Hosting Hell: 10 Things That Will Go Wrong - And How to Prevent Them »
If you want to avoid entering the hosting hell dimension, here are 10 potential entertaining glitches, and how to avoid them.
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If you want to avoid entering the hosting hell dimension, here are 10 potential entertaining glitches, and how to avoid them.
If you're a guest at the season's events, make sure that you're part of the celebration, not part of the problem
We want your holiday parties to be the talk of the season, so we've rounded up our top tips on how to pull off hosting without a h…
An Awesome and Professional Painter! I purchased my Redmond home in the spring of 2005. Although the house had recently been painted, it quickly became apparent to me that the prior owners had not only used the worst paint they could find, they’d used the worst painter they could hire. As the house paint began to crack, I could see that no primer had been used prior to painting, nor was the paint really suitable for outdoor use. I lived with this sub-standard situation until I couldn’t take it anymore! I solicited bids from several painters including one from Custom Paint and Home Repair. John Pope’s bid was by far the most reasonable however given my experience with the paint job I’d inherited I decided it would be prudent to check his references so I spoke with three prior clients, all of whom reported stellar experiences and delight with the quality of his company’s work. John and his crew showed up early on a Monday morning. By Tuesday afternoon they’d finished painting the entire house, including the shutters and underneath the eaves, which the prior painter had neglected to address at all. They even recommended that I replace the old 1960’s outdoor lighting with more modern looking hardware. John personally came back and hung the new fixtures for no extra charge. I am delighted with both the quality of paint they choses and job Custom Paint and Home Repair did for me. For anyone looking for a professional, quality whole-house paint job, I’d highly recommend calling John Pope and hiring them to do the job. You WILL be thrilled with their results. I would recommend Custom Paint & Home Repair to all my friends! John and his crew are meticulous about their work and take pride in all they do. They're reasonably priced, show up when promised, and are dependable and trustworthy. They even came back to re-light my gas when I called and said that the power-washer had tripped my earth-quake valve. These are great guys and true professionals.
My husband and I needed help with a number of items in our home + including painting our new baby's room. I found John and his crew through a referral from a friend and we are so glad that we found them!They came to our home, were very professional, and got everything done in one day. This would have taken us many days to do all of this, and was a huge help to us at this busy time in our lives.We will definitely use John and his crew again in the future for painting needs, and or handyman services (they can do everything)!I have already recommended them to my friends and family and would refer them to anyone needing assistance with paint/misc items in the home.
What a wonderful set of painters. I wanted a couple rooms and the halls painted and called these guys based on reviews. John was here for a quote within hours and gave me a very fair quote. In fact, it was so fair and their attention to detail was so fantastic, I had them paint additional rooms and now having them paint the molding throughout the house. They are very helpful, flexible and go the extra mile. Best of all they leave the house as they found it each night so it does not impact living in your house while they paint. We will need to do exterior painting this spring and will definitely call John back out to do it. I highly recommend them.
John and his crew were amazing. He was very much in touch with our needs and very flexible to work with us on a tight schedule. I had to have my rental property touched up between tenants and he was more than happy to accommodate all of our requests, usually saying "no problem". He made sure to follow up with us to make sure we were happy with the result, AND offered very competitive prices. I will definitely use them again for any painting needs, and they will probably be my first choice for any other home improvements given the great results and customer focus.
John and the guys were AWESOME. The work was superb but MORE importantly was the commitment to service. We found them to be respectful of our home ALWAYS cleaning up each day. They were friendly and attentive to any additional needs we had. When a non-paint issue came up in the home, John and the crew were responsive to help us. It is rare to find such service oriented companies these days and we can't say enough of how impressed we are. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you
I met with John for a bid to paint the exterior of my house. John was very professional and explained to me exactly what to expect from his company. John made suggestions on the type of paint to use and was very helpful in educating me on these choices.John’s crew was right on time for the day of pressure washing and then very timely during the prep and painting days. At the end of each day the guys thoroughly cleaned up before they left. Our house looks great!
They power washed and painted the soffits, gutters and facia on our brick home. Cristian was the forman on or project and had 2 helpers. They did an excellent job from start to finish. Masked and covered our house as well as shrubs and flower beds. Very professional, polite workers...keeping us informed and included on job progress. Highly recommend.
Beautiful job John and team! We thank you so much for caring as much about our new home as we do. John and the gang are meticulous about the quality of their work and attentive to detail--and very good about cleaning up afterward. We would recommend John to anyone seeking a quality painter or home repairs!
John was recommended to us, and we are very thankful for the recommendation! John was quick to come out and quote the painting of our trim, and was very reasonably priced! He was out the very next week, and it looks AMAZING! We are very happy. I will use them again.
John and crew have been working on a couple of units in our condo building, came highly recommended by the management, and did a wonderful job for us -- we will certainly use them in the future, and recommend them to anyone needing painting or general home repairs.
Painting can be a significant undertaking, whether you're painting just one room or an entire home. While some people like to take on this project themselves, many choose to hire professionals to ensure the task is completed correctly.
Matte paint doesn't have a shiny quality when it dries, which many homeowners prefer for their interior walls. This is the most popular style of paint for homes. It covers up irregularities in the wall well but is also easily blemished.
Matte Enamel Paint
Matte enamel paint has all the positive qualities of matte paint but will last longer and isn't scuffed as easily.
Gloss paint will dry with a shine to it and is the second-most popular choice for interior wall paint. The shiny quality highlights imperfections in a surface, so people tend to stay away from it when painting wood.
Semi-gloss is also shiny but less so than gloss paint. It's more commonly used on trim than on walls.
