THE MAGAZINE FOR PROFESSIONALS | FEB/MAR 2018
EXTERIOR PAINTS 6 PROS SHARE THEIR TOP PICKS
Making the most of warranties Surface protection made easier Avoiding price objections
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Feb/Mar 2018 | inPAINT
[ CUTTING IN ]
“Integrity is the essence of everything successful.” —R. Buckminster Fuller
s the articles for this issue of inPAINT came in, one theme stood out: integrity. From the importance of warranties and protecting a customer’s property in the course of a job, to tackling a historic property and choosing products that deliver on their promise, the importance of integrity revealed itself in virtually every article. And what I found compelling was how integrity wasn’t something the many pros we interviewed were talking about or hyping. It’s just how they get the job done. They’re what’s right with the industry, and I’m happy we’re able to share their approach—and success—in this issue.
I’m also pleased to share the new inPAINT Editorial Advisory Board for 2018 (see below). Representing different sectors of the industry and regions of the country, the Board will provide guidance and insight to our editorial team and ensure that our content remains relevant and valuable. Our thanks go out to them, and to you for reading and sharing your own opinions and ideas. They’re always welcome. Cheers!
Amanda Haar Amanda Haar Managing Editor, inPAINT
2018 EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD Ciro Affronti Operations Manager/Field Supervisor, Affronti Property Solutions, LLC
Cliff Hockley President, Principal Broker CCIM, CPM, Bluestone & Hockley Real Estate Services
Steve Burnett President, DYB Coach
Doug Imhoff Owner, Imhoff Fine Residential Painting
Darylene Dennon Owner, Solid Energy, Inc.
Mike Kelly VP & General Manager, Crestwood Painting Scott Lollar Director of Operations, Catchlight Painting
inPAINT | Feb/Mar 2018
Nick Slavik Owner, Nick Slavik Painting & Restoration Co. Art Snarzyk Owner, InnerView Advisors, Inc. Michael Stone President, CertaPro Painters, Ltd.
paint ED ED U C AT I O N C EN TER
Contractor training in 20-minute doses each week.
On-demand videos covering business growth, finances, management, HR, technical training, & more.
ASK-A-PEER NETWORK Connect directly with peers and experts in your industry to solve problems one-on-one.
CONTRACTOR ROUNDTABLES Meet regularly with other contractors in your industry & in the same stage of business growth.
PDCA ACCREDITATION Set your business apart with the best training, ethics, & standards in the industry.
PaintED is PDCAâ€™s Education Center which trains and connects painting contractors across the globe.
LEARN MORE PDCA.org/PaintED Not a PDCA member? Call 1-800-332-7322
This issue’s contributing experts PUBLISHER Edward McAdams
David Bowers Pro-Tect Associates, Inc.
MANAGING EDITOR Amanda Haar
Ron Chadwick Kentucky Brush Custom Painting
DESIGN Carl Bezuidenhout
Christine Da Silva The Larkin Painting Company, Inc.
CREATIVE SERVICES DIRECTOR Cindy Puskar
Lynne Firmender The Painted Lady’s Paint Service
SOCIAL MEDIA Jillian McAdams
CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Stephanie Conner Jake Poinier Meghann Finn Sepulveda Brian Sodoma
EDITORIAL amanda@inPAINTmag.com ADVERTISE 602-296-5391 ed@inPAINTmag.com SUBSCRIBE inPAINTmag.com/subscribe inPAINTmag.com
Seth Geiss Surface Shields Charles Gilley Restoration Painting, LLC Angie Hicks Angie’s List Ron Koenig Building Arts & Conservation Inc. Vanessa Manz PPG Paints Carter Merkle Oklahoma Bid Assistance Network PTAC Alan Nishiguchi Protective Products International, Inc. Brendan Owens USGBC Zach Precise Pro Finish Paint, LLC
publishing group REM Publishing Group LLC 8924 E Pinnacle Peak Rd Suite G5 #575 Scottsdale, AZ 85255
Dan Ross Ross Painting Jake Schaerer Swiss Painting Mike Shaffer Five Star Painting Yaron Shenhav SolCold
©2018 REM Publishing Group LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction or use of content in any manner without written permission by the publisher is strictly prohibited. Opinions expressed in signed columns and articles do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher. Publisher assumes no liability for any damages or loss of any kind that might arise from the use, misuse or inability to use the materials or information contained in this publication. All material and information appearing in this publication is distributed and transmitted ‘as is,’ without warranties of any kind, either express or implied, and is subject to the terms and conditions stated in this disclaimer. 6
inPAINT | Feb/Mar 2018
Matt Shoup M & E Painting Ryan Toelkes Neighborhood Painting
Feb/Mar 2018 | inPAINT
inPAINT® Feb/Mar 2018
Leave No Trace
Prep and selection tips
Pro Picks Recommended exterior paints
The inPAINT Interview
10 The News
16 Work Smart
Industry ins and outs
Is green still relevant?
12 Trends A fast look at the forces at work in our industry
13 Trend in Focus
inPAINT | Feb/Mar 2018
36 Teach to Fish Dealing with negative online reviews
38 Upcoming Events
Winning work in the aftermath of a disaster
The what, where and when of the industry’s leading events
14 Ask a Pro
39 Bottom Line
What’s your approach to avoiding potential price objections?
Photo Courtesy of PPG Paints
Pro-grade surface protection
Making the most of warranties
Cover Photo Courtesy of Sherwin-Williams; Background Photo Courtesy of Surface Shields
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[ THE NEWS ] Photo Courtesy of Friends of Nobska Light, Catherine Bumpus
Paint the Front Door (and Then Some) T Pinterest recently analyzed ‘saves’ and ‘searches’ by its 200 million users over the course of 2017, and used the data to identify the top trends in home decorating and its other main categories. Trends were identified by increased interest among users for a given subject from one year to the next, based on growth in saves and searches, and taking into account the seasonality of the subject.
The analysis found that home-decoration content is up 75% on the social network. Emerging trends include two directly related to paint and coatings: Dramatic entrances: Brightly colored doors are capturing a lot of attention and providing some bold inspiration for 2018.
SAVES FOR ‘COLORFUL DOORS’
Statement ceilings: There’s a growing interest in making the fifth wall a focal point. Searches are up for ideas related to covering ceilings in wallpaper or using a strong color for an instant update.
