Critical Considerations When Choosing A Contractor

The initial feeling of excitement when you decide to have your house painted is a rush for sure! Buuuuut it can wear off quickly. You begin to realize how many things need to be done between the moment you decide to paint and the moment the painting is completed. Fantasizing all the different color options is only one task on the list, and not the first! So first things first! You need to decide WHO will be handling your paint work for you. Step 1 is a huge decision! It will impact the whole process, so here are some helpful things to consider when you choose your contractor! 

Which Contractor Should I Choose ??? 😉 *** Photo by Juan Rumimpunu on Unsplash

Reputation and Stability

Most of us take the time to look at online reputation before we call for an estimate in the first place… but is that enough? The crucial question is “Which business page has the most Facebook likes?!?” Winner! Done! 😉 Kidding… If only it were that simple! While you can put some weight into the way a business interacts with the social community; it is much more important to see if they have actual references and reviews about the experience they provide to their customers. If they do not have online reviews; can they give you references in another format? 

Even a well liked business with lots of good reviews can be irresponsible though… And just because something bad hasn’t happened yet doesn’t necessarily mean they are prepared for it. Make sure the contractor you want to hire has a good business insurance policy and worker’s comp for all employees. If the contractor you want to hire uses sub-contractors; make sure they have these things too! A contractor whose stability is based off of more than social perception is critical!

Experience and Service

When we think of “experience”, we tend to just think of “how long” the contractor has been in business for. That is not the best way to look at it. Someone could be running a painting business for 50 years and only paint one house a month. On the flip side: Another contractor could be 5 years into their business, but have experience running 4 jobs a week. While you want to be sure that your contractor knows what they are doing, it is also important to ask about the “experience” they offer. 

Does the contractor provide a clear outline for the services they will provide for you? Do they have a warranty on their work or materials? To find out how to spot a good warranty; click here!  Is their communication with you going to make you confident that you are a part of the plan? Or will you be left in the dark, hoping they don’t finally show up for the project  when you’re in the bathroom. 😉 (A personal fear of mine haha!) The quality of your experience depends greatly on the quality of your contractor’s service and communication. 

Follow Up

It is pretty common in the trades for a contractor to come and go as they please. Everything happens on their time, with very short notice for you, in most cases. This can leave you under-prepared for the conversations you want to have with them, and frustrated with poor communication. They can leave just as quickly as they came and not really care either way whether you are satisfied with the service you paid for or not. The final bill can be hugely different from the quote you received, and you can’t expect communication to improve at this point.

Now not all contractors behave this way! But you definitely want to have a conversation with your contractor about what you can expect during the process; from the first estimate to the final bill. 

Click Here for our handy list: 17 Critical Questions for Your Contractor!

Thank you for your time! To schedule an estimate with Sir Paints A Lot, click here! Have an Amazing Day!

How to Prepare for your Interior Painting Project!

Interior Painting Season has officially arrived in the PNW! Getting a fresh application of paint is always exciting; both for the crisp clean feel and for the change of color! You’ve had your home measured and you’ve signed the estimate! What happens next?!? Here are 5 things you can do to make your paint project go as smoothly as possible!

interior painting

1. Respond to Calls and Emails from your Painter

In many cases; your painter will have a calendar that they will want to schedule you into as soon as possible. The better you are at keeping in communication with them; the more quickly you can move through the interior painting process! If you work with Sir Paints A Lot, one of the first things you will need to schedule (if you want it) is your color consult! Making the time to have one of our color specialists come out and help you choose a color scheme can really help you feel confident and happy with the paint you choose! Also: the sooner your painter knows which colors you are using, the sooner they can order paint and get your project started! If you’re curious about the color consult; check out this blog: Pros and Cons of a Color Consult!

