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Improving Your Dream Home Blog

An ongoing series of informational entries dedicated your improving your dream home 

Painter Greenville NC, hiring a painter, Ski Home Improvements, Ski Home Improvements blog, Home maintenance Greenville NC, Painting Greenville NC

How to hire a painter:

Painting your house can be one of the best ways to turn your house into a home. Painting gives your home the curb appeal, protection, and personality that it deserves. You or your significant other may not have the skills, time, or tools to make that transformation you are wanting. Hiring a painter is a great way to solve your painting problems.

Here are some great tips for you, when you are talking about or are serious in finding someone to paint your home.

1. Make a plan

2. Decide if hiring a painter is right for you

3. Research painters in your area

4. Call painters and get estimates

5. Get the project started with the contract

6. Enjoy your home

Make a plan:

Making a plan is a very important step in any project. It makes sure you know exactly what you want to paint and what your expectations are. This step will help you determine if you need to hire a painter and makes it much easier for you to communicate your expectations to any paint contractor.

Determine what your goals and visions are for what you are wanting to get done. Write them down so you can see them. Use your list to determine your next steps and to be able to communicate these important aspects to any potential contractors.

Here are some questions you can ask to get your plan going:

Why am I painting?

What areas do I want to get painted?

Is anything in the way or will things need to be moved?

Do I want to paint the walls, ceilings, and/or trim?

Do I want to paint siding, windows, trim, shutters, and/or doors?

Are there any cracks or imperfections I want to have taken care of?

What color do I want? What sheen do I want on the surfaces?

What grade of paint do I want to use?

What kind of investment am I willing to make to have these projects done?

It is okay if you don’t know the answers to these questions or need help with them. Any good painter should be able to help you answer these questions. The more you can answer and understand exactly what your wants and needs are, the better-informed decisions you can make moving forward.

Decide if hiring a painter is right for you:

You may be tempted to paint the interior or exterior of your home yourself. This option usually costs more time and money, if you don’t have the skills, tools, or experience for the task you want to have completed. I know safety is very important to you. Please make sure you are comfortable using and are aware of all ladder safety, before you attempt to complete projects that require the use of any ladders.

Hiring a good professional painter is well worth the money you spend. You can get the outcome you want, usually in a much quicker time frame then doing it yourself. The work is guaranteed and/or warrantied. The projects typically last longer and are better quality, when done by a professional. If these aspects are important to you, you may want to look into hiring a painter.

If you are sure you have what it takes to get exactly what you are looking for, doing it yourself can be a great way to transform your home. Just use your plan and you are well on your way to completing the vision for you home.

Research painters in your area:

Once you have decided to hire a painter, now it is time to find the right one. You can start with any of your friends or family members that have had any painting done recently. Make sure that you ask them how their experience was, did they get the result that they wanted, was the company easy to work with, and any other questions that are important to you. If you like what you hear, get the contractors name, company name, and phone number.

If you don’t know anyone who has had any recent work done or to get more options, you can use the internet. You can use google to search painters in your area, use Facebook, Houzz, or any other search or social media options to find painters near you. You can also call any local paint supply stores and ask for reputable painters.

Once you have gathered a list of painters, do your research. Google the company. Look through the reviews. If you used Facebook or any other platform that also has reviews, look through those reviews as well. Make sure the reviews are good and that they are current.

Look over the company’s website. Make sure you can see pictures of some of their work. Make sure they do the type of work that you are wanting to have done. Gather as much information as you can to make an informed decision. Narrow down your list to a few that you feel comfortable with and feel that can give you the result that you want. If you feel that they cannot provide you with what you want, trust your gut and don’t move forward with them. If you feel you have gathered enough information to move forward, its time to call them.

Calling the painters and getting estimates:

Once you have narrowed down your list of painters, it is time to call them. During this part of the process it is important to make sure they are a good fit your you and your project. While talking to them make sure it is known what is important to you about this project. This is where having a detailed plan of what you want and need is important. Ask for references. Call the references. You want to make sure that the painters you talk to can provide you with the right service. Again, if you feel that they can not provide you with what you want, trust your gut and don’t move forward with them.