inPAINT | Feb/Mar 2018
SAVES FOR ‘STATEMENT CEILINGS’
EnviroVantage Takes on a Historic Landmark—and Mother Nature T The Nobska Point Light Station has stood at the entrance to Woods Hole Harbor near Cape Cod since 1876. So, when it came time to restore the iconic structure, the Friends of Nobska Light wanted to be sure the project was handled by an experienced and competent contractor. After an extensive bid process, the project was awarded to EnviroVantage of Epping, NH. An environmental specialty and demolition contractor, the 33-year old company began work in early September with the aim of completing in time for an annual caroling event on December 1, 2017. The process included wrapping the 40' tower with scaffolding and reinforced staging wrap, including a 6-mil poly layer for sandblasting. But even the reinforced wrap wasn’t enough to withstand the 71-mph winds that battered the Light Station during Tropical Storm Jose just two weeks after the project start. Once it passed, the EnviroVantage team quickly went to work replacing the wrap and beginning sandblasting. Voids, cracks and pits in the cast iron structure were handled with Belzona 9111 Cleaner/Degreaser and the company’s 1121 Super XL-Metal. The metal was refinished with Sherwin-Williams products: two coats of Corothane 1 Galvapak Zinc Primer Moisture Cure Urethane and two coats of Sher-Loxane 800—totaling 20 gallons of finish paint. The entire Light Station was washed down with Chor*rid prior to sandblasting and in-between each coat of paint that was exposed. Sherwin-Williams Pro Industrial High-Performance Epoxy and Sher-Loxane 800 were used on originally painted surfaces. And a chloride, sulphate & nitrate kit was used prior to painting and in-between paint applications to confirm a clean surface. Then, just as the crew was nearing the finish line, a nor’easter moved in and pounded the work site. EnviroVantage Project Manager Troy Purington recalls, “The sustained 40+ mph winds tore off all but a few pieces of the staging wrap. We had to pick through the site and adjacent neighbors’ lawns for shredded plastic, blue-plastic grommets and bungee cords. The final coat of paint was applied in the open, exposed to the elements. Using a 40' x 60' tarp, we covered the top and applied heat inside to warm up the body of the Light Station.” Despite the setbacks, the Light Station was ready to welcome carolers—as well as Mother Nature’s next assault— all by the December 1 deadline.
Sherwin-Williams Launches Facebook Page for Paint Pros T Sherwin-Williams recently launched a Facebook page dedicated to pro needs. The page, Sherwin-Williams Paint Pros, is designed to provide pros with resources and information to enhance their business. The page features product information, project advice, pro incentives, and information on business-building, technology, trends and more. Facebook.com/SWPaintPros
‘So Hot You’re Cool’: SolCold Developing an Active Cooling Paint T An Israeli company is developing a paint that actually cools when exposed to sunlight. Unlike other paints that reduce heat absorption, SolCold’s two-layer coating system actively cools surfaces. Company cofounder Yaron Shenhav explains, “The first layer acts as a filter for the second layer, reflecting some radiation and allowing some to pass through. The second layer performs active cooling, actually harnessing the radiation that reaches it and triggering a response that creates a loss of high energy, which leads to active cooling. The more radiation or sun there is, the more cooling that takes place.” In laboratory testing, SolCold cooled surface temperatures by 41°–53° F. Shenhav notes that they will be conducting testing on three buildings in Israel and Cyprus in 2018. The company anticipates potential future applications for SolCold to include building exteriors, rooftops, vehicles, satellites, cargo ships, and more. Early adopters may be large commercial buildings like shopping malls and stadiums. There, the coating could lower energy consumption by up to 60%, massively reducing bills and carbon emissions. SolCold.com Without SolCold +40
With SolCold +25
The All-New: InPaintMag.com T Regular readers of inPAINT magazine’s website will have noticed a new look. Along with easy access to all current and past issues’ articles, you’ll now find additional articles from our monthly e-newsletter. If you’re surprised that inPAINT has a monthly e-newsletter that includes completely different content than our print magazine, then you’ve been missing out. Subscribe, and get all that inPAINT has to offer for FREE. Stay informed: Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for even more industry-related content.
SCRATCH-PROOF PAINT IN THE WORKS T Researchers from Queen’s University Belfast have discovered a new rubbery material that could be used to create scratch-proof paint. The team, led by Dr. Elton Santos, found that by combining graphene and hexagonal boron nitride they could achieve superlubricity—the state in which all friction vanishes from a surface. The bilayered coating has the potential to create scratch-proof paint as well as flexible, and almost unbreakable, smart devices. While more testing and research is required, the research team anticipates the stretchy material could be on the market in five to 10 years. QUB.ac.uk (search ‘paint’)
Feb/Mar 2018 | inPAINT
[ TRENDS ]
Which Paint Color Is Most Popular in Your State?
ONE DISASTER, ONE MONTH, 4,100 JOBS Behr recently published an infographic depicting which color each state’s residents purchased more of, when compared to the rest of the U.S. While neutrals tend to dominate color choices, a few states are making bolder statements. We’re looking at you Texas and Oklahoma. For specific color names, Google House Beautiful Behr Map.
Go West, Young Paint Slinger According to the U.S. Houzz Renovation Barometer, paint professionals are in shorter supply in the western U.S. than in other areas of the country. Painters Northeast 20% Midwest 19% South 21% West 27% Percentages reflect proportion of general contractors, remodelers and design-build firms who reported moderate to severe shortages of specialists and general laborers. SOURCE: Houzz, October 2017
inPAINT | Feb/Mar 2018
When asked, “By how much do you expect your company’s revenue to change over the next 12 months?” here’s how 227 finish contractors responded:
Respondents 0–5% 4.8% 6–10% 21.6% 11–20% 21–30% 17.6% 31–50% 11.0% 51+% 7.9% Not sure/don’t know 4.8% Increase
According to The Associated General Contractors of America, in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, Texas added 4,100 construction jobs between the months of August and September of 2017.
SOURCE: Q3 2017 HomeAdvisor Farnsworth Index
GARAGE DOORS GOING UP Remodeling magazine’s 2018 Cost vs Value Report revealed that while the cost of garage door replacements rose 5.4% over the last year, the value also rose by 18.6%, yielding a 98.3% payback.
[ TREND IN FOCUS ]
Post-Disaster Contracting GETTING ON THE RADAR IS KEY TO WINNING WORK
n the aftermath of a disaster, the need for quality contractors is high. But for inexperienced pros, the process of landing work can be confusing, if not impossible. Key to winning the work is knowing the basic ground rules. First things first According to Carter Merkle, program manager of the Oklahoma Bid Assistance Network PTAC, “There are really two types of work after a disaster: government and private.” Merkle explains that government work is awarded by either local agencies and/or FEMA or other federal agencies. “But FEMA does not even come into an area until they are invited to do so and, for that reason, most of the decisions on cleanup and rebuilding are made by local government. The private work begins once the insurance companies arrive on the scene. Landing private work is familiar. It’s the typical consumercontractor exchange.” However, winning the often-substantial government contracts is a bit more involved, and the first step is to find your local PTAC at APTAC-us.org. A PTAC procurement counselor will help save you time and costly mistakes. And the service is publicly funded, so there is little to no cost to you. Fundamentals and follow-through The law requires FEMA to contract with businesses located in the affected area of a disaster whenever feasible and practical. However, as you might expect, contracts often go to entities the agency already has an established relationship with. But because the nature of disasters tends to be large scale, there’s still plenty of work to be had by new players. “If you don’t have an existing relationship with the assigning agencies, the first step to winning work is to get registered in the various federal, state and local databases,” says Merkle. The first place you need to register is the System for Award Management (SAM.gov), followed by the Dynamic Small Business Search (DSBS.sba.gov). Note: You register on DSBS through a link within SAM.
“You want to make sure that your information in these listings is complete and accurate, especially when it comes to capabilities,” says Merkle. “Your website is also important, as it’s not unheard of for assigners to do a simple Google search to find talent in the area. If you’re not promoting what you can do, they’re not going to know it.” Be proactive, not reactive Because relationships can be key to winning work, it pays to build them before disaster strikes. Merkle states, “Knowing the local emergency management people is key. It’s not always easy to get their attention when there’s not a disaster, but if you can get their ear and learn how they buy, where they look for contractors, and even who handles the actual contract, that’s pretty much gold. Reach out to those individuals and demonstrate your interest and capabilities.”
