We just wrapped up a huge project with an outstanding couple. The painting experience has been wonderful for all of us notwithstanding a few scenarios that have posed a challenge for the couple.
At the beginning of 2017, homeowners had a pipe burst in the upstairs bathroom of their new home while they were on vacation. The water damage it caused was extremely pervasive, destroying the downstairs and basement floors and walls. Mildew grew forcing them to leave their home and rent for nearly a year while the project to fix everything went underway.
The insurance company approved a major renovation including replacing flooring, drywall and cabinetry. They also approved repainting after the walls had been repaired from the water damage and the woodwork replaced.
By the time we were called, it was late fall and the drywaller and carpenters still had their work cut out for them. Even though the circumstances bringing about this renovation were a homeowner's worst nightmare, we focused on making sure the experience from our side was as smooth as possible.
Here are 5 takeaways from this painting experience that made it one the home owners will never forget.
1) We began with a consultation
When the homeowners called Color Theory, they initially wanted a quote for painting, but also learned about our color consulting service and were interested in what help that might bring. They had already started working with an interior designer but were still a little back and forth on the new colors. We brought our colors with us and developed a scheme that would work beautifully with the lighting of there home. After getting the flooring in, a couple of color adjustments were made (mixing and matching from our consultation and the designers) and they felt really confident about their color choices before we invested any time and money into putting on new paint colors.
2) Communication was key
As our availability to start the work came into full view, we increased our communication with the customer. Delays on either end of the process are always possible and so we make it a point to stay in contact, especially as we get closer to the project. We were able to work with the client on their time frame and begin the job on schedule.
Once the project work order was handed off from the Color Theory Consultant to the Craftsmen, the communication continued through the crew. The crew leader contacted them a couple days beforehand to pinpoint the exact start time. On the first day, the customer and the crew leader did a walk through together confirming the details of the project with the work order. Any add ons that weren't covered during the first appointment were discussed then and adjustments were made. They provided the homeowners with updates and prioritized the work in a way that was most convenient for everyone.
3) Having space is nice
One thing that was really helpful to us as painters during this project was having a cleared out space. With this particular project that wasn't an issue. All of the stuff was out of the house because of the flooding. Having that space really allowed us to work more efficiently and minimized the risk to damaging personal belongings.
In many of our projects, the home owners are currently living in the space, which is why we ask for at least 4-5 feet of space between the walls and the furniture that's moved to the center of the room. I like to look at the de-cluttering of a space as an opportunity to clear out some of the things you've accumulated but no longer use or if they don't bring you joy. You may even consider working with a professional cleaning company like C&T Clean Team to help you pair down. You'll feel totally refreshed if you use your upcoming painting project as an excuse to purge!
The only hiccup we ran into on this project was working alongside other trades. Don't get me wrong, we love our other tradesmen, but as major renovations tend to go, sometimes the trades end up overlapping each other as one is under the gun to finish before the next trade begins. In this case it lead to a couple of instances where we had to go back and touch some things up that had been bumped or dented by other trades and a last minute decision to add quarter round to the baseboard ended up effecting the end price. It wasn't a major drama or anything but I think if we were doing it again, we might have decided to wait until the carpenter was completely done before starting. We were weighing our pros and cons on this one because we wanted the client to be able to get back home before this renovation crossed the year mark.
4) The feedback process
One of the challenges with being a service company, is that we perform our services right under the view of the customer. Compare this to manufacturing products where quality control is happening long before the product even reaches the store and hits the shelves. From the moment we begin to the final walk through, you're witnessing a work in progress, because of that, it can be tempting to point out flaws and hit the panic button early. Our first aim, is to wow you from day one, but we also recognize that painting is a huge investment and that alone can start a project out with a reasonable amount of worry. These clients were really great about this.
They recognized that it's a process that they are witnessing and they waited until the end of the project when we gave them the go ahead to point out anything we may have missed before the final billing. We gave them a roll of painter's tape to go around and mark anything they saw. There were a couple things, as with any huge project, that we missed and a few things that got snagged by other trades, but on the last day we took the time to meticulously fix every issue. The following day I got a call from the homeowner telling me how impressed they were with the hard work the crew put into the quality control process and that she was blown away with the results.
5) Relax, you're in good hands
The last thing that made this painting experience great was that everyone was relaxed and able to enjoy the process. Our craftsmen love the work they do and they really get to enjoy it when they feel like they are trusted in the home. We've had a customer or two in the past who've gotten really anxious about having work done to their home. I understand. It's overwhelming to feel like your whole daily routine is being turned up on its head. But we at Color Theory truly strive to create an experience that is unique and special.
The relaxed tempo of these homeowners was wonderful to work with. Our crew felt really great about the work that they did and were happy to do it for such gracious hosts. Now this happy family is back to their beautiful home and they are loving life.
If you are having a painting project done and haven't already had a color consultation, here's your opportunity: