IRVINE, CALIFORNIA -- I hired College Works to paint the interior of my 130 year old Victorian house. They did an outstanding job and we are extremely happy with the results. Our contact Victoria was prompt, responsive, and was on top of every detail. I would recommend her and her crew to any one that needs interior or exterior painting. You can't beat the quality of work for the price.
MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA -- Shawn and his team at College Works were very professional and courteous. They painted quickly and efficiently even though they had to quit several times because of rain. As soon as it stopped they were back painting again. It took a little extra time but the team seemed to work well together. I am very pleased with the new clean look of my house and garage. I will hire them again to paint the house and garage when it needs it again next.
ELKHORN, WISCONSIN -- Initially things started off well. We pointed out things that we needed to be done as well as things that needed to be redone and some of them did get done. After two days of work I was told that they were done. During the walk around I pointed out areas that I felt were either not completed or poorly done. I was assured that they would come back and correct any and all problems to my satisfaction. They came out on a Sunday and within two hours I was told that they were done again. I felt that they were rushing through the job indicating to me that they did not care about the end result.
One of our main concerns was could they match the existing colors that we were already using. I was assured that the Sherwin Williams product was excellent and the color match would be very close. The end result is that I am not impressed with the Sherwin Williams product and we are left with a poor color match. They then informed me that they could not do anything about it.
The paint on the trim of the house is sloppy with missed areas. Sloppy work was also done around the windows with paint on some of the windows with no cleanup attempt made. There is an area where new windows have been installed with aluminum trim. Paint was applied on the aluminum trim around the windows not sure why they did this because it was not needed. The cleanup of their equipment was using my garden hose leaving an area of damage to the lawn because of paint residue and water running too long in one area.
The paint coverage for Sherwin Williams calls for one coat but it does not perform well applying a light-colored paint over a dark stain without an additional primer or two coat application. The team leader assured me that it had two coats but it is clearly visible that the dark stain is bleeding through indicating that two coats were not applied. When the job was not complete and I pointed out that two coats were needed I was told that additional paint could be ordered at my expense but with their discount.
I pointed out areas of concern where the painting was not done correctly or not done at all. I had to continually point out areas that needed to be corrected which they should have seen for themselves without having to be told. Finally after much frustration I told them to just leave the job site and I will fix the problems myself and do them correctly.
This will create a need to have more paint purchased and my time spent all for what after giving them almost $6000 for the job. I feel as though there was a lack of attention to detail, sloppy work, a rushed job and the poor paint color match. Advice to anyone considering using College Works Painting, go with someone else. You will save money and time in the long run. College Works Painting is not worth the effort. I would not use them again.
RACINE, WISCONSIN -- Do not use College Works painters for a Stucco house. They were inexperienced in preparing our Stucco Home for painting. Did not fully clean or brush the dirt off the stucco. Did not fill cracks or inspect the house prior to painting. They are not neat or careful. Did not caulk around window to prevent water intrusions.
Stucco has a lot of cracks, hairline and others. These crack were to be filled prior to painting. They did a few on one side of the house and found it very labor intense and choose not to do the whole house. All cracks must be filled prior to washing or painting for a good job to be done. We were very clear when we spoke to Karl about the work we expected to be done.
Without any advance notice on Friday a young man arrived at about 7:30 pm and began power washing our house. He did not come to our door to tell us he was going to work on our house. He just showed up and unhooked our garden hoses and hooked up his power washer. He did not move anything away from our walls. Just tried to sprayed around thing and avoid our open windows.. He did not power wash the 2nd story or front entry.
We had windows open and he did not care. He left by 8:30 pm and he did not reconnect our hoses. We were told by Karl work was going to start our house Monday. Karl, claims he told us work would start before. NO, NO we had work to do to clear areas for the painters on the weekend.
Two College Works (Jesse and Mercedes) arrived on Monday morning and started painting. They did not have a broom or long brush to finish cleaning the Stucco. They had a small hand held whisk broom which hardly, if every, left the plastic box it came in. Power wash from Friday night was a very poor job. Jesse acknowledge that the wash was very poor, but he painted right over the dirty stucco. I informed Jesse I could still see bleed though and told him a second coat is necessary as the paint they chose states for coverage; Karl stated it would. I asked why Mercedes wasn't back rolling with a thick nap roller. They ignore me and kept working.