Because relationships can be key to winning work, it pays to build them before disaster strikes.
Plenty of opportunity for subs For small contractors looking to tap this market, Merkle suggests partnering up with what are known as ‘prime contractors.’ Those are the big guys that agencies regularly go to with work. Ask agency staff for their top 10 to 20 contractors and reach out to them directly or you can do a little digging on your own or with your PTAC counselor. “You can mine current contracts on Federal Business Opportunities (FBO.gov). You can use FPDS.gov or USASpending.gov to find past contracts and also which prime contractors have contracts that include the type of work you’re interested in doing. Reach out to them to ask what work they typically subcontract and let them know where you work and what equipment and skills you can bring. They can’t call you if they don’t know you. It’s your job to make sure they do.” Feb/Mar 2018 | inPAINT
[ ASK A PRO ]
CHARLES GILLEY is the owner of Restoration Painting, LLC in South Woodstock, VT. In his 40 years of running his paint and wallpapering business, he’s run crews as large as 10 but, more recently, has happily settled in at a crew of two, including himself. He is a long-standing member of the PDCA and has presented at the organization’s Craftsmanship Forum.
inPAINT | Feb/Mar 2018
What’s your approach to avoiding potential price objections?
For me, the best way to make customers understand why a job costs what it does is to educate them on the process necessary for me to deliver the workmanship they are hiring me for. So, I walk them through the process, step by step. I’ve been at this for 40 years and handle a lot of higher-end homes, some historic properties, and even museums. I work with a couple of decorators and builders but most of the bidding is direct to customers, some of whom I’ve had for 35 years. When I’m bidding a job, I first get a read on what they want their job to be on an aesthetic range from 1 to 10. I then talk with the customer about the four things that are non-negotiables for me to provide a satisfying paint job. The first is cleanliness. I make sure the customer understands the importance of having a clean surface or substrate and I discuss what needs to be done to achieve that in their circumstance, and why it matters. The second is dryness. I want them to understand the importance of a moisture level to getting proper penetration. Third is a sound surface. I’ll do a tape test and help them appreciate that if the existing coating is coming off, the next one probably will, too. If they want me to paint on the coating as is, that’s fine but they have to accept that there will be problems in the future and that it won’t have been created by my work. The fourth one is getting it dull. That is, sanding to get some tooth on the surface. Personally, I think this is the most important step and I want to make sure the customer appreciates why it matters. I don’t care
what manufacturers say about no-sand products. For the time it takes to sand, it’s just good insurance and I think it’s a mistake not to do it. For me, those four things are cardinal to every job. So, I go over those steps and explain this is the process I follow to make sure the paint sticks to the surface. I do it because it’s the right thing to do for the job now, and to ensure that the next guy isn’t going to have a problem with what I put on. I like to tell customers that paint is a lot like winter weight. It goes on really easy but can be a bear to get off. You do it wrong, it’s going to be a big problem down the road. In some instances, I also provide some education on products. Most recently, I was doing a job for a historic society and spent some time talking with board members about preservatives and epoxy repair, as part of the bid. It takes time to explore rot and talk about the different borate-product options. But in the end, I gain customer confidence and, in that case, the bid. In the end, my approach isn’t what everyone wants or needs—or wants to pay for. But if it doesn’t sound realistic or like what they want, that’s fine. No hard feelings. For me, there’s a lot of pleasure to be had in making projects look good and doing the work to the best of my ability. If I can help a customer understand that up front, and also understand what it takes to make it look good, then I know the project is going to be a good fit for all. My customer will value and appreciate the workmanship I provide, and the job will be profitable for me. We all win.
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[ WORK SMART ]
IS GREEN STILL RELEVANT? MAKING A DIFFERENCE—AND PROFIT— THROUGH GREEN PAINTING PRACTICES
“I think green is still relevant” says Dan Ross of Ross Painting, based in San Rafael, CA. “The reason I feel so strongly about green products is that the people affected the most by carcinogens in materials are the painters in my crew. The homeowners are exposed for a while, but we’re around it all the time. That’s why I’ve been on the green side for a long time. And I don’t want to go back to what we used to do as an industry: digging a hole, pouring oil-based waste into it and burying it. That wasn’t a good practice for the environment.
BY JAKE POINIER
e’ve had a 50-gallon drum for toxic waste in the back of the shop for a long time, but nowadays it takes much longer to fill. In theory, some of my painters might prefer old-fashioned paint, but I’m glad I’m using the drum less and I’d like to get it out of my shop completely.” Even dealing with nontoxic paints represents a logistical challenge, since specialized waste management facilities may charge contractors for dropping off unused gallons. A few years ago, California instituted a program similar to the recycling deposit many states have for aluminum cans and bottles. “When you buy a gallon of paint, there’s an extra charge for a recycling fee,” Ross says. “Once we have enough gallons to dispose of, we can call the paint store and they’ll pick it up.” The LEED factor Because the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) does not certify or validate any products other than a completed building project, paint products ultimately play a supporting role when it comes to LEED certification. “If all the customer wants is painting, the nature and scope isn’t eligible for certification under the LEED rating system, which is a holistic approach
inPAINT | Feb/Mar 2018
to design, construction, operations and maintenance of a completed project,” says Brendan Owens, senior VP at USGBC. The requirements for indoor paints and coatings reference entities such as California Department of Public Health and California Air Resources Board, which address the emissions of VOCs, formaldehyde, and all the components that make the paint and the offgas from the paint as it dries. Owens recommends speaking to manufacturers if you’re curious about the changes to LEED standards. In most years, the changes have been minor periodic addenda and clarifications to improve the rating system. October 2016, however, was different. “Previously, it was mostly about credits for lowemitting paint,” Owens says. “In the way that LEED deals with materials in the new version, there are a whole host of other places where paint can play a role, and where paint manufacturers can demonstrate how they’re stewarding environmental and social leadership.” Basically, there are now three versions of credits: one deals with life cycle assessment; one deals with the human health impact from building materials; and the third is about the raw materials for products. “It’s an innovative way to go beyond just talking about the emissions, and gives a much more complete picture,” Owens says. Shifting the green marketing pitch “One of the advantages for contractors is that they have the ability to differentiate themselves from the competition by using paints in compliance with the new LEED ratings, whether or not the project is being driven by LEED or intending to be certified by Green Business Certification Inc.,” says Owens. “If it’s an entity such as a school or
Feb/Mar 2018 | inPAINT
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inPAINT | Feb/Mar 2018
[ WORK SMART ] CONTINUED
+ AS PART OF HIS COMMITMENT TO GREEN PRACTICES, DAN ROSS' COMPANY CAR IS A SMART CAR. (DAN ROSS ON LEFT; CHRIS BROWN, OPERATIONS MANAGER, ON RIGHT)
municipal building that has mandated LEED building, you can upsell paint specifications and LEED credits as a foundation. When you get to residential and small commercial spaces, you can not only talk about reduced VOC off-gassing, but things like lower carbon footprint, more efficient resource usage, or job creation if it’s manufactured locally. Being a good citizen resonates with a lot of people.” A few years ago, Ross says, it seemed like green was all the rage on painting contractors’ websites, logos and vans. That simply doesn’t stand out as much anymore, as more environmentally sound products became the rule rather than the exception. “Everything available to us in northern California is pretty clean stuff, even compared to five years ago,” he says. “As I think about it by anecdote, fewer people ask me about it. From a sales perspective, our latest iteration is for us to listen and advise. It’s not about me telling you how green I am. But as I listen and hear concerns about health, the conversation can go to how far the customer wants us to go. A young family with kids might be hyper-aware and ask about zero-VOC paint—and if that’s what you want, that’s what we’ll do. If it’s not important, we won’t talk about it since we know we’re going to be using products that are regulated to be relatively clean.” Training is another key component. “We have the green conversation with new hires,” Ross says. “Once you get to be a bigger company, though, it’s harder to keep track that people are doing what you intend them to do, even if you’ve trained them well.” Using paint with lower VOCs is like having an insurance policy so you don’t have to worry as much about ventilation—and rags soaked with water-based paint aren’t going to burst into flames.
