GREAT Paint Contractors Give Professional, Detailed Quotes A GREAT painting quote includes a detailed list of ALL aspects of work to be done: FREE Power Washing Caulking, sanding and priming Trim repair – GREAT contractors will know what needs to be done Details of products and application – GREAT contractors know the right products for every job Touch-ups and clean-up In addition to the quote’s content and accuracy, is it presented professionally?
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Is the quote printed on company letterhead? Does the sheet show the contractor’s license number? Does he use a local land line phone number? (beware if only a cellular phone number is listed) TAX I.D. number? Work guarantee and relevant product warranties? Inexperienced contractors, using standard business forms purchased at office supply stores suggests they haven’t invested much in their business and may not be properly licensed. Also, they may not be paying income taxes.
GREAT Paint Contractors Have an A or A+ Better Business Bureau Rating the Better Business Bureau (BBB) is a trusted consumer rating body that grades businesses based on collective criteria. In addition to finding their grade, be sure to check how long the paint contractor has been a member. Also confirm that any complaints have been resolved. BBB will still afford a good rating if a business has addressed
Paint Contractor - Finding Someone Reliable
As with many things in life, often there is a silver lining in the cloud that's raining on your parade. Many homeowners suffered loss during the 90s from having to replace the faulty Louisiana Pacific wafer board siding on their homes. While some homeowners were rewarded money for their losses some unfortunate homeowners who arrived late were rewarded noting. As frustrations rose to a deafening level during the nineties, most barely noticed the new product that was just entering the market.During this period of time a new type of siding entered the market that offered the durability that most homeowners demanded. It was perfect timing for a cement based siding to enter the market. Many homeowners and builders rushed to buy HardiePlank to replace the decaying siding that plagued the housing industry. Finally a siding existed that would probably outlast the owner. Most folks viewed this siding as an answer to prayer.Most painters in our industry welcomed the siding. Not having to deal with swelling siding that wouldn't hold paint, certainly made our job easier. While most homeowners and painters were excited about this new long lasting siding, most weren't aware that keeping it caulked would become the new problem that everyone would talk about. The problem was and still is: How do you keep HardiePlank caulked? For homes that have exposure to sunlight and widely varying temperatures, keeping HardiePlank properly caulked is a challenge. HardiePlank expands and contracts a lot under these conditions. Most caulks simply do not have the elasticity to handle the expansion and contraction.I have seen the expansion and contraction of HardiePlank siding pull fresh caulk apart within 24 hours after application. It's great siding to have on your home, but you better know what you're doing when it comes to caulking all the joints.You certainly can't be economy minded with your purchase of caulk when HardiePlank is involved, or you will be doing the job over again. Many painters and homeowners alike seem confused when selecting caulk for this siding. It has been my experience that you should be using caulks that comply with either ASTM C 834 or ASTM C 920. Applying a caulk that falls in this category is doing so within the manufacturers written instructions.I personally prefer using an elastomeric caulk on my customer's homes. Elastomeric caulks are made for masonry substrate surfaces. Sherwin Williams carries a product called Shermax Super Stretch Elastomeric Caulk that I find works well with Hardie Plank Siding. It has the elasticity to handle the constant expanding and contracting of Hardie Plank. All my crews are required to use this product and I see few problems with caulk separation. One common problem that many homeowners find is the Hardie Plank itself was installed improperly. At least a 1/8 inch gap between siding and trim should be left by the installer to allow for a proper amount of caulk to be applied. The 1/8 inch gap is in accordance with caulking manufacturers written instructions. (leave 1/8" gap between siding, trim and butt joints so adequate caulk can be applied.) If less than 1/8 inch gap is available to apply caulk, then the caulk is too thin to handle the amount of stretching it must endure. I have seen Elastoplast Caulk separate where less than a 1/8 inch of a gap existed in the siding joints. Owens Corning also sells a very good caulk for this type application. The last point I want to make is there are solutions to this common annoyance. As a painter it is your responsibility to deliver a product and service that will last. As a homeowner make sure you discuss your painter's plans on how he is going to solve this common problem with Hardie Plank. This action will go a long way toward avoiding loss of time and money.
