Choosing a painting contractor isn’t rocket science, but it can be a tough decision. You have to be careful not to let your fiscal sense overtake your common sense. Going with a pro will certainly cost you more money than if you were to tackle the painting job yourself, but the results are well worth the investment. Some of the reasons you might decide to go with a professional painter might be:
- Professional Results
- Need the Job Completed Quickly
- Your Painting Skills are Lackluster
- Everything You Touch Breaks or Gets Ruined
- Don’t Have the Time or Effort to Invest in the Project
Any and all of those reasons can be enough to make anyone want to hire out the painting project. But, how do you go about choosing a painting contractor? Whether you want to paint one room or your whole house, a professional painter can take a lot of stress off your plate. Here are a few tips that will help you sort through the process to find the perfect person or company to meet your every need.
Choosing a Painting Contractor: The Interview
When choosing a painting contractor, don’t be afraid to interview potential contractors. You’re hiring them to complete a task or job so you have total control on the people you choose to be in your home or business. You want to make sure you know and understand the conditions for the project. Start by laying it out in a detailed contract that explains your project from start to finish and everything in between.
One of the most important tasks you face during the interview process is to check the references of the potential contractor. Most legit agencies will offer you contact information to satisfied customers that you can contact and ask. You will also want to check the contractor’s standing with your local better business bureau or permit agency. They might have complaints or liens on file that you need to know about before hiring the company or contractor.
When choosing a painting contractor, make sure you interview multiple companies or people for the job. This can give you a wide range of expertise and personalities to weigh during your decision. This also gives you the opportunity to get multiple quotes from each prospective contractor. The lowest bid may not be the best man or woman for the job. Money matters so make sure you get the whole picture with knowing what each potential contractor would charge for your project. You’ll also want to make sure your project is laid out in writing so the contractor knows what he or she is bidding on. This protects you in the future because you’re able to make sure everything listed in your contract is completed before the final payment is made.
You’ll also want to ask all the right questions when choosing a painting contractor. Along with references and quotes, questions might be the thing that can make or break your relationship with a potential contractor. A few of the tough questions you need to know before hiring are:
- Company or Contractor Insurance
- Extra Fees
- Expected Timeline
- Working Hours
Choosing a Painting Contractor: Payment Agreements
One of the biggest fights a homeowner can come to blows over with their contractor many times centers on money. Bad contractors can do half a job and run out on the homeowner leaving them feeling violated. Homeowners can pick a project to death and waste a contractor’s valuable time keeping payment for the job hostage until every demand is met. Neither scenario will help people have a good experience. When choosing a painting contractor, you have to have a little bit of faith in the person or company you hire. One of the easiest ways to keep the faith for both parties is to enter into the payment agreement with open and plainly stated benchmarks or milestones. That way everyone involved knows what is expected before the next installment is paid.
Here’s a tip you should follow when choosing a painting contractor. Never pay in cash. It’s safer for you and it’s safer for the contractor accepting the payment. Cash is easily lost or stolen. It’s also not as easy to track. If you were to have a problem with the contractor, proving you paid them in cash is almost impossible to do. If you write your contractor a check, the bank helps you follow the money trail if needed.
Another tip when choosing a painting contractor, never pay more than 10% down. You may be asked to make a deposit on services rendered. That’s good business practices in almost every business, but you should never pay in full up front. Ten percent is a fair down payment and it can help the contractor purchase the painting supplies he or she needs to start the job. Make sure your contract lists those benchmarks we talked about when paying in installment payments.
Make sure you keep all records of payment when choosing a painting contractor. It protects you and it protects your contractor. If they’re juggling multiple jobs, it’s easy to lose track of who’s paid what in what time frame. Your records can keep all parties straight.
Finally, make the final payment in a timely manner only when you’re satisfied with the job that’s been done. Remember those questions and project milestones you wrote into the contract? This can be your save grace if you need a do-over of some of all of the work. Make sure you’re fair while choosing a painting contractor. You want to be a fair employer. You also want to make sure you get what you’ve asked for and what you’re paying for from the workers.
Choosing a painting contractor can be a fun process if you follow the advice we’ve listed. It can also be a disaster if you veer off course and hire without the proper interview and contract in hand before the work begins. Painting your home or office doesn’t have to be stressful if you find the perfect painters who professional get the job done.
