Strata Smart Series: Using Paint Inspection Services
Vancouver’s Paint Inspectors
We are very lucky in Vancouver as it was one of the very first cities in North America to have a paint inspection industry. The first company to offer inspection of painting was MDPA (Master Painters and Decorators Association) but today there a few companies out there offering these services. MPDA was originally created to create specifications and standards manuals for the paint and coatings industry. Today they perform a number of services including specifications, bid tours and inspections of paint projects.
Paint inspections services can be invaluable for strata councils and provides them with numerous benefits including:
- Specification Preparation – An inspector will create detailed bid document outlining all surfaces to be painted, specifics on products to be used and a scope of work. This ensures all the estimates submitted are based on the same scope of work. Inspectors can provide advice to council members on the work required as well as options to address budgets.
- Establish a Safe Project From the Beginning – Inspectors can also require safety plans and requirements for working at heights be a part of the bid submission. New rulings from WorkSafeBC surrounding owner liability and responsibilities for safe work sites have made it more important than ever to ensure trades are working safely on your property. Requiring safety plans with bid submissions can help a council determine the right paint contractor for their job.
- Invite the Right Contractors – Paint inspectors work with paint contractors every day. As such, they know the various companies that do strata work and what they bring to the table. For example, if your complex requires a fair amount of wood repair and replacement as part of the scope of work, a paint inspector will be able to invite those contractors that offer carpentry work to the bid.
- Lead an On-Site Walk Around – This is a critical part of the bid process. A site walk-through gives contractors a chance to ask questions and view the property before they provide an estimate. Many of those questions can be technical so having a qualified inspector on hand makes in a smart idea.
- Review Bid Documents – Once all the bids are in a paint inspector can review the bids to make sure all of them in order. Most inspectors will not recommend one paint company over another but they can help councils to review the bids and answer questions.
- Oversee the Job – Once the project has been awarded to a contractor, a council now has the responsibility to ensure the job is done correctly and to the contract terms. Performing quality control checks puts a serious burden on volunteer members. A paint inspector takes this burden off of the council members. Inspectors monitor the project throughout and perform everything from moisture tests, adherence tests, safety checks and quality control. Using a professional inspector to oversee and manage the job provides strata councils and the owners with confidence that the job was done right.
- Manage Communication – Inspectors also provide council with regular written updates on the progress of the job. This helps manage timelines, provides progress updates and record work performed. These reports can be valuable tools for future councils and when it is time to update depreciation reports.
Using an inspector for your next paint project will generally cost 5% of the value of the project. For many strata corps, the cost for inspection can be mitigated by a longer lifespan of the paint job and fewer maintenance issues. It also protects council with regards to safety issues and ensures owners they got a job well done and to the standards they expected.