Choosing a painter: Residential Painters Vs. Commercial Painters

What are the characteristics that differentiate commercial from residential painters? The biggest difference is commercial painters are set up to deal with a lot of large jobs on a tight schedule. Residential painters are generally a bit more relaxed and personal. You’ll ordinarily spend more time with a residential painting contractor than a commercial contractor. Both types of painters will work with your schedule, though a commercial painter will generally be more willing to work during off-hours while the business is closed.

When a painter decides to move his or her career in one direction or another, he or she will often end up choosing commercial or residential painting. These are both very in-demand specialties. One is not necessarily better than the other in general, but one is always better than the other for a specific job. To understand which type of painter you should call, let’s look at the characteristics that differentiate commercial from residential painters and some of the jobs that one would be better than the other for.

Commercial Painters

Commercial painters generally have more employees and/or subcontractors on staff or on call than residential painters. This is because they have to take on jobs that are generally a lot bigger than the jobs that residential painters take on. They also offer a wider variety of services.

Commercial painters often offer services like different types of finishes, epoxy flooring, and sandblasting. These are not often called for on residential jobs, so it would be a waste of money and resources for a residential painter to keep the equipment around to perform these types of services.

Commercial painters often work odd hours, as they do painting jobs for retail and corporate businesses that need to keep their doors open and air clear during regular business hours. If you have a retail shop, and you’re paying to have your store painted, you probably can’t afford the loss of income from closing your store for a day to let the painters come in and get their job done.

You also don’t want to have to worry about customers tripping over paint buckets or ladders, or stepping in a paint tray. Those scenarios would give your insurance company a heart attack. The liability alone, never mind the potential loss of customers, is enough to turn your hair gray.

Instead, when you hire commercial painters, they can send a crew in after you’ve closed or before you open to do the job while no one else is around. When your doors open for the day, you’ll have freshly painted walls, and all the painters’ equipment and drop sheets will be gone. You won’t lose any money or gain any liability.

That’s great for retail and corporate paint jobs, but what about residential? Is there any reason you should choose a residential painter over a commercial painter for your home? After all, commercial painters do fantastic, professional work for your company; why not give them the business for your home?

Residential Painters

As residential painters don’t have to have the capacity for large-scale jobs, they don’t have to employ as many people or keep as much equipment. Residential painters tend to have smaller companies with a more personal feel. The same contractor you meet with and get an estimate from will probably be the person overseeing the paint job on your home.

This is a key differentiating characteristic between commercial and residential painters, and it’s a pretty big advantage for residential painters on small jobs. Because you’ll be talking to and working with the same person or people from beginning to end of the project, you’ll be able to customize the work as you need to.

Residential painters are accustomed to working closely with homeowners and designers to get just the right look for a room or house. If you’ve bought a home, and you want to have a unified theme but slightly different atmosphere in each room, you’ll want to talk to someone you can work closely with.

In this case, commercial and residential painters are alike in one aspect: they work with your schedule. While you may not have to keep the doors of a business open for your painting schedule, you still have to go to work every day. You can’t be there all the time for the job, but you also shouldn’t be gone all the time for the job. You’ll be able to schedule with your residential painter some time for you to be there to discuss the project and check out how the painting is coming along. During these times, you’ll be able to give your input and rest assured that the job is going smoothly and to plan.

The rest of the job, however, it’s better for everyone if you’re out of the way. So, while you’re at work, your painters will be at your home, doing their work.

The Right Painter for the Job

Residential and commercial painters each have their strong suits. If you’re having an office building remodeled, you need to call the big guys and get commercial painters on the job. If you’re painting a nursery for the baby you’re about to bring home, call a residential painter who has experience with small, intimate jobs.

Mark Thissell

Mark Thissell is Director of Custom Painting, Inc. and is the prime driving force behind firm’s success. He is passionate about home painting and believes in delivering quality work on time.