2. Mark Your Calendar!

Once you get the estimated date for your interior painting project, Mark Your Calendar! Paint companies do their best to keep in contact with you to let you know whether they are on schedule for your project or if they are ahead or behind. It is important that you also keep track of when your project is supposed to happen so that you don’t plan other events too close to the time of your job. Allow a little wiggle room before making plans to host a family dinner, for example, so that you do not end up disappointed if the painters run into a little setback. Even though the date may not be “exact”, keeping track of it will help you be more prepared.

Keeping track of your appointment time also prevents most complications where you would end up needing to reschedule. Not only does last minute rescheduling ruin other customer’s plans and schedules; but you also may end up having to wait longer than you expected, depending on how busy your painter is. No fun 🙁

3. Make Plans for Pets

Once you have a good idea of when your paint project will happen; make plans to keep your pets out of the area that will be painted. If your whole house will need painted and your pet cannot stay outside; ask a friend to help watch them or find an animal kennel you can bring them to. We have heard great things about Willamette Valley Dog and Cat Motel! No matter how friendly your pet is; paint is one thing you don’t want them getting into! The painters cannot be efficient at getting their work done if they are trying to keep your pets out of the paint. Or worse; cleaning up paint messes of cute paw prints tracked all over your floor! 😉

4. Remove Knick-Knacks and Pictures

To help us save time (and you money), you will want to remove all the pictures from your walls and any shelving or knick-knacks from the room. Also remove rugs, TV’s and other electronics. Large furniture should be moved to the center of the room, at least 3 feet away from each wall. The painter will cover it with plastic and drop cloths. Do not pile *all* of your things into a mountain in the middle of the room though; bring your things somewhere safe and make your walls ready for paint! You also need to remove clothes and other items from closets that need painted. You can expect painters to move large items for you like refrigerators, washers, dryers, couches etc… But please remove all your other belongings before the painters arrive. If your ceiling is being painted as well, the room will need to be 70% empty.

5. Go Enjoy A Vacation!

Not to be rude— Painters love to chat with customers and get to know you! If you only are having one or two rooms painted and you don’t need to be in them all the time; that’s different! We would love for you to stick around and tell us about your life and your adventures!

But!I If you have scheduled a full interior painting project, join me on this imaginary journey…

The painters have been in your house all day and you just return home from work.

You’re feeling like you need a snack so you try to get into your masked off freezer for some pizza rolls. You glance at your oven and see it is also covered in plastic. A moment of irritation passes… You decide to leave and get some food somewhere else. Your fingers peel at tape so you can make your way through the doorway of plastic.

You return with your food. The daylight has faded away and you need to turn on the light. The switch is covered in paper. The light is dim and covered in plastic. The drive-through forgot to give you a fork…You complete the obstacle course of getting into your silverware drawer.

Now you want to relax and watch some TV. Then you remember that your TV is in another room covered in a drop cloth and so is your couch. You decide to go to bed. If you are lucky; that won’t be covered yet… You stare into the hazy paint dust and wonder what you are doing here….

That was enjoyable right?! 😉

Your house is not the place you want to be when you are having interior painting done! Trust us! Once your appointment time is confirmed; make plans to go anywhere but home! Stay at the coast or in a fun air-bnb or even just a hotel or friend’s house for the duration of your project! Almost everyone loves coming home after a getaway! Imagine how much fun coming home will be after a fresh paint job!

Keeping these steps in mind will make your interior painting experience much more pleasant! Don’t stress! Just remember to stay in contact with your painter so that you get updates regarding your project. Put your possessions somewhere safe and out of the way, and plan a fun getaway for yourselves and your pets! 😉

Thank you for taking the time to read this to be prepared for your upcoming interior painting project! If you have not scheduled with us yet and would like an estimate, click here, or call 541 600 2025! Have an Awesome Day!

When Should I Book My Paint Estimate?

When Should I Book My Paint Estimate?

Well first off- during business hours ;). This is a topic that has various answers in different parts of the country with different weather patterns and workforce balances; but here in the PNW we get so many calls for exterior work that people are hoping to get done sometime next week. They are very disappointed to discover that the soonest we can get them in is next summer.

