Hi I'm Ashley from A Woodcock Decorators. A few people have recently mentioned to me about doing a blog so lets see how this goes. Where better place to start than "Choosing a Professional".
It can be very overwhelming speaking to a Professional Decorator, as lets be honest we've all thought there's nothing to this painting lark. So if your serious about getting in the Pros then here's a few pointers on where to start.
Assess the room you would like decorating. Look for hairline cracks, damp spots, mould a flaky paint. If you can make note of anything like this and inform the Decorator on arrival to view the job. After all whats the point paying £400+ for a job only to realise there was a leak to start of with.
Get recommendations, your going to want a minimum of 3 quotes, so if a name pops up a few times that's a bonus. Search all for a Facebook page or Instagram. Not everyone has a page but if they do this will give you the opportunity to see images, reviews and how they come across as a person.
Meet the Decorators on the job for an official estimate! My personal opinion is this, if they cant be bothered to turn up and view the job and ask for pictures etc, what chance have you got if any problems occur once they've been paid! Bring up the notes you made when you assessed the room, it maybe nothing but better safe than sorry.
Ask for a written Estimate, this gives you clarity. Who is going to move the furniture, what preparation will be done, how many coats does this include, what materials will be used and does the work come with a guarantee. Remember you are getting 3 prices, its no good going for the cheapest if your actually going to get less. You may also request evidence of their Insurance Policy.
TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS!!! A Professional Decorator should be on time, courteous and be prepared to answer questions and offer suggestions. Remember as a businessman they should be passionate about your Decoration project!
Please note many Decorators I know require a deposit before starting, this generally is a 25%-30%, to purchase materials and guarantee you a spot in the diary! Under no circumstance should you pay in full! Ideally pay via banks transfer, a paper trail is always best.