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?
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?
If you take a few simple steps to prepare your Toronto home you can have a great painting experience! The painting experience can run very efficiently and be done with minimal inconvenience, however, there are things that you should do to make this a reality. In this post, I’ll give you a checklist of the things that should be done to prior to painting.
Ensure that your colours are chosen well in advance
Colours are tricky, they can look different on your walls than on the paint chips. Also, they can look different on various surfaces and at varying times of day.
What we recommend at CAM Painters is to have a colour consultation from an interior designer. We can even recommend interior designers based on your budget and location. A good interior designer will save a lot of time and frustration in the colour selection process, so it’s definitely a good investment!
READ MORE: 3 Reasons to have a colour consultation prior to painting your Toronto home
If you’re wanting to do colour selection yourself, at least buy some tester pots of the colours you’re thinking about so that you can test them on the walls. A rundown of the procedure is here:
Colour Selection 101 for your Toronto Home
We usually like to pick up colours a few days before the job starts. If you can prepare your final colour selections a week before the job starts, that would be best.
Arrange access to your home with us
Our hours of work are generally 8:30 to 4:30. We don’t need someone on site with us in order for us to do our work, but we do need access into your house. If you are not available, we have lock boxes that you can leave a house key in. If you’d prefer to meet us in the morning to let us in, that’s fine too.
Make arrangements for your pets
We are pet-friendly at CAM Painters, so if your dog or cat wants to say hello, that’s fine with us. However, once we start working it’s best if pets are not in our workspace for their own safety. It’s best if they can be shut off in another area of the house, so they don’t get into our tools or wet paint. Yes, we have had cats get wet paint on their paws and track it all over the floor!
Prepare your rooms for painting
This is not as daunting as it sounds. All we are asking is that you remove any small, fragile objects from the room and remove pictures from the walls. If you are planning on putting the picture back in the same place please leave the picture hook in the wall. If you are planning on repositioning or leaving off the wall altogether, please remove the picture hook and we’ll be sure to fill in the nail holes.
We don’t mind moving a couple of pieces of furniture per room, which we cover with plastic to make sure it’s protected.
There are a couple of items that we prefer not to move, which you should make arrangements for before the painting begins:
- Wall-mounted TVs
- Fridges – these can damage floors if the wheels don’t move freely, and fragile water lines can break too
- Washers & Dryers – brittle hoses and vent ducts can be damaged during moving
So if you can arrange for these items to be moved that would be great!
We at CAM Painters want to give you a great painting experience and if you follow these guidelines you can ensure that is what you get! Feel free to book a quote! We’d love to Transform your home with lasting beauty!
If you want the paint work in your Toronto home to look the best it can, the preparation work that goes on before a can of paint is opened is critical to the finished product.
First thing, let’s define levels of preparation and what type of customer each is geared towards:
- Level 1 “Good” – this is geared towards someone wanting just the basic level of preparation, maybe someone needing a quick turnaround, or perhaps the space that is being painted is one that isn’t of prime concern, or perhaps they just need the paint freshened up in order to put their house on the market
- Level 2 “Better” – this is for a typical customer that wants decent workmanship, they want to have a great painting experience, they want their painted surfaces to look smoother than they do currently, but they don’t expect or necessarily need perfection.
- Level 3 “Best” – this is for someone who demands the best and realizes that it takes time to achieve this level of finish. These customers are typically interior designers and people that like to keep their homes immaculate.
So let’s go through the steps we use to properly prepare a typical interior paint job for painting:
Organization is key, we ensure that we have all the tools to properly tackle each job. Proper tools ensure that things get done with maximum efficiency, and minimal disruption for the customer.
Flooring and furniture is covered and protected. We use either dropsheets or rolls
of paper for flooring protection, depending on which is most appropriate for the situation. Furniture is covered with clean plastic sheeting.
If we are painting things to a “good” level, then all that’s usually needed is a pole sand of the walls, and then a filling of all the visible holes and cracks.
If we are painting things to a “better” level, then we will pole sand the walls and ceiling, fill all the visible holes and cracks, but then in addition to that we will sand out sags and drips on the ceiling, walls and trim and we will fill in any noticeable divots or dents as well.
If we are painting things to the “best” level, then things get a little crazy! We like to put an LED light on an angle at every area that is to be painted, that way, we can see all the imperfections that are in the ceilings, walls and trim. The angled light causes shadows to be cast by every little dent or bump, which we can then sand or fill.
One consideration that we deal with in achieving a level 3 finish is that many of the walls in older Toronto homes have been at some time painted poorly – either by a do it yourselfer or a less than skilled painter. These walls typically have a lot of drips, sags and excessive roller texture. To make these walls smooth it takes a lot of work, which has to be accounted for in our timelines and our pricing.
When we sand the walls we use a power sander attached to a vacuum, to eliminate dust at the source. No one likes dust and it’s best to eliminate it before it gets into the ventilation system and spreads throughout the house.
After we have done all this patching and filling and sanding, we still aren’t done the preparation work, we still have to prime certain areas, and do a little more filling and sanding, just to make sure that the surface is ready to paint. However, when we do the preparation work right, then the painting goes relatively quick in comparison and the end result looks fantastic!