The great financial minds of this generation will tell you the best way to be happy while making a living is to find something you love to do and then find a way to get paid to do it. If you love to set your own hours, have a good work ethic, and love being your own boss, than a painting contractor business might be right up your ally. You do, of course, need to know a little bit about painting. It takes more skill than just simply slapping some color onto the wall. Good painters are worth their weight in gold. A good team of painters will continue to find work because they’ve sought after and hired repeatedly by the same contractor or owner, but it takes time to establish a good reputation. You must be reliable over and over again to earn the trust of some contractors.
Owning your own business isn’t one of those decisions you make one day over your biscuit and coffee. It takes a lot of planning to give your painting contractor business a solid foundation so you can sustain during the honeymoon period it takes to really establish your business. You’ll need a solid business plan in place and starter money to help you stay on your feet while your business gets off the ground. If you need to take on partners or investors, they will want to see your business plan to understand your vision for the company and how you plan to grow the company before will invest money into your idea.
Steps to Start a Painting Contractor Business
As mentioned, the first step to starting a painting contractor business is to draw a solid business plan. Be sure and describe the focus of your business and then connect the dots, so to speak, on how you plan to accomplish your goals. Outline your services, your costs, and what you plan to charge the customers. You should consider competitor’s costs as well if you plan on being a competitive painting contractor business in the market.
Your next step is to name and brand your new painting contractor business. You’ll want something catchy and unique without being too far-fetched. You’re not selling children’s clothing so cute isn’t necessary. You want serious business so stick with something simple and serious. Think about incorporating a logo into your name or design so you have a brand you can market in the near future.
Next, you’ll want to register your painting contractor business with the local authorities, Better Business Bureau, and/or work permit offices. You want to have all your legal ducks in a row before branching out and introducing yourself to the general public.
The fourth step in launching a painting contractor business is to take inventory of the supplies and equipment you have on hand. Is there any other equipment vital to offering the services you plan to offer? If so, you’ll want to make arrangements on getting those pieces of equipment into your arsenal. Check the size of your work truck or vehicle to make sure you can fit everything you need into it.
Next, you’ll want to begin advertising your business, which we’ll talk about in greater detail in the last section. As you can see building a solid foundation is key to building a successful business. If you aren’t prepared before launching your painting contractor business, everything you’ve worked so hard to accomplish could come crashing down before your company has a chance to really excel.
Keeping Your Painting Contractor Business in the Black
Just like in your personal life, your painting contractor business needs a strict budget that you follow. That’s the only way to keep your painting contractor business in the black. As your business grows, so will the bills and the income. Right now, you need to allot money in your budget for starter materials, gas allowances for worker vehicles, and supplies. Anything else should be questioned. Make sure you take all of your costs, including labor, materials, and transportation costs, into account when negotiating a job. If you need to bring on an extra set of hands to knock out a job faster, than cost needs to be in the initial quote you give the client. Making wise budgetary decisions from the start of your painting contractor business will keep your business afloat, even in tough economic times.
How to Advertise Your New Painting Contractor Business
Advertising can be one of those ideas and costs some business owners neglect or put onto the back burner. Instead, advertising should be celebrated for the attractor that it is. Advertising, in its many forms, draws customers to your business. Let’s look at a few of the different types of advertising you could use to promote your painting contractor business.
Free Advertising: Sharing the latest about your painting contractor business with the general public doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. Many times, you can take advantage of free advertising by using social media. Creating a company Facebook page and promoting among your friends won’t cost you anything. You should do the same with other social media avenues as well. And, don’t be afraid to cross promote. Those social media pages or accounts are also a great place to offer coupons or discounts to help you fill up your calendar.
Online/Print Advertising: Your painting contractor business will definitely need its own website. That’s a place online where you have complete control over the content. Keep your website updated regularly and you can push it from your social media pages. You can buy a catchy web domain for just a few dollars per month and build the site yourself with just a little know-how. If that thought intimidates you, think about subbing the job out to a pro, but make sure you build in weekly or bi-weekly updates to keep your website fresh and new for customers.
Video Advertising: Video advertising of your new painting contractor business can really introduce potential customers to you as a business owner. The cost is a great deal more, but a high quality production of a :30 spot for TV or radio could last you a while. You could also add a video to your website to keep it interactive, but make sure it’s not too long or customers will never watch it all the way to the end.