Some companies may be able to give you an idea of cost over the phone and some may need to come out and look at your home. Whether it is over the phone or in-home, give them as much detailed information as you can, so that the estimate you are given is as accurate as possible. Ask to get as detailed of an estimate as possible, so you can make sure that you are getting all the things that are important to you.

Keep in mind the estimates will vary from company to company. Depending on your scope of work and wants, the prices can be higher than expected. If that is the case, you may need to dial back the scope of work. Do not sacrifice the vision you have for your home or the quality, for cheaper materials or labor. It can cost you more in the long run.

When it comes to price, compare apples to apples. Make sure you don’t only look at the price. Look at what each contractor is offering. What value does one company have that the other company doesn’t. Make sure that you are getting everything that you want and need out of the process.

Getting your project started with a contract:

Once you have found the right painter for your project, it is time to get it started. No matter how big or small the project is, GET IT IN WRITING. Make sure that everything that is important to you and your project is included. Overall price, deposit, payment schedule, scope of work, start date, completion date, warranties, guaranties, expectations, etc... If having your home left in a clean manner every day is important to you, it should be in there.

If you make changes during the project or unforeseen issues arise, there will likely be change orders. Change orders are extensions of the contract and will typically cause changes in budget and timeline. Make sure expectations for any changes are made before the start or continuation of any changes.

If you have done your research and found the right company you shouldn’t have any issue, but if problems arise, hold the company accountable to the contract. If they have not done what the have said, do not pay them until they have completed the tasks to be paid for or resolved the problem.

Likewise, be accountable for your part of the contract as well. If things are required of you, it is your responsibility to complete them. If they are expecting a payment or needed information, please have them in a timely manner.

ENJOY YOUR HOME!

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Tips On Exterior Paint Maintenance, Colors, and Finding A Painter:

  

Maintaining your homes paint can be both beneficial and a hassle. At times it can be a little overwhelming. You have to pay for paints, find a suitable painter, make sure they have the right color, monitor that they are doing their job properly, and keep a routine for getting it all done. But finding the right painter and getting help over these obstacles do not have to be a problem. If you find a good painter everything else can be a breeze. While all of this sounds like a pain, A well maintained paint job can prevent some damages such as weather damage, erosion, water damage, and insects that may be damaging to the home. It also can make the home look aesthetically pleasing, gives a house character, and can give a homeowner confidence.

When you should get your house re-painted can depend on many variables such as climate, recent weather conditions, and what kind of paint and the quality of the paint last used. Some signs that your house may need a new paint job or some touch up are exposed wood, signs of water damage, if your house is noticeably in need of a paint job, chipping, cracking, flaking, and peeling of paint, or you notice bugs beginning to damage your home.

Once you have decided it is time to paint your home, you should consider what color of paint to use on your home. There is no real set of rules or guidelines to follow when choosing a color to paint your home, though there is some tips and tricks to make sure you choose the perfect color that you love for your home. You should go with colors that generally make you happy or feel good and that fit the style of your home. A good technique is also to come up with good color combinations such as a light house with a dark trim. Testing the color or looking at other houses with that color can be beneficial. Also, looking at other houses with the same style or a similar location or landscaping as your home can get you a better sense of what looks good and what looks bad on that type of house or in that area. Once you find your color you love or are happy with, you are one step closer to getting the house of your dreams.

Finding a good painter can be difficult or seemingly impossible but trust me, it can be easy. First, you should do some research on the prices to establish a price range. The prices can depend and vary depending on what you are looking for. Are you looking to do one single paint job every time needed, or do you want to sign up for a frequent maintenance package? What kind or type of paint do you want? Is there a specific brand you like? And it can even depend on the size of the project such as how big the house is or if it is a full repaint versus just a touch up. Once you have established your budget or at least have an idea of what to expect the price to be, you can search for suitable painters in your area that are willing to do the job. Find one that fits your needs, has the best reviews, references, and has proof of insurance. Just keep in mind your decision should be based on your wants and needs, not solely on price. Cheap painters are usually cheap for a reason and good painters are well worth their value.

