You may be sprucing up your home for your own satisfaction or you may be preparing it for placement on the market. If your plans include painting, there are some things of which you should be aware in order to protect yourself from unscrupulous scammers. Make no mistake, there are plenty out there waiting to prey on unsuspecting victims.
If It Sounds Too Good To Be True, it’s a Scam
You’ve heard it said plenty of times, but if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Scammers will offer you a great deal on a paint job. What they are really giving you is a snow job. If you don’t know the signs of a scam, you could fall into their trap.
Reputable painting companies are pretty easy to spot, but many disreputable companies work hard at covering their flaws and saying the right things so the unsuspecting consumer can be easily misled. Here are some of the differences between a company you can trust and one you need to stay away from.
Ask to See Their Credentials
A reputable painting company is going to have good credentials. Not only will their details include their trained, skilled employees; they will have proof of insurance (at least a million dollars’ worth), and it will be current. They will also have workers’ compensation for their employees. This protects you and the workers, should an accident happen on your premises. Also, a reputable paint company will be bonded. This protects you in the event there is a problem with the job, such as poor workmanship, or in the event, the work is left unfinished.
If you ask for these credentials and they hesitate, there is a big red flag. Be aware some scammers will try to use other forms of insurance to fool customers. Some have even been known to show unwitting customers their vehicle insurance policy, passing it off as the insurance required of legitimate painters. Don’t be fooled.
Ask for the bond number and certificate of their insurance. A reputable company will not hesitate at all to provide these for you. A scammer will hesitate or try to derail the conversation. Any hesitation is a sign these are people you don’t want in or around your home.
Don’t Show Them the Money
When you are faced with a painting contractor who is asking for an exorbitant amount of money to start the painting project, you are no doubt looking at someone who is more interested in getting your cash than doing the work. In fact, many homeowners have been out hundreds of dollars, only to have either a poor paint job on their hands that requires a professional coming in to redo the work or no work done at all. Some unfortunate consumers have even had their homes damaged or robbed as a result of scammers coming in and pretending to be legitimate contractors. What you may have seen in the movies is not far from actual events for some homeowners. This is why it is to your advantage to know the signs.
When you are working with a reputable company at most, you may pay for a consultation in the beginning. You’ll have a detailed contract with every part of the process documented. You will be able to tell the commitment of the painter before you are expected to give them any money. The contract will be honored and you will be satisfied with their work before you are asked to pay.
Read the Fine Print
Some scammers are very thorough in their approach. They may get as far as producing a contract for you to sign. A scammer’s contract uses vague language. It will be open to interpretation and be full of ambiguities. You could very well end up paying for things you don’t want, paying more for what you do want, paying for things you don’t get, or paying twice for what you do get.
If the contract does not reflect the costs that were spelled out in the initial consultation, assume there’s a problem. There can be surprise fees that can catch you unaware. A reputable company will have everything covered and no hidden costs in the contract. What you discussed is what you and the contractor agree to with a reputable company.
Good Quality Materials and Experience
Not everyone is going to require, ask for, or even want the Rolls Royce of paint—although there will be those who will. A legitimate company will have a selection of quality materials to choose from. Even the low-end paints will be decent. Scammers may offer you what sounds like a sweet deal, but in the end, you will end up paying much more. Low-quality paint does not last long because it won’t hold up or give you the wear you expect.
Another aspect of the well-qualified contractor, in addition to working with quality materials, will be their experience. A well-established contractor will have great skills and expertise. All of your questions and concerns will be adequately addressed.
Armed with the knowledge of the differences between a reputable company and one not so forthcoming, you will be able to make a wise choice in hiring a professional, legitimate painting contractor. The Atlanta Painting Company is such a contractor and when you make a decision to hire a professional company like us, you can be assured of getting the results you expect. Contact us for more information about the painting services we provide.