1. Let the decorator choose the paint
That’s right, it will actually save you money to let the decorator pick the paint.
Most people think they are being clever and saving money by getting the materials themselves, but this usually has the opposite effect!
Paint has come a long way in recent years and knowing the correct paint for the job takes a lot of knowledge.
A professional decorator will have used hundreds of products and systems and will know the best paint for each type of job.
Time is money when you hire a decorator, so, for example, if you provide a cheap paint with poor coverage and it ends up needing 3 coats instead of 2 you’ll end up losing out.
Other things that a decorator will consider when choosing the best paint include: drying times, whether it needs a primer, how the paint reacts with certain fillers/caulks, compatibility with surfaces, adhesion and finish.
Get any of these things wrong and the additional labour costs will massively outweigh any saving you think you made on buying the materials yourself.
2. Choose the colour in advance
Decorators are buying materials on a near daily basis. Because of this they know the best deals when they come up.
The more notice you give a decorator on your colour choice the more time they will have to get you the best deal on materials.
Choosing the colour after the decorator has already started work is the last thing you want to do.
It will mean they spend time off the job driving to and from the merchant and buying the product at full price.
And who do you think will get the bill for this lost time, petrol and full price paint?
If you give them a couple of weeks’ notice a decorator will be able to shop around. They might order online, or they might collect materials when they are passing by the shop. Either way, it will save you money.
3. Clear out the room (and brush away the cobwebs)
If you are physically able to clear the room before the decorator arrives this will go a long way.
As a minimum, remove any small or easy to damage items and store them safely elsewhere.
Try to move any large items of furniture into the middle of the room so the decorator has easy access to all the walls and woodwork.
Once, you’ve done this, it pays to give the room a quick wipe down. A cloth and warm water is all it takes. Wipe down the skirting boards and get rid of all those cobwebs from behind the sofa.
If you don’t do this, the decorator will waste the first morning doing it for you…and this is just time you are getting charged for.
4. DON’T do the prep yourself
Whenever you attempt to do the preparation yourself do you know what a decorator spends the first day doing?
Fixing what you’ve done.
Preparation is 90% of the job when it comes to good decorating and takes a lot of skill. Choosing the right materials and doing it properly is something that only a professional decorator can do.
Even if you attempt something that seems quite simple, like filling. If you choose the wrong filler, or don’t apply it properly, the decorator will then have to spend time sanding down and fixing your work, before they can then re-do it properly.
This takes twice as long and will only add to your bill.
Even if you get lucky and use the right materials, it won’t be up to the standards of a professional decorator.
So, they’ll have to re-do it.
After all, a decorator’s reputation is key to their business.
Shoddy preparation leads to a shoddy finish. And a good decorator won’t allow themselves to leave a job that isn’t perfect.
5. Have your decorator complete multiple rooms at once
The more work you can allow a decorator to do in 1 go the better.
Painting 2 rooms at once is more efficient than painting 2 rooms on separate visits.
In the USA, it is not uncommon for people to have the whole house decorated in one go. The family goes away on holiday for 2 weeks and when they come back the decorating team has painted every room in the house.
Now, I’m not suggesting you need to do this, but the reason it is so successful in the USA is because it makes the whole process much more efficient and saves the homeowner a lot of money.
If you’re thinking about getting multiple rooms decorated, ask for a quote to do them all at once and see if you get a discount.
6. The cheapest quote is rarely the best
As the saying goes: ‘Buy cheap, buy twice’
Before you go with the cheapest quote, ask yourself the following question.
Why are they cheaper?
Or better still, ask yourself why the more expensive decorator is charging more.
More expensive decorators often deliver far more VALUE.
You will get a better finish that will usually last much longer.
When you go with a cheap decorator, you often won’t get the results you wanted. You’ll then end up paying out again, to get someone to come and do it properly.
If the expensive decorator wasn’t worth the money then they wouldn’t still be in business.
Also, 9 times out of 10 I can guarantee you the expensive decorator is the one booked up 6 months in advance and the cheap one can start next week.
Ask yourself…why do you think this is?
7. Pay on time
Finding a good decorator can be hard, so when you do. Make sure you keep hold of them.
Paying on time is unlikely to make a difference on the first job. However, it will mean you are favoured when you hire them again.
This could lead to the decorator being more flexible on timings, and because they know you are a good payer, they might even do you a slightly better price.