Below I will cover some common misconceptions about when to book a paint estimate! Hopefully this will help you plan out your paint project without any major setbacks! Remember… These are misconceptions- the answer you seek is in the fine print 😉

1. I shouldn’t schedule an exterior paint estimate until my paint fails.

We all want to get the most life out of our paint jobs! (Unless the color is too hideous to behold 😉 ). However, if you wait until the paint is Already peeling, then you’re going to be paying extra anyway. The additional prep-work required to deal with peeling paint adds up! You’re also going to risk damaging your siding if you leave parts of it unfinished and exposed to the elements. (This also costs more…Especially if no one can fit you in until next summer). This is one of those situations where trying too hard to get the most bang for your buck can really backfire.

So how can you tell when your house needs repainted? In general, once your paint has begun to fade, the next thing that happens is it flakes or peels. This blog goes into more depth if you are curious!

2. I should schedule an exterior paint estimate right before I want it done.

In an ideal world, we could talk about painting on the weekend and start the very next week! However, reality is far from that. With all the shortages in our current economy; workers and materials are not so quick to come by. On a good year, exterior season runs from May through October. If you call anytime in that time-frame; expect that you might not get on the calendar until the next May-October. Exterior work books 6-12 months out right now, so it is important to choose a contractor whose business is likely to be around another year. (free tip 😉 )

Sometimes you can call during the winter months (Nov-April) and get in for the upcoming summer. Occasionally you might get lucky and be able to snag a spot even if you call in early summer! Just keep in mind that if you put it off too long; you’ll be stuck with whatever painter you can get and it probably won’t be the one you want! The same rule applies if you have a particular set of dates you want your painting to take place on. If you take too long to book your estimate, you’ll be stuck with whatever dates we can fit you in for! Plan 6-12 months ahead when it comes to scheduling your paint estimate so You can choose the painter you trust!

3. I can use my estimate from 3 years ago to get on the calendar now!

This goes hand in hand with the misconception before this… Say you got your estimate ahead of time just like I advised, but you weren’t quite ready to commit and get yourself on the calendar… So you held onto it a couple years until you were sure you were ready! You call to get on the books annnnnd the unfortunate news is that 3 years is a long time for a paint job. The estimator will likely have to come back and assess the current condition of your paint. If your paint has worn down considerably, extra cost might need to be added for additional prep-work.

Not to mention all the rapid changes in our economy. Everything from wages we pay employees to the cost of our masking tape has gone up. Whatever your estimate had written down for cost of labor and materials is likely not the same. When you schedule your estimate you should be ready to commit to a project in the near future, but also be aware that it might not begin for 6-12 months. If you Are still holding onto an old estimate and you would like to work with that painter still; give them a call! Just remember that the estimate will need adjusted!

4. Interior work doesn’t have a long wait time!

While this is usually true, if you call in the wrong season it is a different story! Here in the PNW a good rule of thumb for interior paint work is to schedule it during the rainy season! If you call for interior work during the summer you will quickly learn that our calendars are filled to the brim with exterior work. We might be able to get you in on a rainy day if one shows up though, so don’t hesitate to call! Just remember the weather is out of our control! If you call about interior work in the rainy season, you can get on the schedule during that same rainy season. No problem.

5. I’m going to sell my house so I should wait until I’m ready to list it!

The Fresher the Better right?! Its common for people to repaint their house before selling to boost curb appeal and profit! Sometimes people know they will be selling their house and moving in the summer and would like a full re-paint (interior and exterior) but want to hold off on the interior work until they are out of the house. At the time of the estimate; they’re not exactly sure when that will be. I have Good news! Because we can not control the wind and weather, our schedule is “approximate” until its right down to go-time.

If you call and get on the books, we can move your project around here or there as needed. If you wait until you are ready to list your house to scramble and find a painter…. well… That is just added stress to an already busy time and we likely will not be able to help you even if we want to. Same rule applies! Try to plan 6-12 months ahead if you can!

