#1 Does your company hire or use painting sub-contractors or licensed applicators?
We only use in-house, hourly, payroll employees for our painting work – if a paint contractor you are considering uses sub-contractors, you should consider the implications.
We all know that you get what you pay for. With subcontractors, however, what you pay is often much higher than what you get. Why?
Most sub-contractors are severely underpaid. Frequently they are sold the painting contract for less than half of what you are paying the main contractor (and the subs also have to provide the materials!). So while you might have thought you were paying for a $10,000 paint job, you’re actually getting the quality of a much lower priced job.
If you do have subs working on your project, ask them what they are being paid to do the work. Odds are you won’t be getting what you paid for. With companies that use employees, a much bigger portion of the contract price goes directly into the project itself.
Brokering jobs to sub-contractors who don’t really function as companies is one of painting’s dirty little secrets and we believe our clients deserve better.
When you contract with us, we’ll never sell or broker your job to a couple of guys in a station wagon that we found on craigslist. All jokes aside, we take this so seriously that we put it right in our contracts: we will never use subs for your painting project.
#2 Are your employees experienced professional painters?
Other than our helpers, our crew leaders and top-tier painters have a minimum of five years of experience working for our company.
We strongly recommend researching the level of experience of any contractor you consider hiring and inquire as to the level of experience of the staff that will be doing the actual work.
Ask the following questions: How long have they been in business? Have they done similar sized projects? Do they have a good standing with the BBB? Do they have a history with WCB coverage? Do they have sufficient liability insurance? Will you get a warranty?
The answers to these questions will tell you a lot about a company and give you some points to compare. They’ll also allow you to weed out the duds and fly-by-night operations.
If a company can’t provide references and addresses of projects of a similar size and scope of work to the project you are considering having done, there is really no need to waste your time considering them.
We will happily share not only our past projects and references, but also which of our current employees were involved with those projects. We work hard to build long lasting relationships with our clients and our employees.
#3 Which is more important in your mind when hiring a paint contractor: price, quality or customer service?
Before coming to a decision, it’s important to decide where you stand on price, quality and service and to choose a contractor fit for the job.
You may decide that a few paint ridges and imperfections are okay, but you’re looking for a solid job that will last a long time. Maybe the most important thing is a professional contractor who will deliver what he promises. Perhaps price is no matter and only the highest quality will do. Communicate these preferences and don’t be afraid to have a discussion on intelligent ways to be cost effective, without being unrealistic.
Be leery of companies promising you a champagne paint job on a beer budget. Price, quality and customer service are closely related.
If you are considering hiring a company with the lowest price by a significant amount of the next bid, ask yourself: which of the other two categories is being sacrificed? Is it the quality of the work or the quality of the materials? Or is it the level of service you will receive (things like having your project started and completed on time, interacting with courteous and dedicated employees, following-up in the future if and when problems arise, helping you avoid costly mistakes in colour selection, etc.)?
Or maybe you are sacrificing a combination of both quality and service by going with the cheapest price.
We are committed to helping you find the right balance between price, quality and service. We don’t cut on costs, so you can be sure that you’ll get a fantastic paint job with an enjoyable experience. But don’t take our word for it, we have an extensive list of testimonials from our clients that will gladly vouch for us. So above all else, let your common sense be your guide.