Cabinets – Don’t Replace, Refinish!

Cabinets – Don’t Replace, Refinish!

Planning a kitchen remodel? You already know that most of your budget will be claimed by replacing the cabinetry. But if the existing cabinets in your home are solid wood and in overall good condition, they can be refinished with stain for an updated look at a fraction of the cost. Before rushing in, however, there is much to consider – starting with whether you should do it yourself, or hire a pro.

The DIY approach can be successful if you have experience and confidence in your ability to take on mid-level to major home improvement projects. As we always caution here, don’t let your enthusiasm for cable TV house flipping shows make you think you can do likewise if you’ve done nothing more complex around the house than change lightbulbs.

In addition to expertise, staining a kitchenful of cabinets will demand a good deal of time. This includes such prep work as removing handles and other hardware, removing doors, stripping the existing finish, sanding, etc. You may not be willing or able to dedicate evenings and weekends to the project, which also will impact your kitchen’s function to some degree.

For those who want to learn more about what’s involved in staining cabinets to help you decide which route to take, The Paint Manager offers our helpful DIY resource page, which provides answers to common questions, as well as links to DIY videos and other tips from the experts.

An even more up-close look at the entire cabinet finishing process can be seen courtesy of The Idaho Painter.

 

 

Should you decide to leave the work to the professionals, it’s still a good idea to be familiar with the basic products so you can make informed choices. Start with the stain itself. There are three types: oil-based, water-based and gel. Minwax provides a comprehensive guide to staining, which includes a chart of stain products, their characteristics and best uses. Your paint contractor will be able to tell you which type is recommended for your cabinetry, and why.

Here are some other benefits of hiring a pro for wood cabinet staining:

  • You don’t have to compromise your safety – Doing the project on your own entails some risks. From the step ladder and tools to wood dust and volatile fumes, the project can be hazardous if this is your first cabinet staining rodeo. Professional contractors have the right tools and expertise, and also know how to properly ventilate the space so that it doesn’t become hazardous for occupants.

 

  • Quality prep work – The casual do-it-yourselfer may not consider the amount of preparation required before even opening the first can of stain. Please re-read the third paragraph of this blog post for a (very) general outline of the labors that doing a thorough job of the necessary prep work involve. A professional paint contractor performs each step, in the correct order, to ensure beautiful results that will last for many years.

 

  • Top-quality results – Professional paint contractors have great experience in applying stain evenly to bring out the wood grain and achieve consistent color on all cabinet surfaces for a custom appearance that will make you proud of your kitchen again.

 

  • Relatively quick job completion – Several factors – such as the size of your kitchen – will affect the amount of time the project will require. However, hiring a pro means the job will be done in a few days, rather than a few weeks – or months – as would be the case with doing it yourself. Your kitchen will be fully functional much sooner, and you and your family won’t have to work around disassembled cabinetry, vinyl sheeting partitioning off work areas or the persistent odor of wood stain stripper for what will seem like an indefinite period.

 

  • It’s still economical – Compared against the cost of new cabinetry, hiring a paint contractor to refinish your cabinets will still save you a significant amount of money. If you’re considering doing it yourself to do the job as inexpensively as possible, keep in mind the real cost of your time, labor, personal risk and overall inconvenience – not to mention the possibility of a poor aesthetic result due to lack of experience

 

Contact us at The Paint Manager to bring your old wood kitchen cabinets back to vibrant new life!

Why You Should Hire a Professional Landscaper to Trim Your Shrubs

Why You Should Hire a Professional Landscaper to Trim Your Shrubs

Your front yard is vital in creating the first impression people get about how well you keep up your home. However, yard maintenance is not an easy task. Case in point: trimming shrubs. Depending upon the size of your property, your schedule and your physical capability, hiring a professional yard or lawn service can be the best approach to keeping shrubs and hedges well-groomed, healthy assets to your home’s curb appeal.

In addition to creating an attractive appearance, there are practical reasons to make sure shrubbery is in good shape, so to speak. Trimming is important to the plant’s health, ensuring it gets enough sun and encouraging growth. Trimming is different from pruning, which is done to eliminate dead, broken and infected parts of the plant. Pruning shrubs regularly helps promote healthier shrubs that produce more blooms.

