Painting can be described as more of an art than a science; but estimating a cost for a paint job is really more of a science than an art.
We first come into your home, ask a lot of open questions and listen to your answers to find out exactly what work you want to get done and why. We need to know what the motivating factors are for each potential client we interview to help us create a clear scope of work that accurately fulfills the clients’ needs.
Once we know what you need to have done then we can get busy working to create the written quote. We have great estimating software that we use, which makes the estimating exact and seamless for everyone. Our estimators import measurements into I-pads which convert dimensions into production quantities and rates and quickly gives us all a cost that is accurate and fair for all parties .
The steps we take when entering the estimate are:
- Measure the space that will be painted.
- Enter any specific details
- Prep work (pressure wash, sand, prime, etc)
- Drywall work
- Baseboards need painting, doors, etc.
- Each room is entered in separately
- Our estimating software calculates how long each space will take to paint.
- Lastly we bid all our projects on an hourly rate. The software takes the total hours of the job and multiplies our hourly rate and creates the price of your project.
Our estimators will then email you your bid right there in person most of the time. The estimate is very detailed showing exactly what we are going to do. We have our contract in the email which again gives very detailed information of our terms and agreement.
We feel very proud of our estimating process. We feel we are giving you a very accurate, quick, and detailed estimate.
All the positions we have at Mike’s Quality Painting go through an extensive hiring process. The positions we currently have are: apprentice painter, painter, and crew leader, management positions (field supervisor and sales rep).
First step to our process is posting a great ad for the position.
Second step, we contact the applicant and have a phone interview, collect their resume, and invite them to come to our job fair.
If we are hiring for apprentice painters, painters, or crew leaders, we have applicants come to our job fair. We have them fill out an application at the job fair and then we have them run through a skill assessment course, just to see what their skill level is and where to place them in our crews. Lastly we do an interview at the job fair. The key things we look for in a candidate are: a great attitude, being on time, and great customer service skills. Sometimes the actual skills can be taught, but a good attitude and good work ethic can’t be taught. We only want the best for our clients.
Once we choose an applicant we offer them a try out for two weeks to see if they are a good fit for us and them. If after that process it seems to work out they will then be hired for a 90 day probationary period. We will of course have every employee do a drug and background check.
For our management staff we use a recruiter to help us choose the best candidates.
We only want the best employees for our clients and company. We go through an immense hiring process so only the best people come into your home or office.
So we have talked about selecting the right color and the importance of getting that right and to always keep the final outcome of your project in mind. The little details up front matter a whole lot at the end.
We have covered the issues of proper priming and when is it advantageous to use primer. Always keep in mind that proper priming can dramatically affect the longevity of the final project.
We discussed what tools do you need and what steps should you follow if you want to tackle painting a room in your house. The final tip from me in this series is how to throw in the Do it yourself towel and hire a professional.
When Hiring a pro you should always remember that you are in control and have lots of options. I recommend considering selecting a contractor like an interview process. (feel free to interview several people for your project)
1. Select some companies that you want to interview. They can be found by referrals from friends, painters you have seen in your neighborhood, online searches, advertisements etc. but be picky about who you invite to interview. Not all contractors are equal.
2. Set up times for the “interview” estimate. This is an important opportunity to evaluate the contractor. Who answers the phone when you call, how quickly can they schedule the estimate, if you leave a message how soon do they respond. Are they concerned about your schedule needs or not. You have to remember that this is a person you will be dealing with potentially through the term of your project.
3. When they arrive for the appointment are they on time, organized from the beginning and pleasant. Remember how long you may need to be dealing with this person.
4. Let the estimator ask you questions about your needs and wants. If they spend the entire interview telling you about themselves then you can rest assured you will be getting that persons idea of the paint job and not your own. Always remember that it is your home and you should be in charge. Don’t give up that authority.
5. Once finished, see how long it takes to get back the estimate. Find out how long it will take to schedule the work and who will be performing the work.
6. With all of that info in hand, evaluate the quotes side by side to compare based on clarity, detail of the scope, paints being used and cost.
Far too often when getting quotes I see people to eager to count all contractors as equal and only evaluate based on price. Remember that the devil lives in the details. If you look objectively for a professional company you should feel assured that the work is done correctly and that you received all that you intended to purchase.
I am always asked by DIYers where do I start when I’m painting a room in my house.
The sequence should go as follows.
1. Select the colors you want to paint. (Tip #1 if you have been following along) 2. Cover up the items in the room you want to protect completely with plastic, drop cloths, and painters tape.
3. Remove your wall plates, window coverings or any hardware like towel bars that you don’t want paint on.
4. Fill in any cracks at transitions, perform any wall repairs and do any surface cleaning to prepare the surfaces.
5. Start with the ceilings by painting with a brush the corners and around fixtures, then rolling in the large areas.
6. Next you paint the walls using a brush to edge to the ceiling and trim in the room. I am no fan of edging tools or taping off the ceiling or trim. The transitions will be straighter in appearance by using a good quality paint brush. Once edged, roll the large areas with a suitable length roller cover.
7. Finally paint the baseboards, door trims and any trim items in the room with a paint brush.
I hope these tips are helpful and if you follow these simple steps you will be painting like a pro in no time. Or feel free to schedule your next painting project with our crews who spend their days following these steps.
People that we do painting for often comment on how much faster our painters work than when the homeowners try to tackle a space on their own because we have the “right tools”.
So what tools should a DIYer be sure to have before they attempt to paint a room?
I always say you must put first things first and consider the masking material and drop cloth covers. We train our painters not to even open the cans of paint until the spaces are covered up so that nothing gets damaged. A few canvas drop cloths, a box of thin plastic and a roll of 2 inch painters masking tape is a must.