Launching a new business can be intimidating to the novice business owner, but well worth the blood, sweat, and tears if you’re willing to stay the course. If painting homes, rooms, ceilings, or anything that needs a new coat of color, interests you, then you might be able to keep a new painting business float, even when the economy doesn’t seem all too supportive. You just have to be smart from the beginning. To get some painting startup company ideas, you need to look around and glean a little creativity from those who’ve come before you. Then, you can update older ideas and make them relevant to today’s society.
Painting startup company ideas can come from anything that interests you as an artist or professional. Maybe you’ve worked for other painters for many, many years. You see a need in your particular area and think you can provide a solution to fill that need. That’s one of many excellent painting startup company ideas that you can make you successful. You’ve already accomplished a great deal just by knowing your audience. If you see a need in your hometown not being addressed by other businesses, your company could capitalize on that missing link and earn success in the process.
No matter which of the painting startup company ideas you plan to include in your business, there are some basic necessities every painter will need before getting started. First, you’ll need a business plan to outline the services, cost, and fees of your company. Make sure to add a mission statement and vision about where you want to grow your company over the next five years. Next, think about the equipment you need to have on hand. Some of the startup equipment includes, but is not limited to:
Drop Cloths/Protective Layers
Painting Startup Company Ideas
Knowing what kind of specific painting business you want to start might just be the hard part. There are tons of painting startup company ideas for you to explore. Here are just a few examples of some of the most popular painting startup company ideas that are successful in today’s market and a little bit of what they offer customers.
Residential Painting: Residential painting has to be one of the top painting startup company ideas today. This means a company is hired to paint in and around homes in residential neighborhoods. This could be repainting an entire house or just a room or two. Many times, homeowners hire painters when the job is too big to handle alone. Maybe they’re unable to do physical labor. Other times, high ceiling make the job too daunting for untrained hands to accomplish.
Business Painting: Businesses always need to look fresh, new, and up to date. That’s why the painting startup company ideas that focus on the needs of businesses succeed. This type of company would target business accounts instead of residential customers. Business accounts tend to be large jobs. Many times these jobs are on a tight schedule and sometimes the companies want the painting done only at night when the business is generally closed to the public. For this reason, you might have to pay your crew more than normal if they’re working third shift hours.
Outdoor Painting: Another one of the popular painting startup company ideas centers on painting all things outdoors. This could be the outside of homes, business, buildings, bridges, or any other structure that needs new color. This type of business may need additional heavy equipment like scaffolding and bucket lifts to reach high places.
Artistic Murals: If you’re more of a creative soul, one of the painting startup company ideas that might fit your personality is painting of artistic murals. This idea is really for a true artist. Customers are willing to pay big bucks if you can take their vision and actually create it in colors on the wall, but that takes serious talent. Unless you’ve been painting awhile, you might want to take an art class or two before branching out into the artistic mural painting business.
Creative Furniture Painting: Creative furniture painting may sound like a hobby, but it’s really one of those painting startup company ideas starting to take off. It can be advertised as a form of recycling. You’re taking something old and breathing new life and purpose into it. Some people are willing to pay good money for professionally distressed and antiqued furniture.
Trim Painter: One final popular painting startup company ideas making a splash with consumers are trim painters. Many painters will keep a trim work pro on hand to focus on this important task no matter what job you’re working on at the moment.
Establishing Your Services
No matter what kind of painting startup company ideas catches your eye, you need to establish your services before starting your business. Know what you’re good at accomplishing and then focus on your positive aspects. Advertise those services and your competitive prices and you’re sure to draw a crowd of new clients and customers. Some of the top painting startup company ideas for services include:
High Angle Painting
Trim Painting/Finishing Work
Specialties: Setting Yourself Apart
As a new business, it’s important to set yourself apart from your competitors, especially if they’ve been in business longer than you. Play up your strengths. You and a competitor could offer the exact same services, for the exact cost, and exact time completed. What sets you apart? Many times they’ll look at portfolios, customer reviews, and length of time in business.
By touting and promoting your specialties, you give your new company an upper edge. Don’t discount some of the specialties you may have and not even realize. Some painting startup company ideas for specialties include:
Painting Historic Homes
When you’re ready to begin your new business, rest easy knowing you have a wealth of painting startup company ideas to draw from when its time to decide. Just choose one that fits your interests, experience, and needs. Make sure you enjoy what you do with your business. Then, your days on the job won’t seem like work.
You have gotten this far, here is another great Startup Painting Article
Welcome to Romanov Painting, we are really excited that you have landed on this page, because you are about to discover how we estimate your paint job with our handy painting contractor cost code.
