10 Things To Know When Hiring a Contractor

From the Better Business Bureau

Check out a company's BBB Business Review and complaint history at BBB.org.

1. BBB Rating & Report

Check out a company's BBB Business Review and complaint history at BBB.org.

2. Cost Comparisons

Get at least three written bids and take the time to learn why they may be different. (To add to this if possible, do not go with the lowest bid. It can be tempting but chances are you will pay to have the work done twice.)

3. Licensing

Check to see if the company you plan to hire is properly licensed for the work they will be doing. (This is a quick call to the county office. They will tell you if the company is able to work in your county.)

4. Insurance

Be sure to verify the company's liability insurance to protect you against any damage. Check them out with your state's department of insurance.

5. References

Ask for references from their previous three jobs. ​

6. Written Contract

Before work begins, have a signed, written contract including start and completion dates, exact costs, specific work to be done, and warranty information. Read the fine print carefully and understand all the terms before signing. (Please note, it is hard to determine the exact amount for materials. What may be helpful to you is to ask what brands they use. Research those brands for your self. That way if there is more material needed you will be able to estimate what the cost of the material should be.)

7. Deposit & Payment

The upfront deposit should not be more than 1/3 of the total job cost and final payment should only be due when the work is done. Pay by check or card to keep a record. (NEVER pay for a job upfront. )

8. Warranty

Obtain warranty information in writing on all products and installation and read the fine print.​

9. Bonding

Be sure all workers are bonded to protect you against theft and damage. (Ask for proof.)

10. Permits

Be sure all workers are bonded to protect you against theft and damage. (Ask for proof.)



Most homeowners have a privacy fence. If you are one of those homeowners you probably know all about the wear these take over time. They turn gray, boards twist, and things start to lean. These things can cost a lot of money to fix or replace. So, how do you avoid that? 

1. Make sure they are put together with screws not nails. If you own a new home, chances are the builder paid a company to do it. That fence was more than likely put together with a nail gun. It looks nice enough and went up quickly. These fences generally last about 3-5 years. Why? The nails do not have enough grip on the boards to stand the heat, humidity, and other weather conditions. This is where the screws are superior. Screws grip the board and hold it in place. 

So what if my fence has nails? Not a problem. it is simple to go in and put the screws in alongside the nails. That way as the nails start to shift, the screw holds firm. If you see a nail starting to make its way out of the board, simply pull it out and put it in the trash. 

How do I clean my fence? The second biggest issue with fences is the graying color after about a year. It is reversible but can cost extra labor and time to fix. If you have a new fence, it is best to get it stained between 6-8 weeks after construction. For those of you living in an HOA, there are options for a stain that follow the guidelines. Ask us to help you choose the right one for your HOA. 


Painting Questions

Painting is hard work. There is blue tape, brushes, rollers, pans, paint, and valuable time spent. Overall it is a costly thing to do. Our customers recognize this and call us. A lot of times we are asked about the process. So, what exactly are we doing when we come to paint your home?


Prep work: Chances are, your wall has seen things. It has been dinged, scraped, marked, and if you have kids or pets the list goes on. Our prep work makes it look like we not only painted but put new sheetrock up as well. We will come in and fix all those battle scars prior to priming. 

Priming: Prime is to wall as a pancake is to maple syrup. Could you eat the pancake without it? Sure. It is that much better with the syrup though. Same goes for walls and primer. Depending on your walls battle scares you may need an oil-based primer. If your wall has water spots, been drawn on, has had stickers, you know the kind your mom got the kids because "what kid doesn't like stickers?" All of that is covered by an oil-based primer. If we were to paint directly over all of that with the paint or a latex primer it would show. 

Painting: Once your walls have gone through their spa day(s) it is time to get red carpet ready. There are still choices to be made though. Color is an obvious one. A less obvious choice though is the finish of paint. Satins and Mattes stand up better to most. Mattes can be touched up in just the marked area. Satin, eggshell, and semigloss would have to be touched up from corner to corner. Satin stands up to humidity and children or pets better than eggshell or gloss. Satin is great for the kitchen and bathrooms. Matte is great for all the other areas of the house.


Other interesting tidbits: 

So you bought a new build. Congrats! Truly that is great but you now have a house full of flat paint. This paint is forgiving to the people who hung, taped, mudded, and sanded your walls. This finish is far less forgiving in daily life though. If you wash it whatever you were trying to get off will come off but so will the paint. Best to get that taken care of before the house warming/Bulldogs party gets underway. 



Is there anything better than coffee on the deck on a nice summer morning? How about dinner al fresco on a nice summer night? Decks are a great way to expand your living space when the weather is amenable. When you get that image in your head I bet it is with that nice new deck. The fresh wood, no worries about splinters, all the boards are flat, and it is visually appealing. The ugly truth of the matter is, keeping a deck looking like that is work. So how do you keep it looking like you imagine? 


A deck should be stained. NEVER PAINT A DECK. A stain should not be translucent. If you like the natural wood look there are natural tints you can use to achieve the look. The tint in the stain helps to protect the deck from harmful UV rays. Once a deck is stained it should be given a light wash every year. A fresh coat of stain should go on ever two to three years. These simple things keep a new deck looking new. 


If your deck hasn't been maintained and looks like the opposite of what you dream about, that is okay. Some companies will tell you to replace the deck. This rarely needs to be the case. Chuck's Painting & Home Maintenance does a process called deck refacing. We wrap posts, replace the boards, and stain it. Your old deck will look new by the time we are done with it. Saving you money and getting you out there to enjoy it faster. 

If you have a question not answered on the site, please call or email us. We would be happy to help.

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