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VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) are gasses that are emitted by paint that are potentially harmful to your health. To explain in layman's terms what VOCs are...when you apply wet latex paint to an interior wall or trim surface, that paint will usually dry within 30 minutes. As the paint dries like glue to the wall it releases gases from its liquid form. In non ventilated areas, those gases over time can be harmful to human lungs. Most higher quality level paints now dry with very low gases that enter the air. So, with a professional painter using good quality paint, you can be assured that the air you breathe before and after applying paint is safe. Paints with low or no VOCs also allow families to quickly enjoy their freshly painted homes without having to wait for strong odors to fade away.Painting your home "green" does not necessarily mean a higher price. Your paint contractor should be willing to work with your budget to suit your family's needs and your concern for the environment.Tips for "Green" Painting: Only buy as much paint as you need for your project. To clean your brushes after use, use a container of water rather than under a running faucet. Avoid pouring excess paint down a drain. It could potentially harm a stream or other area of water. If your paint container is almost empty, let it dry out completely, without the lid, before throwing it out. Give your excess paint to someone who can use it, such as a neighbor or a non-profit organization.
Painting the Exterior of Your Home - Do it Yourself, Or Hire a Professional?
Congratulations! You've made the smart decision to improve your home's appearance and value with a professional paint job. Now comes the daunting challenge of finding a paint contractor. Not to worry! These 10 secrets will help you find a GREAT paint contractor who'll deliver a top-quality job at an excellent price and leave you with a satisfying home improvement experience.1. A GREAT Paint Contractor Presents Proof of Insurance While a good paint contractor may tell you he's insured, a GREAT contractor presents a copy of his policy, proving the amount of coverage he carries for both property damage and bodily injury that may result from the contractor's work. By nature, paint materials are highly flammable and, should a tragedy occur, you need to know your contractor is sufficiently insured.2. A GREAT Paint Contractor NEVER Asks for a Deposit While some paint contractors may request a deposit before beginning the work, well-established, successful painting professionals have sufficient operating income and can easily afford to purchase materials and make payroll. BE WARY of a contractor who asks for a deposit! If he is unable to purchase materials, he's probably unable to pay his staff. Every year, too many homeowners fall victim to contractors who walk off the job - and out of town - with the deposit in their pockets.If you agree to advance payment of any kind, be sure materials have been purchased and are on your property, leaving you some kind of leverage should the contractor default on the work. Bottom Line: GREAT painting contractors NEVER request a deposit. 3. A GREAT Paint Contractor Offers Great Warranties You can tell a lot about a paint contractor by his warranty. Well-known contractors with established reputations are respected by paint suppliers who, in turn, pass on extended - even lifetime - warranties on their paints because they know the product will be applied right. For any number of reasons, less experienced contractors may not have valuable relationships with suppliers. On the labor side, a GREAT contractor works with solid, experienced painters whose work he knows he can stand behind with an extended labor warranty.4. GREAT Paint Contractors Go the Extra Mile Because GREAT contractors have learned the value of a satisfied customer, they're able to focus on service and offer extras that shows you how important your business is to the contractor. Check to see if your contractor offers the following: Professional color consulting FREE color try-ons FREE power washing Two coats of paint - as a standard offering! 5. GREAT Paint Contractors Give Professional, Detailed Quotes A GREAT painting quote includes a detailed list of ALL aspects of work to be done: FREE Power washing Caulking, sanding and priming Trim repair - GREAT contractors will know what needs to be done Details of products and application - GREAT contractors know the right products for every job Touch-ups and clean-up In addition to the quote's content and accuracy, is it presented professionally? Is the quote printed on company letterhead? Does the sheet show the contractor's license number? Does he use a local land line phone number? (beware if only a cellular phone number is listed) TAX I.D. number? Work guarantee and relevant product warranties? Inexperienced contractors, using standard business forms purchased at office supply stores suggests they haven't invested much in their business and may not be properly licensed. Also, they may not be paying income taxes.6. GREAT Paint Contractors Have an A or A+ Better Business Bureau RatingThe Better Business Bureau (BBB) is a trusted consumer rating body that grades businesses based on collective criteria. In addition to finding their grade, be sure to check how long the paint contractor has been a member. Also confirm that any complaints have been resolved. BBB will still afford a good rating if a business has addressed issues in a timely manner. Questionable painting contractors will