Should you take the risk of hiring a franchise painter?

“A franchise painter is in the business of selling leads .  He/she will sell your painting project to the lowest bidder, meaning you pay top dollar to a middle person, who’s job is to help  you find the cheapest subcontractors available”

George, K. Homeowner in Bridal Trails, WA:

“A franchise painter is like a moving target.  You never know which subcontractor he is going to bring  today.  He brought over one guy to sand the doors,  next day another guy sprayed the first coat, next day another guy sprayed the second coat and told us the first guy had ruined our doors!  The owner of the franchise simply ignored our calls!”

It is no surprise to Gary Groves, owner a private WA painting company with a 34 year old active license, that these new “no experience necessary” franchise painters have been causing headaches for homeowners all over Washington and Oregon states.   We spoke with some homeowners who have fallen victim to this new phenomena and would like to share some of our findings with you.


What is a subcontractor?

A subcontractor is a person who did not make it as a business.  Often this is due to his/her inability to receive referrals, create a client base, provide quality customer service, or generate customer loyalty.


Who needs apprenticeship when you have marketing funds 

“no experience necessary” is in bold font all over their free franchise opportunity information packets.  The business owner who is selling his painting services to you, has no experience in the trade.  The corporations, who also have no knowledge or involvement in the field of residential or commercial painting, advertise their painting franchise opportunities as something anyone with no experience can easily purchase and operate.

See for yourself;  Search Bing for the name of the franchise you are considering, followed by “franchise opportunity requirements”.  The only actual requirement is the ability to sell yourself to unsuspecting, often first time homeowners.


The painter you hire has no involvement in the actual services he is selling

The franchise owner, or the paid door to door sales person who enters into the deal with the homeowner, has little to do with the actual services being offered.  He/she is a marketing professional who knows how to sell and close deals.  In reality, the owner of the franchise collects a fee from the homeowner, and in return, hires the lowest bidding subcontractor available.

Home improvement projects don’t always go as planned

We all know how it goes, you plan a project, you budget your plan, but you end up spending twice as much time and money as you anticipated.  This is where experience in the trade comes to play.  In the event of surprises, the no-experience franchise owner or his low paid subcontractors will have no clue how to approach and resolve the issue.  Since they have never encountered such particular situation, very often this results in disappearing acts by overwhelmed franchise owners who are encountering this particular surprise for the very first time in their career.


80-90% failure rate

See for yourself:  We can not name them here, but simply type the name of the paitning franchise that you might be considering, followed by “failure rates”.  there are even websites dedicated to listing the painting franchises that do not last passed one painting season.


Their street address is kept secret! 

Many painting franchises hide their actual street address from previous clients, employees, and state agencies.  For various reasons,  none of which work in your favor, some businesses do not want to be found.  They use UPS store PO boxes, or simply do not list their address.  Currently a painting franchise in Redmond, WA  is using the address of an abandoned foreclosed home as their fake physical address!

kirkland certa pro


Bottom line

Franchise painters are not in the business of providing  painting services.  They are a marketing agencies that survives on mistakes of first time home buyers.  Even if you are one of the few lucky ones and end up with his “one good subcontractor”,  should you call him next year for some touch ups, he has joined the 80-90% of the franchise painters who do not make it passed the first year.


Related article:  Shopping around for a home improvement company? 4 tips to help you avoid some major headaches 


Posted in Do it Yourself blog.