Now you may enjoy your home and keep it looking like a dream. 

How to maintain paint, Home maintenance, Paint maintenance, How do i paint my house

Maintaining your homes paint:

   Maintaining your homes paint can be both beneficial and a hassle. At times it can be a little overwhelming. You have to pay for paints, find a suitable painter, make sure they have the right color, monitor that they are doing their job properly, and keep a routine for getting it all done. But finding the right painter and getting help over these obstacles do not have to be a problem. If you find a good painter everything else can be a breeze. While all of this sounds like a pain, A well maintained paint job can prevent some damages such as weather damage, erosion, water damage, and insects that may be damaging to the home. It also can make the home look aesthetically pleasing, gives a house character, and can give a homeowner confidence.

When you should get your house re-painted can depend on many variables such as climate, recent weather conditions, and what kind of paint and the quality of the paint last used. Some signs that your house may need a new paint job or some touch up are exposed wood, signs of water damage, if your house is noticeably in need of a paint job, chipping, cracking, flaking, and peeling of paint, or you notice bugs beginning to damage your home.

Once you have decided it is time to paint your home, you should consider what color of paint to use on your home. There is no real set of rules or guidelines to follow when choosing a color to paint your home, though there is some tips and tricks to make sure you choose the perfect color that you love for your home. You should go with colors that generally make you happy or feel good and that fit the style of your home. A good technique is also to come up with good color combinations such as a light house with a dark trim. Testing the color or looking at other houses with that color can be beneficial. Also, looking at other houses with the same style or a similar location or landscaping as your home can get you a better sense of what looks good and what looks bad on that type of house or in that area. Once you find your color you love or are happy with, you are one step closer to getting the house of your dreams.

Finding a good painter can be difficult or seemingly impossible but trust me, it can be easy. First, you should do some research on the prices to establish a price range. The prices can depend and vary depending on what you are looking for. Are you looking to do one single paint job every time needed, or do you want to sign up for a frequent maintenance package? What kind or type of paint do you want? Is there a specific brand you like? And it can even depend on the size of the project such as how big the house is or if it is a full repaint versus just a touch up. Once you have established your price range or at least have an idea of what to expect the price to be you can search up suitable painters in your area that are willing to do the job, See which one fits your needs and that has the best reviews, and your all set.

Now you may enjoy your home and keep it looking like a dream.

Exterior home painting, Exterior painting Greenville NC, Exterior painting, Painter Greenville NC,Ski Home Improvements. Maintenance Packages, Custom Maintenance Packages, Fence Maintenance, Ski Home Improvements blog, Home painting Greenville NC

How often should you paint the exterior of your home?

How do you know when it’s time to paint the exterior of your home? Peeling and chipping paint, rotten or damaged siding or wood, excessive cracking or loose caulking, and obvious signs of a previously poor painted exterior, are all signs that an exterior repaint may be necessary.

In general homeowners should expect to repaint their home every five to ten years. The type of material being painted, weather, climate, the previous paint job, quality of paint, and maintenance, are all factors that affect the life of the paint on your home.

Materials:

• Wood - every 3-7 years

• Aluminum siding - usually about 5 years

• Stucco - usually 5-6 years

• New types of materials (Such as Hardie Board) - usually 10-15 years

• Brick - usually 15-20 years

Climate/Weather:

Where you live and what was happening weather-wise on the day of your last paint job can also play a big role in how long your paint job will last. Areas where there are hot summers and your home isn’t sheltered by a lot of trees, the direct sunlight may cause the paint to bubble and fade more quickly. Areas where there are harsh winters, intense storms, or high humidity, can also cause your paint job to age more quickly. Homes in milder climates will experience longer-lasting paint jobs. Years of vulnerability to wind, rain, sun, and snow, can cause problem areas to develop due to exposure to the elements.

