How to Hire a Good Painter in Detroit
Over 2,000 children are diagnosed with lead poisoning annually in Detroit, and lead-based paints used in pre-1978 buildings in the city are a leading cause of this poisoning. Considering the debilitating health effects of this lead poisoning, hiring a licensed and well-equipped painter to execute your painting projects is a potentially life-saving decision to take. Working with these professionals also increases the chances of your project being completed satisfactorily.
Usually, referrals for good and qualified painters may come from family, friends, work colleagues, real estate agents, and even online directories. Nonetheless, however you come in contact with your preferred painter, it is important to make sure that your preferred painter can answer the questions below satisfactorily before you hire them:
- Are You Licensed to Practice as a Painter in the City of Detroit?
- How Much Do You Charge Compared to Other Painters in the City of Detroit?
- What Kind of Painting Services Do You Offer?
- Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Painters in the City of Detroit?
The licensing and regulation of professionals in the City of Detroit are generally handled at the state level by the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). While this agency previously required painters to obtain a Maintenance and Alteration Contractor license, following an amendment to Michigan Compiled Laws 339.2404, the licensing of painters is no longer required. However, painters that had previously obtained a LARA-issued license are required to complete and submit an add-on trades application and pass a test based on the trades they wish to apply to in order to update their status with the state. You can get more information or make inquiries concerning Detroit painter licensing and add-on trade upgrading by contacting LARA via phone number (517) 241-9313 between the hours of 8.00 a.m. - 5.00 p.m., Mondays to Fridays.
When determining the cost of painting services in Detroit, the following factors have to be considered:
- The type of paint and cost of paint to be used
- The painter's expertise
- The amount of labor needed to get the job done satisfactorily
Note that painters in Detroit may charge for their services either via flat rates or hourly rates. However, regardless of the billing structure that painters you contact decide to implement, it is advisable to get estimates from at least three different painters. This is a good way to ensure that you do not end up being charged above the average industry cost for your painting services.
A painter in the City of Detroit earns an annual average wage of $43, 720. The table below provides the hourly mean wage of painters in Detroit and this compares with the wages of painters in other parts of Michigan and several other cities in the United States:Detroit Painters Mean Hourly Wage$22.48Michigan Painters Mean Hourly Wage$21New York City Painters Mean Hourly Wage$28.06Chicago Painters Mean Hourly Wage$29.15Dallas Painters Mean Hourly Wage$18.75Seattle Painters Mean Hourly Wage$24.24Los Angeles Painters Mean Hourly Wage$26.36
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Kind of Painting Services Do You Offer?
Detroit painters specialize in different kinds of painting services that require unique skill sets and tools. Some of these services include wallpaper removal, power washing, interior and exterior painting, staining, and metal door painting. Some painters may offer these services solely at commercial or residential levels while others may specialize in painting new buildings or repainting old ones. Whichever painting services your remodeling project requires, hiring the right painter who is equipped and competent for the job is very important. It is also important to ensure that your preferred painter is knowledgeable about all applicable requirements and certifications required in dealing with certain painting services. For example, painters must be certified with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in order to remove lead painting or repaint a building that was formerly painted with lead. Note that this requirement is mandatory if the painting job is to be carried out on homes, schools, and other child-occupied facilities that were built before 1978. Upon confirmation that your painter is adequately equipped to execute your impending painting project, you must verify the cost of the painting service for your project. The following are the average costs of some painting services in Detroit:Interior painting or staining$35.00 - $55.00Interior houses painting or staining (per square foot)$1.25 - $3.50Exterior house painting or staining$27.50 - $45.00Exterior house painting or staining (per square foot)$2.10 - $3.17Paint removal$13.00 - $22.00Paint removal (per square foot)$1.25 - $3.25Texture painting$24.00 - $60.00Texture painting (per square foot)$3.99 - $7.00Faux Painting (per square foot)$1.99- $3.98
According to a survey by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 1,600 work-related injuries were recorded amongst painters in 2020. In view of this, even though the City of Detroit doesn't mandate painters and other home remodeling contractors to carry general liability insurance, it is essential to ensure your prospective painter is duly insured. By hiring an insured painter, you are protected from liability for accidents and injuries that occur in the execution of your home remodeling project. It also saves you the cost of fixing damage to your home during this project, especially if these damages were caused by the painter.
