For nearly four decades, Bob Bunch has left his mark on countless homes and businesses throughout the region.
The longtime Horsham resident founded Robert W. Bunch painting company in 1973, and over the years has devoted himself to top-quality paint jobs — and top-quality customer service.
Bunch, 59, graduated from Hatboro-Horsham High School in 1971 and began the business while continuing his education, first at Bucks County Community College and later at Temple University, where he earned a business degree.
While Bunch had not grown up a painter, he was eager to put his business acumen to good use.
“I painted just around the house when I was younger, and I’d always really liked it,” he said. “I knew I couldn’t have a job where I just had to sit still; I like to be handy.”
When he started, his mother, a real estate agent, passed him a lot of work, and he saw his business quickly flourish.
The company now offers a range of services — indoor and outdoor painting, wallpapering, finishes — for both residential and commercial settings throughout Bucks and Montgomery counties as well as on the Main Line.
In his 39 years in operation, Bunch has never advertised; instead, he relies solely on word-of-mouth.
He said he has a strong personal commitment to top-notch customer service that has been good for business.
“I have always wanted to give the customers as good a job as I would want for my own home. I make sure customers are thoroughly satisfied before I go to put my hand out to get paid,” he said. “If they’re not happy, I won’t be called back by them or recommended to others, and that’s where a lot of contractors go wrong. They just want to get paid and move on, and that’s not how you can run a business.”
The company specializes in fine home environments, so gaining access to the upscale home market further necessitates exemplary service, Bunch added.
One of his most memorable projects was a historic church in Doylestown.
“The church was being historically renovated and we did some beautiful work. It was a lot of different colors and they were all picked out by architects and designers. When we took the scaffolds away and were able to sit back and marvel at the work, that was a great feeling.”
Projects of all shapes and sizes are worth the energy when Bunch gets to see the response from customers, he said.
“When you’re just a third of the way through the job and you can see how completely thrilled the customers are with us being there, that’s great,” he said. “To know that the work is appreciated gives me a lot of satisfaction. And if it’s not appreciated then I’ll strive harder until we get there. We’ve had some pretty fussy customers but we’ve been able to handle their requests and make sure they’re happy.”
Bunch puts in about 50 hours a week — 40 out working and another 10 on paperwork. He employs one full-time staffer, who’s held the position for six years; different painters have worked in the job over the years but his staff has never grown beyond one.
In the next year or two, Bunch plans to scale back his work in the field and possibly hire another painter but said he has at least a good decade left in him before retirement.
“I may sit back and direct more versus doing the full-time work. But I don’t plan to retire for at least 10 years.”