Price vs Quality in the Winter Months

It’s true what they say, if a company promises you the highest level of quality and service at the cheapest price and it seems too good to be true, well it probably is.

It’s true what they say, if a company promises you the highest level of quality and service at the cheapest price and it seems too good to be true, well it probably is.

When we buy a Big Mac, we don’t get prime rib. When we buy a cheap car, we expect defects. If we pick a cheap hotel, well, you get the picture. Like virtually all things in business and life, we tend to get what we pay for – painting is no exception.

In the winter months outdoor painting work is sparse and many painters move indoors. This means that more painters are bidding on less work, and prices go down for consumers. Sometime this can be great! A customer can have a company’s best painters at 80% of the summer cost. The downside is it’s hard to separate the good painters from the bad. With everyone bidding so low, how can you be sure you’ll still get a fantastic paint job?

A general rule of thumb, like I mentioned above, is that if it seems like a really, really great deal, chances are there’s a reason why. Quality costs. During a race to the bottom in prices, customers can get burned by painters cutting corners (no pun intended). These well intentioned men and women bid the job as low as they can to secure winter work, but end-up with cost overruns. The jobs get rushed, sub-par materials are used, and quality suffers. It’s the client who pays in the end.

A few simple tactics will keep you in the game and finished with a great paintjob – and you may save a few bucks too:

1. History checks
Has the company done a lot of projects similar to yours? Ask specific questions like “How was the other job similar?” “What kinds of problems did you run into?” and “How did you coordinate with the strata?

2. Reference checks
Ask to see some recent references from similar projects. Not just any reference letters – reference letters from similar projects. Maybe a painter is great at painting houses, but doesn’t know a lick about working with contentious tenants in apartment hallways (you’d be surprised at the difference!).

3. Personality checks
This one seems obvious, but is often overlooked in favour of price. If you don’t like your painter, or even have the slightest hesitation about him, keep looking. Trust your gut and go with the team you feel most comfortable with – it'll  save you in the long run!

"The British Columbia Transplant Society recently contracted with Vanguard Painting to repaint our entire office, including patient exam rooms, patient waiting room and patient washrooms… We were very pleased with the Vanguard team. Everyone we dealt with was pleasant, efficient and they did exactly what they said they were going do, when they said they would do it. We would definitely recommend Vanguard as well as use them again ourselves."

- Bill Barrable

"On behalf of the children and families of Canuck Place, I would like to thank you for painting the house. We greatly appreciate the time and effort you donated to brightening the house exterior. Thank you."

- Dalia Redden

"When asked, I had no reservations whatsoever in writing this letter of recommendation for Vanguard Painting. They recently completed all of the hallways, ceilings, four stairwells, and common doors in our 66-unit complex, Hambry Court… We were quite pleased with the quality and professionalism of the painting, the courtesy of the crew, and the manner in which the disruption to strata members was kept to a minimum. Quentin and Michael were regularly on site and any concerns were quickly dealt with. The deficiencies detected during our final walk-through were quickly touched-up and the strata has since decided to keep Vanguard on for regular maintenance of high traffic areas. I have no hesitation in recommending this company."

- Fernando Figueroa