Avoiding Commercial Painting Scams. Some scams are obvious enough that we see them coming from miles away. But other scams come from unexpected places, and SmithPro Commercial Painting has seen its fair share of commercial painting scams. Following these tips can help you keep from falling prey to a scam or an illegitimate contractor.
We’ll keep this part short and sweet: if a bid comes in significantly lower than what you’ve seen in your research and RFPs, that should raise red flags. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
A little bargaining can be a natural part of the bidding process, but you should never feel as though you’re being pressured to take on a particular contractor or accept a particular “deal.” Request time to consider the offer (especially if it’s one of several you’ve received), and send a contractor packing if they resist. Those are often the same people who will try to pressure more money out of you after the contract is signed and work has started.
Requesting Payment In Full Up Front
Any contractor will ask for an initial deposit before work is started, and it’s not uncommon on larger projects to work out payments when certain phases of a project are completed. However, no reputable painting contractor will ever ask for the full amount up front.
No Contract, or a Suspiciously Vague Contract
A handshake agreement is fine if you’re lending $50.00 to a friend. When it comes to a commercial painting project, however, a verbal agreement isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on. You shouldn’t have to insist on, or even need to ask about, whether the scope of the project will be covered in writing; we understand that a contract is about protecting our best interests as well as yours, and we do our best to ensure it’s as specific as possible.
Suspicion or Agitation Over Routine Questions
We welcome questions. To us, it’s a sign that you’re doing your due diligence, and it’s also a clear indication that you’ve given sufficient thought to this project to have an idea of what you want. For us, it’s an opportunity to explain our processes, provide you with references, and sometimes to brag on what we’ve accomplished (we’re only human, after all). If you’re asking questions of a potential contractor and you get the distinct impression that you’re being stonewalled, or that your questions are being met with nervousness or hostility, it’s time to consider other options.
We wish that commercial painting was as simple as laying down a few coats and then heading home. While we take pride in our work, the rules and regulations can seem onerous sometimes. But we take care in staying compliant. We’re licensed, bonded, and insured, and we’re diligent about addressing permitting issues; like a thorough contract, it’s for our protection and yours alike. If a painter hasn’t bothered to do those things, they’re not worth your time or money.
This doesn’t necessarily rise to the level of “scam,” but we’d like to take a minute to talk about experience. Some contractors mean well, and we all have to start somewhere. Some newer companies will have all of the above bases covered — they’re fully legal, their payment terms are correct, and they’re patient with your questions — but when the time comes to get to work, they may be learning on the job, or may have an experienced supervisor overseeing a crew of new recruits.
That’s not how we handle things; in addition to being a union shop, we hire highly experienced team members who already know their craft. That makes a difference you’ll see from the first day. To find out more about our commercial painting services, contact SmithPro Commercial Painting today to request a commercial painting quote.