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Old 07-27-2017, 02:21 PM   #1
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I wanted to introduce myself, I operate a small painting business in the Charlotte NC area. We have been in business since 1996. We specialize in Int. Ext. residential repaints as well as cabinet and furniture finishing. We currently have 10 full time employees and a couple office staff. I have seen several associations and been members of most, but I am interested in learning of any certification classes or licensing groups in my state (NC). Our area has a tremendous amount of painting contractors that operate without any proper training or experience. I say this not because we are losing work or clientele, but we are experiencing a huge influx of calls for (Please can you fix this guys mess, Can you help!). I would like some feed back from contractors in other states that have state licenses, certifications, unions, if these are beneficial or hurt business, and from contractors in my state (NC) that would like a better system of checks and balances, and or testing and licensing.
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Old 07-27-2017, 03:35 PM   #2
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What kind of program do you have in place that has sustained you for this long and has given you the good reputation you have? You may not need to change anything.

The topic of trade training, in terms of painting, has been brought up before. The bottom line is, painting doesn't necessarily require certification or standards to qualify in the building industry. Typically, all that is required to do business legitimately is a contractor's license. And without compliance and standards enforcement, i.e. inspections, permits, trade competency qualifiers, etc., the painting trade has the liberty to make it up as it goes. Just as long as your cut lines are tight and it's shiny and flat where it's supposed to be.

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Old 07-27-2017, 07:03 PM   #3
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Thank you for the response. I believe our most important program we implement is quality control. All foremen and project managers must communicate about every aspect of their ongoing projects. They are responsible for customer relations and the efficiency of every painter, helper, carpenter, drywall specialist on their job. Daily reporting of projects is also very critical for day to day operations. Absences due to sickness or vacation require all managers have updated job progress reports. We require all customers to sign off on all projects and fill out a completion agreement to ensure they have had ample time to perform the required walk through and to list all if any punch out items. We are constantly working our customer list and staying in front of our past clientele, emails, postcards, direct mail.

I have read and was impressed with other states requirements and had noticed a huge difference in the median wage difference between a painter ll, around these states and my state of NC. We pay our painter ll's a average of $48,000 per year compared to some journeyman states of $57,000. I am curious to learn if this is a direct result of being able to charge a higher per hr per man rate. It may very well be the result of higher cost of living.
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Old 07-27-2017, 07:18 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by AMPLLC View Post
Thank you for the response. I believe our most important program we implement is quality control. All foremen and project managers must communicate about every aspect of their ongoing projects. They are responsible for customer relations and the efficiency of every painter, helper, carpenter, drywall specialist on their job. Daily reporting of projects is also very critical for day to day operations. Absences due to sickness or vacation require all managers have updated job progress reports. We require all customers to sign off on all projects and fill out a completion agreement to ensure they have had ample time to perform the required walk through and to list all if any punch out items. We are constantly working our customer list and staying in front of our past clientele, emails, postcards, direct mail.

I have read and was impressed with other states requirements and had noticed a huge difference in the median wage difference between a painter ll, around these states and my state of NC. We pay our painter ll's a average of $48,000 per year compared to some journeyman states of $57,000. I am curious to learn if this is a direct result of being able to charge a higher per hr per man rate. It may very well be the result of higher cost of living.
It's likely a matter of regional cost of living rather than skill set enhancements or advanced qualifiers. Although, union earners will always demand higher wages than non union earners. But that's more a consequence of collective bargaining power. And in terms of trade competency, union apprenticeships are the most recognized vocational programs in the building trades.

From what you stated, it appears a large part of your success is due to your business model and company structure rather than specific trade related skill sets.

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Old 07-27-2017, 11:24 PM   #5
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Stick with what works for you. All the progress updates, etc. wouldn't work all that well here. It would if we ran crews in different towns/ state wide perhaps.

Looks like your paying the guys pretty good, no way we'd even be able to afford to pay them that here. Couldn't pass the cost on to the customer, we'd be put under from other companies charging less.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Sounds like you got everything well situated on your end.
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