How do you determine if the Interior of your Home needs to be painted? Look for the following things as a signal that it might be time to invest in a fresh coat of paint:
- Are you just sick of looking at the same colors year in and year out or is the whole House just painted a basic off white and you are ready to add some warmth or Character to the your Home? Do you have a New Baby Room to Paint or Children’s Rooms to Up-date?
- Are the Walls, Ceilings or Trim just Dirty and Dingy looking? We Blue Tape and Caulk to all Trim and Ceilings to ensure nice clean, professional lines!
- Are you ready to remove Wallpaper and re-paint or add Faux to this particular area? We have Award Winning Faux Artists to accommodate most any need you may have and we are experts at removing wallpaper.
- Do you have several drywall repairs to walls, corners or to Ceilings including cracks to be attended to or do you have un-slightly water stains? Our Teams can handle most any drywall re-pair.
- Have you added new furniture or plan to and need to change the existing color of your walls? Stellar Designers are always available to help!
- Do you want to remove a Popcorn Ceiling and Up-date your home and add value at the same time? We can remove, re-pair, texture, prime and paint these ceilings for you!
- Has your existing Base, Stringers, casings or Doors yellowed and taken on a dingy, antiquated look? Especially very common with Oil Base Paints as they will yellow in the absence of Light. Is the trim cracking and pulling away form the wall, especially Stringers to Stairwells? We always re-caulk trim to ensure a nice finished look!
Residential, Commercial, HOA, Tennant Finish and Multi-Family Re-paint Experts!
Stellar also excels in Residential Remodeling for Kitchen, Bath, Interior or Exterior Trim Carpentry and Basement Finish in the Denver metro area. Please contact our Re-modeling Division for any of your Re-modeling needs. 720-981-STAR(7827)
If you are looking for a first class company to provide a first class result for a fair price, please call us for a free consultation and estimate at 720-981-STAR(7827)
Ask about our Free Color Consult Program!
Many People will ask “How long will this Paint Job Last?” There are several components to answering that Question:
- The Quality of Prep – This ultimately comes down to the People performing this segment of the project. Proper Cleaning of a Surface, Scraping, Sanding, Caulking and thorough Priming are Critical. Properly attending to and applying special primers to Horizontal Surfaces, especially to Wood Window Sills, is essential.
- The Quality of the Actual Prep Products themselves– Quality Elastomeric Caulks vs. Cheap Acrylic Caulks that will split within a year or two because they will not flex with great movements of Temperature. “Oil Base” Primers vs. Cheap and Water Clean up Acrylic Primers that will not penetrate properly and seal off adequately a bare wood surface or a Delaminated Siding Board.
- The Quality of the Paint– Lower Grade Paints, while a lower cost in the Front Side, can cost you more down the Road even in as little as 2 or 3 years. Paint products with Higher Solids and Resin Contents (the Hard Shell that Cures to the Surface of Paint) vs. Liquid and Pigments (Color or Tint) are just simply designed to weather better and last longer.
- Non-Dilution of Paint- Paint does not need to be diluted to be applied thru an Airless or Applied by Hand. Doing so is often done in order to lessen the actual amount of paint that will need to be purchased for a Project. This unfortunately is a pretty common practice.
- Exposure to Weather– The West and South Side of a Building will often take the worst beating from Sun, Wind and Rain and therefore will start to have issues sooner than other portions of a building. However, the North Side of a Building can also experience problems from an inordinate accumulation of moisture that will cause premature Swelling to Siding Boards and mildew. By the Way, Decks and Fences are especially vulnerable to Weather.
- Exposure to Altitude– Very Simply, the Higher Elevation a Structure is the more often it will have to be maintained.
- Finding and Removing all Compromised, Severely Cracked and Dry Rotted Trim and Siding Boards.– Dry Rot, as it is a fungus, will continue to grow and spread thru the years. It should not just be spackled or caulked over.
- The pre-existing Condition of the Building or House– The longer a Building or House sits after it is ready for maintenance and this can often be years, the shorter the expected Life of a Re-paint will be. If Siding Boards are left to swell for years, Trim Boards to crack, Caulk Lines to be pulled away, Paint to be peeled away to bare wood, Dry Rot ignored and Hairline Cracks to Stucco are left un-attended to, the ultimate long-term Life of the project will be affected in the downward direction.
These are all things that should be considered when reviewing the cost and expectations of any Denver Painting Project. It is important to note that no matter what the condition a building is in, good prep, good paint and great people will make all the difference. Please call Stellar Painting & Remodeling for additional info. or a free consultation and estimate at 720-981-STAR(7827).
