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Technical Consulting – Specification Writing

Paint and Painters are not created equal!

Planning to accept proposals for a painting project means that there will be a wide array of variables that must be considered.  The obvious elements include choosing the right color, the paint or sealants best suited to your environment, the project schedule, the process and all of the details that make up such an undertaking. While some people think that a paint job is a relatively simple chore, there have been advancements in product technology and application techniques that can have a huge impact to the bottom line and the value of your finished project.  There are also numerous “scope of work” items that can drastically affect the quality and cost of your project. Lastly, there are qualifications processes that must be considered to limit your liability and exposure during the project.

Paints and Specialty Coatings

Paint technology and specialty coatings have evolved over the last few decades, and especially over the last few years.  The EPA’s aggressive guidelines geared to reducing the environmental impact of paint products means that new technologies and materials have been developed to address these requirements. However, there are times when the newest, greatest, and most environmentally-friendly products may not match your economic or logistical needs. Taking the time to talk to paint suppliers and an experienced painting contractor will greatly increase your knowledge and understanding of the best products that make the most sense for your project. Technical Consulting – Specification Writing is just one of the services offered by Harrison Contracting.

Meeting your Expectations

This decision making process is similar to today’s automotive market and the new products that are being offered.  Hybrids and electric vehicles may be the best thing since sliced bread when it comes to fuel economy and eco-friendly transportation, but you cannot take the family cross-country or tow a camper with these vehicles in most cases. This is about your expectations and matching the right paint, application process and painting contractor to your needs.

Just as product technology has changed, so too have the application methods and the equipment needed to complete your project.  The scope of your project needs to be created with your special requirements in mind.  Far too often, we see a scope of work submitted that merely states to repaint the facility.  Such a broad statement leaves much to the imagination of the painting contractor and will lead to increased costs due to unspecified variables.  At the same time, you do not want to over-scope a job, as this will tell the contractor that there has to be a cost for every line item.  A thorough understanding of the paint products to be used and the painting process should be the baseline for writing a scope of work.  This can best be achieved by using a contractor that has both product and process understanding to write the scope with you. A good painting contractor will include sensible schedule requirements, fair responsibilities guidelines, and clear expectations as the foundation of any scope of work.

While paint and processes have changed dramatically over the past few years, the greatest variable with any project is the contractor you select.  The only way to minimize your chances of a low quality, unpleasant and costly experience is to pre-qualify your potential contractors.  It is tempting to allow an unqualified contractor to bid a project, but a low price estimate could end up costing your company more than the highest bid, especially if you have to pay for a job to be redone. Again, it comes down to expectations; create some standards before you ask for quotes.  Require contractors to address their insurance coverage, financial stability, safety record and references. Ask probing questions and do some research to make sure that what you are paying for is what you will receive.  Once you set a standard bar, don’t allow contractors not meeting your standards to submit bids.

There is a saying that is shared by many services providers…

“There are three criteria from which you can choose; good, fast, and cheap.”  You may only pick two!

Harrison Contracting Company performs technical consulting and will assist you with your specification writing for your next facility maintenance project. Find out how you can outline the job correctly to meet your expectations, contact us.

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