In this session, we talk to Anthony Duggan, a manager at Sherwin-Williams, one of our trusted paint suppliers. For many years, Sherwin-Williams has been a great partner where we get a lot of our specialized paint to ensure that we complete the job so the end result looks amazing, and the client goes away happy. If we need the paint on a tight schedule or have specific requirements, we can count on Sherwin-Williams to meet our needs.
Sherwin-Williams headquarters is in Cleveland, Ohio, where they manufacture, distribute in the sale of paint, coatings, floorcoverings, and related products to professional, industrial, commercial, and retail customers primarily in North America and Europe.
Sherwin-Williams operates in over 120 countries and was founded by Henry Sherwin and Edward Williams in 1866.
How did you start in your job?
Anthony: Right after college, I got a great opportunity to come work for Sherwin-Williams in the management training program. And after working for a few years in a variety of different roles, I got into the outside business development representative role.
What do you like best about your job?
The best thing I like about my job is always being able to work with complex problems and try and come up with creative solutions to make sure everybody gets the best solution they are looking for.
What is one of the biggest challenges you face on a job site?
Anthony: One of the biggest challenges I face is managing people’s expectations and trying to make sure that we’re all on the same page as to what’s reasonable and what can be done. Because if one person’s expectations aren’t aligned with the other person’s then there’s going to be that disconnect and no one’s going to be happy at the end.
What is one thing most people don’t know about your job?
Anthony: There’s a lot more to being in the painting business than just painting drywall, whether it be finishing a garage floor or working on commercial buildings or large exterior roofs. There’s a lot more to it than just latex paint on drywall.
What is one of your favourite projects you’ve worked on?
Anthony: The first one that comes to mind was the first large project that I was able to participate in. It was a warehouse building in North Vancouver, where I came in before the drywall was even installed and was able to work with the construction company all the way through from beginning to finish. And that was satisfying because it was the first.
What do you like best about working with PLE painting?
Anthony: The thing I like about working with PLE is they always go above and beyond, and they take everything to an extreme with regards to customer satisfaction and making sure that everything is organized and that there were no issues. I really admire that and it’s a partnership that I really value and I like being a part of.
How does working with PLE make your job easier?
Anthony: On the same note with regards to that organization, there’s never any question as to what needs to be aware when everything’s really organized so there isn’t any guesswork. It’s all very straightforward with regards to organization and it allows us to focus on making sure we execute what we need to do.
In this session of PLE partners, we talked to Ian Gray of Actis Projects. We really gel well with his team of young, talented individuals. Ian brings fresh ideas, innovation and an enthusiasm for every project that is unique in the industry.
About Activs Projects
Actis Projects is a full-service Vancouver-based construction company. They provide a wide array of construction services including home renovations and additions, home building, condo and strata renovations, commercial projects, and remote access work. With a diverse range of experience and a reputation for timely, clear communication, Actis consistently delivers the best possible product.
How did you get started in general contracting?
Ian: I walked across the alley from my home for a summer job and joined a crew working on a house. That’s how I started. It was a summer job and then part time during university. I found myself keep going back to it, gained experience and skills. I was one of the guys on site who would try and find solutions instead of just throwing their hands in the air and be like, “I can’t do this.”
I then worked my way up because it was more money and more fun. And then eventually I hit the top of the ladder and then you say; “what’s beyond the ladder and you’re like, well, I build my own ladder. I’m going to start my own company.” That’s kind of how it happened.
What do you like best about your job?
Ian: I like working with a great team of people to actually produce something cool and it is something people get to use for 30 plus years, whether it’s a house or something commercial.
I like bringing a plan to fruition, navigating the ups and downs of any construction job, leading the clients through that. I’ve been through it all. I make the journey as enjoyable as possible and the design aspect is really cool.
I also like the management side, coupled with the hands-on construction part. There’s a lot of planning that goes into construction, such as spreadsheets, plans, coordination, but then the result of that are very tangible. You get to see the fruits of your labour.
What is your biggest challenge on the job?
Ian: I’d say the biggest challenge is just being clear on what everyone’s expectations are, whether that’s finding out exactly what the client’s looking for or what their priorities are. If I’m really clear on what their priorities are then I can design and plan something really well.
If their ideas are less clear, then it becomes more difficult. We make every effort to make communication as clear as possible. I think we do a decent job, but I’d say if we know what people expect and what the subtrades need then that’s like 80% of it.
What is one thing that people don’t generally know about your trait?
Ian: We are the centrepiece in the wheel that brings the house together. We need to know quite a bit about every single subtrade.
Although we are not plumbers, we need to know 70% of what plumbers do, electricians, roofers etc. The trades bring professional opinions and their expertise, but we need to have a pretty good handle on their skills and be aware of their scopes.
We need to frame things with their jobs in mind. We need to know what they are talking about so we can plan and build accordingly.
What’s your favourite project that you worked on?
