THE CHEAPEST IS NOT ALWAYS THE BEST
When it comes to painting and decorating of any project for any sector, I would always look to provide impartial, honest and practical advice. It appears that we have become consumed with a disposable society of cutting corners and sometimes looking for the cheapest. I remember growing up and trying to make things last and being taught right and wrong. I have continued with these values with my work and my business.
When it comes to projects, deciding on your contractor should not be solely based upon price. There are many other defining factors to consider, such as company history, knowledge, experience, testimonials and case studies.
We carry out many quotations, all-varying in size and description for both domestic, office, retail, schools, nursing homes, heritage buildings to name but a few. The underlining principles in all of our quotes are doing the project right and knowing what is wrong. Some projects we win, while some we lose. As a general rule, the majority of quotations are often decided on the overall costs. That said, we also have won many projects even though we weren’t the lowest or cheapest. There was a reason for this, which hopefully I will discuss below.
When you receive a quotation, I feel that there are a number of issues that must first be considered before entering into an agreement with a painting contractor to do the works. After all, you want to get it right first time and not have to worry about it for years to come. Having to call back contractors once they have left your property is very difficult, especially for those contractors who take on large volumes of contracts.
CAPACITY AND CAPABILITY
Although you may have received a low quotation, it does not mean that they are the correct contractor or partner for your decorating or refurbishment project. They may not have the number of skilled, experienced or qualified craftsmen to carry out the works by your specified deadline. Many painting contractors work for builders and cannot control their workload. Hence, in busy times like school holidays, it is essential to ensure that they have enough directly employed decorators to complete the works to the standards you require. We do not have this problem, but if we can’t do something, we will tell you. We believe in being straightforward and honest, even if it is not what you want to hear. This is one of the reasons why we have been trading locally since the 1980s. Our business is built on the firm foundation of traditional ethical values, and we know what is right and wrong. We have families and dependants who look up to us.
EXPERIENCE, SKILLS AND KNOWLEDGE
When deciding on a contractor, ask yourself whether you can work with them. Do they have the experience, knowledge or expertise to carry out all the works required for your refurbishment project? A decorator of 30 years may have a wealth and depth of expertise against a new business or someone that is an economic nomad. Always make sure you ask for references so that you can employ someone competent for the role.
Also, make sure they have the skills and knowledge for the works. There isn’t much that Roy and the team haven’t done in their varied decorating life.
All contractors, whether they employ one person or forty, should hold the appropriate levels of public liability insurances. It is crucial to make sure you ask for a copy. They need to makes sure that they are fully compliant with health and safety guidelines.
LEVEL PLAYING FIELD
If the lowest quote is considerably lower than all the others, there is often a reason why and you as the customer are entitled to ask questions. There are a few contractors out there that deliberately miss something off and will charge you in retrospect. It may though be that they have genuinely missed something. Make sure everyone has priced for the same works using the same specifications. We have no issue with a potential customer calling us or arranging a meeting before any project commencing as its better to iron out problems before raher than disagreeing afterwards.
As always be vigilant and ask questions. These are my views based upon my many years of experience in this sector.
If you have a question or would like advice, please call me direct on 01277 414388 or 07801 015100 or email us directly on: [email protected]