Saturday, January 27, 2018

What to expect when painting your kitchen cabinets

 What to expect when painting your kitchen cabinets.

Ok, so you made the decision to have your kitchen cabinets painted but have no idea how this will go or where to start.

When you call for an estimate from us we will take some basic information and direct you to our webpage where you can fill out this questionnaire. 

Once we receive this back our estimators will take a look at it and based off of the many other jobs we have done give a rough estimate without having to come out yet.

If this rough price fits within your budget one of our estimators will schedule an appointment to come out and go over this whole process with you. At this point, a firm price can be presented based off of what needs to be done.

The estimator will be counting doors and openings, asking some questions about colors, sheens, what you're expecting and how much you're prepared to maintain the cabinets. With any painting project, there will be maintenance. If hit hard or scratched the paint may chip and this goes for any product used on cabinets whether lacquer, epoxy or acrylics. We will show you how to touch these up easily with professional results.

You also have the option for a clear coat should you want to protect them even more than a standard paint job. You can also have the panels caulked for an additional fee. We typically would prefer not to do this as we want them to be able to move a little however we understand the cosmetic issue and when going from a dark color to light you may see a shadow in the areas not caulked. 

Once the project begins you can expect some light scuff sanding, deglossing using a chemical and some more cleaning. That typically takes a day. This is where some jobs may be different, each job is prescribed its own process which may or may not involve priming, it is dependant on what the current surface is. Should we prime we typically use an oil based primer and then two top coats using an acrylic coating. We choose acrylic as it moves more (think expansion and contraction) doesn't yellow or amberlike a lacquer or oil may. The surfaces on the job usually are brushed and rolled while we may or may not take the drawers and doors back to our shop to spray.

We have found we can achieve a fine finish by brushing and rolling just as we can by spraying. Each project is different. With the proper prep and products, your kitchen cabinet painting job can turn out great. Sit back relax and let the painters do their thing.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

The Old Switcheroo

The Old Switcheroo

A common issue between estimator/contractor and their client and it is hard to defend against.
The estimator meets one person at the estimate and goes over what they expect, how the job will be done and when.

When the job begins that person disappears and the new irrational, difficult and angry person shows up. These are two different people, it could have been the husband meeting first and then the wife or vice versa.

The issue is both should be at the estimate to express what is expected because once the job starts it is a losing battle, they will be upset and disappointed and the contractor will want to hurry up and get out of there and away from them.

Homeowners if your getting estimates and one person is more concerned then the other they should be at the estimate. Otherwise, it is ripe for missed expectations and not a great relationship.

Here is a recent video regarding the old switcheroo

Things Can And Will Change

Things can and will change

The rules of life do apply in contracting as well, things do and will change.
What do I mean by that? Schedules change, people call off, families have issues.

When things do happen job schedules get changed, manpower changes on job sites and hopefully the clients understand stuff happens.
But that isn't always the case, in their life everything must be perfect it seems.

We love that our painters take their families as the most important thing and our jobs second. If there is something going on at their house or a special occasion they need to attend they are welcome to do so and yes the jobs will be affected. 

I would hope other companies do the same thing. On most residential projects a day or two lost is not an emergency at all. Some feel the painting is stressful but we go above and beyond to make sure that doesn't happen. 

So the next time that painter is late, or cannot make it to your project that day just think they may have something going on in their life they need to attend to.

Here is a video I just made regarding this same subject

Share Your Budget and Don't Waste Time

I know how scary it may seem when someone asks you what your budget is for a project

Either you don't know, don't want to share or think its rude of the contractor to even ask but there are great reasons we ask this questions.

  • To not waste the time of the homeowner or contractor. Knowing the range of the budget can save wasted time if there is no way the contractor can meet it or there may be room to add even more work to make your project even better.
  • To make sure your expectations match your budget
  • So your not disappointed hiring a contractor who only gives you a price you need but can't deliver what you expect.
One of the first questions we ask before we even come out is do you have a budget for this project and then while were onsite we will ask that same questions again.

We want to work for people who trust us and vice versa and sharing this important information starts the relationship process from the start. If you can't trust the person your hiring to do your work it may not be the right person.

Here is a video I just did explaining this process in depth.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Hiring employees through values

Hiring employees through values

Hiring employees whether painters, office staff is never easy, we have learned some tough lessons over the years by hiring the wrong type of person.

There have been angry ones, irrational ones, demanding and just plain old you don't want to be around them. One of the typical ones is the type that never can do wrong, even when they do something totally abusing the company policy they don't understand why they had to be let go and they don't end it at termination. Angrily leaving voicemails, verbally abusing anyone who answers the phone or leaving irrational posts on our social media sites.

We decided there had to be another way and there was, by creating our key company values which are. Dependability, Commitment, Relationships and Accountability and using those as the basis we hire or don't hire someone and never wavering from it. 

Whether experienced or not a bad seed who doesn't share our values will totally ruin the morale of the other workers quickly. So from the pre-screening interview to the actual interview, we are trying to determine whether this person will be a fit for our company.

By doing so we have gathered a great group of people who I would want to be around each day and are excited to come to work and a team that does great things each day.

