Now I’ve heard tell that finding a good painter is difficult, but in fact it is a lot easier than finding a spouse or a house. The painter for example, doesn’t need to be attractive or south facing or the right size, though you may expect some warmth and a welcoming feel. And perhaps he shouldn’t talk too much.
So now that we have pushed aside any unreasonable requirements; what are you looking for?
Someone with know-how who takes a pride in his work.
That probably says it all but as we don’t like things too brief unless it’s poetic, I’ll add something more.
He should be able to communicate well, and receive communication, so that if there is a small problem it can be handled easily and amicably and doesn’t become a large problem.
So ask yourself this question when talking to your prospective decorator:
Is this the sort of person I could resolve an issue with?
Or behind that social sales veneer does there lie someone prickly and defensive even when mildly confronted?
OK. So there’s all that.
Now getting back to: Does this person know his job?
That’s what we really need to address and finding out requires some skill.
Do we look for experience?
Yes but there are many of much experience who don’t know their jobs:
The coffee shop that doesn’t know how to make coffee
The pub that serves poor ale.
A plumber whose pipes leak
The doctor who misdiagnoses
The carer who doesn’t
The teacher who can’t
The priest who.. well you get the idea.
How can we tell if a person knows his job before the job is done?
Because after all, in the service industry we are all only selling promises of a future product
You could ask for references. Beware here, as people have different standards. Yours may be higher.
And speaking of references….
Beware also those websites that rate decorators but also receive money from those decorators.
In whose interest are they working?
And could someone fraudulently write references for that website?
But you could point out a particular area to be renovated and ask him how he might go about it.
For example: A Ceiling patch affected by water, where the lining paper has come adrift and there is some doubt about the condition of the plaster beneath.
Ask him if the plaster is sound?
What will he do if the plaster fails in the middle of the work?
How will he go about protecting the room from the calamity of a collapsed ceiling?
If the decorator is not phased by such questions and can answer without much waffle, you might have a good one.
And he may cost you less than someone cheaper.