By: Jessica Verhey, College Pro Alumni


Setting expectations - Gardens and paint chips – a lethal mixSpring is upon us, and many people begin to do two things: Revive the beloved garden and paint the house. Both cost money, and, for many, are essential services to maintain property.

I was a franchisee with College Pro for three years and throughout my experience, quickly realized gardens challenge the painting process in the following ways:

1)      Scraping old paint off of windows, doors, and siding creates paint chips.

2)      Many gardens sit directly beneath paintable services and need to be worked around.

3)      Gardens cost a lot of money, time and effort.

4)      Some surfaces are impossible to paint because a garden is in the way.

I had one customer in particular who worked day and night on her garden.

She particularly loved her rose bushes. During the estimate, we talked about the best time for the crew to come to her property.

For this customer, the job had to be completed before her roses bloomed. If I failed to come before they bloomed, I would lose the work.

During the summer, I had more and more customers express concern about how a paint job would impact the garden.

I took this as an opportunity to open up an honest conversation about College Pro’s thorough cleanup process and attention to detail.

For some customers, taking the garden into consideration is the difference between booking the job and not booking a job.

A Franchisee’s guide to protecting the garden:

1)      Take a look.

When you do the estimate, take note of the garden and potential challenges.

Ask the customer about the garden and express any concerns you have.

2)      Be frank.

Customers appreciate honesty. If you know the crew will have to put a ladder in the garden or stand in the garden, let the customer know and gauge their response.

3)      Paint chips.

Using a drop sheet and shop vacuum will help clean paint chips but let the customer know what to expect. This will depend on how severely the paint is peeling.

4)      Leave the job site cleaner then before you started.

If something was moved in the garden, make sure you and your painters take the time to put it back. Clean dusty areas where needed.


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