Hiring A Commercial Painting Contractor in Texas
There are a lot of fine painters in Fort Worth Texas and surrounding areas. Sometimes, it may feel like trying to find the right commercial painter to hire for your business needs is about the same as trying to play darts while blindfolded. How are you supposed to find the right one? Of course, you have to find a painter who can do the job you need done, offers a guarantee, will keep disruption to your business to a minimum, and price can never be overlooked as a deciding factor. But, besides all of that, where do you even start. If you pick up the Yellow Pages, how many commercial painters are listed? Do you really want to take the time to interview each and every last one of them? Even if you pick three or four at random and go from there, you might be missing the better deal and overlooking the better team to work with.
Check Painter References
Just like when you are hiring an employee, you want to be sure to ask any potential painting contractor for references. There are two kinds of references professional contractors can provide you. The first are the customer references, testimonials from customers that have done work with in the past. It is a good idea to contact these testimonial providers directly, if at all possible. Ask them how they think everything went. Were they happy with the job done by the commercial painter? Were there any problems or delays? Any tips on avoiding those or was it something beyond anyone’s control? Did they stick to the estimate and the timeline? While you are at it, ask those references if they know anyone else who hired the contractors for a job. Sometimes, people are left off the list of references simply because it would be too long a list otherwise or because they want privacy. Other times, they are left off the list for strategic reasons—the painting company does not know what they will say or is pretty sure they will say something less than favorable. If you can get a hold of those references not screened and approved by the company, it can be helpful.
The second kind of references a commercial painter should be able to provide are business references. Granted, you were most likely speaking with businesses who were customers of the painters previously, but business references are a little bit different. Business references are people companies that the commercial painting company does business with on a regular basis over a longer period of time. These would include vendors or a bank. These business references can speak to the stability and longevity of the firm. This is important, especially when dealing with commercial painters. While the home is the usually the most expensive investment most people will ever own and residential painters have insurance to cover the home, commercial painters should be screened a little bit better because people’s entire livelihood is based off of the business and there is a lot more money at stake.
Check the Insurance
Before hiring a commercial painter, check with your insurance team and see what kind of insurance the painting company should have. Usually, they should have general liability and property damage insurance in excess of a couple million dollars. They should probably also have workman’s compensation insurance. Also, verify whether the painter will be using their own employees or sub-contractors. Sub-contractors often do not fall under the company’s insurance policy, which could leave your company liable if they were to get injured or do any damage. This is your business and you need to protect it. Everyone should understand that. That is why it should not come as a shock when you call the painter’s insurance company to verify that their policy is in good standing and up to date. You simply cannot be too careful these days.
Get Everything in Writing
The commercial painting company you choose to work with should be able to provide you everything in writing. They should not be able to provide you a simple quote over the phone. For painters to be able to have an idea what a job entails—and thus what it costs—they need to be able to view the jobsite. Are there going to be issues with parking or storage? How much room do they have to work? Are there any odd angles or difficult heights they will need to work around? Can they do the painting during business hours or will it need to be done after business hours? How much prep work is needed? Are they going to need to patch holes, replace trim or wood, or do other basic repairs before they can commence painting. The reality of it is that the cost for commercial painting is not just basic math of square footage and paint, a lot more goes into it.
All of these details should be included in a formal contract or estimate from the painting company. They should include important contact information for both parties involved, timelines and milestones, any agreed upon pay schedule, security precautions, specific requests, the type of materials to be used, what warranties or guarantees there are, etc. This documentation should be checked over carefully to make sure nothing is missed. If corrections do need made, do not sign in good faith with the agreement to retroactively change the documentation. Instead, insist that the changes are made before signing anything or making any payments.
Hiring a commercial painting contractor takes a bit of work. However, just like the actual painting, the majority of work is in the prep that needs done. You need to feel comfortable with who you have working on your business and know that they are going to do a good job.