By Jim Donovan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Does the outside of your house need a makeover? Paint is one way to give your home a fresh look and spring is a great time to do it. But it’s a big investment. In this week’s Angie’s List report, some things you need to know before hiring anyone to paint your home.

Once you decide to paint your home’s exterior, you also have to decide how you want the job done? Will the paint be sprayed on or rolled on?

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“If they plan to spray the home, it’s going to use more paint. If they are going to roll it, it will likely take longer. This will allow you to compare apples to apples when comparing estimates,” said Angie’s List founder, Angie Hicks.

And don’t even bother with a company that wants to give you an estimate over the phone. Get at least three reputable companies that will come to your home.
Get a thorough estimate and find out who will do the work and if they’re insured by the company.

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“A lot of times, that crew doesn’t have workman’s comp insurance, doesn’t carry liability insurance, which leaves the homeowner unprotected in the event that something may happen,” said professional painter, Todd Cartmel.

And if you live in an older home, keep safety in mind.

“If your home was built before 1978, it is possible that your home has lead paint and there are federal regulations about proper procedures to use when painting your home. When you are hiring a painter and they don’t bring up these regulations, you should get another painter,” said Hicks.

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Finally, don’t be cheap when it comes to paint quality. Experts say premium paints are worth the expense. If applied correctly, that new paint should last about twelve years.