When you hire a painter to paint your home’s exterior, you might think there is nothing left for you to do apart from booking the project. That is not the case though! The more non-paint related things you can do to prepare your home and save your painter time, the more you do to save yourself money! If you have an exterior paint project coming up soon; here are some helpful things you can do to get your home ready for the painter!
Prepare Before The Pressure Wash
Mow Lawn and Trim Plants
When you book an exterior paint project, your home will be scheduled for a pressure wash. Before the painter comes to pressure wash your house, mow your grass and trim any plants that are touching your walls. The painter needs about 18 inches of space between the wall and the leaves.
Move Patio Furniture and Decorations
Move lawn ornaments and patio furniture away from the house. Things like barbeques, picnic tables, wall hangings and frog figurines in your plant bed should all be taken well out of range. Any woodpiles or garbage bins also need to be moved. If you need help moving larger pieces of outdoor furniture, make sure you talk with your painter about it beforehand!
Close All Windows
Don’t forget this one! You definitely want to have all your doors and windows closed before the pressure washing begins! If you find that any of your windows leak even though they are closed, make sure you tell the painter. This way they can add caulking to those places to prevent water damage in the future.
Prepare Before Painting
Cars and Campers
Make sure you park your cars, campers, boats etc out in the road or inside your garage! The outdoors has a breeze sometimes. Even paint aimed carefully at your home can sometimes be blown a few feet over onto your car in the driveway! It is best if you can have all these moved the night before the painter arrives. This saves time in the morning and the painter can park in an efficient place with their tools. Bonus- you do not have to run around in your robe while you park vehicles all over the street! 😉
This is another one you will want to turn off the night before! You want your home to be dry in the morning for the paint to adhere properly. And you definitely do not want the sprinkler to turn on mid paint job! On a hot day it might be refreshing for the painter…but it will not help your project get completed any sooner. 😉
That pretty much sums it up! If your dog is like my dog, they will instantly find a freshly painted wall and go lay against it…so you probably want to keep them inside too! 😉
To book an estimate with Sir Paints A Lot, click here! If your paint project is for your interior and you’d like to know how to prepare for that, check out this blog!
When you hire us, it is important for you to know who will be working in and around your family and your house. You can trust that Sir Paints A Lot takes as many steps as possible to ensure that the people we hire will be safe, honest and reliable. Let me tell you more about our hiring process!
Hiring Step 1: Character First, Talent Second
We can teach anyone how to paint with precision and efficiency. Well, anyone who is willing to learn! While experience can be beneficial, we believe the most important thing to consider when hiring a new team member is character. This isn’t always an easy thing to discern right away just based off of job application forms and previous work history. We never skip the interview!
Hiring Step 2: The Interview
After the applicant completes our form, which can be found at www.sirpaints.com/career, we will call the applicant for a phone interview. What sort of questions do we ask during our interviews and what are we looking for? Well, the first thing we look for is how the applicant responds to the unexpected pressure of the phone call. We need to know that the applicant will not become overly stressed and panicked every time something unexpected comes up at the job site.
We also look for enthusiasm and clean language. Painters spend several hours inside our customers’ homes and it is important that they are capable of keeping their language professional. We always call the references provided, and if they are not able to give us any positive remarks, or were not even aware that we would be calling them; it is likely that the interview process for that applicant will end there.
Interview Stage 2
But for applicants who did provide good references and informed them that we would be calling, we will take our interview to the next level! We will ask deeper questions about their work ethic and motivations. We want to find out how hungry they are to be a part of our team and what opportunity they see for themselves in joining us. Are they looking to be a part of something, or simply punch the clock for a paycheck?
We really dive into the team player mentality, because painters work as a crew. If one member is much less invested in the outcome of the job, it negatively impacts everyone else on the team. We look for humility and the willingness to learn and admit to weaknesses, with a desire to actually overcome them. We try to get a feel for their interpersonal skills by asking questions about how they handled past conflicts or frustrations with others.
