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Student Works Painting

1037 Broadway W #4, Vancouver, BC
19 reviews
Claim this business Last updated: Over a year ago
Listed in: Painting
About Student Works Painting

We are a student painting company. This means that all of our Franchisees and most of their painters are full-time university students, earning money for tuition and expenses for the following year. Go to full description...

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Student Works Painting, Vancouver Reviews (19)

19 reviews
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By Ian Freemantle on Feb 20, 2020
About 4 years ago I hired Student Works to paint a part of my house. It was great! the painters were happy, fun, and always cleaned up every day. The franchisee was great at communicating and check regularly. So last year I hired them again. There is paint all over the outside furniture, decks, windows, railings, even the hose! They did only one coat and missed big areas, leaving the old colour. The trim work was pathetic, they painted over dirt and lifted paint, no scraping and sanding or power washing. they killed the grass and left their lunch garbage and never cleaned anything once. It will cost more to get the job fixed than their bill, and I have to replace $1000 is stuff with paint on it. I got my money returned after threatening them.

Here's the deal, the students are Student Works franchisees. So which one you hire determines the paint job. If you pick a crappy one, the management couldn't give a shit. The district managers are running their own franchise and have no time to deal with complaints. Upper management won't even answer your calls/emails. Your crappy franchisee most likely couldn't care less because they have other complaints and are losing money, so will do minimal effort if any to fix the job. If you want to hire a Student Works franchisee, ask for at least 4 referrals, and phone or go see them! They can be great painters at a good price, they can also be a nightmare that costs you time, money and aggravation.
By Gen Elephant on May 16, 2017
I had two small bedrooms to be painted after getting the estimate I decided it was worth the money to it done by professionals. After changing the start date three times and then the start time they finally arrived at noon and rushed through the job to be out by 6pm. The ceilings dropped plaster when painted not their fault however some plaster bits landed on the walls and were just painted over, there is paint all over the trim,carpet ,furniture and bedding. In fact one girl stood on the bed to paint. Socket and switch plates have paint on them etc etc. Finally got ahold of the manager late Friday and was told they will try and come back next week meanwhile the contents of the two rooms are in my living room. I guess because it was just a small job as the manager kept stating I don't count.
By Bazaar Catfish on Sep 29, 2016
They did a terrible job really don't think they knew what they were doing never showed up on time worked at night with no proper lighting would not recommend them to anyone
By Crimson Impala on Feb 07, 2016
First, most of the people running the franchises and their painters are not students. This is especially concerning due to the fact that the whole business model is presented as "helping students", essentially lying to customers. The people are the ones running $100,000+ businesses are not students. The fact the SWP website says the "average" summer business has $71,000 in sales is a complete lie. If you only include actual students, the average business is around or just under $50,000.

Customers, be warned. They provide franchisees 2 days of painting knowledge. It is then up to the franchisee (with only 2 days of experience) to train their printers. If they cant? That's okay, SWP has a generic book with painting tips they will give to their painters. Painters are required to have some knowledge though, they complete a test, and have to pass in order to paint. Good news for the painter, is they get to have this test with an open book, and ask their franchisee for help.

If you want to give an insane amount of royalty to this company, pay various fees that "are included" and have supervision that only cares about themselves, this a great company. Would recommend.
By Bole Whale on Sep 16, 2015
Dealing with Student Works Painting in Powell River has been a nightmare. Clayton Hill the Powell River Franchise owner came to my home on May 16/15 to provide me with an estimate. After reviewing the estimate I decided to proceed with this company as Mr. Hill sounded like he knew what he was doing and I like the thought of employing students. Mr Hill promised on site supervision as well as thoroughly trained painters.
After not showing up to my house until August 6/15 even though promised to be her much earlier there were over 10 different people over a month long period that painted my house. The mess and chaos that took place over the 40 days they took to paint my house was appalling. There was no supervision and training, this coming straight from the painters mouths. It is now mid September and my house is still not finished. I told Mr. Hill to stop as the rain has come and the painting window has closed. Mean while I am left in a complete mess. Mr. Hill understands my frustration and had his workers spend more time cleaning up the mess they made then hours painting.. They split paint on my roof, on my cement patio, all over my windows, flashing, soffits and the list goes on. Bare spots all over the place when they said they have completed two coats. My doors were painted a different colors and they got paint all over my weather stripping, hardware even on my interior walls.
My house is 70% complete and the painting season has ended. Now i'm left with a big uncompleted mess to look at until next summer when I will have to hire someone else to complete the job!
Very unprofessional and a highly stressful situation. I Would not recommend this painting company!!
By badvlad on Aug 14, 2014
two young chaps that painted our house- great! management sucks big time!
the forewomen that we hired [got our contract] has not followed up on our complaints [which was the work she did on our front door!] & the office on dollarton has ignored us [for the past two patient months]. this is how NOT to run a company [students or not]!!!!!
we should have gone with college pro!!!!!!
By Orange Falcon on Feb 05, 2014
It is unfortunate that more people who have had success running a Franchise with Student Works Painting West or have had their house painted by someone at Student Works West don't write reviews about their awesome experience. I understand that writing reviews takes time and usually those who do it are those that are very upset and need somewhere to vent.