Going green isn’t binary “The way we talk about materials now in green building and in general isn’t binary, as far as is something green or not,” Owens says. “The question is how does it compare to the alternatives. If an oil-based primer enables you to use less topcoat, you can say yes, if you do this, it reduces the overall resources. At the same time, it comes with trade-offs, such as the off-gassing that you don’t want. The ingredient disclosures and other LEED items are about providing information that allow you to make those decisions. You need to do a bit of research to understand it.” Beyond the paints themselves, this same principle applies to application. Is it better to use several gallons of water to clean a brush— or just throw it away? Spraying may allow you to use less paint, but have you taken into account the fact that running a compressor uses gas You can up your green or electricity? game with a simple Within his overall green approach to materials, review of processes Ross answers with a pragmatic, business-oriented and practices—and an approach with his 20-person crew. “We don’t eye toward reducing use much oil-based paint anymore, but we use waste—ensuring the a product developed by a local guy that’s very health of employees Earth-friendly for restoring dried-out brushes,” and customers, and he says. “The big thing is the labor. If a brush is protecting the planet. $15 or $20, do I want a guy spending 15 or 20 Share your thought process with your minutes every day dealing with cleaning? We give entire company and them a stipend for new brushes when the costyour customers so they labor equation doesn’t work.” can appreciate your Because of the enormous amount of water approach and embrace needed for cleaning—and the fact that he can’t your practices and pour the water down the drain—Ross doesn’t green conscience. clean rollers anymore. “We try to minimize dirty water, and tend to throw away lots of things these days,” he says. “If we’re going to be rolling the same color and product for a couple of days, we just keep them in the bucket or wrap them in plastic to keep them For the newest LEED credits wet. At the end of the job, we wring the excess into the and requirements, visit bucket, and throw the rollers away.” USGBC.org/credits
DEVELOPING A GREEN CONSCIENCE
Feb/Mar 2018 | inPAINT
Staining Siding TIPS FOR PREP & PRODUCT SELECTION
Photo Courtesy of PPG Paints
By Vanessa Manz
Wood siding is one of the most beautiful types of siding—and one of the most expensive. A quality stain job is critical to creating and preserving a highquality look and helping homeowners avoid costly siding repairs. And the appearance and durability of any stain job depends not only on the quality of the stain product and application, but also on proper surface preparation.
FIRST STEP: PREP As crews ready for the upcoming spring staining season, it’s worth taking the time to review the prep process. Here are a few key points to cover to ensure outstanding stain results: Assess areas of vulnerability. A thorough visual inspection of existing stain, including its adhesion, color and water repellency, is critical to determining the amount of prep and finish work required. Some key signs that a home needs to be refinished include: • Water is no longer beading on the surface • Stain is peeling, pulling or lifting from the surface • Areas of the structure appear faded or discolored Be sure to ask the last date the siding was refinished to help you better assess any existing deterioration.
inPAINT | Feb/Mar 2018
Feb/Mar 2018 | inPAINT
Maintenance Matters For Zach Precise of Pro Finish Paint, LLC in Springfield, MO, the key to a happy stained-siding customer is staying on top of maintenance. “It’s really important to pay attention to the sheen or wear. If it gets away from you, you’re setting yourself up for a lot more time on the job doing maintenance—and your customer, for a bigger bill.” Photo Courtesy of PPG Paints
Precise, who uses two-coat PPG (formerly Sikkens) ProLuxe Cetol Log & Siding Stain, spends time at the start of each project
educating customers about the
need for maintenance, as well as
their options. “The first thing I tell them is that no stain—no matter how much it costs—is going to last forever,” he says. “Then I outline their choices: spend more money up front on a quality product and less on maintenance down the road, or spend less money up front and a LOT more on
… Spend more money up front on a quality product and less on maintenance down the road, or spend less money up front and a LOT more on maintenance later. —Zach Precise, Pro Finish Paint, LLC
maintenance later.” He adds, “Personally, I like the two-coat system. It takes a little more time up front but could last 3 — 5 years or even up to 8 years on walls without a lot of sun or weather exposure. I just go back and hit the sides that need maintenance, as needed. I’m on the customer’s property less frequently and for less time doing one wall or two as opposed to the whole house.”
Thoroughly clean the wood’s surface. Siding endures wind, debris and sunlight as well as mold, mildew and algae accumulation. Regardless of whether the surface is new, weathered, or has been previously coated, it is important to clean it thoroughly before beginning the staining process. If left unaddressed, the new coating may not penetrate or adhere. While water is a great start for removing dirt and grime from the surface, a cleaning solution removes mold and mildew stains more effectively. Generously applying a combination of four ounces of trisodium phosphate (TSP), one quart of liquid bleach, and three quarts of water using a garden sprayer is an effective way to remove mold and mildew. Let the solution sit on the wood for 15 to 20 minutes while working (in sections) to scrub the surface with a hard-bristle brush to avoid
letting the solution dry on the surface. Pressure wash the cleaning solution from the wood with the nozzle 8" to 12" from the surface, then allow the wood surface to dry for 48 hours. If rot is present on the wood surface, replace the affected boards before finishing. Sand smooth. Sanding the wood’s surface ensures the grain of the wood is open and ready to accept the stain. Use 800-grit sanding paper and sand in the direction of the wood grain until a smooth surface is created, without blemishes, to avoid highlighting imperfections.*
CHOOSING THE RIGHT PRODUCT Before choosing a product, it’s important to make sure you have a firm grasp of your customer’s expectations. Share the various product options and their benefits to ensure they understand why it will work best for their situation. Key product-selection issues to consider: • Desired aesthetics. Talk with customers about the final look they’re hoping to achieve. Review how different types of stains—solid, semi-transparent, and clear— yield different finished looks. And make sure they appreciate how the natural color of the wood will impact color choice (e.g., stains will yield a deeper color on red cedar than it will on lighter wood).
