Posts

Durable Types of Outdoor Paint

metalblog02-resized-600

Oil-based paints have excellent qualities of adherence, which is essential for a durable outdoor paint product.  Their main disadvantage is brittleness that can lead to cracking.

Even with this drawback, oil-based outdoor paint is the desired formulation under two circumstances.  The first has to do with an exterior surface that is heavy with chalking.  The second issue crops up when the new oil-based paint is being applied over four or more layers of old oil-based paint.  In both instances, only the oil-based paint should be used.

Oil-based paints should never be applied directly to unpainted masonry or galvanized iron.  The paint fails rapidly on these surfaces.

Any messes incurred with oil-based paints demand that they be cleaned up with paint thinner and rags.  The brushes and rollers must also be soaked in thinner until completely free of paint in order to be reused.  Unlike water, paint thinner has a very strong odor and the thinner-soaked rags used for cleanup must be properly disposed of as paint thinner is highly flammable.

Repainting an exterior requires much research into the outdoor paint type and color as the project will make asherwinwilliamspaintbrushca significant dent in the budget.  The results must not only be visually appealing, but that visual appeal must last a long time so the process does not have to be repeated in a few years.  Choosing the right type of paint for the job may be the most important consideration of all in terms of durability.

The New England states are fortunate to have a rich mix of historical homes, traditional homes and homes featuring the most modern designs and amenities.  Homeowners there need professional advice before considering repainting their exterior.  Here at United Home Experts, our team can advise you on the nature of their existing surface and how to properly deal with it.

For more detailed information and free estimates, contact the United Home Experts. For our main painting page, click here!

Repainting Outdoors – Reviving Your Home’s Exterior Paint

CutFiberCementWeatherboards

Is It Time to Repaint the Outside of The House?

The outside of a home is one of the first things guests see when they come for a visit, and it might be the only part of the home that people passing on the street might see. As they say, first impressions are everything, so homeowners will most certainly want to make sure that their homes look their best from the outside.

Repainting outdoors can have a very dramatic effect on a home’s curb appeal. Many people live in a house for years without ever refreshing the paint on the outside – either because they don’t think it needs it, or because they don’t know the best way to go about it. The fact is, though, that there are some times when the outside of a house really needs to be repainted.

If the exterior paint is stained, chipped or fading, paint repair is definitely in order. Exterior paint damage can lead 2to further damage to the home’s wood structure, and even internal damage to the home itself. Faulty paint can ultimately lead to a number of more serious issues for homeowners. Anyone who is unsure of whether the outside of their house needs to be repainted or not should consult with the professionals at United Home Experts.

Tips for Repainting the Home’s Exterior

After the decision is made to repaint the exterior of the home, the first thing many homeowners will want to do is pick a color for the exterior. Sherwin-Williams has a wide variety of outdoor paints that come in a number of different colors. All these color choices can be daunting for the inexperienced home remodeler. Again, a meeting with the United Home Experts should help any homeowner clarify their home’s needs.

Before repainting, the surface will need to be brushed free of dirt and debris, smoothed, and primed. In addition to paint colors, Sherwin-Williams has a good selection of exterior paint primers that can be tinted to match whatever shade is chosen for the job. Before priming is done, however, it will be necessary to remove any existing paint on the exterior surface of the house.

The homeowner will also need to make determinations regarding how they want to be apply the paint. Brushes are better for small detail work, while sprayers are obviously better for larger surfaces.  Rollers can also be useful for outdoor painting because they come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

There are many more things that need to be taken into consideration before a repainting effort is made. Somepaintrollerwhite-resized-600 seasons of the year are better than others for painting outdoors. Fall, for example, is a great time for painting outside because the paint needs outside dry time to cure. Rain and humidity should be avoided at all costs. Also, there is the issue of whether or not the homeowner knows how to add aluminum wedges to improve air circulation to prevent moisture problems.

First-time homeowners should not attempt to paint the exterior of their homes by themselves. For more detailed information and free estimates, contact the United Home Experts. For our main painting page,click here!

10 Key Questions to Ask Your Painting Contractor

Vinyl-BlogPhoto17Shakes-resized-600

The way a home looks says a great deal about the person living in that home, and most homeowners wish to make a good impression.  One way to achieve that is by giving a home a new paint job. Even more than that, the curb appeal of a home, that is, the first impression someone has of a home when simply driving by, can affect a home’s value and how quickly a home sells once it is put on the market.

