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How do you find a reputable decorator to transform your home?  Here we give you tips for hiring the best painters and decorators.

  • To find recommended painters and decorators in your area, don’t just look at the ratings. Find a local trader who has good reviews for a similar job (e.g. wallpapering, woodwork, internal or external work) and this will reassure you that they’re right for your project.
  • Though genuine cancellations do happen from time to time, any trader who says they can start work the next day should be hired with caution. Similarly, painters and decorators who offer cash deals or use other high pressure sales techniques are best avoided.
    If you're looking for a quality finish, be aware of adverts that state they'll beat any price, and offer multiple services like cleaning gutters, rubbish clearance, gardening as well as decorating, as these are unlikely to be qualified tradesmen.
  • Good decorators will rarely give you a quote or agree to undertake any work without first visiting your property. Call or email three recommended traders with a brief outline of what you’re trying to achieve and rough measurements. They’re the experts and will be able to advise on the best options once they’ve seen the condition of your home and discussed your budget and preferences.
  • Ask a decorator whether a slightly more expensive approach, such as high quality paint, might result in a better finish or last longer. The initial outlay might be marginally more but it could end up being better value for money.
  • Always get quotes in writing. Usually these will be accurate, but wallpaper removal can be an exception. Most traders will give you a quote based on an assumption that there is one layer of wallpaper and that the walls underneath are sound. If they find something unexpected, they might reasonably charge more, but they should always advise you of any changes before going ahead with the work.
  • Don’t forget to check that there are no hidden charges, such as for parking, working at weekends, or if they charge a fee for supplying the paint, before you agree to any work.
  • Most painting and decorating jobs are paid for when the work is completed and accepted. For large jobs, such as those that take more than a fortnight, your decorator might ask for an instalment upfront, or at 1 week/ 2 week intervals.
    Costly or unique materials, such as specially mixed paints, may also be billed in advance, but many decorators will give you the option of supplying your own Paint. Just be aware that if you provide budget priced materials, the end finish will not be as good.
  • Once the work is finished, carefully examine everything and deal with any snagging before making or completing payment.