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
House Painting Green Tips
The first step in a quality exterior painting job, or in any painting project for that matter, is start with a clean surface. This means that you will need to power wash. You probably will need to rent a power washer - something you can do at any major hardware or tool rental store. You will need a ladder to power wash, depending on the height of your home you will need either an extension or step ladder. (or both)...you can rent a power washer for about $100 a day. You can rent ladders for about $40 a week.Once you have all of this equipment you should power wash every surface that you plan to paint, making sure to use proper technique so as not to leave wand marks due to the extreme water pressure. It is good to use a watered down mixture of bleach and sodium tri-phosphate to kill and prevent mildew and mold and to wash away chalking. Often people ask, what is chalking? This is that chalk like substance that sticks to your hand when you touch the unwashed parts of your home, that is most often present on homes that have not been painted in awhile. A photo of chalking on a hand is below. Chalking is always the color of the paint job and is the paint properties breaking down from sunlight.To repeat: One of the most important steps in painting is to clean the working surface; otherwise, paint cannot stick to the dirty surface and will peel within a year. You can hire a professional painter or power washing contractor to wash a home usually for under $200.Always be safe on ladders and roofs, it is very easy for someone to slip and fall. When power washing there is no need to get right up close to the surface, usually eight feet away, or so, is fine. Finally, it is very important to allow the surface to completely dry off, allow at least a day for the washed area to try, longer if there is rain or high humidity.Once you have allowed the paint surface to dry you can begin preparing the work surface to receive paint. First you need to caulk. It is important to use only siliconized latex caulk. It must have latex in it and say "paintable" on tube. Buy color caulk to match your paint color if you plan on only doing one coat of paint, but white colored caulk should be fine if you are planning on two coats of paint and is usually cheaper per tube than colored caulk. Make sure to caulk all gaps in the wood and joints. Do not caulk wood to stucco.The next step in prepping your painting surface is to scrape, removing all of the loose and failing paint, down to the bare wood if possible. You should then tape and lay down tarps in the area where you are standing to paint first, and then put a coat of primer on all of the surfaces you plan to paint. Primer color should be chosen according to what color you are painting (it is not always recommended to use white for darker colors). Make sure to cover everything but landscape bushes and plants. Putting tarps on bushes and plants can actually kill them due to the tarps' weight and the heat trapped around the plants, under the tarps. Set UpSet up is the next part of the job, though may already have done this before you even started your prep work. Once you have your paint color picked out you will need to measure how many square feet of surface, you will be painting. Once you have figured out how many square feet there are to paint, divide that number by three hundred; that is around how many gallons of paint you will need for the first coat.It is best to stick with a national paint store brand. One tip is to try not to go to the paint store on the weekends; they are always packed on the weekend with other do-it-yourselfers. If you go in the evening or in the day, during the week, they will likely have more time for a one-on-one consultation. It is usually best to ask for the store manager, he will have more experience and be able lead you the right direction, as far as what kind of paint and primer you should get, as well as help you with color, if you need it.Tools You Will Need To Paint Your Homeo Scrapero Case of caulk (you can return unused tubes)o Caulking guno Masking tapeo Cheap tarpso Your painto An extra empty 5 gallon bucket with lid (usually $5 or free if you ask nicely)o A bucket grido A 9 inch roller frameo A roller napo A brush (2.5 inch sash is best for beginners)o A bucket hook (for hooking your paint pal to the ladder)When purchasing your paint, buy the amount you determined from your square footage, minus about three gallons. You will always need to go back to the paint store, so don't overbuy. Once you purchase tinted paint it is non-returnable and good paint costs about $30 per gallon for do-it-yourself pricingo Always start at the top left and work your way to the right. Painting in direct sunlight makes things more difficult when you are doing the work by yourself because it dries more quickly and, of course, is hot and brighto Usually you will want to start on the front of the home. That is the toughest side of the home to paint because it is the most decorativeo If you are painting a home with siding, make sure to paint each siding slat all of the way across, then start back at the left on the next slat, like writing a line of text. This is a lot of work, but it allows for minor differences in paint color from can to can (which, though it is not supposed to happen, does). In the end, though it makes the job more difficult, it will give you a more even looking color because the divisions in the slats will hid any minor color differenceso Try not to overlap a wet edge of paint over a dry edge, this is called flashing, and it leaves overlap marks once everything is dry. This will happen especially with only one coat applications. This is the most common error made by do-it-yourselfers. Remember, two coats are always best! Not only do two coats look a lot better, but the paint will last twice as longo Your dry time will vary, taking in to account weather and humidity. Usually two to four hours after applying the paint, it will be dry to the touch and your second coat can be applied. On hot, dry days, the drying time is even shortero Professionals figure materials will usually be about 20% - 30% of the cost of a paint job....this is just an fyi for you when pricing materials and laborSprayingA professional can spray a perfect finish, which fills cracks and holes; it also has a nice even coat. You cannot. It is much tougher than what it seems to get a nice even coat of paint with an industrial sprayer. To rent a sprayer, it cost about $80 per day. It will speed up your painting by at least four times. If you choose to spray, you'll need to watch out for overspray, you do not want to accidentally spray your roof, cars or neighbors. It can be a very costly mistake. We do not recommend buying the cheaper Wagner series of paint sprayers at your local hardware. It is best to rent the professional model.Spraying is best for painting big areas on your house like aluminum siding, wood siding, stucco, and so on. It is not for trim areas like your eaves and fascia, doors, frames, or garage doors. Only a professional can do this. Stick with a roller and brush for your trim areas...it will save you time, reduce headaches and you have less risk of overspray damage. So How Much Can I Save by Painting Myself?You will save about 65% of a professionals painting quote if you do it yourself. However studies have shown it will take a DIY 6x the amount as a professional. They have the tools, equipment, and