A recommendation from someone you know is a great place to start and can give you the opportunity to see a painter and decorator’s work first-hand. 

But what if you don’t know anyone? – Trusted Decorator is here to help.

Look at decorators listed in your area, view previous projects, reviews, qualification, accreditations and experience.

Make appointments with at least three decorators from our directory to visit your home to discuss the project with you. Unless your home needs an urgent facelift, don’t worry if your decorator cannot visit for a few weeks. 

Firstly, it is a very good sign if a painter and decorator is in demand and secondly, this gives you plenty of time to browse around your local DIY retailer and gather paint and wallpaper samples. 


Any Quality Professional Painter and Decorator will be more than happy to supply references and examples of past work. This is a good way of checking their credentials.

 “A well-run company will arrive when they say they will, work a full day and then return each day until the job is complete”  Here are some useful question to ask during the decorators site visit. 

How long have you been in business? 

Do you have Public Liability Insurance? 

If a deposit is required is it backed by your insurance company if you cease trading? 

How long is the work guaranteed for? 

Do you have or work to any Customer Service Charter etc?

Are you a member of any Trade Associations? 

Discuss the experience of the Decorator, have they completed similar work to yours? 

How will you protect my possessions? 

Will you start on time each day? 

Will you finish the project when you say you will? 

If I leave a voicemail how soon do you return the call? 

If you sent an email when could you expect a response? 

Do you subcontract your work or perform it yourself? 

Can you provide references? 

Do you quote start and finish dates? 

What is your 14 day cancellation policy? 

What products do you use?


Be specific about the project. 

It is good to spend time to getting to know your professional decorator, as they then can start to share your vision of your perfect finished room or rooms. Walk each potential decorator around the areas (indoor or outdoor) to be painted while discussing your needs, and particularly any aspects of the project that could affect the price. Be specific about which surfaces you want to have painted (walls, woodwork, mouldings, ceilings, etc.) and the paint colours and finishes you would like to be used. 

USEFUL ADVICE While you are meeting with you decorator, notice if they take time to measure the room, nine times out of ten you will receive a more accurate price from the decorator that took the time to note the room measurements. It is good to get detailed price from the decorator, the price should include everything from the list of materials to be used, other sundry items and the labour charge. An honest quality decorator will be ready to answer all your questions including the cost of labour and the materials.

Do you need a Quotation or Estimate? 

A QUOTATION is a fixed price offer that can’t be changed once accepted by the decorator. However, the decorator can specify in the quotation precisely what it covers, and that variations outside of this will be subject to additional charges. If additional charges are to be made it is good practice to agree the extra costs in writing and both parties signing the “variation order” 

An ESTIMATE is an educated guess at what a job may cost – but it isn’t binding. To take account of possible unforeseen developments, it is advisable to obtain several estimates based on the various circumstances, including the worst-case scenario. This will prevent you from being surprised by the costs.

Whichever form of price you decide to choose, please remember to ask all decorators to supply the same type either estimate or quotation. Compare the prices quoted with different painters and decorators and choose the one who can provide quality works at the best rates with a good after sales service. 

And Finally…

Review the contract once you’ve settled on “your” decorator, ask for a written contract and review it carefully. As a consumer, you have the right to ask detailed questions about any issues you need clarified. 

Be sure to verify the following: 

What exactly is being painted (house, woodwork, walls, moulding, etc.) 

Details on preparation and clean-up. 

Paint colours for each area to be painted 

How the decorator will protect plants, patios, furniture, or other items 

How much time the project will take, from start to finish 

When and how will the decorator will be paid 

Once you complete these steps, you’ll be ready for “your” decorator to make a start and enjoy your newly painted home. 

Deciding on the specification and budget!

Generally, budget depends mainly on one aspect. The kind of paint you decide to use! The subject of selecting the right paint is not just limited to the final look and feel of your house. In fact, the paint you use is one of the main factors having an impact on your budget. 

One of the biggest problems when it comes to deciding which decorator to use is that your never sure what work you are getting completed for the money you are spending. 

The easiest way to avoid this problem is to spend a little time producing a decorating Specification for each room you would like decorated in your home. This is a sheet of paper that tells each decorator you are meeting what areas of the room needs to be decorated etc. This is a very simple document; however, it can possibly save you £ 100’s as both parties are aware from the first meeting what work is expected to be completed. 

Here is an example of what a decorating specification looks like:

ROOM Master Bedroom 

CEILING x2 Coats Vinyl Matt

WALLS x2 Coats Vinyl Matt

WOODWORK** x1 Undercoat 

x1 Topcoat Gloss 

** Woodwork to include Skirting Boards, Door and Door frame

Taken from – Don’t think about hiring a decorator until… by Trevor Mangan.