Ask The Painter: D-I-Y, or Hire a Pro? (Part One)

January 24, 2012

Painting Your House – A Three Part Series

Over the next few weeks, we would like to talk to you about what’s involved in painting a house. Many people watch those do-it-yourself shows and often think “I can do that”! But what you don’t know could cost you more than money – it could cause serious damage to your home or a personal injury. Sound dramatic? Probably, but the investment you have in your home is a serious subject. So, let’s get started, shall we?

D-I-Y, or Hire a Pro? (Part One)

Painting a house is labor intensive, time consuming, and potentially dangerous. To do it well requires preparation, the right tools, skilled labor, and a solid education about the different products, surfaces, and techniques involved. Before you decide to take that leap into the deep end of the pool, ask yourself these questions:

  • How comfortable are you with heights and climbing ladders? Have you ever set up or worked on a scaffold? Would you know which device is safest in a given spot?
  • Can you easily move furniture or lift other heavy objects?
  • Do you have the materials and equipment to cover or move large light fixtures, mirrors, glass, or freestanding plants and trees safely?
  • How much time do you have to do the project? How long will you be comfortable with “unfinished” work?
  • Have you considered the time of year and associated weather?
  • Do you know the difference between paint and stain, oil and latex? Do you know if one can be applied over the other?
  • Have you considered the costs associated with necessary materials (tarps or plastic coverings, sprayers, tape, rollers, buckets, trays, and ladders or scaffolding, etc.) beyond the paint and a few brushes?
  • Lead safety is an issue for older homes. Do you know if your home is lead-safe
  • Will your homeowner’s insurance cover injuries to you, your family members, or friends?
  • Will you need a permit? Is your home in a restricted Homeowner’s Association (HOA) or historic district?

If you had the slightest hesitation about any of these things, doing the project yourself might not be the best solution. Instead, consider contracting the services of a reputable professional. In the end, your investment will increase the value of your home, provide peace of mind, and avoid potentially serious problems at a later date.

Next time, we will talk about what you need to know before you call a painting contractor. Until then? Think things over

Copyright 2012 June Cron

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