You should also have a small tube of acrylic painters caulking and some spackle for small holes and repairs.
Once the room is covered you should be ready with a good quality paint brush and a good roller and cover. Don’t go cheap on the brush or roller. Purdy paint brushes and Wooster rollers are what we like, they cost more but are worth the expense in time savings and quality of application.
So the list as follows
Some canvas drop cloths
A box of thin plastic
Roll of painters tape
Good brush and roller
Ladder to reach the height of your space Rolling poll
I hope the list is helpful and if this all sounds like to much work for a single room you can always call me for our painter for a day service and we will send you a craftsman with all of this and more to knock out you list while your at work so you can be free to enjoy your weekend.
We get asked this all the time and the short answer is no. That said, sometimes a coat of primer is the difference between success and failure. To adequately answer the question you should start by evaluating a few things.
1. Are you painting inside or outside. Generally exterior painting has a higher likelihood of needing primer to ensure proper adhesion and longevity.
2. Are the surfaces I’m planning to paint in sound condition. If the surfaces are damaged by water, smoke, sun or paint failure the likelihood of needing primer goes up dramatically.
3. Am I planning on a dramatic color change. Often times if you are turning dark walls light or vise versa you will want to consider priming to balance the under tone and promote consistent coverage, however you do want to weigh this out to avoid needless extra work or increased costs for primer if your color change would cover in two even coats. Our general rule is if two coats will cover, we don’t prime.
I hope this helps give some clarity and please feel free to contact us with any of your priming and painting questions.
Selecting the right color is essential to a great final outcome and should not be overlooked.
Never make final color selections from a small color card from a paint or hardware store.
You should always buy a small amount of paint and apply samples to the area you wish to work on to make sure that you are going to love your new colors.
Always begin with the end in mind.
Have you considered the average exterior project takes a professional painter 40-60 hours to complete the job?
Our pros also arrive with all the right equipment. The proper tools, right size ladders, and the comprehensive understanding on how to do the job right from start to finish. Are you sure you want to spend the next 4-6 weekends trying to tackle this project on your own.
At Mike’s Quality Painting we view spring as our time to shine. We have spent the slow cold winter retooling, training, and getting ready for our spring season. The exterior of your largest investment is our pride and joy we are well versed in the right primers for every surface, proven application methods, and we use the most durable finish paints to insure that this springs investment lasts for years, and years to come without you having to work a weekend or lift a finger. You can be confident that we have the best warranties in the industries.
At Mike’s Quality Painting we believe training is very important. Training gives our employees the knowledge and skills to improve their performance and continue putting the “Quality” in Mike’s Quality Painting. We are continually creating ways for our employees to advance through the company. Training is valuable not only to our employees, but to our customers as well. Listed below is some of the training we provide.
- Lead Paint Certified. Mike is lead paint certified. He can test your home for the presence of lead paint. If your home was built before 1978 we will do the test. I f lead paint is discovered we can take lead safe measures to make sure there is no contamination.
- Employee orientation. We give new employees a detailed two hour orientation. This ensures that every employee that arrives to work in your home or office knows that Quality is our middle name and that customer satisfaction is top priority.
- On the Job Training. When new employees start working with us they are trained by our crew leaders and lead painters that have seniority and can show them our process. This provides every customer with the same high quality job each and every time no matter who is on the job.
- Blinds. We have had training on how to safely remove and replace most blinds and window coverings in a home. Our guys won’t damage or break your blinds.
- Airless Training. All of the men in our crews have had training on how to operate and handle an airless sprayer. They have all been trained by Albuquerque Airless.
- Safety. We have Safety meetings often to remind our men safety comes first before anything else. Safety training helps us to provide a safe work environment for our employees.
- Crew Leader Training. Is to teach our Crew Leader and Lead painters how to work as an effective team to give you the best job possible every time.
- Contractor Orientation Training. A number of our customers require that our employees are trained to meet their special needs for environmental and facility safety. We believe this type of additional training help our crews to be more conscientious everywhere they work.
We are offering a few suggestions on how to choose colors for the interior of your home.
The first place to start is to begin choosing colors with connecting areas. Connecting areas in the home have walls that extend to other areas of the home. Example: foyer, entry area, hallways, and stairways. Homes that have very open floor plans in the main gathering room can be considered a connecting room. The connecting areas of the home are not the areas to use individuality. A good neutral color in connecting areas is the best way to go. A consistent foundation that you can build on in other rooms is a good foundation. Some color suggestions are lighter choices of any of these color families tan, beige, gray or warmer cooler tones with a hint of yellow, brown, blue, or green.
The next step is base boards. If you are going to use various colors, we suggest painting baseboards white. This gives it a nice classic look, a great transition border between spaces.
This is how to choose colors for rooms. If a room is self-contained you have more freedom to choose colors. They can be more distinctive. Use your foundation colors as a guide and use colors that coordinate with the room. Rooms of your house do not need to match each other, unless you can see into one of the other rooms. An accent wall is a great idea, to add a little pizzazz. The way to choose an accent color is either matching with a piece of furniture in the room or with a color from an adjacent room.
Selecting colors can be stressful, or feel a little overwhelming. If you still feel at a loss for choosing colors for your home, call Mike’s Quality Painting to help 505-508-5342. We work with a color consultant that can come to your home and help you choose the right colors. We are the only Albuquerque Painting contractor that has a color consultant. She can bring color swatches from most of the major paint manufactures to help ensure that you get to see all of the possibilities. She will work with you to help identify what you like, your preferences and taste. She will guide you and offer suggestions of colors that will compliment your homes lighting and environment.