Chuck Hotter loves paint.
Whether his professional canvas is a converted garage or carriage house, a new home addition, exterior or interior surfaces and trim or a health care facility, retirement village apartments or common areas no space is too big or small for Hotter’s brushes, rollers and his well-appointed tool kit.
Chuck Hotter owns and operates Hotter Painting with his son Greg Hotter in Milford Township.
“Painting is relaxing,” he said of routine maintenance essential to preserving surfaces, and which many love - or loathe- doing themselves.
The end result is its own reward.
A new business begins and grows
In business since 2003, the Hotters handle a mix of commercial and residential jobs – hiring various local subcontractors to round out the job’s requirements as they go.
“We can take anything…and make it beautiful,” he said.
With decades of experience in health care facility maintenance Hotter is drawn to the caring, personal touch inherent in patient and resident interactions. Hotter’s specialty niche is the health care sector.
Community is everything
Being part of a community is important to Hotter, and he lives into a community-focused mission – from his approach to family and friends to his professional life and current position as president of the Upper Bucks Chamber of Commerce.
Working local is a mainstay of his business – and among his business values.
“What makes this a great community are the referrals we get from those we run into on a daily basis. They want to make the community stronger and the way to do that is to refer and buy local. I like the fact that we buy and work local, and it builds our community,” Hotter explained.
Working with an extended team
Area plumbers, electricians and carpenters are part of Hotter Painting’s extended network of trades professionals, once again with the mission that includes “…working together in the Upper Bucks Community.”
By extension, local businesses like Hotter Painting contribute to the global painting, coatings and finishes industry – which includes exterior and interior painting and flooring epoxy coatings. By 2027, the global market for painting, coatings and finishes is expected to be worth about $232 billion, according to the statista.com website. https://www.statista.com/topics/4755/paint-and-coatings-industry/
Hotter Painting services include wallpaper removal and installation, interior and exterior painting, deck staining and power washing, calking, drywall repairs and epoxy floor coatings.
“With paint there is instant gratification, for me and for the home or business owner,” Hotter said.
When Hotter Painting was founded in 2003, the lion’s share of customers came from the residential, home or property owner side of the business.
Going with the flow and a global pandemic
The shift to commercial work - now representing about 80 percent of Hotter Painting’s trade began about six years ago, and it continues to grow.
An important sustaining life raft during the coronavirus pandemic, the commercial painting sector helped Hotter weather 2020. Since beginning in the U.S. in March 2020 Covid-19 has infected more than 1 million Pennsylvanians and killed more than 25,000 in the commonwealth.
Worldwide the pandemic has sickened about 132 million and claimed the lives of nearly 3 million people, according to the Google News website.
Closer to home every business and industry has been touched by it.
“Early last year from the residential side it took just about everything away,” he said.
And while April and May were slow, Hotter said commercial work picked up again last summer.
What customers want – and don’t want any longer
From those hard to reach places in vaulted foyer and great room ceilings to the desire for a fresh look or pairing wall colors to new furnishings, Hotter said on average, homeowners opt for new paint every five to six years.
Current color trends – across all customer sectors continue to be earth tones- “Everyone is staying with those,” Hotter said.
“And faux finishes, those are out. No one wants those anymore,” he said.
Whether it’s pandemic weariness and a yearning for surroundings to be comfortable, or whether it’s the inherent flexible and versatile nature of soft earth tone shades Hotter expects earth tones to continue to be hot for the foreseeable future.
“There are pets, kids, wear and tear in the home, changing things up or buying new furniture, flooring or rugs, folks want something that looks different,” he said.
For more information on Hotter Painting contact Chuck at 267.261.5261 or visit www.hotterpainting.com.
Whether Urbane Bronze, the 2021 color of the year or a classic staple like Dover White, Sherwin Williams has customers covered
Few home improvement projects satisfy the urge for a new look like a fresh coat of paint.
From a classic shade like Toile Red to Naval, the 2020 color of the year, paler shades of white or creamy neutrals the coronavirus pandemic surged the “nesting” demand among home and property owners, prompting many to reach for a brush or hire a professional painter for a bright updated look.
Jon Josko, Sherwin Williams of Souderton store manager said the coronavirus pandemic reinvented how some services are delivered.
“It drew a lot more DIY customers to the store. With everyone stuck at home people were looking for something to do, or they finally had the time to make the changes they wanted to make to their homes,” he said.
According to a National Public Radio report released in September, 2020, 3 out of 4 homeowners tackled some type of major home improvement project during the year. (https://www.npr.org/2020/09/11/909264580/why-home-improvement-has-surged-and-how-its-changing-america)
Nationwide paint sales have been up in response to an otherwise difficult year in 2020 – and light natural gray tones continue to be popular trends to open up and soften interiors.
“We’ve seen and heard people working from home revamping (or creating) a home office to make it a comfortable professional space and to have a nice space to work in,” he said.
New Tools in the Kit
Sherwin Williams has included new online tools for both consumers and professional painters, who can access paint without coming to the store by ordering from their PRO App.
Retail customers can order and pay online and have their order ready for curbside pickup.
“It’s a huge benefit for consumers and for professionals,” Josko said.
Home consultations have been replaced by virtual consultations and phone calls. Sherwin Williams color consultants are available free of charge, by appointment for 30 minute phone or video chat times.
Video consultations replaced in-home color consulting as a coronavirus safety precaution for employees and customers.
“When we had to stop consultants going to homes because of the pandemic, we opened up the other services. Thank goodness for technology,” Josko said.
Online color tools include color paint chips, a bonus for those who either don’t have time to stop, or who don’t feel safe coming, into a retail store, he explained.
Brisk Home Sales Market Drives Paint Sales
An energetic housing market prompted paint sales, too, with both buyers and sellers coming to pick colors – either to sell the home or customize it after the sale.
“The home seller is repainting to sell with neutrals, and the new buyer is coming in to pick colors to make the space their own,” Josko said.
Pandemic Silver Linings
Josko said from strengthening employee bonds to galvanizing a local network of Sherwin Williams stores into supportive resources there have been some pandemic- related silver linings.
“Teamwork among our stores has really come into play. If we don’t get something one week, a nearby store might have extra supply,” he said, of the almost daily calls he either receives or makes from neighboring stores.
Working together, offering understanding and recognizing co-workers may handle stressors differently, has made all the difference in the workplace.
“Having a good crew you enjoy working with every day is a big help,” Josko said.
Covid-19 has been an unpredictable teacher, but Josko said he’s learned a lot about customer resilience and determination – other silver linings from challenging year with traumatic and stressful headlines and tragic losses for so many families.
“I’ve found a lot of customers have been patient with one another. They seem to realize there are a lot of forces we can’t control,” he said.
Founded in 1866 Sherwin Williams serves the paint and coating manufacturing industry and local communities from its Cleveland, Ohio, headquarters selling products to consumers and professionals.
Sherwin Williams of Souderton is located at 739 Route 113 Space 12 in Souderton. For more information visit www.sherwin-williams.com or call 215.723.2037.
Sherwin Williams joined the chamber in early 2020 and we are excited to promote services they offer to community members that want in person and virtual options. Thank you Jon, we look forward to Sherwin Williams offering a fresh brush of color to Upper Bucks Chamber!
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