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I am a painting contractor in the Pacific Northwest. We are trying to increase the standards of professionalism throughout the painting industry. So what are the biggest pain points and what were the most impressive aspects of a painting company?

I have surveyed a few contrators and these were some of their responses:
1.) NO BABYSITTING! Contractors don't like to have to push their subs to get the job done right and on schedule. Obviously they shouldn't have to call a contractor and ask him where his guys are or why they're standing around.
2.)Get it done w/out complaints! Contractors hate change orders (especially oversights from the original bid). Also, contractors just want the job done -- paint on walls -- with as little headache as possible.
3.) Value -- Not just the lowest price, but the lowest price for the painter with the least amount of headaches.

I would love to hear about new innovations to professionalism in the industry. What are the biggest problems GC's have with painters, and secondly, how do I educate GC's about our solutions to those problems?
 

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No problems with my current painters, but past ones had a tough time showing up on time, and/or doing enough prep.

I consider the painters my last line of defense on every remodel job and respect good firms immensly. I am also willing to pay for it.

Since we remodelers usually rely on the painters to fix our always present nicks and scratches, (like the ones created when installing granite for example) I personally love when the painters just take care of those things. (within reason of course).
 

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JoshuaPaul,

I've got a question for you from a GC standpoint.

It seems that most remodels I do, the HO "has their own painter" who they would like to handle that part of the job. Especially on small bathrooms or the like. It usually turns out that its their friends, brothers, son-in-laws, next door neighbor (or something like that) who is new to the business and the HO would like to give them the work.

It's these types that are the first to complain about how "the drywallers should have done this or that", or "I'm going to backcharge the GC for that 3" scratch" etc.

How do we sell our good painters to the HO's? Price is rarely the object since I don't break down my quotes. (Even though these guys are usually cheap, uninsured, etc.)

Any hints for us on this front?
 

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We do medium to high end renos. My painter is exceptional. Always protects everything. Preps everything, I mean even power sand the walls.

All tiny deficiencies are fixed as a matter of course. Knows his products eg. Aura paint.

Has the skill base to cut in flawlessly without touching the trim. Never cuts corners to speed up the job.

So these are some of the reasons I use him, don't shop his price, and he is always super busy.

To RS - I won't let the HO ruin my job by letting his friends paint it. If my guy can't come for a small bathroom, I'll do it myself. I'm as good as my guy, but slower. :laughing:

As a general complaint of previous painters - they don't present themselves in a professional maner, both in attitude and knowledge and skill.

Like I said, I've done small paint jobs when I have to for 30 plus years, and I still would not say I am a painter. My guy is.
 

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I am a painting contractor in the Pacific Northwest. We are trying to increase the standards of professionalism throughout the painting industry. So what are the biggest pain points and what were the most impressive aspects of a painting company?

I have surveyed a few contrators and these were some of their responses:
1.) NO BABYSITTING! Contractors don't like to have to push their subs to get the job done right and on schedule. Obviously they shouldn't have to call a contractor and ask him where his guys are or why they're standing around.
2.)Get it done w/out complaints! Contractors hate change orders (especially oversights from the original bid). Also, contractors just want the job done -- paint on walls -- with as little headache as possible.
3.) Value -- Not just the lowest price, but the lowest price for the painter with the least amount of headaches.

I would love to hear about new innovations to professionalism in the industry. What are the biggest problems GC's have with painters, and secondly, how do I educate GC's about our solutions to those problems?







Commercial Painting contractor here!!!!

Est 1971....Union Contractor since 1979....2nd generation owner

Been doing work for the same GC since 1982....How have we made it this far for so long?????? By following the 3 steps that Joshua Paul listed....well done!!!

It's that simple! BUT You got to have the right guys Union or Non-Union
 

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up here it seems to be all the new canadians who are all of a sudden painters...do alota new homes up here and alota these fools are running around spraying ect in the houses without proper resperators and sometimes the smell comeing out the front door is so bad l move to another area to work...how they do it l have no clue
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It seems that most remodels I do, the HO "has their own painter" who they would like to handle that part of the job. Especially on small bathrooms or the like. It usually turns out that its their friends, brothers, son-in-laws, next door neighbor (or something like that) who is new to the business and the HO would like to give them the work.

