Some contractors work on time and material others on a firm contract. I would never hire the former and am leary of the latter. A contractor may low-ball a bid to get the job planning to make a killing on change orders. If you say good morning to them, they charge you extra for that. If the contract is not very, very specific and extensively fleshed out or if they display their change order schedule prominently on top, show them the door.

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Damaged or aged windows can drastically affect your property both inside and out, but our quality windows can ensure protection as well as make your home or business’s exterior stand out. On top of that, they can improve the insulation of your home or business, leaving it warmer in the colder months and cooler during the summer months. Our replacement services can also outfit your property with energy efficient windows that will look great while saving you money. Our team even offers patio and storm door installation services to the Salem area.
Interview your contractor.Before you choose a contractor, get three bids for comparison and ask the right questions. Bunting says you need to know the following: Do they have proper licenses, insurance, and bonding? Do they subcontract the work out? Do they offer written guarantees of their work? “Recommendations from friends and family are always a good measure,” adds Rance. “And ask for references from previous customers.”
When hiring a contractor it is always best to hire one who is personally referred to you by someone you trust. Hiring through ads or phone book is hit and miss. Check with your local paints stores, they know the good guys from the bottom feeders. Go to the stores that sell the high quality paints like Benjamin Moore(nonpareil), Pittsburg, Sherwin Williams or Glidden. Don't go the the big box stores for referrals, the people there don't know squat!
For years, there's been a lively debate about the supremacy of oil-based or water-based paint. Oil-based products, which include alkyd paints, clean up with mineral spirits. Water-based products, which are referred to as latex paints though they are now based on vinyl and acrylics, clean up with water. Although the question still gets asked, water-based paints win hands down for home exteriors. Research done at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) in Madison, Wisconsin, shows that water-based paints expand and contract with the siding. They also allow water vapor generated inside the house to pass through the paint film. Oil-based paints, on the other hand, dry to an inflexible coating that blocks moisture. The results can be telltale cracks as siding gives and paint blisters as trapped moisture tries to find a way out. Water-based paints are also gentler on the environment because they are lower in volatile organic compounds. Does that mean oil-based paint should not be used at all? Certainly not. "When asked to recommend a paint," says Al Beitelman, director of the Paint Technology Center for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, "I always ask about the previous paint job. If it worked fine, I suggest using what was there before."

Maybe you've just moved into a new home, and you haven't got around to buying brushes and rollers yet. Perhaps you're worried that your brush-skills aren't that good, and you won't achieve that professional-looking finish that you’re really going for. Handy professionals will turn up with everything they need to get the job done, from ladders and brushes, to rollers and tarps. You just have to provide the interior paint and primer!


to be the devils advocate i have been a building contractor 20 of the last 30 yrs. i do know that if you go to a higher sheen of paint and or darker colors then any imperfections in the walls will show up much more dramatically…therefore the painter or a good drywall finisher is needed to prepare the walls extensively. this could cause more expenses…for it takes a lot of time to prep walls (smooth walls..not textured walls) and this cost has to be absorbed.
"There's wisdom in a multitude of counsel" {Bible Book of Wisdom/Proverbs} I thank you all I learned so much here not only painting but contracting in general. After all this I realize how blessed my ignorance not taken advantage of by Greater Philadelphia area motivated young skilled pride-in-work honest hardworking + seasoned older employee of Scott Gribling Painting of Lansdale PA. I'm proud I had the idea that Tom Parkinson here taught me the phrase & affirmed paying daily "progress draws" & purchase receipts instead of advance deposit in case something happens to contractor, and as Tom teaches the natural effectiveness of receiving from the day's work :)
Only a dummy gets involved with so-called "contractors." Hire a qualified actual worker yourself. Check out their resume/background, etc. RULE #1..NO ADVANCE DEPOSITS! Pay daily or weekly or upon satisfied completion according your standard, not workers. Contractors are merely employment agents. If that's the way you get work done, then go ahead and waste your money and wind up with the myriad of problems enumerated upon in the news clip above. RULE#2.. NO SMOKERS. They are lighting up on your money. RULE#3: No cell phones while working. Talk on their own time after work

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Oh, where to begin? Let me start with 'watered down paint'. 25-50% before the material gets to the site? Impossible. You would basically be painting with water at that point. It would be less of a hassle, and cost, to simply use proper material. You would be forced to apply three coats instead of two, as the coverage would be horrible. Whatever cost you think might be saved in materials would be lost in labor.

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Recently I had the outside of my home painted. The contractor wrote a good contract, but I failed to realize that some things were not in it. It reminds me of the car dealer who offered a good price on a new car but failed to mention that it did not include tires. My contractor failed to specify that lattice under a porch was included. So the painters did not paint it. To his credit, he did instruct them to paint it when I brought it to his attention. If I had the job to do over again I would look for an individual who came with referrals from happy customers rather than a franchise owner..

