Toronto Painters & How to Find the Right Contractor.
Every summer you will see hundreds of signs advertising for residential painting companies. From “student” painters to franchises, there seems to be a lot of choice out there. But then again, is there? Unfortunately, finding the right painter for your home is not easy. If you need commercial painters it’s even more difficult.
Ecopainting does not use “Subcontractors”
When you hire Ecopainting, our own painters will show up. We hire and train our own employees and never use sub-contractors. We have been a reputable Contractor in Toronto for over 20 years. Anyone reading our reviews and testimonials will notice how evident our painter’s professionalism is. We like to think that some of the best in Toronto work for our company. Uniformed and professional, our painters deliver consistent and predictable levels of service.
Before hiring a contractor, consumers should do their homework. This is a simple business to start, and anyone with a brush and a ladder is a painter. As a result of the low entry barrier, most do not run a legitimate businesses. Most painting companies don’t even have their own employees.
Expectations from Commercial Painting Contractors
You are a Facility Manager or owner and are considering a paint job for your premises. As usual there is only so much money in the budget and it needs to be used wisely. After all, painting your building is not something your company does annually, so a lot of thought has to go into the project.
Whether the painting involves an institution, a store or any public space, the users of the facility should not be inconvenienced. The painters may spend days, even weeks working in your space. Managing this type of project is about communication, controlled expectations and the right contractors. Closing the facility for renovations is not an option, so proper sequencing the work becomes vital.
Expect the contractors to be professional. Ask in detail about their procedures and staff policies. Bring forward any concerns you might have and ask how they will address them. Ecopainting specializes in commercial painting and has specific procedures and policies.
Other Reasons to chose Ecopainting:
- Experience in servicing all types of facilities, public or private.
- Extensive list of clients.
- Able to work after business hours without compromising quality.
- Technical knowledge and product support from the manufacturer.
- Trained and uniformed staff and painters
- Insurance and Safety certifications
- Strict Environmental policies.
“I had a chance to go and see and the finished product looks great. I have been amazed at how little disruption it was with the painting going on during business hours. I think it is a testament to the quality of work of you and your staff. Thanks.”
Marion C. Toronto building owner on Broadview Avenue.
Expectations from Residential Painters.
You follow decorating trends in magazines and websites. You have some great colour ideas for different rooms in your home. It’s now time to call in the professionals! You googled “painting services”. Then you asked your friends if they know any good contractors in Toronto. All painters sound the same and make the same promises: “quality work at reasonable prices”.
Before calling anybody and requesting quotes, what should your expectations be? Are there any companies that make this experience pleasant? Right from the initial contact, Ecopainting uses the following procedures:
The Consultation Process
The moment you contact us, we set up an appointment to meet and discuss your project. The purpose of this meeting is to find out what is important to you and to assess your needs. Here we can talk about colours and paints and discuss your decorating ideas. This is the perfect time to ask all the important questions. We welcome detailed questions about the process or any concerns you might have. Don’t be afraid to ask about our painters. We are proud of of them, and love talking about them. Our painters are what makes our company. Perhaps you live in a condo, loft or townhouse. There are regulations for contractors working in condo buildings. This is a good time to discuss the contractor’s experience with condominiums.
The Estimate – Proposal.
It includes, among other things, the painting work that we discussed. The “Scope of Work” lists what gets gets painted and what does not. How many coats of paint, what type of primer and on which areas. The level of prep work and how we plan to protect customer property. This is an important part, for both the customer and the painting contractor. A lot of customer/contractor relationships can go south if the scope is not detailed. The “Colour Schedule” is part of this proposal if you chose colours at this stage. Sometimes a colour consultant will prepare a separate colour schedule. The proposal also includes important imformation about our painting company. Insurance documentation, references information, warranty information, etc. The Pricing is the cost of the whole job, or detailed pricing for separate options. Ecopainting will never change the price unless the scope of work changes. Before any such change, the customer and the contractor have to agree in writing. A good proposal adds transparency to the contracting process. Transparency is the foundation for a nightmare free experience.
The Actual Work and the Customer Experience.
You decided that Ecopainting will be your contractor, so what’s next?
Our office will schedule a tentative start date and will confirm it a few days before. A Job Manager will work with you from the start. Her or his responsibility is to carry out the scope of work as it appears in the proposal. The Job Manager will review the scope of work and final colours with you. This is where we discuss the necessary arrangements. Your schedule and times you leave/return from work. Do you want the painters to lock up for you? Are there concerns about children, family members or pets during the job? What about parking spaces, washroom use, electricity, etc. The Job Manager will secure all these details and will plan the job with you. It’s a good idea to exchange contact information for daily reporting or emergencies. You should be confident that you chose the best Toronto Painters possible.