It's these types that are the first to complain about how "the drywallers should have done this or that", or "I'm going to backcharge the GC for that 3" scratch" etc.

How do we sell our good painters to the HO's? Price is rarely the object since I don't break down my quotes. (Even though these guys are usually cheap, uninsured, etc.)

Any hints for us on this front?
We try to "own" the work once we start on a job. So we try to inspect the work before we start, this way if there's a problem with the drywall we usually have to find a way to fix it. It's easier to complain about the previous work than to find a way to fix it. It's easiest for us to visit the jobsite as the drywallers are finishing the work to see if there's anything we can spot before we start.

If the GC could require an inspection or sign/off, that would help you to keep the HO's painter complaints to a minimum. If I'm doing a job for an elderly person and I know that their son or daughter will do the inspection after I'm long gone and critic everything, I'll invite them along to the final inspection or half way through.

If you have a written process of stud to drywall to tape & putty to painter that you can show the HO, you could make the case that your painters will know this system for proven results. Whereas the HO's painters will not know the system. This would be most effective if you could show the basics of YOUR checklist & process with some pictures. Then you could follow up with an explanation of poor roller lines, cut lines, drips, overspray, or whatever. This way if the HO chooses to go with their painter, they have no outs when they want to complain about the final product. You had your process and it went well,....until they brought their painter in!

You could also mention that your painter will be accountable for any mistakes, but the HO's painter will be on his/her own if they do it. Maybe you could tie your warrantee or quality checklist into your painter somehow? Or maybe you could force their painter to follow your process, so that you both can ensure a high quality job?

I'm convinced that a process and a purpose for each painter will win over highering the best or most experienced painters. I would rather higher a new guy who is willing to learn my process, than an experienced painter who might think he's got his own, best way, to do things.

What do you guys think?
 

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I'd just let the customer know pretty well what's being shared here.

During the construction process there are ALWAYS little things like nicks and bangs that create extra prep work for the painters. OUR painters know exactly what to expect, fix, and there is zero hassle. When you bring in your own, things can get missed much easier, causing them to blame the drywallers or trim guys, causing them headaches, as well as their own headaches having to redo work, it'll take 3 times as long possibly.

It might now ALWAYS be the case, but it is more often that not, so why not just let us do our job, bring in our guys, and save the headaches for everyone:thumbup:
 

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I don't work with any GC's most of my work comes from the HomeOwners, so I guess I could be one of those painters who comes in for the HO's. I did get some work from one GC who had done work for the same custmer, well they wanted me to do all the staining and painting cause his guy was a carpenter,drywaller,painter:whistling and I do plaster and painting, I can do all the other trades but plaster and painting are what I like to do cause I'm fast and know my costs so I can make money, when I have work for GC's and Builders They all piss and moan I charge to much and I don't work long enough hours, they feel I should give 8 hours or more, when I always make my dead lines depending on the work I'm doing. Most of the time the HO's add things.
So as for your painters go I would say as long as you let the HO's the option to hire their painters this will happen, I would just tell them that you paint all your jobs, I have done plaster repairs and figured in painting and then have the HO's tell me that they will do finish paintng or their Dad or other Family member will do it, I have no problem with it, yeah it would be nice to make the extra money but what can you do!:rolleyes:
and as far as nic's and that I tell HO's that is the Painters job, which includes
things like spackling, caulking, puttying those all fall on the painters. If their painters don't know how to prep oh well! not my problem.:whistling
 

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Knowing where to put the most care is a problem I have seen with painters. If you have window casing right at the entrance to the house, under some sharp lighting, then every mark or smudge is going to be noticeable. You need to think about the lighting and where the focal points are, a lot of painters don't think about that.
 

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"PAULF"--Why should the painter fix other trades sloppy work?"

Sorry Paulf--that is EXACTLY what a remodeler needs and expects from his painter-------

We are taking a "USED" house and adding improvements--trying to make the abuse and neglect of the years--and the mistakes of previous workmen--and turn this pig into a show horse.

My painter is a true craftsman himself---knowing that his job is to "Fix the other trades sloppy work"
He assesses the work needed with a keen eye--estimates the time properly--and does the prep properly to "Fix the other trades sloppy work"

I don't know you, so this is aimed to help,not insult------


Often a tradesman only hears what a client says he wants---and does not figure out what the guy REALLY wants.