Note that while painters that operate in the City of Detroit are not mandated to carry general liability insurance, they are required by the Michigan Bureau of Labor and Employment to carry worker's disability compensation insurance. This insurance is especially necessary if the painters run a registered business with at least two employees. You can get more information on the worker's compensation insurance and general contractors' insurance requirements for Detroit painters by contacting the Bureau of Labor and Employment at (517) 284-8947 or via email.
The Harvard University Joint Centre for Housing Studies estimates that the United State's housing remodeling industry is currently worth about $400billion. Sadly, this large market value has drawn unscrupulous contractors and painters to the industry who look to defraud unsuspecting homeowners through bogus home remodeling scams. According to a 2020 survey conducted by the Consumer Federation of America, home improvement scam complaints were second on the list of top ten complaints amongst consumers in Detroit and across the rest of the country. The following are ways to identify unscrupulous contractors in your search for painters near you:
- The contractor shows up unannounced trying to sell paint and other painting materials. In many cases, these contractors claim that these materials are leftovers from a recently completed project or they try to solicit painting jobs using below the industry rates.
- The contractor changes the cost of the project multiple times while it is still ongoing, with flimsy reasons for doing this
- The contractor gives verbal project estimates and is skeptical about signing a written contract
- The contractors hassle you to hire them on the spot without due diligence
- The contractor asks for at least 50% payment upfront and usually requests this payment in cash.
In 2021, it was reported that two unlicensed contractors would be facing felony and misdemeanor charges for their involvement in home remodeling scams that resulted in Detroit homeowners losing over $20,000. These contractors fraudulently obtained funds as down payments for remodeling projects they never completed. You can protect yourself against the actions of unscrupulous contractors and home remodeling scams in Detroit during your search for a painter in the city by taking the following steps:
- Always make sure that your prospective painter is EPA certified especially if your building requires the removal of lead paintwork.
- Always conduct proper due diligence on your prospective painters by checking third-party sites like Better Business Bureau to look up reviews on the painter before hiring them
- Beware of contractors soliciting business from you using prices and rates that are too good to be true.
- Always obtain written estimates from at least three painters to get a good idea of the industry cost of your prospective project.
- Never enter into a verbal contract with a prospective painter. Always insist on and sign legible contracts that you have read and understood.
- Pay for painting projects in installments. If you have to make any upfront payment before your work commences, this should never be more than $1,000 or 10% of the entire project sum, whichever is higher. Never pay the entire project sum upfront.
- Never pay cash for painting services. Payment should be via cheques, credit cards, or any other means that can be traced.
If you have fallen victim to a home improvement scam, you can explore several means to seek redress. These include filing a complaint with the Consumer Protection Division of the State of Michigan Attorney General's office by filing an online and submitting documents supporting your complaints to:
- Consumer Protection Division
- P.O. Box 30213
- Lansing, MI 48909-7713
You can also report a home remodeling scam to the Detroit Police Department via phone call to (313) 267-4600. The Detroit Police Department can also be reached at:
- Detroit Police Department
- Detroit Public Safety Headquarters
- 1301 3rd Street
- Detroit, MI 48226
Finally, if you are not satisfied with the conclusion of the complaint resolution process that any of the above-mentioned agencies provide, you can institute a private legal action against the contractor involved in the scam. Note that consulting a lawyer before you sue your contractor in a home improvement scam is essential, as only licensed lawyers are qualified to you advise you on the legal implications and possible outcomes of this action. You can find qualified lawyers near you by using the State Bar of Michigan's find a lawyer resource.