I was in a paint store in the east end of Toronto and I overheard a conversation between the associate and a homeowner. The basic gist of the conversation was this “I had a quote from so and so
painter and he’s supplying X brand paint. I think the reason that he’s using X brand paint is that he’s getting a big kickback from them.”
The homeowner seemed to be implying that his painter was using inferior paint, and getting a big kickback from the manufacturer for doing so. His solution was to supply the paint himself, and just have the painter price out his labour.
Is supplying your own paint the best approach? Are painters getting kickbacks from the paint store? Well let’s find out….
It’s true, painting contractors get volume discounts on paint
Just like any other business, if you buy a lot of product you get a volume discount. A typical homeowner might buy a few hundred dollars of paint every few years. A painting contractor typically buys thousands of dollars worth of paint each year. This amount of business is very valuable to a paint store, so volume discounts are offered typically between 15-30% depending on the product.
What should a painting contractor do with those “kickbacks”?
Some painting contractors mark up the paint, so that the end client is paying more for the paint than if they supplied it themselves. This is quite common, and in the free market system, a business should be able to quote whatever price they deem fair.
At CAM Painters we pass on some of the discount to our clients and keep some of it. Why don’t we pass on the entire discount? Our clients don’t have to go to the paint store to pick up their own paint, using their own gas and time. They don’t have to research all the products to select which one is the best for their particular application.
Keep in mind that this time and effort on the part of the homeowner is on top of paying full retail for their paint.
Because it’s our time going to the paint store, it’s our gas that we use to pick up the paint, and it’s our time spent researching products, we feel that keeping a portion of the discount compensates us for this.
So why don’t we let customers supply the paint? Are we simply doing that to get a discount or kickback? Actually, when we supply the paint we can offer the best customer experience, let me explain…
We use the best quality paint so we can offer an excellent warrantee
Even if a homeowner was to supplies us with top-line paint from a reputable manufacturer that we’d typically use there can still be potential issues. We can’t be sure how long it’s been sitting around, or if it was stored at below freezing temperatures, or anything else that could affect its integrity.
When we supply the paint, we can confidently stand behind our warranties, which is 3 full years for exterior work and 5 full years for interior work. This also includes 1 hour of free touch ups each year, to keep your home looking its best!
It makes sense for us to supply the most durable product so that it will hold up for the duration of our warrantee.
It allows the work to flow efficiently
When we supply the paint, we can accurately calculate out how much paint we need. This saves a homeowner purchasing extra gallons which aren’t used.
On the reverse side, if we don’t have enough, we can go out and get more, and the price to our client doesn’t change. Consider this, if a homeowner purchases the paint and doesn’t purchase enough they have to go out and get more. What if the painter runs out of paint in the middle of the day, either the homeowner has to leave work to go get more paint, or the painter has to wait until the following day to get more paint. How inefficient is that?!?!
We know what products work
Painting is what we do. We know which products work better than others because we are the end users. We also have strong relationships with paint stores, so we can get the best advice. So our clients get their homes transformed with products that have been selected collaboratively by both the applier and the manufacturer, which is the best of both worlds.
In order for us to provide the best painting experience for our wonderful clients, it’s essential that we supply the paint for our painting projects. So if you’d like us to Transform Your Home With Lasting Beauty why don’t you book a quote?
So you’ve heard a lot about wallpaper these days. Why should you consider it fo your Toronto home?
There are many advantages to choosing wallpaper for some walls in your home, especially if you have the work done by a good installer.
What about the drawbacks?
“I’ve heard that wallpaper is difficult to remove, so although I’d like to wallpaper, I’m just not sure…”
This is a common concern that I hear about wallpaper. I fact, I’ve had my fair share of wallpaper removals that have been extremely time consuming. Why is this? In all likelihood the walls were not properly primed. The walls need to be primed either with an oil primer or a specific wallpaper primer in order for the walls to be protected when the wallpaper is eventually stripped. If the incorrect primer is used chunks of paint and plaster will come off when the wallpaper is removed, resulting in a lot of patchwork to make the walls smooth again.
