A primer on contracting out paint jobs for common areas.
By the Colourful Crew at CertaPro Painters
Whether you’re a council member or homeowner, the first two questions that come to mind before every painting project should be:
1. Why? Painting protects exteriors from the elements while providing curb appeal. A fresh coat of paint also enhances the living experience for homeowners and maintains or increases the value of the property.
2. When? Spring is the ideal time of year for painting. It’s also the ideal time to inspect the property for signs of damage that occurred over the winter. Painting should be performed before exterior surfaces show signs of deterioration (wood rot, chalking, peeling or chipping paint) because paint film loses its elasticity over time.
Failure to maintain a schedule will cost much more in the long run. Once the why and when questions are answered, your strata can begin proper planning and execution.
Prepare a Specification and Bid Package
You may be familiar with Requests for Proposals (RFPs) as a method for obtaining bids. An RFP is a very general request, sometimes providing only the address of the property and rarely more than a few details. In these cases, RFPs tend to draw vague and unequal bids from contractors, making it difficult for strata councils to make a final hiring decision.
A paint specification is a much better and more accurate alternative. This specification provides painting guidelines and product recommendations for your strata’s property, serving as a reference tool for both the council and the contractors. It provides detailed information about preparation for specific substrates, application, colour, clean up, etc., and specifies exactly what products will be used on the repaint. A paint specification also compares apples to apples – ensuring all contractors are bidding on the same service and quality while giving the council a standard for evaluating bids (avoiding, for example, one contractor quoting on standard paint and another quoting premium).
The paint specification should include:
• Paint product lines to determine the performance and longevity of the repaint.
• Specific primers for all surfaces of the building to be painted, such as wood, ferrous and non-ferrous metal, concrete and stucco.
• Problem areas and/or concerns (e.g. dry rot, chalking, cracking, efflorescence, etc.)
• Any replacements or repairs required? Wood, wrought iron, or…?
• Exclusions: what substrates should not be painted?
• Specific bidding instructions – line items or other special considerations?
Finding the Right Contractor
Your painting project is much more than an investment in your property. Before you decide on a painting company, CertaPro Painters® recommends ensuring the contractor can:
Work on schedule - Is the crew’s scheduling flexible enough?
Meet deadlines - A project that gets off track can cause a domino effect for your schedule, with big consequences down the line. Be assured that your contractor can deliver a quality paint job quickly and efficiently.
Minimize impact and loss of productivity - Minimize the impact to everyone affected by painting, whether tenants, owners, employees or customers. Since the buildings being painted are places people need to use, the mission should be to understand everyone’s needs and concerns, so that they can work around them.
Fit into your community - Coming onto your property, your contractors need to be able to conduct themselves professionally and appropriately.
Help you get through it - Your contractor should have the processes in place to navigate the project from start to finish.
Communication - The procedures of communication with customers foster positive working relationships based on trust, respect and integrity.
Make Your Strata Look Its Best
Often the first consideration of any strata painting project, colour selection is mostly based on achieving aesthetic value. Colour should be pleasing to the eye and work well with the environment surrounding the buildings and property (i.e. landscaping, brick, stone work and roof colour).
Sheen should always be considered when selecting an exterior finish. While a flat finish is generally the sheen selected for stucco and siding, low sheen is beginning to emerge as a popular new trend. Low sheened paints offer a more vibrant appearance and provide excellent dirt release from the substrate.
Light colours, such as tan or shades of white, reduce inside temperatures as well as make a building stand out in its neighbourhood. Dark colours, such as burnt reds or blues, absorb heat and can make a large building seem better proportioned to a small lot.
Professional consultation and assistance
The best way to start with colour and finish selection is to look at other properties in your area and see what you find most appealing. For colour selection, you may want to consider enlisting the help of your locally owned and operated CertaPro Painters® or even a professional colour consultant. Each of these parties offers very useful services to stratas, including advice and assistance in choosing the best paint for the job.
For more interior or exterior colour tips, contact your local CertaPro Painters®. *As seen in CertaPro Painters® Envision magazine ©2017 All Rights Reserved CertaPro Painters, Ltd. Each CertaPro Painters® business is independently owned and operated.
Want to save15% on all in-suite paint services? Contact CertaPro at 1-800-689-7271 or visit www.certapro.ca and identify yourself as a FirstService Residential client.
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