You’ll be hard pressed to find our competition willing to share this information with you for the simple fact that by doing so it leaves hardly any room for price increases, which generally come from change of orders.
You see, contractors work with very small margins. Perhaps around 1.5% when working with painting contractor cost and that is why we here at Romanov painting are meticulous with our measurements of square footage.
In order to get the best painting contractor cost for you, several factors need to be considered. Although there are many parts to cost estimating they pretty much break down into two categories:
- Labor: Employee’s, office, vehicles, etc.
- Materials: Paint, paper, caulks, primers, etc.
While most contractors satisfactorily work with round numbers (basic walk through by square foot) knowing that a gallon of premium paint will cover approximately 400 square feet. Where primers may go a little further and finish coats not as far.
Finding the painting contractor cost per area
Here is how to find the painting contractor cost by number of gallons. First, you will need to find the square feet of the area. Let’s say for instance that in order to find the number of gallons for a ceiling we just need to multiply its length by its width in feet and divide the product by 400 or by the number the manufacture’s suggested coverage, before we can get anywhere near the actual painting contractor cost.
To find the quantity of the walls in your room, if the opposing walls are parallel, we measure the length of two adjacent walls double this figure, multiply it by height of the room, and subtract the area of any doors and large windows. Again divide your figure by 400 to find the number of gallons that you need.
If your walls are irregular then you will have to measure the length all the way around; then multiply by the height of the room and continue as before.
The procedure for wood work is pretty much the same. Find the area of the windows, doors, paneling, and so on. One important thing to remember is there are two sides to a closet door.
How many coats do you need?
In order to find the proper amount of gallons of paint you will need in any given room just use our painting contractor cost code in 3 easy steps:
- Always get your measurements in square feet
- When you have divided by 400, you will know the number of gallons of paint needed for one coat.
- Multiply this figure by the number of coats you are going to put on. Now you will know the amount of paint that you will need.
I know, that is a lot of figuring to do. Why not just guess?
That’s a good question and many homeowners and some painting contractors do guess. The problem we have with playing the guessing game is you will have either not enough paint or too much.
That adds up fast to a lot of waste, either in time or money.
As we mentioned before, the painting contractors cost does not have a lot of margin for error.
Let me give you another example of the math, just to make sure we are on the same page.
Take a bedroom 10’ x 14’ x8’ with 2 windows, 2 doors and one closet.
The parameter of the room is 48 feet and the height 8 feet. The total wall are of the room is 384 square feet.
The area of each window is 16 ½ square feet. Total for both windows is 33 square feet.
The total of the 2 doors is 42 square feet. The total area to subtract from the wall area is 75 square feet.
This leaves 309 square feet.
Divide this figure by 400 (which is the amount of coverage from a gallon of paint). We now know that each wall will take approximately ¾ of a gallon of paint per coat.
The area of the ceiling equals 140 square feet. This means you will need 1/3 of a gallon per coat. The woodwork is composed of 2 windows totaling 33 square feet and 3 sides of doors, each of which is 21 square feet; The total of all of these is 96 square feet.
If you allow one foot in height for the base board, which is probably 8 inches or less, you will have 48 square feet to add to the 96 and a total woodwork area of 144. This means ½ gallon of paint per coat.
Assuming that you are doing a two coat job and that you will use the same wall flat for the ceiling and walls, you will need a total of 2 gallons and one quart.
1½ gallon for the walls and 1/3 gallon for the ceiling.
The best practice of painting contractor cost is to do the woodwork with one of the interior semi-glosses, and you will need 1/3 gallon for that. Buying a half gallon and a quart is only slightly less expensive than buying a whole gallon, so you will probably do well to buy the full gallon of semi-gloss.
By using our painting contractor cost code before hand, we can purchase the right amount of paint and have only a little left over for any touching up and that may eventually become necessary.
All of our employees here at Romanov painting are trained professionals. They double check all of our square feet measurements as they are preparing the interior and exterior. By doing this we eliminate waste and find any hidden space that may have been over looked.
We encourage you to check out our testimonial section and read from our happy clients. Join them and click on the contact us tab at the top of the page and fill out the form on the right for a free estimate!
If you would like we can even show you how to use our Painting contractors cost code in person.
Painting projects large and small may need the trained hand of a quality contractor to get the job done well and within your allotted schedule. When you begin to shop around for the best painting contractor pricing, you’ll notice a stark difference. This can be a result of several factors including the experience of the contractor, size of the crew, and the deadline you require for the crew to finish the job. Here are a few tips to follow when researching and comparing painting contractor pricing.