In addition to all of that, a good paint job also helps to protect a home from the potential ravages of weather, protecting and preserving wood and other materials.  For all of these reasons and others, it is important for a homeowner to choose not just a painting contractor who will do an acceptable job of painting a home, but one who will do a masterful job.

One of the keys to finding a good contractor and to getting the best paint job possible is to hire locally, and to ask the right questions.  Find a contractor who is dependent on a local reputation, one who cannot afford to have his or her reputation tarnished by doing a poor job.  A good bet when it comes to finding the best contractor possible if the home is located in the Northeast is to contact United Home Experts; they will provide the homeowner with the answer to each of the following 10 questions and more without hesitation.

So what is the first of the painting contractor questions a homeowner needs to ask a prospective painter?

1.  Do you have a list of customers who would be willing to verify the quality of your work?

Any painting contractor worth his lacquer should be able to supply a list of homes that he or she has recentlypainter painted and allow potential customers to speak with homeowners who have had first-hand experience working with the contractor.  Be slightly skeptical if only a very small number of homeowners are available to speak with, as they could be the contractor’s next door neighbor, sister-in-law or other “ringers.”

2.  Do you cover all of your employees with Workman’s Compensation Insurance?

If a worker is hurt while on a customer’s property, the homeowner could be held financial liable if the contractor does not have sufficient insurance to cover each and every worker.  Ask a contractor if he or she has worker’s compensation; ask to see a copy of both the contractor’s General Liability coverage as well as their Workman’s Compensation policy.

3.  How will my house be prepped for painting?

This is an important question and it is just as important that a contract provides a detailed answer and not offer vague generalities.  Have the contractor put the entire process of preparation in writing and make certain that he or she dates and signs it.  Holes and bad spots in walls must be repaired.  All surfaces to be painted must be scraped and/or sanded to remove as much of the old paint as possible.  Ask how many people will be part of the preparation process.  For homeowners who are unaware of it, preparation is equally as important as the painting process itself.

4.  What grade of paint will be used?

Unless the homeowner requests a “contractor’s grade” of paint be used in order to save a few dollars, the swpaintcanhomeowner should demand that a premium-grade paint is applied.  The reason is that the cheaper grades of paint will often cause a bleed-through after only a short time and simply will not stand up to normal wear and tear nearly as long as a premium grade of paint will. Also, put in writing ahead of time how many coats of paint will be applied.

5.  How many painters will be on the job and how long will the job take?

Occasionally a contractor will imply that several painters will be on the job in order to get the job finished quickly.  However, far fewer people may show up to do the actual painting and the job can then take twice as long as the homeowner had been led to believe.  This is common. There is no guarantee that even a written contract stipulating the number of people to be assigned to the job and the amount of time required to finish the job will solve all of a homeowner’s problems, but such a written guarantee can give the homeowner at least some leverage.  It is not unreasonable for a contractor to add a clause to the effect of “weather permitting” when bidding an outdoor job.

6.  How much will the job cost?

Do not be fooled into believing that a low price is the only, or even the first, consideration when choosing a painting contractor.  A low price does not guarantee a good job.  A contractor may be hesitant to stipulate an exact cost, but the contractor still should provide the homeowner with a good-faith estimate.  There are two primary reasons a contractor may be reluctant to provide a hard and fast bottom-line for the job.  One is that the contractor does not control price increases in the cost of supplies.  It is possible for the price of paint to increase before the job is completed.  A more common reason, however, is that homeowners frequently change their mind about certain aspects of the job halfway through.

The homeowner wants this small thing added or that color changed and is then incensed when the price for completing the job changes.  Homeowners must be aware that if they change the terms of a contract then the price of the job may also change.  Important note:  painting contractors should never ask for more than half the cost of a job up front the remainder should be held by the homeowner until the job has been completed according to the terms of the agreement made between the homeowner and the contractor.

