Is your accommodation property looking tired? Then it’s time to talk about external transformation.
Properties become old and tired looking with age, and deterioration can happen quickly, particularly in a harsh climate or if your property is located near salty sea air. But a paint refurbishment will give your building fresh appeal, and proactive care will keep it looking good.
Does your property’s exterior ‘wow’ your guests, and does it present curb appeal? If not, what exactly does this say about you, your accommodation offering, the experience you are promising and ultimately the quality of your business?
The way your property is presented dictates its reputation because first impressions count. If the externals of your building look tired, your guests will perceive it as neglected and will struggle to have confidence in the entire accommodation experience.
Why? Because study after study on the psychological interplay between humans and their environment indicates huge improvements in how they respond, learn, and work. Humans are also happier and generally better behaved in comfortable, clean, well-maintained environments.
Graffiti, for example, even in innocuous amounts negatively impacts a person’s feeling of safety and well-being. When graffiti appears and is not removed immediately, it sends the signal that people just don’t care, which in turn triggers visitor anxiety, and attracts more graffiti. This implies that an environment that seems unloved, creates a ‘couldn’t care less’ attitude in guests.
Looks are very important but there is much more at stake for you, as an accommodation owner or operator than just good looks.
Undertaking a high-quality paint refurbishment not only impresses guests but also protects the bones of your building, keeping it healthy for years to come. Importantly it is also an active investment strategy that will give you immediate growth in your property rather than waiting for capital growth.
The Australian climate is particularly challenging to the external condition of any building. In some locations deterioration seems to be in ‘fast forward’ mode, with some buildings particularly prone to faded and peeled paintwork, loose roof tiles, cracked concrete, and the list goes on…
Coastal buildings suffer from salt damage, and rust commonly causing problems, city dwellings suffer from environmental pollution and acid rain.
In addition to sun damage, Australia’s harsh and sometimes freakish weather events (like the most recent flooding disasters on the southeast coast) punish buildings and if neglected lead to very costly repairs.
The answer to your potentially inevitable maintenance nightmare is to implement a regular schedule of planned maintenance, undertaken by experts who have all the proper equipment to assess, clean, paint and repair. They know best what products to use on what areas and when.
A schedule from a recommended property maintenance company will preserve and enhance the life cycle of your building for many years.
A typical painting maintenance program would usually be planned over six to seven years depending on the location and size of the building and would consist of a full repaint in the first year, with an annual paint, cleaning, and maintenance service thereafter.
Being proactive with your building’s maintenance will prevent damage so that you and your guests can enjoy peace of mind.
AccomNews sought advice on painting management from preferred industry service provider, Higgins Coatings.
Nick Higgins, General Manager of Operations agreed that scheduled maintenance offers several long-term benefits.
These include lengthening the lifespan of the paint, protecting the substrate, reducing future costs of repainting because less preparation work will be required, and keep the property looking pristine.
He advised, before any external painting commences, it is crucial to ask a few important questions…
“First ask about the previous paintwork. Know which paint was used last time so that the correct undercoat and preparation work is done prior to applying new coats.
“Then ask, what access equipment will be required? The use of proper access equipment will ensure the job is completed safely and without delays.”
He explained: “Access may require the use of elevated work platforms, alongside certified abseilers and operators trained in the use of motorised access equipment. It is also important to have thorough sign-off processes for each elevation.”
Preparation is key.
He said: “Prior to painting all rust areas should be spot primed and all holes filled and sanded. To get the best finish you must use the appropriate roller, spray or brush when applying paint.
“It is also a very good idea to complete a ‘prototype area’,” he suggested.
“Use a small section to verify the colour, finish and consistency that will be applied to the whole building prior to mass painting.”
Finally, Mr Higgins divulged his top tips on how to achieve the best external paint job:
- Engage a local contractor and paint representative who can provide a combination of paint and workmanship warranty, based on the location and property.
- Get references for other buildings that have been completed by the selected contractor, to gauge how they look.
- Seek clarification on the maintenance requirements of the coatings. This needs to be factored into the annual cost to maintain the building.
- Obtain two quotes on the project for all works.
Higgins Coatings: A full external repaint of ibis Styles The Entrance
The popular hotel, ibis Styles, The Entrance, on the Central Coast of New South Wales, recently received a well-due makeover.
The property is located just two minutes from the beach and overlooks the stunning Tuggerah Lakes. But, after years of being subjected to the elements, the building’s externals were looking worse for wear.
Higgin Coating’s Newcastle team of experts helped to revive the surfaces.
The hotel owner recognised the extent of the damage to the building’s externals and wanted a cost-effective solution to improve its appearance. The Higgins Coating’s team was faced with the challenge of providing a thorough scope of works that would guarantee the best possible results while being budget friendly. This meant that considerations had to be made when determining the paint specification and access methods.
After conducting numerous assessments, the team realised that the building not only needed a repaint but also repairs to address the water ingress and surface rust issues plaguing the substrates.
Given poor weather conditions, the team were required to revise the schedule of works to account for delays.
The project was tackled systematically but first, all staff and guests were notified before conducting preparation and substantial remedial works. The team then safely scaled every substrate using rope access, applying a premium Taubmans Armawall paint specification to all areas.
By utilising abseiling, they were able to reduce costs and avoid any major interference to ground level car and foot traffic.
Multiple points of contact were maintained as part of a contingency plan. From the site foreman and project manager to access and paint specialists, the project ran smoothly because they were equipped to address any issues that arose.
Alongside the full external repaint, allowances were also made to carry out minor internal works aimed to rectify the common areas. The project was completed in just over two months despite being delayed due to the weather.
Upon completion, the hotel’s condition had been elevated. Gone were the water ingress issues, surface rust and stained walls that gradually deteriorated the look of the building.
Importantly, the customer was impressed with Higgins Coating’s communication and willingness to go above and beyond to satisfy their needs.
Mandy has over 17 years of accommodation and tourism industry writing experience and is Editor of AccomNews & Resort News, Publisher of SchoolNews & Director of Multimedia Pty Ltd. She is a retired registered nurse with a 25-year NHS career that followed a few unforgettable years in hotel housekeeping.