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Old 06-16-2018, 05:47 PM   #1
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Default determining quality of work

I am not sure if this is the right place for this , if not if you would point me to the right catagory I would really appreciate it. I have a question about how one settles on a price/quality ratio with customers. I was partnered with a contractor and we disagreed on the level of quality that was efficient for the job. Ill just show you what I mean.
this is how it looked after we primed it, and I think the way he wanted to leave it

[dang it , i a don't have enough history to post photos, ill just describe]
(ok this is a pic of the exterior of an older house , not the best shape, gaps between the facia and soffit, and also where the vertical siding meets a piece of trim on the soffit. also gaps where the pieces of facia meet and have come apart over time.)



this is how it looked after a coat of paint and where I caulked. He thought I was wasting time with the caulking

(this pic looks awesome because I caulked everything,)




My questions about this ;
Am I being unreasonable/unrealistic and "polishing a turd" for wanting to caulk?

Do your bids usually include caulking like this or are there times where you work this out with the customer IE: I can do this kind of work for this much $, or I can just paint for - this much less$?

This is probably something I would know if I had spent any time at all on exterior work , but I have been doing interior commercial stuff and I am really new to this and especially to the bidding and customer service aspect of this.
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Old 06-16-2018, 06:31 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DittonWilson View Post
. I was partnered with a contractor and we disagreed on the level of quality that was efficient for the job.

gaps between the facia and soffit, and also where the vertical siding meets a piece of trim on the soffit. also gaps where the pieces of facia meet and have come apart over time.)
He thought I was wasting time with the caulking


My questions about this ;
Am I being unreasonable/unrealistic and "polishing a turd" for wanting to caulk?

If your doing it by the hour than GC makes the call. If you quoted out the whole job you get to make the call.


I always quote with caulking included. If I'm going by the hour I tell the customer best practice and if they don't want the fine details, I'm good with that unless it's really going to look shabby, then I just tell them to get another company because I don't want my name on it.
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Old 06-16-2018, 06:36 PM   #3
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Your reputation is on the line too. Make it look badass, and you will get more and better work.
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Old 06-16-2018, 07:43 PM   #4
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To the OP - Just in case, here is a link to a description of how to post pictures on the site once you are allowed to do so: https://www.painttalk.com/f50/how-ins...r-posts-34050/
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Old 06-16-2018, 07:53 PM   #5
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Ditto..exceed expectations and you will always come out ahead. Strive for mediocrity and you will always be on the bottom trying to come up. Once you achieve a reputation, it is hard to break it.
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Old 06-16-2018, 08:12 PM   #6
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I've been thinking about sending my potential customers a short "pre-bid" survey. Several questions to gauge what's most important to them for their project. Are they interested in seeing every minor flaw fixed and the ****ty brush strokes and drips sanded out? I mean, being realistic about the customer's expectations and meeting a price point is important. Some things are just too costly to fix in order to bring the work up to our ideal standards.


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Old 06-16-2018, 09:32 PM   #7
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There are some instances where joints werenít designed to be caulked. When I start a project Iíll do a walk through of the exterior with the to go over what gets caulked and what doesnít.

Itís problematic if the GC doesnít want you to caulk joints just because theyíre trying to cut costs. If this is the case Iíd modify my contract and remove my 1 year workmanship guarantee.


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Old 06-16-2018, 09:57 PM   #8
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Are they interested in seeing every minor flaw fixed and the ****ty brush strokes and drips sanded out? I mean, being realistic about the customer's expectations and meeting a price point is important. Some things are just too costly to fix in order to bring the work up to our ideal standards.

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I would hope brush strokes and drips sanded out would not be cost prohibitive, given that we do have power tools in the modern world. I do those things as a matter of course!


If they want to pay for fine details, I'm happy to do it. Hang, I've had clients that paid $200 a gallon for artitst's varnish on their walls. I've done paint work where the paint was thinned at least 10% and required 4 coats brushed and rolled with a full sanding between each coat. (Looked like silk walls after) Some clients have no concern about cost. It's all about being sure you understand what the client wants and price accordingly.
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Old 06-16-2018, 10:08 PM   #9
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Default determining quality of work

LOL maybe you've never painted behind DIY homeowners. I've seen door casings that would take three hours to make look new. You can't just take an orbital to a casing without sanding away the detail. Lots of folks aren't gonna shell out $150 per casing just in prep work. I should show you pics of some of the crap I'm gonna have to deal with in my own DIY-painted house. It's a nightmare which is why I haven't painted it yet and we've lived here almost two years.

And yes, I agree you need to understand what the client wants...that's why I said what I said.