Here is a recent video I made discussing this very topic.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Top three paints to use when painting cabinets

Kitchen cabinet Paint Choices

When we are hired to paint kitchen cabinets we take a close look at the project. What is the current condition of the cabinets? How much use and abuse will they receive?
What does the client expect and do they have children or pets?

These are all great questions and will help determine which paint we will use on the project.
One paint may be easier to clean or be harder when dry. Another may offer an easier application or faster dry time.

Without knowing or seeing the cabinets beforehand it is impossible to diagnose and offer a solution to the homeowner on which paint we recommend. There are no two cabinet jobs alike and we tailor each project for what it needs for a trouble-free application and long-lasting one.

Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams and PPG Offer great products and one of which we would use on a cabinet job. There may be others that can be used but these are the ones we have used many times with great success.

Here is a recent video we did explaining our process. Please visit our YouTube channel for more great videos of a behind the scenes look at our painting company.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

No Shows On Estimates

What is more annoying than an estimator who you scheduled with not showing up at all?
A contractor who doesn't return a phone call ever?

I went through this same thing recently when I needed work done at my home. I simply could not get anyone to call me back except for a few who I mentioned in my video blog.

When you want something done inside your home or business you expect a call back at the least.
A scheduled appointment takes time away from your busy schedule and family so a call, email if that person cannot show up, would be the right thing to do.

I am amazed at the number of estimates I go to and the look of surprise on the faces and they say "wow I am surprised you showed up" It was crazy to me they would call multiple painting contractors and we would be one of the few that showed up to at least discuss the project. maybe at that point, it wouldn't be right for us but we can let them know that or refer them to someone great.

To be professional is not much to ask for from anyone.
With our company we call if were a minute late, let alone I cannot recall ever not showing up.
I have been on the other end of that with the homeowner not being home but that's a blog for another time.

Here is my recent video discussing this topic. Get your acts together contractors.

Why I started a painting company

Why start a new business?
The long hours? Sleepless nights, always constant worry?

It all seems like a ton of fun from the outside, you can set your own hours, have loads of money, freedom, no boss but in reality, you have a hundred times the worries of a normal job.

You now are responsible for the jobs of your employees who sometimes don't appreciate that or understand the worries and concerns you have. You now have thousands of bosses, from the clients to the general contractors, vendors and more, all of them you have to answer to at one point or the other.

You now have overhead, the office, trucks, equipment, bills, taxes, insurances, workers compensation and more.

The, you can set your hour's thing is out the window, how about working from 6am to 10 pm every night when the business first starts and that's a light day.

many things come into play when you are your own boss but fun is not generally one of them most of the time.

So then why do we all do it? We love it and wouldn't want it any other way. The stress you end up feeding off of, the fast-paced lifestyle, the ups, and downs.

Here is a video of why I decided to start a painting company.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Who is the most awesome Person this week?

Who was awesome?

We love to let people know when they have done something awesome.

This person I heard about long before I went out to do the estimate, the office told me I would love the estimate. "She has watched all your videos" and is excited to meet you.

When I arrived I could see right away Paula would be fun to work with, she had a great personality, was looking for someone to work with her on the project and was very interested in my ideas.

It is great to go on any project and form a relationship with the clients, they respect your opinion and work so that is a bonus.

When I left I knew she would push hard to have us as her contractor and as I expected we were awarded the project a few days later.

That is where my part ends but when the job leader came back from his meeting all he could say is Paula is great!

Once the job started the painters all said the same thing, she was very accommodating, fun to be around and enjoyed the whole process.

So for that we love Paula, I wish everyone could "be like Paula" the world would be a better place

Friday, January 5, 2018

Art Snarzyk to the rescue

"We need help!"

When we decided we could use some help managing employees we reached out to a few companies who all seemed to offer the same cookie cutter routines

But then I remembered a conversation I had with Art Snarzyk a few years ago that he most likely does not remember. 

I was having an issue with an irrational employee who was let go and I asked a few leaders in our industry what they typically do and they all said call Art.

I reached out via email and Art answered right away, no sales pitch no pressure and no cost. His answer wasn't really what I was expecting, he asked a few questions and said this person is a certain type of personality and this is what you need to say to diffuse the situation.

It worked like a charm and we parted ways and that was my last conversation with Art until this year.

I wanted the employees in the office to better understand me really, why do I need things done now, not wasting too much time thinking about it or planning or having idle chit-chat (I zone out)
How does he know all of this? A disc profile which basically asks a bunch of questions in different ways and out pops a very accurate personality type. I am a high D and High C which means I get things done quickly and will get frustrated with others who may plan and take longer. 

This can come off as not listening, not caring and tough to work with. It was great for others to see how to interact with me, I need quick questions not drawn out stories and an answer whether right or wrong. Just not doing something is not good.

So beyond knowing about me what this enabled us to do is making important decisions regarding employees, painters and even clients when we're out on estimates. Knowing what words can resolve situations or get the result you and is huge in our business.

From a sales standpoint I meet so many different types of people, some I get along with right away and some not, the key for us is knowing what personality type this person may be. If they are like me they don't need a full drawn out sales pitch, they want the info and price and let's do it. Or it may be another type that needs so much information they may be suited with a different estimator and that is where our team is so well balanced right now,we have different types of people for each unique situation and we will switch up relationships frequently.

If you or your company may need something like this I highly recommend Art and 
InnerView Advisors, give him a call and you will not regret it