If your landscaping is new, it’s much better to start pruning shrubs when they are young, then do minor annual pruning. If you allow them to become overgrown, they’ll end up needing major renewal pruning, which – assuming you hire a service – will be even more expensive. Black + Decker’s website provides an informative guide to shrub trimming. (For the adventurous, there’s even info on “How to Make a Topiary.”) Despite being written for the do-it-yourself, the article includes helpful basics that everyone should know. For those who may be entertaining the thought of going the DIY route, learning about the specialized equipment involved may tip you toward hiring a service.

Hiring a Yard Service Versus DIY

There is great deal of difference between a professional approach and the DIY way of doing things – unless, of course, you are qualified enough for the job and own the right equipment. In making a list of the advantages of hiring a yard or lawn service, equipment is a good place to start.

Equipment

Yard and lawn care services have all of the proper tools and equipment to do an expert job in trimming and shaping shrubs. In the hands of an experienced landscaper, these specialized pruning tools, saws and power trimmers create a uniform, beautiful effect for the perfect manicured yard. A professional service regularly maintains its tools, keeping them in good working condition, and stores them appropriately.

Physical Labor

There’s no getting around the fact that yard work is hard work. Even lightweight hedge trimmers are heavy and unwieldy, requiring a great deal of physical effort to use. Florida’s triple-digit summer temperatures make the job especially hazardous, necessitating performing it in the early morning or early evening for those insisting on the DIY route. Overexertion leading to illness, heat exhaustion or heat stroke are possible health hazards. Also, the more birthdays we celebrate, the more mindful we need to be about not overestimating our stamina and assuming we can still do what we once did easily in previous years.

Safety

Professional landscapers are trained to do their job safely. For those who don’t do so on a regular basis, climbing a ladder to reach the top of a hedge, wielding a power trimmer or using a small curved saw can be hazardous. Hiring a yard or lawn service could save you a trip to the ER.

Clean-up

A professional yard or lawn service may include clean-up of plant debris in the price of trimming. Be sure to discuss waste removal before hiring a service. Also ask if the service will remove the bags of debris, or if they will be left curbside for yard waste collection day. Some municipalities charge extra for bags of lawn waste that exceed the permitted limit, so check your local regulations first.

Peace of mind

When you hire a professional yard or lawn service, you can spend quality time with your family and friends instead of spending time on landscape maintenance!

The Paint Manager is well-experienced in such yard maintenance jobs as shrub trimming, and has been serving Central Florida homeowners since 2000. Contact us today to learn how we can make your yard an inviting place of beauty for your family and friends.

How to Stay Safe When Painting Homes With Lead-Based Paint

How to Stay Safe When Painting Homes With Lead-Based Paint

Lead-based paint is a grave health hazard for not only for homeowners, but also for those who are into home remodeling.

If you live in a house that dates back to 1978 or before, you need to make your home free of lead-based paint. The federal government in 1978 banned the commercial use of lead-based paint, though some states had done so earlier. Lead-based paint – which includes lead-contaminated dust – is the leading cause of lead poisoning.

Lead-based paint is known to have an unhealthy effect on children, especially those under the age of six years. According to a declaration by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), lead-based paint ingestion can lead to severe learning disabilities, seizures, behavioral problem, and even death. 

In adults, lead poisoning can cause high blood pressure, and can negatively impact fetus development if women are exposed during pregnancy.

Lead poisoning can also cause such acute conditions as renal failure and encephalopathy.

Traditionally, lead-based paint was routinely used in the painting of home exteriors and interiors. And, the chances of lead-based paint being used increases as the age of your home increases. The Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Protection Act was passed by the U.S. Congress in 1992 (also called Title X) to safeguard families from lead exposure from paint, soil, and dust. The EPA, through the Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Rule, has also directed home remodeling contractors to help control exposure to lead paint.

Putting things in perspective for lead-based paint

It is no doubt upsetting to find out that there is lead-based paint present in your home, but you can work to remove the problem. However, to solve the lead problem, you need to first get to the basics of the issue. And, to understand the basics, you have to know the facts about lead-based paint.

There are millions of homes that still have lead-based paint present, as it typically has been painted over through the years by non-lead-based paint. What you need to understand is if the paint is in perfect shape, you don’t have to worry much about the lead being present in your home. But, do keep in mind that when the lead-based paint starts chipping, peeling, cracking, chalking, or becomes damp or damaged, then the situation turns hazardous, and it becomes urgent for you to resolve the problem.

It is also a safety hazard if found on the surfaces, which your children can chew or those places where there is too much of wear and tear like doors and door frames, windows and window sills, and porches, stairs, and railings. Clean up the dust regularly and make sure to keep the paint in good condition.

