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  • What you should expect from a painting contractor?
  • Once you’ve gone over all the really, really important stuff with a painting contractor, you can then start to get down to the nitty-gritty details of the project, and of the contractor. It’s important that as the customer, you understand just exactly what can be expected of your Chester County painter, and what you shouldn’t expect. A new paint job will help protect the walls and the outside of your home from damage and as such, there are certain considerations that painters need to take in mind while they work. However, because it’s your home and you are responsible for maintaining it, the lines between homeowner responsibilities and painter responsibilities can sometimes become blurred. Here are a few things that you should do before the painter gets there, and what you can leave for them.

    Preparing your house for painting is always one of the biggest things that homeowners are confused about when it’s time to paint their home. Who’s responsible for moving furniture away from the walls and covering them and the floors with the drop cloths? And who’s responsible for cleaning the surfaces in preparation for cleaning?

    If the painter is painting the interior of your home, you will generally be expected to at least move the furniture away from the walls so that the painter can access the area. Don’t worry about the drop cloths, as this is part of the convenience of hiring a painter and they will provide them. Along with moving the furniture away from your walls, you should also clean any walls that are going to be painted. While a painter will spot clean as they go along to get rid of grit and grime, the majority of the cleaning should already be done when they get there.

    The only area of your home that you won’t need to clean before the painters arrive is the exterior of your home. Because siding, brick, and other materials used to construct homes are constantly exposed to the elements, they become very dirty and the dirt can become quite stuck to the surface. Because of this, a powerful power-washing is usually needed before any painting can be done. Again, this is pretty heavy-duty equipment and you shouldn’t be expected to run the cost of renting it or injury to yourself by doing this for the painters.

    Outside your home, you should also clear away any garbage cans, barbecues, patio furniture, or anything else that you can easily move away from the side of your home. The painters will need a clear area outside to work too and it is your responsibility to make sure that your personal belongings are stored safely away. However, things like drop cloths are also needed outside for things like decks, bushes, and flowers. If paint falls onto a bush or into your garden, it can not only look bad but it can also be harmful to the plants. A good painter will know this and will try to protect them.

    Caulking is another paint preparation technique that will need to be done in certain areas inside and outside the home such as windows, holes, and trim around the doors. Caulking protects the surface from water dripping in and becoming trapped behind the paint, which can quickly cause mold and mildew. It also keeps out bugs that love to find their way into woodwork and make their homes there. Any good painter will take care of any caulking that needs to be done for you, so don’t worry about getting out your caulking gun before the painters come over.


    These are general guidelines that most painting contractors follow, and these expectations are pretty standard. For anything more involved about your specific project, or the way a specific company operates, you’ll need to prepare a list of questions to ask each house painter that’s still on your list. While you may already established some sort of impression of the different house painters you’ve spoken to, it’s the answers to the following questions that will really give you a clear indication of what kind of company you’re dealing with, and how happy you’ll be once the job is complete.…

  • Questions you should ask a painting contractor – Part Two
  • When will the project be completed?
    You must make sure that you find out when the project will be completed so that it does not drag on and on. After all, if you wanted a permanent on-going project, you would have done the painting yourself. Make sure that a timeline is specified, and that the timeline has specific milestones outlined when certain parts of the project are complete.


    How will you protect my property?
    If you have carpets that need to be covered, bushes that need to be staked or removed, or trees that need to be draped in tarps, you need to know if the painter will be taking care of it. Also, if there are special considerations such as a garden, you want to make sure that they are incorporated into the painter’s plans, rather than the contractor just telling his workers to “Watch out for the plants!”

    Do you require a deposit up-front?
    Many painting contractors will require a deposit up-front, and that’s not a bad sign in itself. But what you do want to make sure of is that the amount is not too large, and that the contractor does not push to get the deposit too early in advance. This is because some shady contractors may try to use your deposit to buy tools, equipment, and the paint needed for your project. Then, as the project comes close to an end, they will rush you to make a payment so that they can pay their employees or sub-contractors for their work. This is a situation that you want to avoid.

    Instead, make sure that the painting contractor asks for no more than 30% deposit up-front. This way, you will not be out too much money should the contractor pick up and leave during the project. Also, make sure that the contractor has already dropped off all their equipment, purchased all the supplies, and has been working on the project for two or three days before making any kind of deposit. This shows that the company is in good financial standing and that they are not crunched for money. All of this will ensure that you keep your pocketbook protected, and that the project will be completed in a timely manner, while not being rushed.

