I’ve always considered the residential painting industry a little like the old Wild West – largely unregulated, filled with independent minded, go-it-alone types. In industry parlance reference is made to painters who operate on the margins as station wagon bandits, bottom feeders and other even less flattering descriptors. The upside of this unregulation is entry level pricing that likely overlooks the inconveniences of payroll taxes, workers compensation and liability insurance. Consequently, stories abound of unethical, immoral and occasionally criminal types who take advantage of a homeowner’s trust.
1) a Wellesley client finds his new custom home painted with a builder’s grade paint when he specified Benjamin Moore Aura. He visited the jobsite to find a painter relabeling the paint cans.
2) a Weston client returns home to find the painter asleep on her bed (seriously)
3) a Brookline client watches in frustration as her home is painted the wrong color, unable to stop the work because of a language barrier with the crew and the salesman unavailable to take her call
4) a Newton client is promised a certain number of coats, only to discover the crew instructed to get away with as few coats as possible
I’m skipping the scarier stories we’ve heard from clients for now. Suffice it to say working with a painting company requires a significant gift – one of trust and good faith. Typically a homeowner agrees to work having met only the salesman or estimator and assumes the crew that actually produces the work and is in and around their home for days, weeks or even months is of a similar caliber.
It always gives me great pleasure to read the comments our clients offer on the feelings of confidence and safety they have with our staff. To wit;
1) “most importantly my wife felt completely comfortable having them in the house with her and the kids” – JK Cambridge
2) “painting services are leaps and bounds ahead of other painters we’ve used – I wish we had more rooms that needed painting” MP Brookline
3) “the service you provided was fantastic and the quality of the workmanship was outstanding” SA Newton
4) ” both painters were wonderful – the tone set by the foreman was excellent and his team was a delight to have in our home” MK Jamaica Plain
5) “the foreman was superb! Professional, polite, perfectionistic, would highly recommend her” CB Back Bay
We take the gift of trust seriously; it’s one thing to verify someone’s background, work history, drug use, etc, but this is the bare minimum in our opinion. We hire people we would trust in our own homes, around our children, unsupervised. We hire people who have excellent customer service skills, not just because we focus on this as a company but because they were brought up well. But this comes with a peace of mind comes with a price and one we are happy to pay. Long after the painting project is completed it is the experience and service that is recalled, not the slight price difference between contractors.