OT: Do you tip contractors / painters?

Submitted by UMgradMSUdad on July 13th, 2018 at 4:17 PM

I'm having some work done around the house after a pipe burst.  A painting crew (two guys) have been here all week and will be here at least a few more days.  They are doing a great job.  Are tips in situations like this customary?  If so, how much? 


Goggles Paisano

July 13th, 2018 at 4:28 PM ^

Not customary to my knowledge, but if it's on your heart to give them a little extra for a great job, go ahead.  I'm sure they will greatly appreciate it.  Maybe even consider the tip in the form of a gift card for dinner or maybe a nice bottle of something to drink.  

Go Blue Eyes

July 13th, 2018 at 4:29 PM ^

I would offer them some beers - after they're done.  Other than that, if you know the owner of the business tell them you will refer friends/ relatives to them.  That will certainly be appreciated.

We called them…

July 13th, 2018 at 4:44 PM ^

I was a contractor for 10 years, I've been offered a handful of beers and maybe tipped 3 or 4 times over several hundred jobs so not common at all. My favorite customers were the ones that baked cookies or got donuts or whatever.


July 13th, 2018 at 4:50 PM ^

I tipped my landscaper and one other contractor. We always offer water and my wife often gives them cookies or cupcakes. I think they would appreciate cash more than a case of beer.

Chalky White

July 13th, 2018 at 5:18 PM ^

Whenever we have someone working at the house, we always buy lunch. It's usually pizza. They are usually very appreciative. It keeps them at the house. You don't have to worry about long lunches and they work hard as hell for you. I have never given a tip.


July 13th, 2018 at 5:29 PM ^

I just sold and bought a new House on July 4 then on the 6th I had to leave for a month for work and I close on Aug 6. Having to do everything by phone and computer..Yikes  .I have to have the in terior painted b4 I drop new carpet so I offered my painting guy a bonus if he finished on time on budget..

Perkis-Size Me

July 13th, 2018 at 6:54 PM ^

Generally the deal is that unless they go above and beyond, as in beyond what they were hired for, there really isn’t a need to tip contractors. I didn’t tip the contractors who laid our hardwood floors a few months back. They did a great job, but nothing beyond what they were hired for.

What I’ve just done in the past is offer contractors any water and Gatorade in my fridge that they may want while they’re working. If I think they’ve done a good job when everything is done, I’ll offer them some beer, or in the case of some movers we had a few years back who were great, my wife bought them Subway and a huge party bag of Lay’s chips before they went on to their next job. But they really have to go above and beyond for me to tip them.


July 13th, 2018 at 7:17 PM ^

Food and refreshments are a great idea.  Tipping is not customary.  If you agreed to do some setup or prep work then do it well and completely (move furniture/buy lumber) without cutting corners. 


July 13th, 2018 at 7:54 PM ^

I have actually made lunch for contractors before (I am a fairly decent chef), especially if they are doing good work, and I have given guys beer after a job is complete, but I cannot recall actually tipping. 


July 13th, 2018 at 10:04 PM ^

I've never had the opportunity to go to the bank for some cash because I was too busy watching the painters like a hawk to make sure they didn't jack something up.  They always found a way those sneaky bastards.


July 13th, 2018 at 10:19 PM ^

For context, I'm a firm believer in trickle down econ at home, and that "charity," or better in this context, generosity begins at home.

I also consider myself a generous tipper. I'm always 20% or more on restaurant bill total including EtOH and tax, which for my liver is significant. I particularly generously tip the people that are regularly in our home.

With that being said, I have never tipped a painter or contractor, other than a contracted mover.

My 2 cents is that if you do, give half up front, and let them know they will get more when the job is done right.

I wholeheartedly agree with being generous with food and beverage. I also offer cash when someone underbids and does a great job (Never happened in my current zip) or does something extraordinary.

The best tip you can give people is a good referral to a good client.



July 13th, 2018 at 10:39 PM ^

As a contractor for most of a decade, I agree that cash tips are very uncommon. However, they would be much appreciated, and they mean more when they are not a given.


July 15th, 2018 at 12:35 PM ^

Usually a giant sub sandwich and or figure out their brand of beer based on cans on the worksite...bought my framers a cold case of what was empty in the crawl....told then finish the day whatever that may be, and enjoy some cold ones. They did so many extra little things and the siding guys said it was the most squarely built frame they had ever seen...wasn't my goal, just figured two guys working in 100 degree heat deserved a reason to stop that day. House was still finished on time.