The Painter's Song
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Wednesday, October 18, 2017
By JD Coussens
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I think blogs are a great way to vent.  I've been in the remodeling field for 35 years.  There are not many things I haven't seen.  I'm pretty easy going so things usually don't bother me enough to get off my lazy butt to write about it.


We presently have a whole house remodel going.  We are changing the kitchen, family, dining, and living room.  The owner wants the upstairs painted also.  Our normal painter is too busy to work us into their schedule so we have been painting in house with my carpenters.  With this in mind, I just want to paint the jobs that we did the carpentry work at, not use my carpenters to be painters.  That being said, we are a full service contractor so I started calling painting contractors to find a new one.  Once I find a sub contractor I like, we quit looking around.  It's more important to us to have a team member I can count on instead of getting the lowest price on every job.  After sending 3 painters into meet the owner, we hired the one that she liked best.  We were satisfied with his history of good work so we had him paint the downstairs also.


Boom, done the job is going to be great, being a general contractor is easy!  The painter started on Friday, Friday night I'm getting calls that the painter had used a spray painter and didn't cover windows, trim, outlets or fixtures.  What the heck is going on?!  I texted the painter and found he was too busy so he hired another contractor to do the work for him.   Needless to say, they are now cleaning up the job before they can go further.  The owner is backing out of now painting the upstairs.  The fact that the owner picked this sub makes the call more pleasant but doesn't make the solution any easier.


This happened to us last year with a flooring contractor.  He hired another sub to do the work and didn't supervise the sub.  The sub botched the whole job.  My supplier hired another contractor at his expense to make it right, but the job was set back three weeks while they removed all traces of the previous sub.  The owners were glad it was made right, but not happy with the extended schedule.


Being a good general is like being an orchestra conductor.  We give everyone the same sheet music.  We go over the music during rehearsal so it will be perfect and the audience will love it.  Every once in awhile you have a band member that is having a bad day and messes up the beat.  I don't know why, when you ask them, they don't know why.  What I do know is even though we get it right from then on, the audience is never as exited as when they first came.  The entire orchestra gets a black eye, not just the weak member.  This is why I'm slow at hiring new subs, or employees.  I don't like getting a black eye. 

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