Painting the interior or exterior of your commercial building may revive its look, but the job can turn out to be more complicated than you originally anticipated. That’s why it’s vital to choose the right contractor to get the job done correctly the first time.
Mike Benteau, president of paint contractor Elite Trade Painting, provides some tips to keep in mind when considering your property’s next paint job.
A wise investment
“Painting is the most cost-effective form of maintenance for any property manager in that it can revitalize and change the space for the least amount of money,” says Benteau.
If you are looking to attract and retain tenants, a fresh paint job may be the way to go. Benteau, who has 34 years of experience in the industry, has noticed some high-end property managers provide repaints for tenants without an obligation to do so, as a new paint job every four or five years can go a long way in maintaining client satisfaction and convincing tenants to stay for another term.
He notes that property managers usually time this service within one to two years of renewals. A designer colour change, which means having a designer come in for a consult and recommend a specific colour to accentuate a space, helps significantly in renewing a tenant’s contract. Although there is a cost associated with it, it makes an enormous difference in the quality of the results.
When it comes to attracting new tenants, remember that first impressions are important, and a quality paint job is vital to your building’s first impression.
“Space improvements by landlords is often done to attract tenants. Painting is one of the cheapest to do. Having quality work being done for the project is vital to the establishment of long term relationships,” says Benteau. “Many will utilize the best price, with little inspection for quality, which in the end, starts a relationship off with a bad impression.”
Benteau notes that paint can alter how a tenant feels about a space. “Rather than a tenant moving to another spot, sometimes you can change the environment so they have less motivation to find something different,” he says. “It seems to invigorate the staff and the tenants. Painting is probably the lowest-cost renovation that they can do and it has the biggest bang for the buck.”
Protect your property – and your tenants
Maintaining the health and safety of tenants and workers must always be kept in mind during contracting jobs. Benteau says almost all commercial paints used nowadays meet LEED standards and are low- or no-VOC, so they are safe to be used indoors while clients and tenants are present.
“There are still some products that we use that do have nasty smells, but for the most part, those are specialty products that you use after hours or when no one is around,” he says. “The majority of our projects in the last ten years are done while people continue to work. It is important for your contractor to work with your tenants to coordinate the project and to work professionally with consideration at all times to the work environment and being aware of all safety concerns that exist.”
When painting outdoors, paints specific for that purpose are ideal because they are specially formulated for outdoor use. They can ensure the building remains structurally sound and free of moisture and leaks, which is vital due to Canada’s sometimes unpredictable weather.
One method of cutting costs is painting while tenants are in the space, since after-hours work is always more costly. Benteau recommends fiscally-conscious projects be done in December, January or February, which are all low-demand months in Canada.
For exterior work, it’s best to plan ahead, get quotes and book projects early. Exterior painting is one of the higher demand categories because many painting contractors simply do not do this work. Benteau says that supply and demand dictate how high prices are, so to avoid being swept into a high-cost job, get a quote for your paint job in the low season. Benteau says a client can save up to 20 per cent if tackling a job in the low season.
Finally, choosing the right system for products and undergoing the proper preparation process for your exterior project is vital to the longevity of your painted surfaces, meaning reduced costs in the low run. Although this may not be the cheapest option up-front, it could save a client from doing yearly maintenance, which adds up over a short period of time. Choosing the right system can increase the longevity of painted surfaces by up to 10 years.
Choosing the right contractor
A good contractor will treat tenants like their own clients. Keeping tenants in mind while completing a job ensures all parties will be satisfied once the work is complete.
“We try to make [the tenants] happy so that the property manager doesn’t have to worry about what’s going on with the job site,” says Benteau. “As a property manager, you want a contractor that has that respect and that mindset.”
A good contractor will begin with a consultation followed by a detailed site inspection. After that, they should be able to put together a detailed estimate to avoid any hidden costs for the customer. Contractors should have full worker’s compensation coverage and carry liability insurance in the event of an accident. A contractor that cares about customer service will also be aware of budget, space or time limitations in place and take care to work within those confines. They will end the contract with an inspection conducted by the client and tenant to ensure everyone’s satisfaction is met.
To do your part and ensure the job is done right, completely clean your space before the painters come in, especially during a finishing coat, as dirt and debris can affect the quality of the job. A skilled contractor will follow several steps to ensure a flawless paint job, including sanding and completely cleaning any rough areas; filling in nail holes and smoothing over any blemishes; and caulking all gaps in trip to create a solid seal, to name a few.
When it comes to painting your property, there are ways to save while still getting the results you and your clients both deserve. All it takes is the right contractor.
Visit https://elitetradepainting.com/ for more details.