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Old 06-16-2018, 11:11 PM   #10
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LOL maybe you've never painted behind DIY homeowners. I've seen door casings that would take three hours to make look new. You can't just take an orbital to a casing without sanding away the detail. Lots of folks aren't gonna shell out $150 per casing just in prep work. I should show you pics of some of the crap I'm gonna have to deal with in my own DIY-painted house. It's a nightmare which is why I haven't painted it yet and we've lived here almost two years.

And yes, I agree you need to understand what the client wants...that's why I said what I said.

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Not many. I tended to work the higher end. My point was only that plenty of people are quite willing to shell out what ever it might take to turn an old rooming house into a first rate, vintage residence. I have done those kinds of jobs and make no mistake, there is no DIYer like a tenant that has no vested interest! What I have not had is people that did not understand the cost of transforming an old house and money was not an issue.


As for those doors you speak of, in a case like that, I dismantle, strip, repair and reinstall. Some things are just, simply a lot of work!
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Old 06-17-2018, 08:16 AM   #11
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I agree. If the GC is making the calls, I would hope that it's his name on the job. If you agreed on a price, than its none of his darn business that your doing an exellent job. But yes, Not everything is supposed to be caulked. Just try to figure out the laws of air and water flow and the general building standards.
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Old 06-17-2018, 09:35 AM   #12
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Your reputation is on the line too. Make it look badass, and you will get more and better work.

If he is going hourly for a GC then he could get turfed for insubordination. GCs are not always the most ethical, conscientious or aesthetically minded!
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Old 06-17-2018, 11:37 AM   #13
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not discussing a detail like caulking is a pretty large step not to bring up. i simply ask them what they are looking for in terms of quality, maybe even give two prices so they have an option if they want to spend extra on the prep.



making sure you and your client are on the same page prep/quality wise is the most important part of the job imo, not a lot of grey area else where so making sure you ask questions like youre a detective.
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Old 06-17-2018, 12:49 PM   #14
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Managing expectations is an art. Some people don't have the budget to turn their modest home, etc. into a perfect paint job. Others have the budget to turn a 160yr old farm house that's been neglected since before you were born into something beautiful. When you find those people, just do everything you can to make them happy.
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Old 06-17-2018, 09:40 PM   #15
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Managing expectations is an art. Some people don't have the budget to turn their modest home, etc. into a perfect paint job. Others have the budget to turn a 160yr old farm house that's been neglected since before you were born into something beautiful. When you find those people, just do everything you can to make them happy.

All true. My policy was to always explain the levels of service possible and the cost involved at each step. Thus, the HO can make a knowledgeable and informed decision about what exactly they want. It may be that I spent a little more time on the front end but never suffered aggravation on the back end. Plus, when you do not look rushed and explain things clearly, HO feels less pressured and more like you want to serve their best interests. It creates an almost immediate trust.
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Old 06-17-2018, 10:43 PM   #16
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True story! We were assigned to do an Optometrist's office. During business hours. Not really busy but the place was busy. I start talking to my boss about where we can move all the books, photos on the wall, etc. and stops me, tells me don't move anything. Literally, cut in over and around the books and photos. 162 IQ Lou (my boss) was a piece of work that could be playful so, I asked if he was kidding. He was not. I looked around and asked where the camera was. I had to be on Candid Camera, right?

Me and another guy knocked it out with brushes and weinie rollers. The optometrist was pleased. I told him, I guess the kinda customers you get in here, they really won't notice if a book gets moved and the paint's a different color?
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Old 06-18-2018, 12:06 AM   #17
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Are you subcontracted or is your name on it? Do you have a working relationship already?

I donít know anything about exterior caulking but if not caulking the gaps goes against your standard then sit down w/ the GC and explain.

Does it increase your total cost significantly? Would you do it even if there wasnít room in the budget for additional labor? Part of their job is to try & make sure the job comes in on budget (which can cause micro-managing), he may just need to hear that you donít feel comfortable having your name attached to unsightly work.
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Old 06-18-2018, 02:55 AM   #18
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To the OP, it is all in details, small ones, the eye level, that's all that matters and means quality.
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Old 06-21-2018, 07:45 PM   #19
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Old 06-22-2018, 09:00 PM   #20
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First: I dont work to GC's Get me the owner... I am easy to get along with, but i REFUSE to work for a GC or project manager. Period. Dont like it? call someone else.

Second, I been around the trades long enough to know what should be caulked. When I bid a job its the full gig.... we prep, we caulk we prime we paint.... if you want a blow and go paint job? call someone else, besides, we're too expensive.

Im not here to trash my rep so the GC can make a bigger payment on his YACHT...

I am here to make money, get paid, and do a job that will last. period.

Dont like it? call someone else.
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