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Licensed Painter in Boston, MA

How to Hire a Good Painter in Boston

Approximately 90% of the housing in the City of Boston was built before 1978, and improperly performing any painting-related home remodeling or improvement projects in these buildings increases the risk of lead poisoning in residents. This, in turn, can lead to serious health and financial implications. As such, you should always consider hiring a professional painter in the City of Boston to carry out your painting-related home improvement projects. Doing this protects you from several painting-related hazards, ensures your compliance with the Massachusetts Lead Law, and gives you a certain level of your assurance that your project will be completed satisfactorily.

When in the need of the services of a qualified painter in the city, you can ask for references from home-improvement experts, friends, and family. However, before settling on any of these painters to work on your project, you should also ask the following questions:

  • Are You Licensed to Practice as a Painter in the City of Boston?
  • How Much Do You Charge Compared to Other Painters in the City of Boston?
  • What Kind of Painting Services Do You Offer?
  • Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Painters in the City of Boston?

Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Painter in the City of Boston

  1. Are You Licensed to Practice as a Painter in the City of Boston?

    Painters in Boston do not require a license to work in the city. However, these individuals must undergo mandatory registration with the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulations. To register with this office, the painter will be required to create a Home Improvement Contractor account online and pay a mandatory registration fee. Note that the Office of Consumer of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulations may require additional documentation at the time of this registration. Also, once the registration process has been successfully completed, painters are typically required to renew their registrations every two years.

    You can verify the registration status of your painter by utilizing the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulations' online registration lookup. Inquiries concerning registration can also be directed to this office via phone number (617) 973-8787 or in person at:

    • 501 Boylston Street
    • Suite 5100
    • Boston, MA 02118
  2. How Much Do You Charge Compared to Other Painters in the City of Boston?

    Painters in the City of Boston offer various services like interior painting and paint removals, and they charge hourly or flat fees for the several services they offer. Before the start of a painting project, the first line of action is to ask for a quote for the project. Note that painters in Boston typically consider several factors when providing these quotes, such as the size of the area that needs painting, the type of paint to be used, and the cost of materials for the job.

    A Painter in the City of Boston earns $46,460 annually. The table below provides the hourly Average wage of painters in Boston and compares this with the wages of painters in other parts of Massachusetts and several other major cities in the United States:

    Boston Painters Average Hourly Wage
    $22.33
    Massachusetts Painters Average Hourly Wage
    $22.33
    New York City Painters Average Hourly Wage
    $28.06
    Chicago Painters Average Hourly Wage
    $29.15
    Dallas Painters Average Hourly Wage
    $18.75
    Seattle Painters Average Hourly Wage
    $24.24
    Detroit Painters Average Hourly Wage
    $22.48

    Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

  3. What Kind of Painting Services Do You Offer?

    Painters in Boston offer a variety of services, which include power washing, interior painting, wallpaper removal, exterior painting, and staining. Likewise, the painter you intend to hire may further specialize in commercial, residential, or industrial painting. As such, when searching for professional painters near you, it is important to ensure that the painter you decide to hire has the right experience and tools to undertake your specific task. Also, if the painting project is on a property that was built before 1978, and it involves surface areas that cover more than six square feet on the interior and twenty square feet on the exterior, the painter should be EPA certified. You can confirm your painter's EPA certification by making use of the EPA search portal. Once you've confirmed that your painter has been certified by the EPA, you should find out how much the project would cost you. Listed below are estimates of some painting services offered in the City of Boston:

    Exterior house painting
    $1.00 - $1.25 per square foot
    Interior house painting
    $1.00 - $1.25 per square foot
    Paint removal
    $2.50 - $2.75 per square foot
    Texture painting
    $1.10 - $2.50 per square foot
  4. Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Painters in the City of Boston?

    Boston painters are not required to carry general liability insurance. However, it is a good idea to hire an insured painter with a general liability plan that is sufficient to cover the financial burden that an on-the-job injury or accident may cause. According to data published by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2020, about 1,600 work-related injuries were recorded amongst painters during this period. When this figure is taken into account, the importance of working with duly insured painters can be clearly seen. To this end, you can ensure that your painter has proper insurance coverage by asking them for a copy of their insurance certificate, and verifying it by contacting the issuing insurance company.

    It should be noted that any contractor in the City of Boston that has at least one employee must obtain worker's compensation insurance for their employees, and this insurance is issued by the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents. You can get detailed information on Boston painters workers' compensation insurance requirements and also confirm that your painter has complied with these requirements by contacting the Department of Industrial Accidents at:

    • 2 Avenue De Lafayette
    • Boston, MA 02111
    • Phone: (617) 427-4900

How to File a Complaint Against a Bad Painter in the City of Boston

In 2019, police in several communities across the Boston area and the State of Massachusetts issued a warning alarm to residents of the area concerning fake home-improvement contractors forcing the elderly residents to pay for unnecessary repairs. According to research published by Harvard University, Americans spent close to $420 billion on home-improvement projects in 2020. Considering this sum, it is not unusual to find unscrupulous painters trying to swindle residents in the City of Boston. As such, it is important to make sure that you keep your guard up when searching for painters in the city to ensure that you do not end up hiring one of these scammers. There are various tell-tale signs that you may be dealing with of an unscrupulous painter and some of them are listed below:

  • The painter asks for a cash-only payment
  • The painter cannot provide proof of a license
  • The painter requests a large down payment
  • The painter makes unsolicited visits offering unrealistic discounts
  • The painter asks for oral contracts or downplays the importance of having a written contract
  • The painter offers you unsolicited and discounted services
  • The painter gives a suspiciously cheap quote
  • The painter quotes too many unnecessary additional charges
  • The painter cannot provide references from previous jobs
  • The painter offers a time-limited service package and tries to pressure you into hiring them immediately to enjoy a discount.

You can avoid falling victim to these painting scams by doing the following:

  • Verify your painter's registration status by utilizing the registration look-up portal provided by the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulations
  • Never pay more than one-third of the total cost upfront
  • Get quotes from three to four painters before deciding on any painter
  • Request referrals from friends and family
  • Ask for proof of insurance and call the issuing insurance company to verify it
  • Look up the painter on third-party websites like Better Business Bureau for reviews, testimonials, or possible complaints
  • Always insist on a written and well-detailed contract for your project before any work starts and review this contract thoroughly before signing it
  • Ensure that the project is done to your satisfaction before completing payment
  • Ask the painter to provide references from past clients and verify these references by calling the referees to ask about the painter's work ethics.

If you've been scammed by a painter, you may file a report with the Massachusetts Division of Occupational Licensure (DOL) using this division's ePLACE portal. Note that you would have to register on the portal and follow the instructions given to enable you to submit this complaint. Alternatively, you can download and complete the DOL's complaint form, and then mail the completed form to:

  • 1000 Washington Street
  • Suite 710
  • Boston, MA 02118

Further complaint-related inquiries can be directed to the DOL at (617) 701-8600.

You can also report an unethical painter to the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office using an online consumer complaint form. Complaints can also be sent to this office by printing a complaint form, properly completing it, and mailing it to:

  • Office of the Attorney GeneralConsumer Advocacy & Response DivisionOne Ashburton Place
  • 18th FloorBoston, MA 02108

Finally, if you wish to seek financial compensations for the actions of the painter in question, you may pursue this in an appropriate court. For example, matters that involve $7,000 or below can be filed at the Boston Municipal Court located at:

  • Edward W. Brooke Courthouse
  • 24 New Chardon Street
  • 6th Floor
  • Boston, MA 02114

Note that it is advisable to consult with a qualified lawyer before taking any type of legal action.