffCo. today for an in-home estimate!