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July 27, 2017

How To Pick The Right Commercial Painter For Your Warehouse

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July 27, 2017
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Is your warehouse starting to blend into the Indianapolis landscape as the paint dulls from weather and smog? Is the caulk cracking, inviting in all kinds of rain, bugs and hot air? Are metal walls rusting as paint peels?

You could be throwing away money on higher utility bills and premature building damage. Exterior paint isn’t only about your “curb appeal”.

Paint protects your investment, both the building and your staff. Your employees should have a space where they’re proud to work.

It’s time for an exterior paint job. Let’s explore how to pick the right commercial painter.

Accreditation

In the state of Indiana, a commercial painter isn’t required to pass any tests or get a license in order to provide this service.

On the one hand this means that you won’t have to verify your commercial painter’s license. But on the other, this puts the responsibility on the consumer.

You’ll need to do due diligence in choosing a commercial painter with proper training and experience to get the job done right.

And that’s what this article’s all about.

Insurance

Ask if your commercial painter is insured and what this insurance covers.

Insurance should cover not only the commercial painter working on your job and their equipment, but also cover you in the event of an unavoidable mishap that damages your warehouse.

References/Referrals

Ask for referrals from customers. Here are some important Do’s to follow:

  • Do ask for a reference from among the last few jobs they completed. You’ll want everything to be fresh in the customer’s mind.
  • Do make sure the jobs are similar to yours. (eg., other warehouses or similar commercial buildings)
  • Do ask these references if they would hire this commercial painter again at the end of your conversation.
  • Do ask questions about what matters most to you. Maybe you care about service, professionalism or timeliness above all else.
  • Do ask how close the job came to the agreed-on budget.

And some Don’ts:

  • Don’t ask for only one referral. Any business can deliver you one happy customer.
  • Don’t ask yes or no questions, except the “would you hire again?” question at the end
  • Don’t only focus on money. Let’s put things into perspective. Going over a little on budget is much preferable to hiring someone that cuts corners to stay under budget. If they did go over budget, did they keep the customer informed?

And you may think of other questions to ask as you continue through this article.

Transparent Quotes

A quote for a commercial painting job should be clear and easy to understand. As a professional, the commercial painter should know:

  • What and how many people are needed for the job
  • How much primer, paint and other supplies are needed
  • How long prep will take
  • What quality or type of paint is best for the job
  • How long the job should take, considering the weather, of course

A professional will discuss the quote with you, ask if you have any questions and leave no room for ambiguity. The ultimate goal is completing the job with a very happy customer, who will recommend them to others in the Indianapolis area.

Knowledge

The key here is to ask about the paint. A commercial painter will explain your options.

You have more economical options that will save you money now, but increase cost in the long run.

You have higher quality paints that have a longer life span, so you’re not doing this again in 5 years.

And you have middle of the road paints that come out somewhere in between. Also, ask which paints are best for your building type, typical Indianapolis area weather conditions, etc. Do you need weather coating?

Two coats of paint will retain color and brilliance longer than one, but will cost more.  This may be important to you.

If you’re painting over another color, you’ll probably need two or more coats for coverage.

Ask about the paint. Or you could wait for a commercial painter to make paint recommendations as a test. A professional who really cares about his/her work and customer will always make sure that the customer knows his/her options.

Related Experience

You wouldn’t hire someone who only decorates birthday cakes to do your wedding cake. You wouldn’t ask someone with only a driver’s license if they wanted to take your private plane for a spin.

So you definitely want to know that your commercial painter is, in fact, a commercial painter, who has done similar jobs to yours with success.

If nothing else, verify that the commercial painter has related experience to the project you need done. If you hire someone who’s also a residential painter, no harm done. But they should be skilled in both.

Flexible Scheduling

You know there’ll be some disruption with any building project. But it’s nice to work with someone who understands that you still have deadlines to meet and a business to run.

Some commercial painters are very accommodating, getting most of the work done during non-peak or more convenient hours. They’ll always try to clean up and clear out on time to reduce the impact on the warehouse management.

On Site Behaviors

Considering the fact that the work of a commercial painter will likely overlap business hours, gain some insight into how the company’s employees work together.

Are they “loud and rowdy” or professional on the job? Will they be distracting your employees? Are they polite and personable in the event that they interact with customers, other contractors and employees?

If you have multiple projects being done at the same time, you particularly want to know if they can work with and around other contractors. You don’t want delays because of disagreements about workspace and timelines due to poor communication skills.

Pride in Work

You should see it and feel it. You should hear it in their voices — from the receptionist who handles administrative to the painters. You’ll feel this pride throughout the organization with every person you come in contact with.

You’ll simply get better results when a company takes pride in what they do and it shows.