*WARNING! If you scrape, sand or remove old stains, you may release lead dust. LEAD IS TOXIC. Contact the National Lead Information Hotline at 1-800-424-LEAD, or log on to EPA.gov/lead 22
inPAINT | Feb/Mar 2018
Photo Courtesy of PPG Paints
• Protection and durability. Your initial visual
VANESSA MANZ is a senior marketing manager and leads the strategy for professional wood-care products and brands at PPG Paints. She has 20 years of experience in strategic marketing, brand management, and new-product innovation. Backed by PPG’s global expertise, PPG’s wood-care portfolio—including OLYMPIC stains and PPG ProLuxe wood finishes—has a history of expertise, innovation and technology that delivers on the needs of professionals.
inPAINT | Feb/Mar 2018
MANAGE EXPECTATIONS AND RESULTS
assessment can be extremely helpful in product selection. Look for a stain formulated to withstand the element(s) that have the greatest impact on the property. • Working weather conditions. Often times, a wet or cold weather forecast can stand in the way of a project. Consider a product that allows you to stain in various weather conditions so you can complete the project even if the weather isn’t perfect.
When customers have a clear handle on what’s possible with their project, they tend to be happier with the results. But even with the most considered product selection and prep, issues can still arise when a job is done. Checking in on a finished project will give you a jump on emerging issues, and the opportunity to offer a maintenance coat before the customer asks for it. Checking in every 18 months or so is typically safe but certain climates may warrant more frequent visits. Regardless of the time line, your customers will appreciate your commitment to their BATTLING CEDAR BLEED home and pride in your work. That small effort can go a long way to earn repeat Extractive bleeding (or tannin) is a common and unsightly issue on cedar-sided business and referrals. homes. The good news is, there are a number of effective ways to remove or hide
bleeding and prevent future issues. Here are a few to consider: • Check for water issues: Because excessive moisture is a common cause of bleeding, you want to check for, and correct, any issues that may be contributing to the problem. • Remove loose coating: Use a scraper or wire brush to remove all loose coating. • Remove stains: Use a mild oxalic acid or oxalic-based solution to remove bleeds. • Rinse well: Rinse all solutions and the wood with a pressure washer. • Dry thoroughly: Allow the siding to dry for at least 48 hours. However, if weather is not cooperating, additional dry time may be required. Do NOT cheat the dry time, as moisture can contribute to bleeding.
LEAVE NO TRACE
PRO-GRADE SURFACE PROTECTION BY BRIAN SODOMA
inPAINT | Feb/Mar 2018
hen protecting carpet or flooring in a home or commercial setting, sometimes a tarp or drop cloth just isn’t enough. For those jobs that last a little longer or that involve covering slippery or treasured terrain, surface protection can be critical for keeping customers happy and employees safe. “I think a lot of times for painting professionals, it’s about the length of time the job takes. … It’s those longer projects where they need to make sure the floors aren’t damaged,” said Alan Nishiguchi, president of Protective Products International, Inc., which sells a wide range of floor-protection products to a variety of trades, “and when you take the time to mask off the floors; it looks far more professional than throwing down a tarp.” Here’s a look at some surface-protection products that could be a good fit for your next job that may require them.
SURFACE SHIELDS' CARPET SHIELD (TOP); PRO-TECT'S POLY-CRAFT MASK (BOTTOM)
Beyond Red Rosin Paper For years, painting professionals have turned to rosin paper for floor protection. Used in building since the mid-1800s, felt is Rosin Paper’s primary ingredient and the paper was originally created as a base underlayment for flooring and siding. Its job is to reduce air and moisture flow through a floor or wall, but not to completely stop it. Rosin paper is relatively cheap. A roll a few feet wide by a couple hundred feet long usually only costs between $10 and $15 and can be found at most hardware stores. But more and more, painting professionals need higher-grade materials that are water resistant, minimize the potential for slipping, and are more durable—and there are plenty of affordable options. Protective Products’ UltraKraft is a popular Red Rosin Paper upgrade. It’s a 40-lb, kraft paper bonded to UV-stable woven polyethylene that’s waterproof and tear resistant. The product can also be easily held in place with the company’s 4" Blue Masking Tape to allow for covering an entire room’s floor wall-to-wall. Pro-Tect, another surface-protection company, also offers its Poly-Craft Mask, a 3-ply reinforced protection system that includes a fiberglass mesh sandwiched between 40-lb kraft paper and polyethylene sheeting. It’s tear and water resistant and works well on vinyl, tile and marble floors as well as concrete floors, epoxy floor finishes, and stamped concrete. “I call that one our Rosin Paper killer. It’s just so much stronger and painters like it,” adds David Bowers, Pro-Tect’s VP of operations. For some hardwood flooring situations, extra padding is needed. Protective Products’ Econo Runner is a durable option. The product is reverse-wound for easy rollout. Its non-porous top is water-resistant, making it great for paint spills, and the padding helps to prevent abrasion. And it can hold in place for up to 45 days and works well on dry and cured hardwood, stone, tile and counters. But it’s not impact resistant, Nishiguchi cautions.
Carpet protection Surface Shields is an Illinois-based supplier of floor protection products. Its lines are developed to commercial standards, but both residential and commercial painting professionals use them, says Seth Geiss, Surface Shields’ marketing director. The company’s Carpet Shield is among its most popular products for painting professionals. It offers sizing versatility for a variety of hallway sizes, ranging from 24" to 48" widths and lengths up to 500' for rolls that are easy to carry. A proprietary polyethylene blend that can stay on the ground for up to 30 days, it lifts up easily without leaving any sticky residue and it’s highly resistant to tearing.
SURFACE SHIELDS’ BUILDER BOARD AND ALL PURPOSE BLUE TAPE (ABOVE); PROTECTIVE PRODUCTS’ CARPET PROTECTION (LEFT); SURFACE SHIELDS' DUST SHIELD PRO POLES (BELOW)
Protective Products’ Carpet Protection is a 3-mil-thick polyethylene blend that can be used in rooms with carpet as well as on carpeted stairs. The product has a specific stair offering that comes in different widths as well. The material has a certain amount of stretch and give, similar to a trash bag, so that it can’t be punctured, Nishiguchi explained.
Slip prevention, breathability As most pros know, stairs—whether they have carpet or flooring on them—can become a bobsled run when simply using a tarp or drop cloth. To prevent slipping while protecting wood stairs, Pro-Tect’s water-resistant Finished Floor Guard fits the bill. “We designed that product to go down on hardwood stairs. It’s our number one product with painters,” Bowers said. “It goes edge to edge, so nothing gets underneath it. And you can leave it down for up to 90 days.” The product also breathes really well, which can be critical for hardwood floors that may have been recently coated. Feb/Mar 2018 | inPAINT
Floor and surface protection products have evolved through the years, with the goal of making them more easily and quickly installed, and easy to move—all while maintaining durability. —SETH GEISS, SURFACE SHIELDS
Surface Shields’ Builder Board is another 45-mil-thick product that also rolls out and cuts easily with a utility knife. It’s light to carry and even meets the LEED certification MR 2 (Materials and Resources) credit standards as a product that is fully recyclable and reusable.
Beyond the floor
SURFACE SHIELDS’ MULTI SHIELD (TOP); PROTECTIVE PRODUCTS’ ECONO RUNNER (BOTTOM)
inPAINT | Feb/Mar 2018
Surface Shields’ Multi Shield offering also brings water resistance and breathability for hardwood and other surfaces. “Some floors that have been restained or resurfaced may need to breath for up to 30 days,” Geiss added.
Impact resistance, LEED Some jobs may require floor protection that is impact resistant. Coated Masonite products can absorb the impact of heavy items and dropped tools while still being water resistant. Protective Products’ Flexboard is a Masonite offering that can be easily rolled out. It’s 45 mils thick and protects like a hardboard. It is also spill-proof, recyclable, nonstaining, reusable and holds together well with the company’s 4" Blue Masking Tape.
