Tuesday, October 17, 2017

You will not ruin my day

A typical day in the life of a painting company:

A normal day in our office comes with many emotions and they are affected by the people we come across each day.

This could be a typical impatient general contractor, an awesome residential customer calling to give praise or one that is irrational and demanding but what we cannot do is let any of them change how our day goes.

Their emotions are not necessarily ours and letting them change how we act or feel should never happen.

So how do we do this? I will be honest sometimes this is tough but we stay grounded by knowing we have done our best in everything we do, appreciating what is around us whether that is a co-worker who is going above and beyond, our families or any number of things to be grateful for.

Who are the best people I come across? They are real people who appreciate honesty whether that is upsetting or not and understand the work it takes to produce a quality job and is thankful for someone helping them out.

When I come across these people I always make a note in their estimate folder so we all know this one is a gem and we do everything we can for them and more because of people like this travel together and guaranteed they have more friends and family who they can refer you to who have the same personality.

Now on the other hand if we have a difficult, unreasonable and demanding client the same may be said of their friends because if they act like this to us most likely they act like that in all aspects of their lives.

Don't take these people's actions and attitudes personal, in our office, we keep a list of them and reflect back upon them once in awhile, they don't even know they are treating people badly most of the time.

Forget about them and move on, remember the great ones and cultivate those relationships

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Why it is impossible to compare estimates.

Why it is almost impossible to compare estimates.

Comparing estimates seems to be the thing to do, we all do it, get three estimates put them side by side and look at the pricing but when I tell you how impossible that is you may think and look at it another way.

The three estimates you received, if you took those three contractors and had them in the same room at the same time they still would come back with totally different ways to do the job, maybe using different materials, different applications. different workforces and for sure different overhead. 

The most important difference and one we aim for is a totally different experience. You all have called around to contractors, how many call you back? or take forever to call back or never do?

How many keep you updated on the process, help choose colors, train their staff and have a ton of resources behind them to help make sure your job goes well even when something goes wrong?

If they do show up for the estimate how long does it take to get the estimate back to you? For us it is the same day or next.

Do they have one person dedicated to making sure your project goes well and your totally satisfied? We do.

I am asking you to forget the norm and throw away price shopping for a second.
Yes, the price is important for everyone but if it costs a bit more for the satisfaction of knowing you have no worries or responsibilities and can be assured no matter what you will be happy isn't that worth it?

If you had an issue with someone calling you back or showing up on time for your estimate what happens once the painting project starts?

You will always find someone cheaper but at what expense to your home or project?


Sunday, October 8, 2017

How to paint your kitchen cabinets

So you have finally decided to paint the kitchen cabinets.
Most likely this after you found out how much it is to replace them or reface them.
Painting cabinets is ALL about the preparation work you do before you even open a can of paint.
This is a process and one not to be taken lightly or you could have a total failure of adhesion and just a mess down the road that will cost a lot more than spending the time doing it right the first time.

You should research the company you're going to use, have they done this before, will they be spraying or rolling or a combination of both, what products will they be using and how many coats will you be receiving? The number of coats is important for build-up up of mills (thickness of paint) and a ton more important than painting a wall.

What warranty comes along with this work? Do you know what to expect and understand it is still a paint coating and not indestructible?

This is the time to use the best paint you can get, not try to save $10 on a lower grade of paint. cabinets are used each day and take a beating, you want that coating to be hard, washable and last.
One great thing about painting them is they can be touched up when needed. Touching up doesn't mean you have a bad paint job at all, you have to expect heavy used areas or areas that rub together will wear quicker than others. If they are hit the paint may chip just as the cabinet may dent or scratch even without paint on it.

Here is a video I did explaining this process, should you have any questions please let us know, we would love to help paint your cabinets

Friday, September 29, 2017

What it costs to hire a professional painting contractor

What it costs to hire a professional painting contractor

When you call to make that first estimate you may have no idea what the costs will be
We are referring to reputable, licensed, insured with workman's compensation and highly trained painters here.
Atypical days work for a painter could normally cost between $500-750 dollars depending on what is being done and the difficulty and risk involved but for this blog let's assume were referring to a simple bedroom, here is a cost breakdown on a typical 10x12 bedroom and what to expect using three colors, one for the ceiling, one for trim and one for walls

  • Materials, tape, plastic, roller covers, let's assume that is it and it costs about $35
  • Paint, you will need one gallon for the ceiling with two coats, 2 gallons for the walls and one gallon for the trim with baseboards, a few doors, and 2 window sills, using a quality mid grade paint figure $50 a gallon so $200 total
  • Your already at $235 of materials and the painter hasn't stepped on site yet
  • This room we would bill at a one-day rate of about $500
  • So your total for this room would be around $750
  • This includes the painters, insurance, taxes, fuel, overhead, and profit. 
  • When you break it down the painting company may make $225 if they are lucky
  • So when the customer starts to lower or negotiate all of that is coming from the profit of the company to train, get new equipment and benefits for the painters

This is a typical scenario and yes you will certainly find lower prices and higher ones but this is a good one to go off of, again the difficulty and preparation will change this price
If you use this as guide you won't be surprised when the quotes start coming in, anything too low I would certainly question as the difference in price will be made upon the quality of your job for sure.