experience.Ask yourself these two questions as you weigh the pros and cons:o Do you want your evenings and weekends to be spent painting you home?o Is it worth the savings to you?SafetyPeople fall of roofs and ladders every day. Is your home higher than two stories? Don't paint that section, it's not worth it. Falling more than 16 feet can be lethal. Hire professionals to paint the higher sections of your home. However, people are often surprised by how much they DO NOT SAVE when they choose to paint the lower section themselves. You should be able to get a quote for entire house painting and just second story painting, in order to budget for this.Most falls occur when ladders are on a road or a slicker surface like a driveway, patio, or concrete walkway. Make sure you tie down your ladder, that way it cannot kick out from underneath you, and you can paint in relative safety.The Final Product Often homeowners are happy with their final product. Others are not and they end up hiring a professional to finish the project. Usually, if you are looking to sell your home in the near future, a do-it-yourself paint job will be critiqued by a potential buyer or realtor. But there is satisfaction and savings in painting your home by yourself, when done properly. Hopefully, this information helped you in your decision.Conclusion So, if you like being outside, you are not afraid of heights, you can be safe, you have a lot of free time on your hands, you like to save money and will be satisfied with your final product, then you are a do-it-yourselferIf getting injured is not an option, you like things perfect, you like your free time, you are afraid of heights, you want to know that your paint will last, you like having a warranty, and want the best paints for the surface of your home, then hire a professional.
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You're probably familiar with the old expression, "there's more than one way to skin a cat". Like you, I'm pretty sure I don't want to know about any one of them. But it does illustrate a good point when it comes to estimating a painting project or any other trade estimates for that matter.No matter what the facet of renovation you're planning, whether it's painting, carpentry, drywall or you name it, there are as many bid prices as there are ways to get the job done. But an estimator's quote usually only accounts for one scope of work, one method of doing it and one quality level of materials. Then, of course, if you simply choose the lower bidder, you know you're most likely missing out on better skilled trades and better materials and an overall better experience! So how can you get the best painter for the job (or drywaller, or carpenter) to suit your budget?My expertise is in the painting trades so I'll use painters and paint jobs here as our guide. But you can apply this to most any other trade from both a consumer prospective as well as a contractor's. And no matter what your trade, if you're good at what you do and take excellent care of your customers, you're likely not always the lowest bidder. But if you're like my painting company, you seek to provide homeowners and commercial clients with the best value for their money. Unfortunately, because people don't tend to hire painters every day and rarely know one from another, contractors are too often selected by price alone which has been derived from the scope of work they've been given by the customer (as an overall "wish list" in some cases) but without the benefit of knowing their budget. So here we have a large assortment of variables (what must be done now and what can wait?, what can the customer spend? and what quality of materials meets both purpose and price?) that somehow have to all come together in a package which benefits both the customer and the contractor without truly knowing what each other needs until a quote is put up for discussion. And all too often, that's too late!If you, as a homeowner show three painting contractors the same scope of work, each one will come back to you with a different price based on the "pay grade" of their painters, the thoroughness of their prep work (or lack thereof) and the quality of paints and primers they propose to use. And the fact is, each job and customer has different needs and expectations which fall somewhere along the full spectrum of these variables. Some want a "white wash it for now" approach and others want a full scale restoration that will last for decades. But most are looking for something in between. And as a responsible painter, you propose the best quality for your customer because you want them to be happy with results for years to come but you aren't sure if it's within their budget. And as a painting customer, you want the best you can afford but have little or no idea what that particular level of quality includes. So even though each wants the best for the project at hand, this usually ends up with the painting estimate being dismissed by the customer because the price is "too high". And this is despite the customer would otherwise prefer to work with this contractor because of all the obvious signs of professionalism and knowledge of their craft. But instead, the customer too often rolls the dice with the lower bidder and hopes for the best (which never comes).So how do you get that contractor you instinctively know will deliver the goods but has proposed a bid that's out of your price range or seems much higher than the other quotes?Talk to them!Those of us who want to stay at the top of our trade will most often lead with our best foot forward and bid with top quality materials and workmanship unless the customer tells us otherwise. We want to hear your thoughts! We are here for nothing more than to serve your best interests with the project at hand. And the more we know, the better we can meet your needs and expectations.So before dismissing a reputable contractor who's demonstrated professional conduct and offered knowledgeable advice with, "Sorry. Your quote was too high. We've given the job to another painting contractor", look over all the quotes carefully and together. Compare what details are the same and which are different. Where items differ or are none existent, get them clarified by the estimator so you've got a clear sense of what each is actually offering you to determine the best value - not price. And if you still find that the better contractor for the job is priced out of your range, ask them to consider other ways they could deliver the job at a lesser cost such as using a different paint line, or perhaps adjusting the scope of work to get the most critical aspects addressed now and leave the rest to another date. These are just a couple of examples that can affect a quote but if you discuss this direction with a professional, they're usually all too happy to help you find the best ways to tailor your project to suit you and still give you all the benefits of dealing with a reputable contractor who will stand behind their work.And as a contractor, don't just offer the customer a proposal with only your best recommendations for the work and leave them to fend for themselves with your competitors. Let them know that your estimate is based on your expert opinion as to the best practices and materials for the job but that you're willing to change the varying aspects of the job if needed to suit their budget.This is how we get the right contractors together with the right customers for the benefit of all.
