Some Practical Tips for Home Owners: When Hiring a Mural Painter

After you chose an artist whose work you like, the next step is to get to the business side of the project.

According to California State law, the muralist or decorative painter or faux finisher needs to be a licensed contractor to perform any work above $500.00, so he or she should be treated like any other contractor.

1. Contractor’s License

Verify that the artist has a Contractor’s license and that it is active.

It is the law in California for an artist – muralist, decorative painter or faux finisher - to have a contractor’s license – C-33, Painting and Decorating.

You can look up your contractor’s information on the California Contractors State License Board website by license number or business name here.


2.  Liability Insurance and Bond

On the same website page mentioned above, you can find out if your contractor has Liability insurance and bond.

It is important in case of damage to your property. This also will ensure a level of protection in the event that a contractor walks off half way through the job.

The contractor’s insurance agent also can issue a certificate of insurance in your name, as an additional insurer usually without extra cost to the contractor.


3.  Workman’s Compensation Insurance

Again on the previous website page, you can get information about Workman’s Compensation insurance in case your artist has helpers or a crew of people working with him.

If the contractor does not have up-to-date Workers’ Compensation or you see the word “Exempt”, it means that in case of injury on your property, you could be sued, and you expose yourself to significant financial risk.

4.  Contract

It is essential to have a signed contract with an artist with a detailed description of the work to be performed, the progress payments schedule and a time schedule.

Progress payment is a payment made as work progresses under a contract, upon the basis of costs incurred, of percentage of completion accomplished, or of a particular stage of completion.

It is a protection for both parties involved. Do not pay out too early in the way of progress payments until the work is complete and you are satisfied with your artist’s performance according to what was agreed upon in your contract.


5.  Right to Cancel

Homeowners who enter into contracts with contractors to improve, remodel or repair their homes, in this case – an artist, almost always have the right to cancel the contract, without any penalty or obligation, within three business days after signing the contract.

It is common for artists and for homeowners to think that painting a mural is creative work for which rules under the California Contractors License Law do not apply. It is a creative work, but it is mutually beneficial for both parties to follow the law. It is worth it for the artist in the long run to pay the extra cost for these insurance policies to avoid any future problems.

Hope these tips help.

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