The painters in your home will be our own employees. You will always know who is in your home. They will be trained, friendly and signed in every day. They will cover your floors and protect your furniture and belongings. At the end of the day they will clean the work areas. The paints will be eco-friendly with minimal odour, no matter what the colour is. Throughout the process, the communication channels will stay open. And finally, at the end there will be a walk-through to ensure that the scope of work is completed. This is the time to address any final concerns.
This is the exact process that delivers a Nightmare Free Experience.
“Karon and her team surpassed my expectations. The prep work meticulous and great attention was also paid to all the coats of paint. George helped with paint colours and visited our home twice before the work started. I ‘d recommend Ecopainting to anyone”
Kim and Peter M. High Park area of Toronto
Read more Ecopainting Reviews on Google+
Online Painter’s Reviews. Will they prevent the nightmares?
Earning a solid reputation takes diligence and hard work. Some business will never earn it or even deserve it. Unfortunately, fake reviews is a shortcut to a good reputation for many companies. In a 2011 Harvard Business School study, a researcher found that restaurants that increased their ranking on Yelp by one star raised their revenues by 5 to 9 percent.
Online review sites are big money, and some even get money from contractors being reviewed. The internet is practically littered with fake reviews. This New York Times story was about some New York companies that were fined a total of $350,000 for posting fake reviews.
Consumer stories like the following are too common:
- Contractors run away with the cash deposit.
- Painter promises everything and completes nothing.
- The price they quoted was only for one coat.
- Painting the ceilings would cost extra.
- There is paint on the floors, the sink, even the furniture.
- The dust is everywhere in the house.
- The cut lines are not sharp and the patching is terrible.
Do these stories depict a real picture of our industry? Not if you hired a professional painting company who cares about it’s customers. If the company is a cheaper, cash type business, these stories are almost the norm.
What about the companies that have hundreds of positive reviews? They have the qualifications, even carry all necessary insurance. Some of them are good and reputable contractors but some are cheaters. Investigating their reviews may reveal that they wrote many of them themselves. Would you trust and hire a contractor that floods the internet with fake reviews? If their ethics are questionable now, there will be problems throughout the process. Are they really insured? Are their employees really their employees? That insurance coverage may not be valid.
The Government of Canada has enacted strong legislation to protect the consumer. The Competition Bureau prohibits the distortion of authorized “tests and testimonials”. Companies cheating can face some serious fines for misleading consumers.
There is no shortcut to doing your due diligence. Ask the contractor for references and some phone numbers. Why not talk to some of their previous customers. A happy customer will share their positive experiences, of course. Asking their customers detailed questions will give you a real insight to their experience.
The “eco” in Ecopainting.
Ecopainting is a pioneer in the Toronto green painting scene. 15 years ago we changed our company name to Ecopainting Inc. Being an eco-friendly painting company at the time was a niche. The feeling was that nobody would pay money for a green contractor. Glidden Lifemaster and Benjamin Moore Ecospec were the main low VOC paints available. During that time, anything ”eco” or “green” was becoming trendy. There was just a handful of companies with green services at the time. Driven by consumers and the greener marketplace, things changed for the better since. Paints and products became safer for the consumer and better for the environment. Zero VOC is now the new standard for manufacturers. The eco-friendly bandwagon is getting crowded as more painters are marketing themselves as green. This is a positive development for our industry but what is next? Where do we go from here?
We think that contractors have a responsibility to take green to the next level. Using zero VOC paint is a good practice, but not enough. Next on the agenda should be the adoption of basic green operating procedures.
- Responsible waste disposal.
- Careful usage of water when washing paint brushes, rollers etc.
- Recycling of leftover paints and materials.
- Transportation alternatives for the painters and equipment.
- Green office and shop procedures.
Painting Services & availability in the GTA.
The GTA includes the municipalities of Toronto, Durham, Halton, Peel and York. This is a large area with a growing population of over 6 million as of 2011. Ecopainting has painters throughout the GTA and crews for almost any size project. Services available:
- Interior and exterior painting.
- New construction bidding and painting.
- Wallpaper removal and wall repairs.
- Colour consulting by certified consultants.
- Property services: maintenance, condo building and townhouse painting.
- Home Services: deck staining, kitchen cabinet painting, minor carpentry, pressure washing.
To experience Ecopainting and our professionalism, call 416 733-7767