Painting and Decorating Made Easier!

Lars lives in a 3-story walk-up (no elevator) apartment building off West Grand Boulevard, in northwest Chicago. He paints and also installs wallpapers in luxury “owner” apartments and condominiums on the in the North Shore and northeast side neighborhoods overlooking Lake Michigan.

 

On the average, he works on the same residence for seven to eight full days at a time. When one of the properties is sold, he is usually the first painter that the new owners contact to redecorate the home to their specifications.

 

These redecorating projects fall into three levels of work.

 

1. Minimal redecorating. Repainting one or two rooms (often the living room and master bedroom); touching up painting throughout the home. Owner involvement: Owner/client is minimally involved during the work. Approximate completion time: 1 to 3 days.

 

2. Some redecorating. New painting often needs to encorporate new owner’s color preferences into existing color scheme. Requires repainting of front hallway; main living, dining and entertainment areas, bedrooms and bathrooms. Owner involvement: Owner checks in on project fairly regularly. Approximate completion time: 7 to 10 days.

 

3. Remodeling & redecorating. He works under project contractor, based on the architect’s and interior designer’s plans. Entails extensive surface prepping, following new color scheme and applying paint, special finishes and wallcoverings, also detail work. Owner involvement: Very little directly with painter and other craftspersons. Approximate completion time: 1 to 6 months.

 

PROJECT COSTS:

 

NOTE: Labor costs for Level one and two are figured at a materials plus hourly labor rate. Level three are figured on a three-part project basis: (1) materials, supplies; (2) repairs and prep work; and (3) finish work.

 

1. Projects-Level one. Materials and supplies: Lars asks the owner to pay out front for all. Or, the owner gives him a cashier’s check or money order to purchase what he needs. Labor: Owner pays one-half out front, and one-half at completion.

 

2. Projects-Level two. Property owner and Lars sign 2-page agreement, which includes the approximate itemized cost for project. Materials, supplies, equipment rental: Property owner pays Lars out front. Labor: Owner pays one-third before work begins, one-third half-way through project, one-third upon inspection and completion.

 

3. Projects-Level three. Lars signs contract agreement with project contractor, that bonds Lars. Materials and supplies, special tools, equipment rental: Lars receives debit card or access to special checking account, and purchases everything he needs out front and as needed.

Labor: Lars, like all tradespersons on project, receives “project employee” pay check on bi-weekly basis. Craftsman bonus: Upon completion and final inspections, Lars receives a bonus check, if his work is rated at A or A-plus level. That means premium craftsmanship, coming in before his deadline, and under painting and decorating budget.

 

NOTE: Lars’s bonuses are never based on the productivity level of other tradespersons on the project. They do, however, take into account the quality of the finished work of everyone on the project. Thus, Lars and the different tradespersons have an added incentive to work together, consistently, toward achieving high-end results!

 

By the way, Lars worked as an IUPAT/IBPAT painter for over fourteen years. He moved, got caught in the union’s new vested hours rule determination, and lost all fourteen years of his vested worked hours toward pension.

 

So, in late 2002, he struck out on his own. He became a one-man paintshop. Plus, he farms himself out on larger projects.

 

He says that he has never regretted the switch. “During rough times, I’ve had to take on temporary staff painting jobs with hotels and resorts… Also, I’ve worked for a non-union contractor on and off, installing wallcoverings.”

 

With a Dutch twinkle in his eyes, he adds, “I do what all professional painters do. What is necessary…what makes sense.”

 

Right you are, Lars.

 

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CONGRATULATIONS and a big “thank you” to our Chicago Cubs for  winning the 2017 World Series. We’re all very proud of you.

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Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

Copyright 2016. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

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