For those projects that necessitate closing off an area, such as a foyer or dining area, Surface Shields’ Dust Shield Pro extendable containment poles (available in 10,' 12' and 20' lengths) firmly hold sheets of plastic sheeting in place, floor to ceiling. Pros on LEED projects also use the product to close off areas to meet strict air-quality standards. And if access into the enclosed space is needed, Surface Shields’ self-adhesive Zip n Close Zippers allow you to create a quick and easy ‘door.’ The company also is sought for its Entry Shield product, available in either plastic or paper for shielding doorjambs. It’s popular because it clasps onto a door frame then can be easily be removed and moved to other areas of the job. Floor- and surface-protection products have evolved through the years, Geiss explained, with the goal of making them more easily and quickly installed, and easy to move—all while maintaining durability. “There’s a lot of detail to this; getting the perfect thickness, the right type of fiber so the product, when it’s walked on for several weeks, doesn’t fall apart or crumble. … In the end, we want to save the professionals time and money,” he said. n
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6 PROS RECOMMEND EXTERIOR PAINTS
And homeowners don’t want to have to repaint every few years, so a durable paint is a must. As a painter, you’re on the lookout for products that resist cracking, flaking and fading, and are easy to work with—all within your and your customer’s price point. We asked six pros for their opinions on the best exterior paints. Here’s what they recommend:
Neighborhood Painting KCNeighborhoodPainting.com
Five Star Painting FiveStarPainting.com
inPAINT | Feb/Mar 2018
The Painted Lady’s Paint Service (203) 732-0479
Kentucky Brush Custom Painting (270) 202-9434
CHRISTINE DA SILVA
Swiss Painting SwissPainting.com
The Larkin Painting Company, Inc. LarkinPainting.com
Photo Courtesy of Behr
Exterior paint jobs need to be able to stand up to the elements—from bright sun to high humidity to freezing rain.
POWERFUL | VERSATILE | RELIABLE
RYAN TOELKES: Neighborhood Painting is located in
Kansas City, KS, a major market for residential repaints. With 16 years in the industry and 27 employees, owner Ryan Toelkes uses a two-team approach to exterior work. Some teams specialize in substrate repairs and prep work, while separate crews focus on painting. In-between the two stages, his customer and his team have an opportunity to visually inspect the prep work. The company focuses on residential projects with a mix of commercial jobs, specializing in exterior work. Working with mostly wooden homes and a full gamut of weather conditions, Toelkes and his painters exclusively use PPG Paints Manor Hall Exterior 100% Acrylic Latex. It’s a durable paint, he says, with good color retention. And its ManorShield urethane technology makes it a tough coating that helps protect the paint from cracking and flaking. “And we always prime anyway, but it is a self-priming paint,” he adds.
THE BRAND YOUR CONTRACTORS WILL ASK FOR BY NAME
“ I preach premium for exteriors. They’re more refined; the bases are better. They’re 100% acrylic. The lower-grade stuff won’t last as long as the premiums.” — RON CHADWICK, KENTUCKY BRUSH CUSTOM PAINTING
2 MIKE SHAFFER:
Mike Shaffer is the c o-owner of two Five Star Painting franchises—one in California and one in Colorado—where his projects are about 85%–90% residential and a mix of interior and exterior work. He spends most of his time in California, noting that brand preferences are often regional. “In California, we use a lot of Benjamin Moore,” he says. He likes the company’s ben Exterior Paint line. “It works phenomenally,” he says. He also recommends Behr MARQUEE Exterior Paint. “It’s the best bang for your buck and very durable,” he adds. “It’s an expensive product, but it is well worth it.” Out of his Colorado office, his crews use SherwinWilliams SuperPaint Exterior Acrylic Latex and the brand’s Duration Exterior Acrylic Latex. For Shaffer, it’s important to advise homeowners to go with a premium paint for longevitybecause longer durations between painting equal lower costs for the homeowner over time.
4000-PSI Cold Water Pressure Washer
with Globally Sourced Components 34-3553
Mi-T-M manufactures: Cold & Hot Water Pressure Washers • Air Compressors Decal Part No. : 34-3553 (revised material/adhesive 2-15-17) 02-10-17 Portable Generators • Date: Air Compressor/Generator Combinations Customer: Mi-T-M Units: All Mi-T-M labeled products•manufactured the US Air Compressor/Generator/Welder Combinations Wet/Dry inVacuums Designer: Teresa Gottschalk 563.556.7484 x.231 Artwork at 100%: Pumps Yes • Water • Water Treatment Systems Jobsite Boxes • Portable Heaters Decal size: 2.0625” wide x 1” high Over laminate: .001 clear laminate Material/Adhesive: 3.5 mil white vinyl flexible white perm L344 1 mil 50# liner Must adhere to polyester and epoxy powder coatings, epoxy paint, polypropylene, polyethylene and stainless steel Print on a roll Colors:
Feb/Mar 2018 | inPAINT
3 LYNNE FIRMENDER:
In business as The Painted Lady’s Paint Service since 1996, Lynne Firmender has mastered both interior and exterior work. Based in Connecticut, she focuses most of her time and attention on custom interiors and color work (faux painting, marbelizing, etc.), but still tackles residential exterior projects as well. And for those jobs, she’s a Benjamin Moore fan. She typically opts for a stain for siding, porch railings and decks. But trim, she says, calls for paint and, for that, her go-to is the Benjamin Moore Regal Select Exterior Paint (MoorGlo soft gloss finish). The MoorGlo is designed to be mildewresistant, which is great for various climates, and the shiny, durable finish stands up to fading and cracking.
4 RON CHADWICK:
inPAINT | Feb/Mar 2018
Photo Courtesy of Sherwin-Williams
After nearly 30 years in the painting industry, Ron Chadwick, owner of Kentucky Brush Custom Painting in Bowling Green, KY, has extensive experience in residential interior and exterior work with various commercial and industrial projects under his belt too. And, he says, he’s used every paint out there. His go-to exterior paints these days are PPG Porter Paints: Acri-Shield Exterior Acrylic Paint and Permanizer Exterior Acrylic Paint. These products’ durability, he says, is critical. And because of his location, he benefits from the cost and convenience of PPG Porter in his area. Most paint manufacturers offer similar quality at their premium grades in terms of durability, workability and viscosity, he says. “What often dictates what we use is typically convenience and pricing,” he notes. Regardless of the brand, Chadwick always advocates for premium products for exteriors. “I don’t care if the homeowner is a SherwinWilliams person or a Benjamin Moore person. I preach premium for exteriors. They’re more refined; the bases are better. They’re 100% acrylic. The lower-grade stuff won’t last as long as the premiums.”
5 JAKE SCHAERER:
Located in sunny, temperate San Diego, Swiss Painting has been beautifying residential interiors and exteriors since 1979. Owner Jake Schaerer, also the inventor of the Door Rack Painter, says he turns to Benjamin Moore products for his exterior projects. Benjamin Moore Regal Select Exterior Paint is his pick for most of his customers’ needs. Available in three finishes, Regal boasts a mildew-resistant coating that’s durable and protects the substrate. “Regal goes on well, and it seems to hold up better than other paints,” Schaerer says. “I do a lot of highend jobs, and the Regal is great.” For some projects, he might also bring in Benjamin Moore Aura Exterior Paint. “It’s great for certain trim or front doors with a lot of sun exposure,” he says. “It has a better UV rating.”
