Getting a professional painter for your house is an important step in getting the job done correctly the first time. Painting a house isn’t something that should be done on your own, as it takes too much knowledge and too many supplies for a do-it-yourself job to be a worthwhile endeavor. However, getting a professional is only a small step on the path to getting your house looking its best–you need to make sure that you have the right team on your side.

What does that mean? It means that you need to take the time to educate yourself about what kind of painter and what kind of team you’re dealing with in completing this task. If you’ve got a painter who isn’t up to the job, you’re only wasting your time and your money. Here are a few good questions to ask a painter before you hire anyone.

Do They Use Subcontractors?

What you don’t want is to hire a painting company and then learn that an inexperienced subcontractor will be the person who is actually going to be doing the work. Using a subcontractor might save you a few dollars in the short run, but it’s going to lead to you having to spend more money in the future when you need to do the job a second time because the work wasn’t a high enough quality. Hiring a painting company isn’t the same thing as hiring a painter, and if a company uses subcontractors, it’s probably a good idea to look elsewhere.

What Kind of Paint Do They Use?

A good paint job requires, well, good paint. You want to be certain that the paint company you pick uses the best paint available. If your paint company uses a premium brand such as Sherwin-Williams or Benjamin Moore, that’s a good sign that they believe in quality and will get the job done right the first time. If they use a paint that you can find cheaply at a Wal-Mart or Target, or a brand that isn’t much of a name in paint, you should probably find another solution. A good paint company can tell you exactly why they use the brand of paint they do.

Do They Include Wall Preparation?

If the answer to this question is no, you don’t have to ask any other questions. A good painting company knows that the job starts with preparing the house to be painted long before a brush touches any surface. Any painter who plans to just paint over what you have is not someone who deserves your business.

Professional painters will go a long way toward making your life easier, but only if they know what they’re doing and you feel comfortable with them. By taking the time to ask some basic questions, you can make sure you have the right team making your house look its best.