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Specialty painting by the hour costs between $40 to $50 on average. Paint might range between $75 to $90, costing an additional $40 to $50 per hour. The painter's skill and experience are also determining factors in the cost of specialty painting. While a freelance artist might charge $25 to $30 an hour, a very skilled professional might charge $80 or more. Some painters might also charge $60 or more for a consultation. Trompe l'oeils, in particular, will run on the expensive end of the price spectrum. Return to Top
My painter franchisee, who I got from Angie's List, must have found some shmucks on the corner to paint my house. I specifically said I wanted stain. First my house was painted the wrong color, Then it was painted with LATEX paint- not stain. Estimates to 'undo' the damage is around $10,000 and its not a guarantee that it will work. The work is at best amateurish. Many underpainted or not painted spots, drips, etc. They did the entire outside (scraping?, priming? caulking?, painting), cleaned up and left within the time I left for work and came home. There were thee of them (my neighbor told me) This was two years ago and I am still upset. Can't be fixed.
I totally agree with this as well. I think every time I have read Angie's List reports, they are inaccurate and not researched enough. I had COMPLETE faith in Angie but lately I am hesitate on reports. I would check your local hardware store or even your neighbors to get a recommendation for painters. If you liked what you saw, you can be stress free with your results. I live in Texas and I have borrowed my hardware store opinion bc that seems to be the place most of the contractors or painters come to buy stuff for the jobs. If your neighbors painters, contractors, electricians and plumbers have shown good results, stress free you. I have been stress free with results, glad I asked for other opinions.Don't forget, the Hardware Store knows if that person is trustworthy and honest, their accounts would be shut down.

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Any nails that have loosened their way from the house will either be replaced or recessed back into the siding. By recessing loose nails, the siding joints will be tighter which will aid the caulking to completely seal the house. This not only reduces energy bills but keeps the siding from flexing, which can cause caulking to split prematurely. When Scott's Painting & Staining Inc. replaces siding or does any carpentry work, ring shank nails are used which can slide into the wood but the arrow shaped rings keep them from loosening back out over time.
A major difference you will notice in the quality of a Scott's Painting & Staining Inc. job is the amount of caulking we use. If your home is constructed with any type of hardboard siding (Hardboard Horizontal Lap siding or Hardboard Vertical siding), it is critical that all seams and punctures are sealed with a premium-grade caulking. Just priming and painting will not do.

Back to the article. You can add water to all latex based paints / thinner to oil based paint. The tinting base has absolutely nothing to do with it. Say you are working outside and throughout the day you have to add a little water to keep the same consistency. If somebody really tried to add 20% to 50% water they no longer would be painting they'd be performing a whitewash or pickle finish.
What is color? Color or colour can be defined as the “visual perceptual property corresponding in humans to the categories called red, green, blue and others.” In other words, color is really what the eye perceives. Color is created by the spectrum of light – which is the distribution of light power vs. wavelength – combining with the spectral sensitivities of the light receptors in the eye. We associate color categories and color’s physical specifications with materials, objects, and light sources; this is based on the color’s physical property, i.e., reflection, light absorption, or emission spectra. The emission spectra of a chemical element or compound is defined by the frequencies at which the element’s or compound’s atoms are emitted when returned to a lower energy rate. When a color space is defined, colors can thus be recognized numerically by their coordinates. Read The Six Colors of the Eiffel Tower
Inspect the surface area for holes, cracks or other problems and apply acrylic caulk to fill them in. Use a putty knife to smooth out the caulk and remove any excess to prevent bumps. For particularly thin or narrow crevices, you may have to use your finger to smooth out the caulk. Caulk contracts and shrinks, so apply a second layer once it's dried.
“The end product is amazing! Eraldo and Eduardo’s attention to detail definitely exceeded my expectations. Both did a fine job from beginning to end, including immaculate clean-up. Eduardo was here every day exactly when he said he would be. He worked hard, was diligent and pleasant. I will certainly call Catchlight again for painting and will recommend you as well.”
Primer/Paint: “The whole industry is shifting to combination primer and paint,” says Mauro. “That’s a good thing, since a lot of people skip the primer, and the combination is better than nothing.” Still, for an unfinished or problem surface, he always uses a stand-alone primer. And if he’ll be using a dark paint, he tints the primer with about 80% of the paint color to ensure that two topcoats will do the job.
A true professional should be able to supply you with a list of previous work and happy customers. Speaking with a previous customer will help you get insight on how your potential contractor works on the job, stays close to deadlines and keeps you up-to-date on your home painting project. Be slightly skeptical if he or she only has a small number of homeowners who are available to speak with, as they could be relatives or friends.

