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Asking the right questions

I was surfing around the net this week, having a look at some of the other painting blogs out there (yes, believe it or not, there are a fair number of these things!), and came across this one from Benjamin Moore called, Finding the Best Pro for the Job. Now in reading the title, I have to admit, I hoped that Vanguard Painting would stack up against their high standards. As it turns out, I think we’re pretty close to what they recommend. But I’m bias, you be the judge…

 

I was surfing around the net this week, having a look at some of the other painting blogs out there (yes, believe it or not, there are a fair number of these things!), and came across this one from Benjamin Moore called, Finding the Best Pro for the Job. Now in reading the title, I have to admit, I hoped that Vanguard Painting would stack up against their high standards. As it turns out, I think we’re pretty close to what they recommend. But I’m bias, you be the judge…

Here’s their list of questions (and our answers) to help figure out what kind of painter you’re dealing with:

1. How long have you been in business?
15 years and counting.

2. Do you provide a written guarantee for workmanship?
Always. The length of guarantee depends on the type of surface we’re painting, and ranges anywhere from 2-10 years. Some surfaces we can’t guarantee, unfortunately, like walked on surfaces or gutters (areas that should have regular painting upkeep).

3. What steps will you take to keep the site clean and to protect my building/home and belongings?
All our work sites are cleaned daily, items and ladders are stored out of the way. We take everything with us when we go and have an environmental program to dispose of any old cans of paint you may have sitting in your maintenance room.
Before the painting starts we do a walk-around with clients to identify sensitive areas. If there are any, we make sure they’re protected and covered for the duration of the project.

4. Do you require your crew to go through an apprenticeship program?
Yes, all our crews attend regular training seminars. Throughout the season we hold regular “toolbox talks” to retrain WCB safety policy and paint tech procedures and at the start of every job we design a safety plan to keep everyone’s skills fresh and up to date.
The foremen attend industry trade shows to learn the newest tricks and products (by coincidence two of our foremen are at a Benjamin Moore seminar today training with new deck products for the coming summer season).

5. Are you fully insured at a minimum of $2 million in liability coverage plus full workman’s compensation for all of your employees?
Actually, to accommodate our many strata and commercial clients, we carry $5 million in liability coverage. And because all our crews are Vanguard hourly-wage employees (no subcontractors here!) everyone is fully covered by Worker’s Compensation Board of British Columbia (WCB) insurance.

6. If you use independent subs, do they have their own coverage as well–and are they experienced painting contractors?
We will never use subcontractors – we guarantee it.

7. Have you done criminal background checks on all of your employees?
We often work on projects that require criminal background checks. Before these jobs begin all our painters are subject to criminal background checks and we’ve never had anyone fail.

8. Do you have enough staff to complete my project in my timeframe with this size job?
Yes, always. We have a variety of specialized crews that are all outfitted to the specific jobs in which they specialize. Some crews, for example, are excellent on interior office hallways, others are adept in swing stage or chair drops on high-rise apartment buildings and strata.

9. Is there a possible language barrier should I need to talk with your crew?
No, there’re no language barriers. Each crew has a foreman who functions as a client’s onsite liaison with Vanguard Painting. If you have any questions, need an update, or want to share a concern, the foreman is onsite to assist you. Many of our painters do speak other languages, but we’ve found this can be a big help! Especially when working with clients who may be new to Canada or who speak English as a second language.

10. Are you lead-certified?
According to Work Safe BC, there is no actual lead-certification in our province. But we have a lot of experience with lead abatement projects and we’re confident that we can help you with the safety and complexities involved. If you suspect that your house is coated in lead paint, give us a call and we can let you know how to take care of it.