I started running my franchise in my first year of university (SFU) at the age of 18. I had no business or painting experience prior to my meetings and training with the company. They taught me everything I needed to know about the fundamentals of running a business, painting, and their systems which have been changing (for the better) for over 20 years.

I went out and started to run my business. I was coached throughout the spring and summer as I ventured out to do recruiting, marketing, and sales. I hired painters, marketers, and started giving estimates to clients. When school ended I started painting houses in May. I had 5 friends from highschool with no painting experience work with me. Together, we completed 50 homes that summer with 0 client complaints. Did we have problems? Of course. But we fixed them. Every painter was compensated fairly. I had several go on to paint for me for the next 4 years. Some even eventually ran their own franchises after a few years.

Did I make money? Yes. Enough to get me through school every year which is why I came back. This story is the same for hundreds of students and that is why I would highly recommend running a franchise to anyone who wants to learn a lot about business. One of the key things is that this is a business. Do businesses go under or not make any money? All the time. Usually due to the people. Student Works provides a system that works and if you choose to not follow it then of course you are not going to be successful.

After my years with Student Works I can safely say that I have painted for over 500 people and I would not hesitate running in to any one of them.
By Brown Kiwi on Jul 09, 2013
I've worked for the company for 2 years under my district manager Cory Bartrim. I have nothing but good things to say about the company. They do everything they can to help their franchisees succeed and on occasion people don't work out. If your willing to work your ass off your going to succeed. Be honest during interviews because you will only hurt yourself in the end if your not. My main advice to anyone signing up to work for the company is to realize you are going to be running a real business and to take it seriously and not whine and complain and cry to people about a bad experience when things get hard. The first thing they tell you is it is going to be the hardest summer of your life and they're right, the things this job will teach you are invaluable in life and by far it's been the hardest and most valuable experience I have ever had. If you are lucky enough to be hired by the company and work under Cory or any of the other awesome DM's give them the respect they deserve and if your not cut out for it dont blame it on the company because they do everything they can to help you succeed, the rest is up to you and it's unfair to blame them if things don't work out.
By oldpaint on Jul 07, 2013
Student Works painting here in Eastern Canada is basically a fraudulent organization in my opinion. If you visit their site they have wonderful "hand crafted" testimonials, but no opportunity for anyone to give a real testimonial.
They "painted" two small bathrooms and their charge was $1,600.00. I know, I was ripped-off. But if that is not bad enough,the work they did was sub-standard. Poor coverage, poor preparation, places where no paint was actually applied. To top that, they simply lied about how many coats they applied as they finished the job before even one coat could have properly dried. I believe that's the only coat they gave the bathrooms, although they claim they applied three coats. Whatever you do, don't hire Student Works painting or you will be fleeced of your money and disappointed with the results. All their testimonials on their site are phoney!
By Chri5 on May 14, 2012
Hello, I have read many complaints, reviews,and stories (Good & Bad) regarding Student Works Painting & how they operate.
As a past painter with College Pro Painters (2007 & 2009) and with Student Works Painting (Summer 2010) & now this year (2012) I'm a Production Manager in my area. I have to say that Student Works Painting is not a trap or a scam, however it does look like it at times.