Ian: The list is so long. I would say one of my favourite projects would be this four-unit heritage home I did in Kitsilano. It was an earlier project I have done and it was a pretty large, lifted house. We moved it seven feet and laid new foundations and all heritage elements had to be intact. That was kind of early on in my career too so it was pretty formative as far as like: ‘Hey, can we do this?’ And then we discovered yes. So that was really exciting. I drive by it frequently and it still looks good. It’s holding up great. The people are taking care of it. There are a lot of cool things we’ve done. That was one that probably sticks out right now as one of my favourite ones.
But you know, we’ve done lots of the first high-performance homes too.
I’ve also done some remote access jobs which are pretty cool too. We had the guys over on Keats Island. That was the coolest day I’ve ever had in construction. It was the day that we helicopter-installed a bunkhouse onto some foundations down a crazy slope. That was very exciting and awesome.
That brings slightly different construction challenges because you’re running into what makes financial sense which starts to change as the cost of people being there increases so that you focus more on large material deliveries which necessitate more planning. Coordination becomes super important because you can’t just go to the supplier for something so it just presents a few other challenges. It’s not something everyone has the appetite for so some of those jobs could be pretty cool as well.
What do you like best about working with PLE?
Ian: One of my favourite things is just the communication. I’ve always got four or five jobs going on at the same time and they’re all at different phases and I’m all over the place. I’m getting new jobs, running jobs, and their communication is great. They let me know, basically every day, what the status is, where they’re at, and what they need for me to continue to do their job well.
It’s always very clear, concise communication. My other favourite thing is quality, great value, and trusted people as well. I like have no equivocations leaving them completely alone on a job site. Even members of the crew, even those who I haven’t met yet, or are meeting for the first time, are great.
We can chat about the job real quick and then I know it’s going to be taken care of. With some other painting crews maybe the salesman communicates well but the people actually on the job don’t, and that can create issues and headaches that I just don’t have time for.
How does PLE make your job easier?
Ian: They make my job easier by quoting accurately as well, not giving the best-case scenario price but giving me the price that is not going to change. That helps a lot.
When they say they’re going to be there, they’re going to be there. That makes a big difference as well. The professionalism of their crew speaks a lot to the types of people that we work with and our other trades and just gives everyone peace of mind.
And if everyone is at ease, than I am at ease because one of my primary jobs is to make sure that the trades are comfortable with the whole situation.
Experience is key. As you’re working on someone’s house and, depending what you’re doing, it could be a significant expenditure for the client and probably the biggest one of their lives. And if one of the trades has never done a large construction job before, it can be problematic. I need to feel comfortable with the people working on the client’s house. That is super important. PLE brings the experience to every sing job so I don’t have to worry.
In this blog post, we want to give Vancouver homeowners some painting tips on how they can have a great experience with a painting company so the interior of their house looks amazing.
Every home needs to be painted, inside and out, (almost) without exception, every 5-15 years. As such, there is a high probability you will have the inside of your home (house, townhouse, condo) painted sometime soon.
We know that having the interior of your home painted can be daunting and stressful. It is your space, your stuff, and having a big disruption with people you don’t know or trust and who don’t have a solid plan can be a nightmare. Trust us, it doesn’t have to be that way!
PLE would like to help you by outlining some tips that we will take to help make your next interior painting experience a great one:
1)Have a plan and execute the plan. We will help develop a plan that works around YOUR LIFE. We split the job up into different areas, phases/stages, to minimize the impact. We generally work with smaller crews of 2-3 painters, so we don’t want or need to paint everything at once. We will make a plan to move through the space strategically, so you can help prepare areas when they are needed, and keep the rest of your space functioning normally through more of the project.
2)Reduce Costs. There are things you can do to reduce costs, improve efficiency and help the job run even more smoothly. These can be removing electrical and light switch cover plates; removing blinds and window coverings; removing items off walls, shelving and other furniture items; storing away your breakables; unplugging electronics. If you are willing to do some prep work beforehand, it saves costs and ensures our painters can focus on what we do best — painting. However, If you don’t want to do any of that, we are happy to do it all as well!
3)Choosing the right paint for your job is critical. There are so many options out there, it’s hard to know what the best paint is for your home. We research and test all the new paint technology, so we are on the cutting edge of this very technical industry. We also have long standing relationships with the top manufacturers in the industry so we get the best possible pricing on the best possible products. This ensures we will get you the perfect paint for your home, at the best price. Top-quality paint may give you double the life span with a slight cost increase of maybe 10-15%. Talk about great ROI!!!
4)Choosing the right colours. You may know what you want but if you don’t, there are people that can help. We know the colours that the top designers are using this season. Our paint suppliers are also very helpful and we can connect you with them. If you want a bit more assistance, we work with great designers that do colour consultations to make sure your colour selections are a perfect match for your taste and your home. No matter what, we will help make sure you are getting the right colours
5)Retro elements of your home can be updated. Did you know you can paint tiles, bricks, mantles, fireplaces and lots of other items in your home that may look old and dated? If you have some of these in your home, ask us if we can modernize them for you. Paint is great like that!
