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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The painting contractor is the painting expert.

It is important to remember that when you deal with a customer or general contractor many times they have something in mind for their paint job that may or may not be correct. The issue in particular that comes to mind is timing regarding a job. It seems like General Contractors will propose a time frame for their subs that does not make sense. They'll have the trim being installed prior to the walls being primed or they'll have the ceilings primed but not painted and in-between have the flooring finished. The issue does not have to be about timing. Sometimes a homeowner will propose one top coat when clearly 2 are necessary. Or they may ask you to skip prep work to save money for a whole host of reasons (they are selling their house, renting it, replacing their siding in a year) etc etc.
It is important that the painting contractor acts as the painting expert. In my first few years in business I would let General Contractors tell me what they wanted with regard to their timing but I've found that nobody knows better the most effective and efficient way to finish their project than the painter (why would they). They don't have the experience, the know how and really don't know what it will take to deliver on your standard. I started seeing it when sloppy General Contractors would cram their schedule and then ask us to to do little extras in order to still meet their dead lines.
I have found that it is better to be extremely informative up front and take the role as expert. Most customers and General Contractors will be receptive if you've done a few jobs for them and they love the results. If you don't know better then it is best to be honest, receptive and allow the general contractor to give orders. But if you know best how to deliver the very best results, then don't let a General Contractor tell you something that cuts your profit or quality. Make sure to communicate.