Managing construction projects is extensive work with many different trades joining forces together to complete a building. One of the most neglected but often lights up a project is the painting trade… but it does more than paint the walls.
Painting contractors handle a wide range of property maintenance related to painting floors, ceilings, and walls but may also participate in bidding and managing construction projects. Proficiency in residential and commercial painting techniques and understanding how construction management works are some of the essential requirements of being a painting contractor, but it doesn’t stop there.
If you are a general contractor, a trade subcontractor, or a construction professional new in the business trying to navigate the different trades in the industry, this is for you. Let’s dive through the diverse skillsets and resources you should have if you consider entering the Painting Business.
What is a Painting Contractor?
Painting contractors are professional painters who work for a general contractor or are directly hired by a project owner. They range from a small company of professionals to a self-employed painting professional. Their focus is painting exterior and interior locations, but some have expertise in other areas like wallpapering, staining, and drywall repair.
How are Painting Contractors and Painters Different?
Not all painters are professionals, unlike painting contractors, who are all professionals. Painting contractors carry responsibilities that painters don’t – worker’s compensation policies, general liability, and insurance. Painting contractors also have their tools and equipment, making them liable for any potential risks related to them.
Some of the responsibilities of Painters are:
- Preparing and cleaning surfaces
- Repairing holes and cracks in walls
- Mixing and thinning paint
- Removing old wallpaper and paint
- Building and installing scaffolding
- Reading specifications to determine needed materials
- Measuring and applying wallpaper or fabric to walls
- Advising customers on color selection and options for wall coverings
- Applying paint or other related materials such as stains, lacquer, or varnish using rollers, brushes, or spraying tools
9 Signs You’re Ready to Become a Painting Contactor
1. You Can Create a Painting Proposal Job Contract
For each job, you must write a contract or proposal outlining the legal conditions and terms between you and your client. You need to learn how to write these contracts, prepare a specific template for your services, and revise key details for each job as required.
A painting job contract with a final quote is needed once a customer approves the cost estimate.
2. Acquired Tools and Equipment
To get the job done, a painting contractor needs resources to start any project, including tools and equipment. If you don’t have the assets yet, you can consider applying for financing to purchase essentials. As a painting contractor company, these assets will be your highest start-up cost but one of the most worthy investments you can make for your business.
Here are the most basic painting tools and equipment that you should get for your project:
a. Residential Construction Projects
- Painter’s tape
- Paint trays
- Drop cloths
- Caulking gun
- Tape measure
b. Commercial Construction Projects
The type of painting works for commercial projects would require a more up-front investment but also translates to more revenue as you can charge more. Some of the basics tools you need are the following:
- Compound and caulk
- Pressure washer
- Extension pole
- Tape measure
- Edging tools
- Industrial primer
- Stir sticks
3. You Can Manage People
Handling a business means handling people; if you want to start any company, you must know how to do both. In the early stages of running your painting business, it might be best to focus on perfecting your services as a one-person operation. Once you’ve ensured that you can be profitable in that kind of setup, then you are ready to start hiring. You can also integrate crew dispatching software to make your workforce management easier, even if you handle a subcontractor or a team.
The question is, should you go for employees or subcontractors? There are benefits to both.
If you hire subcontractors, you’re not responsible for benefits, insurance, or taxes. You don’t have to keep them busy or pay them when the season is slow and costs are fixed per project. However, you must be very attentive to how you treat them and never view them as your employees. This means you can’t manage them, how they do their job, or when they work.
b. Hired Employees
If you’re going to hire employees, then you’ll have full control over how they operate. Even though you’re responsible for keeping them at work and paying them even during slow seasons, it’s easier to encourage loyalty and ensure that they work according to your standards. It’s more expensive, but painting businesses with employees generates higher profits. You’ll be able to handle more and bigger projects, too, if you have more people.
4. You are familiar with Painting Tools and Equipment
There is a wide range of tools and materials that you’re going to use as a painting contractor. With so many styles of paints and paint applicator tools to choose from, it’s important that you and your team are well-trained to be able to do the best job for each project and circumstance.
Keeping monitoring of your inventory is easy if you have construction dispatching software with a built-in inventory management feature. Have an overview of all your available paints and tools in real-time to never miss your deadline.
5. You Know Your Branding
As a painting company, you are not required to have a branding and marketing department to promote your business, but you should, at the very least, develop a brand. Branding means creating a company logo and consistency with fonts, personality, colors, tone, and quality.
Additionally, it would help if you also established an online presence to strengthen your branding further and widen your reach. You will surely win more jobs if you have a decent-looking website, updated social media pages, and good reviews online. Don’t spend all your money and time on digital marketing, but adapting these best practices helps ensure competitiveness.
6. You Have an Eye for Aesthetics and Attention to Detail
People hire professional painters to paint their homes because they want the finished product to look better than what they could do by themselves. There’s a big chance that they’ll need your finishes, color matching, and texture expertise. Even though a fine arts degree is not required to dive into the painting business, learning as much as you can about aesthetics in construction puts you in the best position to succeed.
Sharpening your attention to detail and putting 100% effort into every job helps prevent mistakes and contributes to a finished outcome that’s at par or even exceeds your client’s expectations. Even coats, sharp edges, and perfectly adhered layers are the trademark of excellent painting contractors. With construction dispatching and scheduling software, you can be sure that you will be able to complete all work and deadlines to ensure the quality of your work.
7. You Know Your Target Audience
It’s important to determine which type of customers your painting company is targeting to serve. The better your services are refined for the demographics you serve, it will be easier to select which jobs to bid on since you now know you can win them.
You might consider focusing on a specific niche as an interior or exterior painting contractor. Many painting companies are general, and some offer residential services in addition to completing commercial projects alone.
8. The Quality of Your Painting Work Speaks for Itself
The quality of work reflects your professionalism, which will translate into how customers respond to you. However, if you can demonstrate professionalism and need soft skills at all times, you can satisfy customers even after doing an exceptional job.
Presenting and carrying yourself well, being respectful, and going the extra mile to understand your customers’ needs better will give you a huge advantage over your competitors in the painting industry.
9. You Have a Construction Scheduling System in Place
As a painting business owner, no other boss can hold you to a schedule to oversee your work each day. You must always be motivated and constantly aware of your schedule to meet deadlines. Additionally, as a business owner, you need a firm understanding of the timing of your painting jobs to price them accurately.
Scheduling can be manageable with construction dispatching and scheduling software that lets you easily track your painting jobs’ timing. It also lets you schedule your work so you are always on track without missing any deadlines.
Pro Crew Schedule is the industry’s best construction dispatching and scheduling software. Dip your toes in the world of plumbing with the best software to help you manage, schedule, keep track, and see an overview of your business in one digital platform. Additionally, Pro Crew Schedule also helps you with the following:
- Mitigate risks
- Enhance team communication
- Amplify productivity
- Track crew performance for optimal efficiency
- Provide affordable solutions while gaining bigger profits