Unfortunately this is a more common experience in Toronto than it should be. Here’s how you can avoid this occurrence and find a reliable painter…
Here’s the backstory,
You found someone either through a recommendation of a friend, or perhaps on Facebook, or a lawn sign.
He seemed like a nice fellow when he met with you for the quote.
He gave you a price, you accepted it and booked in a start date.
The start date rolled around and no painter! No phone call, no text, no email – Nothing!!
Why would this happen in the first place?
First off, it’s very easy to call yourself a painting contractor.
Barriers to entry are very low, a vehicle, some brushes, rollers, roller trays and you can call yourself a painter. However, with such a low startup cost some people treat their “painting business” as a part-time hobby.
Many of these “painting contractors” will do cash only, so that they can avoid taxes and proper insurances, which places a lot of risk on the homeowner that hires them.
To sum it up, they don’t have much invested in the process, so it’s easy for them to quit on their customers and leave them high and dry.
How can you find a reliable painting contractor?
You can minimize the chance of this happening to you by doing your due diligence. How so?
Ask your painting contractor how many years they’ve been in business?
As a general rule of thumb, the more years someone has been in business, the more they are invested in the success of their business.
At CAM Painters, we’ve been in business for 16 years. We’ve invested thousands of dollars in equipment, so that we can provide a great customer experience.
READ MORE: Which painting contractor offers the best value for my Toronto home?
Look for reviews and testimonials
People will always say good things about themselves, sometimes they can even get a couple of other people to say good things about them.
Look for reliable contractors with lots of social proof:
They’ve got lots of Google reviews – not just one review from their mother! At CAM Painters we currently have over 20 5 star reviews and counting!
They’ve got video testimonials – and not just written testimonials because those can be fabricated. We’ve got a number of video testimonials both on our YouTube channel and our website
A reputable contractor will give a written proposal and back up their work with a written warranty
You want an agreement in writing, so that there is no gray area of “he said, she said”. At CAM Painters we have a written proposal that goes over every aspect of the job from start to finish.
A reliable contractor will offer a written warranty on their work. At CAM Painters we offer a 5 year written warranty on both interior and exterior projects, as well as one hour of free touch ups each year, so that your house always looks it’s best!
To sum it up…
If you do your due diligence when you select a painting contractor you can minimize surprises during the painting process, such as someone not showing up when they say they will, or any other myriad of missed promises.
At CAM Painters we strive to give an excellent painting experience from start to finish, so why don’t you book a quote? We’d be happy to Transform Your Home With Lasting Beauty!
Let’s say you’re presented 2 painting quotes for your Toronto home, one half the price of the other. Which quote is the best value for your Toronto home?
Well, it all depends on what you value. Sometimes the cheapest price is not the best value, so let’s peel back the layers and see what you get when you hire CAM Painters.
You get peace of mind
CAM Painters uses employees, not subcontractors. Employees are covered under our WSIB insurance and general liability insurance.
What does this mean for you, the homeowner?
When WSIB insurance is in place that means if any painter is injured on your property, you are not liable.
When general liability insurance is in place that means that if any damage is done to your property, you are not liable for that either.
Therefore, if you want peace of mind throughout the painting experience, hire a painting contractor with WSIB and liability insurance in place.
During the painting experience
We have highly trained painters who love what they do! Not only that, we ask you what a great painting experience looks like to you. We want to make sure that you have a great painting experience from start to finish.
READ MORE: A Great Toronto Painting Experience Part 3: During the Project
After the project is complete
At CAM Painters we have a 5 year warranty & complementary service package for both interior and exterior projects.
Basically, this means that if any part of the project fails because of poor workmanship, we’ll come back and fix it free of charge. This warranty is in place from the day we finish to 5 years hence.
Our complimentary service package entitles our wonderful clients to one hour of free touch ups per year. We want your painting project to look top notch, so if you get any scuffs or other wear and tear our service package can take care of that for you.
At CAM Painters we believe that the value that you get from a paint job should exceed the value that you pay for a paint job. It is our desire to give our clients the maximum value and the best painting experience. Why don’t you book a quote and have CAM Painters 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!
