Okay…. so really this applies anywhere, but if you’re in the Pittsburgh or the Western PA area, ImageWorks Painting would sure like to help. Sometimes it makes sense to hire us…… sometimes it makes sense to do it yourself. Here is some information to help you decide what is best for you.
Of course, as with most DIY (potential) projects, the main factors to be considered in making a decision as to who should complete the work are money savings (if any), available time, and the varience in the quality of the job (if any). Here we will discuss each of these factors, along with some good how to advice if you do choose to take on the project yourself.
Early in the decision making process, we often consider price to be the major issue in determining if we are going to hire a contractor to complete a job for us. Addtionally, if we do choose to contract our project out, price is again one of the determining factors in deciding to whom we award the job. This factor, though important, normally ranks lower as information on the other factors is gathered. Even more so, price drops in it’s level of importance when choosing between potential contractors. If you’ve ever had a bad experience with a contractor — we hear people’s great stories ALL the time — you quickly come to learn the value of doing your homework before allowing someone in your house. Cheaper is only better until you regret it!
Most poeple in today’s society struggle to find the time to fulfill family obligations, share valuable quality time with family, maintain friendships and relationships, keep up with our excessive work loads, and still find the time to enjoy the hobbies and recreational activities we (would like to) have. The time portion of our decision making process, and the importance placed upon it, varies from person to person. Knowing that for most good, experienced DIY painters, interior rooms should take from 5 or 6 hours to a couple of days to complete. The varience in time depends on the ability to paint quickly while maintaining a high quality standard, the amount of trim and other items to paint around in the room, and the array of items to be painted…… is it just the walls, or do doors, door jams and window casings, trim, crown moulding, closets, ceilings, or other items need painted? Does the room have high ceilings or difficult to access areas? Is there patching or priming that needs to be done? Simply put, if you have a couple rooms in your house to paint (or more), what is more valuable — a couple weekends (or more) of your time or the cost of having a reputable, good quality, trustworthy painting company come in and do it for you?
The quality aspect of the job is the final factor to consider before choosing whether or not to do a job yourself, and also in choosing who to allow to do your work if you decide to go that route. There are a lot of painting jobs that simply must be done by professionals. However, when we’re talking about standard, everyday interior house painting, most people (if they take their time and follow some simple rules) have the ability to do it themselves. A few of those simple rules to ensure you are giving yourself the best hope of a great finished product are as follows:
1) ALWAYS use top quality paints. The money savings from using a cheaper or midgrade paint will inevitably cost you more in the end, and will normally make you regret your decision along the way. Better paints last longer, don’t burnish as easily, touch up better, require less coats (always 2 coat with a color change… no matter what paint you use), apply more smoothly, wash better, and provide a better finished appearance. Each surface you’re painting (walls, doors, trim, etc.) has a paint specifically engineered for it. Custom fit the product to the surface. Don’t trust someone in a bigbox store to lead you correctly…. go to a real paint store — it’s worth it!
2) Use high quality applicators. $25 for a good cut brush, a few $6 roller covers, and some 3M blue tape or FrogTape instead of cheap masking tape will make an incredible difference in your paint finish. Use good canvas drop clothes instead of cheap plastic — it’s better for the environment, they will last you for years, and they absorb paint, thus decreasing the likelihood of you getting paint on the bottom of a shoe and tracking it through your house!
3) Remove everything you can remove. This includes not just furniture and wall decor, but also shelves, switch and outlet covers, light fixtures, etc.
4) Do good patchwork. Paint doesn’t fill holes! Caulk your gaps… it makes all the difference.
4) Apply your paint like a pro. It’s amazing how often on DIY shows (which I love to watch), they apply paint in ways that cannot possibly leave a good finish. Do your cut-ins first….. Double cut!….When it’s time to move on to rolling out your walls, start in a corner…… keep a wet edge……load your roller — dryrolling takes forever and doesn’t look good or perform correctly…. get an even spread (paint N’s)…… spread horizontally to achieve even mil thickness…. finally, finish in all downstrokes. These important steps will help you avoid roller marks and achieve a professional looking, long last finish.
If you do choose to use a painting company. Do your homework. Check references, but know that everyone can come up with a couple people to say nice things. Get a physical copy of a contractors liability insurance and make sure it’s current. Ask for workers compensation insurance, and know that workers comp insurance is VERY different from liability insurance. Most painters carry liablility insurance (it’s cheap), sadly few carry workers comp (it’s very expensive). The importance to you, the customer, is the level of protection the two provide. Liability protects your carpet if the painter tracks paint across your house – it does nothing if he falls off a ladder, or hurts his back, or slips on your stairs. As wrong as it may seem, if a worker in your home gets hurt for any reason, you can be held liable in a lawsuit IF he does not carry workers compensation insurance. The law holds the homeowner responsible to check for this important safety measure. Bad things happen every day. Don’t allow yourself to be a victim of someone else’s negligence! A reputable contractor can provide you with a workers comp insurance certificate….. if they can’t, get them out of your house! Check the Better Business Bureau and Angies List. Bad ratings and non-ratings are a sure thing to avoid! Read all the way to the bottom. If a company has a bad reputation and changes it’s name, BBB will usually catch it and list it at the end of the page. Mostly, make sure you feel comfortable with the representatives of the company that you meet — they’re normally representative of the rest of the company. See that the company’s culture is one you’re comfortable with. Remember, you’re choosing who to trust in your home. Make sure you’re comfortable with the company you’re choosing.
We hope this helps! If you’re about to take on a project yourself, good luck — you’ll be fine! If you do choose to hire a pro, we certainly hope you consider ImageWorks Painting. We’ve worked hard to build our exemplarary reputation, and will do everything possible make sure you are enthused about your decision when we leave your home.
Thanks for reading!