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November 1, 2012 -
Today's tip is to ask the right questions in selecting a paint contractor. By discussing the project's scope and product selection ahead of time, managers often can ensure a solid match between contractor and project.
Before the bid goes out or the first discussion takes place, contractors recommend that managers make some important decisions and gather essential information. First, they must determine exactly what the project will entail. "One big challenge is appropriate scope," says Aaron Moore, partner with Precision Painting & Decorating Corp. in Addison, Ill. "If the job isn't well-defined, it's difficult to get it completed because you have different people in the facility with different visions of what's being done."
Next, managers need to help contractors understand the way the project will unfold. "They also should ask about the level of management they're going to get," says David Scaturro, sales and marketing director with Alpine Painting & Sandblasting Contractors in Paterson, N.J. "Are they going to have a dedicated project manager or site supervisor ensuring the quality of the project? What level of communication is going to be expected?"
Moore says, "If you see variance in price, you've got to dig a little bit. You can't just accept that the guy who bid $100,000 is going to do that job for $100,000 because you're opening yourself up to a lot of change orders. I would do more research and figure out what makes that the low bid."
Moore suggests managers come to discussions of paint specification with clear thoughts on products and processes. "In terms of quality, managers should know what they're looking for," he says. "We have industry standards, so there are levels of standard preparation. That's stuff that should be brought up by the contractor at the time of the estimate." Such conversations with painting contractors can go a long way in helping managers assess the experience and professionalism a contractor might bring to the project.