It’s also helpful to know that, whether your house was painted on a sunny or overcast day can change how well the paint dries.

Previous Paint Job:

You might not know exactly when your home was last painted. The type of paint used, the quality of paint, how many coats were applied, and even the color used can all affect longevity. Overall, high-quality paint in lighter shades tends to last longer, especially if it was applied in two to three coats instead of just one. As far as paint types go, 100% acrylic paint is the most durable and resistant to fading. Inexpensive paint breaks down quicker and become chalky, which can cause it to flake off easily. Depending on the severity of your chalking paint, you may need to repaint your home.

Maintaining Exterior Paint:

Maintenance Item #1 – House Washing:

You should have your home cleaned on a yearly basis. Washing your homes’ exterior gets rid of surface contaminants, including pollen, dirt, air pollutants, bird droppings, mildew, mold spores, algae, and more. Extending the life of the paint on your home is one of the many benefits of house washing. Keeping the exterior of your home clean not only keeps your home looking great, but also boost curb appeal and value.

Your painted surfaces are not the only areas that benefit from house washing. Your siding, brick, wood, and other exterior surfaces all require cleaning. Regular cleaning helps extend all of your exterior surfaces. It helps prevent deterioration, damage, and premature replacement of many surfaces.

Maintenance Item #2 – Touch-up Painting:

Exterior painting is not an all-or-nothing activity. Following that philosophy, will have you painting some areas sooner than needed and letting other areas not get the attention it needs. Doing either of those can be problematic. Performing touch-up painting on your home exterior every year or two, is the most effective way to maintain your home. Significantly adding to the life of your homes’ exterior paint job.

Maintenance Item #3 – Caulking:

Windows, doors, vents, and other areas where surfaces join, are some of the most likely leak points. Caulking can split or crack over time, allowing air and water to enter your home, causing damage and a loss in energy efficiency. You should check and apply any caulking needed, on a yearly basis. A complete re-caulking is not needed each year, but an inspection can reveal problem areas in need of a touch-up. While inspecting your homes’ exterior, it’s important to pay attention to areas, where moisture may get into cracks or crevices.

Maintenance Item #4 – Wood Sealing:

Sealing and staining any unpainted wood surfaces (Decks, fences, etc..) has many benefits. They provide a waterproof coating that protect them from rain and the elements. Unfinished and unmaintained wood will rot faster and grow mold, mildew, and algae. All of your unpainted wood surfaces should be checked every year or two, to maintain their integrity. Stains and sealers can also bring out the natural beauty of the wood, bring out the colors of your home, and can increase the property value and curb appeal of a home.

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The Important Aspects Of Exterior Home Maintenance:

Exterior Home Maintenance:

The exterior of your home is the most important part in protecting your home and investment. Not only is it the first thing you see when you first look at your home, it is the shell that protects the interior of your home. Preventative maintenance is the most proactive way to keep your home in good condition and prevent problems in the future. Maintenance lets you be in control and concentrate on other things, giving you peace of mind. Regular maintenance is great because it helps you save money. Without the benefit of regular maintenance, your home could develop several problems that grow increasingly worse with time. We regularly watch your home for signs of wear and tear. Specific things we watch for are damage, dampness, rot, chalkiness, insect or rodent infestation, mold, mildew, algae, leaks, and safety. Our goal is then to take care of these issues right away. Keeping up with general maintenance will keep your home looking great over time.

Our maintenance packages provide preventative maintenance and spotting issues before they become a problem. Maintenance not only keep your homes beautiful appearance; it protects and extends the life of your investment.

Regular maintenance prevents wood rot, leaks, pest and insect infestation, mold, moss, algae, premature deterioration of surfaces, slippery and hazardous surfaces, and helps with energy efficiency, which in turn is saving you thousands on costly repairs and replacements.