7.  Is the contractor licensed?

Every genuine painting contractor, such as those at United Home Experts, has a license issued by the state that guarantees that they meet certain basic qualifications.  A license also means that the contractor has something to lose should he or she not perform according to the terms of a written contract.  Certain basic standards must be met even if those standards are not stipulated in writing, giving the homeowner considerable leverage when dealing with a fully licensed contractor.

8.  Does the work come with a warranty?

A paint job using premium-grade paint should last somewhere around ten years, depending on the weather conditions in the homeowner’s area.  In any event, a painting contractor should offer a guarantee with the job and the ways in which the guarantee will be honored should be spelled out.  A vague guarantee is meaningless; get the terms in writing.

9.  What will be cleaned up after the job is finished?

It may seem obvious to the homeowner that the contractor will remove any old wood, trim, empty paint buckets, worn out drop cloths or other detritus associated with painting, but unless this is stipulated in writing, the contractor may not remove everything once the job is complete.  Having everything in writing, with your contractor, makes certain that every small detail is going to be taken care of.

10.  Will there be someone to answer phone calls to answer any questions?

It is very common for questions to be quickly answered before a contract is signed, but then people who can answer questions have a way of mysteriously vanishing once a job is started.  Not only should the contractor guarantee that questions will be answered in a timely fashion after the job is started, but the referrals that the contractor provided should also be asked how good the contractor’s communication is once the contract has been signed.

Finding the right painting contractor is not easy, and the decision should not be made on cost alone.  One way to ensure a good experience is to contact a company like United Home Experts, which has years and years of experience and is a solid part of the community with a great deal to lose if they do not do an excellent job in the time they promised and at the price agreed to.

House Painting: Historic, Landmark, & Architectural Preservation Site

The nation’s history is beautifully reflected in the architecture of the buildings in Massachusetts, and particularlyUnited Home Experts & United Painting Co. Inc. in Boston.  The state saw the founding of the first English colony in what was then called the “New World”.  It is the site of the Boston Tea Party, a turning point towards the development of the United States of America.  It is no wonder that in Boston alone there are about 11,000 homes listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

There are many districts that are considered either locally or nationally as historic or landmark.  Legislation has been pressed to preserve the ambiance of these architectural treasures for posterity.  Even homes not listed as historic property are subject to these laws: any exterior work that may be visible to the public, for example, falls under these regulations.  This makes house painting quite a challenge for the uninitiated.  United Home Experts is a company of expert house painters in MA who have the depth of experience to make this process painless and worry-free.0Picture0021BIG1-resized-600

What Paint Is Right For Certain Sites?

No particular paint color is automatically right for a certain historic or landmark area.  Choosing the color is done on a house-by-house basis.  If there were pre-approved colors, homes might look generic and make the place lose its historic ambiance.  The proposal for the paint scheme has to go through the right commission for analysis and approval.  They will determine how appropriate the proposed colors are.

House painters with experience in Massachusetts, such as those employed by United Home Experts, have a good feel for what will most likely be approved.  This helps minimize the time between proposal and approval.  Others with less experience are consigned to making guesses.

What Equipment May Be Needed?

Due to the close proximity of buildings to each other and to public thoroughfares such as sidewalks, typical house-painting equipment is often not enough.  Most homes are taller than what the typical ladder can reach, so it is necessary to use scaffolding, lifts and other safety equipment that goes with working at a certain height above the ground.

What Documentation Should Be Prepared?commercial_1

If the work will impede a public thoroughfare, a permit must be obtained from the city or local government.  This must be done even before the work starts.  Those who are inexperienced often fail to foresee this need.  They then have to stop work to wait for approval.

An application for commission review is needed for all exterior paintwork.  In some cases, an application may also be needed if the property is considered an interior landmark.  The application is reviewed by members of the commission for minor work or by the full commission if it is deemed a major one.  Once the application is approved, a Certificate of Appropriateness is awarded.  This is valid for two years.

Why Hire United Home Experts?

Our experts can determine accurately whether a property falls under regulations that protect historic, landmark and architecturally preserved sites.  The length of time the company has been serving satisfied clients in the area means that they understand both what needs to be done and what is required to do it. A by-product of this is the convivial relationship UHE has cultivated with those who handle the enforcement of regulations in these historic or landmark sites.  This makes the whole process significantly shorter compared to having the project done by someone with lesser expertise and knowledge of the area. Two words sum up the basis for hiring United Home Experts’ house painters in MA : “experience” and “connections”.

