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before people start bashing me, i am a 3rd generation union painter, starting my own non union business and have been doing fairly well in the residential market, but i'm wondering how i could get into the commercial sector? seems like a noob question but call me a noob in this area.:whistling2: basically wondering if you need to know people in that area to get their business or if its a public system or some sort.
 

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Usually you will just meet someone doing res repaint work that is in the commercial field. Either a business owner or general contractor. That is an easy way to start.
 

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before people start bashing me, i am a 3rd generation union painter, starting my own non union business and have been doing fairly well in the residential market, but i'm wondering how i could get into the commercial sector? seems like a noob question but call me a noob in this area.:whistling2: basically wondering if you need to know people in that area to get their business or if its a public system or some sort.
Hi there, getting into commercial and landing leads should not be too difficult, the difficult part is being able to properly perform i imagine those landed jobs and then getting GC totrust your work and asking you to bid again, I suggest figuring out who the local GC's are in your area through internet / walking around town etc, and then physically approaching them and explaining your new to commercial and want to price some work for them, any GC should give you a chance since they too are in need of a fresh (cheap) painter who may or may not know the ropes and underbid hence helping GC land work,,, but it goes both ways, you will have to know how to read blueprints well as well ,

Tony
 

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If by commercial you mean working for commercial General Contractors, as versus maintenance work for property management, a good way to break in with a GC would be on tenant work - painting walls, door, frames in office or retail build-outs - versus large base building or shopping centers. These are small enough jobs for them to risk hiring a new guy. Find out who the GC's are and approach their estimator in the office so you can get on their bid list. A lot of GC's have places on their websites you can go to fill out a new subcontractor form and also see what they are bidding on and even download the plans in .pdf files.

You will need to be able to read plans and give complete bids "per plans and specs". IF you are not good with blueprints, one way might be to team up with a drywall contractor who already has an in with GC's. They are doing all the takeoffs for you - sf of walls, door counts, etc - and the two of you could sell a complete finished package. When I was a GC, I loved to hire a combo drywall/painter sub because I could look to one person for the complete job...and the good looking walls. No finger pointing between the trades.

Lastly, I hope you can carry the job. Cash flow on commercial work can be very tough.
 

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A Brush Above
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Couldnt agree more as w3ntioned by etch above. Also get used to your vehicle looking like this. Invest in a drafting table as well.

Sent from my SM-G900P using PaintTalk.com mobile app
 

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I recently finished a couple of commercial jobs, I got the jobs by doing another job at commercial site. Once the GC saw me working he asked if I was interested in painting the mall, I did't have to place a bid because his main painter already gave him a quote and the GC had already won the bid. So I just charged him the same as the other Painter. As for bidding most construction companies find me on a contractor site and just ask if I want to bid and they send me the blue prints. Usually the blueprints are too complex for me to read right now since I'm new to commercial bidding also so I end up calling the project manager and ask him what their budget for painting is. Also I have a few friends who are GC's for some companies and they have been getiing me to bid lately on my own and let me know how close or far off I am from the other painters who bid
 

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A Brush Above
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I recently finished a couple of commercial jobs, I got the jobs by doing another job at commercial site. Once the GC saw me working he asked if I was interested in painting the mall, I did't have to place a bid because his main painter already gave him a quote and the GC had already won the bid. So I just charged him the same as the other Painter. As for bidding most construction companies find me on a contractor site and just ask if I want to bid and they send me the blue prints. Usually the blueprints are too complex for me to read right now since I'm new to commercial bidding also so I end up calling the project manager and ask him what their budget for painting is. Also I have a few friends who are GC's for some companies and they have been getiing me to bid lately on my own and let me know how close or far off I am from the other painters who bid
if you dont know how to read the plans you can loose your arse. Heck, even if you know how to read them, you can loose it due to requirements in the spec manual. Smaller jobs I guess you could hope someone elses numbers work, but what if they missed something abd that something was a big something.

I for one would be leary of hoping a GCs budget number was good enough.
 

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I recently finished a couple of commercial jobs, I got the jobs by doing another job at commercial site. Once the GC saw me working he asked if I was interested in painting the mall, I did't have to place a bid because his main painter already gave him a quote and the GC had already won the bid. So I just charged him the same as the other Painter. As for bidding most construction companies find me on a contractor site and just ask if I want to bid and they send me the blue prints. Usually the blueprints are too complex for me to read right now since I'm new to commercial bidding also so I end up calling the project manager and ask him what their budget for painting is. Also I have a few friends who are GC's for some companies and they have been getiing me to bid lately on my own and let me know how close or far off I am from the other painters who bid

Sounds like you're putting an awful lot of faith in the GC's. Let's just hope that they have YOU'RE best interest at heart. Most GC's I've known would end up doing great on the job, at your expense.




Stelzer Painting Inc.
 

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I could send you the emails I get everyday asking us to put a price together for commercial projects or the 3 or 4 calls everyday (sarcasm)
Most plans I've seen have no specs or room finish schedules. You would be 1 of 10 painters bidding to 1 of 10 GC's hoping to get the job....No thank you.
Anytime I've ever had a money problem it's been with a GC. There are only 2 that I am comfortable working with.
 

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repaintpro
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I do, and have done tons of commercial work.............I almost exclusively do that work for builders and developers we already know.

I also get emails almost daily to quote on commercial projects........most start with.... Hi, I have attached a set of plans....blar blar blar They don't even bother to read the name on my email or web site before posting!

Last year, out of new commercial quotations my success rate would be around 0%. I almost always send a reply email now saying we cannot assist.
 
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