Roof Maintenance:

Your roof is a big part of your home’s curb appeal, and is also the most vulnerable part of your home. It provides you with defense against wind, rain, snow, hail, heat, etc. These all contribute to its damage and deterioration. Maintenance increases the lifespan of your roof and helps to avoid major damages. Your roofs lifespan can be shortened dramatically if neglected. With proper maintenance, your roof can last an average of 15 to 30 years. A poorly maintained roof causes the majority of roof problems. Proper preventative maintenance is the most effective way to keep up the condition and the beauty of your home.

Proper roof inspections can detect defective or faulty materials, failure of materials, poor workmanship, poor design, weathering, moisture, mechanical damage, mold, moss, any other major problem. Keeping these issues from starting or getting worse can save you thousands of dollars. The money you spend on inspections and routine maintenance costs less than major repairs, complete replacement, and damage to your home’s interior.

Damage to insulation, wood, ceiling, walls, and your whole homes interior can start long before you see it. Once the damage is noticed, the problem can often be more than it appears. Damage can appear in multiple locations due to the nature of water and gravity. Water infiltration on the home’s interior causes mold and mildew issues along with other damages. Inspections and maintenance can locate and prevent issues that may not have begun to appear inside your home. Yearly inspections increase your chances of finding potential issues before they become costly repairs.

Roof Cleaning:

Roof cleaning is one of the most important parts of roof maintenance. Your roof is one of the most crucial structures of your home. Roof cleaning will extend the lifespan of your roof. Keeping your roof clean prevents decay, which could lead to expensive repairs or even a complete replacement of your roofing. Replacing you roof can cost upwards of $10,000 or more. Having your roof cleaned is a much less expensive option.

A clean roof can actually save you money on your utility bills. Your shingles actually help block UV rays. A dirty roof that is covered with mold, moss, mildew, and algae won’t allow the sun to reflect off of it. This causes your home to absorb more heat and raises the temperature of your roof, causing your home to heat up more than it should. This drops the energy efficiency and causes your A.C. to work harder.

If part of your roof is in the shade, this can promote the growth of mold, moss, mildew, and algae. Unfortunately, when left alone to spread, rainwater and moisture can be trapped beneath the moss, which will then begin to eat away at your roof, causing decay of the shingles and shortening its lifespan. Mold and algae go much deeper than it looking dirty. Mold and algae are actually eating your shingles and rotting the wood. Having your roof cleaned on a regular basis is key in the longevity of your roof. A dirty, dingy roof can decrease your home’s curb appeal, lowering its value and making it more difficult to sell.

House Washing:

One problem you may face when trying to protect the exterior of your home is the growth of mold and mildew. After some time, you may notice a slight buildup of dirt and grime on your home’s exterior. This can easily be solved by washing your home.

Washing your home’s exterior gets rid of surface contaminants, including pollen, dirt, air pollutants, bird droppings, mildew, mold spores, algae, and more. Extending the life of the paint on your home is one of the many benefits of house washing. Keeping the exterior of your home clean not only keeps your home looking great, but also boost curb appeal and value.

Your painted surfaces are not the only areas that benefit from house washing. Your siding, brick, wood, and other exterior surfaces all require cleaning. It helps prevent deterioration, damage, and premature replacement of many surfaces.

Concrete Maintenance:

Taking care of the concrete around your home is an important step in taking care of your home. Concrete is one of those parts of your property that takes a lot of foot and vehicle traffic, while taking daily abuse from the elements. Concrete on your property is a breeding ground for bacteria and mildew and grime. Cleaning your sidewalks, driveway, walkways, or patio is important to keep it healthy and vibrant throughout the year.