A Quality BBB Contractor (Better Business Bureau) in the Boston Area

The United Home Experts (unitedhomeexperts.com) home remodeling and painting contractors in the eastern New England states have been a Boston Better Business Bureau accredited company since 2001.  Eleven years of accreditation by an entity as prestigious as the BBB is indeed a worthy recommendation for the work they do throughout New England.  This article will concentrate on the painting-contracting segment of United Home Experts.

Painted exteriors of homes in the New England states are plagued with mildew, blistering and chalking.  United Home Experts solves each of these problems in the following manner.

Mildew

Mildew is a fungus that feeds and thrives on painted surfaces.  The fungus is found under eaves and soffits and can be colored grey, black, green or brown.  Since there is no direct sunlight under eaves and soffits, the fungus is encouraged to grow.

The BBB contractor, United Home Experts, will clean the infected area thoroughly with a trisodium sulfate solution or a mixture of bleach and water.  They will then prime the area properly prior to repainting.

Blistering

Blistering is bubbling beneath the paint.  The blisters result from vapor rising during the painting process when sunlight heats up the painted surface.

The solution to blistering is to scrape the paint off the blistered areas.  The surface must be allowed to dry thoroughly and then repainted at a time when there is no direct sunlight.

Chalking

Chalking is the powdery substance on a painted surface.  This is caused by sunlight and may be completely washed away during the rainy season.

If the chalking is significant, however, it may be because there was too much thinner in the paint mixture, interior paint was used on the exterior of the home, or the surface was not properly sealed before the paint was put on.

If the rain does not wash away the chalky residue, power washing will successfully get rid of it. The professionals at United Home Experts would have avoided this problem altogether by using the correct paint and painting procedures at the onset of the project.

This BBB contractor offers full home remodeling services, from siding to windows to roofing, along with the painting segment of their business.  They are able to answer the homeowners’ questions sincerely and accurately and offer them a large variety of remodeling components in a range of styles, materials, colors and costs.

Add to this the professional advice and workmanship available and it is not difficult to determine how they arrived at and have maintained the coveted Boston BBB accreditation for over a decade.

Combining And Matching Colors For Your Massachusetts Home

Discussing with the house painters what color combinations to use in various areas of the house is no easy task.  The number of possibilities is quite daunting that many feel at a loss.  They often wonder where they should start, what works, and whether the completed project will be something they will like.

There are three traditional ways of combining and matching color that has remained effective even in this modern era.  These are monochromatic, analogous, and complementary.  For the latter two, a color wheel is needed.  Aside from these, there is a new way to choose paint color combinations by using fabric one likes as inspiration.

Monochromatic Combinationssw-levelbprocolorcollection-resized-600

A monochromatic combination utilizes two or three colors that are different shades of the same hue.  This means that a bold shade of green is combined with a lighter shade of the same color to achieve the monochromatic effect.  This combination gives the room a well-coordinated look and is a favorite among interior designers because of its polished feel.  It is also a nice choice if one is partial to a particular color.

Analogous Combinations

An analogous combination makes use of hues that are found side by side on the color wheel.  These colors are close enough that they create a certain balance between them.  A good example of this is painting one wall gray-green sage and the adjacent wall deep royal blue.  These colors produce a cool ambiance as well as a balanced feel to their pairing.  Analogous combinations that involve colors with red pigments produce a warm atmosphere.

Complementary Combinations

Utilizing hues on opposite sides of the color wheel is how one produces a complementary combination.  Examples of such pairings are yellow and violet, orange and blue, and red and green.  The contrast makes each hue appear more pure as a color.  Instead of clashing, these complementary colors highlight each other and make each other more vibrant.

Fabric-Inspired Combinationssection_landingpage_andersen_windows1-resized-600

A novel way to achieve a more “unique” color combination is to base it on fabrics.  Fabrics that combine more than one hue are already color coordinated.  For instance, upholstery with a rustic color combination can produce the same effect when applied to a room.  What is important when choosing a fabric to use as inspiration is the sentiment it evokes from a person.  This will produce a paint scheme that has a unique and personal connection to those who live in the house.

