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Archive for the ‘Properties’ Category

14 Favors to Do for Your Replacement

You’re leaving the painter’s job at the hotel or facility. A new painter will be taking over.

Your aim should always be to leave the “Painter’s Post,” Paintshop,” and all related support systems in top shape for your successor.

 

You can play a key role in the new painter’s ability to start on the right foot. He or she needs and deserves:

(a) to be welcomed warmly by your former “family” – teammates and managers;

(b) to adjust well to his or her new workplace, system, and company policies;

(c) to learn to do the job needed and expected, and,

(d) to reach the confidence level needed to be a vital, valuable member of that “community.”

 

You want to do everything that you can – during your last week or two there – to ensure that he or she will be glad about accepting the job.

 
1. Leave him or her a list or chart about the following: (a) standard tasks, (b) usual work orders, (c) current projects, (d) departmental troubleshooting projects, (d) projects on the agenda, and, (e) projects on hold because of budgetary/management constraints.

 

2. Leave an up-to-date list of products, materials and supplies that (a) have been ordered for necessary, basic use; (b) have been requisitioned but put on hold; (c) were requisitioned but turned down; (d) need to be ordered for current projects; and (e) need to be requisitioned for upcoming projects.

 

3. Leave a list of little “inside” job secrets, and handy-to-know things.

 

4. Encourage your department teammates, fellow staff members and supervisor(s) to treat the new guy right! To include him or her in their lunch groups. And, to cut him or her some slack.

 

5. Finish as many uncompleted orders and small-to-mid sized projects as you can. Note: You may need to prioritize a bit.

 

6. Prepare and leave a simple guide that correlates with the company’s “Painter” job description.

 

7. Update the Paintshop inventory list. And, leave it in an easy-to-see place.

 

8. Sort, organize and shelve – in a handy spot – all manuals, MSDSs, spec sheets, guides, tutorials, videos, tapes, etc.

 

9. Clear out, clean up and straighten up the Paintshop.

 

10. Clearly label, then organize and properly store all product containers.

 

11. Leave all essential tools and equipment in good-to-go working order. Well, the best that you can do. Note: Thoroughly clean all painting and finishing tools and equipment used regularly.

 

12. Clean, launder, fold, and store all dropcloths; reusable “suit-ups,” hats/caps, work gloves, etc.

 

13. Clean out, vacuum, wash, and wax the “Painter’s Golf Cart.”

– Put air in the tires. Fully charge the battery(ies). Clean the windshield, and fill the wiper fluid reservoir. If gas-operated, fill up the tank the last day you’re there.

 

14. Leave your desk, computer, mobile devices, and related spaces ready for the new person. TIP – LAST DAY: Before you clock out, delete your user/access name, password, security/I.D., number, plus all personnel, personal, and other information.

 

BONUS: If supervisors and management approve, offer to be available to the new painter for questions – on a limited basis. Until he or she gets settled and learns the ropes. TIP: Especially helpful if you were there more than five years.

BONUS: To the best of your ability, leave the “Painter” name/title in real good shape there.

BONUS: Leave behind a good – make that great – “Paintshop” reputation.

SUPER BONUS: If appropriate, leave a “Best Wishes” or “Good Luck” card for the new painter. Keep it light, and very brief.

 

AFTER YOU LEAVE: Stay away from the business, and off of the property. For one full year, at least. Exceptions: You need to pick up or drop off something. You’re applying for a job opening. You’ve been invited there for a specific, appropriate reason. TIP: Go straight to the designated area. Do not pass “GO.”

 

Give the new painter a good chance to get settled, find his or her way around, make friends, gain support, and succeed!

 

You want the new painter to be glad that he or she is there. A part of the engineering/facility services team. And, a part of the organization!

 

You have the power! The new painter’s success may depend on how you leave things there. (Realizing that some things tend to be out of your control.)

You can leave behind a shining – and lasting – example of integrity, honesty, fair play, respect, friendship, and, professionalism.

A legacy that the new painter can build upon, to succeed in his or her own way.

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A painter’s most trusted friend can be the painter that he or she is replacing.

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Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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

Painting Patterns: Giant Chessboard – Part I

 

Last October, two painters took on a project that they had no business tackling. One, they had less than one year experience in the trade. Two, they were production painters. And, three, they were not detail-oriented.

 

Project: Paint continuous pattern on exterior driveway and courtyard, and interior main hallway.

Dimensions: Driveway: 36 feet wide by 350 feet long; Courtyard: 18 feet wide by 24 feet long. Hallway: 12 feet wide by 220 feet long

 

Pattern/effect: Wood-grain chessboard.

 

Property owner: Amateur chess champion and business entrepreneur.

