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President's Message

Geoff (right) with a happy client

The problem with the painting industry today is that anyone can pick up a brush and claim to be a painter. There are no certificates, degrees or diplomas, nor are there any schools to issue these qualifications. The truth is, there's a lot more to being a quality painter than most people realize.

Only the discriminating client can determine which painting contractor is the one for them. For each situation a different type of contractor will prevail.

If, for example, a client wants a rental apartment done quickly and cheaply, they may contract a "fly by night" operation. There will probably be no warranty and quality will be sacrificed. Perhaps the client is selling the home and will not be around to be concerned with long term results. Other times, the client is not all that particular and requires a simple, clean and neat job. Others insist on the very highest standards the industry has to offer. That's where Performance Painters comes into the picture.

Very few painters can do it all. If you're an apartment painter you are probably not geared for the high end. If you're a high end painting contractor, your costs may not allow you to do low end work. Both may cover the middle ground well, but you're usually better off having the overqualified people handle your project (better safe than sorry).

Things to look for in a good painting organization:

MANPOWER

One man can spend an awfully long time getting your project completed to the point where they have vacated the premises without completing the job. Did the crew show up on time? Did they finish within a reasonable amount of time? How were the staff? Were they courteous & polite? Did they borrow anything from the client (tools/ladders/vacuum cleaners/garbage bags)? Were they presentable (uniforms or junky clothing)? Did they remove their shoes without being asked to?

THE COMPANY

Is the name of the contractor or company registered? Do they have a business number (govt.)? How many years in business?

EXPERIENCE

That's a tough call. Anybody can tell you that they have the experience. References are always of value.

REFERENCES

Anyone can give you a relative's or friend's name. Try to confirm that references are recent (and real) and ask to speak to previous customers. Do your due dilligence.

MATERIALS

Make sure that the contractor uses only top brand materials. (see our "About Us" page). Do they request that you supply your own? Do you really want to run around to do their job?

PUNCTUALITY

Did the estimator show up on time? If not, did he call in advance to rearrange the time? Did the crew show up on time, or at all (should you have finite time constraints)?

PROFESSIONALISM

Did they listen to your requests? Did they make suggestions on what might better suit your budget or decor? Were notes taken ? Did the contractor ask you questions? Was a business card issued?

ESTIMATES

Hopefully you recieved a formal, itemized estimate and not something verbal or scrawled on the back of a business card. How long did it take to get a firm response? Did they seem eager to handle your job?

PAYMENT

It is quite acceptable for the customer to determine the method of payment. However, it is generally unacceptable for the contractor to request cash. This can be a warning sign. If they want a down payment, how large? Unless the job is enormous 10% is reasonable. Only give the down payment to someone with whom you have had previous contact. At Performance Painters we take no down payment on projects under $5000.00. This is the clients guarantee that the job will be completed to their satisfaction.

WARRANTY

2 years is the norm for residential. No warranty for commercial. If special requests are made, extended warranties may be included. Get it in writing before the job is started.

CUSTOMER INPUT

It is important for the customer to be informed about their project. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Remember, the dumbest question is the one that wasn't asked.  Ask about the work, and ask the person you are talking to about him/herself (length of time with the company; his/her role). Have you made your expectations clear? Don't be "too busy" to double check on things (especially references). Review estimates carefully, always comparing apples to apples. No two contractors do things exactly the same way.

APPROVING THE ESTIMATE

Okay, so you got three quotes: one high, one reasonable and one really low. Beware the lowball...you will get what you pay for! The mid price is usually a safe bet and the high is often top quality. Simply put, don’t let money make your final decision. Much goes into a paint job.  Professionals and high quality materials cost money.

THE FINER POINTS

Did they make you aware of certain "trouble spots" eg. latex that had been previously applied over oil paint?    Did they tell you about special materials for special areas? Did they try to inform you of the various aspects of the job? Did the car they pulled up in look too expensive or too broken down (both can be bad signs for many reasons)? Did the vehicle leak oil where it was parked? If they don't care about your driveway or front walk, they may not be very cautious within your home.

 

There really is a sea of knowledge necessary to be a competent and competitive painting contractor dealing with Toronto's diverse architecture. You should be able to tell when you speak & meet with the company officials. Use a bit of common sense and gut instinct as factors influencing your decision. Remember most importantly that money isn’t everything (within reason). Peace of mind, happiness and value is worth more than the money itself.

 

ON A PERSONAL NOTE...

My name is Geoff Bernard and I have been a painting contractor for over 30 years. I started painting at the age of 17, working for a professional as a summer job. The following year, I started my own company which ran many summers while I was attending the University of Toronto. Upon taking a break from university for a year, I resumed painting and found it to be where I belonged. I promptly opened Performance Painters as a registered business in 1987 and began implementing my special practices within this trade.

I am hard working and committed to providing the highest quality products and services with old world values. My clients needs are number one on my priority list. I invest first and foremost in my company, always ensuring the ability to meet customer demands.

My  knowledge of painting is an encyclopedia at your disposal. I know what makes a job tick and how to best work within your budget.

I personally train my staff to the expectations that I would want to receive as a client. I make myself available to my clients whenever possible. You can always reach me when you need to and my staff is readily available to accommodate your on-site requirements or concerns.

I truly enjoy what I do and I pass that experience on to my clients. My goal is to make every encounter with Performance Painters an enjoyable one for the client. This can vary as some clients would like us to be like mice or elves and others want to get to know my staff or me. Either way we leave the client with a feeling that they have made the right choice and the they have received good value for their hard earned dollars.

If all painting contractors were like us, we would not be in such high demand.

Please call us anytime for a free, no obligation estimate or if you have any further questions

Performance Painters is at your service!

Yours very truly,

Geoff Bernard

(416) 449 -6204

gbernard@performancepainters.com

24 hours/day, 7 days/week

 

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