Frequently Asked Questions
Named Best of Huntington for 2010 & 2009 by US Commerce Association
We Encourage Everyone to Ask Lots of Questions
BEFORE You Hire Any Contractor
Use these questions and answers information and also use the questions on How to Choose the Right Painting Contractor page to make sure you hire a professional. It is your money. Getting the best value and a job you are proud to show off is much better than getting the lowest price.
Are you licensed as a painting and home improvement contractor with Nassau and Suffolk Counties?
Yes. Our license numbers are# 35448-CP 35447-H. Contractors that are not licensed should be avoided as they are likely to expose you to unnecessary insurance risks and provide inferior service.
There have been countless stories in the news about unlicensed contractors that take advantage of trusting homeowners. The most recent was in the New York Post in July 2010.
What Will It Cost?
Unfortunately, this is the key question many people base their decision on. If you only rely on price to choose you are very likely to end up with a project that peels, cracks or blisters in the next year.
Require that every painting contractor visit your home and conduct a thorough review of your needs. It is impossible to provide an accurate estimate over the phone without visiting your property. Painting contractors that provide “ballpark” estimates should be avoided.
Estimates that are written on the back of a business card are worthless – because all you know is the price. It is far more important to know the specific steps that will be performed for the price quoted.
Along with the price, request a detailed step-by-step process to paint or install wallpaper from every painting contractor you meet. This will make it easy to make an apples-to-apples comparison of specifically what you are getting for the price quoted.
We provide each homeowner we meet with our written processes and this allows them to easily understand the cost of painting or installing new wallpaper or wall coverings for their home and to compare our proposal with another proposal.
Painting contractors that are reluctant to put the details in writing or use sweeping generalizations like “we will apply 2 finish coats to entire exterior” or “the highest quality paint will be used” should be avoided. These are phrases that leave too much room for interpretation AND they allow the unscrupulous contractor to make more money at your expense.
Can I get an estimate over the phone or via email?
Painters who will give you a quote over the phone or via email without meeting you or visiting your property should be avoided. This is very unprofessional.
We do not give estimates over the phone. There are too many variables to simply give an accurate quote. We will meet you in person, ask you specific questions to gain a full understanding of your painting and wall covering needs and then provide you with a written detailed estimate including our detailed preparation and painting procedure for a typical home.
What do I need to know about the New EPA Law on Lead Effective April 22, 2010?
The New EPA Law Effective April 22, 2010 designed to prevent lead poisoning. This is a very important step to protect adults and children from the harmful effects of lead paint.
The company must provide you 2 certifications:
1. One for the company and
2. One member of the crew must be a certified lead renovator
Copies of the certificates must be mainted on the job and be available for inspection throughout your project. Click here to learn more so you can protect yourself, your family and your children.
Will your insurance agent provide me with a copy of your Certificate of Insurance?
Yes. Getting the Certificate of Insurance directly from the contractor’s insurance agent will provide you with assurance that the coverage is current.
In addition to registering with the Nassau and Suffolk Counties – painting contractors should adhere to the following guidelines:
If a painting contractor is unable to produce the appropriate insurance documents, do not hire them as you may be responsible for any injuries or other accidents that occur.
Is it really necessary to check references?
Yes. Quality painting contractors have multiple references from past clients. We believe that a painting contractor should provide you with a list of at least 15 references – this prevents the contractor from giving you 3 or 4 “references” that are actually not real customers but friends or associates.
We provide a list of more than 25 references you can call. If a contractor is unable or unwilling to provide at least 15 references that should be a warning sign.
Is it necessary to check business references?
Painting contractors should have longstanding relationships with their local bank and local suppliers. All of their relationships should be in good standing. Businesses in good standing with the bank and local suppliers get preferential treatment and pricing which helps them stay competitive. Harbor Paint & Fine Finishes is pleased to provide you with our bank and vendor references.
Do you provide a discount for multiple properties?
Yes. We will offer you a discount if you hire us to paint multiple properties at the same time. The amount of the discount will be dependent on how close together the projects are and how similar the projects are to each other.
How do I get an estimate?
Simply call us at (531) 385-4405 and if we are not available – we will call you back by 1pm for morning calls and 6pm for afternoon calls. (Try us!)
How long does it take to get an estimate?
Once we meet with you – either on the spot or within 24 hours in almost all cases.
Do I need to be home when you’re working?
Not all the time but we do ask that you be available each day so we can provide you with our daily update of progress and answer any questions you have.
How long does it take?
Each project is different. We give you approximate start and finish dates in our proposal so you can plan. Once we start your project, we stay on it each day until we are finished unless there are circumstances beyond our control like weather that don’t permit us to work.
When you start a job, do you stay until it’s done?
Yes. We are motivated to complete your project as that is the only way we get paid. Once we start your project, we stay on it each day until we are finished unless there are circumstances beyond our control like weather that don’t permit us to work.
What about bathrooms?
We do ask for access to a bathroom as a courtesy. We will respect your privacy and your property in using the bathroom.
Where will you clean up?
We do ask for access to a sink that we can use for cleanup but will make other arrangements if that isn’t possible.
Do you work with Home Owner’s Associations?
Yes. We will provide the appropriate information to your HOA.
Do you offer Green Products?
Yes. We offer multiple products that meet or exceed VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) regulations for low VOC and odor.
Serving: Suffolk and Nassau Counties Including:
Huntington, Lloyd Harbor, Cold Spring Harbor, Centerport, Northport, Dix Hills, Fort Salonga, Laurel Hollow, Oyster Bay, Woodbury, Syosset, Brookville, Muttontown, Jericho, Roslyn and Great Neck