How to Hire the Best Commercial Painter
Are you a facilities manager or property owner? Do you need to hire a painter to freshen up the look of your buildings? If you’ve never had your building painted professionally, or if you have and weren’t satisfied with the results, how do you choose a professional commercial painter? This article provides tips for hiring a commercial painter who will provide quality results and great service.
9 Tips on Hiring Commercial Painters
The following list describes criteria that you should look for when researching professional painters for your commercial property. The list is in no order of priority or importance. What’s a priority to one customer may not be so important to another; however, they should all be factored into your decision.
1. Commercial Painting Experience
First of all, don’t hire an amateur. You may be tempted to save some money by hiring some college kids or a handyman to paint your facility. What you’ll likely get is a shoddy end result because they aren’t knowledgeable about the specific requirements and processes required for commercial painting.
Commercial painting requires a different skill set than residential painting. A wider variety of materials and surfaces can exist on commercial buildings that aren’t necessarily found on homes. Different preparation procedures and products are required. The painting contractor you choose should be able to determine the best methods and products to provide the most durable, longest-lasting results. Look for a company that has been in business for a while, and has proven results in commercial painting.
Regardless of the amount of experience a commercial painter has, you need to know that he’s going to do a good job. How can you tell if he hasn’t worked for you yet?
One way is to ask the contractor for a list of their past commercial customers. Contact these individuals to get their feedback on the quality of the work, customer service, and other criteria that are important to you. Were they on time and within budget? Did they clean up or leave a mess? Were they respectful of the ongoing operations, doing their best to minimize disruptions?
Another source to check a company’s reputation is online reviews. Check out Google, Yelp, Angie’s List, Home Advisor, and other review sites to see what other customers have experienced. A great review site for companies in the services industries is the Diamond Certified organization. They perform random personal 3rd party interviews of a company’s actual customers, so you can trust these survey results to be impartial.
When you contact a company, whether it’s by phone, email, online or another method, you should expect a quick response. Granted, a business line may not be answered 24/7, but you should receive a response within no more than 24 hours.
When you talk to them, do they treat you with professionalism and respect? Are they willing to discuss your project and answer your questions? If they appear impatient, hesitant or unwilling to provide information, that’s not a good sign. Any reputable commercial painter will take the time to discuss your wants and needs so that you know what to expect during the process.
4. Free Estimates
A commercial paint contractor should be willing and able to provide an accurate and free estimate on your project. They will make an appointment to visit your location and assess the site. They’ll solicit specifications from you, answer questions, and provide recommendations. They will then document the details of the project and present it to you for review and approval.
5. Written and Signed Contract
You should NEVER hire a professional commercial painter without a signed contract in place before the work begins. The contract should include the scope, types and colors of paint, other materials to be used, schedule for start and estimated completion, payment schedule, and warranty. It should also specify how any unforeseen issues will be handled. For example, what happens if mold or rot is discovered, repairs are needed, there are weather delays, etc.
The cost of any work on your commercial building is always a factor in hiring contractors. However, getting the lowest price should not be the only deciding factor. Consider other aspects, like guarantees, quality of paint being used, proper preparation, experience and many other variables that lead to the best results.
You usually get what you pay for, so if the price seems too good to be true, be cautious. The company may nickel and dime you on costs that arise during the project that should have been included in the initial cost. They may not even include the cost of the actual paint in their bid!
7. Bonded, Licensed and Insured
If you do your research and hire an experienced and reputable painting contractor, you’re more likely to get the job done right and on time. However, there are situations when even the best company can have problems. To avoid being left with an incomplete project that you’ve already paid for, make sure the company you hire is bonded. You’ll be able to file a claim with your state contractors' board and get reimbursed.
It’s not recommended to hire any commercial painter unless they have a valid state-issued license. You should ask for proof of licensure before even considering the company. Painters in Nevada must be licensed and hold a Nevada Painting and Decorating Painting License. Applicants must be pre-approved to write the exam and will need to pass a trade exam and a business and law exam. To qualify for a license, applicants must show 4 years of experience from the last 10 years and must submit financial statements and proof of insurance.
The painting contractor should also hold general liability and workers’ compensation insurance. This protects them and their workers on-site in case of injury. It also comes into play, should one of your tenants, employees, visitors or customers get injured due to the project.
8. Minimizing Disruption of Operations
Just because your facility is being painted, doesn’t mean that your operations will cease. Professional commercial painters need to know and be considerate of normal hours of operation and cause minimal disruption.
Painting a commercial facility sometimes requires that the contractor work on a different schedule. For example, if you have a medical facility that needs the interior painted, you don’t want painters there when patients are being seen. The painting company should offer an after-hours or weekends option to accommodate your needs.
9. Extra Services and Accreditations
Some commercial painting contractors offer additional services that go above and beyond. For example, color consultation can help you determine the best color choice for your business. Some colors work better for encouraging calm and tranquility, while other businesses could use colors that generate more energy and excitement. Knowing this upfront will help you get the best results.
Look for a company that’s constantly striving to improve. Achieving awards and certifications for exemplary service and products means that they care about excellence. Membership in local organizations and participation in community activities means they’re looking to improve their neighborhood. Following green practices means they care about the environment and saving our planet.
Questions to Ask a Potential Commercial Painter
It’s good to get as much information as possible before hiring a commercial painter. There are questions that may help you hire the right contractor.
- How long have you been in business? The number of years they’ve been in business should equate to their experience level. It also indicates that they are reputable and professional enough to stay in business. Nobody stays in business very long when they’re losing money and you can’t make money without a steady stream of customers.
- What safety practices do you have in place? To guard against injury and accidents to individuals at the painting site, the painting company should employ safety measures. Examples are cordoning off the area being painted, posting warning signs, cleaning up properly, etc.
- What brands and types of products do you use? Most painting contractors use specific brands of paint for their projects. Ask if they use water-based, latex or other types of paint. Also, ask how many coats of paint they will use for surfaces. Do they use brushes, rollers or sprayers and why?
- What are your procedures? Ask if they will move furniture or other items from the painted area or if you are responsible for doing that. How will they protect stationary items that can’t be moved? Ask about their safety practices and what they do to avoid accidents and injury, not only to themselves but to inhabitants of the building.
- Do you use sub-contractors? Many painting companies supplement their employees by hiring sub-contractors temporarily to meet the demand. This is not necessarily a negative thing, as long as the main contractor is managing the job and holds the sub-contractor to the same high-quality standards. Make sure that the sub-contractor is also licensed and insured since they are not covered by the main contractor’s policies.
- Do you offer any additional services? These could include design and color consultations, flexible pricing, financing options, or any other additional benefits.
Consider The Painting Pros for Your Commercial Painting Project
If you have a commercial painting project in the Bay area, check us out. We’ve been in business for over 40 years, providing Silicon Valley businesses with the highest-quality paint jobs and exemplary customer service. Don’t settle for less, hire the best!