Yes.. it does take a Lot .. and I mean a lot of work before starting, that they 'Student Works Painting' expect each Franchisee to do. You do get help from your District manger but they cant be there 24 seven. Which is why I think every Franchisee manger should have a Production Manger or a 'partner' in their business to help divide the work up. Which is what my manger and I are doing this summer.
I am in charge of Marketing(Canvassing)Sessions, setting up interviews with potential painters, and getting the day started by making sure production runs smoothly and on time. I will also be painting, which I enjoy very much.
We have hired a great bunch of guys who have had painting experience before and we have had two 8 hour training sessions. Teaching them what each and every tool is used for, Prep Work (scraping,sanding, calking and priming) handling and operating a ladder safely, doe's and dont's as a painter etc.. We are confident in our painters and in our self's to have a successful summer. Yes, there will be problems here and there but that's expected in this type of filed.

My advise to potential managers, know what your getting into and how much time you must put in to succeed. Please take some type recruiting painters and especially training them. And for potential painters, it can be a fun and rewarding summer. You can make quite a bit during the summer, just as long your manger teaches you the proper skills you need to succeed.
It is a fun and at times stressful job, but in the end you make good friends, learn lots and of course earn money for school.

Hope that helped. If you have any questions just ask.

By Umber Piranha on May 02, 2012
My friend was running Student Works Painting last year as a franchisee. From May to August, I saw him work his ass off every single day and ended up losing thousands of dollars. This company seems to use clients’ sympathy for students to make money. The company takes advantage of the student operators by taking a huge amount of commission and even fine them if they don’t meet certain quota.

My friend’s family and all his other friends had all encouraged him to quit around July, because the whole things turned out to be very different from what the company had told him. But he just could not, …because doing so he would need to pay the incredible amount of fine to the company. It was hard to see a dear friend of yours to go through something so unfair like that.

I know his parents worried about him so much every day when he was out for production. Although they said franchisees were businessmen not painters. Franchisees still needed to paint sometimes when they were short on painters. However, without much training, I found it really scary to see my friend on a 32 feet ladder. If he fell due to lack of training, who is taking the responsibility? Surely not the company, they knew the best how to get out of the responsibility, the only thing they care seems to be the profit.

The company makes everything sounds so pretty at first, but it’s really just a scam. They called my friend lazy when he was not doing well, they blamed him for not completely following the system. They tried to break his self-esteem and let him believe that it’s really all his fault if he is not doing well. How cruel is that….

Don’t hire from Student Works Painting, stop letting the company make any profit. Because if they keep existing, there will be more students suffering like my friend. You might think that you are helping a student to make some money for summer today, but you are actually letting more students fall into the trap of Student Works Painting in the future.
By Cobalt Poodle on Mar 21, 2012
A friend of mine was a franchisee for Student Works. I went to several of their payroll events and met quite a few other people in the company. I just saw what Student Works Painting had written in their business details above and wanted to comment on that.

Not all of the business owners are full time students and some not students at all. Seems strange that they advertise that when its definitely false.

The franchisees do not undergo rigorous training. The franchisees from big cities had 1-2 days of paint training before they start painting client's homes. The people in small towns do not have any paint training at all unless they can make the trip to the big city on the required weekend. That seems insane to me - someone running a painting business has 0-2 days of paint training??? I bet their clients don't know that...

What they say above about "the staff are handpicked and trained by the Franchisees" is true which is a terrible problem. First year franchisees have no painting experience and are expected to train their employees. I met painters who were making less than minimum wage, because they were paid on piecework, who thought things would improve and they just needed more practice but who a month later were still making less than minimum wage on many of their projects. They seemed like really nice people who were being promised better things to come but who couldn't afford to quit and look for something else.

It sounded to me like a lot of the franchisees thought they were getting more training than they did and the painters had no idea that their boss had no experience. I can't imagine if I had hired these people to paint my house and some the of problems I heard about happened on my property!

My friend did alright with them but he definitely didn't want to do it again at the end of the summer. My mom asked him if he could recommend someone from the company to paint our house the next year and he said that he wouldn't hire anyone from Student Works! I feel bad for all the students who get caught up in this and for the clients who's houses get ruined.
Comment by guinness on Mar 28, 2012
This is a comment on a post submitted March 21, 2012:

Ahh, it is really too bad that people that have positive experiences with companies do not go online and give their experiences.

