Suitable decorating kit and equipment
A few days ago, I had no access to power for an hour or so, and I found myself rubbing down woodwork the old fashioned way – a sanding block with no vacuum extraction. Aaargh.
It was a horrible reminder of the dusty old days, with filler particles swirling in the air, every surface, orifice and artefact coated in a layer of fine powder. Talk about unsuitable decorating kit making a straightforward job, difficult.
Why decorate the hard way?
That little episode got me to thinking about a question we addressed several years ago when setting up an Interior Decorating company. Why do so many contractors make it difficult for their subbies to work efficiently?
I once worked for a company that gave us half the paint needed to complete a job. And when I asked for more for the second coat, I was told to thin down what I had! And when I worked out that the foreman was stealing the paint we were supposed to be getting for the second coat, and using it to dec out houses on the weekend, I told the boss – and was promptly fired. Go figure.
And how many times have you been sent up a triple extender and stretched on tip toes, then descended, and asked a colleague to stop what he is doing so he can help you move the ladder along… and repeated that process dozens of times, just so the boss didn’t have to “waste money” on a proper scaffold?
So when we started up a dream team company, we kitted ourselves out to the max to make sure everyone on the team could work hard and fast. It seemed the logical thing to do, right?
Commercially viable decorating kit
We bought the biggest sucker of a vacuum on the market, which meant we could hoover a room clean in seconds, rubble and all. To paper ceilings, we had the “wheelchair” mobile platform and a set of planks, enabling us to quickly set up a raised platform that didn’t require a degree in trapeze.
Then we had 20-brush vapour boxes, and Hamilton Perfections till they were coming out our ears. And sanding poles, ladders, tack rags and whatever else was needed for producing high quality work in good time.
Did it make for an efficient team? You bet. We got through huge amounts of work, (see Holcombe Folly project) and there was no standing around, hanging around, farthing around, doing easy jobs the hard way. Our prices were competitive and we were very profitable, while it lasted. But that is another story.
Are you professionals properly kitted out? And have you progressed since 1998? I would tackle that job in a very different way nowadays. Faster, less dust, less odour and a better finish.
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