What Should You Consider During Painting Contractor Pricing?
List Every Service: To get an accurate estimate from any potential contractor, you need to be detailed on the services, and your personal expectations. Think through the project yourself and all of the logistics that may need to be planned and considered during your project. Are there multiple colors and details that need attention? Do you need trim work done? How about patching and drywall repair before the new color is painted? All of those expectations need to be addressed when asking for the painting contractor pricing. This helps the contractor know the end result you expect from them and it helps you receive an accurate estimate so no one is surprised at the end of the project.
Price per Square Foot: Another way you can calculate painting contractor pricing is the price per square foot. Before you begin researching local contractors, know the square footage of your project. While this takes a few math skills, it’s nothing your standard calculator can’t handle. Measure the width of your walls and multiply it by the height of your ceilings. The answer will give you the square footage of that particular wall. It helps if you draw a diagram of the room or rooms you need painted. Then, write the square footage of each wall so you know you’ve measured and calculated every wall in every room. Finally, take the numbers of each wall and add them together for a final square footage. That number, although might seem daunting, will help the contractor know you’ve done your homework and you know your stuff. They might have standard painting contractor pricing per square foot as an initial guide.
Ask About Clean Up Costs: Many homeowners don’t consider cleanup as an additional cost. If you hire someone to do the job, you might assume cleanup is included in the price, but that’s not always the case. When researching painting contractor pricing, makes sure you ask the right questions about clean up. Is cleanup included? What is your cleanup process? What do you consider clean? Do you use cleaners? Do I need to provide cleaning products? You don’t want to feel cheated at the very end of the project.
Are Online Calculators Accurate for Painting Contractor Pricing?
How do Online Calculators Work? If you type in painting contractor pricing in your Internet search engine, you are likely to pull up several websites and resources offering online calculators. The resources range from your local home improvement store calculators to local contractors trying to give you an idea of the cost of your project. Using one of these tools can help you calculate the size of your project by helping you accurately determine the square footage of the area you need painted.
Online Calculators vs. Contractor Estimates: While the online calculators are helpful in helping you set a budget for your project, it’s not the final cost of things. Even your contractor estimates won’t exactly hit the nail on the head when it comes to painting contractor pricing. Both online calculators and contractor estimates should be considered more of a guide, so do not depend too much on their accuracy. They are similar because they can be used as tools for you, and differ because the calculator estimates the costs while the estimates take labor into consideration.
Where to Find Online Calculators: If you want to use an online calculator to help you begin to budget your painting project, a simple search on the Internet should turn up several options. Think about your location and how it might factor into a difference in cost. Some of the larger chain home improvement stores will help you do that by asking for your zip code when operating the calculator. Just remember that calculating the cost of the supplies isn’t a fair estimate of the painting contractor pricing.
How to Avoid Scams When Scouting the Painting Contractor Pricing
Ask the Right Questions: There are always people out there who try to get something for nothing. The same is true when you look for the painting contractor pricing. But a savvy consumer knows the right questions to ask in order to educate themselves and make good decisions. Even if a company didn’t have the intentions of ripping you off, if you feel cheated, then you’ve had a bad experience. Walking into a contract or an agreement on your terms with all of your questions answered will help you feel in control of the situation. You should ask questions like:
What is your best estimate of the job’s completion?
How many people are on your crew?
What do you expect from your homeowners?
What cleanup does your cost cover?
Do you offer a guarantee?
Will you assume responsibility if something gets lost or damaged?
Compare Prices: Another way to avoid scams while scouting painting contractor pricing is to compare contractors side by side. This can be as easy as making a pro and con list for each person or crew you interview. Look at the services each team offers and then compare the cost. Make sure you check your gut on this one. Sometimes you might feel more comfortable with one crew in your home over another. That peace of mind can be worth the extra price.
Never Underestimate a Happy Customer: Finally, remember it’s okay to ask potential contractors for references. One of the best ways to find a good company is through unsolicited glowing references like such as a good friend. Maybe you know of a neighbor who just completed a big painting job in their home or business and you were impressed with the quality of work that went into it. Ask them about the contractor that completed the job. You may find the perfect person to lead your project. While painting contractor pricing plays a big role in your decision, there are other factors to consider like quality, timeline, and listening to your gut when interviewing potential contractors.