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Certa Pro Painters / Terrible Deal for the Actual Painting Contractor and the Homeowner

United States Review updated:

I post this to assist anyone considering hiring Certa Pro Painters to do work on your home. I have been an independent painting contractor for over 20 years, and recently I have been in discussions with a Certa Pro franchise owner who is trying to convince me that it is a good idea to go to work for him. This guy has no practical experience and does not know what he is talking about, he just has a fancy looking truck and franchise website support/programs to guide him through making his bid for particular projects and the pricing.

I will try to keep it simple in explaining why this is a bad deal all around. First, the franchise owner does nothing except get the jobs and then get another subcontractor to do all the work for them. For this he makes 53% of the total job cost, the subcontractor actually doing the work gets 47%. The subcontractor has to pay for all the materials, provide all the necessary licenses and insurance applicable, pay for travel costs, everything job related. In researching in whether I should even try to work for Certa Pro as a subcontractor, I looked at several potential projects which were already under contact to the local franchise owner - Their prices are about 25% higher than what I would charge, so price-wise it is not a good deal for the homeowner even without considering the quality of the subcontractor who will consider working for 47% of Certa Pros contract price.

Materials cost a subcontractor approx. 23-28% of the total job cost. Travel expenses can be prohibitive. Paying your insurance and workmans comp each year is another expense that is not accounted for. Bottom line is that no competent and completely legal subcontractor can work for Certa Pro, that is why the homeowner gets the shaft in the end. You are better off by finding a local competent painter by research thru the local paint stores and your friends experiences. The people who hire a Certa Pro franchisee will not be dealing with him whatsoever unless he is collecting your check. The only painters I know who work for Certa Pro are the types who have all their paperwork in order, and then they have a crew of mostly illegals doing all the work. That is the only way they can make any money in this deal.

If you hire a Certa Pro franchise owner to paint your house chances are very high that you will be paying a high premium for poor quality work. If you can understand the basic business mechanics of how this franchise is set up then it is easy to understand why the complaints you will read from other homeowners happen. The bottom line is the actual company doing your work will not be the guy who you negotiated the deal with, and he makes over half the money for not doing much more than looking fancy and talkiing slick and crunching numbers thru his computer programs to determine the price of the project.

Certa Pro franchise owners are not real painters, they just bought a franchise thinking they are going to make a bunch of money. The local Certa Pro guy in my area seems to be having a difficult time in actually finding people who will do the work - Unless you are a fly by night painter who hires illegals I cannot see how any legitimate subcontractor can do these type jobs professionally for 47% of the price. It just cant happen.

Please do your own thorough due diligence before hiring any painting company and ask alot of questions and make sure to use your common sense people.

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  • To
      23rd of Apr, 2017

    Yes, all of the above comment is true.
    It is a recipe for disaster all the way around.
    They recently did a high profile client here in the Fredericksburg VA area and couldn't even get that right. Job was a boondoggle beginning to end, and I know this because they end up having to call other contractor's to clean the mess their subs made.
    And one last word. ALL of their workers that I have seen on jobs are either one or all of the following: Unvetted, undocumented, unskilled, with NO DRUG SCREENING at all. So ask yourself this. Would I want someone like this INSIDE OF MY HOUSE and around my family?
    Oh, and I forgot to mention, Certa-Pro will be charging you top dollar for the sloppy work and unvetted workers.
    My advice? STAY AWAY!

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