This Job Was Not Right For Me
There are times when as a handyman, you are approached with a job that is simply not the right fit for your equipment or expertise. I was recently approached by a client that owns a business that is in need of having the parking lot restriped. Although I did appreciate the offer for the job, and also the confidence in me to do a great job, I did have to turn down the job. I do not have the proper equipment to do the job correctly, and I would not allow myself to do a bad job for a client. I didn’t fully turn this job down, instead, I referred it to my good friend Ronnie, who does parking lot striping in Houston, TX area.
I have known Ronnie for years and I know for sure he is an expert in his profession. Not only does he have the proper equipment, crew, and knowledge, but he also was willing to take on the job. He even agreed to allow me to assist on this specific job so I can learn the process. Having experience still does not fix the issue of me not having the proper equipment, but I will worry about that if ever approached again about a parking lot striping job.
One thing I learned about this profession that I had not really thought much about before is that often times the work must be done in the night time hours when the business is closed. It makes sense, but I had not given much thought to having to workaround operation hours so that you do not impact the businesses normal flow of traffic. Make sure if you are a business owner that you discuss the business hours so the work can be scheduled correctly. There may be an upcharge for the after-hours operations. This is a fee that may be charged depending on the company doing the striping, so make sure you ask or check on your estimate to see if you are billed for after-hours labor.
For this specific job, there were some specifics that were needed to be complete.
The parking lot itself was pretty old and had been neglected for a while. It was really dirty and Ronnie had suggested that for the best adhesion of the specialty parking lot striping paints that he needed to pressure wash the lot prior to doing any of the actual striping work. The pressure washing not only removes dirt and grim but also things like spilled vehicle fluids, gum, bird feces, tape, old spilled paint or older chipped striping.
Due to this lot being so old and neglected, the fire lanes were basically non-existent. My client had received a visit earlier in the week from the local fire marshal and had been advised that the fire lanes needed to be re-painted or face fines. This is what actually prompted him to contact me to see if I could do the job. It seems a visit from the fire marshal does get you on the ball to get things done.
Although the lot does have specific handicap lanes specified with metal signs, the painted areas were very much faded and neglected. Getting the handicap zones repainted, and stenciled on was also a huge priority to compliance. Ronnie was a great help because he is an expert in knowing all of the compliance codes and ensured my client that he would be fully compliant by the time he was finished with the job.
The job turned out great, and I am glad to have represented the final result. My advice for any other handymen out there is to know your limitations and know when you need to accept and turn down a job. If you have a good network and are able to refer out work that you do not have the proper equipment, then you will continue to build out your great reputation within your community.
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