Monday, November 5, 2018

The Insider's Guide To Painting

The Insider's Guide To Painting Your Home

Painting your home whether you use a professional or do it yourself can be much easier with a few tips from the pros. The reason the pros are the pros is from the experience they gain from job to job.

Let's face it nothing is perfect on any job and they are all unique to themselves, one paint may not work the same on each project, one brush may not work with different paints so let's review some tips we have gained in our painting experience.
  • Buy the best paint possible, here is one area not to "cheap out" when you purchase that $20 gallon of paint and think you saved money but now have to put three, four coats of paint on you have just wasted more of your own time you could have been spending with your family.
  • Cheap paint also doesn't clean easily and can be easily marked, in some cases just by putting your finger on the wall. Expect to pay at least $45 a gallon
  • Use a quality caulk when working on any trim such as baseboard, door and window trim. A less expensive caulk will shrink which will result in cracks and gaps. Expect to pay at least $5 a tube for a quality caulk
  •  Put two coats on the wall. It just looks better, don't skip that second coat, your wall will thank you, it will be easier to clean, look more uniform and the color truer
  • Buy quality roller covers and tape. If you listen to one tip this is it, a cheap roller cover may release fuzz on your brand new wall, take you longer to paint the wall and reduce the quality of the finish
  • When working on hardwood floors put brown paper under the dropcloth closest to the wall your painting (you will thank me later) It will catch all the paint that will get by the dropcloth, remember do not tape anything to the hardwood floor, tape to the baseboard in case the finish of your floor is not stable. We have seen floor finishes come up with tape and it's not the fault of the tape.
  • Roll out of a five-gallon bucket, it is so much easier than a pan on the floor. You will need a roller grid, a quality handle, sleeve and a poll that retracts and extends
  • Sand the walls between coats, I can't stress this one enough, if your not a pro you may not see all the imperfections on your walls, simply use a sanding pole and sandpaper and sand the wall after your first coat. It will make your finish much better

These are just some of the tips we have learned over the years, by learning from experience and mistakes we can share some of this knowledge with you if you decide to paint your home yourself use them to make things easier, better and for a pro like job.

If you need help we are here to assist and give you a proposal for any of your painting needs

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Why three estimates may be impossible to compare

Why three estimates may be impossible to compare.

Everyone always thinks getting estimates is doing the right thing and in some cases, it may be. But how can you as a homeowner with no construction experience know what you're looking at?

If three estimators show up I would almost guess you will get three different prices, if they cannot figure it out how can you?

The simple answer is you can't and measuring each company by the price they give is the number one issue. Comparing companies by the price they give is not telling the whole story.

There are so many things un said you need to know about and that is why we say we don't have competitors based off of that.

  • Does the company offer a training program to the people doing the work?
  • Do they have a company orientation program?
  • Do they offer their employees any benefits at all?
  • Are their employees really employees or subcontractors coming and going.
  • Do they offer a career to their employees?
  • Do they have the backing of their manufactures?
These are just a few of the things you should be looking for, anyone can throw out low prices or even high prices, the price alone tells you nothing at all on how that project will go.

Did they answer the phone and return calls in a timely fashion? If they don't do that now when they are trying to win your business how will that go once they have it?

Did they introduce you tot he foreman who will be doing your work? Do they have a supervisor at all?

These are all questions you should ask yourself when searching for a company to do any work in or around your home. You hear so many scary contractor stories and invariably someone didn't do their homework on the contractor. Not all contractors are bad at all. By doing a bit of work on your end and interviewing the estimator you can learn a lot about their company and how your project will be managed, because not only are you paying for a service you are paying for someone to manage it as well.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Why Painting Is Sexy

Why Painting Is Sexy


Painting and sexy, two words you may not think belong in the same sentence but they can certainly go together and we see it every day.

Sexy
1. 
provoking or intended to provoke sexual interest
a sexy dress
a sexy book
2. 
feeling sexual interest; aroused
3. 
interesting, exciting, or trendy
a sexy project
a sexy new car


In our business we deliver needs and wants, that could be a new color to a room or home that can totally change the look and feel of any space which in turn can change the energy and emotion of a person or family.

There is nothing like an excited client I meet on an estimate and I can almost feel the excitement in their energy, to deliver what they want and see the look on their face is an amazing feeling. I think you would find most painters also love this feeling.


So sexy doesn't  necessarily refer to "sex" it can be that same feeling we get as well as the client, to be able to do this day in and out is awesome and we don't take that for granted at all.

It's that same feeling when you buy a new car or order new furniture or buy that new dress or suit. People live for that feeling and painting can surely bring that same feeling and one that stays with you for a long time.

So the next time you think "sexy" remember painting can bring you that feeling and stay with you a long time


Thursday, October 18, 2018

Welcome to our company

Welcome to our company

Here is a brief glimpse of my painting company through a typical week.
A lot more goes into painting your home than just showing up and throwing some paint on your walls.

From the initial call to the estimate to all the planning that goes into the project there is a great team of people involved in accomplishing a great paint job.

When I started my company my goal was to help people get their goal of painting their home in a professional manner but also within their budget while giving our great people an awesome place to work. So much goes into reaching that goal that is never seen. It is not an easy job, to say the least making everyone happy and some people that could never be happy no matter what you do. But after all the great clients, reviews and awards we have won it has been a success.

Of course, we get some clients that just are not happy or believe they had a bad experience and we try hard to not have that happen or rectify it, I guess they say you can't make an unhappy person happy no matter how hard we try.


Saturday, October 13, 2018

Having Proper Expectations For Your Paint Job

Having the proper expectations for your painting project.

Having the proper expectations for anything in life is important and it is even more important with any construction and painting project.

