Before you call anyone for painting estimates, it’s important you make sure that everyone bid on the same scope of work. That way, bids from different contractors will be based on an "apples to apple" comparison, not an "apples to oranges" one.

A well-planned Bid Process should happen something like this:

1. The Project Manager or the HOA Board invites a Reserve Analyst to come in and asses the maintenance schedule of the complex. A maintenance cycle is then created by job type, and experts from each trade come up with estimated time frames and costs. For example, it’s determined that the complex will require painting every five years at an average cost of $250,000.

2. The Project Manager or HOA Board next identifies a paint manufacturing company they wish to use, and invites the manufacturer’s rep to inspect the property, and put together a formal Project Specification document (known as "specs" or the "spec doc"). The specs provide extensive details on the entire project, and outline the formal scope of work to be done by the painting contractors.

3. The project is then put out to bid to at least three, but generally no more than five professional painting contractors. If time permits, all contractors bidding on the job will meet with the paint rep personally to review the specs. The contractors will also refer back to the Reserve Analysis to make sure the maintenance requirements are covered in their bids.

4. The Project Manager or HOA Board determines two finalists and interviews those contractors in person, by way of a formal "question and answer" meeting.

5. The job is awarded to one painting contractor, who then meets with the Project Manager or designated Board Member, along with the paint rep, to map out the "game plan" and schedule the different job phases. The paint rep will do one last pre-paint inspection.

6. The complex is painted, the job site is cleaned up.

7. The painting contractor does a final walk through with the Project Manager, noting all details in a written Punch List. Any touch-ups are handled, and the painting process is complete.





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