Photo Courtesy of Benjamin Moore
6 CHRISTINE DA SILVA:
In business for more than 20 years, The Larkin Painting Company, Inc., handles a range of interior and exterior residential work in the Boston area. Their go-to exterior paint is Benjamin Moore Regal Select Exterior Paint. “With our solid routine of prep work, it has great longevity,” says Christine Da Silva, Larkin’s administrative operations manager. “Our team enjoys using it for the good coverage and workability. The dry time also makes it easy to work with. Our clients love to see that we are using a quality product that they trust.” Larkin painters also like Benjamin Moore Aura Exterior Paint. “We will use Aura mostly for the darker colors because it has really excellent coverage,” Da Silva says. “Front doors are also a great time to use it. It brushes out really beautifully and, since front doors are typically fairly colorful, the coverage is super important without layering on thick coats of paint.” -
Feb/Mar 2018 | inPAINT
THE inPAINT INTERVIEW ARCHITECTURAL CONSERVATOR
Renew, Restore, Revitalize: Historic Preservation & Conservation HOW SKILLED CRAFTSMEN ANALYZE MATERIALS TO MAINTAIN RICH ARCHITECTURAL TRADITION AND DESIGN Thirty years ago, Ron Koenig was inspired to pursue a career in architectural restoration and conservation following a project he worked on at the Michigan State Capitol. It was there he learned how to stencil, glaze, and perform other decorative painting techniques to preserve the historic building, which was constructed in 1877. Today, Koenig is a highly skilled architectural conservator and owner of Building Arts & Conservation Inc. The Michigan-based consulting firm and contracting company maintains an impressive restoration portfolio that includes courthouses, museums, libraries and churches, along with other notable buildings. BY MEGHANN FINN SEPULVEDA
inPAINT | Feb/Mar 2018
What is the nature of your work?
We specialize in the conservation of historic architectural materials and help our clients preserve buildings and structures. We investigate, analyze and assess materials and provide planning support, project management, and hands-on restoration and conservation, while following the guidelines set by the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC).
Not only do we remove paint, but we document the original type of paint and determine how it was applied. The most popular type of paint used in the United States prior to 1930 was calcimine paint, which was often applied to ceilings and other high areas. Milk-based paints, which were very durable, were also prevalent hundreds of years ago. When we work on a historic project, we carefully examine the paint under a microscope to successfully replicate and achieve the structureâ€™s architectural features. Our restoration services also extend to other materials such as plaster, wood, metallic leaf, glazes, stencils, metals, glass and masonry.
Do contract requirements for historic properties differ from commercial and/or residential work?
Yes. Contracts and specifications for historic properties can differ from standard commercial/residential work and will often contain preservation-specific language that helps protect the building from damage as a result of unqualified contractors. In general, we find that building owners, architects, and general contractors use information provided
in the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation, and sometimes the code of ethics from the AIC to ensure that the preservation goals of the project are clear and accountable. We believe that the best contracts will have input from specially trained preservation professionals before a bid is submitted.
Do you exclusively hire paint contractors who are technically skilled in historic preservation and, if so, why?
We look for paint contractors who have experience working on historic structures with historic materials because they often have greater sensitivity to our goal of preserving as much original material as possible and making sure the treatments are in line with the original intent. And we seek technically skilled paint contractors who are willing to learn more about how to apply their knowledge and provide on-the-job training so the project can be successful. We like to build relationships with painters and other trades so when a project becomes available we can identify the right contractor(s) to bring on board.
Koenig advises contractors interested in entering this field to join a professional organization such as the AIC, and become specialized in one area of historic preservation such as buildings, objects, barns or glass.
What are some of the challenges and unique requirements of projects in this niche market?
As you can imagine, there are many obstacles we face when we try to restore or replicate a look using modern materials. We first establish a target date, which means that we don’t necessarily restore the structure to the date it was built, but to an important point in history. This past year, we worked on the Intramural Sports Building at the University of Michigan, which was originally built in 1928. We were tasked with recreating a cement ceiling that had the appearance of wood. We had to paint, glaze and texturize drywall to achieve an aged look. Another time, a project involved replicating the look of stone at an old church. We were able to gather paint chips to analyze the coating, however, the paint that was often used many years ago is no longer practical or safe. After we prepped and applied new paint to the surface, Sherwin-Williams was able to formulate a special glaze in their factory to match the oil paint. Then we sprayapplied sand that we gathered from the local area and scored the surface to imitate the original stone look. We are also reviewing a project on a Coca-Cola sign from 1906 that is situated over a flowing river. The challenge is accessing the sign and determining how to paint on a brick wall while holding our brushes steady. It is also very important that the job is financially viable because we will be working with a small town on a tight budget.
Fortunately, we have developed really great relationships with local artists, carpenters, painters, plasterers and riggers who we can subcontract on these types of unique projects.
What is the key to successful surface preparation?
It’s important to first stabilize old painted surfaces before cleaning and applying a new preservative surface paint, and this brings up an interesting point about applying different kinds of paint over one another. Historic surfaces were often ‘glazed,’ which consists of applying a thin, tinted, translucent paint over another opaque paint color. This allowed the lower color to come through, creating a very rich and interesting surface with a lot of depth. To recreate this effect, we generally use high-quality modern latex paint as the base. When this is dry in two to three hours, we are able to immediately apply an oil glaze directly over it. Though the base sets fast, the oil glaze dries more slowly, allowing us time to create the look we want. Being able to apply these finishes so close together saves time and money, but also brings old processes and new processes together very well. -
RON KOENIG began his conservation career in 1988 as an artisan working with John Canning & Company and, later, under painting conservator Darla Olson. He subsequently achieved a master’s degree in architectural conservation from the University of Pennsylvania and has since worked on the restoration and conservation of several notable buildings, including the Wisconsin State Capitol, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Avery Coonley House, the Midland County Courthouse, Meadow Brook Hall, and the Detroit Athletic Club. BLDGConservation.com
Feb/Mar 2018 | inPAINT
inPAINT ® presents an industry-specific question and invites an expert to share their insight.
My painting company has a good reputation, but I just received a negative online review. What should I do?
By Angie Hicks, Angie’s List Cofounder Angie’s List has helped millions of consumers shopping for contracting services since its founding in 1995. It has also influenced thousands of contractors to understand the power of online reviews and to use them to boost business. Here, Angie’s List cofounder Angie Hicks takes the time to answer one common question she hears from painting pros.
Sometimes it’s best to start with what NOT to do. First and foremost, do not ignore the review—and do not get defensive. Defensiveness can lead to an online battle that can be extremely detrimental to your business. Instead, acknowledge the issue. Contact the customer, if possible, and attempt to resolve the matter. Chances are, if you can resolve the problem, the customer may remove the review or at least state that you were responsive to their concerns.