Unlike buying an Automobile or an Electronic item where you would buy the same product at the lowest price, painting is a service where no two companies are likely to provide the same level of quality, type of people, protection to your home or a process that will get you to a successful and happy end result consistently. Painting is not just Painting! Careful precision to create clean lines to transition point s, appropriate protection with plastic, paper and tape is essential, difficult, careful and safe ladder work and proper on-site management is what should be expected and delivered. The Painted or Stained Ceilings, Walls and Trim in your home is what gives it the final finished look and the good, great, indifferent or poor impression to others or even in how you feel about it yourself. When reviewing quotes, are you focusing on a Bid and a Contractor that you most believe is likely to provide the right and fair price vs. a lower or even a higher price?
How detailed is the estimate? Are Apples really being compared to Apples? Have you verified both Liability and Workers Comp. Insurance? Buyers beware if a Painting Contractor cannot substantiate how he or she ascertained a number on a Bid. The Service Industry is a variable and changing product. Who has a proven and recent track record of consistent performance thru the years? Has the company earned any service awards of any kind? What has a company done to be a student of the Industry, i.e. PDCA (Painter Decorator Contractor or America) membership? Doing a little homework and not treating a service, no matter what the Industry, as a commodity will more likely result in a happier and more fulfilling experience.
- THE FINAL FINISHED LOOK. Why spend tens of thousands purchasing or building a home only to not budget in what will give your home that final finished look. How do want those pricy Wooden Windows, Crown or Trim to appear when all is said and done. It takes skill to prep and paint these types of surfaces. Will there be Hi-hold out primer applied to slick wall or skip trowel texture to prevent flashing and better enable Touch Up? Will these types of surfaces be Rolled or sprayed and back rolled to provide appropriate finish & touch up? In most cases, Painting is not just painting!
- PEACE OF MIND & WARRANTY. Is your Painting Contractor Registered with the State and does he or she have a Certificate of Good Standing on file. (A State Law as of Oct. 2007). Does your Painting Contractor have a full line of Workers Comp. and Liability Insurance. Have you verified or called the agent to ensure it is an active policy. Does the Contractor have his people sign waivers of Worker’s Comp behind the scenes to keep rates down and not really cover your project? Inadequate or Compromised Insurance will affect the Price of a Bid! Check to make sure your Warranty is detailed. Is the Warranty Transferable? Be very leery of Warranties well above the Industry Avg. Exteriors- 3-5 yrs. Interior- 1-2 yrs.
- ON SITE AND FIELD SUPERVISION. Is your Contractor going to provide someone to ensure onsite quality meets everybody’s expectations. Owner Operators are not always there to watch everything that goes on. Remember they have to run and market their business along with being on-site doing the work. It can often be very difficult and distracting and can ultimately affect quality.
- EXPERIENCE & QUALITY OF PEOPLE. How effectively can the chosen or considered Contractor perform the tasks at hand. Allot of Finishes require certain level of expertise to produce a positive end result. i.e. wooden windows, stain & finish of trim, hand rail systems. Will the Right Products be specified for a particular substrate? Bottom line, does it feel right technically? What is the Tenure of the Crew that will be on your Job?
- CREDENTIALS. Can the Contractor your considering show you a proven Track Record? Does he have Job Surveys that indicate consistently how his or her customer base feels about their work in years gone by and most importantly within the last 6 months. You want to make sure they are still doing good work. Have they been recognized at all for their track record?
- PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS. Is the Contractor you are considering a member of some Industry related organization such as the PDCA (Painter Decorator Contractor of America) and is his or her Work backed up by some Consumer advocated organization such as the BBB. Generally a quality contractor who is a student of their Industry will provide you with a better and happier service and end result. What is their track record with the BBB, Angie’s List or Tom Martino?
- ATTENTION TO DETAIL. Has your considered Contractor provided you with a detailed estimate profiling for you the type of prep and finishes that will be used. Have they indicated clearly how flooring, cabinets, light fixtures, ceiling fans and even furniture will be protected. The same goes for protecting outside surfaces such as Brick, Stone, Stucco, Decks, Windows, Roof Lines and Windows. The attention to detail that one provides to you with the proposal will be some indication as to the attention to detail you will receive with the Job.
