House painting - expectations vs reality
Most people have never painted a full house interior themselves. So there is always a bit of a difference between expectations and what really happens. Nothing wrong with that at all but if you’d like to know what surprises people the most read on ...
“This should only take a few days right?”
Realty: An older style home will on average, take 1 painter about 1 week to paint 1 room. This includes repairing, preparing and painting, ceiling, walls, door, windows, picture rail and skirting boards.
“You’ll be painting the top coats the day you arrive right?”
Reality: ALL of my clients are surprised at how much work is done before the ‘painting’ starts. Most people realise some sanding and cleaning will be required. But in addition there is a huge amount of ‘protection’ to be done. This includes moving furniture, pictures etc, taping the perimeter of the room, putting down drop sheets and protective plastic film. I estimated once that about 30% of my time on your paint job is used in protection and preparation.
“You’ll treat my home like your home right?”
Reality: I do. But not all tradesmen do. Some painters see your home as a building site and others see it as your home. In fact this split applies to all tradesmen. For example a newly constructed house is a building site until it’s finished. A new house painter can spill as much paint on the floors as he likes if they are going to be sanded or carpeted. He can chuck his empty cans on the junk pile that will become the front yard. And that’s all fine.
But if the same painting or plastering work is to be carried out in your immaculate lounge room ... a very different approach is required. That’s why I keep harping on about finding a painter who has lots of experience working on YOUR type of situation.
“The guy I met at the quote will be doing the work right?”
Reality: I DO. But most bigger painting companies have a sales person/owner/estimator whose job is to sell you that companies services but NOT actually do the work. Thats fine as long as you know thats the deal AND your initial discussions make it to the team doing the work. There are basically 3 company structures when it comes to WHO does WHAT.
1. You meet the owner. He does the work (sometimes with help). Communication should be at its highest.
2. You meet the salesperson/owner/estimator and they pass your agreement on to their 'regular team'.
Communication can get a bit lost, and you have to hope you like the team you are given.
3. You meet the salesperson/owner/estimator and they pass your agreement on to .... whoever they can find to do the work. Some guys are really just brokers finding work for other companies and taking a slice of your money. This is a great way to make a lot of money but I don't think you the consumer get very good value at all.
“The quote is fixed right.”
Reality: Painters that give super cheap 'quotes' often have a nasty habit of finding unexpected problems a few days into the job. Funny that. Your home is in disarray, the guys are standing around doing nothing and you get the news that the price has jumped. Its blackmail and it works. Be very careful that your QUOTE is not just a dodgy GUESS. Make sure it is a fixed quote.
And theres probably a dozens more expectations!
The main thing is to find a painter who you feel you can TALK TO. Then you can ask dumb questions and not feel dumb. And they can explain whats going on at the beginning and throughout the job.
You are welcome to use my blog posts - in their entirety or as "quotes".