House Painting Green Tips
The Lead Safety Certification for home renovation, repair and painting is a new requirement of the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) for spring 2010. It is imperative if a home is built before 1978, to use a painting contractor who is certified for Lead RRP (Renovation, Repair and Painting).This certification ensures that your paint contractor is educated and capable of testing your home for lead, quoting lead removal, and safely painting homes built before 1978. Those certified are able to test for lead and then proceed to prepare, clean and paint the home properly. As a certified RRP for homes with lead present, these painting contractors will use proper containment procedures outlined by the EPA. Since it is your home, it is important to answer one crucial question: Why is lead dangerous to your family? Lead is very dangerous to children, and can cause damage to the brain and nervous system. Pregnant women are also in danger of lead paint causing damage to their unborn child. Adults can be affected by having high blood pressure, and different types of physical fatigue. Lead exposure can cause permanent damage and should be properly prevented by using a certified paint contractor.Certified contractors have been taught the correct way to test for possible lead paint throughout the home. Surfaces that are suspected to have lead paint need to be scratched to the bare wood, ¼", and the testing device should be used over the area to check for traces of lead. Once the test is complete, a formal lead sheet will be provided to the homeowner outlining any problem areas. If lead is present, the homeowner must sign the form acknowledging the issue before the paint contractor is able to move forward with starting the painting project.In order to contain lead on an interior painting jobsite, the painter should cover everything in the room; including all vents, windows and doors that may be open, as well as taping all covers to the floor and walls to ensure no saturation into other areas. Containing lead on an exterior painting job site requires plastic sheets be spread out and taped to the wall, along with a barrier set up around the work area. A certified painting contractor like Sharper Impressions Painting will test a home prior to painting to determine if lead is present. The painter will then contain the lead dust, water run off and chips, and proceed to apply two coats of safe, non-toxic water borne acrylic latex paint or stain on the home. For more information, check out their professional painting blog.
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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.
A painter contractor is a professional who specializes in painting jobs. This profession does not only focus on painting as their name implies but their work encompasses the application of finishes on ceilings, walls and other surfaces which may require finishing. This means that their medium is not limited to paint but also includes others such as paper, vinyl and fabric. One other job that may be included in this description is the need to smooth over a particularly rough surface. Damage to the wall or ceiling made by nails and the scraping off of the older paint should be smoothed over before the application of the selected mediumOther MediumsOther than paper, fabric and vinyl, there are also other mediums that the painter contractor might use to do the job. Varnishes and other similar forms of applications can be included in the mediums that this professional might use. Some wood and stone might also be included in their medium of choice, but this is unusual unless it is specified that he can actually do it. The kind of paint to be used is dependent on the type of surface it is to be applied on. Metal, wood, brick, concrete and other materials need different kinds of paint. Some types of paint do not adhere well to certain surfaces. In addition to knowing which paint to use on a given surface, the professional should also be skilled enough to determine the exact colors needed for the finishing job. PurposesThere are practical reasons why this job is required for residential and commercial service. Aesthetics is one of the primary reasons why a paint job or a finishing job may be necessary for a house or a commercial building. Another valid reason for the use of these services is to ensure that the outer and inner surfaces of the establishment or domicile are protected. Paint and other mediums are a form of protection from the elements. The outer walls and even the roof will benefit from a good finishing job if done properly by the painter contractor. These are highly susceptible to rust or overall deterioration due to constant exposure to rain and other elements, but with paint, they can last longer. On the other hand, interior finishes benefit the home owner by protecting the walls and ceiling from possible damage done by cooking and other daily domestic chores. Finishing touches such as designs and murals are also part of the job description. These are painted directly on the wall or ceiling as designs which are uniquely tailored to the home owner's specifications. Some business establishments or stores also prefer to have their own personalized paint jobs which reflect their style. Wallpaper is another job that a painter contractor specializes in. Paper hanging is a detailed job that requires an eye for perfection. Before the paper can be hung, the surface needs to be cleaned from debris, oil and dirt, which can all impede the appearance of the result. An older application of wallpaper on the wall will need to be scraped off and cleaned adequately before the new application commences.