It can be tempting to entertain the idea of DIY-ing your commercial property’s exterior or interior paint, especially if you have a handy or experienced facility manager. While it could seem like it’s a way to save money on paper, it’s not a cost-efficient option in the long run, and working with a commercial painting contractor is a smart alternative.
However, searching for a local contractor that serves commercial properties in the St. Louis area can be a daunting task — after all, there are so many options to choose from. Because not all are created equal, it’s essential to know what to look for and which red flags you shouldn’t ignore.
Plan Around Your Needs
Specialty properties have special needs when it comes to commercial paint. For example, think about healthcare facilities, which have specific guidelines to follow when it comes to keeping patients safe, and that extends to both the color and formulation of interior paint.
Also, talk to the commercial painting team about the overall vision for your space. If you want to send a message or tie your branding together with paint or wall coverings, that’s something painters can use to help your vision come to life. The right commercial painting contractor can even help you with options other than paint to help get your space noticed even more.
Know What to Ask
Treat this like a job interview. To the commercial painting contractor you’re working with, this is, in fact, a job. Here’s what to ask:
- What services do you offer? Is custom work an option? If they don’t have a straightforward “menu” of services or balk at the idea of customizing your paint project, it may be a red flag that the process could hit snags down the line.
- Can you explain what equipment, techniques, and materials you use? What paint brand or manufacturer would you use for my project? Transparency is key here, and knowing this information helps with care and maintenance.
- Do your employees have the appropriate licenses, certifications, or credentials? How many people will be assigned to my project? Like you would vet your other employees for safety, you should do the same with your contractors.
- How often and by what means will you communicate with me? How important and/or flexible are deadlines? This is key — communication is what keeps the project running smoothly and without costly surprises.
- Do you have insurance or a guarantee? Can you provide me with a few references? We can’t stress this enough. It’s easy for a painting professional to tell you about their past projects, but checking them out for yourself can give you the peace of mind you need to assess their work accurately.
Below are four red flags to watch for when you’re interviewing commercial painting contractors:
- They’re not willing to provide a contract
- They can’t answer your questions
- They can’t clearly communicate about the work they can do
- They won’t provide licensing and certification information for employees
Take Bidding Seriously
A good rule of thumb is to get bids and estimates from at least three commercial painting professionals before deciding. A high-quality contractor will take the time to give free estimates and consultations.
Once you have a few good options on the table, don’t just settle for the best price or the most impressive portfolio. Take the time to compare contractors; sometimes, paying more doesn’t mean you’re getting more.
Don’t forget to follow up, either. Your painting team should also help your building get back to business as usual and keep it looking new. Ask about clean-up services, and make sure there’s a warranty to ensure your new paint lasts.
Comb Through the Contract
Once you’ve picked a contractor, make sure to ask for your expectations in writing. It’s wise to consult your attorney, but contract language should include at minimum the following terms and conditions:
- Expected timeline/schedule and milestones along the way
- Typical workday schedules for painters
- Prep and clean-up details
- Any warranties that apply to the project
- Payment and/or budget expectations
- While there are a few corners you might be able to cut when it comes to running your business, choosing a commercial painting contractor shouldn’t be one of them.
Ready to see how a new commercial paint project can transform your building? Work with a contractor who can tick off all the boxes! We’ve painted everything from operating rooms to City Foundry, as well as just about everything in between. Our team will come in and get it done quickly and leave nothing behind but the paint on the walls — contact us today to get started!