    What does the total cost include?
    There are a lot of different variables that can come up when you’re painting. A room with a strong color to cover up can take several coats, there can be a lot of patchwork that needs to get done, or a lot of staking and poling of trees and shrubs. You need to know if all of these things so that you can be prepared for the final cost. Also ask if prep work and cleanup is also included in the price. You don’t want to face extra fees once the project is finished, and you also don’t want to be left with a huge mess to clean up.

    Do you guarantee your work?
    You don’t want to be happy with the paint job at first glance and once the painter has been gone for a few weeks, still be finding areas that require touching up. Make sure that any painter you hire will come back and finish the work that needs to be done, until you are satisfied with the job.

    Do you guarantee your prices?
    You not only want to make sure that the work is guaranteed, but also that the price is guaranteed so you don’t end up paying a lot more than you were originally told. Because of this, it’s extremely important that you get everything in writing, in the form of a final contract for the job. The contract should outline everything involved in the job including a timeline, milestones, all payments that will be made, and when they will be due.

    Can you provide me with references?
    Any good contractor will not hesitate to provide you with a list of references for you to contact. Ask for ten names and then choose three to call. When you phone, ask the people what they liked about the house painter, what they didn’t, and if the job was done in a …

  • Questions you should ask a painting contractor – Part One
  • What you should ask your painter before signing a contract. Are you insured?
    Yes, you already know how important it is to ask any house painter about insurance. But don’t just ask; make sure that you see actual proof. Any house painter who’s honest will have no problem showing paperwork proving so. Are you licensed?

    Just like insurance, you have to not only ask whether a business is licensed, but also ask to see it. If you visit their office in person you may see this hanging on the wall. But if you don’t, make sure that the contractor brings a copy with them when they come to look at the property for a quote.

    How long have you been in business?
    Unfortunately, a painting business is pretty easy to “start” yourself. This means that any student looking for summer work, any individual between jobs, or anybody else who’s just looking to make a quick buck, can pick up a paintbrush, call themselves a contractor, and start charging you by the hour. To make sure that you’re not caught in this situation, ask how long the company has been in business for. If it’s been for over five years, you have a good idea that these are professionals who live to paint, and only paint. If they’ve been in business for less time than that, don’t become too discouraged by it. Just keep it in mind if the price seems too good to be true, or if the overall feel of the company is that they’re not very professional.

    Are the other painters that will be working on my home employees or independent contractors?
    This is an important question to as well. It’s not rare for painting contractors to hire their own sub-contractors to take care of certain parts of the job. However, if the other painters are not direct employees to the painting contractor, they will not be covered by the main contractor’s liability or Worker’s Compensation Insurance. Therefore, it’s important that you ask and that if the contractor is hiring sub-contractors, that you also see verification of their insurance.

    What do you know about lead and how do you handle it?
    Everyone in this day and age knows how harmful lead paint can be; and it hasn’t been used in interior or exterior home painting for years. However, a dishonest painter will try to shrug off the lead issue in order to get your business. If any painter tries to tell you that lead is a non-issue, thank them and walk away. Then hire a painter who will not only acknowledge the issue of lead, but will also outline how they deal with it.
    What brand of paint do you recommend?
    Of course, you definitely want to know what type of paint is being used on your home, but there are other reasons to ask this question too. A good painter generally prefers to use the same kind of paint over and over again; it helps them become more familiar with the paint and know how it will react under certain conditions. However, if the brand they use is too expensive or you prefer another kind of paint, a good painter will be open to trying another brand of paint. Beware of any painter that is trying to push one brand on you just because it’s the most expensive kind. On the other hand, also be wary of any painter that uses a cheap paint, simply to cut back on costs.

    Will you show up on time every day?
    Of course, you always need to make sure that any contractor you’re working with shows up when they’re supposed to, on time and every single day. Unfortunately, some painting contractors take on far too many jobs at one time, all so that they can make as much money as possible. While doing this is fine if they have certain teams dedicated to certain jobs, it’s not okay if one team is running back and forth between jobs. This will result in many times when the painters are not there working on your home when they said they would be, and many days when they won’t even show up.…

  • Preparing for a kitchen remodel
  • Remodeling a home can give your home the appeal and unique features that represents you and your personality. When remodeling a home, start with one room at a time and move to the next. Starting more than one project will not only cost a lot of money, but will take a lot of time and will put your home in a state of chaos. You will also need to take some time to budget your remodel. Set a limit and do the research to see what your materials will cost. If you are trying to give your home more eye catching appeal, chose a room that people will send a lot of time in. One of the best rooms to start a remodel with is the kitchen.