Satin falls somewhere between gloss and matte in terms of shininess. It will highlight imperfections well, like gloss, but is easy to clean.
Eggshell is also between gloss and matte on the shininess scale, but it won't highlight imperfections quite as much as satin, semi-gloss, or gloss.
Exterior paints have similar choices for finishes as interior paints, but the pros and cons can be different for outdoor use.
Though gloss paint will make imperfections easily seen, it will also hold up to the elements the best. This paint is best suited for areas of a home or building that are frequently used, like door frames.
Semi-gloss paint is similarly long-lasting but isn't as shiny as gloss.
Satin paint is commonly used for siding but will display irregularities underneath if the siding isn't in good shape.
Flat paint is the best choice if painting over siding that has many dents, scrapes, or other imperfections.
If you're repainting a home that has been previously painted with oil-based paint, your best bet is to stick with this option. Water-based paint layered over old oil-based paint will peel easily.
Water-based paint, or latex paint, dries quickly and cleans up easily, making it the preferred paint for a home's exterior. It will also expand when warm and contract when cool, which means it will hold up in all types of weather.
When embarking on a project as big as painting your home, it's important to know ahead of time what kind of quality you can expect from the painters you hire. Don't settle for the first one you find or the cheapest option. Instead, do your homework to be sure that you hire a trustworthy professional who knows how to paint a house well.
The first thing you'll do when hiring a painter is request quotes from three or four in your area. If you reach out to too many, you'll wind up wasting time narrowing down your list; too few and you may not end up with the best quality or right price.
The typical price range for an interior paint job is between $400 and $4,120, with the average falling around $1,670, depending on the scope of the project and paint requests. It will typically cost around $380 to $790 to paint a typical 10-by-12 foot room.
The cost to paint a home's exterior is a little higher: between $730 and $5,600, with an average of $2,624. The typical home of between 500 and 1,500 square feet will generally cost between $1,000 and $3,000, but this will change depending on the number of stories and home location.
If a quote seems high, ask the contractor what is increasing the price point. Perhaps it's something that can be negotiated, or maybe this business is just overpricing their services. On the other hand, be skeptical of any price points that seem unfathomably low. There could be a reason their prices are below the industry norm - perhaps their quality standards are uncommonly low, too.
Once you have quotes, conduct an over-the-phone interview with your prospects. Some important questions to ask your painter include:
1. Do you have insurance?
It's never a good idea to hire a contractor whose business isn't properly insured. Ask both about comprehensive business liability insurance and workers' compensation, and don't be hesitant to ask for proof. If you are unsure of the validity of the insurance, you can also call the insurance company to double-check that it is an active policy.
2. Do you have a warranty?
Not offering a warranty is a red flag, and you may want to be cautious about hiring a company that doesn't provide one. If they have a warranty, ask how long it lasts, and what it covers. Additionally, you'll want to get the warranty in writing should you need to refer to it later.
3. Who, specifically, will be in my house, and can I trust them?
You always have a right to know who will be entering your home. If the person you are speaking with says he or she will not be personally supervising the project, ask who will be, what their role is, and how long they've been with the company.
Also, don't be afraid to ask if the painters are trustworthy people. Unfortunately, there are plenty of cases where a painter has stolen items from a home or caused damage to the house or injury to the homeowner. Subcontractors may not be as skilled as employees, and the contractor you're hiring may not have much experience working with them, making them more of a risk. Additionally, ask if the painters are employees or subcontractors, and what the screening or hiring process is like. If the company conducts background checks, that's a good sign.
4. What kind of training do your employees receive?
If the contractor makes a point to train new hires on safety techniques as well as quality standards on the job, you're probably in good hands.
5. What kind of paint will you use?
The quality of the paint will affect how good the walls look when the project is completed. If your contractor says they plan on using a paint you don't like, feel free to request an alternative.
6. How long have you been in business, and do you have references?
A well-established company will have more experience and likely more references for you to reach out to than a new company that's just getting off the ground. Be sure to ask for references so you can speak to former customers about their experience working with the painter. When speaking to these people, ask about:
7. How much wall prep is included in the price?
For a long-lasting paint job, a clean wall is crucial. Ask how they plan to clean your walls, if at all, before getting started. A high-quality company will thoroughly prepare a wall so that the paint will lay smoothly and last a long time.
8. Are you active in the community and are you involved in any trade organizations?
Community involvement shows the company:
Additionally, being active in trade organizations indicates it is likely up to date on the latest industry best practices and that the company is dedicated to its trade. Also, a Better Bureau Business membership demonstrates the company is stable, confident, and willing to let potential customers check them out before hiring them.
If the company you hire is involved in a trade organization, it shows they take pride in their work, and are dedicated to providing quality service. Some top trade organizations painters might be a part of include:
Painting and Decorating Contractors of America
PDCA connects painters and home decorators through local chapters and councils. The organization also provides webinars, educational videos, and podcasts so members can stay up to date on the latest best practices and news.
American Coatings Association
The ACA doesn't focus on best practices so much as it does on best products. The nonprofit is dedicated to research and development of high-quality paint products as well as sustainability issues.
Finishing Contractors Association
The FCA has members that are painters as well as professionals who focus on flooring, drywall, and other elements to home construction and renovation.
Better Business Bureau
The BBB isn't a painter-specific group but rather an organization that is dedicated to ensuring that consumers can access information about anyone they do business with. The BBB also rates companies based on a Standards of Trust scale, which goes from A+ to F. A company doesn't have to be a member to get a grade, and it's a good idea to check to see how your contractor is scored as well as its membership status.