One of the things I enjoy the most about being a paint contractor is my clients. I didn’t always feel this way in the early years of my business. They drove me nuts at times, but for better or worse, I learned a lot from them. These days, as I have learned (or perhaps earned the opportunity) to be more selective about projects and clients, I am gathering more insight than ever from those with whom we work.
Welcome to the world of high-end custom homes and one-of-a-kind decorative finishes specially created to showcase the homeowners’ unique taste, history and style. Decorative and Faux Finishes is a high-end decorative finishing company out of Houston, Texas. Founded by power paint duo Cindy Howard and Dana DeBuck, the group has been bringing customers dreams to life for nearly 24 years. Their portfolio is extensive, and it is impressive.
Classic New Orleans Charm
Lately I have been thinking about product shelf life. Not so much how long product stays usable while in stock, but rather how long a product remains practical to use in the field. For example, "We have been using this specific primer for 10 years.” My company has certainly adopted certain “staples,” like a restaurant that carries a house wine. For me, it raises the question of how long one product can meet our needs without its formulation being changed or our approaches changing.
Company size is fluid; painting companies often grow in the summer and shrink in the winter. All 401 participants responded to the question of company size, with 21% reporting they were the only person at their company. Nearly 60% reported that the company was “just me” or had five or fewer employees, while a quarter stated they had from six-20 employees. The nine largest companies in our survey provide employment for over 100.
For many, revenue takes a hit...
This century’s 20s came in with a roar, and then things changed quickly as coronavirus took the lion’s share of the attention. It resulted in a huge change in this category from our 2018 statistics, with less than half of our respondents telling us that they were seeing an upturn in revenue for the year, while a third of our contractors said they saw either a small or major downturn. In 2018, 70% reported an increase in revenue.
As we switch over to our 2021 calendars, we want to make sure we continue to bring you the most relevant, up-to-date information, just 'as we have done for the past 97 years. APC relies on painting contractors just like you for content and collaboration that keeps us in that ever growing loop. The members of the 2021 APC Advisory Board are here to help us along, to make sure we stay on top of the painting world and help us dive into issues, products and topics that matter to you the most. Other industry experts on our board include Joe Dellafave (Benjamin Moore) Peter Lawton (LeadSMART Training), Jason Lunn (3M), and Jeff Winter (Sherwin-Williams). We thank them for fitting us into their already busy schedules!
This came out largely as you might expect; the biggest markets served are residential repaint, followed by high-end residential repaint, then commercial, cabinet refinishing and new construction. A lot of painters are finding innovative ways to add services beyond "conventional" painting or beyond painting entirely, such as odd jobs, sandblasting and general repair.
No one can tell by looking – is that painter an employee or a sub? And what if they’re being treated as one type, but legally should be classified as the other?
Last week, the Department of Labor issued a new Final Rule to distinguish between the two.
The rule, issued January 6, included the following clarifications: