Professional Painting Contractors Forum banner
1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Why am I having such a hard time finding anyone around here that can do quality production painting for new houses? New England (southern nh, northern mass) I need subs or atleast some one I can refer. I dont understand why painters would rather do exterior or work for HOs (who can be sporadic in there expectations and you have too measure and bid jobs at site all of the time)

Yes margins are tight and some builders may be Jerks but the work it straightforward and enjoyable... atleast for us...dealing with crap drywall and trim jobs are frustrating but the challenge is sometimes welcome as we tweak and prefect our system.

This is not an add for help or hires! I'm venting.
Would love to hear thoughts on subject as I am trying to evolve my little company in this crazy world.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
811 Posts
I've always found new construction a bit monotonous, not to mention dirty. 'Here, hold down a gun 8 hours today and have a guy back roll and you can both hang out in a cloud of paint.'

I also prefer interacting with homeowners and the scheduling benefits that go along with it, versus a GC that always wants you there yesterday. Different strokes for different folks though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,275 Posts
I've always found new construction a bit monotonous, not to mention dirty. 'Here, hold down a gun 8 hours today and have a guy back roll and you can both hang out in a cloud of paint.'

I also prefer interacting with homeowners and the scheduling benefits that go along with it, versus a GC that always wants you there yesterday. Different strokes for different folks though.
The OSHA man will get ya😵
 

·
Super Moderator
Licensed General Contractor, Painting Contractor, Christmas Light Installer
Joined
·
2,774 Posts
Let's see, why I prefer residential exteriors to working with GC's on new construction interiors...

-Scheduling: On resi, we schedule, I work, but on NC, we schedule, I get pushed back by all the delays before me, then we reschedule again, (at least once, with less notice each time).

-Payment: On resi, 1/3 deposit at the time of signed contract with remainder due upon completion. For NC, often it's chasing down the GC to get your share of his progress payment before you have to wait til the next round, and I can count on 1 hand how many times I've been paid in full by GC's at the completion of the job.

-Scope: On resi, scope is defined, reduced to writing, work is done per scope, then I get paid and move on. With NC, scope changes almost always from the initial contract, change orders are continuously having to be drafted and then making sure to chase down the GC so they sign off, rinse, repeat.

-Punch Lists: Can't stand em. Doesn't matter what I put in writing. Doesn't matter that I'm getting paid to return because other subs beat the tar out of all my perfect finishes. At some point, it gets depressing to have to return repeatedly to repair everything, and it's not fun to have to set aside days to return after I've already finished and had already returned to fix damages. That's NC for ya though.

-Working around other subs: We are typically at the mercy of nearly every other subs schedule with NC and often have to work around and on top of other subs, even though my contract states something to the contrary. Electricians showing back up and poking holes in drywall as I'm preparing to tack & vac before spraying the final coat on trim...Plumbers installing toilets in bathrooms which were empty the day before, finish carpenters deciding to return and install full MDF shelves in closets after I've primed and painted, etc,etc,etc.

-We are the bottom of the barrel on NC: Let's face it, we are relegated to janitorial work to clean up after every other sub who steps foot in the house. They don't care they track mud in after you've cleaned the floors to prepare for covering them. They don't care about damages, since they don't have to fix em. They don't understand that when it comes time to spray the wood pack that a dust-free environment means not letting the stone guy cut his pieces in the garage cuz it's raining, 10 feet away from 30k in cabinets & doors trying to dry & cure. It isn't a matter of not getting paid again for all of these things even when it's clearly explained in the contract. It's the idea of it all. I've grown to loathe working NC for all but a select few GC's. There are a few whose subs are respectful, diligent, and thoughtful. There are a few who pay ASAP and do everything in their power to make sure each sub knows when they can & can't get their work done. There are a few.

With the exception of having to work around the weather, there's absolutely nothing I dislike about residential exteriors, (except a-hole wasps and stepping in dog poo).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,461 Posts
Let's see, why I prefer residential exteriors to working with GC's on new construction interiors...

-Scheduling: On resi, we schedule, I work, but on NC, we schedule, I get pushed back by all the delays before me, then we reschedule again, (at least once, with less notice each time).

-Payment: On resi, 1/3 deposit at the time of signed contract with remainder due upon completion. For NC, often it's chasing down the GC to get your share of his progress payment before you have to wait til the next round, and I can count on 1 hand how many times I've been paid in full by GC's at the completion of the job.

-Scope: On resi, scope is defined, reduced to writing, work is done per scope, then I get paid and move on. With NC, scope changes almost always from the initial contract, change orders are continuously having to be drafted and then making sure to chase down the GC so they sign off, rinse, repeat.

-Punch Lists: Can't stand em. Doesn't matter what I put in writing. Doesn't matter that I'm getting paid to return because other subs beat the tar out of all my perfect finishes. At some point, it gets depressing to have to return repeatedly to repair everything, and it's not fun to have to set aside days to return after I've already finished and had already returned to fix damages. That's NC for ya though.

-Working around other subs: We are typically at the mercy of nearly every other subs schedule with NC and often have to work around and on top of other subs, even though my contract states something to the contrary. Electricians showing back up and poking holes in drywall as I'm preparing to tack & vac before spraying the final coat on trim...Plumbers installing toilets in bathrooms which were empty the day before, finish carpenters deciding to return and install full MDF shelves in closets after I've primed and painted, etc,etc,etc.

-We are the bottom of the barrel on NC: Let's face it, we are relegated to janitorial work to clean up after every other sub who steps foot in the house. They don't care they track mud in after you've cleaned the floors to prepare for covering them. They don't care about damages, since they don't have to fix em. They don't understand that when it comes time to spray the wood pack that a dust-free environment means not letting the stone guy cut his pieces in the garage cuz it's raining, 10 feet away from 30k in cabinets & doors trying to dry & cure. It isn't a matter of not getting paid again for all of these things even when it's clearly explained in the contract. It's the idea of it all. I've grown to loathe working NC for all but a select few GC's. There are a few whose subs are respectful, diligent, and thoughtful. There are a few who pay ASAP and do everything in their power to make sure each sub knows when they can & can't get their work done. There are a few.

With the exception of having to work around the weather, there's absolutely nothing I dislike about residential exteriors, (except a-hole wasps and stepping in dog poo).
That was an awesome summary.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Let's see, why I prefer residential exteriors to working with GC's on new construction interiors...

-Scheduling: On resi, we schedule, I work, but on NC, we schedule, I get pushed back by all the delays before me, then we reschedule again, (at least once, with less notice each time).

-Payment: On resi, 1/3 deposit at the time of signed contract with remainder due upon completion. For NC, often it's chasing down the GC to get your share of his progress payment before you have to wait til the next round, and I can count on 1 hand how many times I've been paid in full by GC's at the completion of the job.

-Scope: On resi, scope is defined, reduced to writing, work is done per scope, then I get paid and move on. With NC, scope changes almost always from the initial contract, change orders are continuously having to be drafted and then making sure to chase down the GC so they sign off, rinse, repeat.

-Punch Lists: Can't stand em. Doesn't matter what I put in writing. Doesn't matter that I'm getting paid to return because other subs beat the tar out of all my perfect finishes. At some point, it gets depressing to have to return repeatedly to repair everything, and it's not fun to have to set aside days to return after I've already finished and had already returned to fix damages. That's NC for ya though.

-Working around other subs: We are typically at the mercy of nearly every other subs schedule with NC and often have to work around and on top of other subs, even though my contract states something to the contrary. Electricians showing back up and poking holes in drywall as I'm preparing to tack & vac before spraying the final coat on trim...Plumbers installing toilets in bathrooms which were empty the day before, finish carpenters deciding to return and install full MDF shelves in closets after I've primed and painted, etc,etc,etc.

-We are the bottom of the barrel on NC: Let's face it, we are relegated to janitorial work to clean up after every other sub who steps foot in the house. They don't care they track mud in after you've cleaned the floors to prepare for covering them. They don't care about damages, since they don't have to fix em. They don't understand that when it comes time to spray the wood pack that a dust-free environment means not letting the stone guy cut his pieces in the garage cuz it's raining, 10 feet away from 30k in cabinets & doors trying to dry & cure. It isn't a matter of not getting paid again for all of these things even when it's clearly explained in the contract. It's the idea of it all. I've grown to loathe working NC for all but a select few GC's. There are a few whose subs are respectful, diligent, and thoughtful. There are a few who pay ASAP and do everything in their power to make sure each sub knows when they can & can't get their work done. There are a few.

With the exception of having to work around the weather, there's absolutely nothing I dislike about residential exteriors, (except a-hole wasps and stepping in dog poo).
Couldn't have said it better myself.