Maybe the last time you had your house painted you didn’t have to plan so far ahead. Maybe you lived somewhere sunny and exterior work was a year round thing so it just didn’t occur to you. Hopefully this blog helps you see the current reality of the PNW painting season. We are doing our best at Sir Paints a Lot to keep up with demand! If you realized while reading this that it is time to book your paint estimate- click HERE to schedule with us! Thank you!

UnMasking the Secret to Successful Masking

Ahhh. The anticipation of peeling off masking tape to see crisp, clean paint lines…. Only to discover that the paint has leaked through, the lines are squiggled, and the tape is stuck… in some places… Below I will share some dos and don’ts that may just help you avoid this messy fate!

First things first! There are several different colors and varieties of painting tape or masking tape. I’ll just go over the reason for this and which tape to use where!

  • White Tape: White tape is just your basic masking tape and it is commonly used to hang plastic or paper up around window sills or trim. It works well in most painting situations and can be found in different widths. It is not as highly recommended as blue; but it is much cheaper and works well in all the same situations.
  • Blue Tape: Blue painter’s tape has medium adhesion and is practical for using on slightly more delicate surfaces that you don’t want to risk damaging. For example; You are painting a kitchen and need to mask off the cabinets which have been painted in the past. Blue tape is less likely to pull up the old paint. If that were to happen; then you would need to repaint the cabinets too. Not a fun add-on if you were not planning on it! Go with Purple if you’re really cautious.
  • Green Tape: Green painter’s tape has very strong adhesion and is the best choice if you are relying on tape to get crisp, straight lines with no bleeding; especially if the surface you are applying it too is a little rough. It can pull up the material underneath, though; so use with discretion.
  • Orange Tape: Orange Tape is Basically white tape but stronger. The adhesion level is the same but the strength of the tape (how easily it tears or rips) is a little more heavy duty.
  • Yellow Tape: Yellow tape has strong adhesion that works excellent outdoors. It is waterproof and works great on exterior windows because it will not leave any residue which would later collect dust. Nobody likes dirty windows…

Now here are some tips for How to use masking tape; How to not to; and a few bonus tips at the end!

DO

  • Clean the surface you will be masking first. Your tape won’t stick to dust….well, scratch that, it will! Dust won’t keep your tape stuck to the wall though!
  • Apply your masking as straight and smooth as you can. Avoid using multiple pieces of tape for the same stretch of masking. A tiny bit of uneven overlap will show!
  • Be sure to press down on your tape as you go. This seems like a given; but it can be easy to get moving along a trim board or other lengthy surface and forget to press your tape down the whole way.
  • Allow 2nd coat of paint to dry before removing masking. You want your paint to Just be dry to the touch so that you cannot accidentally smudge it as you roll up your masking.
  • Stick in in the trash. Even obvious things can be forgotten. 😉
Sir Paints Crew putting that green and orange masking tape to good use! Can’t forget the coffee…;)

DON’T

  • Drown the masking tape with a super heavy first coat. If you take it easy on the first coat, it will help to seal the tape to the wall and give you a clean line. If you bury tape with too much moisture; it will not remain adhered to the wall. We all know what happens next.
  • Forget to bolt down free edges of plastic and paper. Wind and even pressure from the paint sprayer will cause these to blow around into your freshly painted surface.
  • Remove masking after each coat. It is very difficult to match your original line if you decide you want a fresh batch of tape for the 2nd coat. Apply both coats (Or more if necessary) before removing tape.
  • Leave tape too long. You want the paint to be dry before you remove your masking; but if you let it dry more than 24 hours it is much more likely to pull the paint right off with it. This completely ruins that perfect line. Epic Fail. (Fear not! There is a tip below just in case this is happening!)
  • Mask around lightbulbs with paper. Some people still use lightbulbs that get hot. Charred accents can be nice sometimes; but that is probably not what you’re going for if you are painting!
  • Throw all your masking on the floor. Dry paint flakes make a big mess and its better to put them straight into the trash. Sometimes there can even be slightly wet paint still hanging out on the plastic; and that will make an even bigger mess.

