A journey of a thousand miles always begins with a single step. If the first step is taken in the wrong direction, however, it will effectively derail the entire effort right from the start. The importance of the first step in any project applies across the board, to any field. Commercial painting projects are no different. Whether the painting job is interior or exterior, residential or commercial, the first and most important step is finding the right contractor for the job. Much like beginning a thousand mile journey in the wrong direction, choosing the wrong contractor can cause a multitude of problems later on in the project.
Gone are the days of flipping through hundreds of yellow pages to find a number that may or may not be active. In this day and age we enjoy the luxury of online search engines, which make finding businesses in your area almost effortless. Simply typing in “Commercial Painting Contractors New Jersey,” will give you a large number of results in only a matter of seconds. However, having such a vast amount of names and numbers to sort through is both a blessing and a curse. Of all the choices, what can you do to make sure that you are choosing the right one? There are a number of things to look for. What follows is a bit of a checklist for choosing a commercial painter.
The first thing you will notice about the company is their responsiveness. Did you have to leave a message, or was your call answered right away? Were you on hold for some time, or was the representative on the other line ready to work with you? This first encounter can tell you a lot about how the contractor will be throughout the rest of the process. Communication is one of the most important parts of a big project, and this is true across all industry boundaries. Making sure the contractor responds to your calls or emails quickly and has your specifications organized is a huge factor in narrowing your decision down. Large exterior painting companies or other big operations may be fielding calls from a large number of clients, but it is still important that they get back to you in a reasonable timeframe. An organized support staff not only aids communication between the client and the workers, but it is a sign of a company that is running efficiently.
It is often said that history repeats itself, and for good reason. Take some time and look at the company’s history, reputation and former work. Is it a family owned company that has been running under the same management for 30 years, with few complaints? If so, it is more than likely going to continue to run smoothly. This is a sign that the company is reliable, consistent and under competent management. Are bad reviews and changes in management all you see when doing your search? If so, expect this inconsistency to show in their work. Be comfortable asking the company about any discrepancies you’ve come across. Also, take note of the company’s experience. Have they been performing commercial painting for 30 years, or are they just adding painting to their list of services? A little experience goes a long way, and a lot of experience goes even further. Take a look at some of their former projects, and see if they are still in good condition. Look to see if their work passes the all important test of time. If not, expect to be going through the process again in the near future to have the job redone.
Commercial painters should be well acquainted with proper safety training and procedures. Inquire whether or not the company can produce safety certifications relating to industrial painting jobs, such as confined space, lead abatement or scaffolding rigging and safety certifications. Ensure they are compliant with all applicable OSHA regulations and have a documented PDCA Approved Safety Program. Your ideal contractor should conduct health, drug and alcohol screenings on its employees periodically. This will minimize the risk of injury on the job. It is also important that they have the correct paperwork to back them up, with the proper liability insurance and workman’s compensation all taken care of. The last thing you want on any job site is to have an unsafe contractor that has an accident they are not insured for.
Also be sure to look into whether or not the company is certified to do the work requested. A certification means they perform the work to standards set by industry authorities, and the more certifications, the better.
The steps above detail how to pick the best painter from the vast amount of results you will come across in your search. Any readers looking for New Jersey painters, as well as any readers in the NY, PA or CT region can free to compare Alpine Painting’s history, experience and certifications to that of their competitors’. Don’t forget to go down the checklist and ensure you are hiring the best of the best in each area.
By Dave Scaturro, Sales Director for Alpine Painting.