 

WHAT THE PROJECT REQUIRED

 

  1. Precision measuring: up, down, across.
  2. Precision gridding: linear, horizontal, vertical.
  3. Precision marking: block pattern, no-borders, edge run-offs.
  4. Labeling: Alternating blocks, horizontal and vertical.
  5. Precision cutting in, each paint block.
  6. Prompt, steady fill-in of each block, in gridded order.
  7. Careful matching of correct paint color to correct block.
  8. Frequent paint mixing and stirring: 5-gallon containers; also 1-gallon roller pan filler cans.

 

HOW THE PROJECT GOT MESSED UP

 

  1. Measuring: each surface area’s length and width estimated, not measured; courtyard missed.
  2. Gridding: each area’s axis (center) not located.
  3. Marking: perpendicular lines forming block edges/encasements not marked evenly. Corners not squared. Why: Product failure: Poor quality masking tape failed.
  4. Labeling: Cabernet brown and Sandstone blocks not alternated in certain area. Why: Worker(s) did not pay attention, lost track, got in a hurry.
  5. Cutting in: corners not sharp – not squared/ “L-ed” off. Fuzzy edging. Why: Work speed did not match skill level; wrong brushes used; too much paint on brushes; poor taping. (See C.)
  6. Filling-in: Finish paint surface not smooth. Paint applied unevenly, also too thinly or thickly in spots. Unblended brush stroke edges. Paint-clogged brushes.
  7. Paint-to-block matching: Lost chessboard pattern big time. Note: One block color off messes up entire sequence.
  8. Frequent mixing/stirring to avoid “bumps,” lumps and separation in applied paint. Why: Paint products not strained or filtered before being poured into 1-gallon buckets, paint tray.

 

See: Painting Patterns: Giant Chessboard – Part II.

 

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Champion chess players and devoted decorative painters share a key skill: Patience.

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Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

 

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

Estate Properties: Repainting and Redecorating within the Sale Prep Budget

A loved one passes away, and is laid to rest. His or her estate must be settled in a legally acceptable and timely order. The residence – eg. house, townhouse, condo – is a major part of that estate. And, it must be sold.

 

Often, each heir will have a wish list for using his or her share of the monetary proceeds. Each heir expects to get at least a certain amount.

 

The final sale price must be maximized. The property needs to undergo a facelift, before it goes on the market.

 

A Skilled Painter and Decorator’s role

 

A painter, skilled in renovation and restoration – especially of estate properties – can hold the key to realizing a lucrative sale.

 

  1. The painter will be able to accentuate the home’s attributes and advantages.
  2. The painter will be able to upgrade the home’s features to appeal to today’s real estate market.
  3. The painter will be able to camouflage or minimize its flaws – uneven walls, cracked wood.
  4. The painter will be able to suggest or advise the seller(s) about other work to have done, and by whom.

 

The painter can help the estate trustee or administrator work up a total facelift estimate.

Also, the painter/decorator can help determine an itemized budget range for each service that needs to be completed. Prior to listing the property for sale.

 

Painting/decorating tips gleaned from giving an interior facelift to a home prior to listing.

 

Keep the facelift simple. Make it suitable to the home’s architecture, style, worth, and location.

 

  1. TIP: To minimize the pale yellow cast of once white ceilings, custom tint white latex wall a very light yellow-white. This stretches facelift budget that cannot cover repainting of ceilings.

 

  1. TIP: Paint all walls throughout the home the same custom-tinted paint mentioned above. This creates flowing, uniform look.

 

  1. TIP: Repaint the bathrooms in their same original color – in this case soft yellow. This helps contain paint product costs.

 

  1. TIP: Limit repainting in kitchens, breakfast nooks, etc. that often feature tiled wall areas.

 

  1. TIP: Select high-end paint products, known (a) offer better coverage and (b) require only one coat. Especially in older homes, and in certain climates.

 

  1. TIP: Give ample attention to cleaning and prepping all surfaces to be re-finished. Examples: patching, filling, caulking, sanding. Allot enough drying time between steps and applications. Remember: The quality of a finishing job is linked directly to the quality of the surface prepping.

 

  1. TIP: Limit priming to surfaces that really need it. Hint: Areas that will likely stay the same finish color for at least the first year of new ownership.

 

  1. TIP: Apply finish coat to walls, trim, doors, etc. room-by-room. Or, whichever way that will assure ample drying time, a uniform finish throughout, and save in overall labor costs.

 

 

Before you call in a painter. . .

 

Empty the home’s interior to the walls. Here are a few tips to help you.

 

  1. Distribute and remove all personal items. (Follow the terms of the trust and/or will.) This includes all types of items such as furniture, accessories, appliances; china, silver, housewares, cookware; clothing, jewelry; linens, textiles; antiques, collectibles, books, etc.

 

  1. Remove and place remaining valuables in the hands of the best available dealers. Examples: expensive jewelry, art; antiques, collectibles, glass, books.

 

  1. If there’s time, hold a “class act” yard sale for the rest of personal property. Roll out the red carpet bargain-prices. Offer boxed/bagged/packaged group deals. Offer some quality items for free.