- THE RIGHT PRODUCTS. Are the products being quoted you the right products and are they of a quality consistent with your expectations of finish and life. A Lower Grade Paint, especially if diluted can significantly shorten mid-term and long term life and finish. Did you know most oil base paints yellow in the absence of light or that some fast dry oil products or lacquers applied to windows especially will fracture and crack in the short term. Did you know that Exterior Acrylic Primers do not have good penetration to raw wood or that most acrylic caulks will crack outside within a year? Wrong or Low Quality products can affect the price of a bid!
- A FAIR PRICE. If you focus on a low number instead of the right number you may be setting yourself up for a bad experience. Does your considered contractor use established methods, time standards or sq. ft. pricing to ascertain your proposal. If not, it is very easy to underestimate, pay brokered painters what ever wage to complete a job or have an under skilled estimator just make a mistake. Are you comfortable that someone you are considering is that wrong with their estimate when comparing a high bid to a low bid? In other wards can the Lower priced Contractor realistically complete the task in that much less time? Under paid painters or rushed painters usually produce questionable or un-happy end results. In most cases, The Fair Price is always the Right Price.
- A FAIR AMOUNT OF TIME. Has your considered Contractor given you some estimate as to how long the job will take. Allot of Owner Operator Businesses may provide a lower estimate but it is very common for them to be on your job longer as they will often need to work more than one job at a time or just have a tendency to move thru the job slower. Keep this in mind if you have tight deadlines. How will a Contractor ramp up, finish the Job and do your Touch –Ups.
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STELLAR JOB FROM START TO FINISH!
Any Painting Contractor that is member of the PDCA is one that had put his foot forward to continued education and advocacy of his own Industry. There are few better ways to improve your business model, reputation within a market and understanding of a customer base then to me member of group of people who truly care about their Industry and strive to no other end but to make it a superior end product for the consumer base, residential or commercial.
Why should a business or a Homeowner hire a PDCA contractor? Let’s review a few reasons:
- Hiring someone who keeps up with the most current standards of the Industry and continues to educate themselves and their people in that regard can only mean you are dealing with a more quality minded and better run Company. Isn’t that what you want out of the gate anyways when receiving bids?
- Contractors who are current on the newest and best products available for YOUR PROJECT are going to provide you with a better specification and a more superior end result.
- Contractors who are affiliated with a group of their peers have indicated a genuine interest for the overall betterment of their Industry as a whole. These Painters are going to be a far superior pool of talent to evaluate for your project vs. those who are not.
- Safety– Painters who are members of the PDCA have insurance group rates available, ongoing safety training, Safety Committees and can even attend CPR Certification classes. From this group a consumer will more likely be protected from on-site injury than that of any other for sure. PDCA Contractors are just flat going to be safer to be in your home or business and are more likely to have proper Insurance in place from the beginning.
- Professionalism and attention to detail– A large part of the education process of being a Painter member of the PDCA is learning how to provide detailed and professional estimates so as that there is no misunderstandings between parties when a contract is enacted.
- More Accurate Estimates– PDCA has a group of Estimating Time Standards available to all Painters who are members of the PDCA & ongoing seminars, speakers and classes throughout the yr. to assist in providing you with a more accurate estimate. Better accuracy means you have happy Painters on the job performing your work towards realistic time goals established and set by these very important Standards. This ongoing benefit is invaluable to even long standing members as a great resource to refer to for unique or difficult applications, even if they have their own software or estimating techniques.
- You will likely be dealing with a more Sustainable Business– By Dealing with a PDCA Contractor you will likely be eliminating your “fly by night” sort of Companies. You want to deal with Companies that are going to be around and are supporting business models that will show support to their Client Bases and Warranties for years to come.
When looking for Painters amongst hundreds in a City there has to be some way to differentiate who to ask to your home or business. Are they a member of the BBB? What is their Service Record? What are their references? How have they proven their Track record in some way? Are they registered with the Secretary of State or have a License where required by state law? And lastly, IS YOUR PAINTER A MEMBER OF THE PDCA? Education, Quality and Trust. Painters who Paint right for the right reasons! Contact your local PDCA Chapter website for a selection of Quality Contractors to chose from in your area.
Here at Stellar Painting & Remodeling we follow the rules and ensure that everyone involve in a project
know its role and responsibilities, whether it is an employee or a customer. In this blog post, I share with our trusted customers factors that are involve in the process of finding the right painting contractor to protect their greatest investment – their home!
1. The Final Finished Look – The type of products used, their proper application and the ability for the Contractor to provide a quality-finished product will most often impact your ultimate happiness. We use Sherwin Williams and are proud to do so! Before you sign on the dotted line, check with the paint manufacturer to see what their warranty is. You may be surprise to hear that painting contractors sometime over sell warranty.
