If you plan on having your home painted by professionals, one of the first things you need to do is get quotes. It's a good idea to get a few quotes from at least two or three different painting contractors so you can compare the prices of each service. However, getting quotes is not just about the money. It's also about figuring out what each contractor recommends for your home exterior, and then comparing their ideas to see which one best suits your needs. To better deduce what each contractor plans to do, you'll want to ask the following questions.
How do they plan on accounting for surfactant leaching?
Most paints contain what's known as a surfactant, a product meant to reduce surface tension on the paint when it is a liquid in order to ensure it stays well mixed. In high humidity, however, the surfactant can leach out of paint, leading to the appearance of brown and discolored spots on the painted surface. There are several ways painters can prevent this. Some use specialized primers to reduce surfactant leaching. Others use paints made especially for high humidity. If you live in a typically humid area, be sure to ask your painter about their strategy to prevent surfactant leaching. Otherwise, you may end up with a blotchy-looking home a few years down the line.
Will they spray or brush the paint on?
There are two main ways that painters apply paint to home exteriors. Some use large electric or gas sprayers to spray the paint on the outside of the homes. Others apply the paint with a brush. Most painters won't roll an exterior surface because the surfaces are usually too rough. Ask whether your painter plans on brushing or spraying. The results should be about the same either way, but brushing will often take much longer. If your painter tells you they plan on spraying, then you know they'll be done within a couple of days, whereas brushing may take a week or two.
Will they subcontract any work?
Some painting companies subcontract out some of the work to other companies or painters. For example, they may subcontract out the trim work to an outside painter who specializes in that field. This is okay, but it is something you should know about in advance. If the painting company relies on subcontractors, it may take them a little longer to get to the project because they're also reliant on the subcontractors' schedules.
When you get quotes for your exterior home painting project, make sure you do more than compare costs. You should get a clear idea of what each painting contractor intends to do.