Pride in the Community

You also want someone who takes pride in the community. Commercial painting, by nature, is about revitalizing the Indianapolis area.

A new coat of paint can give new life and inspiration to those who work at the warehouse and those around it.

You want to work with a company that cares about the community, customers and their employees.

Pride in Their Tools of The Trade

This pride in community and work should outwardly manifest itself in the way that they take care of their equipment.

If you have an opportunity, inspect their trucks — either up close of from afar. Do they appear clean and well maintained? Do things seem to be in their place?

The outward can tell us a lot about what’s going on inside a company.

Fantastic Communication

Whether you do this through reading reviews, talking to references or just having a great conversation with the commercial painting company, get a feel for their ability to communicate.

Strong communication is one of the top business skills in any industry.

You want to know that your commercial painter will:

  • Clearly explain the project before it begins
  • Keep you informed… especially if something unexpected happens
  • Talk to you about the “what if’s” in an informed way
  • Communicate well with the various painters on the job to avoid major mishaps

Importance of Hiring Local

When you hire someone from the Indianapolis area, you help support growth and prosperity in the area. Money that you invest in a paint job goes back into the community where other local businesses reap the rewards.

When you hire local, you can trust that you’re working with a physical company that won’t be here today and gone tomorrow.

If you need to give them a call 1 year, 5 years or 10 years down the road, they’re still there to pick up the phone.

Local companies put great pride in building customer relationships in the local area. They understand the importance of networking with other local businesses like your own, together making neighborhoods and communities stronger.

When You Need A General Contractor

Maybe you also need commercial roofing, interior and exterior painting, paving or other building upgrades and maintenance.

First, you should find out which of these services your commercial painter can also provide. They may be able to coordinate the projects without bringing in a separate contractor.

If several companies are working around each other on different jobs, hiring a general contractor to oversee the efforts can be helpful.

Red Flags To Be On The Look Out For

Whenever we’re making a hiring decision, it’s easy to justify certain actions in our minds when we should be listening to our gut.

So we’re giving a quick list of red flags that you shouldn’t ignore when hiring a commercial painter.

  1. You hear people yelling on the other end of the phone when you call. Or perhaps you overhear yelling while the representative is out in the truck. This may suggest morale issues or poor management.
  2. You have trouble verifying the identity of the business or representative online. Does this company really exist?
  3. The company uses high-pressure sales to get you to sign a contract before you’re ready.
  4. The company says you’re getting a lower rate if you’ll let them put a sign out front. This is usually just a sales gimmick to make you feel like your saving money. Plus they get free advertising out of it. Look for no gimmicks, just value.
  5. They make an offer that’s only good for a very short window. This is a high-pressure sales tactic. While the offer can’t be good forever, it should allow you time to comfortably make a decision.
  6. They provide you with a nice list of references. But most are unreachable.
  7. You can’t verify their insurance with the insurance company.
  8. They ask you to pay the full amount up front.
  9. Representatives speak in ambiguities or run you around in circles (think slippery politicians).
  10. The company doesn’t ask about your needs and only talks about the project.

The Interview Process for a Commercial Painter in Indianapolis

Let’s get ready for the interview. Get your questions ready so that you can frugally use your time while getting everything you need to make a decision.

Make note of body language during the interview. It can tell you a lot. Is this person being open and honest with you or are they shut off? This is one of the huge benefits of hiring locally. It may not be easy to meet in person otherwise.

Get the most out of the interview in the shortest time with these 8 questions.

  1. How many jobs is your company performing right now? You want to know that they’re doing well, but not overbooked.
  2. Who will be the supervisor on site? Get this person’s name a cell number.
  3. What is your company’s mission? A mission shouldn’t just be words. Every employee should know it and live by it.
  4. What job is the company most proud of and why? You want to elicit some pride and passion. Those are always good signs.
  5. Tell me about your worst customer ever. You want honesty. But the way they answer will help you get a feel for how well this company manages customer relationships. Are they resentful, judgmental, apathetic or vindictive?
  6. Will you be using sub-contractors? If they do, that’s alright. But you’re evaluating the company, so you want to know that the key people are their employees.
  7. May I inspect your car/truck? Again, you’re doing this get an idea about their organizational skills and level of pride.
  8. How long do you think this job will take? Even if you don’t have a formal quote yet, a commercial painter should be able to give you a ballpark.

Find the Right Painter for Your Indianapolis Warehouse Exterior Paint Job

You’ve got the tools you need to find the right painter for your warehouse. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and realize that you deserve clear and sufficient answers.

For your commercial painting needs, see how we measure up. We’re located right here in Greenwood in the greater Indianapolis area.

Give us a call today to schedule a consultation:317-889-3349

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