Low Bids..who is the “real winner”?

It is a constant battle in any sales position.  Your client is requesting multiple bids on a project.  Wise decision-if you are comparing apples with  apples.  Are you educated enough to ask the right questions or are you looking for the lowest bid? 

Hardly any other area of a home imparts more value than a kitchen or bath. Many times the kitchen and bath will be a strategic selling point, that’s why kitchen and bath cabinets need to be painted with extreme care and preparation. (It is 70% preparation that will provide a quality finish.) This is one item you shouldn’t scrimp on; you should get the best painter that you can afford.

(1). Don’t just get 1 bid, get 4 or 5. Out of the five just toss out the 2 lowest bids and only consider the 3 highest. A bid that’s way under the average rate is a sure sign of lack of experience, cheap labor and products, or short cuts taken to finish the job faster.   Remember: The lowball bid isn’t always the best bid.

(2). Ask to see some of their previous work, do they have photos (how do you know they are photos of THIER work and they didn’t “borrow” photos off someone’s website?) How about references? Give extra points to the painter that shows you sample doors (and not just photos) of his finished cabinet work! Ask are they going to be doing the work or are they going to bring in some other paint contractors that you have not met to do the work.

(3). Ask them how they are going to prepare the cabinets, are they going to sand, patch, and caulk all the corners and joints that need it? Grease and oil is the #1 cause for paint failure in a kitchen. Grease from cooking is released into the air and settles on the cabinets. Even oils from your hands from handling the cabinets for years need to be removed with a thorough cleaning.

(4). Ask them if they are going to prime any exposed wood areas before they put finish paint on? What type of primer are they going to use? If they say they’re going to spot prime with acrylic primer, get another cabinet painter. Only oil based primers that will sand down well, such as oil based KILZ, should be used. Acrylic primers are very hard to feather out.  Raw MDF must be oil primed to create a moisture barrier.

(5). Make sure they remove all the knobs and hardware, ask them if they will protect the items that can’t be removed to keep them from getting paint splatters. This is very important! Would you believe that some painters will paint right over your expensive hardware, without hesitation?

(6). Insure they will use a duster and tack rag to pick up dust and debris between sanding.

(7). What about vacuuming? A very good vacuuming between sanding is essential to a good finish, ask them if they vacuum right before painting? Do they vacuum the cabinet tops, floors, inside and outside the cabinets, what about adjacent walls?

(8). Spraying the cabinet doors is best for a great finish. Brushed doors look very amateurish. If spraying, make sure they protect every area not to be painted with paper, plastic, masking tape, and drop cloths. Rosin paper is great to protect floors. The adjacent doors leading to the rest of the home should be sealed tight with plastic before spraying or sanding. Make sure that the doors are sprayed off site in a climate controlled environment.  Paint that is not sprayed in optimal humidity and temperature will not adhere properly. Avoid (like the plague)  any painter that wants spray the doors in your garage, basement or drive way.

(9). Make sure that they are using quality products on your cabinets. Some products are extremely hazardous and deadly like lacquer and should not be used around children, pets or homeowners.

(10). Ask your painter if he will come back in a couple of weeks – if need be – to do any touch ups you may find?


~ by bruce on December 31, 2009.

One Response to “Low Bids..who is the “real winner”?”

  1. […] There are many “faux artists” willing to venetian plaster your walls or glaze your kitchen cabinets, few of them know how to repair the damage. When somebody bids something too low, they may have done it on purpose and plan to make it up later, or they may have done it accidentally or they just don’t k now the market. Either way, they’ll soon be in trouble because they’re losing money or cutting corners. You have to get apples-to-apples bids. […]

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