Getting ready to paint? Don’t wait!

Are you planning to paint your community or property this calendar year? It pays to get your bid together as early as possible. Here’s why:

Many homeowner associations (HOAs) and property managers wait until the year they plan to paint to get the project started. A typical association will start asking for bids in March and April, then award projects in May or June. Unfortunately, by that time painting schedules are typically booked out until the end of August. That can be frustrating for everyone, especially since many communities prefer to have painting complete as early in the summer as possible.

Instead, aim to have your colors chosen and your specifications drawn up at least six months before you want painting work to take place. The earlier you start, the more choices you’ll have for when the work can be completed.

One of the best ways to start the bidding process is to take advantage of the free services offered by property service representatives who work for paint companies. They’ll be happy to visit your property, drop specifications, and do job walks with all the contractors that are bidding on the project. This will help you make an “apples to apples” comparison of everyone who’s bidding on your job, while saving you a lot of time and legwork.

A property services rep can also help you out if your HOA hasn’t finalized color selections yet. For example, they can use photos of existing buildings to create digital color renderings. That way, you can see what your unique property might look like in different color combinations.

Starting early also gives you an advantage when it comes to dry rot inspections. If the HOA takes responsibility for dry rot inspection and repair, your contractor will have time to bundle them together with your painting quote, potentially saving you time and money. If individual homeowners are responsible for dry rot issues, your contractor can perform inspections as a courtesy to your residents. Not only will each of your residents will know what repairs (if any) need to be performed before painting begins, they’ll be more likely to complete them on time.

In a perfect world, HOAs that want painting completed this summer would have started this process in October or November of 2016, but don’t worry if you didn’t. There’s still time to get things moving for this year — if you don’t wait until March!

Still hoping to get painting done by this summer? CalPro can streamline the process by providing all the services you need — from construction and pre-paint repairs to interior and exterior painting. Contact us today to learn how we can expedite your job!

Color selection made easy

Color selection can take longer than you think, especially when you have an entire neighborhood of people involved in the decision. Luckily, there are a few best practices that can streamline the process and keep your headaches to a minimum. After painting thousands of properties for homeowner associations (HOAs), here are the strategies we’ve found work best:

1. Don’t expect to please everybody.

Whether you have 50 residents or 5,000, everyone’s taste is a little different. That means somebody isn’t going to like the colors that are eventually selected. And it will most likely be somebody vocal.

You’ll probably have fewer squabbles if you’re simply refreshing your community by repainting in the same colors you have now. But even then, expect to hear at least a few people saying “those ugly colors again?

Whatever you chose, don’t take criticism personally. The best way to minimize disruption from individuals is for the HOA to put its best foot forward and act in the best interest of the community as a whole. You may not be able to please everyone, but you’ll have a lot less hassle if you can satisfy as many people as possible. Follow the other tips below and you’ll be well on your way.

2. Let everyone vote.

Every HOA is different. Some communities simply appoint a paint committee to make choices without consulting residents. Others let the board make the decision. After decades of experience, however, we’ve found that it’s better in both the short and the long run to let the entire association vote.

Even though this can lead to some emotional board meetings, it’s worth your while to go through it. Everyone gets a chance to be heard and to buy in, which will save you a lot of trouble.

In addition, the folks from tip #1 often show up at the end of the process wanting to tear up all the hard work others have done since the beginning. It’s a lot easier to say “sorry, you didn’t attend when that vote was taken” if you’ve given everyone the chance to be involved.

3. Start early.

Plan to spend six months to a year to select the colors for your community. There are literally thousands of colors to chose from, and people have strong opinions. Remember too that your residents won’t be thinking about selecting colors full time. Selection will be a process over the course of multiple board meetings, committee meetings and presentations, not to mention the time needed for the association to vote.

4. Use free professional resources.

Paint company property services representatives can assist your paint committee in many ways. They’ve seen what their paint colors actually look like on buildings, have some design and color selection training, and have access to software that can “plug and play” colors into pictures of buildings in your community.

After an initial meeting to learn what your association is looking for, they can prepare renderings of color options for you to chose from. In addition to streamlining the selection process, most provide this service at no cost.

Want more help planning for your own color selection process? Contact us to speak with one of our trained color experts.