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Meet Paul Frankel of Perkins Custom Coatings

Today we’d like to introduce you to Paul Frankel.

Perkins Custom Coatings is a division of the Wm. M. Perkins Company, a third-generation Southern California painting and coatings business with operations in San Diego, Riverside, Imperial and southern Orange County.

After having a terrible experience with Epoxy garage floor coatings at 2 different homes installed by 2 different contractors, Paul decided in 2006 to start a Division within his Company to selling and install residential and commercial floor coatings. With over 7,000 floor coating installations to date, Perkins Custom Coatings has grown to be one of the oldest and most experienced in the southern California market.

Paul, Co-Owner of the Wm. M. Perkins Company personally started the Perkins Custom Coatings Division and has led its growth to nearly 800 floors every year. He is directly involved in all daily decision making, sales and company operations and is the primary owner of the Coatings Division.

The employees of Perkins Custom Coatings own 10% of the division thru an Employee Ownership Stock Program (ESOP). Their customers tell them all the time how impressed they are with their employees and they believe giving them a share of the business has led to superior results for their customers.

One of the key factors that has led to their success over the past decade is their experience in the market. Nearly every potential floor coating site is visited and personally assessed for unique challenges they might face during the installation like cracks, grease, oil, moisture and construction impediments. Then they hand select specific products whose quality is “top of the line” to best suit the requirements of each and every one of their installations (unlike most of their competitors who use a “one system fits all” approach to floor coatings or even others who sadly don’t even visit the job to assess the site conditions before quoting or beginning their work).

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
During the early years, there were several competitors who did not like having a new competitor and they tried to undercut us to put us out of business. Fortunately, we stuck to our plan and it was those competitors who ended up going out of business, not us.

We needed to learn a lot about how commercial and residential construction affects the way coating systems adhere to concrete. Not all concrete is the same! Fortunately, many of the recent building code revisions have reduced the risks associated with the installation of concrete coatings for newer construction. However, for older homes and businesses, there are certain moisture and hydrostatic pressure conditions that make it virtually impossible to successfully install a concrete coating system. Our experience has taught us that sometimes, not making a sale and instead helping a homeowner or commercial property owner to understand the conditions that make their concrete floor a poor candidate for a coating system is the best outcome for them.

Please tell us more about Perkins Custom Coatings.

Our Products – 100% Solids Materials & Why They Are Better

Nearly all the coating products that we use are 98-100% solids. That means that they contain no harmful solvents that cheapen and dilute the coating. The 100% solids designation is the highest, most premium grade for coating materials. Some of our competitors try to dazzle customers by saying that they will use “Commercial Grade” materials, yet Commercial Grade materials are some of the lowest grade materials on the market, having a solids content of only 60-70% with cheap, smelly solvents making up the other 30-40%. When these cheaper materials are used, they need to use more coats of these lower grade materials to achieve the same dry film thickness that we provide you with our system. More coats does not mean higher quality, it actually means lower quality! If you have a bid from a company using more coats of materials than we are, that means they are using cheap, poor quality products that are the worst performing coatings in the marketplace. We use 98-100% solids materials because they are the best quality that you can buy!

What We Will Do

– We take pride in using advanced surface prep equipment such as shot blasters and diamond grinders in our installations so that we can clean grease, oil, dirt and other contaminants from the concrete and properly abrade the concrete surface so that your coatings will properly adhere to the surface.
– Our equipment is attached to advanced, powerful HEPA vacuums that capture nearly all of the dust particles generated during the surface prep.
– We will protect adjacent surfaces from potential damage and will leave your job clean when we are done.
– We will use the most advanced materials that are proven to be successful in our market on your project including Polyaspartics, Urethanes and Polyurethanes. This is because, contrary to popular believe, Epoxy is no longer considered an appropriate coating solution for residential garage floors due to issues with yellowing, slip resistance and issues with hot tires!
– We always try to have an experienced owner, not a hired salesperson, visit your project site and assess specific conditions before beginning your job
– We don’t pay our guys “under the table” to avoid paying for worker’s compensation insurance, payroll taxes, liability insurance like some of our competitors do.

What We Won’t Do

– We won’t use cheap diluted materials that lower the price of the job, but jeopardize the quality and durability of our work.
– We don’t put “Band-Aids” like cheap crack repair pastes over serious concrete cracks and instead will use our own internally developed Structural Crack Repair techniques to repair your cracks.  Cosmetic crack repairs of more structural cracks will not work – the crack will always return and damage your new coating.  That is why we use more serious and more effective repair processes to repair structural cracks.– notice the crack has returned and damaged their new coating).
– We will never use an acid wash or power wash before applying a concrete coating (if anyone tells you they will do that – just throw their bid in the trash – they have no idea what they are doing).
– We guarantee that our process for doing your floor coating installation will be customized for your particular site conditions and we won’t use a “one size fits all approach to your floor.
– We won’t install anything in your home or commercial building that we wouldn’t install in our own.
– We won’t be satisfied until you are.

Our Warranty

The warranty that we offer on our coatings work is the strongest in the local market and we believe that should be important to you for a number of reasons. First, we only sell products that we believe in. We have tested these products (we test our competition’s products too) so that we can guarantee that our products will perform to our satisfaction. Second, we have a long history in the southern California marketplace. A warranty from a company with a long market presence is a lot more valuable than from a company that may not be around tomorrow to support their warranty. Lastly, we don’t play games with warranties like some companies do (like offering “lifetime warranties” that only are good for three years).

Our Promise To Our Customers

We are proud members of the Better Business Bureau, Yelp and Angie’s List. We are proud of our excellent ratings and we intend to keep it that way. In the unlikely event that any part of our work failed to meet your expectations, please call us and an owner will personally address your concern. Despite what any of our competitors may claim, our warranty is the BEST IN THE MARKET! We install only the best materials and use the best processes. Combine that with our experience and long market history and you have a complete coating experience that makes us the premier installation company in our market.

You can also count on us to be completely honest and straightforward with you. If, for some reason, we feel your garage is not a good candidate for a floor coating, we will tell you and recommend an alternative solution because for us, it is not just about making a sale, it is about making our customers happy.

Our Headquarters/Showroom

We would love to have you visit our beautiful office/showroom which conveniently located at 3148 Market Street just east of downtown at the intersection of the 15 and the 94.

Our office is a historic 1915 Craftsman Style home that we carefully restored and converted into an office about 15 years ago. It is one of the finest restored original Craftsman buildings in San Diego and we would be delighted to show you around. Please call us at 619-236-0343 ext. 12, 14 or 15 and schedule an appointment.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
I once had a contractor give me some good advice. He told me that if I wanted to be successful, don’t get so big that I can’t individually meet or shake hands with each of our clients and to this day, I still personally visit nearly 99% of our clients before making a sale.

I also brought an “old school” approach to my company that I learned from my Dad. He said that a man’s handshake is his bond, and not to ever forget it. He also said that companies that treat their customers the way you would yourself like to be treated will nearly always be successful. Over the years, I have never forgotten his advice. We never ask for a deposit upfront from our customers and we don’t get paid until the customer is happy.

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Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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