Therefore, when selecting a wallpaper installer it is critical to make sure that they will prime the walls with the appropriate primer. If this step is done, when it comes time to remove the wallpaper and redo the walls, damage will be very minimal.
What are the advantages of choosing wallpaper over paint?
There are far more design possibilities with wallpaper than with paint. If you can think of a design that you want on your walls, chances are that you can find a wallpaper that will fit the bill. Even if you can’t find a wallpaper that you like, there are places that will print a custom mural, making the design possibilities limitless.
There are painters that can do striped walls, stencilled walls and other decorative techniques. However, for intricate patterns it’s hard to beat wallpaper. The patterns can be extremely intricate, far more so than a decorative painter can achieve.
This is where wallpaper really shines. Different levels of gloss in the design, different textures, rich velvets, woven materials such as grasscloth and silk, beads and glitter. It’s amazing what can be done! Pictures don’t tell the story here, textures really shine at different angles and in different lights.
If you’re new to wallpaper it’s okay to start small…
How about doing an accent wall in a bedroom, maybe a powder room? These are areas where you can have a touch of pattern, with wallpaper a little goes a long way!
So, if you’d like to liven up your walls with some wallpaper, why don’t you book a quote? We’d love to Transform Your Home With Lasting Beauty!
You’re in love with wallpaper, however, many older Toronto homes are plagued with uneven walls. Many renovations and DIY projects have left corners less than square. Plaster walls can look a little lumpy and humpy in parts. What’s a homeowner to do? Can wallpaper still be installed?
Yes it can! Here are some guidelines that will make it look it’s best….
Here’s how to see if your corners are square
An example of a geometric pattern
Get a straight edge, the longer the better. If you hold it in the corner, you’ll be able to tell if the wall curves in or curves out.
Next, get a level and place it in the corner. This will show you if your corners are level.
If the corners are both straight and level, congratulations! Any wallpaper that you choose should look great once installed.
If your corners are not square or level:
Try an accent wall
The problem with uneven corners is that in order for the wallpaper to be level both going into the corner and then level going out of the corner, the paper can’t match all the way from top to bottom. However, if you’re just wallpapering an accent wall you eliminate this problem.
Be aware of the pattern that you’re choosing
Geometrical patterns can be problematic when dealing with uneven corners. Uneven corners are highlighted because it’s very obvious that the pattern doesn’t match.
Paper with a lot of background space
Abstract papers can work well, because the match isn’t as obvious.
Papers with lots of background space can work well, as well.
Always use a top-notch wallpaper installer
With experience comes tricks of the trade. An experienced wallpaper installer knows how to make your wallpaper look it’s best. They can arrange the pattern so that the effect of uneven corners are minimized.
So if you’d like a quote for your wallpaper installation, why don’t you book a quote? We’d love to Transform Your Home With Lasting Beauty!
On first glance when I tell customers that I average around $50 per painter per hour on my quotes, people are sometimes taken by shock. One prospective customer even told me that it’s like paying someone $100000 per year for painting (based on 2000 hrs working per year)! Unfortunately no, this simply isn’t the case, so allow me to explain why we have a $50/hr charge rate (as of this writing in March 2018) for our services.
The painters that work in your home are skilled craftspeople
Our painters are skilled craftspeople with an eye for detail that the average person simply does not possess. Some people think of painting as a low skill minimum wage type job, but if you pay low skill labour, you get low skill results.
Currently (as of March 2018), our average wage rate is in the low to mid $20s per hour.
However, we have employees, so we have additional costs that are incurred. We pay WSIB on our employees, we pay EI, CPP and other source deductions. We also offer health benefits to keep our team happy and healthy!
Why do we do this? We could just use all subcontractors, like many other painting businesses. Well, it adds value for you, the end client. Employees are covered under our WSIB and Liability Insurance policies, whereas subcontractors are not. This gives you peace of mind, that if (heaven forbid) any injuries or accidents occur while on your property you are not liable.
So, when all is said and done, our average wage rate plus our labour burden puts our cost per hour at an average of $28.