If you want to feel like a cleaning company instead of a painting company, NC is for you!
If you like the hassles of scheduling/rescheduling and chasing down payments, NC is for you!
If you like thin margins and call backs that aren't your fault, NC is for you!

Repaints are where it's at. It would be tough to convince me otherwise..
 

·
Registered
House Painter
Joined
·
5 Posts
It’s been hard for me to find good help on any of the painting projects I’ve taken on. New, old… Outside, inside. Prep, Finish.
That being said, I think the biggest challenge in new construction jobs, from a subcontracting painter’s perspective, is that much of your destiny is dictated by the builder. If a builder is in over his head on a project (inept), or simply doesn’t care (corrupt), than many things will be done incorrectly and/or in the wrong order.

I’ve worked for builders who, for no good reason, had carpeting/flooring installation prior to painting (yes, I know a good painter can keep it clean regardless. But increased difficulty due to a lack of foresight is something I can’t stand for). On one of the new construction jobs I did, the electrician was found to be working without proper licensure. A replacement was not
Found in a timely manner, and I was unable
To finish much of my work (knowing that eventually another electrician would be coming in and butchering the walls). I’ve also seen builders drink/gamble/who-knows-what all of the money devoted to project completion. You can imagine how one that line could turn out.

I do suppose there are ways to prevent yourself from getting screwed in the above scenarios. I, personally, would rather just avoid it altogether.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Let's see, why I prefer residential exteriors to working with GC's on new construction interiors...

-Scheduling: On resi, we schedule, I work, but on NC, we schedule, I get pushed back by all the delays before me, then we reschedule again, (at least once, with less notice each time).

-Payment: On resi, 1/3 deposit at the time of signed contract with remainder due upon completion. For NC, often it's chasing down the GC to get your share of his progress payment before you have to wait til the next round, and I can count on 1 hand how many times I've been paid in full by GC's at the completion of the job.

-Scope: On resi, scope is defined, reduced to writing, work is done per scope, then I get paid and move on. With NC, scope changes almost always from the initial contract, change orders are continuously having to be drafted and then making sure to chase down the GC so they sign off, rinse, repeat.

-Punch Lists: Can't stand em. Doesn't matter what I put in writing. Doesn't matter that I'm getting paid to return because other subs beat the tar out of all my perfect finishes. At some point, it gets depressing to have to return repeatedly to repair everything, and it's not fun to have to set aside days to return after I've already finished and had already returned to fix damages. That's NC for ya though.

-Working around other subs: We are typically at the mercy of nearly every other subs schedule with NC and often have to work around and on top of other subs, even though my contract states something to the contrary. Electricians showing back up and poking holes in drywall as I'm preparing to tack & vac before spraying the final coat on trim...Plumbers installing toilets in bathrooms which were empty the day before, finish carpenters deciding to return and install full MDF shelves in closets after I've primed and painted, etc,etc,etc.

-We are the bottom of the barrel on NC: Let's face it, we are relegated to janitorial work to clean up after every other sub who steps foot in the house. They don't care they track mud in after you've cleaned the floors to prepare for covering them. They don't care about damages, since they don't have to fix em. They don't understand that when it comes time to spray the wood pack that a dust-free environment means not letting the stone guy cut his pieces in the garage cuz it's raining, 10 feet away from 30k in cabinets & doors trying to dry & cure. It isn't a matter of not getting paid again for all of these things even when it's clearly explained in the contractor. It's the idea of it all. I've grown to loathe working NC for all but a select few GC's. There are a few whose subs are respectful, diligent, and thoughtful. There are a few who pay ASAP and do everything in their power to make sure each sub knows when they can & can't get their work done. There are a few.

With the exception of having to work around the weather, there's absolutely nothing I dislike about residential exteriors, (except a-hole wasps and stepping in dog poo).
Excellently covered each aspect with precise detail. THUMBS UP!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,275 Posts
It’s been hard for me to find good help on any of the painting projects I’ve taken on. New, old… Outside, inside. Prep, Finish.
That being said, I think the biggest challenge in new construction jobs, from a subcontracting painter’s perspective, is that much of your destiny is dictated by the builder. If a builder is in over his head on a project (inept), or simply doesn’t care (corrupt), than many things will be done incorrectly and/or in the wrong order.