2. Peace of Mind and Warranty – Is your Painting Contractor Registered with the State and does he or she have a Certificate of Good Standing on file. (A State Law as of Oct. 2007). Does your Painting Contractor
have a full line of Workers Compensation and Liability Insurance with adequate limits? At Stellar Painting & Remodeling we do and make sure that all of our employees and work site are cover.
3. On Site Field Supervision – Be sure that your Contractor will have a qualified person working with you to ensure quality standards are meeting everyone’s expectations. Is the site cleaned up after a day’s work? Share your expectation right from the start.
4. Experience and Quality of People – Verify that your Contractor has the experience and the expertise to produce the end result you desire.
5. Credentials – Look beyond Contractor supplied references; no one is going to give you a reference list that isn’t positive. Can the contractor show customer surveys or letters that prove a track record?
6. Professional Affiliations – Make sure the Contractor you choose belongs to Professional organizations such as the PDCA (Painter Decorator Contractors of America) or the BBB, etc.
7. Attention to Detail – It starts with an accurate and complete proposal and scope of work to be done. The attention to detail that one provides to you with the proposal will be some indication as to the attention to detail you will receive with the Job.
8. The Right Products – Make sure that the Products quoted are consistent with the expectations you have for the finishes and the life of the product.
9. A Fair Price – If you focus on a low number instead of the right number you may be setting yourself up for a bad experience. Make sure your Contractor uses established methods, time standards or sq. ft. pricing to calculate your proposal.
10. A Fair Amount of Time – Be sure your Contractor gives you an estimate as to how long the job will take.
Volatile organic compounds are gases releases as material age and degrade over time. They are found in paint, caulk, cleaning supplies, carpet, wood and even items from the grocery store. Most importantly, VOC can be damaging to your health. It’s impossible to eliminate them completely from your daily life, but you can minimize their amount. At Stellar Painting & Remodeling we take precautions to ensure your family is safe and we minimize the amount of VOC your family comes in contact with. This is one way we differentiate ourselves from the competition!
VOCs can be serious, as they can cause allergic reactions such as asthma, headaches, upper respiratory infections and even cancer in acute cases.
At Stellar Painting & Remodeling we highly recommend reading labels if you will be the one painting. You can now find and purchase low-VOC products in most big box remodeling stores.
Now a day, water-based polyurethane that emits fewer gases than oil-based products gives you the same end result and is so much more pleasurable to be around! Anytime, you have the choice to pick between a low-VOC stain, sealant or varnish, why not pick the healthier choice?
One last tip to minimize VOC in your house and that we like to promote here at Stellar is to unroll very tightly rolled wallpaper outdoors as it allows gases to dissipate before hanging them inside. You see, the rolls trap VOCs and by letting them ‘breath’ outside we are not exposing your family to the gases.
When considering painting your house, several options are presented to you. You may have to make a decision between Spray Painting your house versus a Spay/Hand Paint Application Combo. At Stellar Painting & Remodeling our goal is to educate our clients. So today, with more that 20 years of painting experience – here’s my humble opinion:
1. What is the real goal of applying paint to any surface, no matter what the technique?
Answer- The even and consistent application of mil’s/thickness of the coating to especially large surface areas such as Lap Siding to the Perimeter of your Home. This is especially important to the bottom edge or lip of your siding as the mission here is to seal the porosity and prevent any further moisture from wicking up into the board which causes the swelling, delaminating and warping you will often see.
2. What affects the ability to apply paint evenly?
Answer- It is very difficult to apply Paint evenly by hand across a large surface area for the following reasons:
- The back and forth action of going to the paint bucket to re-load the brush or roller. It would be impossible to load the brush or roller the same each time.
- Different amounts of Hand Pressure when applying the paint. This would just be a natural occurrence, as it would take a perfect robotic stroke to maintain the same hand pressure.
- Basic Human Fatigue- Again, this would also contribute to the difficulty in applying paint at a consistent pace, pressure or thickness.
- Up and down / Side-to-Side Ladder Work and all the movement required here would also make even distribution of a coating by hand very difficult.
- Airless Application-If the Applicator is consistently more than 1 ft. from the surface making for inefficiency.
- If the wrong size tip is used as the tip dictates the volume and a tip that is too big can contribute to paint waste and unnecessary over-spray.
- A Poor Power Source can cause inconsistent performance.
- Lack of experience with the equipment can create some inconsistent results.