 

  1. GOOD NEIGHBOR TIP: If your loved one lived in the neighborhood for years: Invite close neighbors to come and select a few items to keep. No charge.

 

  1. Donate some of the nicer clothing, accessories, linens, etc. to a local church-run thrift shop.

 

  1. Donate whatever is left to the nearest Goodwill Industries, Salvation Army, or similar charity store. Call in advance to make certain they offer pick-up service.

 

Giving a home its final touches of paint and finish – facelift – before its estate sale can be rewarding.

In a way, the painter gets the opportunity to help the family give their loved one’s property a proper send off. And, that may help those left behind find some sense of closure.

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When people know how much you care about them, they care about how much you know.

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Special thanks to supporters through LinkedIn.com and Google+.  See you on the IN-side.

And, thanks, everyone, for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

Copyright 2015. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

 

Painting Gardens, Rest Areas and Walking Trails – Part I

Interior and exterior gardens, rest areas and walking paths are valuable amenities of any hotel property. They benefit hotel guests, visitors and staff members. They provide natural or “near-to-nature” settings for:

 

. enjoying quieter moments, meditating, taking in nature;

. taking breaks, eating a snack;

. de-stressing, calming down;

. reading, writing, contemplating, thinking more clearly;

. visiting briefly with a co-worker, or another guest/visitor.

 

Too often, these special havens are not a high priority, when planning and scheduling painting/decorating projects around the hotel property. When identifying and handling maintenance projects. When budgeting – finding the money – to take care of them.

 

The surfaces of these wonderful areas deserve special treatment and attention. How do we keep each of them in good – make that excellent – shape?

 

Tips for decks; roofs, covers, overhangs; rails, fences; seating; and tables. 

 
1. DECKS – Caution: Steps, ramps, rails, banisters, etc.

 

A. Repairs and maintenance: Secure boards, rails, banisters where loose or protruding from surface. Make certain that fasteners (nails, screws, etc.) are recessed below the surface. Check that metal and glass pieces are smooth. Regularly, pressure-clean with bleach solution, to kill and remove mold or fungus.

B. Prepping: Sweep surfaces free of debris. Apply sealer to surfaces.

C. Painting and finishing: Apply appropriate primer formulated for decks. Apply exterior oil stain, solid or semi-transparent. If using paint, apply exterior gloss oil or enamel finishing product.

D. Products, supplies, tools, equipment: Oil stains, enamel, epoxy; brushes, rollers, spray equipment.

E. Challenge: High exposure to sun, rain/moisture, shoes, wheels, sharp objects, things that stain.

Tip: Suggest products with high level of environmental exposure resistance.

 

2. ROOFS/COVERS/OVERHANGS – Caution: Sharp edges, heights, reaching angles.

 

A. Repairs and maintenance: Replace rotting or damaged soffitts and fascia boards. Use galvanized fasteners to reduce corrosion; make certain they are flush with or recessed below the surface.

B. Prepping: Caulk seams, cracks, joints in wood. Properly cover adjacent non-painted areas; tape down edges and corners of covering. Recommend: Plastic sheeting, available in different mill weights.

C. Painting and finishing: Prime wood with exterior oil-based product. Use exterior acrylic latex, oil-based, or solid or semi-transparent oil-based stain.

D. Products, supplies, tools, equipment: Use airless paint sprayer system to apply a uniform paint thickness. Use similar system/equipment to apply stain and finish coating over large area.

E. Challenge: Accessibility. Climbing ladders and positioning to use equipment and to do job safely.

 

3. RAILS and FENCES – Caution: Sharp edges, small spaces, inflexible components.

 

A. Repairs and maintenance: Make certain fasteners are tight, and recessed below the surface. Pressure clean all areas to remove algae, mildew, soil, dirt, dust, etc.

B. Prepping: Sand sharp edges. Use filler to fill in holes, cracks, small crevices. Use exterior primer if using a paint-type system. Cover all nearby surfaces not to be painted; tape down edges and corners.

C. Painting and finishing: Spray paint onto surface, using a conventional or airless spray system.

D. Products, supplies, tools, equipment: Use oil-based solid color, or semi-transparent stain. Or use acrylic exterior latex as a topcoat.

E. Challenge: Try to prevent paint overspray from reaching non-painted surfaces (eg. flowers, trees, bushes, grass); areas finished with another specialty coating (eg. automotive, traffic, recreation); surfaces coated by manufacturer ( eg. playground equipment), etc.

 

4. SEATING.

 

A. Repairs and maintenance: Secure wood structures, so there is limited movement. Make sure that all fasteners are recessed below the surface.

