Painting- 10 Reasons Why You Should Hire a Professional Painter

So you are planning to paint the interior and/or exterior of your house! The most important question is do you do it yourself, or do you hire a professional house painter to do the job for you? Painting is almost one of the easiest 'Do It Yourself' jobs that you can do at home but it is also can be a job that is incredibly easy to make a mess of … literally. So before you decide to attack the task of house painting yourself, take stock and make sure you are up for it. Take a read through 10 important items to consider as well as why it could be a good idea to hire a professional painter.

1. Safety-  If you are not in ideal physical condition, or even if you are, there’s no need to risk the safety of yourself proving that you are capable of painting the exterior or interior of a multi-story home yourself. The work can be tough on your body if not familiar with the physical work, tiring, can be nerve wracking if not familiar with balancing on high ladders, and can time consuming if you need to do several layers.

2. Preparation- When it comes to painting, there is a great deal of surface preparation. While applying paint is very satisfying, most exterior painting starts with a lot of scraping and sanding, as well as replacing missing caulk and rotted wood. Preparation is key to a great paint job, you can't just cover up these issues. That’s why our painters are knowledgeable and trained to prep by look out for these items

3.Lead-Based Paint- If you own an older home, there is the suspected presence of lead-based paint. If your home was painted before 1978, it may have lead-based paint, which can cause serious health effects when it’s disturbed by scraping or sanding. Our trained professionals will know more than you about handling the situation, and will take appropriate steps to protect you and your family and dispose of it properly.

4 Primer- Primer is an important step in the Painting process and can be difficult to purchase when you are not sure what type of primer and paint to apply. If you aren't sure what type of paint is on your home, you may not know what type of paint to apply. On top of that, many paint jobs involve multiple types of surfaces and problems that may require different types of “specialty” primers. A knowledgeable contractor is better qualified to decide what types of paints and primers will provide the best paint “system” on your home.

5. Equipment- A large project can often require the use of specialized painting equipment. You might be handy with a brush or roller, but what if the job requires use of a power brush, power sander, power washer, and/or power sprayer? Are you prepared to spend time, money and effort learning how to use the equipment? Are you willing to spend the money it will require to rent or purchase them? Our painting crews come equipped to do the job no matter the requirements.

6. Specialization- Depending on what you want/need painted when it comes to the exterior, it may need special expertise. Some paint jobs require specialty coatings that should only be applied by a painting professional. Example: Elastomeric wall coatings, which are extra-thick paints that are used to span cracks in masonry coatings to prevent water from penetrating into building interiors. Trained professionals have the experience to guide you through the process virtually stress free

7. Timing- If you are thinking of doing a large scale paint job in a specific amount of time, timing can be a major factor. If you have a full time job, using your precious spare time to paint may take quite weeks. Getting a large project done within a time frame can also be tough when you have weather delays, an event coming up or when the proper preparation alone can eat up into the few spare hours a week that you have. If so, let someone else do their job! You, the contractor, and the crew will all benefit from your decision. What may take you weeks or months, will only take a week or two depending on the size. 

8. Size of Project- Depending on the size of your project, a large project could always use an extra pair of hands... or several extra pair of hands. Even if you’re perfectly capable of doing the painting yourself, the extent of the work might be overwhelming mentally and physically. From picking out the right color, to safely painting a ceiling on a ladder. If that’s the case, you could still do some of the work yourself, but augment your effort with a contractor’s painting crew.

9. Presentation- How well a paint job turns out is a huge reflection on your home, inside and out. Odd streaking or dripping, uneven trim lines, scattered paint drops and missed sections can happen to amateur paint jobs. Let our professionals do their amazing job and deliver a stunning product that you can be proud of for years to come!

10. Free Consultations- When you are in the planning stages of your potential job, feel free to give us a call to set up a time that works for you for us to come and take a look at your home to give you a free consultation and estimate. We'll take a detailed look and even help pick out colors or the type of paint you need! The time we spend there initially estimating will never be added into the quote!

Click the Free Consultation button to get in contact with us today!

11 Home Maintenance Tips for Summer

Summer is the time for camping, festivals and holidays but summer should also be the time to make sure your home is ready for the winter months ahead. Your home is one of your largest investments and it's important to make sure there are no major unforeseen issues, especially in the cold west coast winter. Many unexpected issues can come out during the sometimes harsh and stormy weather that winter brings.

The summer months are the perfect time to take some time and do an in depth look at your home inside and out to get ahead of the problems and plan for those fixes if needed. Here is a list of items to specifically look for and make sure are addressed.

1. Check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors: These early warning detectors may one day save your life and its important they are in peak working order. Check the batteries and do a test to make sure they are active.

2. Check your faucets/pipes: Depending on where you live, your pipes may be prone to freezing during the winter months. Water expands when frozen by approximately 9% which may cause your pipes to expand or experience pressure or stress, making pipes brittle and prone to cracks. If you notice your water pressure decreasing, its a sure bet there is a leak somewhere. Leaks are never good as sometimes they can be hidden behind walls or near your foundation. Undetected leaks can cause all sorts of mayhem such as mold, asbestos, foundation cracks, and water damage to walls and framing. Catching these leaks early can prevent you from having major structural issues.

3. Clean out bathroom vents: Remove vent cover and vacuum any dust or dirt that may be starting to clog the vent. This will allow your fan to run more efficiently and you'll see less moisture buildup in the bathroom 

4. Unclog those bathroom drains: Use a drain stick to unclog any hair and use bleach to kill any mold or mildew looming in the drains- follow up and flush the pipes with hot water after 10 minutes

5. Refrigerator Coils: The refrigerator coils at the back of your fridge could easily lead to paying more electricity if they're not cleaned regularly. If they aren't maintained, it simply takes more energy for the refrigerator to maintain its cold temperature. Simply turn off your fridge, move it forward and vacuum any accumulating dust or dirt on the coils.

