5 Reasons Painting Companies are more Expensive than Vance with a Van

Quality-Based vs Value-Based Painting Companies

You want your house a different color. Or an accent wall in your bedroom. Or perhaps just a freshened overall look. So naturally, you check online (thanks Google!), post in your favorite social media groups and, finally, ask friends, co-workers and neighbors for recommendations. After all the house visits, estimates, revisions, and final quotes are submitted, it’s clear there’s two categories the options fall into: Vance with a Van and “Painting Company INC”, possibly from your area. 

It also appears these could be nicknamed “Cheap” and “For Sure Not as Cheap as Vance”

You know both. Vance is a person with a van and ladders; both in any range of upkeep: brand new to “well-used”. He works off handshakes and texts, and is quite personable: otherwise he wouldn’t have been recommended by Kris down the street. Painting Company INC has a website, reviews, contracts and a process. 

Why is it more expensive to go with the company? Is it worth it? 

Let’s find out!

5 reasons Painting Company INC is more expensive:

  1. Overhead. Just plan and simple: it costs more to run a business with a website, general liability insurance, worker’s compensation insurance, employees, marketing, and the list goes on. Those have to be paid somehow, and it’s all calculated in the costs to paint your house.
  2. Higher Quality. Quality is not cheap. Often times, cheaper painters may use cheaper paint. Ironically, this can be costly in the long run. The majority of the cost in most painting jobs is labor vs materials. It’s said that painting is 90% prep, 10% painting. This ensures walls are cleaned and smooth prior to paint going on. The floor is covered and let’s not forget the painter’s tape. By saving $10 (for a room) to $500 (for a whole house), the “cheaper” painter will have less coverage (requiring more paint) and cheaper brushes and rollers will be replaced sooner. Companies usually have a quality baseline in paints that they will not go below. This ensure the result is consistent and requires less rework. By spending more on materials (paint, brushes, rollers), money is saved on each project.
  3. Training isn’t cheap. A good painting company has a standard. If the result is not up to their standards, it gets reworked, even if the customer doesn’t notice. To ensure this, employees are trained to meet the standard and each teammember is supervised until they can achieve it on their own. It can take up to a full year of painting every day before a painting is ready to be on their own. Add in workshops and 1-on-1 trainings, and you’ll start to understand why it’s not cheap. This also ensures that you, the customer, knows what you’re getting: a quality product that you’ll be seeing for the next 5-8 years, without flaws.
  4. Warranties: they’re in it for the long haul. Companies that offer warranties, have to be committed to being sustainable for the long-term. A company that offers a 1 year warranty, should be reaching out regularly. Example: 3 days after completion for any obvious defects, 1 month after for any paint defects, 6 months for change of weather effects and 1 year for a complete 1 year check up. Unfortunately for your wallet, followups take time. And time is money. Fortunately, a company dedicated to this ensures that you are satisfied. Additionally, this is added motivation for companies to ensure their employees are fully trained to limit any need to come out (for free!) to take care of punchlists and rework.
    Warranties cannot be honored if the product is placed on bad materials. Perhaps you have a deeper issue: rotting soffits, leaking window, etc. These issues can be covered up to only reappear after you’ve paid. Recognizing these issues require knowledgeable and trained workers. By performing needed repairs, your house is protected against further, costly damage, and the company ensures their product doesn’t require rework and continues to look good years to come.
    Additionally, the paint itself, (assuming it came from a quality vendor), provides warranties to the company and will often cover some to all costs of the rework due to a faulty product. This can only be done if the company had maintained a good relationship with the company’s sale’s representatives. And that takes time. And time is money.
  5. They have a process. There’s no verbal agreements and a handshake. There’s a call, estimate, quote and a contract. Each step took time to develop. Money went to lawyers to create contracts for most situations. This process took time and money to create. Since time is money: “This process took money and money to create,” which gets passed onto the consumer. In exchange, there’s a dedicated person/procedure for step for you: from first contact (phone, email, text) to 1 year followup. You should feel comfortable throughout the process and know what to expect to move forward to the next. You’re not calling Vance only to find out his van is broken and will be there “sometime at the end of the week” to touch up that wall he missed a coat on. Although contracts feel impersonal, they’re there to protect you and the company. You know the price (no end of job negotiations for extras that were done); you know the work expected to be done. If there was a miscommunication about painting and caulking the baseboards, you just point to your copy of the contract and lead the way to the missed item. Done. Clear as day. 
  6. BONUS: transparency. Vance has a van. Companies have online presence. If Vance swindles someone, they (hopefully) just try to do better, ignore texts, and move on to the next job. A company is at the mercy of the internet. 1 unhappy (deserved or not) client (or even potential client that didn’t like the pricing or sales member’s spelling of name: La-a: “Ladasha”) can wreck a perfect 5 star reputation with 5 pages of half rant, half social commentary. Each less than perfect review (deserved or not) deserves a fully thought-out response, as well as some self-reflection by the company. This takes time.
    And . . . time is money.

-Daniel Green

GR Constructs

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