have either no BBB affiliation at all or a grade of B or below.7. GREAT Paint Contractors Care about Their Communities and Industry Associations Being active in local Chambers of Commerce, committed to area charities and having a presence in the Painting and Decorating Contractors Association (PDCA) shows that GREAT paint contractors have professional integrity and care about their communities. Fly-by-night contractors avoid connections to civic or professional organizations.8. GREAT Paint Contractors Provide References in Your Area - Both Old and New Good paint contractors may have references from local work that was completed in the past few weeks. GREAT Paint Contractors will provide multiple local references from both recent and past work. References from a year ago or longer show the paint job's durability and confirm that any necessary follow-up or billing issues were handled correctly.9. GREAT Paint Contractors Invite You to See a Job in Progress If a contractor is confident about the way they work, they'll prove it by asking you to judge for yourself. Things to look for: Work vehicles - are they clean, organized and professional? The painters - are they neatly dressed and groomed? Materials - are ladders, scaffolding, drop cloths and electrical equipment in good condition? Is work being done carefully so as not to damage landscaping or property? Bottom Line: GREAT Paint Contractors treat a home - and its homeowner - with respect at all times.10. GREAT Paint Contractors Have a Professional Website While it is certainly possible to be a good paint contractor and not own a Website, GREAT contractors are also successful business people who understand that today's consumer is looking for instant information. A GREAT contractor's Website will include all the details homeowners are looking for - references, before & after photos, details of services, contact information and history of the company and its owner and staff.
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A GREAT Paint Contractor Presents Proof of Insurance While a good paint contractor may tell you he’s insured, a GREAT contractor presents a copy of his policy, proving the amount of coverage, he carries for both property damage and bodily injury that may result from the contractor’s work. By nature, paint materials are highly flammable and, should a tragedy occur, you need to know your contractor is sufficiently insured.
1. Get 3 Bids Minimum: Get bids from three different painting contractors for your job. Friends and family are good reference sources. Be home for the initial meeting with them. That way, you will know how much time each contractor took to assess the condition of your home. The more you communicate what you want painted, the more accurate the quote you'll receive. Even an experienced painter will need more than a quick walk around your house. Also ask each contractor about the size of his crew and the painters experience level.2. State Expectations: When the different painting companies come to your home it is important that you state your expectations. Having a written list of what you want painted is also helpful. The number of coats a painter applies isn't the only factor in determining the quality and price of the project. Preparation is key; make sure they are going to take the time to properly prepare the surfaces before they paint them. If previously painted areas are in bad condition and you want them repaired, be prepared to pay a hire price. Time is money in the painting world! 3. Check References: It is important to check references and past work. Get a list of references from each contractor and call them to find out about their experience with the professional. A history of positive references is a good sign. If possible, it is also a good idea to drive by and look at some of the past work the contractor has done. Ask for a list of neighbors that he may have painted for.Another thing to question is do they have good credentials in your community. Ask if they are a member of the local BBB (Better Business Bureau)? Do they have any unresolved issues? You can also check them out on other consumer affair sites, like the local chamber of commerce.4. Insurance: The last thing you should check into with your contractor is to make sure they are properly insured. Reputable companies will always carry copies of their general liability insurance and worker's compensation insurance. If they don't have proper insurance and have an accident you could end up responsible. Not a risk you want to take!5. The Estimate/Quote: You should then receive a complete and accurate estimate/contract in writing. The contract should include all of the contractor's key information: name, address, phone number, etc. It should then include whatever surfaces are going to get painted and exactly how the preparation and paint will be applied. Make sure the contract clearly states what is and is not included in the job. It should specify what material is going to be used, the number of coats applied, the preparation that is going to be done, a payment schedule and a written guarantee. Finally, once you have done all of your research on your contractor and are sure you have an accurate quote and the right contractor for the job, sign up and set a schedule to begin work. When choosing a contractor make sure everything is always clearly spelled out before the work is scheduled to begin and your projects should always go smoothly. The contractor will make all the difference in the world. A good paint contractor can make your home look great and last a long time!