How to Hire a Good Painter in Austin
Median home prices across the State of Texas rose by more than $112,000 over the past decade as value-adding home improvement projects become popular. Interior and exterior paint upgrades are one simple way employed by homeowners in the City of Austin to increase their curb appeal and home market price during this period. It is recommended to leave your painting jobs to qualified painters with expert knowledge to complete the work properly according to established regulations and without risk to your family well-being. Note, DIY painting jobs can be counterproductive in enhancing your property's value and appeal.
Before you conclude on hiring a painter in the city, obtain satisfactory answers to the following questions to ensure that you are working with the best painter in the area:
- Are You Licensed to Practice as a Painter in the City of Austin?
- How Much Do You Charge Compared to Other Painters in the City of Austin?
- What Kind of Painting Services Do You Offer?
- Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Painters in the City of Austin?
Painters that wish to operate in the City of Austin are not required to possess professional or occupational licenses to do so. However, these painters may be required to register as general contractors before they can obtain building permits from the city's Development Services Department. It should be noted that painting projects in Austin do not typically require a permit unless these projects alter or improve a building structure in a significant way. Nonetheless, any home improvement project carried out in the city must adhere to all applicable city codes, building codes, and local ordinances.
Painters that need to register as general contractors must first undergo an initial registration with the Austin Department of Planning so that they can obtain an Austin Build + Connect ID number. Once this has been done, they can then proceed to download, fill and submit a Letter of Authorization to the Department of Development Services to complete the general contractor registration process.
To find out a painter's registration or make inquiries concerning painter registration and other local regulatory requirements, you can contact the Development Services Department at (512) 974-9760 or by visiting their office at:
- City of Austin Permitting and Development Center
- 6310 Wilhelmina Delco Drive
- Austin, TX 78752
The rate that painters charge in the City of Austin is influenced by certain factors. The size of the painting area, the nature and state of the painting surface, the paint to be utilized for the job, and the effort required to prepare the painting surface are some of these factors.
When looking for a competent painter in Austin, you should request project quotations from several painters in the area and compare them before deciding on a suitable painter. Doing this allows you to acquire an accurate estimate of the cost of your upcoming painting project while also protecting you from being overcharged by fraudulent painters
A Painter in the City of Austin earns $37,280 annually.The table below provides the hourly average wage of painters in Austin and compares this with the wages of painters in other parts of Texas and several other major cities in the United States:Austin Painters Average Hourly Wage$17.19Texas Painters Average Hourly Wage$17.90New York City Painters Average Hourly Wage$28.06Chicago Painters Average Hourly Wage$29.15Dallas Painters Average Hourly Wage$18.75Seattle Painters Average Hourly Wage$24.24Detroit Painters Average Hourly Wage$22.48
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
It is vital to hire the right individual for the job before beginning a painting project. Some painters specialize in either residential or commercial painting, while others stick to painting newly built structures or repainting houses. Austin painters also typically provide a variety of services, including interior painting, exterior painting, wallpaper removal, metal door painting, faux painting, staining, and power washing. Each of these services frequently necessitates the use of specialist tools and supplies such as paint scrapers, steel wool, bristle brushes, and putty knives, so make sure your painter is adequately equipped for the job.
Note that, with over 50 percent of residential structures in Texas built before 1980, and therefore more likely to have lead-based paint contamination, it is imperative that you make sure the painter you hire is well versed in the EPA's Lead-Based Paint Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule. The RRP Rule aims to protect the public from lead-based paint hazards associated with renovation, repair, and painting activities. Once you have determined that the painter is a good fit, and also duly qualified, for your project, you should find out how much the painting service will cost. The following are cost estimates for several common painting services in Austin:Interior House Painting or Staining$3.00 - $6.00 per square footExterior House Painting or Staining$1.75 - $2.75 per square footPaint Stripping$3.00 - $6.00 per square footFaux Painting$1.87 - $3.73 per square foot for basic texturesCabinet Painting$840.00 - $4,670.00
With over 1,600 work-related injuries amongst painters reported by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2020 alone, making the choice to retain the services of a painter with a proper insurance plan is always in your best interest. Since this insurance protects you from the financial and legal consequences of work-related mishaps and accidents, it is impossible to overstate the importance of hiring a fully insured painter in Austin. Note that the City of Austin does not require painters to have any insurance policy. However, because insurance protects homeowners, painters, and painting contractors from having to pay for physical injury, property damage, and other injury claims, it's a good idea to be sure your painter is covered. If your painter has workers, for example, it is advisable for them to obtain worker's compensation insurance, which pays medical bills and restores some lost income for workers who are injured on the job or suffer from work-related diseases or illnesses.
Commercial general liability insurance is another important insurance that protects business owners from claims of liability for bodily injury, property damage, and personal and advertising injury. You can reach the Texas Department of Insurance's consumer helpline at (800) 252-3439 for further information about insurance policies for painters. You should also always demand proof of insurance from any painter you intend to hire and verify this proof with the relevant insurance provider.
In 2020, it was reported that several homeowners in the City of Austin were scammed of their hard-earned money by a local home improvement contractor that failed to complete work after accepting thousands of dollars from unsuspecting customers. Unfortunately, stories like this are commonplace in Austin. Therefore, when searching for competent painters in the city, it is necessary to take certain steps to ensure that you do not fall into the snares of a fraudulent contractor. The following tips can help you spot home improvement scams and also avoid them:
- Be cautious when a painter knocks on your door unexpectedly. However, it should be noted that not all door-to-door contractors are con artists. Nonetheless, a large enough number of them are, hence the need to always exercise caution when approached by these individuals. These door-to-door fraudulent contractors typically take advantage of the aftermath of disasters like catastrophic storms, hurricanes, and tornadoes to prey on unsuspecting homeowners.
- Take the time to find the right person to work on your house. It's always a good idea to work with a contractor who has a physical address. In the event that difficulties emerge, you should be able to locate everybody who worked on your home. You can also utilize trusted online directories like Better Business Bureau to search for painters in the City of Austin and lookup reviews on these painters before contacting them.
- Obtain bids from multiple contractors for any work you intend to have done on your home. Make sure these proposals are in writing and search for specifics on what will be done. You may wish to define the types of materials that will be utilized, depending on the nature of the work.
- Keep an eye out for deceptive bidders whose bids are far lower than everyone else's. Inquire about the quality of the materials to be used and the work to be completed. A low bidder may not plan to cover all of the precise jobs you want or may utilize very inexpensive, inexperienced workers or inferior materials. The majority of acceptable bids should be within a reasonable range.
- Seek references and ask to talk with satisfied clients. You should also ask if you can inspect previous work done by a painter you are considering.
- Avoid signing contracts with blanks or contracts that you have not fully read and/or comprehended. Allow no one to pressure you into signing a contract. Make sure the contract includes all that was promised to you and make copies of anything you sign at the time you sign it and keep them.
- Refuse to make full payments before a job is completed to your satisfaction. Before any partial payment is issued, a partial payment plan should define which part of the project must be completed. Before you make your payment, inspect the work and make sure the contractor adhered to the timeline.
To report home improvement scams or make scam-related complaints, you can contact the Office of the Attorney General of Texas at (800) 621-0508, by using this office's consumer complaint online platform, or by mailing a physical complaint form to the office's mailing address at:
- Office of the Texas Consumer Protection Division
- 300 W. 15th Street
- PO Box 12548
- Austin, TX 78711-2548
You can also make complaints to the Austin Police Department by calling the Department at (512) 974-5000 or visiting its office at:
- Austin Police Department
- 715 E. Eighth St.
- Austin, TX 78701