John Yoswick

John YoswickJohn Yoswick is a freelance automotive writer based in Portland, Oregon, who has been writing about the collision industry since 1988. He is the editor of the weekly CRASH Network (for a free 4-week trial subscription, visit www.CrashNetwork.com).

He can be contacted at john@crashnetwork.com 

Monday, 21 March 2016 23:52

Retro News: April 1996, 2001, 2006, 2011

Written by


10 years ago in the collision repair industry (April 2006)
The “gap” has been defined.
One of the long-simmering debates among shops and insurers involves when body work ends and paint work begins. The transitioning processes, which is called different things including “feather, prime and block,” are a frequent source of conflict in terms of whether and how shops should be compensated.

The Collision Industry Conference (CIC) Estimating Committee has spent much of the past year holding panel discussions and working to craft a written statement that “defines the gap” in order to try to bring some clarity to the issue.
At the CIC held in Portland in April, the committee received a nearly unanimous vote in favor of its ninth version of the feather / prime / block explanation.

“The repair process associated with damaged painted body panels typically involves multiple operations: body repair, feather, prime, block, and refinish,” the statement reads. “The body repair process includes metal finishing and/or the use of body fillers to return the body panel to its undamaged contour. The repaired area is finished to 150 grit and free of surface imperfections. Feather, prime and block are not-included refinish operations that complete the process from 150 grit to the condition of a new undamaged panel. The refinish process starts at the condition of a new undamaged panel and is outlined and documented in printed and electronic time guides. The body / paint labor and materials necessary to prepare the repaired area from 150 grit to the condition of a new undamaged part is a valid and required step in the process. The labor and material allowance for these operations requires an on-the-spot evaluation of the specific vehicle and damage.”

– As reported in The Golden Eagle. Despite the adoption of this definition, “feather, prime and block” continues to be a matter of some debate within the industry. A 2015 “Who Pays for What?” survey (www.collisionadvice.com/survey) of more than 900 shops nationwide found that two-thirds of them reported receiving body labor, rather than paint labor, for this operation – yet less than 14 percent said this work was performed solely by body technicians. In fact, well over half said the operation is performed solely by the paint department.