Several factors should be considered when hiring a contractor. The type and quality of painter that will work on your project is right at the top. Below are some thoughts on hiring a contractor that most people don’t address.
We often hear the following question from people who find us on the web or see our vans around town…why is your price higher than the other painter(s)?
A number of variables influence pricing, among them…
- Apples to apples – we supply carefully written scopes of work so you know what we are promising to paint, and how – a properly and conscientiously written estimate should have no gray areas, nor create opportunities for ‘upselling’ once the project commences.
We only hire people we would be comfortable having work in our own homes – each of our painters presents well, is personable and knows what he or she is doing.
- Who is actually going to work in your home? We employ only painters who meet our 3 ‘Cs’ – competence, courtesy and communication. We only hire people we would be comfortable having work in our own homes – each of our painters presents well, is personable and knows what he or she is doing.
- Employee vs. subcontractor – this is a pet peeve of many an ethical painting contractor – some companies act as brokers, selling on your project to another company – this is becoming more common alas; we call it misrepresentation. Subcontracting lends it to myriad complications around misaligned expectations; typically the company working on your home is realizing a much smaller reward for the work and so likely to be in a hurry to finish!
- Professional vs. price; we don’t believe in competing on price. We’d rather deliver excellent service and craft – hiring the right people and keeping them means offering them more than minimum wage so we offer a competitive package of benefits as well as a decent working wage; we reimburse for health savings accounts, offer retirement matches and paid time off.
- It’s an unusual industry we’re in – the bar is set low and there are few if any licensing or other regulations that ensure either technical or business competence. We aim therefore to work for homeowners who are interested in turning over the protection of their home to trusted partners who will be around in 10-15 years when it’s time to paint again.
This article was adapted from a post by fellow PDCA member Nigel Costelloe at Catchlight Painting in Boston, the appropriate references have been changed.