Painters insurance is expensive. It is actually much more expensive then many other trades. The justification I have been given by several different insurance companies is “because most painters work at tall heights”. This may be true because one of the few trades with higher work comp premiums then painters is roofers.
It may be because of the expense that so many painters either don’t have coverage or they say they do when in fact they don’t. Many states mandate that contractors have adequate coverage. It varies from state to state but there is a flourishing market in fake insurance certificates. So how do you as a consumer protect yourself from the fakers?
It’s easy! I just mentioned insurance certificates. That is a document stating basic business information like business name and address and most importantly it will state the type and amounts of coverage the business has and when it expires. The fakery comes into play when a business has a forged copy of a insurance certificate that they show to the customer, should they ask. This is a huge gamble by the business i.e. painter and most customers don’t ask about insurance coverage and when they do they just drop it when they are told “we are fully insured”.
I had a customer one time that did ask about what insurance coverage we had. He went on further to ask about the name of the insurance company and after a few more questions I stopped him and pointed out how his line of questioning was unusual coming from a customer. Well he was an insurance agent and he went on to tell me a horror story about a contractor flashing a fake insurance certificate that happened to have a big accident while working on his home. It wasn’t a painter it was a roofer.
To protect yourself all you need to do is request an insurance certificate. An authentic certificate is issued directly from the insurance company to you. You can have it mailed, emailed, faxed, etc. By eliminating the middleman (contractor) you eliminate the fakery. An extra layer of protection is to call the insurance company and verify the coverage. This is a good idea if the email comes from firstname.lastname@example.org, etc.
So what you are looking for is liability and workers compensation coverage. The liability coverage covers damage to your home or belongings and the workers compensation takes care of medical coverage for employees on the job should they become injured. Most states exclude business owners from carrying workers compensation coverage on themselves but by law they must have it on employees. A one man show may have liability coverage but no workers compensation coverage. That’s legal. Should that person get hurt while working on your property there is no safety net to cover him or you. If there are employees the workers compensation is mandated. Don’t buy the line that the employees are “sub contractors” and excluded. When there is a problem all that sub contractor nonsense goes out the window.
Accidents related to paint contracting work are rare but they do happen. No one is immune to accidents. The best course of action is to make sure the coverage is there before any potential problems occur.
Adding value to your home is easy with these cost effective suggestions.
Update colors in your kitchen, the entryway, and bathrooms.
Refinish or paint kitchen cabinets and bathroom vanities.
Waterproof basement walls.
Install crown molding, new door and window trim and stain or paint.
Update kitchen countertops with 2 component refinishing systems.
Seal and finish garage floors with an epoxy coating.
Put a bold accent color on the front door.
Repaint and update the exterior.
Paint is one of the most cost effective ways to quickly and inexpensively change and improve the appearance of your home and in the process you are adding value. We often help home owners achieve their goals of getting their home ready for sale or improve its appearance.
We suggest making a budget first and consider the kitchen and bathrooms as part of your plan. Kitchens and bathrooms have the biggest impact on home sales and even if your are not selling updating these areas is always a good idea. The kitchen is often the heart of the home and money spent there is always a good investment.
Office painting is not any harder then residential painting however the challenge is usually in the scheduling. Most businesses want their facilities painted at a time that will impact their customers or employees the least. At The Painting Company we are accustomed to scheduling in the second and third shift. We have a Hair Salon in Ralston Nebraska scheduled this week for the second shift (after 5:00 pm) and we have a restaurant in Omaha Nebraska scheduled for the third shift (after 12:00 am) next week.
We often have commercial and industrial facilities that want to schedule over holidays and plant down time. The biggest challenge with this is when we have two or more businesses that want to schedule work over the same holiday like thanksgiving. When a large Commercial operation has scheduled maintenance or holiday down time that is often the best time for us and least expensive time for the customer to get painting done. It costs a lot of money to stop a production line, etc.
We just recently did some work in Omaha for Hiland dairy and that was scheduled for recurring Sundays.
It’s crucial for businesses to maintain a clean professional appearance for their customers. This holds true whether it is a Doctors office or a Dairy plant.
In addition to proper scheduling, knowing what coatings are best for the job is important for speed and efficiency. No one wants to deal with rescheduling work because of failed products.
We pride ourselves in maintaining a clean and neat work environment for our customers. We work with your schedule and get the job done on time and on budget. Communication is critical when fast and efficient work is needed. We can be reached by text, phone and email on and off the job-site and we require the same ease of communication from our suppliers.
Paint Contractor Secret Hacks. We all have them but few choose to share them. Many years ago I went to Reno Nevada to attend a painters convention. This was a long time ago. I believe it was in the early nineties, anyhow one of the things I was excited about was there was an “Old Timer” that was going to share the painting secrets he accumulated over many many years. This particular seminar was cancelled and I was bummed. We all look for easier or secret ways of doing things better and faster.
I don’t have lots and lots of Paint Contractor Secret Hacks but I do have some and I am willing to share a few.