B. Prepping: Sand and wood fill all areas that are not smooth to the touch.


C. Painting and finishing:
Use a hard finish. Wet sand between coats.

D. Products, supplies, tools, equipment: Use medium nap roller cover and frame to apply paint product.

E. Challenge: Try to provide a surface that is safe for contact by skin; also is very durable and washable.

 

5. TABLES – Caution: Super-heavy weight; shape, cumbersome to move/manipulate.

 

A. Repairs and maintenance: Metal – Secure broken welds. Wood – Repair damaged surfaces with filler.

B. Prepping: Metal – Remove rust using sandpaper, wire brush, steel wool, etc. Wood – Sand surface with appropriate abrasive material to achieve preferred smoothness.

C. Painting and finishing: Use a hard finish. For a premium finish, use a HVLP spray system.

D. Products, supplies, tools, equipment: Products – Hard finishing – eg. enamel, urethane, polyurethane, varnishes. Tools – Low-nap roller cover, when applying finish.

E. Challenge: Try to provide superior hard surface that is resistant to chemicals, frequent cleanings, environmental exposure, frequent use, surface abuse and wear, etc.

 

It helps to know a few other facts about each area. Examples:

 

  1. How often area is used: Infrequently, sometimes, often; a heavy traffic area.
  2. When used: Mainly, mornings, afternoons, or evenings; on and off all day; regularly; weekends only.
  3. Who uses the area: Age groups, individuals, families; staff, locals, natives, foreign visitors.
  4. What accommodations it must meet: Blind, hearing/smelling/touching-impaired, wheelchair/walkers.
  5. Why persons are there: Work there; supplier/contractor; vacation; business; conference; area events.
  6. How long area is used: Short-term, extended-stay, long-term, indefinitely.

 

Keeping gardens, rest areas and walking trails in good shape is a daily work-in-progress. It’s a lot of fun. And, it’s fulfilling. Especially later, when you see co-workers, guests, and visitors enjoying them.

 

(See Part II: Fountains; ground borders; flower and plant boxes; bird and animal feeders; other furniture; lighting and light posts; and signage.)

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Gardens are a natural source of energy and rebirth.  rdh

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Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.” Copyright 2015. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

Hotel Painting in a Franchising Global Economy

More hotel chains are opting to franchise, versus company (“co.-own”) own, their brand properties. And, more hotel brands are pushing, vigorously, for wide global recognition.

 

 

A few relevant questions for the career hotel painter. . .

1. How does the hotel painter’s role change?

2. How does his or her job opportunities change?

3. Where does the skilled hotel painter and decorator fit?

 

A lot may depend on the painter’s hotel career path:
1. level of “star” experience (1-to-6 star hotel class),

2. loyalty to hotel chains/corporations, as an employer.

 

Some career hotel painters stick with hotel chains.

 

* They prefer the corporate framework.

* They thrive in a big business culture, or environment.

* They accept the trade-offs attached to belonging to a large organization.

* They need structure and established policies and practices.

* They want lateral opportunities to transfer to different locations, even to different brands.

* They buy into the political and governing hierarchy.

* They prefer a narrowed, more limited job description.

* They need job security.

 

Skilled painters with larger hotel chains expect the benefit of job security. Steady work.
1. If they keep their noses clean.

2. If they don’t make waves, or minimize issues – eg. workman’s compensation claims, complaints.

3. If they follow orders, and leave decision-making to management.

 

What makes for a great corporate hotel painter?

 

Basically, they’re the same qualities needed to succeed as a commercial painter with a large contractor.

 

1. Professional approach to painting trade, and construction industry.

2. Corporate mindset.

3. “Big game” player.

4. Narrow, focused job scope – with broad flexibility as needed.

5. Preference for limited flexibility and responsibility.

6. Keen P.R./customer service skills, with trickle-down transparency and accountability.

7. Limited need for creativity and autonomy on job.

8. Overall, limited interest in vertical mobility, and leadership role.

9. Willingness to follow orders. No dissent, minimal input.

 

In early September, a career hotel chain painter emailed, then phoned, me. His hotel (brand) was being switched to a franchise. He’d been told that everything would continue status quo.

 

On September 30, he was fired. On October 1, he was given the option to sign on, as a temporary, with an external employee leasing company. A separate division of the national hotel management company, that the franchisee had put in charge of the hotel business.

 

His eighteen years of corporate hotel service, loyalty and security had been replaced with career uncertainty and financial instability. He’d lost his retirement and vacation plans, health savings account, group incentive package, professional education credits, and mobility/transfer opportunities.

 

Still, he signed on with the new employee leasing company.

 

“I’m hopeful,” Greg wrote, “that I can turn it into a permanent position. With the hotel management company.  Where I can transfer to other properties they operate. Especially for my hotel corporation…”

 

By the way, “Greg” (not real name), worked previously as superintendent for a painting contractor, that specialized in hotel projects. Clients were mid-to-large sized hotel corporations.

 

His experience reminded me of the difference between employment through IUPAT, and an open shop. And, also employment in a “Right-to-Work” state. No guarantees, no security, minimal support, limited benefits, limited systems.

