Saturday, November 11, 2017

Why you should be cautious when hiring a subcontractor.

When you call a company to come out and give you an estimate whether a painter, carpenter or other you typically meet someone from that company as you would expect but what if once the job starts a totally different company shows up to do your project? Plus you weren't told.

Me I would be upset, I made a connection with the person who came out to give me an estimate I had been dealing with their office the whole time and now I have a whole new company who I never met, do not know my expectations and their whole agenda is to hurry up because they need to go fast to make their money.

Why do companies use subcontractors in the first place?

  • Cheap labor
  • No liability
  • They do not do that type of work
  • No taxes paid (payroll taxes)
  • No workers compensation
Some companies this is their whole business model, there is no way to monitor quality because if they really are a subcontractor they can't have any say in the work, schedule or when and how the job is being done or they are not a true subcontractor in the first place which most likely is the case.

One other very important issue is workers compensation, guess who is on the hook if someone gets hurt and you find out yes the company you hired has it but the subcontractor doesn't carry it and should have been. You're opening yourself up to liability with your home and insurance.

If a company is going to use a subcontractor (and some may be good) it must be written in your contract. 
Watch yourself when your hiring a contractor and make them be upfront, you will see in the future this will be a key area the IRS will target and many contractors will be put out of business or at the least owe a ton of back payroll taxes.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Behind the scenes of a painting estimate

Have you ever wondered what is involved with a painting estimate?

There is more involved than just showing up at the door

Let's go over a typical estimate from start to finish.

We all get excited when the phone call comes in, the client may have searched online, got a referral or saw the painters on another job.
However they reached us we take it very seriously and pride ourselves on knowing someone will answer the phone, we return calls and emails in a timely fashion.

Someone will answer that call when it comes in and spends 10-15 minutes with you gathering information, name, address, and type of work you're looking to have done.

This is also a great time for us to ask even more questions and get a sense if we're a good fit for each other before the estimate is even scheduled, we will ask questions such as have you used a professional painter before, do you have other painting coming out to estimate this work and timeline to name a few.

Some people are taken aback by this but would you rather waste your time after someone comes out to estimate it just to find out we do not do that type of work, or the job is not our specialty or the time frames just don't match up?

After this phone call we will schedule this estimate and discuss the phone call within the office and prepare to come out, we will gather any literature needed for your project, add this to our schedules and create notifications on our end to make sure we are aware it is coming.

A few days before the estimate we will send out a few emails explaining how the estimate will go and tips on how to make the most of it, so we're already into about an hour spent on your potential estimate.

The morning of the estimate I will gather my notebook and materials and make sure I am either early or on time.

We will walk the project together, letting you explain exactly what you expect and want to make sure we can offer this. After walking through with you I will walk through again on my own measuring and planning. At this time I will know if I can offer a price on the spot or it may require more time in the office to write it up.

Let's say we needed more time, I will head back to the office, sit down and put all my measurements together into a spreadsheet, once we have all of this done I will have a firm number to send over but we have to enter all of this and write up the proposal so even more time is spent on the estimate, we are typically into 2.5 hours now spent on one estimate we may or may not win.

Now comes the tough part, we send the estimate over and typically you have four types of people, the ones who give you a yes or no right away, the ones who need time to "think" and the ones who hide and do not return calls or email.

As you can see to do just one estimate can take about three hours whether we win or lose it, now some may be less and some maybe longer. This is why it is very important the person deciding is home at the estimate to not waste any one's time