Contract note: Fill all cracks - They choose not to fill all cracks, in fact only did a couple. Fill needs to cure before painting but they painted over and then told us they mixed they used to fill is coming out. Did not go back and repair. I personally talked to the young man to be sure all cracks were filled. He got on his phone to Karl and ignore my statements. They taped very few areas, and the amount of over spray on our black light fixtures and railings was totally unacceptable. They do not cover well if at all. All side of our house had over spray and all of our wall fixtures.
BE very specific on your contract. Karl verbally ensured us they would clean our house. Contract note: power spray as necessary – therefore they did not power spray the 2nd story nor brush or remove dirt or mildew from most of the house. They did not move anything that was along the walls, they spray around. We explain our house had not been sealed or painted for over 15 years and we needed it done right. Karl assured us it would be.
When choosing a paint be sure to state how the paint should be applied: brushed on rolled on or sprayed on with back brush. College Works chose to spray and not back brush. And did a very poor job applying. They missed or just did not paint behind things. If they could not spray it did not get painted. They did not have proper tools, like good paint brushes and rollers or pan to put paint in. They only used the cans of paint to get paint out of.
Paint quality: Karl recommended a very good paint. He emphasized how good the paint was and how it will cover and beautify our home. Contract note: one coat. Very strange when we saw the poor coverage we were getting we look up the paint. Sherwin ** states for coverage two coats are required. College Works would not honor what paint spec call for. We ended up with a lot of bleed through and missed areas that were not finished correctly. Finish is not uniform and cut line is so jagged it looks terrible.
During contract discussions, WE made Karl aware that several area of our home had stains. He assured me that paint would cover and we would be happy. We would not need to prime any areas. If you have stains on your Stucco insist on a stain covering primer be applied before that paint. Every day the two painters arrived whenever. We were never informed of a start or finish time. They did not introduce themselves. They just entered our yard and set up. One morning while we were still in bed we were woken by very loud music from a radio. We did not appreciate the loud music at 7:30 am.
Clean up was washing a small roller with our garden hose, spraying all the excess paint on our grass. I told them this was not good. The young girl said it is biodegradable and would not hurt our grass. OK, it does not hurt our grass, but we now have an area of white grass and brown grass. They did this every day and it looks terrible. They store what little equipment they had under a tarp in our yard.
Inspection per contact: We were to have a nightly walk around with Karl. This is THIRD night and we still have not had one. He is the team leader – shows up when Jesse, calls or text him with our concerns. I do not feel Karl is addressing any of our concerns. Listens well, nods well, and then ignores what we are telling. He is telling us this is normal and we will be happy before the job is done.
Thursday, work continues and no change to how they paint or protect our house or clean up. Now our front evergreens are sprayed white in various spots. Our porch railings are more white than black. Over spray is everywhere. We are told they have to do touch up and will clean our rails. They did not.
Thursday evening Karl shows up and ask how we like the job. Our reply was it looks terrible. He was stunned. We confronted him about the contract note: nightly walk around. Karl said why didn't we call him. Like we are to do his job for him and he was not concerned. It in the contact KARL. WE knew His painters were calling him daily with our concerns, because they stopped doing anything and hung out in the yard on the phone.
After the walk around they spent another couple of hours painting the unpainted areas and trying addressing our concerns. WE are not happy with all the work. We must do the make our house look like what we expected from College Works. They offered a small dollar adjustment for the over spray and agreed it was unacceptable. Karl took our check and left. Karl stated if we did not pay them they would put a 10 year lien on our house.
Hi, we are so sorry to hear about your experience. Your interaction with our company has certainly been unacceptable on our part and we'd like to do everything we can to make this right for you. We have limited information here on the site. Can you call us at 888-450-9675 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can help you out ASAP?
AUSTIN -- I was an intern in the spring and summer of 2014. I'll admit, it was not walk in the park. The first note to take is that the College Works Painting internship is an investment into your future. From the start, each weekend I was out knocking on doors in the Austin area while my friends were out having fun. Through the week, I spent hours lining up my weekend schedule, and making sure clients and I were on the same page about how their personal estimate would go.
I would also try to understand some of their concerns about the company or the quality of work; this is an understandable concern because, come on, you're a 20-something year old college kid who doesn't have it all figured out... yet. All of my clients were very well-to-do Austin residents, and my attitude as a young professional was very clear to them.