Conversing With The Experts

Those in the Massachusetts area can contact United Home Experts to talk about their color combination options.  Their expert house painters can explain how well a possible combination will go with the room’s function, the furniture and fabrics that may be found in the room, and the overall impression desired by the client.  They are also excellent at making imagination reality when it comes to paint and its myriad of color combinations.

Interior Painting Problems And How To Fix Them

There are many interior painting problems in the Boston area.  Two of the more common ones are sagging (also called “running”) and peeling.  Here are some of the reasons why they occur and a few simple solutions on how to solve them.

Sagging

Sagging can easily be seen as a drooping or dripping look in the paint. This is often the result of paint being applied too heavily.  In paint-sagging1-resized-600some cases, it may be because the paint was thinned too much before it was applied.  The environment during the application may also be too humid.  The simplest cause is the presence of dirt during the time of application.

Based on the causes mentioned, one can conclude that this problem is basically due to a lack of experience on the part of the painter.  This can often be seen in do-it-yourself paint jobs where the one applying the paint did not do enough research or have enough expertise.  If the paint is still wet, a brush or roller can easily even out the sagging paint.  If the paint has dried, light sanding may be necessary and an additional coat applied.

Peeling

Interior moisture can also cause paint to peel.  This can be seen as cracks or a gentle peeling of the paint from the material beneathSomerville-Levy, marvin & roof 009-resized-600 it.  This problem is most often found in bathrooms, bath tubs, kitchens, and wet basements.  These area are generally humid so large amounts of moisture is present in the air and affects the paint.

Peeling paint can also be caused by poor adhesion.  This means that the outer paint coat peels off from the inner coat.  The inner coat then becomes visible.  This can be the result of using oil-based paint on a surface that is still wet.  Lower quality paint may also be a possible cause of this.

This problem can be prevented by properly ventilating areas where moisture or humidity may build up.  If there are already peeling areas due to moisture, the old paint should first be removed before new paint is applied.  High quality acrylic latex may be a good paint to opt for if the humidity in the area cannot be lowered.  If the humidity problem is not addressed, either through better ventilation or more appropriate paint, the problem will recur.

Expertise

These two common paint problems occur because of a lack of knowledge and expertise on the part of the painter.  Those who do not have the time to learn how to do interior painting properly may turn to experts such United Home Experts for this type of job.  They are a reputable company with extensive experience and many satisfied customers in the Boston area.

Mistakes An Amateur Interior Painters May Commit

Many people choose to be the interior painters of their own houses because they are leery of the expense of hiring a professional to do the job.  Unfortunately, they make unsightly painting errors.  When they can no longer tolerate looking at their mistakes, they get a professional to do a repaint.  Here are some of the errors that amateurs commit.

When Choosing Paint Implements

A common error among do-it-yourself painters is picking just any paintbrush for the job.  The type of paint often dictates the type of paintbrush to use.  For instance, paintbrushes made of a combination of nylon and polyester are best for latex-based types of paint.  The area to be painted will also indicate whether a brush or roller should be used.  Unfortunately, there are those who use brushes instead of rollers for large areas.

Estimating the amount of paint to use is also very important.  Those who lack prior interior painting experience often underestimate the amount needed.  This often leads to paying more or having too much wasted paint in the end.

Paint Slide

When Preparing The Work Area

Amateurs often miss things when preparing the work area.  Some furniture or portions of the floor are left uncovered.  It is surprising the places paint can drop onto.  For example, paint can splash on doorknobs that are not covered, leaving unsightly splotches or stains.  Sometimes paint cans are opened without being placed on top of a drop cloth to protect the floor.

Sufficient taping is often neglected as well.  Amateurs try to paint around the various woodwork, such as the windowsill and the doorframe, instead of taping these to produce straight lines.  They also forget to remove wall plates and light switches or to tape their edges.

Before painting, amateurs skip things like surface preparation.  The wall needs to be dry, free of imperfections, and primed.  When the painter is impatient and tries to finish the job quickly by making shortcuts the end result is an unsatisfactory paint job.

The inexperienced assume that the area to be painted on is already clean and do not go to the trouble of actually cleaning it to be sure.  Small imperfections are not patched prior to sanding and primer application.  At times, the patch is not allowed to dry sufficiently.  Even worse, some decide to paint without applying a primer first, a substance that helps paint adhere to the wall as well as bring out its color.