6. Furnace/Air Conditioner Filters: Since furnaces are generally not in use during the summer months, this makes it the perfect time to check and clean or replace the furnace filter. Filters are normally kept in the blower compartment and should be replaced every few months depending on if you have animals in the home and the amount of usage. Not checking or replacing can lead to a lot of air contaminants and particles building up, which can lead to allergies or congestion as well as higher bills as the Furnace or Air Conditioner will have to work harder to reach the set temperature.

7. Crawl Spaces: It is a great idea to check your crawl spaces every once in a while- they may be a bit creepy to go in to or look inside but is a great insight to what is happening inside your home. Grab a flashlight and if you notice any mold, rot or buckled flooring is a sure sign of a potentially larger issue that will need to be addressed. You should also look for signs of moisture, condensation, insect or animal presence, and small holes as these could also be precursors.

8. Washing Exteriors: Always a daunting task, washing the exteriors of your house is a great way to inspect the outside of your house. Depending on your siding, giving it a good pressure wash will get off all the dirt and will give you good eye detail into any potential holes near the roof (evidence of insects or birds), any cracks in foundation or basement walls, any separation near the windows, exterior siding cracks, etc. If you don't feel safe doing the higher parts of your house, make sure to hire a professional to clean and inspect.

9. Wash Windows: Another daunting task is window washing. If you are having trouble seeing through your windows from the inside, then its time to buckle down with some elbow grease and make them shine. Using Windex can sometimes act as a static for dust/pollen so we have found using a tiny bit of soap/soft sponge and a squeegee is the best method :)

10. Roof: Adverse weather year round can play havoc on your shingles and roof- doing a thorough check to make sure there is no rot forming or by sealing/replacing individual shingles now will save you a headache later. Make sure gutters are clear of debris and leaves as well. Clogged gutters can form pooling spots near your house or on the corners of your roof. Always remember a safety harness when up on a roof or if unable, call a reliable contractor/roofer to investigate.

11. Trees: Always be mindful of any large trees or shrubs that are growing near your house. With wintery weather comes wind and rain storms and branches have been known to lean and scratch houses, branches can break off and breaks decks/windows and trees can uproot and damage an entire house. Being aware of trees not standing upright, or trees that look discolored or unhealthy as they may need to be removed.


Rental Units- 5 Things to Know!

Investing in a rental property definitely has its benefits- extra income for space you don't need is always enticing. What if you had a property already and wanted to add an addition or renovate a portion of your home to accommodate this? Well here are a few tips to keep in mind to do it right!

1. Planning and Timing- If you are thinking about investing in your property by adding an addition or simply renovating an existing space, we highly recommend that you start by going to your local Municipality office to familiarize yourself with their requirements, rules and regulations as they can vary from district to district. Starting work before permits are issued is asking for trouble as cities and municipalities can send inspectors to randomly check in and make sure everything is authorized- failure to do so can result in tearing down completed work and getting a monetary fine. Planning is key to having renovations go smoothly- make sure all your plans are exactly how you want them as obtaining permits can vary in processing time from a couple weeks to months depending on how extensive you are renovating and changes may prolong the approval time. 

Coordinating a project like this is time consuming for homeowners, can take several months of planning and then several weeks or months (depending on the scope of work needed to be done) and although its entirely possible to accomplish, it can be extremely stressful to someone not familiar with construction when you have to deal with engineers, plumbers, inspectors, etc. Hiring a general contractor is a great idea as they become your go between- taking what you need and want from the rental suite and coordinating inspections, reputable trades and structural engineers while making sure everything is up to code and legal. This can add to the cost of your overall construction but having someone with the long-time knowledge of construction, building codes and regulations can save you money in the long run. 

2. Small/Big Details- Some of the small (or big) details are often forgotten if a homeowner is adding a rental suite. Properties with built in suites are great as they usually are already up to code and ready to move in. Adding on an addition or renovating a basement to form a suite involves making sure there are proper exits in case of fire, fire separating, soundproofing (for your benefit as well as your tenant!), sewer lines if you need to add a toilet or water, electricity etc and all need to be approved and permitted. 

3. Ask Questions!- It is your property and your money, don't be afraid to ask your trades or general contractor questions! Do your homework- make sure your involved enough to know your house inside and out or it could lead to lengthy delays, getting a product your unhappy with and added stress financially and mentally!

4. Be Prepared- When it comes to renovating or adding additions, it can sometimes feel like you are opening a can of worms. By tearing down walls, moving pipes or flooring, it can uncover some nasty surprises like mould or old building codes that have not been updated. In order to proceed, these problems MUST be addressed and fixed before continuing and sometimes to fix can be costly. Always have a contingency fund set aside for potential issues and be prepared. 'To be prepared is half the victory'- Miguel de Cervantes

5. Know Your Tenant and Landlord Rights- Being a landlord is a full-time responsibility and does requires constant attention. Before starting any work, again do your homework and learn your rights as well as the rights of your prospective tenant(s). If you feel it is something you can handle, make sure that there is a proper legal contract in place detailing important details such as the agreed upon rent, utilities, expectations, and information pertaining to deficiencies, damages, and what happens if there is a dispute. It is perfectly fine to be a little picky when it comes to renting your suite- after all, this person will be living in your home. You may not see them but they will be using your property and utilities.