 

Enough said on the subject. Right, Greg?

 

* Post dedicated to all painters and decorators, who really work at being professionals, regardless of what is going on around them. Or, with someone else.

 
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Thanks, everyone, for hanging in there. Your greater rewards are on their way!

And, thanks for your calls, and for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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Copyright 2015. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

Painting Them: Inns and Bed and Breakfasts on Rue de les Fleurs. Part 1: Exteriors

An inn or bed and breakfast (chambre d’ hôte) occupies every building on the row of this Haute Alpes village, in southeast France. Each property’s owners live in a third or fourth story attic, or a small apartment behind the kitchens. Originally, each property was what we might call a “row house.”

 

Jean-Paul, my mother’s cousin, e-mailed about the property owners’ problems. “All of the buildings are in disrepair. Business is très mal (very bad). Soon, travelers will stay in other villages, or in the city.”

 

He e-mailed a detailed description of “les maisons pour les touriste stays” (houses for tourist stays). He drew a mental picture of the condition of the seven, tightly sandwiched structures. Cell phone photos followed. Red roofs canopied the five towers.

 

“What can we do?” he asked. “I’ve staged original productions in small theatres, including here. These touriste stays must not crumble to ruin. Tourism is the village’s main source of revenue.”

 

At first, I had no clue how to answer Jean-Paul’s question. How could we help? That French village was located over 4,480 miles away.

 

Then, an image appeared of the Seralago, a historic hotel in Kissimmee, Florida. Scaled down and reconfigured, it could have been the buildings on Rue de lès Fleurs. Their red-painted tower roofs announcing their formidable presence in the community.

 

The Seralago became the inspiration for an idea that sparkled with possibilities.

 

In June, I brainstormed with two painters at different Marriott-managed hotels. I mentioned the idea to my mother. (Caution!) And, she and Jean-Paul took it from there.

 

OVERALL PLAN – A Capsule Version

 

1. Designate two project leaders. One, for the exteriors of the buildings; the other for the interiors. Each will work with the owner(s) of each row house, to oversee and help with every phase of the exterior, or interior, part of the project.
2. Arrange for photos to be taken – before, during, after each phase of the project. And, with every row house.
3. Hold a “Rue de les Fleurs” la fête (party) to launch the restoration project. Publicize the event, and the project. Contact the media.

 

SELECTING EXTERIOR PAINT CREWS – A Capsule Version

 

1. Find a very skilled and agile commercial painter in the area.

A. Engage him to give the tower roofs a fresh coat of red paint. Urge him to donate his services.

B. Try to get his employer – l’contracteur – to donate the paint.

C. Let the media know about their generosities.

2. Line up the work crews – all local villagers:

A. Paint crew. Persons skilled at using a paint brush, and at least two able to use a roller.

— Find one or two skilled in using a spray system. Five able to work on ladders, and scaffolding.

B. Repair and prep crew. Fit persons: out-of-work, retired or unoccupied. Men and women.

— Include a few that are able to work on extension ladders.

C. Ground crew. Teenagers and adults, willing to help with work on the street level.

 

NEW LIFE FOR EXTERIORS OF BUILDINGS

 

1. WALLS. Clean. Scrape off old paint and loose masonry. Patch and/or fill all areas that need it. Lightly sand surfaces when dried.
2. FRONT DOORS. Clean, and scrape off old paint. Sand, patch, and paint all. Paint each door a distinctive and complementary color. TIP: Alternate deep bright blue, extra white, and crimson red (or, colors close to those of the nation’s flag).
3. HARDWARE-FRONT DOORS. Clean and polish each door’s hinges, knocker, and handle. (In the photos, they look like brass.)
4. WINDOW FRAMES, INSETS, and CORNICES. Clean, scrape, patch, sand, and reseal frames and insets of all windows. Also, window cornices and ledges. Paint to match the respective doors on street level.
5. WINDOW SHUTTERS. Remove from the buildings. Be sure to mark each shutter for building, window, and side of window. Clean, patch, fill, and sand. Paint the shutters to match the respective doors on the first story. TIP: Spraying shutters produces a much better finish, and longer-lasting coatings.
6. FLOWER BOXES. Put a few retired carpenters to work building a flower box for every window, including on each end of the row. Paint to match the respective front door on street level.
7. SEATING. Find a park bench for each front entry. Used ones are fine. Repair each, as necessary. Scrape off loose, old paint or finish. Sand till smooth. Paint all with gloss black. Or, paint each in the color that matches the respective door.

 

NOTE: Area steps 3 through 7 have entailed more than what’s outlined here.

 

PROGRESS ON THE RUE DE LES FLEURS.

 

Work on the row of inns progresses. Jean-Paul says the spirit of villagers grows. “Like the crops on surrounding farms… The townspeople prepare for a busy touriste stay season. And, the little theatre will be ready to reopen on October 16. Très bonne.”

