How to Hire a Good Painter in San Antonio
A painting-related home improvement project has several advantages, including increasing your home's aesthetic value and reducing the negative effect of weather conditions on your home's structure. However, paint jobs can be hazardous, especially when done without regard for safety guidelines. It is estimated that nearly 42% of the homes in Bexar County, including San Antonio, were built before 1978 and are likely to contain lead-based paint. Considering the dangers of lead-based paint, San Antonio residents are particularly advised to engage a qualified painter for their painting-related needs.
While you can ask people you trust for qualified and experienced painters around, asking the following questions will help ascertain if the painter you pick is the right one for your project:
- Are You Licensed to Practice as a Painter in the City of San Antonio?
- How Much Do You Charge Compared to Other Painters in the City of San Antonio?
- What Kind of Painting Services Do You Offer?
- Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Painters in the City of San Antonio?
No statewide license is required to carry out painting works in the State of Texas. However, it is mandatory for all painters to be registered before performing any painting-related works in the City of San Antonio. Painters who provide services without registration are guilty of a Class C misdemeanor offense, which attracts a fine of $500 per violation. However, painters performing certain painting works are exempted from registration requirements. Such works include performing painting on any existing residential-detached accessory structure not exceeding 300 square feet.
Registration of painters in the City of San Antonio is generally handled and supervised by the San Antonio Development Services Department (DSD), and interested persons can register as either home improvement contractors or residential building contractors. Home improvement contractors are only permitted to perform painting work on buildings of 400 square feet and smaller, while residential building contractors work on structures that are greater than 400 square feet. To be eligible for registration, applicants are required to be at least 18 years of age, have proof of insurance, and a government-issued photo ID, amongst other requirements that may be specifically required. Eligible applicants can then register by submitting a completed Home Improvement Contractor Registration Application Form or Home Builder Contractor Registration Form, depending on their preferred license type, to the DSD, along with paying the necessary registration fees. Interested persons can contact the DSD customer service at (210) 207-1111 or send an email to the DSD License Team for additional information regarding contractors' registration.
Also, city residents can utilize the Contractor Search tool maintained by the DSD to confirm if their intended painter is registered.
The average hourly charge of painters in San Antonio varies depending on the type of paint needed, type of project, the painter's experience, and the climate season. Hence, it is always advisable to get at least three painting estimates from different painters before committing to one person for the job. This will help you compare costs and hire a skilled painter who can provide your much-needed services at an affordable price.
A painter in San Antonio earns an annual average wage of $38,750. The table below provides the hourly mean wage of painters in San Antonio and compares this with the wages of painters in other parts of Texas and several other major cities in the United States:San Antonio Painters Mean Hourly Wage$18.63Texas Painters Mean Hourly Wage$17.90New York City Painters Mean Hourly Wage$28.06Los Angeles Painters Mean Hourly Wage$26.36Boston Painters Mean Hourly Wage$29.49Seattle Painters Mean Hourly Wage$24.24Detroit Painters Mean Hourly Wage$22.48
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Kind of Painting Services Do You Offer?
Painters in San Antonio offer various services, including:
- Interior and exterior painting
- Cabinet refinishing and repainting
- Color consultation
- Concrete staining and epoxy finish services
- Drywall repair, molding and trim painting services
- Wallpaper removal and installation
- Power washing
- Stucco repairs and painting.
Performing any of these services requires different types of skills, training, and tools. Hence most painters choose to specialize in one or two areas. Besides their skillset, painters are also limited by their license type. For example, painters who are registered as home improvement contractors can only perform painting-related work on 400 square feet and smaller buildings. In contrast, painters who are registered as residential building contractors can work on buildings bigger than 400 square feet. Hence, before hiring any painter to work for you, ensure that the professional is duly licensed, properly equipped for the job, and is authorized to work on your type of building.
Also, if your San Antonio home was built pre before 1978, it is important to make sure that your intended painter has been certified by the EPA to carry out lead-safe paintwork. Additionally, it would be good to have an idea of the cost estimate for your intended project.
The cost estimates of some common painting services in San Antonio are listed below:Electrostatic painting$48.81 - $55.97Exterior house painting or staining$1.43 - $2.75 (per square foot)Faux painting$1.86 - $3.73 per square foot (for basic textures)Interior house painting or staining$0.98 - $2.10 (per square foot)Mural painting$15.38 - $22.37Paint color consultants$350.00 - $585.00 (fixed fee - flat-rate)Paint color consultants$85.00 - $100.00 (per hour)
It is mandatory for contractors, including painters, in San Antonio to have general liability insurance, but the minimum coverage amount varies by license type. While home improvement contractors are required to maintain general liability insurance of $300,000 per occurrence, residential building contractors must maintain general liability insurance of $500,000 per occurrence.
Many potential risks are associated with carrying out painting activities such as falls, prolonged standing, and exposure to toxic fumes from the paint that can cause headaches, dizziness, fainting, injuries, and other harmful side effects. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics recorded more than 1,600 work-related injuries amongst painters in 2020. Considering the possibility of workplace hazards, it is advisable to work with painters with insurance coverage to ensure your protection from unforeseen expenses if a workplace accident occurs during your painting work.
Complaints regarding home improvement scams are among the most common cases handled by the Texas Office of the Attorney General year after year. These scams involve poor workmanship, price gouging, and fake promises. Even worse, some contractors collect huge money upfront without finishing the job and then abscond. For instance, two contractors were arrested in Bexar County for collecting up to $600,000 upfront for home repairs from homeowners but never completing the jobs. Hence, you need to be very careful when deciding who to hire for your painting projects, or any home improvement project. In this regard, you can consider the following tips:
- Beware of any painter trying to pressurize you into making an immediate decision.
- Ensure your intended painter is registered with the San Antonio Development Services Department (DSD)
- Get recommendations from trusted individuals around you, including family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers.
- Contact the Texas Office of the Attorney General Consumer Protection Hotline at (800) 621- 0508 to find out if any complaints have been filed against your intended painter.
- Get estimates from multiple painters. Don't assume the lowest bidder is the best choice.
- Always go for an insured painter so you can be protected from financial expenses in the event of workplace injuries.
- Ask the painter to provide references from previous clients.
- Do not pay huge amounts upfront and only pay the full amount when the work has been completed to your satisfaction.
- Get written contracts containing a detailed description of the work, payment schedule, warranties, cost of labor, estimated start and completion dates, and materials to be used. Also, ensure any changes to the contract throughout the project are put into writing. Furthermore, do not sign a contract unless you clearly understand the terms of this contract.
- Avoid paying for your painting projects in cash. Instead, try using other payment options like checks, money orders, or credit cards to be able to keep records of payments made.
- Keep all records related to your painting project like payment receipts and copies of the contract.
Note that you can report painting scams to the Consumer Protection Division of the Texas Attorney General's Office. Such reports can be submitted online or by obtaining a printable complaint form, which is obtainable in English or Spanish, and mailing the completed form to:
- Office of the Attorney General
- Consumer Protection Division
- P.O. Box 12548
- Austin, TX 78711-2548
Complaints filed with the Consumer Protection Division are typically reviewed to help parties reach an amicable settlement. The Division does not represent individuals in any legal proceedings nor offers financial compensation. Hence, consumers seeking direct monetary compensation may seek the service of a private attorney and possibly file a small claims lawsuit at the Bexar County Justices of the Peace. Note that small claims matters filed at this court are for matters involving $20,000 or less.