From a Contractors Point of View
Q. If you were a customer, what do you wish you knew about your trade? Any inside secrets to
A. As a renovation or construction customer, I am interested in quality results and value, and as little disruption as
possible. I believe that the greatest misunderstandings in a renovation project come about due to insufficient
planning, and insufficient understanding of the process of a renovation, and how long certain types of work take,
particularly to do high quality, professional, finished work. Be realistic when approaching a renovation project.
While a good contractor makes every effort to minimize this, a renovation is going to be disruptive, and
occasionally costs that cannot be predicted will occur, especially in older apartments where buildings have settled
and walls and floor have gone off square or shifted. These conditions can often present challenges and additional
costs if not carefully thought out and planned for. Your contractor is also responsible for abiding by the building
rules, keeping the halls and public areas clean, not unduly disrupting the lives of your neighbors, and properly
preparing the job by covering your valuable belongings and furnishings. All of this takes time to do well and
correctly, but it is time well invested if at the end of the job, you are happy as a client, have received top quality
work, all your neighbors are still your friends, and the building management would allow the contractor to return
to work in the building again because the contractor respected the building and other tenants as well as his client.
Plan well, take the time to work with your contractor in discovering any possible hidden costs, pay a fair price, and
choose a contractor who will work with you to help you plan carefully.
Q. What important information should buyers have thought through before seeking you out?
A. The more information and detail you are able to provide to a contractor about the work you want to have done,
the better and more accurate will be his estimate, and the higher quality the finished work. If you want to have
your apartment painted, include in your inquiry if the ceilings, doors, windows, frames and trim are to be painted as
well, or only the walls. Are the walls in good condition, or is major or minor repair involved? Are you using various
custom colors, or one color throughout? Do the current colors need to be primed before painting? Almost every
color except shades of white must be primed to have the new colors be "true" Keep in mind that all painting has to
be "cut in" with a brush around door frames, base boards, window frames etc, even white, as the trim has a different
finish than the walls (usually semi gloss) and that a good painter will remove all switch and outlet covers before
painting, and then replace them. Paints that "include primer" are no substitute for proper priming with a primer,
and every surface must get two coats to cover properly.
If you are renovating your bathroom, what size and type of tile is going to be installed? This can make a major
difference in the cost of your project. Is the entire bathroom going to be tiled, or only the tub surround? Are you
going to the ceiling, or just above the shower head? What is on the existing floor? Can it be tiled over, or does it
need to be removed, leveled and a new substrate installed before tiling? Do you need plumbing and electrical work
included in your estimate, or are you doing just "cosmetic" work.
The more detail you give your contractor, the more accurate will be your quote in terms of time and money.
Beware the contractor who returns a quote with just a total price and no detailed break down of the cost of
materials, labor, carting costs etc. You will be over paying, or equally as bad, underpaying, which you will pay for
later. Provide as much information as possible, and expect the same in return from your contractor.
Q. Why does your work stand out from others who do what you do?
A. I take personal pride in doing my best work for each client. I give high attention to detail and finish to assure
high quality, professional work. My livelihood depends on satisfied clients. I take this responsibility very seriously.
Q. What do you like most about your job?
A. The satisfaction that comes from completing a job and transforming a lackluster and faded apartment into a
clients vision. Seeing a smile on my clients face that tells me I have succeeded in producing what they wanted.
Q. What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A. What is it going to cost. - How long will it take.
Everyone wants a fair price and quality work, but it is really not about cost, but value. We often spend money today
and receive low quality and value. While I have limited control over the cost of materials and the cost to do
business, I do have control over the quality of my work, and always give my clients high value for their investment.
Quotes will vary widely between different painters, sometimes by thousands of dollars. Construction work is no
different than anything else, you get what you pay for. Quality paints such as Benjamin Moore Regal Select average
$40.00 per gallon, and the top of their line, Aura and Natura, about 60.00 per gallon. Skilled workers earn their
money by doing high quality work, they give you their best and deserve to get paid well, they have years of
experience and expertise. Hiring a painter or tiler because they gave you a "cheaper" price is never a bargain. Hire a
professional and it will be done correctly the first time and the work will stand up for years to come.
Copyright 2011 - Precision Paint & Tile
Precision Paint & Tile ™