After addressing the review, it’s a good time to do a little online review housekeeping. Ask yourself, when was the last time you received a review? It’s critical to have current ones. According to a 2016 BrightLocal Local Consumer Review Survey, 73% of respondents said they considered reviews older than three months not relevant. If your reviews are old, remember to ask for new ones from current customers. The BrightLocal Survey also found that seven out of 10 people will leave a review, if asked. It’s important for painting professionals to view those moments after the job is done, when a customer voices their satisfaction, as a perfect opportunity to ask for a review. Now, let’s look at how to keep bad reviews from coming back to bite you again. Here are four tips from Angie’s List’s team of experts to help minimize your chances for another bad review. Regardless of whether a customer leaves a review or not, follow up after the job is done. A week can pass and an issue may arise for someone who seemed like a happy customer when you finished the job.
inPAINT | Feb/Mar 2018
That person may not think to reach out to you and may simply form a negative opinion of your company over a matter that could easily be corrected. Yes, a crew member may need to do some touch-up work, but the extra time and consideration is well worth it, as you’ve now taken steps to building a relationship, which is far more important than a single profitable business transaction. Act on feedback quickly, especially if you hear similar complaints from different customers. Is a crew member handling certain customer service situations incorrectly? Do you have billing glitches? Are customers asking for certain services you don’t have in place at the moment? This feedback can make your company better. Use social media to build your brand. Those who follow you are usually happy customers and they become your company evangelists. This type of public relations help can go a long way if you are dealing with someone whose negative review may be unwarranted. Let customers know up front how best to reach you. Is it a call? A text? Cell phone? Office phone? How quickly should the customer expect a response? If you initiate the conversation and offer the best means to reach you before the job starts, in the customer’s eyes, you look like someone who is committed to making sure they’re happy.
Visit Angie’s List to learn more about how reviews can improve your business. To read other articles on how to better run your painting business, visit inPAINTmag.com NOTE: All percentages and statistics in this article, even those not specifically attributed to, come from the 2016 BrightLocal Local Consumer Review Survey.
The magazine created for professionals just like YOU inPAINT magazine delivers engaging and informative articles on the latest industry news and current trends. This is the kind of information that can set you apart from your competitors, and make your job easier and more profitable. Stay informed by subscribing now.
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[ UPCOMING EVENTS ] ADVERTISER INDEX 3M 3m.com Page 11 CHEMIQUE Chemique.com Page 15 CORONA CoronaBrushes.com Page 23 DUNN-EDWARDS DunnEdwards.com Page 2 DYCO DycoPaints.com Page 18 EXAKTIME ExakTime.com Page 9 HABITAT FOR HUMANITY Habitat.org Page 17 MILEBUG MileBug.com Page 25
What, Where & When
FE B R UARY 1
21–23: PDCA 2018 EXPO, Galveston Island, TX pdca.org
26–28: 99th Annual Association of General Contractors Convention, New Orleans, LA convention.agc.org
M AY 6
8–10: National Hardware Show, Las Vegas, NV nationalhardwareshow.com
8–12: 2018 Society of Decorative Painters’ International Conference & Expo, Daytona Beach, FL decorativepainters.org
M AR CH 3
24–28: Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry’s Annual Convention, Orlando, FL awci.org
AP R IL
9–12: American Coatings Show & Conference 2018, Indianapolis, IN american-coatings-show.com
13–16: Apartmentalize, San Diego, CA naahq.org/apt-inpaint
12: Builders & Remodelers Show, Minneapolis, MN batcbrs.org
23–26: BOMA 2018 International Conference & Expo, San Antonio, TX bomaconvention.org
MI-T-M MiTM.com Page 31 PDCA PDCA.org Page 5 SHERWIN-WILLIAMS Sherwin-Williams.com Back Cover TITAN TitanTool.com Page 3 TOWER SEALANTS TowerSealants.com Page 21 WOOSTER WoosterBrush.com Page 7 ZIPWALL ZipWall.com Page 29 38
inPAINT | Feb/Mar 2018
June 13–16, 2018 San Diego, CA
The rental housing industry’s premier event, the National Apartment Association’s Education Conference & Exposition has been renamed as ‘Apartmentalize.’ Considered the best professional-development training in the industry, Apartmentalize offers insight and information on everything from trends and best practices to marketing and operations. The four-day event features 70+ breakout sessions designed to appeal to a variety of learning styles: General Sessions, Game Changers, Living Room Learning, Learning Zones in the Exposition, Deep Dives and Speed Rounds. Plus, plenty of time is set aside for networking with like-minded professionals.
To register, visit naahq.org/apt-inpaint
[ BOTTOM LINE ]
Making the Most of Warranties More than a promise, a business-generator
Why offer a warranty? First, it is just good business. Would you spend your hard-earned money with a company that does not stand behind their product/service? Consumers want to feel confident that the money they spend is returning value to them. A warranty offers just that. It creates security in the minds of your customers, as well as reduces friction during the selling/buying process. Beyond being assured they are receiving value for their hard-earned money up front, consumers also want to continue to see that value over time. Offering and upholding a warranty will create that surety. Second, any successful and long-lasting business always puts their customers first. Offering a warranty is a tremendous and low-cost way to continue to market to, build a relationship with, and receive business from your customers. It takes 10 times more time, energy and money to acquire a customer than it does to keep them coming back by staying in front of them. Once all that hard work is done, a properly constructed warranty will allow you to serve your customers while generating you more business.
wa rr po an we ty r ION ACT
Offering a warranty is a tremendous and low-cost way to continue to market to, build a relationship with, and receive business from your customers.
CUSTOMER SATIS F
hink back to a product you recently purchased that was either defective, broken, did not live up to its standards, or you were just plain unhappy with it. When brought to the attention of the company, how did they respond? Did they respond? Did they respond but make you jump through hoops? What has been your personal experience with being on the consumer side of a warranty issue? My guess is that either the presence of a warranty or the lack thereof had a great deal to do with how the matter was handled and how you feel about that company today. Unfortunately, most paint contracting companies, and many companies in general, get it all wrong when it comes to warranties. Let’s take a look at why you should offer a warranty, why it’s important to your customers, and how to use it to promote more business.
TIO N MATT SHOUP founded
Implement for success Below are a few practical tips on what to consider when you implement your warranty—to serve both you and your customers.
Be proactive. Don’t wait until a customer calls
with peeling paint; stop by on an annual basis for a paint checkup and evaluation. Make sure you catch an opportunity to serve them before they find a reason to contact you. This shows them you really care.
M & E Painting in Loveland, CO in 2005 with the last $100 he had to his name. Over the past 13 years, M & E Painting has generated close to $30 million in revenue. Matt speaks to, and authors books for, small business owners. He shares his stories from years of marketing and leadership experience in business. MandEPainting.com
Respond quickly. If a customer calls with a warranty issue, handle it quickly. Many companies are too eager to put warranty work on the back burner because it takes away from current income-producing jobs. Remember, it doesn’t matter when that customer has produced income for you. Just get the work done, serve them with excellence, and they will continue producing income for your company over time.
Stand behind your work. Even if the issue is not ‘covered under warranty,’ it is usually more cost-effective to just fix the issue than to argue with, or explain to, the customer why it is not covered. Just stand behind your work, fix the issue, and make it right. I will conclude by saying this: Use every opportunity in business to build more of a relationship with your customer. Serve them, put their needs first, do what you say when you say it, and always own up to any mistake or item needing correcting. This will ensure you a long-lasting, successful business. Feb/Mar 2018 | inPAINT
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