Top 3 Must-Haves For Hiring A Painter

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Crestwood Painting rose bushes

Set Expectations

If paint contractors are clear in what they are providing and customers are clear in what they are getting then everybody will be happy, yes? So why are happy customer/contractor experiences relatively rare? The answer is the dreaded Unmet Expectations.

Define the Work

Let's say the paint contractor hired to paint your house drips on your new patio. You assumed he would properly protect your home, he assumed you wanted the work done fast and cheap. If he didn't have a written contract then shame on everybody. If he did have a contract did it clearly specify these gems?

  • Inclusions (what will be painted)
  • Exclusions (what won’t be painted)
  • Clarifications (to be sure)


This is, of course, the work that will be done. In our case it would read something like "Paint house and garage only, including all previously painted doors, windows, soffits, fascia, etc." Also included should be the materials used, time to completion, and yes, surfaces to be protected.

A job well specified is half delivered


If your fence will not be stained or painted it should be noted here. If the dog house, garage or porch swing will not be painted that will all be listed in the section. Is it really necessary to describe what will not be painted? Well, yes - everyone wants to avoid Unmet Expectations. If you expect that your beloved white dog house will not be painted and then come home to see that it is now gray you will be, at least, a bit put off.

Now, Exclusions can go too far - it's not necessary to state that your roof will not be painted, is it? Or the driveway?


So you're talking with your painter during the estimate and he assures you that he'll take extra precautions around your new rose bushes. This section is where that assurance should be described - "Rose bushes on east side of garage will be staked off with yellow caution tape to help prevent damage". Even better is an explanation of the consequences if the roses are not staked off - something like "if roses are not staked off and are damaged contractor agrees to have a qualified nursery replace them."

If the rose bushes are not mentioned at all you're setting yourself up to have some dreaded Unmet Expectations. Or, what if the contractor simply forgets what he said about the rose bushes. Or he forgets to tell his work crew?

It's been wisely said that "a job well specified is half delivered".

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