When Applying Paint

The proper way of using a paintbrush is not followed.  For instance, when applying latex-based paint, the brush should first be wet with water and shaken dry before being dipped in paint.  This step allows the brush to hold more paint.

Sometimes paint is also inadvertently allowed to build up on edge pads on the ceiling or corners.  If paint is not wiped off frequently from these, excess paint may accidentally mark the wrong surface.

Knowing when one should not paint is also essential.  If it is too humid, there is too much moisture in the air.  This moisture will prevent the paint from adhering properly to the surface being painted and result in problems later on, like sagging or blistering.

When Someone Else Does The Job

Knowing the mistakes amateurs commit will help one spot those pretending to be experienced professionals.  The expertise of those who know their trade is evident from the very start.  They make the proper preparations, they carefully execute the paint job, and they care for the objects in the work area.

The interior painters at United Home Experts embody the characteristics mentioned.  The amateurish mistakes indicated above are unheard of in jobs that they take. The many successful jobs and satisfied customers they have, not just in the Boston area but in all the other places they serve, make the company an excellent choice.

Exterior Painting in Rhode Island: 3 Factors To Consider

 

 paintbrush-pallet_94495 exterior of your home in Rhode Island there are several factors you should consider.  Whether    you plan on attempting the paint job yourself or hiring a Rhode Island painting contractor the    three factors described below will be helpful.

  Factor #1:  Strict Rhode Island Lead Removal Laws:  Rhode Island is one of the strictest   states in the U.S. regarding the removal of lead paint.  The government assumes any home build      before 1978 contains lead paint. If a homeowner or painting contractor does not abide by the federal, state, and local regulations they can be subject to serious fines.  Contact your local health department before starting a project to get information on the approved methods of paint removal such as wet sanding, low-heat removal, and HEPA vaccuum power sanding.

Factor #2:  Environmental moisture issues:  Many of Rhode Island homes are within a few miles of the coast.  Moisture laden, salty air can cause wood to deteriorate prematurely and can cause paint to have difficulty adhering properly. Consider purchasing a moisture meter and check several areas of the wood substrate for high levels of moisture. This will help prevent you from a frustrating cycle of peeling due to moisture.

Factor #3: Persistent peeling problems:  Many homeowners and even dishonest or unprofessional house painters think they can solve ongoing moisture problems.  The truth is recurring problems with peeling, blistering, or flaking paint are rarely due to bad paint, lack of primer, or bad prep work (although those can be factors).  A vast majority of peeling problems are due to an interior or exterior moisture problem.  It can often be difficult to determine the source of the problem, but in many cases it’s best to replace some or all of the effected areas.

If you are a looking for a professional and honest house painter in Rhode Island contact United Home Experts to help you with your paint job.

Painting Contractors: New Obstacles They Face

Painting contractors face more challenges now then ever.  If you open the yellow pages from 5 or 10 years ago it’s inevitable that a majority of the painting contractors listed are out of business, have relocated, or changed their name.  These are some of the obstacles facing traditional painting contractors:

New Products:

Siding: More and more homeowners are choosing to install siding on their home to get away from the 5-7 year paint cycle.  Vinyl siding and fiber cement siding are the 2 most commonly used products today.

“Lifetime Paints”:  Whether or not these products are too good to be true, which most experts suggest they are, is a discussion for another article.  However they are still tapping into the share of customers that used to use traditional painting contractors.  These “lifetime coating” companies rely heavily on the fact that the average homeowner sells and moves in less than 10 years.

Stricter Laws:

VOC Laws:  Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) are the additives that produce off-gases released from paint products.  They can be harmful to our heath and the environment.  Paint manufacturers are consistently changing the formulation of their products to abide by the more stringent state and federal regulations.

Lead Paint Removal:

Over 30 years after paint companies stopped using lead as an ingredient in paint, painting contractors still have to be careful.  The state and town governments have very strict laws about how painters can and cannot remove lead paint.  Knowing these laws and abiding by them is difficult for painting contractors.

These are just a couple of the obstacles facing the traditional painting contractor today.  The important thing is that they be ready to adapt to a constantly changing industry.

We’re a local Massachusetts house painter