Blocking- Paint blocking is an adhesion problem created when two painted surfaces are against each other. They stick together and can cause an issue when separated. Lot’s of people are familiar with the problem but few know there is a name for it (Blocking). A secret trick to dealing with this is to use a wax. I use Briwax. I apply a thin coat to cabinet doors, windows, doors, etc. where one painted surface touches another.
Tint Primer- This is a great tip and best of all it’s free. The tip is free of course but what I mean is having your primer tinted is free. One additional bit of advice is to have it tinted 100%. Many places familiar with tinting primer may give you a line about tinting 50% etc. Don’t do it. Tinting your primer helps with hide and gives a deeper tone to the finished surface. Always do two finish coats. The tinted primer is not meant to substitute for one of the finish coats.
Extenders– To avoid brush and lap marks I recommend using them. Lots of painters just use water but I find it dilutes the color a bit. I like Floetrol. It works well and it doesn’t dilute the color.
Tape- I’m very picky about tape. Few things are as bad as having to deal with the aftermath of using cheap tape. Only use the really good stuff and knife it down. Once the tape is applied use a putty knife or 5-in-1 to press it down along the baseboard for example. A great tape is PG 29.
Covers- Again don’t scrimp on roller covers. Unless you plan to throw away the cover, use a sheepskin or lambskin. They are pricey but will last a long time if washed out properly and allowed to dry. Don’t leave them on the roller frame and wrap them up, wash them!
Toss The Tray- The only time I may use a paint tray is if I am doing faux work and need the flat surface to work the brush, feather, sponge, etc. with the product. Use a 5 gallon bucket and grid or speed bucket. If you choose to go with the speed bucket (bravo!!) line it with plastic first. Lay a thicker mil plastic into the bucket, pour in your paint and then run tape around the top of the speed bucket to keep the plastic in place. Trim as necessary.
Wet Edge- If you are painting with something that has some sheen to it like a semi-gloss, keep a wet edge. Instead of cutting out the entire room and then going back to roll. Do a wall at a time and roll into the cut while wet and roll tight or close to the cut. I like to also finish the roll in the same direction, down.
Sand First- It is amazing to me how many painters don’t sand before painting. It cleans up the surface and removes old roller lint, imperfections, etc. Whether you are doing trim or walls, sand it. You don’t have to go crazy just run a pole sander over the wall for example before it gets coated.
Ridge The Lid- Most textured ceilings have the texture go right to the edge of the wall. I like to run a 5-in-1 in that V where the ceiling and wall meet. It knocks off texture and allows for a clean/neat wall cut.
Box Paint- When working with more then one gallon, box or mix all of your paint together to make for a uniform coating. Sometimes one gallon can be slightly off and it shows when you start working out of that can.
Right Tools- Use the right tools for the job. Even the most experienced painter would struggle if trying to work with a crappy brush from Walmart. The tools are an investment in a quality job and many of them will serve you well for a long time if taken care of. Use quality brushes, frames, etc. Go to a paint store and ask them what the pro’s use.
We tend to have temperature extremes in the midwest. Specifically Omaha. There are times better suited to others for exterior painting around here. Most paints are made to be applied when the temperature of the substrate is 50 degrees and above as the coating dries. This is not necessarily a strict limitation, but a general guideline.The best time to paint in the midwest is spring and early fall.
Most paint manufactures make a low-temp paint product that can be applied down to 34 degrees. Great for the paint, not so much for the painter. The low-temp line of paint was actually a separate product line for years. Most manufactures have since made most of their exterior paints also “low-temp”. The two biggest weather related problems facing painters in the Omaha Area are flash drying and painting within the dew point.
Normally we think the faster a paint dries the better but paint cures best when it dries at a moderate rate. Faster is not better. Moderate temperatures occur in the spring and early fall. Flash drying occurs when paint is applied to a hot surface and “flashes” off. Most commonly painting the side of a house in direct sun light especially darker colors.
The biggest danger when painting in the spring and fall is working within the dew point. The dew point is the temperature at which the air can no longer hold water vapour and a percentage of it starts to form water droplets (condensation).
A safe rule of thumb is to paint when the temperature is at least five degrees above the dew point and plan your work so the paint has time to cure prior to the temperature dropping within the dew point.
Color consistency can be a challenge sometimes but here are some tips to keep everything looking right!
The problem most people run into is a variation in the color however there are times when there is a variation in the sheen of the coating that causes a problem. This happens but I will tell you how to avoid this.
1. One of the most important things to do when you are buying your paint is to buy it at the same location. Say for example you are buying your paint at Home Depot. There is probably several stores in your area and the formula is on the can but…the machines that tint the paint are calibrated and one machine can be calibrated slightly differently so you can end up with a can of paint with the same formula on the can but it is off. This tip holds true regardless of where you buy your paint.
2. This may sound obvious but “buy the same stuff”. Sometimes there may not be enough of a specific line of paint so people buy the same brand and sheen but it is a different grade of product. For example a flat latex Manor Hall is different then a flat latex Speedhide both from Pittsburg Paint.
