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Devising an industrial painting budget

There’s a lot to consider when managing an industrial facility. Regularly scheduled maintenance, repairs, coordinating with vendors, managing employees, the list is seemingly endless. Most of these tasks are line items on a budget. But regularly scheduled painting is something that’s sometimes left out. This can lead to surprise costs and lost opportunities for savings.

For reasons we’ve talked about before, a coatings maintenance plan is essential to the overall health of your facility. This post should provide some factors to consider when devising an industrial painting budget. It’s by no means an exhaustive checklist, and consulting with an industry professional will always be your best bet for a comprehensive budget plan.

Industrial painting budget

A few factors that affect budget

A well thought-out budget depends on a number of factors. The substrate being painted, and the stress that the coating is regularly exposed to will determine what sort of product is needed. If you’ve handled painting decisions before, you may already have an understanding of what you need. But what if a less expensive product can meet your needs? What if a more expensive product will reduce costs in the long run?

Accessibility and containment are some site-specific factors that should be taken into account. Staging equipment, mechanical lifts or cranes will increase the amount that should be set aside for the project. Containment will be more important near schools and residential areas compared to industrial parks, which will be reflected in the overall cost of the project.

When it comes to choosing an applicator, options range from small startups to highly professional organizations that regularly undertake multi-million dollar projects. Which one you choose will depend on the size of your project, budget and whom you’ve worked with in the past. But project managers trying to save a few extra bucks on this phase of the project should be aware that improper surface preparation or a shoddy application can seriously shorten the lifespan of your coatings system.

Quality control and quality assurance are closely tied to contractor selection. A trusted applicator should be able to handle the QC, but the owner needs an effective QA specialist. If the organization doesn’t employ someone capable of performing these services, consider seeking outside help and carve out some space for it in the budget.

Finding efficiencies

Taking into account what you’re already doing is a smart way to go about planning a painting budget. Could you create some efficiency in your existing coatings maintenance process to cut costs? Is your maintenance process strategically designed?

Take a project manager that applies a two-coat system every five years, for instance. Each time his asset, let’s call it a large storage tank, is repainted, he pays for labor, staging, containment, etc. The actual paint accounts for only a small portion of that budget, usually around ten percent of the total cost.

By spending five percent more and adding a third coat to the system, its service life can be extended for another five years. Even if labor for the additional coat adds a further five percent to the total cost of the project, the owner still realizes 90 percent savings by skipping the five-year recoat. Spending a little more on the product helps cut costs like labor and staging from your painting budget.

Creating efficiency may also mean reexamining the product you’re using. Facility managers often purchase the same product over and over again, simply because that’s the way they’ve always done it. But investing in a more durable paint upfront may lead to painting less often, resulting in net savings on painting costs. Buying in bulk from a single supplier is also a great way of generating savings.

If you’re ready to speak with an expert about devising a painting budget, we’d be happy to discuss it with you. We’ll even pay your facility a visit, so we can provide the best possible advice for your coatings maintenance plan.

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