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
Painting Contractors: How to Hire the Best For Less
Attempting to paint your home's exterior can be a large and stressful undertaking on your own. For this reason, many people choose to employ the help of a painter to relieve the anxiety they may feel in completing the project alone. This is often the best decision they could make because the painting project can become quite complicated if there are problems that need to be resolved with the outside of the home such as rust stains or peeling paint. Many people are still hesitant to hire someone for the job however because they fear that they will not find a reliable painter. Although the fear of finding a reliable paint contractor may be holding you back from hiring someone for the job, there are signs you can look for to help in the selection process. A reliable paint contractor will usually show an eagerness for your business. This means they return your calls promptly and arrive to scheduled meetings with you on time. In addition, a reliable paint contractor should have a structured contracting process and a contract that appears professional. If the paint contractor can answer all of the questions that you have and can produce an explanation for all of the house painting charges, these are also good signs that they will be a reliable choice. If you are still hesitant in hiring someone, you can also try asking neighbors or friends for any recommendations they may have on which paint contractor would be a reliable choice to hire for the house painting. Word of mouth is usually the biggest deciding factor, so if a friend gives you a great reference of a painter, this is a good indicator that they would be a good choice to hire for the house painting.
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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.
10 Secrets to Finding a Great Painting Contractor
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.
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.