You may have decided that giving your commercial property a fresh coat of paint is an expense that you just can’t afford. But if you’re noticing slower business or less tenants, you’d be surprised what a paint job can do. Reviving the look of your property by painting the interior or exterior can be well worth what it costs – as long as you choose the right contractor to do the job. The ease of your painting job is entirely dependent on who you choose to work with, and these jobs can become very complicated if you’re not careful.
A Wise Investment
While they are not obligated to do so, many high-end managers actually commit to repaints for their tenants. Benteau, who has had 34 years of experience in the industry, has noticed this habit and how much difference a paint job every four or five years can improve and maintain client satisfaction. As a result, managers who do so retain their tenants for longer terms.
Benteau says, “Painting is the most cost-effective form of maintenance for any property manager in that it can revitalize and change the space for the least amount of money.”
First impressions make all the difference, and something as big as the paint, whether interior or exterior, is sure to be one of the things that a potential client or tenant notices right off the bat.
“Space improvements by landlords is often done to attract tenants. Painting is one of the cheapest to do. Having quality work being done for the project is vital to the establishment of long-term relationships,” says Benteau. “Many will utilize the best price, with little inspection for quality, which in the end, starts a relationship off with a bad impression.”
It’s best to invest in a designer color change; though having a consultation with a designer in order to get color recommendations to best utilize your space costs more, the quality that comes as a result is well worth the extra cost. The difference between paint jobs with and without consultations is undoubtedly notable, and Benteau had noticed that property managers usually do this service within one to two years of renewals.
The color or condition of the paint can also hugely affect how one feels. “Rather than a tenant moving to another spot, sometimes you can change the environment so they have less motivation to find something different,” Benteau notes. “It seems to invigorate the staff and the tenants. Painting is probably the lowest-cost renovation that they can do and it has the biggest bang for the buck.”
Protect Your Property – And Your Tenants
What is in the paint you are using? You don’t have to worry about this too much as almost all commercial paints currently used meet LEED standards and are low- or no-VOC; this means that they can be used indoors in the presence of clients and tenants without causing a problem. But still maintain precaution in the paint you use as the health and safety of tenants and workers ought to be a top priority.
“There are still some products that we use that do have nasty smells, but for the most part, those are specialty products that you use after hours or when no one is around,” Benteau says. “The majority of our projects in the last ten years are done while people continue to work. It is important for your contractor to work with your tenants to coordinate the project and to work professionally with consideration at all times to the work environment and being aware of all safety concerns that exist.”
Make sure outdoor paints are used only for outdoor use and vice versa. Outdoor paints, especially, are formulated to help the building stay sound and dry through time and wear and tear.
First, after-hours work is always more expensive, so schedule the painting to be done while tenants are in the space. Second, hire your contractor in the off-season of painting – December, January, and February.
Supply and demand predict how much painting jobs cost, and since few contractors do exterior work, it tends to be a bit pricier. Benteau advises that getting a quote during the off-season is the best time do so, potentially saving you up to 20%! Just be sure to plan ahead if you want to get the lowest price.
It’s better to pay more upfront than to have to have to deal with the expense of a job badly done. You’ll want to follow a legitimate preparation process for the specific job you’re getting done. If you don’t, you’ll have pretty steep yearly maintenance fees to keep up with. But doing it the right way at the beginning ensures longevity, increasing it by up to 10 years even.
Choosing the Right Contractor
Make sure you hire someone who is trustworthy and who will treat your tenants as though they are his own clients.
Here’s what to look for in a good contractor: a consultation, a detailed site inspection followed by a detailed estimate (avoiding any hidden costs), full worker’s compensation coverage, liability insurance in the event of an accident, and an inspection conducted by both the client and tenant at the end of the job. He should also be considerate of the budget and time-restraints you’ve set as he goes about the job.
On your end, just be sure that you completely clear out space before the painters come in. Dirt, debris, and clutter can greatly affect the quality of the job, and you’d only have yourself to blame! If you’ve chosen for yourself a good contractor, he would sand, thoroughly clean any rough areas, fill in hole, caulk any gaps, etc. to provide the best quality job.
Fresh paint is always beneficial for your business, but the only way to ensure you’re making the most frugal choice for your property is to hire the right contractor.
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