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Discussion Starter #1
Don't know how many of you provide your customers with preparation info sheets prior to beginning work but this is one I wrote and started using last year. I was tired of getting to jobs only to find things not ready. This is geared to interior work since that's all I do. Wasn't sure how this would be received by my customers but the response has been all positive (most think I am very organized...ha!).
I typically don't give it out on small jobs, only on the larger repaint projects and not all things are covered (such as pets). There are also those jobs where I know some of these things won't be done (I don't expect my elderly customers to have their furniture all moved and their curtains down) so I factor the time for those things into my bid.
This has saved me a ton of time and aggravation since I began using it.

Dan


"Many times clients are concerned about what they need to do to be ready for a painting project. To help with this, I have included this list of items that may need to be addressed before the painting begins:

A) Please have the majority of your paint colors picked out. This will allow me to get right to work without any delays. The paint sheens to be used (flat, eggshell, satin, or semi-gloss) are also important. You and I will likely have already discussed the sheens to be used depending on the areas to be painted. If not, please contact me for final recommendations. I will call to confirm colors and sheens before ordering any paint.

B) If only the walls in a room are to be painted, move furniture at least three feet out from the walls. If ceilings are also to be painted, avoid clumping the furniture together in the middle of the room if possible. This is especially true if there are hanging light fixtures or recessed lights. Instead, have the furniture moved away from the walls while leaving space to move between the various pieces so the ceiling may be reached. Don’t worry, I will thoroughly cover anything which may be in work area. Although I take great care if I need to move any furniture, please let me know if you have a particularly delicate piece (such as an antique) before work begins.

C) Have all small or breakable items (lamps, picture frames, figurines, etc.) moved off of tables, mantles, window sills, or counters in the work area.

D) Please remove all objects (pictures, mirrors, hanging shelves, etc.) which are mounted on the walls. If an object is to go back in the same place after the work is completed, simply leave the nail or other hanging device where it is and I will deal with it. If you do not wish to return an object to the same place, remove the nail or hanging device and I will fill the hole(s) before the painting begins.

E) Please take down any window treatments such as curtains, valances, and panels. Curtain rods should also be removed but the wall brackets that support them can remain. Blinds and shades mounted inside the window frame can stay where they are.

F) In bathrooms, please clean the outside of the toilet, the surrounding lower walls and sides of cabinets, and the floor area around the toilet. In kitchens, please clean the areas behind the refrigerator and (if applicable) the stove.



Things you don’t need to take care of before the painting begins:

A) Leave outlet and switch plate covers in place. My bid includes their removal, cleaning, and replacing.

B) Covering of wall or ceiling light fixtures. I will deal with these. An exception may be if you are planning to get any new fixtures. Please let me know if this is the case.

C) Ordering and getting the paint to the job site. Unless other arrangements have been made, this will be done by me.


It is my goal to make the painting process be as stress free as possible for my clients. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns after reading this material or any time prior to the start of the job.

Sincerely,"
 

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A painter I know gives 2 prices for interiors. The first one if he is to move all the furniture and take down window treatment and the second one if they do the moving.

He said the usually choose to move things on the first job, but when scheduling him for a second job they have him move everything and pay the higher amount.

I like the info in you letter
 

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Born To Be Mild
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Do you move furniture if they don't?

Gotta ask because I would think some people will go with the other contractor so they don't have to deal with furniture.

Like the letter you did and Ramsden's info on the 2 price structure.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Do you move furniture if they don't?

Gotta ask because I would think some people will go with the other contractor so they don't have to deal with furniture.

Like the letter you did and Ramsden's info on the 2 price structure.
Many of these subjects come up during the bid but invariably I forget to mention something. Having them in writing is just a way for me to insure the HO has been informed. I wanted to keep it to a single page and short enough that they would likely read it (it's long enough as it is). There are additional subjects like pets, children's' safety, vacuuming, etc., I chose to leave out for brevity.

Moving furniture and appliances is an issue for all painters. I have a standing policy of having the HOs sign off on potential floor damage if I have to move refrigerators, washers, dryers, and stoves on vinyl and wood floors. I prefer to have the HOs there even if I'm doing the moving. Many of my customers are older and expecting them to move these things isn't always practical - but they often can bring in someone to do it. I have a large assortment of furniture gliders and pads I loan out. However, I end up moving stuff more often than I would prefer. It just comes with the job but I do make sure to factor it into my bid. It's amazing how they can suddenly find a friend or grown child to do it when they know it's going to cost them more.

I hate working around toilets (only plumbers don't) and even though I request that the toilet and surrounding wall surfaces need to be cleaned, you never know what the HO's definition of that is. First thing I do is completely wrap the toilet in painters' plastic. That doesn't take care of the walls but I try to avoid those until I've given them a hit with Krud Kutter. At best the walls have been cleaned twice - at worst I've done it pretty thoroughly.
 

