Question: My next door neighbor’s son, a college student, has offered to paint my Wellesley house. The house needs painting and the young man’s quote seems reasonable. I am on a fixed income so major expenses are a concern. Are there any safeguards you can recommend? I guess I’m being overly cautious because I’m always nervous when I see people working on ladders.
In Wellesley, your home is worth many hundreds of thousands of dollars, so, your cautious attitude is your best safeguard. All Wellesley homeowners contemplating any contracted work should take certain precautions, whether the work is to be done by a “professional” firm or by the boy next door.
Applying paint to the house is the easy part. A successful paint job requires skilled surface preparation, which includes scraping, caulking, and sanding. You also have a justifiable concern when you watch painters work from staging or ladders. That’s because there are potential safety hazards for which you may be liable if the contractor isn’t covered by workmen’s compensation. Neighbor, friend or stranger, ask for and read and understand, the contractor’s certificate of insurance.
Is the young man painting the house alone or with his buddies? Everyone must be skilled. Everyone must be properly insured. Is this his first job or does he have references that you can verify?
You will also want to check your own homeowner’s insurance policy.
A reasonable cost for the paint job is your goal, but only when the above criteria are met.