We don’t skimp on the extra job-related costs
With any paint job there are little extra job costs. A roll of plastic to cover furniture. A roll of paper to cover floors. Caulking and patch to fill holes and gaps. Drywall tape to ensure that cracks are repaired correctly and don’t return. Roller sleeves and brushes. These are all little in and of themselves, but they add up to 5% of the overall cost of the job
We invest in our business to make it a great experience for our clients
Any business has overhead expenses. Just because we don’t have a retail space, doesn’t mean that we don’t have overhead.
We have ladders! We have step ladders, extension ladders, ladders that will fit into stairwells, extension ladders that will fit into elevators for condo work, ladders for uneven ground.
We want to make sure that we can access all parts of your home in the safest and most efficient manner. We easily have thousands of dollar invested into many different ladders, so that we can transform your home.
We have proper tools. Painting tools aren’t just a brush, roller and roller tray. We have dropsheets, drywall repair tools like mud pans, drywall knives.
We have dust extractors so that when we sand dust doesn’t get through your home. We have air cleaners that filter the air in a 400 square foot room every 10 min. One dust extraction system that we use is worth over $3000.
We have vehicles to transport equipment to your home. For us, the average cost of running a vehicle is in the range of $8000 – $10 000 per year
We have a storage unit to put our equipment in when it’s not in use. This costs us another $2400 per year.
When we total up our numbers for the year, our overhead generally runs 20% of sales when all is said and done.
So how do the numbers shake down?
$50 per hour charge rate
Minus $28 per hour average labour cost (wages plus associated costs)
Minus 5% for assorted sundries, which equals $2.50 per hour
Minus 20% for overhead, which equals $10 per hour
So when you do the math we net out an average of $9.50 per hour profit, which gives us a profit margin of 19%. So, if we do $300 000 in sales in a year our net profit is just under $60 000.
Why should you as a client be concerned if we’re profitable? Profit keeps us running our business and doing excellent work for our wonderful clients. When we stay in business we can honour our warranties and stand behind our work.
So if you’d like CAM Painters to Transform your home with lasting beauty, why don’t you book a quote?
So you’re planning on renovating your Toronto home?
CAM Painters can help! Not only can we do the painting, we can recommend the sequence of painting so that it’s done as efficiently as possible.
Step 1: After the drywall has been installed, taped and plastered
Prime walls and ceilings, Paint ceilings, Prime and Paint trim while it’s loose
Once the place has been drywalled, taped and mudded it’s a perfect time to have us in to prime and paint the ceilings. Ideally this can be done before flooring goes in. As an added bonus, if the trim and casings are onsite, we can prime and get a coat on those before they are installed.
The benefit of getting the ceiling and walls primed early on in the renovating process is that if there are any deficiencies by the drywallers, these can be seen and rectified. It’s better to have these deficiencies fixed before the floors, trim and other finishes go in.
Getting a coat of primer and paint on the trim while it is loose is more efficient than after it’s installed, so it saves time, which in turn saves money.
Step 2: After flooring and trim has been installed
The next phase of renovating would be to have us in after the flooring and trim has been installed.
This phase would consist of the following:
- Filing nail holes in the trim
- Caulking gaps between the trim and the wall
- Painting the walls – 2 coats
- Painting the trim – it already has 1 coat, so it just needs the final coat
At this point the project would be complete, except for touch ups
Step 3: Final touch ups after move in
Although most movers are careful, there is always some wear and tear from moving furniture back into a home. So we recommend allowing for a day of touching up the paint, which can be scheduled shortly after you move in.
Final thoughts to consider when planning your renovation
You should allow enough time in your renovation schedule that painting can occur when there are no other trades. As careful as other trades are, the more of them that are onsite, the more damage that is likely to happen to the paint.
Your contractor should ensure that the HVAC system is running properly prior to having any painting. If a house is too cold, or too dry, it can have a negative impact on how the paint dries.
Your contractor should also ensure that there is a laundry sink and that water is available to use. We need water to clean brushes, mix patching compound and wet rags to clean off surfaces.
Also, please make sure your contractor has the wood casings and trim are on site a week before painting starts. This allows the wood to acclimatize to the house and do any expansion or contraction before primer and paint is applied.
If you’d like to have CAM Painters handle the painting portion of your renovation project why don’t you book a quote? We’d be happy to Transform your home with lasting beauty!