Here is a list of essential questions to ask your new decorator. However, before you do this there is one important factor that I believe you should take into account and that is your ‘Gut feeling’ or your ‘instinct’. Sometimes you get a feeling for a person by just talking to them on the phone, you’ve probably experienced this haven’t you?
It’s much better though to meet them face to face. This normally gives you a stronger feeling of whether or not you might like to go ahead and hire someone or not. This is easily done when you ask the decorator round to give you a price for the job.
Now obviously this is not an exact science. Is it possible to get a bad feeling or bad first impression of someone who’s possibly a great decorator? Of course it is. The same as it’s possible to get a good first impression from someone who may turn out to be a rotten decorator (the world is full of slick talking cowboy salesmen).
The purpose of going through this process and asking the questions below is to stack the odds in your favour and increase your chances of choosing a top quality trustworthy decorator....1st time!
Another thing worth mentioning; You may be reading this thinking you could never ask these questions to a potential decorator, how embarrassing, it’s not the ‘done thing’.
That’s understandable, but are you willing to take the chance of hiring some fly by night cowboy just to avoid asking a few simple questions, even if it means feeling a wee a bit awkward?
Remember, you’re not just getting someone in to paint your kitchen or lounge. You’re starting a relationship, hopefully a long term one with someone you can trust for years to come. So ask the questions and if you don’t get the answers you want or the person you’re asking starts making excuses or acting uneasy, then move on and hire someone else. This is your home and your hard earned money on the line here.
So ask away.
“Are you time served?” -
This may seem obvious but you’d be surprised how many people there are out there who thought they were quite good and enjoyed doing a bit of decorating round the house so they thought they’d start a business. Make sure they’ve served a proper apprenticeship.
“Who with/ can I call them?” -
Ask for the name of the company they served their apprenticeship with and if they would mind you calling the company up (see how they react when you ask this). Or just make a note of the company name and phone them up anyway, you’re well within your right to do this.
“How long have you been decorating?”–
I have worked with much older experienced decorators that I wouldn’t let near a paint brush and also younger less experienced guys that are excellent. But most cases in general, the more experienced, the better. You don’t really want someone who’s just done a 2 week painting and decorating course and started a business.
“Are you a paper hanger?” -
You obviously want to ask this if you’re considering getting some wall papering done. Fixing and making good a shoddy paint job is far easier and a lot less expensive than re-doing badly hung wallpaper. And ask for testimonials (see Question 6)
“How long have you been self employed?” –
Not so important, but worth asking. The guy might have just started his business (everyone has to start somewhere at some time). Question 3 is more important, but this just goes with the flow of the conversation and will give you a sense of the person’s honesty.
“Can you give me a list of testimonials/ Can I phone some of them up for a chat about you and your work?”–
This is essential in my opinion. Any decent painter and decorator worth their salt should be willing to gladly give you a list of satisfied customers. After all it’s a ‘win-win’ scenario for both him and his new potential customer. It gives the new potential customer peace of mind and gives the decorator credibility.
“Is your work guaranteed/what is your guarantee?” –
Ask your new decorator if he guarantees all his work. If he says “Yes”, ask him to clearly explain what his guarantee is. If he says “No”, run for the hills....or maybe just politely show him the door and phone someone else.
My guarantee is simple....If You're Not Happy...You Don't Pay Me!
So there we go....The above is a short list of what I think is the essential questions to ask your new decorator. If you can think of more questions to ask, then all the better. Obviously you don’t want to turn this into an interrogation and scare the poor guy (or girl) off. It should all be done in a friendly conversational manner. Or just be up front and honest and say that you’re a bit nervous about hiring a new decorator and want to make sure you’re getting someone good who you can trust.
With the information I have included here on this website, I have hopefully answered all the above questions for you regarding myself. The purpose of this being, that if you ever decide to give me a call for some decorating then you already know you’re getting someone you can trust who will leave you a 1st class finish.
Applewood Decorating Services by Charles Bennewith
1 Priory Place
Call Charles Personally