I won't comment on all the review because of time constraints. With franchisees sometimes you get a low percentage of people who do not follow systems, are lazy, and what not. They do not do well financially. They usually do a good job for their clients. You also get franchisees who follow systems, are incredibly motivated, and also do good jobs for their clients. I am not at liberty to say how well they do, but they do very well financially.

Student Works, as a company, have customers say, 97% of the time, they would use a Student Works franchisee again. That is double some well known, well respected car companies. Each year we have hundreds of people who use Student Works franchisees again.

We have been in western Canada (BC,AB,SK,MB) for going on 22 years. I'm the first to admit that over 21 years, things have not gone as planned. When we know about them, we do our very best to fix things.

Our franchisees are not painters. They are business people. They get trained in business over three days in January and then work very closely with a support person (every day) over the spring and summer.

Paying people under minimum wage is illegal. If the person who wrote the piece can tell me who was getting less than minimum wage, I will make sure it is made right.

By Umber Swallow on Oct 02, 2011
had my Mom's condo painted in August and I was told there would be 5 painters and it would take 2 eight hour days to complete the job. After day one, I got a call saying they were finished.
I looked at the walls and was surprised to see that they only did one coat and missed a lot of spots. They came back and when I went the next day, there was paint on the kitchen cupboards, 5 dining room chairs, the table, and the curtains.
I moved furniture out today and discovered paint on the carpet, dishwasher, and some unfinished places. It appears as though they purposely hid their mistakes.
I opened the bedroom curtains and found 3 big blobs of paint that was left to run and dry.
These painters did an extremely sloppy job and put no care or effort in their workmanship.
I will never use your company again and I will be posting this on multiple websites advising against using your company.
By Boysenberry Lemur on Jul 11, 2011
We have had them paint our house and it took them 3 months to complete it.They slept on my couch and ate my food and left us with a very bad job done.We had the warranty work done and now here we go again...awful job and so many damages like our brand new roof!! DO NOT USE STUDENT WORKS>>>>>>IT ill cost you lots of headaches and left ITH A JOB HALF DONE!!!!!!!
By Anon4800 on Mar 07, 2011
I worked for these guys in high school. Please don't blame the actual painters, they are totally out of the loop on the legal scam these guys run. Basically they get you to attend a meeting, and they make a big deal out of it, then you are hired. You receive no training whatsoever. The so called "manager" (a college student that knows next to nothing about painting) puts you onto a job site in the morning, then leaves you to do it with a meager budget of a few hours for you and one other person, who knows as little as you do about painting. The bottom line is, if anyone wants to make money here, do a mediocre, fast job and you might be lucky to make 9-10 an hour. That's how they prefer you to do it. And if you fall short of your budget, which is almost guaranteed if you're someone who prefers to do a good job, then expect less than minimum wage. Also, expect to embarrass yourself by trying to sell paint jobs door to door for no compensation, as that is part of the job as well. For payment, expect a personal cheque, with no pay stub, or very little information about your hours and deductions. So, to sum up, you're much better off getting a job with a small, reputable painting company, who is willing to train you and will pay you a real hourly wage. Or maybe even working at McDonalds for the summer (you'll make more money there).

Best of luck.
By coke on Mar 13, 2010
I cotracted Student Works Painting on Broadway West to do a job for me, and I was really disapointed with the result.

They came to my house at 8:00 am, right on the time we arranged, and I gave them instructions on how I wanted it painted.

My 1967 Chevy was in mint condition, until some neighbourhood punk keyed it. I thought I would let some college kids earn some money, so I called Student Works Painting.

They might be good at painting houses, but they suck at painting cars. They didn't even use real auto paint.

Be warned these are not the Auto Paint professionals I thought they were!
By theit01 on Mar 11, 2010
They mistreat their employees, plain and simple. My manager was completely full of herself, and kept screwing us over.

She kept under-quoting the jobs, and got pissed at us when we couldn't paint an entire house in 3-4 hours. She had very little painting experience herself, and always found flaws with everything you were doing. One time I was painting alongside her sister. Her sister told me to sand the old paint as lightly as possible so there would be less work. I did just that I got yelled at by my boss for being lazy and trying to half-*** the work. Way to give conflicting instructions. If our crew managed to finish the job on time, she would claim the work was too sloppy. If we did a meticulous job, she would flip up at us for taking too long. From what I've gathered most of their managing staff like to intimidate and put down their employees, so you never feel like you have any ground to argue with them.

