How To Spot Professional Painting Scams
Whether you are considering repainting the outside or inside of your house or staining your deck or fence, the last thing a homeowner wants to worry about is if the company they chose is genuine. Too many homeowners have fallen for “painting contractors” misleading them into shelling out large sums of money and leaving their home in worse shape than when the house painting project began.
At Legacy Painting, not only will we guarantee customer satisfaction, but we also want to offer our advice on avoiding painting contractor scams so that when you choose a company, you’re choosing a legitimate and quality painting company.
Avoid These Painter Scams
Don’t fall into a trap! Here are some signs to look out for that there might be something wrong with this painter:
Suspicious Payment Requirements
While it is fairly normal for a contractor asks for an upfront deposit, sometimes the amount and form of payment required can be suspicious. The deposits can usually be as little as covering the cost of materials to as much as 50% of the estimated amount. Professional painters realize some homeowners may not be comfortable with an upfront payment before any work is done, but at the same time, every legitimate painting company has a story or two of homeowners that never paid the bill. A small deposit can be a “good faith” payment that the contractor will receive the full amount at the end of the project.
BUT the amount being asked and the form of payment required should be taken into consideration when making your decision. For example: If the painter is requiring cash only deposit – that is a red. A legitimate painting contractor will take cash, but they’ll also take a check and some will take credit card.
Lack of a Detailed Estimate/Contract
Every contractor should provide a scope of work either in an estimate and/or contract. It should list what’s being painted, what products will be utilized and the price of the project.
It is not unusual for a painter to meet with a homeowner and provide a verbal estimate that the customer agrees to on the spot, but at a minimum, the contractor should offer to put their agreement in written form. Therefore, if a contractor is unwilling to put your agreement in written format, that is a red flag.
Refusal to Show Contractor License
It is important to note that not every state requires a license, so double check to see if your state or local government requires a license. That state of Indiana, on the other hand, is one of those states where no professional painting licenses are required. However, if you live in a state that requires a license and the contractor refuses to show that license – that is a red flag.
Likewise, if you live in a state that does not require painters to hold a license but they offer to show you their license – that is also a red flag because it is more than likely fake.
But some states require a painter to at least hold liability insurance – Indiana is not one of those states either. However, Legacy Painting does hold a $4 Million Liability Insurance policy which is required by some property managers for commercial painting projects.
Refusal to Show Insurance
Similar to having a license for painting, not every state requires insurance, but a painting company would be foolish not to have an insurance policy. Every legitimate painter has insurance and will always provide proof of insurance either voluntarily or upon request. If you have a painting company that refuses to show you a copy of their insurance – that is a red flag.
There are many brands of paint but if you are unfamiliar with the materials your painter is using or the products seem low-quality, ask them about the paint. Good painters prefer to use quality paints – either they like how the paint goes on, how few coats are needed to get a good covering or they’re worried about the cheaper paint clogging up their sprayer. If the painter is wanting to use a cheap paint – that is a red flag.
If a customer prefers their painter to use a specific brand and type of paint, that’s one thing, but if the contractor steers you to a crappy paint – run away. Legacy Painting utilizes Sherwin-Williams and Porter Paints (PPG) products. Each brand had different types of paint for different jobs and each has their strengths and weaknesses. We will let you know what paint we intend to utilize and explain why we choose what type of paint, but we always will use a quality product unless we have specific instructions from the customer to use a lesser quality paint.
Little To No Experience
While experience shouldn’t necessarily be a deal breaker (everyone has to start somewhere), don’t be shy to heed some caution. In many cases, the owner of the company has years of experience but one day decided to break out and start their own company. It’s okay to ask about their experience and use your best judgment.
Legacy Painting was one of those companies. The ownership worked for many years at another painting company before they decided to start their own business. When we started, we also brought with us a crew of experienced painters. We wanted to make sure that although we started out young, our experience and quality craftsmanship shined.
No References Or Reviews
In the year of this post, 2017, most companies (even your “Mom & Pop” painting companies) have online reviews or at minimum a list of previous customers that will tell you about their experience. If your painting contractor does not have any online reviews ask if they have a list of past customers. If the painter refuses to provide a list of previous customers that can vouch for them, they’re probably not legitimate.
In conclusion, don’t fall for a painting contractor scam! Choose a company that you can trust – Legacy Painting, LLC. We make sure that you are happy with our work and the job is done right. And if the customer is not happy, we will do whatever we can to make it right.
We feel that if a customer is unhappy with a contractor, they will tell everyone they know not to use that contractor. If a customer is happy, they will highly recommend you to everyone. At Legacy Painting, we want to be the company you highly recommend to everyone you know that is looking for a quality painting company in the Indianapolis area.
If you’re looking for an estimate for your next painting project, consider Legacy Painting and request your free estimate today!