6)Timing Is Critical. Keep your home looking great, by painting when the time is right. When left too long, paint will begin to look shabby, dated and may even start failing. We can help you determine when the best time to repaint is, to keep your house looking fresh all the time!
We hope you found these tips useful. PLE is constantly raising the bar for client satisfaction by being Vancouver’s best painting company.
If you are wondering if it is time to paint, or if you know it is, reach out to PLE to put together a plan.
In this blog post, you’ll learn why strata councils and property managers love PLE Painting
Most multi-family residences and many commercial properties in the Vancouver area are stratified, meaning the owners share in the maintenance and upkeep of their communal buildings and resources.
Strata Councils, usually made up of the individual owners, are created to organize and execute on the operations of these stratified buildings. These strata councils have huge responsibilities to their owners to efficiently manage their buildings and money.
To help with this, many strata councils hire Property Managers to assist them, utilizing their expertise and resources to spread the burden and lower risk to the strata.
As a painting contractor that specializes in working on multi-family residences and commercial properties, PLE Painting works both directly with Strata Councils and with Property Managers on behalf of their clients.
We have decades of experience in painting and building maintenance that our clients find extremely valuable as they create their plans and execute on them.
PLE Makes Property Managers and Strata Council’s job easy, by being the SMOOTHEST OPERATION IN TOWN. What does this mean, you ask?
Our process, how we add value for our Strata and Property Manager clients:
From the moment you engage PLE for a quote you will be dealing with experienced painting professionals. We build detailed quotes based on your expectations. We can make recommendations on what work is a priority and what can wait. We can build scopes of work to fit within your yearly budgets.
Once our quote is accepted and the project is booked, we will communicate with you clearly so you can plan our work and communicate with your owners/residents. We will ensure all pre-project setup work is completed and approved in plenty of time, so when we step onto the site to start our painting, there are no question marks and everyone will be on the same page.
Our skilled and experienced onsite leadership will execute on the plan we have built efficiently, safely, and quickly. Your project will not drag on unnecessarily; it will be completed in the most efficient manner possible.
Our onsite team and our project management team will communicate throughout the project, in the way you want us to, so you always have exactly the information you want, when you want it. We have identified lack of communication as one of the biggest problems in our industry, so we prioritize great communication at all times.
We will invoice you at the correct times, for the correct amounts, making your bookkeeping and payments easy.
At the end of the job we will ensure you are 100% satisfied. We do this every time, because we build ongoing relationships. We will not stand down until you are satisfied.
We will leave you with the paint information and colours codes for your records. Hopefully we will be your painters, but either way you will have the paint info you need to maintain your property and make it easy.If you are a part of a Strata Council or are a Property Manager, let us show you how being the smoothest operation in town can save you time and money.
Learn more about the PLE Difference HERE Request a free estimate today. Our detailed proposals are designed to help you select a painting company with confidence.
“Plan your work and work your plan” – Napoleon Hill
Great outcomes almost always start with a great plan. When looking to achieve a goal, a plan acts like a road map guiding our actions towards that goal.
At PLE Painting, when we give you a quote or bid on a project, our ultimate goal is complete customer satisfaction. Through our years of experience, we believe we have the knowledge, ability, and flexibility to do that.
In our detailed, clear quotes, we outline the commitments that we (PLE Painting, and YOU!) will be making to each other. This helps to protect both parties involved, and make sure there are no misunderstandings right from the get-go. Now that’s a win-win if you ask us.
From a customer’s perspective, having a detailed quote that you can agree on with your painting contractor is extremely beneficial. Rather than a vague unprofessional document prone to misunderstanding (as is common in our industry), a clear quote is the best way to protect all parties involved.
What Parts Of A Painting Quote Bring Value To The Customer?
Some elements that we have been told bring the most value are:
Efficient and timely engagement after initial contact
Asking effective questions to get clear on the full scope of work and details right at the start
Professional guidance on what needs to be done
Offering solutions to save time and cost, different approaches for varying budgets
If you have a deadline, having the quote delivered in advance of that deadline
A clearly presented scope of work, with enough details to ensure clarity for all parties
Easy to understand pricing, especially when there are multiple options
Organized communication and quick responses to any questions you have
Colour confirmed and clear prior to the start of the project
All colour and paint information left at the end of the project
As a customer of PLE Painting, you can trust that when you engage us, you will get a fair, comprehensive and detailed quote stemming from our industry-leading planners/estimators. For larger projects, we will scale the scope and detail of our quotes according to the requirements.
Not all projects require a 12-page proposal, but some do. You can trust we will build you the quote that suits you and your project’s preferences and requirements.
If you or someone you know is looking for the best painting contractor in Vancouver, we would love to throw our hat in the ring and speak with them. Hopefully, we can prove our value to you by starting with a quote!