All About Painting Journal Digital

Paint Your House to Bring it Back to Life

Sep 14

Many homeowners don’t know about a growing business trend in the industry of house painting. Many house painting companies and franchises across the country don't do all their work. It's wrong to think that you are hiring pros to paint your house. The difference between professional painters or general labor teams can save you money and time in the long-term.

What are the Expectations of a Professional Artist Painter?

Professional painters can be more than a guy with an easel or a gal with the sprayer. They have an in-depth knowledge of the whole life cycle for paint, from prepping the work area to maintaining it for the longest time. This knowledge comes from nationally recognized standards as well as specialty training programs.

House Painting Companies Don't Use Their Own Professional Painters to Paint Your Home. Many companies don’t even have professional painters. They sell their services, then pass the labor contract to a sub-contractor. They serve as an intermediary, collecting checks and splitting the funds 50/50. This is a dangerous practice for homeowners as it does not benefit them.

Why professional painters are worth it

W-2 employees in good painting companies can control their quality of work through a training program. Employees are taught best practices in their industry to ensure they use the most advanced equipment and techniques. They adhere to the Painting & Decorating Contractors of America's guidelines for craftsmanship, so quality remains consistent from one job to another.

Professional Quality Painting

A project is completed by professional painters in three phases: Prep (or Paint), and Punch Out (or Punch Out).

Preparation is the most important aspect of a painting job. Preparing your project is an important step in professional painting. The preparation of your project includes cleaning and drying all surfaces to ensure paint sticks. Protecting surrounding areas from damage, they cover or remove any surfaces and items you don’t want painted. Although these tasks can take a lot of time, professional painters will be more concerned with quality and being able to back up their craftsmanship warranty.

Jay’s Painting LLC are experts in Denver painting. Professionals also prefer higher quality materials to short cuts so that their work will last until you decide (rather than have to) to repaint.

Final steps include cleaning up and finishing up. The foreman does a walk-through with the homeowner, ensuring that they are clear about the scope of the work. This step ensures that the homeowner is satisfied with the product and shows professionalism. If the work is not up-to-standard, the punch out informs the homeowner and the contractor.

Painting companies are not able to control the methods used by subcontractors to finish a painting job. This is because of legal restrictions. It's almost impossible to guarantee any professional standards. As an outside contractor, I've seen firsthand that there is little to no vetting. Quality of work can vary from one job to another, so getting subcontracted workers to correct their mistakes is not always an easy task.

It is possible for a primary contractor to refuse payment to the crew until the problems are resolved. If a homeowner is stuck with a bad-looking painting job and has to wait for a disgruntled subcontractor to repair it, that's no consolation.

Except for fixing the mistakes, the only option a subcontractor has in order to collect their money other than litigation is to file mechanic's liens on the homeowner's properties to force the painting contractor to pay them.

These extreme situations might seem extreme, but they actually occur more frequently than you might believe.

Painting crew - Find out who's in your home

My experience shows that subcontracted workers who are not being directed or compensated for a portion of the overall painting contract will feel that their best option to make any money is to finish their work as soon as possible. They aren’t being directed or compensated in ways that encourage them to take the required time to complete the job well and avoid cutting corners.

What does this reveal about their character, you ask? You'd expect good people to work in your home. The company you contracted wouldn't send untrustworthy people to paint your house.

You'd be amazed.

The company that I worked for was one of the biggest national franchises in painting. They never once conducted a criminal history check on new crew members. Before assigning crew members to jobs, they never met with them all.

You should ensure that your contractor is fully vetted before they start work on your painting project.

Contractor Safety Plan

Another important problem that is often overlooked, however, is homeowner liability. Every legitimate painting firm has an OSHA safety training program for their employees. It ensures that all workplace safety practices are being observed. It is a common workplace accident for workers to fall from ladders. For each worker, a legitimate paint company will pay workers' insurance premiums so they are protected in the case of an accident.

Professional artists are required to understand and show the following OSHA-regulated safety protocol

  1. Fall Protection and Ladder Safety
  2. Safety in the Hot and Cold Weather
  3. Respiratory Safety and Lead Awareness
  4. Hearing Protection
  5. Safety of heavy machinery, pressure washing, and airless sprayer

Many sub-contract crews also have crew members who aren't employees. They could be subcontractors of the subcontractor. Or they may receive a subcontractor's labor. In either case they are unlikely to be covered by workers' compensation. They can also sue the homeowner if an uninsured worker is injured or falls from a ladder. It is a nightmare.

Never assume your employees are covered by company-issued insurance. Before hiring anyone to do work for you, verify all your insurances, particularly general liability and workers' compensation.

The workplace has a saying: Safety is not an accident. Safety procedures aren't something you do automatically, but they must be learned. Ask yourself: What painting company doesn't safety-train or insure its workers?

General Liability Insurance

Without proper insurance, you may be in serious financial trouble if your painting project goes wrong. It is important that you ensure the company you hire has at least $1,000,000 of general liability coverage and worker's insurance. Both are mandatory in most states.

General Liability Insurance protects the contractor from being legally responsible for any injuries or accident that might occur during a painting project. It protects the contractor in case of damage to your home.

Without General Liability Insurance the company won't pay for any damages to your home. The cost of leaking five gallons onto your vehicle's roof can prove costly. Even under the best conditions, mistakes can occur. You should never try to save cash by hiring uninsured employees. It can end up costing more.

Finally, ensure every crew member is covered under the company's General Liability Insurance.

How Much Does a Professional Painter Cost

Homeowners are often confused when comparing painting quotes from different companies.

When comparing prices from different companies, price fluctuations are not uncommon. Variances can be caused simply because of a difference between the scope and work. A company might have an intention to do more work than another. It is possible to compare legitimate companies with illegitimate ones. Illegitimate companies don't have any licensing, insurance, or workers' compensation coverage. They also pay their workers below the minimum wage. No matter what, there will always be a difference in the cost of the same scope of work. This is because companies do not have an apples-to­apples comparison.

These areas are where painting companies invest their money to ensure their customers get the highest quality workmanship and professionalism.

  1. Screen, hire, properly train and screen professional painters
  2. Follow the Painting & Decorating Contractors of America’s standards for craftsmanship in all jobs
  3. Maintain required insurance and worker's comp levels
  4. Operate a safety training program that is OSHA-based

The right business model can make it more expensive for businesses, which can result in a lower bid price for customers. While homeowners might not be worried about the business owner's dilemma, the final result is almost always a happy and protected customer.

There will always to be customers who choose to go with lowest bidder. Other times, it may not work out so well to use an intermediary or illegitimate painting company. However, these types are risky business practices can be dangerous for customers.

Questions to ask before hiring a painting contractor

If you are thinking of hiring a painter to paint your home, it is important that you have the right questions.

  1. Are they my employees or contractors?
  2. Are all employees fully protected by the company’s worker's comp, general liability, and commercial auto insurance?
  3. Is my team background checked and drug-tested?
  4. What training and safety programs should your workers be required to follow?
  5. What are your company’s quality standards, and how are they measured
  6. Please provide documentation proving your training and any insurance.

The best way to find the best painting contractor for your project is to first determine what you value most in a contractor. The cheapest choice is not always the most effective.

Jay's Painting LLC realizes that we're probably not the most cost-effective option in your area. But we're also one of the best. Multiple awards and affiliations don't mean you have to believe our high standards of professionalism or quality of work. Call us today if you’re ready to schedule a quote or have additional questions.


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