Let's face it you have a vision in your mind on what the outcome of a project should look like and no two painting companies will do the same job. One may include more preparation of the surface than the other or they use different paints which can change the outcome of the job or one may use subcontractors and have little to no control over any of the outcome.

Apple To Apples

We always grimace when people say they are want to compare apples to apples because except for new commercial work that is impossible to do on any other project.
When you have three different estimates you have to be aware each company is inherently different in their makeup and policies of how a project will and should go.

3 Estimates And They Are All Different

We don't feel we can be compared to any other company, from a full training system to our leadership these un saids are hard to compare to other companies simply because they don't have them. That isn't bragging but we are well aware of how other companies operate and that is just fine for them. We like to make sure we can recreate the end result from project to project as much as we can.

When Comparing Estimates

When comparing paint companies estimates how can you be sure you're getting a fair comparison?
We like to say listen between the lines, ask how the project will go. If someone is available right away during the busy seasons that should be a red flag. Most sought after companies can be booked out 4 to 8 weeks or more and that should tell you it is usually worth waiting for.

The Usual

If you're looking for the usual show up and slap some paint on the walls and a rock-bottom price, we are probably not the company for you but if you're looking for an attentive staff, trained leadership and results you can count on we are that company. Remember things can go wrong and the mark of a great company is they are accountable, we all make mistakes and we are no different but our company practices extreme accountability and we hold everyone to it.

Our Goals

Our goal was always to offer great service at a fair price that is profitable for us and enables our painters to live a great life. This isn't top of the line perfect work as I don't know about you but is not realistic on most projects and would be cost prohibitive for everyone.
We give a quality repaint with normal preparation for the surfaces using good quality paints from Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore. We don't offer the bottom dollar, slap it on and go paint jobs or high end cost prohibitive work. Doing it this way we focus on training our systems over and over and be able to service almost everyone.

Expectations

If your expecting the walls to be perfect and never said that you may be in for a surprise when a company does their normal prep of a surface. To make any surface perfect is costly and requires a skim coat of the entire wall.
Expecting each and every hole, crack, nail pop to be perfect is not realistic or standard in the painting industry.
What we like to say is stand in the middle of the room under the normal lighting of the room and what you can see is what will be fixed. To inspect up close with high levels of artificial light will not help anyone's paint job. 
Some will promise everything and the moon but being realistic will make for a great project.


Thursday, October 4, 2018

Interior Painting Costs

Interior Painting Costs

With Fall here, the weather changing our painting work moves indoors and for someone who has never used a professional painting company before the unknown is always the price.

Pricing for interior painting can vary greatly from company to company and the promises you will hear about can seem all over the place. Not one company will come in and say "we are going to do an ok job" Each one will promise a quality job, everything is done right, top of the line products etc.

There are things beyond the price that may not seem important at the time when you're weighing cost but may cost you in the future.


A good company will have awesome employees, do you know who is coming into your home? We do as we background check each one. They will have written systems and training, companies who use subcontractors will never be able to train their subs or they would be employees, so the quality of their projects wavers from job to job. 

A written warranty, things do happen and when you need help will the other companies come out and take responsibility for them? If it is a paint issue do they have a great relationship with their vendors who can facilitate a solution on your behalf?

All these "unsaid" are where you should really be looking beyond the initial sticker price as we said all companies will promise the world or make unbelievable claims on the time it will take them to complete your work.

In the painting world fast is good for commercial painting not for your home. I wouldn't want the fastest doctor working on me, would you?
The same goes for painting, without the proper prep work, the proper dry time before the nest coats of paint you may have issues or void any manufacturer warranties.

So when looking at the cost, look beyond that first glance of the price tag, knowing the real cost of the project and the value you will receive from your painting company is most important.
 


Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Your price is too high, too low and just right?

Your price is too high, too low and just right?

We hear it all the time, your price is too high, we also hear your price was the lowest as well as it was right in the middle? How can this be?

The simple answer is we estimate everything, for the most part, the same way with the same prices and known production rates so what is the one difference on each project? The client is the unknown on each estimate.


Why the gap?

Everyone has their own idea of what something will cost, when you go to buy a car and look at a new BMW vs a used car from another lot, of course, there is a price difference. When you go to a fancy restaurant vs a Tgi Friday's you are aware there will be a price difference, it's expected.
But when you hire any contractor you expect all the pricing to come in around the same amount?

What's the difference?

Unless each contractor is on the estimate at the same time, using the same paint and has spoken to the same person on the site you will not have a chance of getting the same pricing from the contractors and even then it will all be different as each contractor runs their business a completely different way.
  • One may use all subcontractors and gamble they won't get caught by the Irs misclassifying their painters
  • One may have insurance but no workman's compensation
  • One may not have a training program for their employees and just gambles each job goes well
  • Do they treat their employees well? Are they happy? One secret in the painting industry is painters are migrants, they go from company to company once they burn their bridges from the other companies or anytime they can make an extra dollar. This is one reason we take recruiting very seriously and don't necessarily look for the 10,20-year experienced painters.

So what's the deal

What I am saying is we one price someone thinks seems high may actually below to someone else and it has nothing to do with how much money they have.
We hear all the time our cabinet refinishing prices are high, however, we are doing 5 cabinet projects a week and are always busy. Not every contractor is for every person, the same as not every store in the mall is for everyone, some may shop at WalMart and be thrilled and others prefer Macy's. That doesn't make you cheap or snobby at all.
It's also not a reason to get angry at the contractor, if a contractor is a low baller and that is their business model so be it, on the other hand, if they charge a price for what they give and it is loaded with value a price can be attached to that and it may seem high upfront.

here is a video we recently did on this subject.