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If there is any peeling — and there usually is somewhere — it's essential to scrape off any loose paint. This doesn't just mean the parts that are already separated from the wood and ready to fall off on their own. Each spot where paint has peeled loose needs to be scraped thoroughly until you can no longer get the sharp corner of a putty knife under any of the surrounding edges of paint. Then, the bare spot needs to be sanded until the paint edges are smooth.
If you decide to hire help, have several contractors inspect the job and provide proposals. You'll probably find huge price differences for the same job. A Checkbook undercover shopper got quotes from nine Washington-area contractors to repaint the walls, ceiling and trim for a living room, dining room, family room, bathroom and kitchen. Including paint and supplies, prices ranged from $2,650 or less to more than $6,500.
SF Gate recommends an inside-out approach to choosing paint colors. This involves picking a central item and building a room’s color scheme around it. The article also repeats an age-old bit of painting wisdom: Test your colors on small sections of wall before going all out. There are even tips for homeowners planning to sell: Light colors make rooms look bigger, and white acts as a “blank canvas” that lets potential buyers imagine things their way.
The materials of the home’s facade should be considered before painting your home. When painting flat surfaces like siding or wood, you can opt for standard outdoor paint. When painting a textured surface like stucco or brick, “elastomeric” paint is a much better choice. This type of paint can stretch more than normal paint, which allows it to bridge over small gaps and crevices, painting smoothly over texture.
Even the best exterior paint can fail if it's applied incorrectly. Always use a primer when painting any untreated surface to seal it off and to provide a base for topcoats to stick to. Alkyd primers are best for bare wood because they cover bleed-through from wood knots better; be sure the label states that the primer is designed to stop bleed-through. Water-based primers are a good choice if knots aren't an issue. Water-based paints are compatible with both types of primer. When repainting, prime only when necessary. If the paint hasn't cracked or flaked, you may not need to prime at all. Advantage 900 from Porter Paints is designed to go over any existing paint without priming or sanding. If you must scrape down to bare wood, spot-prime. Not sure whether priming is needed? Try this test: Paint a small portion of the wall and let it dry. Then put an adhesive bandage on the newly painted surface and snap it off. If paint sticks to it, the old paint won't support a new coat and requires a coat of primer. If the bandage is clean, power wash the siding and paint. For painting new construction, the FPL recommends dipping each piece of siding in a paintable water repellent, priming, then applying two coats of water-based paint. The lab also suggests installing siding on furring strips, creating a ventilated space behind it to reduce vapor. Seal the bottom with screening to keep insects out. If you hire a painting contractor, be sure he or she follows the paint manufacturer's directions. For example, the temperature should be between 50° and 90°F to apply water-based paint. Also, the topcoat should go on within two weeks of the primer. If you wait too long, the mechanical bond between the two won't be as strong because the surface texture of the primer breaks down. And if two topcoats are used (recommended for new construction), the second should go on within two weeks of the first. There are lots of exterior paints out there. Knowing how to pick the best from a lineup of look-alike cans will help your paint job last well into the next century.

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Stacee, I agree with you completely, from adding water to latex paint to taking whites from job to job. This article makes all painters look like scam artists. You get what you pay for people! There is no denying that there are scammers out there but in my experience, most painters are under paid any ways so if you want a good paint job, you are going to pay for it. If you just want a new color on your walls real quick, and that is what you pay for then that's what you pay for people. Most painters get the crap end of the stick and are left with making an entire house look good when it took a lot more than a painter to build the house in the first place. Good painters do not get enough credit. They are not all scammers who are cutting corners!
A professional painter will tell you that you do not have to paint the gutters or downspouts; however, it does not make sense to go to the expense of painting your house and trim to have the gutters remain grimy. Gutters and downpipes can be very noticeable on most houses. Usually, gutters and downspouts need to be painted when cleaning them doesn’t bring them closely back to their original color or if their color doesn’t match the same undertone of the new trim.
The original building contractor may have filled the exterior walls with Styrofoam bead insulation from the ceiling after the home was built. Scott's Painting & Staining Inc. has found this to be true in about 3% of the homes serviced, depending on the area. In these homes you may occasionally find small beads of the white insulation around the edges of the walls, doors, windows or fireplaces. A quick way to determine if the outside wall has Styrofoam bead insulation is to remove a light, phone, or electrical outlet face plate and inspect the surrounding area for any small beads of insulation. If siding is being replaced and your home has Styrofoam bead insulation, some or all of it may be lost when the original siding is removed. Scott's Painting can replace the Styrofoam insulation with fiberglass insulation for an additional cost.
Paint gets more expensive as you go from flat to gloss. The difference is usually around $1 per gallon per sheen upgrade. Flat is the cheapest, then matte flat or eggshell, satin, semigloss then gloss. Paint also gets much more expensive the darker it gets. A white or neutral paint color can be as much as $20 less expensive than a deep base red or blue. 

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