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How to Choose a Commercial Painting Contractor – A Comprehensive Guide

Many business owners and property managers have difficulty deciding on the right contractor to paint their commercial or industrial building. Some people assume that the only criteria they need to consider is whether or not the contractor is licensed and insured, and they assume quality work will follow. Those factors are certainly important; however, those elements only meet the minimum in terms of what a facility manager should look for in a commercial painting contractor. When searching for a commercial painting contractor to paint your commercial or industrial building, there are several other crucial factors to consider.

Important Factors to Consider When Hiring a Commercial Painting Contractor

  • Customer Service

    Arguably the most important aspect you should look for when searching for a contractor to paint your commercial building is a company that understands the value of providing top notch customer service, especially in situations when they are working around an occupied facility. It’s important to feel like you’ve made the right decision when hiring a commercial painting contractor. If you don't feel good about a contracting company after your initial phone call or walk through meeting, that is probably a company you should cross off your list.

    It is important to recognize that customer service goes beyond pleasantries. A very important aspect of customer service is relationship building. It’s essential to ensure that you choose a painting contractor with which you can build a good working relationship. The contractor is the expert; however, as the client, you should feel comfortable asking your painting contractor questions, and making suggestions about what you would like to see done with your property. For example, our professionals here at Major Painting always put our clients first and take the time to listen to our clients’ needs and concerns to ensure we are providing the correct solutions for their problems and needs. If our clients make a suggestion about a technique or service, we try our hardest to accommodate them.

    Also, keep in mind that it’s always possible that mistakes or miscommunications occur. As a result, it’s important that you can trust the painting contractor’s customer service to always make the situation right.

  • Reviews and Referrals

    One of the best ways to find a reliable commercial painting contractor near you is through word of mouth by asking your peers and coworkers. Get a referral from a close acquaintance that has used the company on a project that is similar in size and scope as yours. Friends and fellow business owners may have excellent suggestions, and if you end up visiting their commercial space, you'll have the advantage of seeing the quality of work already done.

    Another good option is to contact your local paint store. Places like Sherwin Williams, Spectrum Paint, and PPG can provide valuable information about a good painting contractor near you. Tell the store manager about your project and see if they have 2-3 contractor names to recommend for the job.

    Online searches are convenient and abundant, but riskier, so choose companies with a robust online presence. Search using keywords like "commercial painting contractor kansas city" and look over their website for details on what they do and browse their past projects. Finally, look over their customer reviews on Google to assess customer satisfaction and learn about the company before you invest your time in meeting with them. Read both positive and negative reviews. Pay close attention to how the painting business responds to any negative reviews as this can be an indicator of customer service quality.

  • Qualifications

    Like with any job, you want a painter that knows the specifics, but also has the education, licensing, and certifications to back them up. Painting contractors must know which paint works well for the project, what is the best approach, and how they should organize the operation. When possible, choose a company that has had at least 5 years in business, as any less could result in poor work from inexperienced contractors or operational issues.

    See if the painting company has all the right legal forms set in place, like insurance information, city licenses, and other documentation. Then ask about the training of their painters, whether they have been through safety courses like OSHA 10, aerial lift training, lead training, or other programs.

    Also, meet with the painting contractor in person to review the project and qualify their character. Are they someone you trust and want to do business with? Make sure that you and the painting contractor are on the same page when it comes to your project. Let them know what type of colors and finishes you want and what areas need to be completed, so they know exactly how to price the bid.

  • Estimates

    Before you pick a company, don't forget to compare estimates to see who is able to give you the best price for the job. The bid should be well presented and should be thorough and accurate in the scope of the job. Estimates should be all encompassing, including the material and labor to complete the full scope of the job.

    Some companies will charge differently for variable parts, so ensure you've asked for at least three estimates before making a final decision. If you have three quality commercial painting contractors, you will generally get a solid idea of what the project price should be. You could ultimately save yourself from a higher price simply by inquiring from multiple sources.

    That said, keep in mind that comparing painting contractors is not always comparing apples to apples. Some painting contractors may be more expensive purely based on a higher quality output. If you have a more expensive estimate, inquire what they do differently to evaluate whether or not the boost in quality is worth the added cost.

    Watch Out for Hidden Fees

    When you are looking for a painting contractor, you should look for one who gives you a clear and detailed estimate. The company lobbying for your business should present you with a detailed description of what they propose to do and be clear about how much it will cost. At Major Painting, we understand our customers are working with a budget, and a part of our job is making sure we provide an honest and upfront quote so that our customers are not caught off guard at the end of their project.

  • Scheduling

    You should look for a painting contractor near you who respects your business and who will work to reduce impact on your business operations. When hiring a painting contractor, be sure to ask about off-hours scheduling options, extra fees for off-hours scheduling, and how quickly the project will start and conclude. To avoid surprises, be sure to finalize scheduling options with your painting contractor before project approval.

