This all comes down to the rules.....1. references....does the contractor have them??? I ALWAYS furnish all my prospective customers them....no excuses...2. insurance....again, I always furnish proof....3. Read the proposal carefully...I ALWAYS list materials down to tape used, the brand, the grit of sandpaper, the manufacturer, etc....its INEXCUSABLE to not list all of these items....I am a member of the PDCA, the Painting and Decorating Contractors of America, the foremost authority in the coatings industry and they also approve of what I listed....if you do not follow these guidelines, you will NOT get a job reflective of "professional". Look for the PDCA where any painting contractors are, if they are not a member, RUN!
I learn a lot from this show and it help in my building maintenance job. i like this about the regulator on gas meter but for the cut away I know it had to be that way but Richard could you have mentioned that there was a vent on the regulator. I had a coworker ask me to check the vent and make sure it was clear, but from your cut away and no mention of a vent in the demo I didn't know there was a vent on the regulator so for next time there may need to be 2 cut aways explaining what the meter is and how to be safe.
My friend already posted about this, but the incident is so outrageous it deserves two postings. On a lovely Sunday afternoon, we were out on a  walk and waiting, patiently, on 65th and 1st for the east-west traffic to stop and allow us to cross. When the eastbound traffic was clear, a car heading west stopped to let us cross. Behind this law-abiding driver, heading west, was the Excel Home Painting van. The Excel driver immediately started honking at the car in front of him--you know, the one that stopped to allow pedestrians to cross--and then screaming and cursing at us, including calling us "f**king bitches and whores." Why? Because we were crossing the street. Really?
Acquire liability insurance. In the event of accident, injury or property damage, liability insurance will protect you from having your assets seized. Look into a few different providers to compare rates and see what sort of coverage they offer. Good insurance is absolutely critical for small business owners, who stand to lose a lot more should something go wrong.[15]
To maintain a wet edge, start near a corner and run the roller up and down the full height of the wall, moving over slightly with each stroke. Move backward where necessary to even out thick spots or runs. Don’t let the roller become nearly dry; reload it often so that it’s always at least half loaded. Keep the open side of the roller frame facing the area that’s already painted. That puts less pressure on the open side of the roller, so you’re less likely to leave paint ridges when doing DIY wall painting.
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Even an old lamp with a bare bulb held close to a wall will make minor cracks, bumps or nail pops jump out. Carmen Toto, owner of C. Toto & Sons in Madison, New Jersey, uses painter's putty or a lightweight spackle for minor cracks and dents; he uses plaster of Paris for dents deeper than 1/8 inch. Instead of the standard tape-and-spackle method for bridging over recurring stress cracks, Maceyunas uses a rubberized spray-on primer called Good-Bye Crack. Damaged wood requires a slightly different approach. "Don't use spackle on wood," says Toto, "because it just won't stick." For damaged trim, he uses painter's putty or a two-part wood filler, such as Minwax's High Performance Filler. Smooth any repairs, bumps, and nibs with a drywall pole sander. For smoother walls and better adhesion, some of our pros sand all previously painted walls regardless of the shape they're in.
When the primer is dry, caulk all small joints (less than ¼-inch-wide) in the siding and trim. Most pros use siliconized acrylics—paint won't stick to straight silicones—but Guertin and O'Neil like the new, more expensive urethane acrylics for their greater flexibility and longevity. O'Neil stresses that it's shortsighted to skimp on caulk. "If the joint fails, you're back to square one." Guertin uses the lifetime rating as his quality guide. "I don't expect 35-year caulk will last 35 years, but it should last longer than a 15-year caulk."
Only a dummy gets involved with so-called "contractors." Hire a qualified actual worker yourself. Check out their resume/background, etc. RULE #1..NO ADVANCE DEPOSITS! Pay daily or weekly or upon satisfied completion according your standard, not workers. Contractors are merely employment agents. If that's the way you get work done, then go ahead and waste your money and wind up with the myriad of problems enumerated upon in the news clip above. RULE#2.. NO SMOKERS. They are lighting up on your money. RULE#3: No cell phones while working. Talk on their own time after work

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