3. Make certain the base is the same. Sometimes stores run out of a specific base and substitute a different base or it is an innocent mistake that they grab the wrong stuff.
4. Buy enough for the job plus a little extra. Quite often people go back a year later to buy some more paint for touch up and the store no longer carries that specific line anymore. They will most likely be able to match the color but this is when there is usually a problem with matching the sheen.
5. After you have purchased all the paint for the job; “box” all the paint together. What this means is to mix all the various gallons of paint together. If you have single gallons pour them into five gallon buckets and pour them back and forth to mix them together. If you have five gallon buckets you can get a couple extra fives and pour 1/2 of a five into the empty ones and pour them back and forth to mix them up. You can also use a drill and mixing paddle if you like.
If you follow these 5 guidelines you should be fine. Occasionally there are coatings that are sensitive to how they are applied. For example Sherwin Williams had a product called Everclean. It was actually a horrible product. It was suppose to be super washable, etc. but one of the things that became readily noticeable was when a wall was rolled the up roll looked different then the down roll. This was because of how the paint was laying down. The solution was to make sure all rolling ended with the same stroke, usually down.
There are some paints, much better then Everclean, that are sensitive to the roll so a good technique is to always finish with a roll down.
Kintsugi as the Japanese call it or “golden joinery”. It is believed to have started in the 15th century. It’s basically highlighting breaks or damage obtained through time with gold. A shogun sent a broken ceramic bowl out to be fixed and was horrified when it returned with ugly metal staples where the break was.
His name was Ashikaga Yoshimasa and he set out to find a better way. So began the journey to find a way to repair pottery and make a broken piece as good as new. By filling in the breaks with gold they turned a broken piece into a work of art and highlighted it’s history at the same time.
The technique incorporates gold, silver and even platinum into the repair. The idea of illuminating the damage is an interesting philosophy.
I wonder what a homeowner would say to filling in cracks in their wall with some gold?
Paint value is easy to determine. Many customers ask me if the more expensive paints are worth the money. I previously talked about how to determine the quality of paint back in May of this year. Quality paints costs more because they have more of the ingredients that make for good coatings plus the quality standards of those ingredients are much higher.
For example, Fine Paints of Europeare ultra high quality paints typically running in the $100.00 a gallon range. The solids are so high and they pack so much pigment into a gallon that a gallon feels like picking up a concrete block.
Is it worth it? It depends on the application. When you hire a paint contractor, the biggest expense is labor. The labor is generally the same using $20 a gallon paint versus a $50 a gallon product. There are some exceptions but for the most part the labor is the same. For example a much more expensive paint may allow for good coverage with one coat instead of having to use two so there would be a savings in labor and in theory material. At The Painting Company we always do a minimum of two coats however. Trust me, It’s better that way.
The biggest argument FOR spending more is durability. Durability gets tested the most with exterior applications. I always encourage people to spend as much as they can afford on exterior paint. It is money well spent. The key to a great paint job is proper prep and after all that prep it makes no sense to scrimp on the paint.
Interior trim, cabinets, doors are also areas where you want the good stuff! Areas where you can get away with spending a little less is perhaps on interior walls. However I would not suggest going below a mid grade product. You can get a very good interior paint in the $20 a gallon range. You could easily spend $60 a gallon depending on where you go but if you are on a budget this may be the area to cut back a little.
When you hire The Painting Company we don’t up-charge on materials. What we pay for paint is what we pass on the the customer and we get a significant break on the cost of paint. We pass that savings to the customer so you can get a $30 a gallon product for much less.
Getting ready for the painter is easy! If you have made the decision to hire a professional Omaha Painting Contractor. Bravo! What follows is a summary of what you can do to insure a smooth and easy paint job.
What should you do to get ready? Expectations vary from contractor to contractor so I will give you a generalized idea of do’s and don’ts.
Knowing what you want. By the time your Paining Contractor arrives you should already know what you want done. If this is an interior job then knowing what rooms you want to have painted helps. Ha ha. You can always add to the job if you want additional rooms done.
Your color selection should already be made. If not, your contractor can provide draw downs of various colors for you to choose from. At The Painting Company we can custom mix colors on the job for you!
We don’t expect customers to move large furniture. We will do that as part of the job. You should remove as much of your belongings as you can from the area. This makes for a much faster job. What furniture or belongings remain in the room will be protected with clean drops and plastic.
Delicate and fragile items should be removed from the area by the customer as well as electronics like computers, flat screen tv’s, etc.
It is standard practice that we remove switch plates, curtain rods, blinds, etc.
Arrangements should be made for access. Provide a garage door opener or have a neighbor provide access if you will not be home. If you will not be home you should provide a contact number in case there are questions while you are away.
For safety, children should not be in the area while work is being performed. Pets (dogs,cats) should not be underfoot. I came back to a job after lunch once to discover the pet dog chewing on the handle of my $30 brush! Argh!
We do everything we can to insure the process is stress free and done right. In the last thirty plus years we have worked in almost every situation you can imagine and have managed to keep our customers happy. Getting ready for the painter and your next paint job is really pretty easy and simple.