Ultimately our interview process is very lengthy, as we want to ensure we are hiring the kind of people who do what they say they will do, and respect the people they work with and the people they work for. We want to have peace of mind that they will care just as much about the outcome of your project as you do, because they respect you and they hold themselves to a standard worthy of respecting.
Hiring Step 3: Background Check and Drug Test
Regardless of how amazing of an applicant we think we found after interviewing them, we still proceed with the background check and drug testing. We are fully aware that some people are excellent at telling you what you want to hear and we do not want to send anyone into your house until we can be sure that they will not be a risk to your safety or your property.
As you can see, our interview is really the most important part of our hiring process. We ask several questions about past situations and conflicts, previous jobs and work ethic, hobbies and motivations, family and friends, and strengths and weaknesses. We make sure our new hires can work well on a team and keep a positive and professional attitude. Experience is definitely a bonus, but only if the character comes with it!
I hope this helps you feel confident when you hire us! To schedule an estimate with Sir Paints A Lot click HERE!
Oh I wonder, wonder What’s in a warranty! Who knows what surprises a warranty can hide! Yummy nestle chocolate with candy shapes inside!… Wait that’s a wonderball…. 😉 If you don’t remember wonderballs- just ignore this part. In all seriousness though, sometimes the warranty we pay for with our paint job can be full of surprises too! I’m here to show you what to look for before you sign that contract… Not all warranties are created equal and a good one can add significant value to your paint job. Let’s go over the two main types of warranties you will see.
Many paint contractors will not have their own warranty. Instead, they will just advertise the 12-15 (ish) year warranty on the paint itself that comes from the paint manufacturer. This only means that if the paint on your house fails within that time period (for a reason that can be clearly defined as an issue with the paint itself and not the application, weather, etc… )that the cost of new paint will be covered. This does not mean the cost of labor to repaint the house will be covered. Different paint manufacturers have different lengths on their warranties, but for the most part, they aren’t adding any Real value to your paint job.
Lazy Contractor’s Warranty
You might also see this manufacturer’s warranty being used as a selling point by the contractor. They just slap their name on the manufacturer’s paperwork instead… Here is what to look for when you see something resembling “12-15 year warranty” from a contractor.
Does it say anywhere that it covers workmanship?
If it does cover workmanship, how long exactly? (Surprise! Probably not 15 years!)
Does it define what is a defect?
Does it have exclusions? What are they?
Are there extra stipulations? ex: proof of maintenance like pressure washing to remove mildew and residue OR specific paint that must be used etc…
Most of the time, contractors who offer an unclear warranty for an absurd length of time (such as 12-15 years along with the paint) will not have any of the detail above, and likely will not honor anything if they failed to word it well. After this much time has passed it is easy to say that the paint failure is not due to workmanship or product defect… so there is no real value added. 15 years of nothing! What a Deal!
There are many contractors who take the time to put together a comprehensive warranty that adds real value. Usually, they will have different warranties for interiors than exteriors (as is only logical), and the duration of time will be much more reasonable. A 5 year warranty for an exterior paint job is very reasonable, but 15 years is just unrealistic. On an opposite note; sometimes a 1 year warranty gets some glory but in truth, it hardly allows for anything to need warrantied.
Some contractors will be basic and only cover defects in their workmanship, while others will cover scratches from your pets and normal wear and tear. These details make all the difference. The more that is offered that is within reasonable bounds, the better the warranty! To further explain that; things that would be unreasonable for a contractor to cover would be things like fires and hail and more intensive things that your home insurance should cover. If the painter offers Too much, it is probably too good to be true.
Basic Warranty vs Premium Warranty
The way to tell if you’re getting a run of the mill, mostly useless warranty vs a comprehensive and quality warranty is by looking for these details:
Will they touch up paint damages that were not their fault?
Is the duration of time covered reasonable?
Are their exclusions fair?
Are their requirements logical?
Is there any evidence that they honor this warranty?
