Because of the sheer number of HOA's across our coverage area and the different requirements of each, Southern Painting does not work directly with HOAs. Instead we leave it up to the Homeowners we work with to submit the paperwork to gain whatever approvals are necessary for their project. We are more than happy to provide color samples for inclusion with the application, if necessary.
Is the painting limited to just your house, or should decks, fences, storage sheds, or other out buildings be included? If repairs are needed, should we include them on your quote, or will you do them yourself or contract with a third party?
If you have a favorite paint brand/grade of paint, let the Estimator know. We have a "standard" brand and grade of paint that is included in our quotes, and we also have accounts open at the major paint stores, so we can adjust your quote up or down to accommodate using your favorite brand. If you have already purchased paint, we will credit you what our "standard" paint cost would have been. Be aware that this will likely be less than you paid for the paint. Our prices include paint, and in most cases it is to your advantage to let us buy the paint rather than credit you for paint you have purchased.
As far as paint grades go, using a premium or "super-premium" grade of paint is almost always worth the few extra dollars it adds to your job. Premium grade exterior paints generally last longer than lesser grade paints, and they typically have mildew inhibitors in them (although the mildew inhibitors lose their potency over time). Also, the newer "super-premium" paints, while very expensive, may save you substantially more overall by allowing the job to be done with just one coat rather than the traditional two coats.
For exterior painting, Southern Painting recommends satin sheen. The reason for this is that flat sheen paints are microscopically rougher on the surface than paints with more sheen, and this rougness is more conducive to trapping dirt or giving a foothold for mildew. Paints with higher sheen create a lot of glare in the Texas sun, so satin sheen is a good compromise. If you require a sheen other than satin, let us know.
Current Color(s) (if Re-painting)
If you want to re-paint using a color that has already been painted on your home, it is important to know what that color is. Holding a color fan up to a wall to "match" colors is almost impossible to do. Some builders leave a sticker with paint information on the back of a cabinet door somewhere, or they may give buyers paperwork with the colors used. Having paint from a touch-up kit left by the builder or left over paint from any other prior work is another way to discern existing colors.
While it is not required to know exact colors at the time of getting an estimate, if you are changing the colors, we must assess the degree of change and whether any of the colors are dark colors that are mixed in a more translucent base paint (and so do not cover as well). This is so the Estimator can determine whether one coat or two would be required.
Number of Colors
Homes that have two-color exteriors (e.g. dark on the fascia and garage door jamb, light on the soffits/siding, garage doors, and entry doors) require an extra pass to "cut-in" the colors. This means more labor and a higher bottom-line price. If your home has a two-color scheme, we will quote painting with two colors again. However if you want to go from two colors to one, or if you have one and want to "dress it up", let us know so we can quote accordingly.
Help with Colors
Let us know if you are wrestling with a decision regarding colors. We may have sample boards or color sheets of the colors you are considering, and will be happy to bring them along to our meeting with you. Seeing a larger sample of a color away from the others on the color strip can make it look completely different to you. And if you would like to consult with a professional Designer, let us know and we will be happy to give you some referrals.
The painters have general carpentry skills, and can make many repairs. We look for needed repairs as part of our standard process for quoting a job. But it never hurts for the homeowner to point out any areas of concern.
Door replacements require a higher level of carpentry skill, so we refer them to a carpenter (we can provide referrals). This is because doors must be lined up in three dimensions and also because, for a full door replacement, interior trim carpentry will likely be required.
Southern Painting is not a roofing company, and so we do not consider ourselves qualified to make roofing or flashing repairs. We are happy to provide you with a referral to a qualified roofer if you so wish.
Coordinating Work with Other Trades
If you are planning on having any trees trimmed, doing so before painting opens up the space for the painters. If we see any trees that definitely need trimming prior to painting, we will point them out to you.
If you are planning on having your roof replaced in the near term, we recommend holding off on exterior painting until after the roof is done. This is to protect your new paint job from being damaged by the roofers. If painting is done first and the paint has not had a chance to "cure" ( a process that takes several weeks), it is likely that the roofers will scuff up the paint while moving ladders around. In addition, tearing off an old roof is a tough and messy job. As the old shingles are being thrown down, they may leave black streaks on any surface that they hit along the way. Painters can easily take steps to protect a new roof; roofers just have a tough job to do without worrying about new paint.
If you will be having any landscaping done, having it done after painting frees the painters from having to worry about stepping on tender plants when moving equipment around.
The power-washing that is an important first step in the painting process will get the windows wet with "tap" water so some spots will likely be left as the water evaporates. In addition, it is very likely that some dirt from washing the house will wind up on the windows. For these reasons, Southern Painting recommends washing windows after the painting work is completed.