Why executive committees should use a colour consultant

If you’ve ever been a member of a body corporate or executive committee, you’ll know that they’re made up from a range of different owner types (residents, investors etc.) and personality types. At Summit Coatings, we’ve worked with enough executive committees to know when it comes to making unanimous decisions, it can get a little rough.

Colour selection is a subjective, personal choice. Choosing colours for your property can be one of the most difficult things, and that’s just when it’s you and your partner weighing in on the choices. Imagine sharing the task with ten more of your fellow strata property owners, with nothing in common between you but an address!

To make this decision easier for executive committees, Summit offers its clients an affordable colour consulting service to help make the hard choices. If you’re wondering why executive committees should use a colour consultant, read on.

They do the hard work for you

Have you seen a colour swatch lately? Those lovely fans of colour can make things more difficult for the average person not in the know. Never mind fifty shades of grey, try unlimited. So when you and your executive committee decide you would like a “light grey facade”, it’s now up to the colour consultant to head off and find the right shade which works with your building style, surroundings and environment. You can rest easy and wait for the shortlist of colours to come to you.

They’re experts

How is that colour consultants know the exact right shade for your property? Colour consultants are not only up-to-date with the latest trends, but work with paint colours daily to know what works and what doesn’t. Whilst a particular colour might look great on a 2cm swatch, they can advise if the actual application of this colour appears darker, lighter, fantastic or absolutely overwhelming on a 20-storey building. Why? They’ve probably used it before somewhere and seen how it reacts. What’s more, professional colour consultants are trained to consider elements which the regular property owners might dismiss. How does the light hit the building? Will the neighbour’s choice in colour impact the colour? How will the guttering colour tie in? All of these are important considerations which will drive colour choice.

They make the decision easy

We live in a time where we have a million-and-one options, which means a million-and-one decisions to be made. Sometimes the range of choice is a good thing (see: ice cream counter), sometimes it can inhibit a choice being made. The best thing about colour consultants is that they don’t necessarily make the choice for you, they just make the choice easier. When considering why your executive committee should use a colour consultant, just remember this aspect. As a collective, your committee will brief the colour consultant on what the overall aim of the project is (refresh a tired building/make your complex stand out/blend in with the natural environment etc.) and the colour consultant will present you with a shortlist of options to make a choice.

They work directly with the painters

One of the reasons we, as Strata Painters love working with colour consultants is that it limits the “guess work” associated with choosing colours. Colour consultants know exactly how a colour will react on a surface and have explained this to the client, so when we finish the final colour coat, there won’t be any surprises (for anyone) as to how the final product looks. Executive Committees also love working with colour consultants as it takes the technical elements out of the consideration.

If you’re a member of an executive committee who is looking at repainting their complex, talk to Summit today about how we can make the job easier with a colour consultant! Contact us through the website or call 02 9973 3131.


Thinking of hiring an unlicensed painter? Read this first

At Summit Coatings, we are passionate about what we do, and doing it right. I was recently a guest speaker on 2UE’s weekend segment with Simon Stevenson, discussing unlicensed painters and the risks involved for clients who use them. Some clients choose to hire an unlicensed painter as they are a “cheaper” option, whilst others are unaware of licensing laws, or unknowingly hire an unlicensed painter as they fail to do the required checks. If you’re thinking of hiring an unlicensed painter, consider the following points carefully before you risk your home (or those in it!)

There’s no insurance

All painters (and trade contractors) need two types of insurance: public liability and worker’s compensation and jobs over $20,000 require Home Warranty Insurance. How does this apply to you as a client and homeowner? Public liability insurance will protect your home if the contractor causes damage. You might think that painting is relatively light work – how much damage could occur? Unfortunately even the most careful painters experience a slip up at one time or another. Whilst every care is taken, mistakes could range from a simple paint spill on the new carpet (time to re-carpet the bedroom), right through to setting off a multi-storey apartment complex fire sprinkler system from getting a paint dryer to close to the heat sensors (we’ve seen it happen…). Fortunately, if your painting contractor is insured, your home and belongings are safe and insurance will cover it. Keep in mind that regular home and contents insurance won’t cover events caused by a contractor unless you take out additional coverage for in-home employees.

What’s more, it’s a legal obligation that jobs over the value of $20,000 require Home Warranty Insurance. This needs to be taken out by the painting contractor and is designed to protect clients against defective work which is not rectified by the painter you hired. This is an extremely important insurance as it protects you, the client, against shoddy workmanship.

Next, Worker’s Compensation insurance is important in case a contractor is injured on your property. In this case your home & contents insurance may cover an uninsured contractor, however this will affect your no-claims rating and could mean a premium hike in the future – and why should that be your problem?

Kiss any workmanship guarantees goodbye

You wouldn’t spend thousands on a new car without a guarantee from the manufacturer that they will fix anything that goes wrong – so why would you spend thousands on your home without peace of mind that the work is guaranteed? At Summit, we guarantee our work for a minimum of 5 years – that’s how much we believe in our services. Unlicensed painters would rarely offer workmanship guarantee, and you could be left with a dodgy paint job and no one to tell about it.