I’ve worked for builders who, for no good reason, had carpeting/flooring installation prior to painting (yes, I know a good painter can keep it clean regardless. But increased difficulty due to a lack of foresight is something I can’t stand for). On one of the new construction jobs I did, the electrician was found to be working without proper licensure. A replacement was not
Found in a timely manner, and I was unable
To finish much of my work (knowing that eventually another electrician would be coming in and butchering the walls). I’ve also seen builders drink/gamble/who-knows-what all of the money devoted to project completion. You can imagine how one that line could turn out.

I do suppose there are ways to prevent yourself from getting screwed in the above scenarios. I, personally, would rather just avoid it altogether.
Every company says that. Turns out people just arn't willing to pay enough for good help. Offer a good wage and you'll get good help
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
79 Posts
Let's see, why I prefer residential exteriors to working with GC's on new construction interiors...

-Scheduling: On resi, we schedule, I work, but on NC, we schedule, I get pushed back by all the delays before me, then we reschedule again, (at least once, with less notice each time).

-Payment: On resi, 1/3 deposit at the time of signed contract with remainder due upon completion. For NC, often it's chasing down the GC to get your share of his progress payment before you have to wait til the next round, and I can count on 1 hand how many times I've been paid in full by GC's at the completion of the job.

-Scope: On resi, scope is defined, reduced to writing, work is done per scope, then I get paid and move on. With NC, scope changes almost always from the initial contract, change orders are continuously having to be drafted and then making sure to chase down the GC so they sign off, rinse, repeat.

-Punch Lists: Can't stand em. Doesn't matter what I put in writing. Doesn't matter that I'm getting paid to return because other subs beat the tar out of all my perfect finishes. At some point, it gets depressing to have to return repeatedly to repair everything, and it's not fun to have to set aside days to return after I've already finished and had already returned to fix damages. That's NC for ya though.

-Working around other subs: We are typically at the mercy of nearly every other subs schedule with NC and often have to work around and on top of other subs, even though my contract states something to the contrary. Electricians showing back up and poking holes in drywall as I'm preparing to tack & vac before spraying the final coat on trim...Plumbers installing toilets in bathrooms which were empty the day before, finish carpenters deciding to return and install full MDF shelves in closets after I've primed and painted, etc,etc,etc.

-We are the bottom of the barrel on NC: Let's face it, we are relegated to janitorial work to clean up after every other sub who steps foot in the house. They don't care they track mud in after you've cleaned the floors to prepare for covering them. They don't care about damages, since they don't have to fix em. They don't understand that when it comes time to spray the wood pack that a dust-free environment means not letting the stone guy cut his pieces in the garage cuz it's raining, 10 feet away from 30k in cabinets & doors trying to dry & cure. It isn't a matter of not getting paid again for all of these things even when it's clearly explained in the contract. It's the idea of it all. I've grown to loathe working NC for all but a select few GC's. There are a few whose subs are respectful, diligent, and thoughtful. There are a few who pay ASAP and do everything in their power to make sure each sub knows when they can & can't get their work done. There are a few.

With the exception of having to work around the weather, there's absolutely nothing I dislike about residential exteriors, (except a-hole wasps and stepping in dog poo).
If you have no relationship with your client then yes, everything you mentioned is 100% accurate.
The way I do new resi is (A) I sub it and (B) I sub it to the same crew that's doing the drywall so there's no finger pointing about excessive point up and painters being held up by the drywall crew.
Yeah, schedules have to be reasonable and I still have to negotiate change orders but I'd rather receive a running kick square in the %# than deal with homeowners on a regular basis.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,621 Posts
Every company says that. Turns out people just arn't willing to pay enough for good help. Offer a good wage and you'll get good help
I haven’t received any applications since last year sometime. In a typical year I receive a couple dozen inquiries throughout the year.

I’ve heard it speculated that the Boomer Generation retired ‘en masse’ during Covid, leaving a worker shortage. That’s certainly one explanation. Differing ideas regarding work/balance from the up-and-coming generations might also account for some of the labor shortages everyone has been experiencing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,275 Posts
I haven’t received any applications since last year sometime. In a typical year I receive a couple dozen inquiries throughout the year.