    There are many things you can do for a kitchen remodel, but there is a lot of prepping you need to consider first. The first step is having a plan to what you want to. Do a layout of your current kitchen, once you have that done, do a new layout of what you want to do to your kitchen. When you are done, compare to the two to make sure the layout you have chosen will work. Make sure you have the measurements correctly sized and if you are planning on moving appliances, double check that you can move them. For example, if you have a gas stove and you want to relocate it, you need to make sure that you will be able to have the gas connection moved.
    Once you have your layout done, set a budget. The more you plan on remodeling in your kitchen, the more you will probably spend. Keep your budget realistic for what you want to do. Consider adding a little extra to your budget; use this money for problems you may run into and not expect. If you don’t use it, you will have extra money to put into savings or use on another project. To keep your budget realistic, write down a list of materials you are going to need and how much. Take that list to your local hardware store and price out the materials. This will help you stick to your budget. You may find that your budget won’t meet your project, if this is the case, you may need to change what you are going to remodel or use a cheaper material.

    Disposing of waste from a remodel is a challenge. If your weekly waste hauler will take large pieces of debri then using your weekly trash hauler is the cheapest way to go. If your project is larger and you have a lot of trash that will be generated quickly then using a dumpster is your best and cheapest way to go. When we have a job that requires a Dumpster rental in Chester County PA we use a local hauler that we have a long term relationship with. They deliver on time and offer reasonable rates.
    Once you have your materials and budget, you are ready to start your remodel. Make a schedule that you can follow. Make it as realistic as you can. If you are living in a home that you are remodeling, you will want to make sure you can still use your appliances or move them into another space you can use them in. Staying on schedule will help you keep your project moving and may even motivate you to move faster.
    For ideas on how to remodel a kitchen, check out some online blogs and forums to see how other people have been able to redo their homes. It’s a great idea to consider researching other options before you just jump into a kitchen remodel without a clear plan.

    If you have decided to contract your remodel out, get quotes from a couple different contractors. When the contractor comes to give you a bid, tell them exactly what you want and then ask them if they think it is realistic. Also ask if they have any ideas that would be better than yours. Before you hire a contractor, ask see their credentials and pictures of their past work. Once you hire a contractor …

  • Picking the right type of siding materials for your home building remodeling
  • Wood siding
    Deciding to remodel your home is a big decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. It’s always fun to think about a new look on your home, an updated paint job, new siding, or even additions to a home that’s too small for your growing family, but applying those dreams to reality can have very different results if you don’t pay attention to and use the expertise of a professional contractor.

    Choosing the correct materials to make changes to your home is an important piece of having a successful remodel. It’s not enough to just want to change the look of your home in one way or another, you also want to choose materials that are cost effective, are long lasting and will give you the best overall look and efficiency for your budget.
    There are very few home improvements that can ultimately pay for themselves the way new siding on your house can. New materials on your home can relieve you of constant painting and give you much better curb appeal later on if you choose to sell the property.
    Before making decisions on what siding will work best for your home, there are some things you’ll want to consider:
    • Make sure you properly calculate the amount of square footage needing to be installed. This will also give you a better estimate on the overall cost of the project.
    • Check out different types of siding and decide what works best for your home, the look you want and your budget. Vinyl and aluminum siding are less expensive options and typically require less maintenance than say wood, shakes or clapboard siding. These sidings are more expensive and require more maintenance and care than either aluminum or vinyl.
    • When choosing between a wood type siding or aluminum and vinyl, keep in mind that the color of aluminum and vinyl siding cannot be changed without completely re-siding the house. Wood siding can be painted if a new color is desired later on.
    • Using home improvement magazines and guide books can help you determine what look will work best for your home. Most home improvement stores have a section on remodeling and you’ll be able to find printed material on whatever project you’re working on.
    • Consider quality as well as price. Shopping by price alone can result in poor quality workmanship and siding that May not last as long or look as good as a more expensive option. Siding is usually sold in squares (100 square feet) and typically ranges between $60 and $200 per square depending on the quality and type of siding. In wood siding, look for good quality wood with few knots or other imperfections in the grain and be sure to inquire about warranties for your siding.
    • Shop around. Get at least three price estimates from different suppliers before settling on one. Use specialty suppliers and home improvement stores to get a variety in your estimates. When you have chosen your installer, make sure you read contracts carefully and ask questions about anything you don’t understand. It is also important to verify the amount of siding needed to complete the job against the other estimates to make sure they are all accurate. You may also want to ask for other references from your chosen installer to make sure they have happy past customers.

    Interior house painting
    Siding your home will not only add a fresh, updated look to your home, it will help change your entire neighborhood. Choose colors that match the community you live in and aren’t too bold for your area. You can accent windows and other areas with different colors to increase visibility.…