There needs to be a contract

Did you know that all work completed by a painting contractor requires a contract? The purpose of this is to protect you, the client. This contract needs to include what work will be completed, areas to be completed, amount of paint coats, what prep work will be done and any exclusions to the painters guarantee (for example, if there is a structural building issue which might affect the paint which cannot be guaranteed). A contract can be in the form of a separate document, or the actual quote supplied by the painter. Not only does this contract outline what to expect from your painter, but Fair Trading won’t be able to assist you if you come up against any issues with your contractor.

There’s a reason they’re unlicensed

Whilst the price of an unlicensed painter might look appealing, it begs the question – why are they actually unlicensed? It could be something as simple as being too lazy (or cheap) to acquire a license, which makes you wonder what else they might be cutting corners on. Or perhaps they didn’t meet the requirements to be awarded a license, and would you really want a sub-standard painter working on your home? Or perhaps there’s limitations on their working rights within Australia, in which case you would be promoting illegal migrant workers (or worse, supporting their exploitive employers).

It’s ruining the industry

Another aspect to consider is how your actions are affecting the painting industry. If reputable, licensed painters who pay a premium for the right insurances are expected to compete with cheaper, nastier painters who can save a buck on cutting corners, it compromises the entire industry for the future.

It may not actually be the cheapest option

In light of the above, hiring an unlicensed painter could cost you more in the long run. Not only could it mean your paint job is completed to a lesser quality (meaning you need to get another painter in to fix the job within a short amount of time), but if anything actually goes wrong, you could be liable for thousands of dollars in insurance fees. What’s more, if you’re a member of an Executive Committee on a strata plan that hires an unlicensed painter without Worker’s Compensation Insurance, and someone is injured, you will be personally fined under legislation.

If you would like to learn more about painting licenses, or chat to Summit about our licenses, insurances, warranties and guarantees, be sure to contact us. Before you hire a painter (or any trade contractor) you should always check with the contractor’s association in you state that people are who they say they are, and hold all necessary licenses. In NSW, you can head to the NSW Master Painters Australia website and contact them to check the status of a painter’s license.

This entry was posted in General.

The worst advice we’ve ever heard about choosing paint colours for unit complexes

Working as a colour consultant for Summit Coatings, we’ve helped many strata, commercial and residential clients through finding the best colour scheme for their new paint job. Choosing colours can be a stressful time for clients – it’s a big decision, and with so many colour options floating around, it can seem almost impossible. Top all that with bad colour advice and you might all out regret your colour choices. In an effort to assist our clients on deciding on a colour scheme, we’ve listed the worst advice we’ve ever heard about choosing paint colours for unit complexes and what to do instead.

“Choose colours that are really on trend”

Choosing overly trendy paint colours for major apartment complexes can spell recipe for disaster. Why? A new paint job is often one of the most expensive maintenance costs for strata plans. With so many exterior surfaces, including endless common areas, balconies, garage doors and more it’s easy to see why. It’s important to choose a paint contractor who not only guarantees their work, but has a history of delivering lasting paint finishes to drive the sinking fund further. With this in mind, it’s important to stay away from paint colours which will date quickly, when choosing paint colours for apartment complexes. Even though the paint job stands the test of time, your building will quickly look old, simply because of your colour choices.

“Unusual paint finishes always stand the test of time”

Hands up who remembers the paint sponge finish of the early 90s? What about bad “feature render”? Further to the above point, don’t think that unusual paint finishes will serve your unit complex for years to come. When choosing paint colours for unit complexes, remember that simplicity is key. It’s not the chance to make a bold statement (save that for your bedroom feature wall). Choosing a subdued paint finish will help your paint job last the distance.

“Don’t bother with the extra coat”

Whilst this “advice” isn’t necessarily colour related, it can affect how your colours show and will definitely affect the longevity of your paint job, when choosing colours for unit complexes. Summit always recommends at least 2 coats of colour paint (on top of the multitude of prep, sealer and undercoats). This ensures the colour on your walls is true to the colour on your paint swatch, and that your coloured surfaces are durable to any environmental factors.

“The more colours the better!”

Again – less is more when it comes to choosing colours for unit complexes. Whilst it’s spot on to select a few different colours in your scheme for different zones, don’t go overboard with this. Just think of that house on the street with a different colour on every wall – not only does it stick out like a sore thumb, it cheapens the look and feel of the home with all its distractions. With larger complexes especially, it’s important to use a colour scheme of a few colours only which all fit together nicely to create a uniform, premium look to the unit complex.

choosing colours for unit complexes


If you’re a strata manager or member of an executive committee and are considering investing in a repaint for your unit complex, contact Summit Coatings to discuss how we can look after your needs (including colour consulting). Contact us through the website, or call 02 9973 3131.