Words are just words with no action! Here at Sir Paints A Lot; we take the extra steps to ensure you have a quality experience! Our exterior work is warrantied for 5 years and that includes 1 hour of touch-up each year. We contact you in the spring to schedule your touch-up work! We will do this for all 5 years so long as you can prove with a receipt that you’ve hired a contractor to pressure-wash mildew and debris off of your house once annually! (A good warranty should have some clear stipulations!)
Check out this quick video from just a tiny portion of last year’s paint touch-ups!
Maintenance is the best defense to paint failure! This is why we also offer our Premium Home Care Package!
Premium Home Care Package
Hopefully now you know what to look for in a painter’s warranty and you don’t run into any unfortunate surprises down the road!
To schedule a paint estimate with Sir Paints A Lot, click HERE! Thank You! Have an Awesome Day! I’m going to go see if they still sell wonderballs…. 😉
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!
We all know “Best” is a subjective word…and yet we all use it when we are searching for a quick answer. If enough people called it the best, it will show up as the best, and is therefore the best. It is important to remember that just because something is the best, does not necessarily mean it is the best for what you want to use it for.
So what is the best for you?… When choosing paint colors, it is always important to keep in mind the rest of your stuff. If you’re looking for the best gray paint for your interior; you need to think about whether it needs a warm or cool undertone. What color are your cabinets? What color is your furniture? Your fireplace? Generally, matching undertones creates a more cohesive space but there are times when opposites make sense! But keep in mind; A cool gray will look blue against warm surrounding tones. A warm gray can look brown or yellow/green-ish against cool surrounding tones. Some gray paints have stronger undertones than others, but many of the “best gray paints” will have a more subtle undertone.
If you’re looking for the best gray paint for your exterior; the most important thing you need to consider how much sunlight your house gets and whether or not certain shades will fade more quickly than others. So now that you have been adequately warned about what is the “best”- lets jump into it!
All colors listed are by Sherwin Williams. Currently, in the trendy world, the “best” gray paint colors have a warmer undertone. If you don’t like warm tones; fear not! I will be writing another blog about the Coolest gray paint colors too 😉
1. Agreeable Gray
Who can argue with agreeable gray? Very agreeable is what it is! Slightly on the warmer side; you never have to worry about this gray looking blue against your wood floors or cabinets. This is about as greige as you can get, and has held 1st place for quite some time now! If you love this shade but are looking for a lighter tone, White Heron is an agreeable option ;).
2. Modern Gray
Modern Gray is a tiny bit lighter than agreeable gray, and also has more warmth. This color is borderline taupe but it is an excellent choice if you are looking for a bright, warm gray!
3. Repose Gray
Repose Gray is just a little bit darker and cooler than our first two options. Still falling in the greige category, this color can work well in just about any setting! Several of the deeper shades on this swatch are also very well loved. Mindful Gray (listed below), and also Dorian Gray and Dovetail.
4. Mindful Gray
Mindful gray is a step deeper than repose gray, but it is another excellent choice if you are looking for one of those warm greige tones! If your goal is to brighten up a dark room, you should probably choose the lighter Repose Gray; but if you have plenty of sunlight and you just want to add a tiny bit of warmth and coziness; this is your color!
Silverplate is even more neutral than the previous three shades, with very close to balanced levels of Red, Green, and Blue. It is about as middle of the road as you can get on the warm vs cool scale!
6. Light French Gray
Light French Gray has a slightly cooler undertone than Silverplate, but it still falls into the neutral category. It is not cool enough to look icy blue or purple, but it doesn’t have a warm feel to it either.
7. On The Rocks 62
On the Rocks is technically in the whites/pastels category BUT I think it fits pretty nicely into this list of grays. It is a tiny bit lighter than most of them and has a very subtle purple undertone to keep it cool but not too cool to be “cool”. 😉
In Summary Cool tones are not cool right now guys-I think you probably caught that by now- But I still love them! And remember, these warmer grays might not be best for your space even though they are the best! 😉 If you’d like to see my favorite “cool” grays, check out my new blog 12 Of The Coolest Gray Paint Colors! If you would like to explore more of Sherwin Williams Colors; click HERE!
Thanks For Reading! Click here to book an estimate with Sir Paints A Lot!