 

PLEASE READ: Painting Them: Inns and Bed and Breakfasts on Rue de les Fleurs. Part 2: Interiors.

 

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“Buildings, like persons, deserve special care – outside, and inside.” Jean-Paul.

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Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.” Copyright 2015. Robert Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

 

Getting Unemployed Properties “Back to Work” – Part 2

Recently, I heard of a group of five entrepreneurs that save smaller properties, like the three men did in the Midwest. (See “Getting Unemployed Properties, Part 1.)

 

This group purchases abandoned smaller schools, rehabilitation facilities, hotels, and churches. Then, they remodel and retrofit each property to fill a specific voice in its respective community. “Usually, within a 25-mile radius.”

 

A few examples:

 

  1. One-story elementary school, north central Florida, converted into a residential facility for moderately-to-severely handicapped teens and adults.

 

  1. One-story private elementary school, in northwest Florida, turned into a non-denominational assisted living facility for low-income persons.

 

  1. Two-story hotel, in southeast Georgia, transformed into low-income rental “villas.”

 

  1. 100-room hotel, in north central Florida, retrofitted as an assisted living facility, complete with ADA-compliant pool and spa.

 

  1. One-story high school, turned into short-term rehabilitation center and permanent ALF for handicapped military veterans.

 

  1. Small church and adjoining education building, remodeled as a year-round community center.

 

Within the last five years, the group has purchased, then helped “revitalize and recycle” over 15 properties. Two persons in the group are brothers.

 

One is a cardiovascular physician and surgeon, that co-finances the group’s “property rescue projects.” The other brother is a journey-level painter, that specializes in remodeling, renovating, and retrofitting what he calls “people-public properties.”

 

The painter in the group e-mailed me about his role in getting some of these properties “back to work.”

 

“Usually, I work as both the foreman and line painter on a crew of five commercial painters. My project work can be divided into eight phases.

 

  1. Surface/area assessment – conditions and needs.
  2. Product and color estimating, selecting and ordering.
  3. Tool and equipment selecting, purchasing or renting, and keeping track of.
  4. Work area set-ups and scheduling.
  5. Painter assignments and outfitting.
  6. Painting with the rest of the crew.
  7. Troubleshooting and punch lists.
  8. Cooperating with inspectors and sign-off people.

 

“My work is time sensitive… labor and ability intensive. We rely a lot on each other. Across trade lines…. A big, learning experience for me. On every project…”

 

“The painters’ job on these projects is not to restore the surfaces to their pristine, original condition. It’s not to deal with style-conscious interior designers. And, forget trying to please the owners and investors 100 percent. (This group doesn’t expect that.) We don’t have any of them on these projects.

 

“We’re all here with the same dream: To get the property back to good use. No egos here.”

 

He closed with this motivating message…

 

“Practically anyone can do this. Pull together a few friends and relatives. Pool your brains, money and abilities. Save one building. Help some decent people in your own community.”

 

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“Charity begins where we’re working. Where we’re standing.” rdh

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Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

 

Copyright 2015. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved

Getting Unemployed Properties “Back to Work” – Part 1

One of my mother’s established clients, and two of his friends, purchased shut-down school properties. Then, the men transformed them into facilities needed in their respective communities.

 

A few examples…

 

  1. A one-story elementary school, near Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, was turned into a summer camp for boys and girls from low-income families.

 

  1. A one-story elementary school in northeastern Illinois was remodeled, then licensed as a community-owned and operated nursing home and rehabilitation center.

 

  1. A small, two-story high school, in the Chicago area, was reconfigured to serve as the new home for an overcrowded orphanage.

 

During a twenty-year span, the three entrepreneurs saved over fifty abandoned structures from demolition. In every instance, their goal was to put the property to good use in its local community.

 

For every remodeling project, local people were employed to do the work.

 

  1. A large advance crew cleared out and cleaned up the property, before any other work could proceed.

 

  1. A general contractor handled the rest of the project. That included the employment of the different types of skilled trade and craft persons needed to pull off that particular type of project.

 

The abandoned properties shared many problems.

 

  1. The buildings had been closed up at least two years, usually over three.
  2. The seasonal elements – rain, snow, ice, wind, heat, mold and mildew, etc. – had taken their toll on both the interiors and exteriors of the building(s), also the land.
  3. Sand, wild plants, wild creatures, pests of all sorts, etc. had taken up residence – and in the most unbelievable of areas/spaces.
  4. Woods had warped, rotted, cracked, and separated.
  5. Paint had chipped, faded, crackled,  and washed off many, if not all, surfaces.
  6. Wood stain had paled and turned a greenish black, or black.
  7. Varnishes had cracked and turned ugly shades of grey, or weird shades of red or yellow.
  8. Commercial grade wallcoverings had separated from their backings, and/or peeled from the walls. Then, stuck to the floors.
  9. Exterior metalwork, rails, fencing, doors, windows, frames, etc. had been beaten severely by the weather, and years of neglect. Some of it before the property had been closed down.