  • Project Clean Up

    Improperly discarded sundries, paint spills, poor disposal of paint and equipment, and other clean up mishaps can ruin a quality project. For many painting contractors, project clean up is an afterthought. When searching for a painting contractor near you, be sure to ask about their project clean-up procedures, as clean up can make or break the quality of your project.

Important Selection Factors

Questions to Ask When Selecting a Commercial Painting Contractor

Depending on your project, you’re going to have a variance of questions. Some basic questions you may want to ask include:

How long have you been in business?

Usually, the longer the painting contractor has been in business the more experience they possess. The longer a company has been in business doesn’t always mean they are the best though. A good rule of thumb is any painting contractor that has been in business for over 5 years most likely will have the expertise needed. When you can find a business that has been around more than 10 years, that is an even greater sign of stability.

What type of painting do you specialize in?

There are many types of painting. Therefore, if you have a commercial project, it is important to call a professional commercial painting contractor. The commercial painter paints commercially on a daily basis, as opposed to the residential painter who paints one commercial building per year but primarily paints houses. Though there’s certainly some crossover, commercial painting requires a higher caliber of painting sophistication to ensure the correct products are being used as well as the logistics of the project are thoroughly thought out and executed.

What products do you use?

High quality painting contractors will typically use superior products unless otherwise instructed. It is important to know this because you may have one contractor $500 higher than another solely because he is using a much superior paint product than his competitor. Naturally, this will impact the aesthetic and longevity of the finished paint job.

How long do you estimate this project will take and when will it start?

With this question you will better understand the cost of the project as well as better be able to plan around the project. You should immediately follow up with when can you start the painting project? For example, if the contractor says they can complete the job in one week, but it takes them 2 months to get on their schedule, that may impact your buying decision.

Do you have commercial auto, general liability, and work comp insurance?

This is one of the most important questions to ask! As any owner, you want to know how well you are protected if an accident were to happen on your property. This accident could involve the painting company’s employees, your customers, or even passersby. Many smaller contractors try to cut overhead costs by not having insurance or being underinsured. They are not only putting themselves at risk, but you as the property manager or building owner as well.

What safety practices do you have in place?

Very few painting contractors have their employees properly trained on aerial lift safety, meet OSHA-10 requirements, and have regular safety meetings. It is also important in commercial jobs that contractors use lifts when needed instead of ladders. Lifts are much safer and allow the laborer a much better platform to achieve the best finish possible for your project.

Do you subcontract the work or is it performed in-house?

Painting contractors that perform most of the work with in-house staff seem to have much better project quality control over those who subcontract their work. We believe this is because legally the contractor has more control over how the onsite painters are completing the project opposed to a subcontractor. Additionally, subcontractors rarely have longevity with the company which can also lead to inconsistent quality of paint jobs. At Major Painting we have over 35 skilled painters and carpenters on staff which we believe is a big part of why we are known as one of the highest quality painters in the Kansas City metro.

Can you provide any references?

References should be very easy for a great painting contractor to provide. If a painting contractor drags their feet in providing references, you should consider finding another painting partner. Additionally, painters who have been in business for many years will have a list of residual clients that have used their services on more than one occasion, which can often be more revealing than one-time project clients.

Questions to Consider After Selecting a Painting Contractor

When I have chosen the contractor, what’s next?

Review the contract one more time and make sure everything is listed and there are no grey areas. After that, call to get scheduled. In late Spring to early Fall, you can typically expect to be scheduled 2-4 weeks out, which may seem like a long time to you, but indicates your contractor has consistent work and is running a professional and efficient service.

Do I need to do anything during the project?

As a client, you want to let the painting contractor do his work. However, it is important to check on the project every so often to make sure it is meeting your standard of approval.

Questions to Ask

Professional Painting Contractors in Kansas City

Selecting a painting contractor doesn't have to take forever, as long as you seek the best resources and ask the right questions. At Major Painting, we provide professional service, expertise, and dedication, making us a top choice in quality commercial painting. To learn more and to get more information about your next commercial painting project, contact our commercial painting contractors in Kansas City today!

Do you provide free estimates?

We sure do! To learn how we can help with your next painting project, contact our commercial painting contractors today for your free estimate!

What kind of painting prep do you provide?

Great question! Our commercial painting preparation typically includes the following services as needed: power washing, caulking, drywall repair, and wood rot repair. For more information about our preparation process, contact us today!

Will you provide clean up services?

Absolutely! Throughout each project, our commercial painting contractors will maintain a clean environment and will ensure a complete site clean up upon completion.

Start Your Painting Project

If you need a dependable painting company for your next commercial project, contact Major Painting today.

About Major Painting