Home Improvement Guide: Q&A with a home painting expert
What is important to consider before having exterior painting done on a home?
My rule of thumb on exterior paint is the prep is 100% where your focus should be, and the paint is almost inconsequential as long as it’s a decent paint. If they didn’t do the prep work, it’s probably only going to last three to four years before it needs to be repainted. But if someone was to use an inexpensive paint, and do the prep work correctly, it still is going to last 10 to 20 years.
What exterior home colors are in style right now?
The most popular thing to do right now is an all-white house, or an all-white house with black trim accents. That was very traditional years and years ago, but now it’s come back with a vengeance.
What should homeowners consider before hiring a painter or other contractor?
[One way] to protect yourself is to avoid large deposits. If you give a contractor 50% or whatever they ask you for upfront, they have no skin in the game and can jump to the next job. In Tennessee, it’s actually illegal to take more than a 25% deposit.
Also ask for a timeline from your contractor to make them guarantee that they’re not going to jump in and out of your project and that they’re going to stay on your project until it’s done.
Another thing that is highly overlooked is asking for references in your neighborhood. So, if you were to ask [a company] out there for reference, they’re going to look through their list and they’re going to find the best people they can find. But if you ask for a neighborhood reference, that’s harder to fake.
What should homeowners watch out for that can affect paint or exterior appearances?
In Tennessee, obviously there’s a huge carpenter bee problem. If a surface is painted or coated, it’s less attractive to carpenter bees, but if there is someone who has a big problem with them, there is a product we use called Bug Juice, that we can mix in with the primer or paint [before applying], and it will actually repel those carpenter bees.•
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