A distressing amount of our clients hire us to fix a poor painting job done by a less than reputable painting company. It’s heartbreaking to see people spend their money and get a terrible or unfinished painting job in return and then have to hire us to do the job correctly.
How it Happens
A painting company will take the deposit (usually half of the quoted amount) to start painting, cut every corner possible, do a terrible job and then tell the owner they need more money than originally quoted to finish the job because of some made up excuse. Now the owner is in the spot of either firing the painting company, losing their money and hiring a reputable painting company to do it right or paying the extra $$$ in the hopes that they actually finish the job correctly.
This happens more often than I’m comfortable with so I’ve put together this guide to help protect people from these shady businesses. This guide is targeted to painting companies, but you can use it for pretty much any company or person you contract to do work.
What Every Painting Company Should Have
Every painting company that gives you an estimate should be prepared to prove that they’re licensed, bonded and insured. The licensed part is where people get confused. Most painting companies claim that they’re licensed, but usually they’re only referring to a business license which means they’re a business that pays taxes. This is NOT the license you need to care about.
Every painting company in TN should have what’s called a “Home Improvement” license. This license keeps painting companies accountable because if they do bad job they can get fined and lose their license.
A Home Improvement license is required for remodeling projects in several counties, when the cost is $3,000 to $24,999. Consumers prefer to hire licensed professionals, especially when it comes to home remodeling. If you want to be known as a state licensed, insured and bonded contractor, the Home Improvement license is a good start (always list license ID number in advertisements).
Counties who have adopted the Home Improvement law pursuant T.C.A. 62-6-516 (formerly 62-37-126), are currently: Bradley, Davidson, Haywood, Hamilton, Knox, Marion, Robertson, Rutherford, and Shelby; and required for projects over $3,000 to less than $25,000. Note: A license is required regardless of whether a permit is needed.
If the quoted job is below $3k then a license isn’t needed, but even so I highly recommend only hiring licensed painting companies or someone you know and trust.
How to See If A Painting Company is Licensed
Visit verify.tn.gov to lookup a TN contractor license
Fill out the captcha to start your license search
- Name of the painting company, painter’s name or license #
- Select “Home Improvement” in the Profession drop down field
- Click Search
Scroll to the bottom of the page to view your search results. You’ll easily be able to see if the painting company has a valid (Active-Fully Licensed) or expired/revoked license. If they don’t show up in the results then they’ve either never registered for a license, it was revoked or expired years ago.
If you’ve suffered from a bad painting company (even if they’re not licensed) you can report them by going to http://www.tn.gov/commerce/article/cont-file-a-complaint.
I hope that this helps keep people from getting into a bad situation. Obviously we’d love for you to hire us for all of your painting jobs, but there are other great painting companies around Nashville that I respect and would recommend in a heartbeat.