 

Working on any of the projects was not an painter’s idea of a dream job. Well, not for most. Even when the pay scale was high, and his or her contractor-boss was likeable, fair and accountable.

 

In July, a retired commercial painter e-mailed that he’d worked on several properties purchased by Jerry’s group.

 

“I was a moderately skilled painter on my first project done for them. I needed the job. Jerry said he saw my drive and potential. By the time we finished that first school, I’d used every skill I’d learned in apprentice school. And, I worked into a steady job, helping to save abandoned small schools, hospitals, motels, etc. Gratifying work if you can fit into it!”

 

I never knew the inventor-entrepreneur that led the small group of property benefactors. He wore many hats.

 

But, his worn coverall appearance, and laid-back, no-nonsense approach to nearly everything that he did was legendary. And, respected. Even among the infamous street gangs – eg. Hell’s Angels – that terrorized and paralyzed older neighborhoods on the northwest, west, and southwest sides of Chicago.

 

Saving shut-down and abandoned properties has become popular, as the “GO GREEN” philosophy and approach grows in North America. And, around the globe.

 

Each of us, including painters, has a role in preserving and protecting the natural resources we have. In  restoring, reviving and revitalizing properties and buildings that already exist. Especially when they are restorable or revivable.

 

Welcome any opportunity to do what you can. One of those opportunities is to repair-renovate-restore-rejuvinate-retrofit-re-use our buildings. And, the lands upon which they set.

 

Read Part 2: Painting Them: Getting Unemployed Properties “Back-to-Work.”

 

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A painter is as entrepreneurial and innovative as the next person – including in the reviving and revitalizing of existing man-made resources.

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Thanks, everyone, for doing your part to make this world better for others.

And, thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

 

Copyright 2015. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved

Painting Them: Restoring and Reviving Hotels

Every staff member saw the hotel “looking better than it had in years.” “Since it had been built,” said a longtime employee.

 

What does it take to restore a hotel?

 

  1. A solid yet flexible plan, highly-skilled craft persons, time, and a large budget.
  2. Usually more resources than many property owners have, or want to commit.

 

What needs to be done to revive a hotel property?

 

As much as the budget will allow.

 

REVIVING A HOTEL

 

Tips from a painter that’s been there, done that. On more than seven hotel properties.

 

1. Start with the most obvious areas – noticeable to the guests and visitors.

A. Guest rooms

B. Lobby(ies)

 

Clean all areas. Touch up paint. Or “full-paint” areas to create a fresh look. A change of color, or design and placement, can be uplifting. A big benefit.

 

2. Cover the essentials.

A. Safety zones

B. High-traffic areas

C. Pools and spas – especially in hotter, humid and sunny climates

 

3. Repair – take care of – the most neglected areas.

A. High-wear areas may require weekly attention.

B. Always post “WET PAINT” signs when painting in high-traffic areas.

C. Look for permanent repair solutions for areas that receive repetitious damage or wear.

Example: Place plastic guards over corners in high-traffic areas such as a lobby.

 

4. “Clean up all of those old messes, the best you can.”

A. Cover anything that is not to be painted, located close to the work area.

B. A final vacuum of the area completes the job.

 

5. Revitalize the higher ticket areas. Get them “back on the market.”

A. Conference centers

B. Restaurants

C. Food courts

D. Gift Shops

 

6. Liven up the most popular spots.

A. Game rooms

B. WI-FI and VIRTUAL SPOTS

C. Children’s playground and activity areas

D. Outdoor recreation areas

E. Social areas

 

7. Remember key operations areas.

A. Housekeeping and Laundry

B. Physical Plant– electrical, mechanical, plumbing systems

C. Engineering and Maintenance

 

Non-guest related areas are often neglected. Yet, they and its workers are vital and valuable.

Use a variety of colors and/or graphics paint to accentuate areas that receive less attention.

It increases morale. It maintains a clean, pleasant work environment. It adds a spot of creativity.

 

Painting unfinished floors can benefit the facility’s operations areas in value-adding ways.

Painting the walls and floor accentuates the importance of the area, and persons that work there.

Painting these areas inspires anyone that works there, or passes through, to take care of the spaces, to keep them clean, and to maintain them. Even when the areas are in use 24/7.

 

Some deciding factors in every category:

 

  1. Urgency
  2. Necessity
  3. Relativity to business’s major market(s), focus and mission
  4. Owners’ and shareholders’ preferences and long-term goals
  5. Budget
  6. Availability – time lines
  7. Competition

 

No two hotel revival projects are the same. Not even when the properties are designed similarly, and owned by the same group.

 

Are you a hotel staff painter? Your involvement may vary. Depending on the area to be revived, your level of needed skills and abilities, and your time, may vary a lot.