Stellar Painting & Remodeling conclusion- It takes skill to use either technique. However, properly used, an airless compressor that puts out up to 1 GPM at 3000 PSI can more evenly and consistently distribute the paint across a large surface area and most importantly to the bottom edge of the lap board.
This technology is a successful multi-million dollar industry that was developed to provide a more efficient and productive way to apply coatings versus the hand painting technique used by contractors for so many years. We are after all in the 21st century. Why not use the technology available today to produce a beautiful end result.
3. What are the best surfaces to hand paint?
Answer- Trim, gutters, down spouts, roof caps and to some degree some doors and shutters.
These are smaller surface areas that paint can be more evenly distributed across with an a more even application of thickness versus across a 30 ft. x 30 ft. side of your home.
By the way, for the best results most all-metal doors should be sprayed and not hand painted period.
4. What about spraying and back-rolling? Are they an Effective Combination?
Answer- These two techniques combined, are often practiced by novice contractors when painting siding. One important thing to consider when painting siding is that it is very difficult to roll as the paint has a tendency to drip and run as the roller is pushed across a very uneven and lapped surface. Altogether, this combination isn’t the one you want practiced on your home. Here’s why; imagine your contractor spraying a beautiful coat of paint on your siding while another painter is standing right behind him ‘back-rolling’. Essentially, removing thickness of paint that the first painter just applied or ultimately removing a layer of protection on your house!
5. Won’t more time and care be taken when my House is Hand Painted?
Answer- Not necessarily, No question it takes longer to apply paint the old fashioned way. However, many times this added having multiple painters on a home compensates time. Often 6-8 men at a time. This can make for inconsistent results as the job becomes difficult to manage.
6. Should Hand Painting a House Cost More?
Answer- Sure, it just takes longer to do it. However, we believe it is a niche in the market being tapped in order to charge more and just to be different.
Be careful, as no matter how paint is applied anybody can make a paint job look great for a couple of years or just after completion. The overall even application of paint will dictate the mid-term and long-term life. Other factors for life of a re-paint- Quality of prep, Quality of Paint, Non-dilution of Paint, Pre-existing condition of House, Exposure of House or Portions of House to Altitude and UV. A House in good condition when painted will last longer no matter how the paint is applied.
Make sure information being passed along as fact in regards to hand painting has some legitimate source to back it up. I.e. Hand application applies paint with more pressure or pushes the paint into the surface more versus 3000 psi and up to 1 gpm. Pretty hard to believe!
How do you feel when you want to call your painting contractor with a concern or a problem? Do you assume he does not care to listen or that he will not attend to your problem? Will he not return your call or e-mail?
A good thing to keep in mind and to level the playing field is that you, the client, picked the contractor in the first place. In some way, you trusted him and thought he would be a good fit for you. This is where choosing a contractor based strictly on price may come to pass as a bad decision. But let’s not dwell on the obvious and for the purpose of this article our contractors today will have good intent and best practices!
Number One: Give your contractor a chance to attend to your needs and concerns in a good way. Don’t assume the worse! Even though you may be frustrated, be patient and kind. Express yourself in such a way that would lend the person on the other end a real opportunity to make something right. Good contractors and their support staff are very driven to please their clients and most will do whatever it takes to do so. Give them that chance before anger or frustration takes hold. There should never be good cause to yell or create high levels of stress.
Number Two: Address your questions/concerns with the on-site crew leader. Often time, being proactive and addressing questions as soon as they arise is the best way to eliminate miss-communication and improve service level.
Number Three: Are you being reasonable with your demand? For example, some surface cannot be made to look perfect especially if they were compromised to start with. At Stellar Painting & Remodeling we take pride in educating our clients, we let them know if they need to replace something rotten for example. If something is not being done to your liking, express it kindly and I can assure you that really good contractors will take care of your concern.
Number Four: Make sure to review your proposal to ensure that you understand what was agreed upon to begin with. What is agreed between you and your contractor in the proposal is key. A successful project completion is a two way street, both client and contractor are needed. The contractor needs his client to take the time to conduct his final walk tru. Make your appointment as soon as possible because your crew leader is anxious to take care of any touch-ups or concerns on the spot. Take advantage of the fact that everything is already on-site; people, tools, supplies!
Contractors enjoy immediate gratification and need their projects to be completed as soon as possible. It is a real inconvenience to have them fester and been addressed days or weeks later. If you are happy, reward your contractor by paying him promptly or as agreed upon. Remember, quality and hard working painting contractors live and die to make their clients happy. Lend them that opportunity and you will always reap the benefits.
Testimonial: My house looks great! The guys were very thorough and tidy. –Smith