A guide to effectively organize and prepare a large-scale project for exterior painting, whether you are the manager of an apartment complex, property manager, or owner/production manager of a painting company. Over the last seven years, my painting company has done several large-scale painting and coating projects along the Front Range, both interior and exterior. There are many different scenarios and different demographics depending on the location of these exterior units. For example, when we do a project in Fort Collins, Boulder or Downtown Denver, we typically are dealing with college students and heavily populated, frequently busy areas. When we are working in places such as Loveland, Longmont, Firestone or Lafayette, we are dealing with families and older adults. While each scenario has its own pros and cons, the same principles apply:
- Respect people’s property and space. This is obvious and simple but important
- Communication is crucial. Do this early, often, and continuously. Communicate with the tenants, the managers you are working with, your staff, and anyone else who is involved.
- Prepare yourself and your team with more detail and meticulousness then you would with a simple one family home.
If you are a property management company, a member of a homeowner’s association, or the owner/production manager of a painting company, the following instructions are simple yet effective steps to have your painting or coating project set up for success and eliminate most (if not all) potential problems during production.
- Set a pre-job walk round with all applicable managers. In this meeting, find where the best place is to store materials (ladders, paint, etc.). Then, take a thorough walk around of the building and mark all abnormalities. These can be things such as rotting wood, graffiti, unknown pipes and wires, previous paint job overspray, messy caulking, broken windows, and dented downspouts or gutters to name a few. This will prevent any future disagreements from happening. Also, find where all electrical outlets and water sources are located. In many cases, a water tank may need to be rented and filled.
- Finalize the exact colors that will be used on the building. Also, finalize the color scheme of the building. The scheme should be the same unless otherwise noted.
- Set a date for when the washing will occur. A two- to three-day range is okay if you are more than a month away from the start date.
- It is very important to send out letters to every tenant about the projected start date and duration of the project. It is also recommended posting notes by heavily trafficked areas around the building to ensure every tenant is aware of what is happening. Two weeks prior to the job starting the first letter should sent, and then another one two or three days before the project begins. This is usually done by the apartment or property management company. Emailing, physical letters, or even phone messages can get this done. There are usually cars and personal property that need to be moved before the job begins; this should also be included in the letter. Finally, let the tenants know their windows and doors will be temporarily masked off at certain times during the day. Painters, be aware that this should not be longer than one day as people will complain early and often.
- For the painting companyonly: do a walk around with every member of your painting crew the day before. With a large-scale job, details can get missed; it is critical that each team member is on the same page with one another. Create a game plan that will get the job done both fast and efficiently. After these steps have been taken, the painting project is ready to begin! If you would like to learn more about the preparation project or about the process wants the job begins, please send us your contact info by going to our website and clicking “request free estimate”