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Friday, December 28, 2007

The Right products to use

Recently my brother called me and asked be about painting his cabinets. He told me that we wanted a job that was going to last because he was happy with the quality of the wood but not the color of the stain on the cabinets. I told him the best application for a quality finish. He bought the producs and I helped him correctly use a HVLP Sprayer after some tedious prep work.

This got me to thinking about the correct products and work effort for an individuals needs. My brother wanted a high quality finish. As such we purchased high quality primer, enamel, made sure to cut the first coat of enamel, sanded between coats and used the correct sprayer equipment. The end result was flawless. However, if I tryed to sell the same job to a rental property owner that wanted some cabinets "painted," I would have a hard time convincing him that the extra time in prep and painting is worth the extra money it would cost him. The same thing happend earlier this year when A customer of mine told me that the most important thing for her was that my estimate fit into her budget. I made sure that she understood that only two things produce the price on any bid 1. Time and 2. Overhead (or products in my case). She understood what I said and told me she wanted the least expensive products and wanted me to spend less time on certain areas (ie: she wanted us to caulk where we should have perhaps replaced a board or two)
So long as the customer is made aware of what they are paying for and why the price is less or more, I can craft a bid/job to fit the customers needs.

Nick D
White Bear Lake, MN 55110

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Paying by the hour (Time and Materials)

Q: Should I pay a portion of my paint project on a Time and Materials Basis?

A: Generally speaking, No. The more experienced a painter, the more likely it is that they will be able to accuratly estimate the amount of time it will take to complete a job. Also, the more time the painter/estimator spends on the front end of a job asking questions, inspecting the surface and getting to know your needs, the more likely the bid will be accurate. When a painter (or any contractor for that matter) comes back to you, specifically at the end of a job with a list of "add-ons" that they did not bring up durring the project, I recommend you not pay for them. In the the event the painter brings up additional charges that he discussed with you as they came up, you may want to ask him "why didn't you know about these costs before we started our project."

Believe it or not, there are a lot of painters (and general contractors) who make it a point to have the lowest bid on the front end because they are setting up your job for a bunch of "add-on" charges that can be billed on a time and materials basis. To avoid this, simply be diligent on the front end, prior to choosing a painter.

Nick Dettinger
White Bear Lake, MN

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Selecting the best painter.

Question: Should I have my general contractor use his painter or find my own.

Answer: Depends on the project. I'd highly recommend asking for references as well as getting everything in writing, on each specific job involved in your project. Getting a time frame is important but more important is having the right to hire another tradesman or contractor to get the job done. You may get more for your money or be able to complete the job faster. Both options add value. Also, by talking to multiple sources you are getting a fuller picture. Only a complete inspection followed by a specific written estimate gives you (The homeowner) a complete description of what will take place on your paint job.
The level of quality can vary by a lot. When it comes time to paint your project (new addition, new house) talk to a qualified painter and not just your general contractor.

Nick Dettinger

Friday, December 7, 2007

Q: Should I Paint or Re-Side my House
A: Depending on the condition of your existing siding you may want to do some of both. T-111, LP and Cedar siding (as well as other siding surfaces) can be replaced in part or in full.
If you only replace the damaged areas and re-paint with a qualified company, you can expect a long lasting, nice looking house for years to come. True, a poor paint job will need to be re-visited in a few years. However, a poorly installed siding job can cause a complete renovation. It is not always as simple as "painting is bad because of maintenance." The siding products on the market today that report to last "50 years" and never need to be maintenanced are claiming a lot!!! I remember certain sidings that made that claim many years ago and low and behold, a large company ended up re-siding thousands of houses across the country. Don't be fooled by the latest "maintenance free product." Nothing in Minnesota is Maintenance Free. I'm not saying you should paint in all circumstances (not all surfaces will hold paint), but the paints are significantly better today than they were even 5 years ago, and they keep getting better.

White Bear Lake, MN 651-336-0561