Are you a project painter, employed by a commercial contractor? Your involvement is clear. You are put on the project because you can produce! Big time! And your skill sets, abilities and work personality fit that project.

 

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If a task is once begun, never leave it till it’s done. Be the labor great or small, do it well or not at all!

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Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.” Copyright 2015. Robert Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

John’s On-Its-Way-Out Hotel

John’s 200-room hotel was down and out in every way that you could think of.

 

1. Structurally, the buildings were old, and deteriorated.

2. Essential amenities – eg. in guest rooms, eating areas, pools – were obsolete, damaged beyond repair, and compromised by mold, mildew and water leakage.

3. In the last year, staff had been cut to one-half, or less.

4. Management was top heavy.

5. Budget had been cut to 40 percent.

6. Guest occupancy ran at 40 percent, or lower.

7. The hotel property set now on a state highway, because the “U. S. Highway” designation had been moved to the new bypass two years ago.

 

Still, it held on. “I don’t think we an make it much longer,” John e-mailed. “Word has it, but management won’t tell us anything yet, that the doors will be closed by Christmas.”

 

John had three years to go to qualify for full Social Security benefits, and Medicare. Where would a 62-year old painter be able to find work? Even part-time?

 

So, John did the unthinkable. The unauthorized.

 

Every afternoon, he worked “off-the-clock” in guest rooms.

 

One-by-one, he repaired bathroom plumbing. He replaced ceramic tiles in complementary colors. He laid not no-skid mats in the bathtubs.

 

He camouflaged beat up headboard walls, by repainting them. He sponge-cleaned draperies to remove mold and mildew buildup in hidden areas. He cut fresh lemons, and stuck one or two sections inside every window air conditioner unit.

 

How could John afford the supplies that he used? Where did he get them?

 

1. He cut out all drive-through cups of coffee, snacks, fast food, and dinners out. And smoking.

2. He qualified for the local bus services. Over 60, the half-price fare. Four days a week, he left his car in the driveway at home.

3. From Home Depot, Lowes and paint stores, he purchased rejected/returned gallons of paint. Trying to stick close to very light colors, that he could tint.

4. He let people in church know that he needed used paint brushes, rollers and covers, sea sponges, etc. All in good condition. Also, partially full tubes and containers of caulking, putty, fillers, etc.

5. He talked the director of the area “Habitat for Humanity” into giving – or selling cheap – cans of primer, paint, varnish, sealer, polyurethane, etc. left over from home building projects.

6. He did what it took to get the supplies needed to fix up all of the guest rooms.

 

His efforts helped. Other staff members – eg. housekeeping and engineering – noticed. They started to stay longer, and make little improvements here and there.

 

1. A part-time housekeeper, from Trinidad, grew plants. On the transit bus, she carried pots of young foliage. After her shift, she planted them. Then, she helped the groundskeeper weed, prune and revive neglected plants, shrubs, flowerbeds, and shorter trees.

2. A kitchen worker stayed late frequently. He thoroughly cleaned, scoured and reorganized the main kitchen.

3. Two food court workers stayed on two slow days. They cleaned and reorganized the food court displays, countertops, cooking and warming areas, etc.

4. A maintenance worker helped John cut new carpet remnants into 12-inch by 12-inch squares. Then,  they laid them in the entry ways of over fifty guest rooms.

5. A laundry room attendant, that once worked in New York City’s garment district, borrowed a portable sewing machine. He re-stitched and re-hemmed over 100 quilted bedspreads, and 50 coverlets.

6. A super-store manager, located over 80 miles away, shipped boxes of slightly used bath linens, returned by customers.

 

In the end, the hotel made it through June of 2014. The owners gave a two-week notice to all staff members, including in the front offices. Here’s how the hotel staff said their good-byes.

 

* June 16 to 20. Staff was allowed to take furniture, lamps, paintings, and mirrors. They could also take linens, window treatments, fixtures, tools, supplies, kitchen and cooking utensils, china and serving pieces, table services for 8, etc.

 

* June 23 and 24. Staff helped the drivers of charity trucks load up remaining larger items in good condition: beds, sofas, chairs, desks, tables, mirrors, etc.

 

* June 25 and 26. Staff hauled all remaining pieces to two large dumpsters on the property.

 

* June 28. The staff returned and enjoyed a carry-in dinner around the (drained) pool.

 

* June 30. The utilities were shut off.

 

* June 30. The hotel’s general manager and an owner locked the doors from the outside. A security company padlocked the chain-linked fencing and gates erected to keep out intruders.

 

 

JOHN HAS NO REGRETS.

“I could have gotten into trouble. But, I never thought of it. I just tried to fix the place up… I wanted to give our hotel one last chance.”

 

 

What would you do to try to give your hotel another chance?

 

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Kudos to John! How’s life back with your family in the Antilles?

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Thanks, everyone, for your support and input. Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

Copyright 2015. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved

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