BONUS

  • Get yourself one of these masking tools! It is a serious time saver that helps you get straight lines and also lines up your tape perfectly with either paper or plastic.
Hand Masking Tool
  • If you have the time and REALLY REALLY want a perfect line; paint a light coat of the color you are hoping to protect against the masking tape’s seam (provided you have it). This will seal the tape with the color behind it, and then you can continue to paint your new color worry free.
  • The Grande Finale of Tips! When you remove your masking tape; first use a blade to score the edge of the tape so that it doesn’t pull any of the new color off with it. This is especially useful in tight areas like along the inside corners and edges of window trim, or in any circumstance where you find your tape is pulling new paint up with it.

Hopefully these tips make the time you spend masking well worth it! If not; at least you will get practice at cutting in and doing touch up! 😉 Thanks for reading! Have a Great Day! If you would like to see how our team gets all the things masked off; give us a call at 541-600-2025 or click HERE to book an estimate now!!!

How to Tell When It Is Time to Repaint Your Home’s Exterior

Exterior painting is an effective way to protect your property against harsh exterior elements in Eugene, Oregon. It will also boost curb appeal and help you to avoid costly repairs down the line. If you’re planning to sell your property any time soon, adding a fresh coat of paint will instantly increase the value of your property.

So you know you need to paint your home more often, but how often? And how do you even tell it’s time to repaint your home? Well, use the following signs to know it’s time for a new paint job.

1. Paint Fading
Paint fading is the excessive lightening of the paint color. Fading often happens as a result of the effects of UV rays which break down the color pigments in the paint. Using low-quality paint that has a lower concentration of color pigments and binders can also cause premature paint fading. You don’t have to repaint at the earliest sign of color fading, but excessive fading often makes the exterior look unappealing and neglected.

2. Paint Peeling
Paint peeling occurs when the paint loses adhesion to the painted surface. Peeling could be a result of painting on a wet, dirty, or poorly prepped surface. Water seeping behind the paint film via fine cracks in the paint can also cause loss of adhesion. This is an advanced sign of paint failure, and you should report it to a painting contractor as soon as possible for correction to avoid further damage to your siding.

3. Paint Bubbling
Paint bubbling is another advanced sign of paint failure that occurs due to localized loss of paint adhesion. This can be caused by painting on a wet or damp surface, painting when there is high humidity or using low-quality paints. This paint failure is characterized by small- to medium-sized ‘blisters’ of raised paint film.

Small sections of blistering can be touched up by scraping off the damaged paint, sanding down edges, and applying a primer, followed by a coat of paint in the same color. Extensive bubbling, however, may warrant a new paint job. If there is any underlying issue –such as a leaking pipe – it should be addressed before a fresh coat of paint is applied.

4. Chalking
Chalking occurs when the paint is broken down into fine powdery particles that are often deposited on the surface of the wall. Low-quality paints that have low concentrations of chemical binders are partly to blame for chalking. You can identify excessive chalking by a line of powdery particles deposited along the base of the wall, and this is a clear sign that a new paint job is long overdue.

5. Mildew
Mildew is a type of fungi that typically grows on damp surfaces, including the exterior siding. Wet conditions on the siding can be caused by excessive rain, broken gutters, and downspouts, leaky plumbing, etc. To adequately eliminate the mildew menace, you first need to address any issues that are causing dampness.

Professionals usually treat the affected areas with either a bleach solution or a mildewcide before repainting the siding. Mildew can spread quickly if not well handled, so you should preferably only let a professional painting contractor handle the mildew situation.

The Bottom Line

If your home’s exterior is showing signs of paint failure such as fading, peeling, cracking, bubbling, or organic growth, it’s probably time for a new paint job. Additionally, if it’s been over five years since you last painted your home’s exterior, consider repainting.

If you need any professional help repainting your home’s exterior in Eugene, our team at Sir Paints A Lot can help. Call us on 541-600-2025 or book now to get started.