Concrete driveways, sidewalks, patios, and walkways that are neglected will inevitably wear down a lot faster and end up costing more money in repairs. Over time bacteria and mildew can eat away at the integrity of your concrete causing cracks and damaging the integrity of the concrete. Black algae can grow on many outdoor surfaces such as concrete, causing ugly charcoal-gray or black streaks or splotches. The grime and mildew that grows in concrete can get slippery when wet. As a homeowner, you don't want yourself or a loved one to get hurt. Regular maintenance of your concrete can help it last longer and even prevent injury,

Deck Maintenance:

Your deck acts as a natural extension and a great outdoor space for any home. Pressure-treated wood remains the most popular choice of materials for decks. Some decks may use more expensive, exotic hardwoods, composite decking materials, or a variety of other materials. All decks, regardless of climate or type of material, require some degree of maintenance. The weather will inevitably affect all materials. Regular maintenance will help retain their look and structural integrity.

Poorly maintained decks will start to have blemishes, stains, damaged materials. Nails can start to back out and protrude, causing loose boards as well as tripping hazards. Warped, rotten, and broken boards can be a result of poor maintenance. Repairing and replacing the damaged parts of your deck can save thousands compared to full deck replacements.

Rain causes mold, mildew, and algae on your deck’s surface, which can become slippery and hazardous. These growths that develop on your deck are not only a health hazard, they compromise and reduce your deck’s lifespan. Over time these growths will cause the materials to hold moisture and begin to rot and cause damage. Deck cleaning and maintenance curbs the negative effects of growths, making your deck a safe place to relax and entertain.

Deck cleaning not only removes visible dirt and grime; it eliminates invisible microbes and mold spores. Having your deck washed also reducing the amount of maintenance required in the future. Cleaning your deck properly helps with the adhesion of any sealers, paints, or stains used on your deck. Keeping contaminates from being trapped on the surface, causing a breakdown on the finish and the materials.

Sealing, staining, or painting your deck has many benefits. They provide a waterproof coating that protect your deck from rain and moisture when properly applied. They create a greater defense from the sun’s UV rays. Not only do they protect your deck from the elements, they can bring out the natural beauty of the wood, bring out the colors of your home, and can increase the property value and curb appeal of a home.

Gutter and Downspout Maintenance:

When your gutters and downspouts are functioning correctly, they allow rainwater to keep from collecting on the roof, along the side of the house and at the home’s foundation. Moisture is channeled away from the home and your home is protected. Neglected gutters, however, can cause a leaky roof or water damage to the interior or exterior of your home. This can lead to mold and rot indoors.

When the water isn’t able to run clearly through the gutters, the water still has to go somewhere. So, it drips down the side of the house. This causes the siding, roof, and the fascia (the board that runs behind your gutter) to rot, become stained, and creates ice dams in the winter. Once those areas have been damaged, the water can find its way to the interior of your home. This can lead to needing expensive repairs.

Clogged up gutters can also create a home for a number of pest and insects. Flies, mosquitoes, birds, etc. are attracted to leaves and standing water. Left long enough, plants and trees will start to grow in the damp leaves and standing water.

Properly maintained gutters direct water away from the home’s foundation. They direct water to part of the yard or an area around your home where the water can safely be absorbed. However, when the gutters are broken or overflowing, the water eventually makes its way to the foundation. If water overflows and pools along your home's foundation, the water can freeze, causing it to expand and generate cracks in your foundation. Water flowing improperly towards your house can also cause the soil around your foundation to erode. This can make your home unsteady and is very expensive to repair.

Landscape Maintenance:

The landscaping around your home can affect the longevity of the exterior of your home. Over grown landscaping can cause a multitude of issues. The shade created by over grown trees and bushes can cause your home to remain wet for extended periods of time, promoting the growth of fungi like mildew and mold. It also promotes wood rot and deterioration. Sprinklers not directed properly cause all of these same issues.

Tree branches can fall causing damage to your roof, windows, and siding. Overhanging branches can drop leaves on the roof and sides of your home causing a buildup of excess moisture. Branches, shrubs, and plants in contact with your home also give easy access to pest and insects. Pest and insects are attracted to the damp and damaged wood.

Proper landscaping maintenance allows air to properly flow around the perimeter of your home. It also allows sun light to penetrate and dry your home adequately along with the air flow. A nice properly maintained landscaping can instantly boost curb appeal and creates value.