How success makes it tough sometimes

Running a "larger" painting company has its ups and downs and that is a story for another time but at the top of this list is how many clients, salespeople and others assume I am the person to speak to no matter what the subject may be.

Whether a job issue, a color selection, a new product they want me to buy, some marketing thing or their dog is sick and they can't work today.
When I don't answer these issues sometimes it may come off as I don't care or the matter isn't important enough. That is far from the case but look at it like this when you go to any other store or restaurant they have put people in place to take care of any need that may arise.

I worked very hard to get us into the position that I could start to bring in other personnel to handle most of these matters so I could step back and grow and manage the business, to be involved in every day to day matter would take away from the ultimate goal. That doesn't mean in any way your projector question is not important only that we have trained someone to specifically handle these requests.

I knew long ago to stick with what you do best and for me that is estimating and marketing, not worrying about the job site daily issues or a truck broke down. These issues are handled by our production and shop team, trust me the truck will get fixed and if not they will learn the lesson as we hold everyone accountable. They do not typically make the same mistakes twice.

So when someone calls the office and asks for Ryan, I have strict policy on taking calls, I am very focused and protective of my time, we only have so many hours in the day people so use it wisely, me being interrupted on something I am not that great on dealing with may take me away from a super opportunity or something personal I need to attend to.

On another blog I will explain how I manage my daily tasks, listen up as it will free you from stress and anxiety, you may ruffle some
 feathers but it's your life, enjoy it!

How to work hard

This may sound crazy to you if you're a hard worker but we have found when hiring not everyone wants to work hard or earn their success.
I was always taught to work your butt off for everything you get, if you work hard usually it comes to you, sometimes it won't but that doesn't mean give up and roll over

Working hard shows for me the first day you start, we can see it by the way you go from place to place, how you complete tasks, how you interact with other people, slackers usually hang out with slackers so when we fins a start usually he is surrounded by other stars and they are a great source of inspiration and other employees.

The people I and we do not get along with are those that skate by each day doing only enough to keep under the radar and not be noticed, but with our company, we track everything so that shows very quick unless another motivated worker simply calls and tell us "this guy is no good"

I do think working hard can be taught but must be done early in life, we are not normally going to take someone who slacks and turn them into a superstar so when we're looking for potential painters we are looking at past jobs, how they present themselves, do they stand up and shake hands when someone walks into a room.

We want to be surrounded by awesome people, people who lift us up and bring something to the table and that goes for customers too, if your complaining and grumpy each day we do not need to work for you or be around, we can move on to ones that lift us up and will be awesome clients who bring
other awesome clients.

In the newspaper today.

We used to watch a
show called “Extreme Home Makeover,” in which a crew of carpenters and painters and electricians and decorators would swarm over the house of some deserving family and remake it into something incredible.
The family would be sent off to Disney or somewhere during the work and would return for the big reveal, which was always a lump-throat extravaganza that m
ade you realize a reality show could, in fact, be a force for good.
Recipients of this largesse, chosen from nominations, usually were beset with some burden that made you wonder at their fortitude. Soldiers disabled in war, widows, and widowers caring for many children, youngsters with hereditary illnesses — all had their homes transformed into dream palaces designed to ease their lives.
Ten years ago, a California company that had taken part in the show, Allbright Painting, decided to create its own charitable project — Paint It Forward, in which deserving families or nonprofit agencies are treated to a free paint job.

Amato’s reason for doing so is simple enough and quite encouraging.
“I just like that feeling you get from helping people,” he said. “Whether that means just holding the door for someone, or other little things.”
When he hires at the company, which currently employs 25, he seeks people with the same outlook.

The strategy of asking for philosophical credentials rather than professional ones may be unorthodox, but it has never led Amato to grief. The company has received a ton of best business awards over the years.
Amato heard about Paint It Forward through online interactions on business chat boards.
“The painting community kind of all know each other,” he said. “Probably about two years ago I saw something about it. I had always wanted to do something like that. I go on a lot of estimates for people who want to help people out, and I often want to say ‘We’ll do this for free.’ ”
Too many jobs like that would put a bit of a dent in the bottom line, of course, but Amato figured once a year would work just fine. Besides, the Sherwin-Williams store in Easton is supporting the effort by donating the materials.
Amato does commercial and residential work, so nominations — which are limited to Northampton County — can include individuals and nonprofit agencies.
Nominations must be submitted before Dec. 1 on the company’s Paint It Forward page, www.ryanamatopainting.com/paint-it-forward.php
The page contains a form for contact information and a summary of why the nominee should be chosen.
“It doesn’t have to be any specific reason,” Amato said. “It could be anyone down on their luck, having a health issue, or a nonprofit helping people.”
The winner will be chosen Dec. 15. More information is available at www.ryanamatopainting.com