You don't get lunch breaks, like any other normal business. They expect you to eat on the run as you're moving from site to site.

The canvasing is just pain stupid. 3-4 days out of the week we'd be knocking on doors looking for work. Very few people came back with leads, and most of us did not get paid for any of the time we spent canvasing. I don't mind distributing fliers, and I don't mind promoting door-to-door. I do however have a major problem doing it for free, especially when I'm supposed to be employed as a painter.

They don't provide any safety training, and tell you to supply your own protective equipment. Meanwhile they expect you to do **** that's just plain dangerous, like stand on top of a flimsy porch hood to paint the window above it. Should you get hurt on the job, I guarantee it, you'd be completely on your own.

The final straw for me was when they paid me for 1/3 of the hours I worked, claiming I didn't keep proper records. When I demanded my money (around $ 300.00) they told me to sue them.

I can't believe I gave up hours at my other job to work for these ********. Stay away from them like the plague. They will look every opportunity to not pay you for the hours you work.
By Cobalt Orangutan on Jul 19, 2009
I got gipped on my hours and on my cold calling bonuses. Apparently you are supposed to get $5 for each lead and $10 for each time they book an appointment. I got like half of those. I would never work for a dishonest employer again and I would never recomend anyone to work for them. If you don't keep track of your hours they will gip you. One of my coworkers was short $200 in one paycheque. My advice keep track of your hours and your leads.
By Mals on Jul 18, 2009
I gave up my job with Parks Canada because I thought I would make more money, but it turns out that I only made just under $3,000 dollars with Student Works Painting. In June I made only $800. The manager promised me 10 or 12 hour days and working 5 days a week, but she had no jobs for me. When I came back to work she told me that there was $200,000 in jobs for the rest of the summer and this will never happen again. A couple of weeks later she has no work for me for a week and after that I get laid off. My advice -- work at Safeway or somewhere else because you will make more and will not have to put up with uncertainty. With Parks Canada I made at least $10,000 for the summer and I had constant employment.
By shizzledizzl on Jul 04, 2009
There are ups and downs of student works painting. They are in no way related to "college works painting" which has a HORRIBLE rap sheet. My story is one of the downs. I am currently working for student works painting.. You are supposed to start painting houses in april-may. We didnt start our first house until July 28th. I am not a professional painter, but i am very good at it, yet she expects our whole crew to be professional painters, as if we have 15 years of painting experience. She will give us 30 hours to do a 40 hour job (which is reasonable), but when we are on our last gallon of paint, we give her a call, she says she will be there in 10 min with more paint, and 2 hours later she shows up with paint and we've been out for an hour and trying to find stuff to do. I do understand she is busy and trying to find us more work with getting estimates done, but when she says "i will be there in about 45 min" and shows up 4 HOURS LATER, thats not acceptable. (this all really happened, and ive only been painting for about 1 week so far) I was the first employee she hired and that was in March, we did canvasing for 3 months (WTF??) She said we would start painting on June 1st (which i was ok with, and thats why i accepted the job) Then the date we were supposed to start painting changed to June 12th, then June 30th, then July 18th, and finally July 28th. Trust me, it was very annoying. There were also the countless times we went canvasing and she was anywhere from 15-30 min late to meeting at the chosen area, and she made is seem like it was all of our faults and we had to go canvasing for an extra period of time. (usually the amount of time she was late) If you are offered a job from student works painting, DO NOT DO IT if the branch manager seems anything like this. The only reason ive stuck around is because the economy is tough right now and i need to pay for my wedding thats a month away. If your branch manager pulls any of this crap, demand an hourly wage (instead of the piecework) and they will either a) give you your demands or b) deny your demands, and if you quit, and they dont replace you, they will risk being sued by student works for jobs not getting done so they will definately pay you what you ask.
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We are a student painting company. This means that all of our Franchisees and most of their painters are full-time university students, earning money for tuition and expenses for the following year. The reason for our success can be summed up in one word: COMMITMENT. Commitment to our customers, and commitment to our people. Our Franchisees undergo rigorous training in the spring months and have solid technical and customer support behind them. The staff are handpicked and trained by the Franchisees and are regularly evaluated and their skills improved.
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