During the summer (production season) I had trouble finding the right painters to do the work. My first crew was spectacular, but they ended up finding work closer to their homes in San Marcos. The endless training of painters seemed daunting. I had already thought about quitting (like the countless hundreds who already did) during the spring, but I knew I'd regret it. I buckled down and eventually found a diamond in the rough. My lead painter was a 19 year old sophomore at UT who had never touched a paint brush in his life.
* This is for potential clients and potential interns alike: The best painters are those taught with patience and detail. Experienced painters often cut corners to cut costs, while new painters only know what the intern has taught them... so you're able to built their skill set from level 0.
This guy ended up painting over half of my houses with the help of guys that HE ended up training for me. I was able to manage multiple other job sites in the Georgetown, Cedar Park, West and South Austin areas. My branch was the highest revenue-producing branch in Texas at $100,000+ and I also completed the internship with multiple positive online reviews, the award for excellent customer service (my clients cared about me and I cared about them), and I was intern of the year. Oh yeah, Cancun was a blast.
The skills I learned at College Works Painting are still paying dividends. As the "subject" line states, running a branch for CWP got me an internship working for a media production group dealing with private companies whose annual revenue exceeds $20 million dollars. My experience as a manager was the single resume bullet point that the interviewer asked me about. Now, you tell me what 20-something year old can hold their own in a room full of CEO's and multimillionaires... this one.
More than anything, CWP has enabled me to restore balance in my life. It taught me to plan time for people that matter, it challenged my ambition to succeed, and best of all- and likely the least 'talked' about benefit- it trained me to listen and control the tempo of conversation.
"It's not for everyone," is the most accurate description of CWP. There is a reason thousands of interns are recruited every year and only a few hundred finish. College Works isn't just an internship, it's a platform for you to start successful habits in your life. I encourage you to think hard about making the commitment. Ask yourself what you're made of. Think about the time you'll have to spend giving it all you've got.
Think about the sacrifice you're going to have to make and some of the people you'll have to disappoint (not clients, FRIENDS that don't understand why you're doing it). Then, think about how different your life will be once you've earned all of the intangible skills and all of the respect from your peers and clients. If it seems worth it to you, then step up and accept it.
AUSTIN, TEXAS -- The College Works internship is by no means made for everyone. Some people do extremely well, while others don't. Although the amount of work you're willing to put in is a very important factor, I found that it doesn't necessarily determine whether you succeed. I think it more so depends on how invested you are in the idea of running your own business.
The internship allows you to experience all aspects of running a business, which is much more than most students have ever done before. Your district manager guides you through every step to the best of their ability, giving you the tools to be successful. The rest, though, is up to you. You're given an immense amount of freedom to schedule your weekends, build your own client base, line up your summer, hire your own painters, prepare cost analysis on all of your jobs, etc. It's a unique experience to learn a great deal about yourself by seeing how you perform under the stress. I grew up with a family business, so I know that any small business takes a large amount of work. If you can make it successful though, it is so much more rewarding than your average job.
If I could go back and do the internship again, I would definitely focus more on quality than quantity. That is one aspect that the company overall could work on, because while customer satisfaction is encouraged, it is not pushed nearly as much as the total revenue each intern brings in. I understand that every company wants to have the maximum amount of profit, but I believe that College Works sometimes sacrifices too much for that. A large amount of interns quit during the program, and I think a lot of it is because you are constantly pushed to book more jobs and bring in more revenue. For a competitive person like myself, it's easy to get caught up in the thrill of being the top selling intern, not necessarily taking into consideration whether you really can deliver the customer service you promised the client. Again, there are some interns who had a huge amount of jobs and made the majority of them work out perfectly. But then there are also those interns who didn't have nearly as many jobs, but delivered worse customer service than that top intern. That is why I think it really just comes down to how invested you are in having your own business. You have to believe in delivering the best possible job.
My advice to interns or those thinking about doing the program is to think about whether you're invested in running your own small business for the year. Even though like myself, you might not have cared at all about house painting before you did this internship, that's not what the internship is about. It's about managing the difficulties of running your own business and learning how to communicate effectively. It's not for the faint of heart, but that's what makes this internship so special. I would just advise you to focus on quality over quantity - you will be a lot happier for it.
AMES, IOWA -- Ally ** and her crew with College Works Painting did an amazing job for us. Ally came to our door and sold herself and her company, and my wife and I decided to give them a try. We're glad we did! Ally kept us informed throughout the entire process, and the finished product is fantastic! I will refer anyone I know who needs to get their house painted!