Communication is crucial between contractors and their clients to create better business relations, regardless of the industry. And it's no different between commercial painters in Manteca and their clients. Good customer relations and service will set a painting company apart from its competitors, and they should be as good as the company’s overall performance.
As a client, expressing exactly what you want to the professional painters will give them a better idea on how to turn the look of your establishment around. At the same time, you should also take heed of the painter's helpful remarks and suggestions so that you and the painter will be able to reach a compromise – remember, they're the experts!
Also important is asking the right questions, especially to the painting staff. These essential questions will save you from getting frustrated with a bad contracting experience, and will also save you lots of time, money and effort.
- "Are you licensed?"
In California, a licensing is important for every business establishment. Having a valid license is also a hallmark of a truly professional and reputable contractor.
When the painters you're considering hiring tell you that they're licensed, ask them for proof of license to confirm it's still valid.
If the commercial painters are licensed, they also must be insured. Liability insurance, as well as worker's compensation, will protect you (as a client) should a contractor cause damage to your property. Worker's compensation insurance, on the other hand, covers financial assistance to the injured workers for medical aid and unearned wages, no matter who was responsible for the accident. We at Custom Painting, Inc. are licensed and carry a $4,000,000 liability, so rest assured that both our employees and clients are fully protected.
- "Are you bonded?"
A bond will protect you (as a client) in the event the workers fail to complete the project according to the contract, refuse to pay for permits and/or supplies for the job, or are unwilling to cover other damages incurred on the job.
To be bonded, the company usually pays a premium to a surety bond company. To make sure that the painting company is bonded, ask for their bond number as well as proof of bonding (such as a certificate). Custom Painting, Inc. is a fully bonded company.
- "Are the workers your employees or are they subcontractors?"
Painting contractors often use subcontractors to cut costs and make more money. These contractors also do not have to bother with paying employee benefits and social security taxes.
Since subcontractors are paid a fixed fee, they may be tempted to cut corners in order get the job done more quickly, resulting in work that is subpar.
Hiring contractors who use subcontractors will likely have a negative impact on your painting job. That's why it's always better to hire contractors who employ their own workers, who are fully trained and insured.
- "What kind of materials do you use?"
Even though you may not think of asking the contactors this question, this is also important because the quality of paints and materials could directly impact your painting job, and how long it will last. In general, expensive paints are better because they use quality ingredients, ensuring even coverage and a longer-lasting finish.
Commercial painters use equipment that is more varied compared to residential painters. For example, they typically use mechanical lifts to paint tall buildings, use power washers or sand blasting in preparing the surfaces, and even apply antimicrobial paints.
Do not forget to ask the painters about more details of the materials and paint brands they will possibly use for the project. This is to make sure that the contractors understand that they are really using these products and for what reason they are using them.
- "I'm concerned about safety. Do you provide safety training for your employees?"
Safety is of utmost importance especially in the field of commercial painting. One of the things you should ask your candidates is whether they provide safety training for their workers, even if they do carry a proper insurance. Find out also if they also have a written safety program and stick to safe work practices seriously. You don't want to experience big mishaps in the future!
- "What's in the contract?"
Once you've decided on hiring a certain painter, ask them for a contract and review it thoroughly before signing it. It typically includes labor, the materials, paints, job time frame, as well as methods of payment. Labor usually takes the big chunk of the estimate (about 85%) – a painting contractor may charge you from $48 to $70 per hour. If someone is charging you less than the average hourly rate, you should be cautious about the quality of work. If someone is charging you too high, then you are paying only for the company’s name and not actually their work.
If there's something in the contract that you don't understand, do not hesitate to talk this over with your contractor for clarification. Keep in mind that a contract is your protection against possible frauds and disputes.
- "How long is your warranty, and what does it include?"
It is natural that as a customer, you want to be assured of the quality of your contractor's work in the form of written guarantee or warranty. Knowing how much important a warranty to a lot of customers, some companies take advantage of it by offering unrealistically long warranties – they even offer lifetime warranties just to get the job. Avoid such contractors.
Warranties offered by reputable contractors last up to two years. Some offer a one-year warranty, which is fine especially if they provided quality work. Most paint issues will show up within a year after the job has been completed.
It is also important to consider the things that the contractor covers and does not cover. If the defect is the result of a failure on the worker's part, the company will be ready to correct it with little or no charge.
But if the defect is the result of something else, e.g., natural factors, or work from another contractor, your contractor won't be covering it.
Communicating well with commercial painters in Manteca as well as asking them the right questions will enable you to find out whether they are worth hiring, or make you look for a better contractor. If the contractors can answer these questions to your satisfaction, then you know you've finally found the ideal contractor who is ready to work with you.