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The Accidental Smurf-colored Apartment Building

One thing I have learned over my years in the construction industry is that you must learn to adapt and overcome challenges as they come up, and they will come up.


We recently ran into such an issue while working at the Pines on Wendover project in Charlotte, NC. On this project we had planned to repaint the exteriors to make them look more modern.


We did our homework prior to the start of the paint project to make sure that we would eliminate any potential issues. We inspected for rotted siding and had it all replaced prior to the start of the painting. We had the buildings pressure washed to make sure the paint would adhere correctly and that we would not have any peeling later down the road. We consulted with our design coordinator Caitlin Randazzo and chose the best paint scheme to compliment the property. We even had our paint supplier go out to the property and produce a rendering with the new colors so we could see how it would look in reality. We had the paint supplier give us a couple of options and we chose the one that looked the best. We confirmed the colors as a team and we scheduled the painters to begin.


Soon after the painters began, my construction managers were contacting me about the paint color. They said that it looked really bad in person. At first, I dismissed it as the construction managers lack of design sense. However, as soon as I saw the photos, I quickly decided that they were correct, the paint color did look terrible and the paint supplier obviously made an error (in my opinion) and sent the wrong paint. After all, it looked nothing like the rending.


I quickly contacted the paint supplier and requested that they provide us with the paint codes and go out with the selected paint swatch so that they could see the error. The paint supplier quickly did this, and I was sent another photo of the selected paint swatch against the newly painted siding and it was a perfect match.


This did not make any sense. I saw the color in person and saw it on the rendering. Why did it look so horrible in the photos? Then I thought that the photos may be making the color look worse than it actually was and that it probably was not as bad in person.


So, I hopped in the car and drove to the property myself to get this figured out. As I pulled on the property I was met by a partially painted building in a horrific shade of blue.


Bottom line, as it turned out, the real lighting caused the color to look much different than the rendering and the sample swatch.


Back to the drawing board we went, and Caitlin and I quickly had a replacement color and had the painters apply it to a very small section of the building to make sure it looked as we expected it to.


Once we confirmed it looked good in person, the painters were back in business and quickly finished the project. While we did have a small delay of a couple days and some additional cost in paint, we were able to catch this issue quickly and adapt as necessary.


We are very focused on the success of every project we undertake and will do whatever is necessary to make it work, even if that means I must drive several hours to figure out a solution. There are always scenarios like this that occur on any construction project.


The key to being successful is to have check-in calls with our team often so we can recognize issues early as they are occurring so that correction can be made as necessary before it is too late. That is what sets our team apart from other operators.