Q. Describe the most common types of jobs you do for your clients.
A. Most of our work involves residential interior walls, trim and ceilings and painting the exterior of homes---we probably painted the outside of over 100 homes just this past year. But we also do a lot of designer Faux Finishes on ceilings, walls, vanities and sometimes furniture. We also remove a lot of wallpaper, stain quite a few fences and decks, wash every house we paint and remove popcorn from ceilings. We do more than these things, but these are the things we do most often.
Q. What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A. Painting companies and local painters come and go--its one of the highest turnover trades out there. So its important to look for a reputable and highly skilled painting company that has a track record of success, and can back it up with references (be sure to call some of them). We provide a a two-page list of references with no less than 20 customers to call. Doing this can save you from a contractor nightmare after the job begins.
Q. If you were a customer, what do you wish you knew about your trade? Any inside secrets to share?
A. That most painters, while maybe good at painting, are not all that good with decorating or coordinating color around a customer's present decor. Most painters are simply used to just putting up the paint color that a customer requests. At Calhoun Painting we're different--we're also decorators and take into consideration the effect that a color is going to have on a room in a customer's home, and can advise you accordingly, saving you from redo expense later. We're good with color, and at blending colors to compliment your present decor, likes and dislikes.
Q. What questions should a consumer ask to hire the right service professional?
A. 1. Tell me about your experience.
2. How long have you been in business?
3. Can you provide me with ten good references I can call.
4. What brand and grade of paint will you be using on my home?
5. How long will it take you to complete the job once you begin?
6. Are you insured? Can you prove it?
7. Do you guarantee your work?
8. Will you clean up and leave my home looking like it did before you began?
9. Are your painters supervised? Why should I trust you and your team?
10. Do you require money down to begin and what forms of payment do you accept?
Q. Why does your work stand out from others who do what you do?
A. First of all we screen for and hire the best painters---our painters are craftsmen--ensuring that cut-in lines are straight and that walls and ceilings are properly covered.
Second, we use the finest paints---Sherwin-Williams upper grade paints such as SuperPaint, Duration, Emerald and/or ProClassic, ensuring years of durability without fading or peeling.
Third, we offer a level of customer service not generally found with painting companies---we work hard to ensure that you're happy with the color selection and the quality of the work, as we go along. Providing your at home, we will work with you throughout the process, adjusting if necessary to make your project look its best, and end up looking just as you envisioned it when you called us.
Finally, we're pretty fast, but without sacrificing quality. That means we can usually complete most jobs between 1 and 5 days. That means you're not interrupted for very long. We try to be sensitive to that.
Q. What do you like most about your job?
A. Seeing out customer's absolutely excited and thrilled with the color, transformation and quality of the work as we move along and when we have completed the job, as well as knowing that we exceeded a customer's expectations and left them feeling absolutely thrilled with both the results and service. We may not accomplish this with every customer---some are pretty hard to please no matter what you do. But we try really hard. We love working with our customers, we love decorating, and we love color and the way it effects the atmosphere and feel of a home. In short, "We love to paint ... and it shows!"
Q. What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A. How long will it take? How much will it cost? And what kind of paint do you use? We are very quick, we will provide you with a firm and reasonably priced quote on the front end, so there are no surprises, and we will use top grade Sherwin-Williams paints.
Q. Do you have a favorite story from your work?
A. I recently had a customer say this to me BEFORE he hired us. "Thank you Mark. Just so you know, as an entrepreneur and business owner myself, what immediately to attracted me to your company was your professional web site. Fantastic job with it! My wife and I are tired of mediocre work on our home and have made many mistakes in the past with hiring the cheapest labor instead of professionals. I'm already confident that your company will bring professional work at an affordable price and look forward to speaking with you about this project and the other work that you may be able to offer. Thank you for taking the time to follow up." Well he did hire us to paint the outside of his house, and when it was all through he told me to put him on our reference list. Moral of this story: "You get what you pay for!"
Q. What do you wish customers knew about you or your profession?
A. That interior and exterior house painting is an art with many tricks to the trade that only come with experience, and that's its our privilege and pleasure to use that experience for the benefit of our customers. Second, that we're going to be there after the job's done if there is a problem, and plan on being around for long time, whereas many painting companies fall by the wayside after just a few months or years.
Q. How did you decide to get in your line of work?
A. I first learned to paint as a 19 year old kid working with a small painting company in Sioux City, Iowa, where I grew up. A year or so later I launched out on my own, specializing in painting the exterior of homes. But it wasn't until I was in my forties that I came to love and really appreciate the painting and decorating business---having mastered not just great painting skills and passing them along to those working for me, but also mastering customer service after being in the corporate world and ministry for many years.
Q. What is your greatest strength?
A. The first is great customer service---I live to make my customers completely thrilled with what we do for them. And I feel awful if we let them down. I'll do just about anything to make sure they are happy with the work. The second is first rate quality painting skills that ensure consistent professional work that ends up on the walls and surfaces of your home. Third would be our creative and artistic ability to help with color selection and know how to incorporate colors and textures that will update, enhance, compliment and bring out the beauty of a customer's home. Finally, we are great with creating and applying decorative and faux finishes to help "pop" any room.