I’ve heard it speculated that the Boomer Generation retired ‘en masse’ during Covid, leaving a worker shortage. That’s certainly one explanation. Differing ideas regarding work/balance from the up-and-coming generations might also account for some of the labor shortages everyone has been experiencing.
Used to be when I was working through college I was beholden to my job working retail and a measley 25 cent raise every year. Wish I had gotten wise and realized I had all the bargaining power to demand a raise or leave. Not sure what it's like in your area but around here taco bells new sign is starting at 23/hour plus benefits insurance, 401k and you get to work in a nice air conditioning and only drive through is open. Meanwhile I had to have a discussion with another painter paying his guys $25/hour no benefits that he needs to raise his pay else lose his crew. Starting wage here for apprentice painter is 35-40 and if your not advertising at that you probably won't have any applicants at all. 25/hour isn't enough to live here sadly.
 

·
Registered
Painter & Furniture Refinishing
Joined
·
2,757 Posts
Why work when you can make a fortune on YouTube. Lots of trades people are doing it, plasterers, tapers, drywallers, painters, handymen, tile setters, wall paper hangers, etc, etc.
There is an Ottawa, Ontario, handyman on YouTube that makes a pretty good living off his "HomeRenoVision DIY channel. https://socialblade.com/youtube/channel/UCnorhjQR4zJkT7AVNhu395Q
It gave him huge advertising value BUT his real world reviews are pretty bad, he takes forever to get things done, leaves people hanging mid job and so on. When he gets a bad review he threatens a court action if they refuse to take it down. I wonder how many others are as unreliable in the real world.

My son was a videographer / film maker. He is now a fairly renowned theater reviewer. What I know from his experience is filming requires all of your focus, how can you work a reno and film and have both of decent quality. As we all know, some of those painters are pretty shabby. Still, the biggest know-nothings on the planet can make fortunes on YouTube, why get your hands dirty doing actual work?! Most of what is on YouTube is trashy bunk but it makes real money!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,621 Posts
Used to be when I was working through college I was beholden to my job working retail and a measley 25 cent raise every year. Wish I had gotten wise and realized I had all the bargaining power to demand a raise or leave. Not sure what it's like in your area but around here taco bells new sign is starting at 23/hour plus benefits insurance, 401k and you get to work in a nice air conditioning and only drive through is open. Meanwhile I had to have a discussion with another painter paying his guys $25/hour no benefits that he needs to raise his pay else lose his crew. Starting wage here for apprentice painter is 35-40 and if your not advertising at that you probably won't have any applicants at all. 25/hour isn't enough to live here sadly.
ebb and flow.

Labor is in demand right now. Fast Food starting at [correction] $16/hr here.

As long as there is more work than workers, the employee seems to have the more bargaining power.

I have scaled down this year, although busier than I care to be, and hobbling along with 2 seasonal full-timers. Have been considering (may be necessary) going solo, or solo with a summer crew…
 

·
Super Moderator
Journeyman Painting Contractor
Joined
·
4,127 Posts
[/QUOTE]
Used to be when I was working through college I was beholden to my job working retail and a measley 25 cent raise every year. Wish I had gotten wise and realized I had all the bargaining power to demand a raise or leave. Not sure what it's like in your area but around here taco bells new sign is starting at 23/hour plus benefits insurance, 401k and you get to work in a nice air conditioning and only drive through is open. Meanwhile I had to have a discussion with another painter paying his guys $25/hour no benefits that he needs to raise his pay else lose his crew. Starting wage here for apprentice painter is 35-40 and if your not advertising at that you probably won't have any applicants at all. 25/hour isn't enough to live here sadly.
Where abouts are you?
 

·
Registered
Residential Painter
Joined
·
78 Posts
I haven’t received any applications since last year sometime. In a typical year I receive a couple dozen inquiries throughout the year.

I’ve heard it speculated that the Boomer Generation retired ‘en masse’ during Covid, leaving a worker shortage. That’s certainly one explanation. Differing ideas regarding work/balance from the up-and-coming generations might also account for some of the labor shortages everyone has been experiencing.
I hate to resort to the tired "snowflake" trope, but I hear it A LOT from guys through out the trades.

Story time: A few months ago I was chilling at a local bar after work and started talking to some random dude. Turns out he was a GC and asked for my card. Cool!

A little later this kid comes in and sits near us. He starts talking to the GC about how he is looking for work. The GC said he is always looking for reliable labor and asks the kid about his skill set.

This little punk straight up says, "Well, what kind of job are you offering? I need to make sure you are worth my time to work for". I couldn't help but to laugh in his face.

A couple of other guys catch this and proceed to start busting his balls. The kid throws a hissy fit about how "mean" they were.

Sorry kid, that was your interview. If you can't handle someone teasing you for drinking Michelob Ultra you are not going to last a day on an actual job site!
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top