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Paints and coatings applications in institutional and commercial facilities can help maintenance managers ensure that key areas, including high-visibility public spaces, retain their best possible appearance. For a variety of reasons, managers often choose to work with a contractor to complete these projects.
To ensure successful projects, managers should pay close attention to several important issues. Painting contractors point out that discussing these issues before signing a contract can hold down project costs, minimize disruptions to facility activities, and deliver projects that enhance facility appearance.
Managers have a host of reasons for choosing to hire a contractor for paint and coating applications. In some cases, the skills and experience of in-house crews is the driving force.
"Sometimes, (in-house) people don't know how to do what they have to do, or they don't have the skills a lot of times to handle certain problems or get the job done in a quick manner," says Dave Ayala of United Pro Painting in Hayward, Calif. "They can paint a door or paint a wall, but if they have issues or problems with the substrate they're painting, they're not always that familiar with what they're up against because they might not have been hired for that. A contractor has probably seen something like this before or he has the resources to find out what's going on. In that respect, there's a difference."
In other cases, managers are under pressure to complete a major painting project as quickly as possible and can not spare the in-house staff for the job.
"The majority of the time, it's the size of the job," says Carol Adkins of Adkins Quality Painting in Mayodan, N.C. "They just don't have that many painters on staff that can take care of a large job. Or maybe special equipment is needed, or a special coating needs to be applied, and their people are not trained for that. It also can be a timing issue, if they've got schools opening, and it's crunch time to get in and get it done."
Managers also need to consider the quality of the work being done, given that most paint and coating applications take place in high-profile areas of facilities.
"I'm more dependable than (in-house) people," Ayala says. "Usually, we're more motivated. For an hourly employee, it's just work for him to do. When I'm working, I'm trying to create an impression and to try and get additional work, so I have a different motivation as to why I want to succeed versus an individual who's just punching the clock."
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