The difference in price from the good paint job to the best paint job can be more than double. So when getting paint quotes be sure to compare apples to apples. If someone has been quoted a level 1 paint job, but then expects a level 3 – frustration will result, both for them and their contractor!
In conclusion, as you can see, a lot goes into a paint job, even before a can of paint is opened. In some situations more time goes in than other times. I like to make sure that this is communicated to my potential clients as clearly as possible, so they know the value that they are getting when they use my services. Why don’t you book a quote? We’d be happy to Transform your home with lasting beauty!
So you’re thinking about painting your Toronto home? Selecting a painter can be very similar to selecting a pair of shoes! How so, you ask? Well, it’s all about shoes that are a good fit, that are appropriate for the situation you’re facing and within your budget.
Are your shoes a good fit?
Everyone’s feet are different. A shoe that feels comfortable on one person might be uncomfortable on another.
Similarly, you might feel comfortable with a particular painting contractor. Maybe they relate to you better than another. It’s important to have a painting contractor that you feel comfortable communicating with, and who communicates with you in a timely manner.
Are your shoes appropriate for the situation?
You wouldn’t wear running shoes to a business meeting, nor would you go for a jog wearing dress shoes! It’s the same with painting!
Some painting projects require “dress shoes”; You want the project to look great with a flawless finish.
Some painting projects require “running shoes”; You need the project to be finished in the most efficient time frame possible.
Some painting projects require “hiking shoes”; You need the project to be durable in adverse conditions.
Some painting projects might require a combination of stipulations, or maybe something different altogether. It’s important to be clear on your needs from the beginning so that you can select a painting contractor that is skilled and experienced in delivering what you require.
Just as the price of shoes vary, so does the price of painting projects. In general, if you spend more money on a pair of shoes, you can expect a greater degree of durability, technology or style. It’s similar with painting projects, the more you spend, in general, the higher the quality of paint, and the level of craftsmanship.
In painting, there is a truism:
- Low Price
A consumer must make a decision as to their priorities, because a customer can only choose two. If a client wants efficiency and low price, they automatically choose to not have quality. If a client wants efficiency and quality, they can’t choose low price.
As with selecting shoes, selecting a painting contractor needs care to ensure that there is a right fit, appropriateness and budget. If you’d like to see if CAM Painters is the right “pair of shoes” for you why don’t you book a quote? We’d be happy to transform your home with lasting beauty!
Buying a home is an exciting time! Your offer has been accepted, the deposit has been paid, the papers have been signed! Now what? Before moving in, it’s the perfect time to paint your new house!
Advantages to painting your Toronto home before moving in
Even if the house has been recently painted by the former owners, chances are that the colours they have chosen, while probably nice colours, are not exactly what you want. You want your colours to harmonize with your furniture and your own tastes, it’s your home now, why not make it your own?
First off, what are the advantages to painting a house before moving in?
Before furniture and everything else is brought in, the painter will have clear access to all areas of the house. Because there is no furniture to move, painters can get more done in less time, which results in a lower cost to the homeowner.
Also, there is no disruption to a homeowner and their family. When we paint a house where people currently reside, we need access in to certain rooms at certain times. Although we minimize disruptions through proper planning, there are lots of items for people to move, closets need to be emptied, for example. When painting before the move in, none of these disruptions exist.
We have painted many houses before the homeowner moves in and here are some tips to make the experience as hassle-free and enjoyable as possible:
Be sure to plan ahead
The summer months tend to be very busy for people moving in to and out of houses. As such, movers, painters and other contractors can book up quickly. If you’re going to move in these busy months it’s wise to plan and book these services far in advance. Conversely, you could plan your move in a less busy time of year and have easier access into a contractor’s schedule.
Use your visits wisely
Most times the purchaser gets 2 or 3 visits before the closing date. This is a perfect time to have a painting contractor in to look at the place and quote on your painting needs. CAM Painters offers online booking, but we realize that the visit needs to be coordinated with many different parties; the current homeowner, their real estate agent, you, your real estate agent, among others. Therefore, give us a call or email and we will do our best to prioritize your appointment time, given these circumstances.
READ MORE: A Great Painting Experience Part 1: The Estimate
Using one of your visits to get other trades in is a good idea as well. If you’re looking for recommendations CAM Painters has a carefully curated network of trusted trades that we’d be happy to share with you.
Be sure to plan enough time between closing and move in
Renovating, remodelling, painting and cleaning take time and it’s wise to plan enough time for these to be completed before your move in date. The last thing that you want is painters still painting while the movers are trying to move in your furniture. It’s wise to have an extra 20-25% of slack in the schedule to account for any unforeseen circumstances or any additional extra things you might want done.
Also, it’s best to coordinate the work so that only one trade is working in your house at a time. Many trades need clear access in your home to make sure things are done efficiently and properly, if not, one trade can easily disrupt the workflow of another.
Getting the painting done in your Toronto home between closing and moving in is an ideal time. Why don’t you book a quote with CAM Painters? Remember, if a convenient time isn’t listed, give us a call or email and we’d be happy to accommodate you! CAM Painters will Transform your new home with lasting beauty!