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Many of these subjects come up during the bid but invariably I forget to mention something. Having them in writing is just a way for me to insure the HO has been informed. I wanted to keep it to a single page and short enough that they would likely read it (it's long enough as it is). There are additional subjects like pets, children's' safety, vacuuming, etc., I chose to leave out for brevity.

Moving furniture and appliances is an issue for all painters. I have a standing policy of having the HOs sign off on potential floor damage if I have to move refrigerators, washers, dryers, and stoves on vinyl and wood floors. I prefer to have the HOs there even if I'm doing the moving. Many of my customers are older and expecting them to move these things isn't always practical - but they often can bring in someone to do it. I have a large assortment of furniture gliders and pads I loan out. However, I end up moving stuff more often than I would prefer. It just comes with the job but I do make sure to factor it into my bid. It's amazing how they can suddenly find a friend or grown child to do it when they know it's going to cost them more.

I hate working around toilets (only plumbers do) and even though I request that the toilet and surrounding wall surfaces need to be cleaned, you never know what the HO's definition of that is. First thing I do is completely wrap the toilet in painters' plastic. That doesn't take care of the walls but I try to avoid those until I've given them a hit with Krud Kutter. At best the walls have been cleaned twice - at worst I've done it pretty thoroughly.
I never put anything like that in writing but you bring up an interesting point...Very often the kitchen fridge is in a tight position and the island makes it impossible to move it out far enough to paint behind..That means you must slide the fridge sideways too...Very often they have hardwood floors or very expensive tile that could easily be scratched...

I find the best way is to use a towel and then a thin piece of plywood to roll the fridge on and then you can slide it sideways...I always get nervous even then that it might scratch the floor.
 

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I never put anything like that in writing but you bring up an interesting point...Very often the kitchen fridge is in a tight position and the island makes it impossible to move it out far enough to paint behind..That means you must slide the fridge sideways too...Very often they have hardwood floors or very expensive tile that could easily be scratched...

I find the best way is to use a towel and then a thin piece of plywood to roll the fridge on and then you can slide it sideways...I always get nervous even then that it might scratch the floor.
That's because you aren't up to date :no::

Easy Moves
 

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You've worded it well.

two suggestions,

move as much as possible OUT of the room

move all personal items in the bathroom to a safe area (be it IN the vanity, med cab, or out of room)
 

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All of the comments about the toilet are funny to me. I didn't expect them coming from a bunch of contractors, but I guess that's true, we're not plumbers. I have never felt incredible grossed out by painting around a toilet. But maybe that is just because I have had to do some super gross things in my previous jobs. Thanks for the post though, I do like the letter, but I also bid 2 prices: one for furniture and wall items moved, and one for if I have to move. :)
 

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I am sure it is working for you Dan and like you said I am sure you warm them up to your letter rather than just dropping it on them but as far as what I put in, just the removal of small nick knacks and other fragile items along with family heirlooms needs to be removed from the area prior to painting.

As far as the furniture when looking at the job I ask if they will be moving the furniture and if not it gets factored into the proposal.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Only bit that strikes me is that I want to have colors and sheen in writing before I buy paint.
I do too. This is given to them when they've accepted the bid but before the contract is signed. The colors and sheens are written into the contract 98% of the time but occasionally they haven't decided on the colors for a room or two so I have places on the contract where that info can be added and the HO can initial. In an ideal scenario I prefer to have everything decided before I ever begin but...

"You've worded it well.
two suggestions,
move as much as possible OUT of the room
move all personal items in the bathroom to a safe area (be it IN the vanity, med cab, or out of room)"


Thanks Bill. The smaller stuff is out but often a couch, dining table, dresser, or bed is going to be there. Just don't want things clumped together under the ceiling light.

"I never put anything like that in writing but you bring up an interesting point...Very often the kitchen fridge is in a tight position and the island makes it impossible to move it out far enough to paint behind..That means you must slide the fridge sideways too...Very often they have hardwood floors or very expensive tile that could easily be scratched...

I find the best way is to use a towel and then a thin piece of plywood to roll the fridge on and then you can slide it sideways...I always get nervous even then that it might scratch the floor."


I just have a short disclaimer saying that I will not be held responsible for any damage which may occur when moving something. I don't make a big deal of it but if they won't sign, I won't be doing the moving.
I use a piece of 1/8" masonite the same way you do. I also make sure the leveling feet are up. Those are what will likely do the damage. What I really hate seeing is that seam in the soft vinyl floor about six inches out from the front of the fridge. Never yet damaged a floor but if it ever happens - that's where it will occur. Wood floors always make me nervous.

