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 - What to Look For When Hiring a Painter
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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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.
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.
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!