Nov 02

Exterior House Painting – Things to Know

Exterior house painting is one of those chores that never completely goes away. Homeowners usually have to paint their homes every 6-8 years (which in homeowner years is like 15 minutes). It can be a time consuming and involved home improvement project. If you plan on tackling this yourself, it is best to plan ahead and be prepared for the task at hand.

Just like any home project, the entire job can be made much easier with proper planning and preparation. If you skip this critical step it can turn an already difficult job into a disaster.

Prep Work –
Before you begin you need to analyze the amount of prep work that needs to go into the job. Besides the obligatory sanding and washing, you need to look for any damage to your house that needs repairing before you begin. Check for rotted or damaged siding, window sills, hand rails and window and door trim. If you are hiring a painting company to handle the job for you, you can request an estimate from them if you don’t want to do it yourself. Most painting contractors offer small home repairs as well.

Color –
Now is the time to decide if you if you want to change colors. Selecting a new color can give your home a fresh new look and appearance. Try to pick something you will still be pleased with in five or six years. There’s nothing worse than choosing a bold color that wears on you after only a few months. You may want to consider choosing a color that the neighbors will appreciate as well. If the neighborhood is going with a gentle pastel theme and you show up in bright orange, you will hurt your resale value and get more than a few frowns from the neighbors. One last thing to consider – Changing colors can often be more expensive because you will need more than one coat to hide the old color.

Technique –
It makes a difference whether you spray or hand brush paint your house. There is no doubt that spraying is quicker and cheaper. However certain houses will benefit from being hand brushed. Older homes, wood homes, and houses that have not been painted in a while are all prime candidates for brush painting. Painting by brush applies a thicker coat that penetrates deep into the wood and crevices. This gives your siding better protection from water. It is a more time consuming process – so expect to pay more.

Painting Company –
If you have chosen to hire a professional to handle your painting, now is the time to do your research. If you don’t have a long standing relationship with a painting company already it pays to shop around. Start by getting at least three different price quotes. There can be a lot of variation in pricing for an exterior painting job, so make certain you are comparing apples to apples. Don’t be sold by the lowest price either. It is important that you find a company with good references and testimonials. Ask your family and friends for recommendations. If that fails, ask for references of previous clients you can call. Taking the time to do the research will save you headaches in the future if your job is completed poorly.


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