"I am sure it is working for you Dan and like you said I am sure you warm them up to your letter rather than just dropping it on them but as far as what I put in, just the removal of small nick knacks and other fragile items along with family heirlooms needs to be removed from the area prior to painting.

As far as the furniture when looking at the job I ask if they will be moving the furniture and if not it gets factored into the proposal."


That's what I always did too Sean. About a year and a half ago I had three jobs close together where I showed up to start and nothing - I mean NOTHING - had been moved. Tables, lamps, plants, pictures, grandma... everything was still in place (I felt like just painting around everything and leaving silhouettes on the walls). Spending three hours moving crap can mess up your whole schedule so that's when I decided to come up with this. As mentioned, I don't break this out on every job but when I have, it's been very helpful.

Dan
 

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It's very good to spell out the expectations and helpful tips for the project. I don't tell them in a letter prior to the job, I put it in the contract! I think it can also set you apart from your competition showing how organized you are and it also shows you've done this before...
 

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How many people tell you they aren't comfortable taking down curtain rods, and blinds?

I like the idea with wrapping the toilet in plastic.

Nice letter.
 

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I have also found that people like multi-page packets of information in reguards to their project. One of my business advisors put it like this, "if I ask for 3 painting bids and set them on my desk, what will set you apart from the others? I have two that are basic excel quote sheets that say wash,scrape,prime,paint. The third is a packet with quote, contract, certifications, references, ect. Which stands out?" I typically hand them 5 pages for my quote, that is if I want the job.
 

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Use this on occasion.

Page #1


In order to provide you with the best service, and to answer the most frequently asked questions, please read over the following before we begin your project. Please feel free to give us a call if you have any questions or concerns. Thank you for your cooperation.

Customer “To Do” List

Remove all small room items such as: pictures, wall hangings, lamps, valuables, breakables, table items, small furniture, and simple window treatments.

Remove all breakables from furniture such as china cabinets.

Remove contents from closets, shelving, and cabinets, if the interiors of these areas are to be painted.

Remove mats, towels and personal items from bathrooms.

Remove items from kitchen counters.

We typically work in one or two rooms at a time, so room contents can be placed in other rooms while we work. If your project has several areas, please call so we can work out the sequence for us to proceed. Then before we arrive, you will only have to prepare the rooms we are to start.

If you do not feel comfortable moving or taking down something large or complicated, please leave it in place and we will take care of it. We will move large furniture or group it together in center of room before we cover with new clean plastic and canvas droplets.

Things we need to know before we start your project

Colors need to be chosen for the various surfaces to be painted: ceilings, walls, woodwork, closets, etc.

Sheen quality needs to be chosen for each color: flat, eggshell, satin, or high-gloss.

We typically use Benjamin Moore or Pittsburgh paints. If you have selected a color from a different brand, let us know as we can usually match the color. We can match existing surfaces, wall coverings, and fabrics or provide a color deck for your use. If we are to match an existing surface, please locate your leftover paint cans, if available. (please turn over)
 

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Page #2


Important: Color changes are wasteful of time and money. We understand that color choices can be tough decisions. Color is our business, and we want you to be happy with the finished product. But, please help us by working out your selections before our crew begins the work.

Wall coverings and borders to be installed, should be available and instructed to us where each different product is to be installed.

Areas to be patched or repaired, such as: existing picture hooks, existing window treatments, water damage areas, or wall irregularities. We patch, caulk, spot-prime any defective cracks or areas we find, but please make us aware of any areas of concern to you.

Are any other trades performing in the same areas that should be sequenced and coordinated?

Our normal hours are Monday through Friday 8:00 AM until 4:00 PM. If no one will be home when we arrive or depart, please make arrangements with us such as: unlocked door, a key for our use, a hidden key, an overhead door remote control or an overhead door keypad code. Please make sure your alarm system is disarmed or provide a code for our use.

Your home’s security is important to us. We will use whichever system you feel comfortable with. Also, please let us know if we are to provide access to others while you are away.

We will need a small area to keep our supplies and equipment. Please let us know if you have a specific area in mind.

Is there a specific restroom we should use?

Please let us know which color you want your pets painted, just kidding! Please make arrangements to keep your pets out of work areas. We love animals, and want to keep them safe from any of the supplies that could be hazardous to their health. We would also like to know their names and any specific instructions regarding them.

If you decide to have us perform additional work, please let us know. Usually our schedule is flexible and we can accomplish the additions while we are already at your project, which is the most efficient process. Additional work will be performed on a time and material basis at our current labor rate. Feel free to call our office for our labor rate or to request a change order estimate
 
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