So you’re thinking of selling your Toronto home, here are some painting projects that can pay big dividends in resale value! Obviously, if you can paint the place from top to bottom that would be the best for commanding top dollar in the real estate market, but that’s not always feasible. So here are our top picks for bang-for-buck projects when selling your Toronto home
Paint any area that is looking old or deteriorated
You want people’s first impressions to be that your home is clean and well kept, so if things are looking a little old and tired, freshen those up first. If the house is clean and fresh prospective buyers will assume that you’ve taken care of the place and be more willing to put in an offer. If you have some leftover paint that’s less than a year old feel free to use it to freshen things up. If it’s over a year old, it’s best to get some new paint.
Paint your wood panelling
If you have an older home, it might have dark wood panelling. If the panelling is painted a light colour it can really make the space look bigger and more open. This is especially helpful in basements which typically have very small windows and limited natural light.
Here’s a blog post on the how-tos of panelling painting:
What can I do with the wall panelling in the basement of my Toronto home?
Paint your kitchen cabinets
There’s no quicker way to update the look of your kitchen than painting the kitchen cabinets. This is way more economical than cabinet replacement in most cases. At the same time you can update the hardware (door handles and drawer pulls) too. With painting your kitchen cabinets the colour options are limitless.
Here’s a blog post on how we paint kitchen cabinets:
Paint or Renovate? What’s Best for the Kitchen in Your Toronto Home?
Paint your railings
Many people have dated stair railings in their Toronto home, these can updated with some paint! If you still have varnished railings in a dated lighter finish, you can transform them with a sophisticated 2-tone colour scheme as you can see in the blog listed below:
Toronto Home Stair Railing Transformation Project Guide
Painting can make the difference in selling your Toronto home
Many real estate agents will tell you that painting is one of the best things that you can do so that your house will sell quickly and for the best price. If you’d rather let us do the painting for you why don’t you book a quote? We’d be happy to transform your home with lasting beauty!
The cost of painting a Toronto home can vary widely, however, there are some ways to get the best value from your painting contractor, and here’s how….
Most of these suggestions come down to proper planning. If you can make your painting contractor’s job more easy, so that they can get it done in less time, then there should be a savings for you.
Just as I was writing this blog post I got a call for wallpaper installation, which would take the better part of a week, based on what he told me. The person wanted me to come and do an estimate today (Sat Aug 12th). I proceeded to ask when he was hoping for the work to start and he said he needed it to start on Monday Aug 14th, 2 days later! This is a recipe for frustration! The chances of finding a reputable wallpaper installer who happens to have a week-long opening 2 days after looking at a job is very low, to say the least!
If you call a painting contractor and expect him to do the job on short notice, chances are that to accommodate you they have to move other jobs around and inconvenience some of their other clients. This creates extra work for the painting contractor and they usually charge a premium for last minute work.
In order to be on the safe side it’s wise to start gathering quotes at least a month before you actually want the work done, that way you can have a good chance of getting the time that you want.
If you can be flexible with timing you’ll get the best value
If you are able to be patient, it can pay dividends! Painting in Toronto tends to be busy in the summer and slower in the winter. If you have interior painting to do and can wait until the slower winter months, you can generally get the best value.
Here at CAM Painters if you book work for the slower months of December through March we’ll throw in some items for free to reward you for your patience. Say, for example we’re painting your entire room (ceiling, walls and all the trim), we’ll give you the baseboard in that room for free.
Ensure that we have good access to the areas we’re painting
Another way to make sure you get the best value for your painting dollar is to ensure that we have clear access to the areas that we’re painting. Painting before moving in is always ideal, feel free to read about all the advantages here.
Empty rooms are the most ideal, however, not always practical if you’re residing in the home. However, the better cleared out the room is, the more efficient and less time it takes to paint. In terms of a furnished room, all the furniture should be moved to the centre of the room, so that there is at least 5 or 6 feet around the walls, and all pictures, etc. taken off the walls. If you, the client, does this work, you save the cost of having us do it, if we have to do all the work of moving your belongings then we have to charge for it.
As you can see, with some proper planning and a little bit of effort on your part, it’s possible to keep the cost of your painting project low, without compromising at all on workmanship or durability.
Why don’t you have CAM Painters over for a quote? We’d be happy to transform your home with lasting beauty!