I have two painters--Both skilled pros--One gets 90% of my work--Here is why---

I want a job that will please the customer---NO apologizing--No call backs--No complaints

The one thinks that I want cheap and fast--the other understands that I require TOP NOTCH--

Both have similar pricing based on the time they spend on the job---

Who gets the work--Which one taught me that extra time was required on a remodel paint job?
Which one always has the lower bid--Yet only gets the smaller slice of the pie?

It's a valuable sales skill --Learning to understand what a customer really wants-not what they SAY that they want.

Best luck to you all in selling--and dealing with contractors. This year is looking brighter than last---
I think that the remodeling end of things will be picking up--You figure out what we need and you will fit right in--MIKE--
 

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It seems to me that the damage on remodels is often excessive. I have run into very poor drywall work on some remodel work. Areas not sanded, not enough mud, not blending repair areas, etc. These mistakes add up to another trip for us to the job. Which cost us money.

Add into the process that I cannot get some people to understand that we want, no need, to be the last trade in. After solid surface flooring, after granite, etc. Otherwise, it is another trip to fix damages from those trades.

GC's can make it a whole lot easier to get a quality job at a reasonable cost if they would listen to us, but they usually do not care to listen.
 

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Any Quality painter will take into consideration other trades are going to do their work and they aint worrying about the painted surfaces. So if your painter isn't going to fix these type of things that happen on all jobs new and remodel, the Painters work is the Product Everyone sees, and if He/She didn't detail the job, well it shows. and like I say, that is when you have handed the HomeOwner the Magnifying Glass:whistling
If you look at every job that your name is on it, and if it doesn't stand up to your own eye, then maybe you need to sharpen your skills. theres always room for improvements:thumbsup:
But the thing I find is communication breaks down, and then the problems can start. but if you have good communications there shouldn't be any problems. as long as your Painter knows every job should be Golden:thumbsup:
 

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Not all contractors are the same, some say 'leave it for the painter', so I see where Paulf is coming from.

I try to leave all work 'ready for paint'. That means all surfaces have been sanded, all gaps filled, etc.

The primary work of a painter is to paint, not fix things the other trades failed to do.

Example - trim work - all trim is sanded before installation. Nails are set NOT filled, as the wood should be primed before filling. But any gaps, let's say at the crown/ceiling should be caulked with quality material.

I don't pay my painter to do the carpenters job, and visa/versa.
 

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I don't expect a painter to work for free fixing stuff that wasn't his fault. But I expect him to let me know when something isn't right and tell me how much he would charge to correct it. Or he can take care of it without kicking up a fuss, but I don't want him to just cover something up and leave behind crappy work. I wouldn't use him again, probably neither would anyone I know.

I expect the same thing from drywall finishers, if I make some sort of mistake then deal with it.
 

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Painters face an uphill battle in the new construction industry. Before a painter even walks onto a job, he's already got a bad name from generations before. Then once the painter gets on the job, he's generally heckled by the builder to lower his price etc. What happens is a snowball effect, the builder nickels and dimes the painter and eventually a painter will do sloppy work because he realizes he's not making much money.

Another problem in new construction is the idea that a painter will paint the garage for a discount. Most builders in my area expect the garage to be painted at 50% off, I'm not joking either. On top of that, painters must then spend a full day doing touch ups. Touch ups that most likely got there by the plumbers, electricians and flooring people.

People should really kiss painters ass when you put it into perspective. I always tell builders it's the paint job that normally sells the house, not the eletrically wiring hidden in the walls, not the concrete, not the draywall or the framing. The painter should probably be held in extremely high esteem in the construction field.
 

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yes ser re jim bob

i mean its a give and take thing . when i come in to paint a new addition its got to be reddy . life happens some times nicks scuffs i get that but i cant be re skimming walls when i priced the job out for a day. oh yea i would rather do caulking and nail filling my self . ps imho
 

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The area I typically see that can always use improvement in the all trades is the people skills and social habits.

I've had customers pull me aside and express their concern about the shady looking characters working in their home.

Dress right. look sharp
Communicate
Low impact with radios, loud talk & jokes

Respect the work site and the Homeowner
It's imperative that they are at ease with the strangers invading it.
 
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