How to find the best contractor for your job

Congrats! You’re almost at the finish line! You have your rooms selected and your colour choices made. The hard part is over!

Now it’s time to determine if you should go the professional route (hire a contractor) or DIY. Not sure which is best for you? We’ve got that covered here. 

If you make the leap to hire a contractor for your paint project, you need to make sure you do your homework. To help, we’ve compiled a lesson plan for you.

Lesson 1: Research, research, research.
Do your research and don’t limit yourself to one method. Yes, Google is great, but so is word of mouth. Ask friends and family if they’ve worked with anyone they would recommend. Check out social media groups, like local neighbourhood associations, and don’t be afraid to post a question to a board. A simple post asking for input can provide you with a lot of input (good and bad). A few words like this can do the trick:

“Hey, I’m looking for a paint contractor for a small home project. Any recommendations?” 

Lesson 2: Reach out.
This can seem like the toughest part. If this is your first time hiring a contractor, you may be wondering, “where do I start?”. We’ve been there before, and we understand that this can feel intimidating, but trust us, it’s not. Here’s how to start the conversation: 

“Hi! I’m looking to hire a paint contractor for my [insert project]. I was recommended to you by [name]. I’m hoping to have the project wrapped up by [end date], and am available to start the work anytime after [start date]. My budget is [$]. I’ve attached a few project details to this email to help you get a better understanding of the space and my overall goals. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions. Looking forward to hearing from you!”. 


To make things even easier, you can plan your project in your Chip app. Put in your room measurements, save your colour selections, and more. When you start your project with Chip, all of your details are saved in one place, making communication with your contractor and the paint store easy.

Lesson 3: When it comes to estimates, the more the merrier!
Strive for at least three written estimates. Contractors should give you an estimate free of cost – even without a firm commitment to hire. The estimate should include all the pieces outlined in your original project document (like finishes, for example), and then some. 

Once you receive the estimate, ask any questions that you may have. This is your project and your money, so be clear with your expectations and needs. The more you ask, the more accurate your final quote will be. 

Lesson 4: Get a written contract
Once you’ve chosen your contractor, make sure they provide you with a written contract – no ifs, ands or buts! Make sure your contract outlines:

  • dates (start, end, and payment schedules);
  • all of the details listed in your project plan, plus items agreed upon from the initial quote;
  • The final cost and what you get for it, and what happens if costs need to go over budget. TIP: Ensure your contractor knows that if costs are projected to exceed budget, you are notified before items are purchased and work is done. 

Bonus: Chip Tips for working with a contractor

  • If you’re able to, have in-person interviews and house visits. This way, you can meet the pro who might end up working on your space, and they can see the space in real life, adding to the accuracy of the quote.
  • Ask your contractor if they foresee any challenges.
  • Keep the lines of communication open. Let your contractor know that they can (and should) reach out to you before making any decisions that weren’t listed in the contract.
  • Check your contractor’s references.

Feeling confident? You should! You’re about to move your project from online to on the wall. Get ready to enjoy your new space!