Lead dust comes from the deteriorating lead based paint inside your home, or it can also come from the soil from outside your home, which of course is a result of the worsening exterior lead-based paint.

During painting, repair, and renovation activities when paint surfaces are demolished or disturbed, it produces toxic lead dust. This is why you need to hire professionals to do the job.

How to test if your house has lead-based paint

One way to find out is to use a home testing kit for lead. Though inexpensive and widely available, according to the EPA, they are not particularly accurate. Per EPA recommendations, you should look for a lead abatement company to perform the tests.

How to stay safe when repainting a lead-based home

Repainting a lead-based home is a risky proposition, and you need to carefully follow all the guidelines to keep you and your family safe. It is always advisable to hire a professional company to repaint your house if the test confirms that lead-based paint is present in your home. But, if you decide otherwise, there are ways to reduce the risks when repainting a lead-based home.

Encapsulation is the most common and effective way of dealing with the problem – it keeps the paint intact and stable. Encapsulation, as the name suggests is applying a fresh coat of paint on the lead-based paint. This makes sure that the lead-based paint doesn’t find its way into your home.

Make sure that you use a respirator when you are scraping the lead-based paint. NEVER remove lead-based paint without a respirator. Use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter for clean-ups.

Spray adequate water on the surface you are working to keep the dust at bay.

Put on safety gear before you start working on the lead-based paint. Make sure that you cover your eyes, hands, body, and head appropriately – use goggles, gloves, coverall, and hat to stay safe. Also, ensure that you use disposable gloves and coveralls and that you discard them every day. And, don’t forget to wash your goggles on a daily basis.

Always remember to dispose of the lead-based paint surface at a safe location outside your house. Make sure that no one except for those working on the project enters the work area, and seal the non-work areas with plastic sheets.

Why you should call in experts to repaint a lead-based home

Making a home lead-based paint safe is a risky job. Those who have the required experience and expertise can better handle the safety concerns of lead. After all, there is no point in risking your life and that of your loved ones by adopting a DIY approach.

When you hire professionals to repaint a lead-based home, you can rest assured that they will take all the necessary precautions as mandated by the rule of law.

Professionals are not just trained to do their job with perfection, but they also have all the resources (protective gear and tools) to carry out the work safely. They would also make sure that you stay safe while they work.

When you hire professionals, you don’t have to worry about toxic waste disposal. Lead disposal is a risky job. They know how, where and when to safely dispose of the lead-based waste.

The Paint Manager is experienced in making Central Florida homes safe from the hazards of lead paint. We are a full-service painting company in Orlando delivering quality work to residential and commercial customers. Call us today to schedule an appointment.

Why is it Important to Hire a Professional Roof Repair Contractor?

Why is it Important to Hire a Professional Roof Repair Contractor?

Unlike many other areas of home maintenance and repair, your roof is not a DIY project. Roof repair is a specialized job, and you need professionals to do the task correctly. The philosophy of “jack of all trades and master of none” does not hold true in case of roof repair.

A well-maintained shingle or tile roof not only increases the curb appeal of your Central Florida home, but prolongs its life. Conscientious roof maintenance starts with a clean roof – which speaks volumes about the overall condition of your home, and your values as a homeowner.

 

Here are 5 Reasons to Have Your Roof Professionally Cleaned

  1. Aesthetics – keep your home beautiful and enjoy pride of ownership
  2. Roof longevity – maximize its life and save money
  3. Value – protect your investment
  4. Health – mold triggers allergies; a clean roof promotes a healthy home
  5. Energy cost – a stained roof ultimately results in higher energy bills

 

How to Tell When it’s Time to Repair Your Roof

Sometimes, even a clean roof needs to be repaired. Damage from high winds, hail, tree branches, etc., necessitate calling a roof repair contractor. In the case of damage covered by homeowners insurance, your policy will determine eligible reimbursement for repairs. No matter how up to the task you may believe yourself to be, the main reasons for leaving it to the experts follow.

Experience and training – Roofing professionals have experience in a wide range of repair and replacement jobs, giving them the ability to recognize conditions that warrant a particular approach. What you may know from watching a YouTube video and what a pro knows from having encountered the same thing numerous times are probably two different things. Guess who should produce the more sound result? The roof is one of your home’s most complex structures. Don’t compromise its safety/integrity.

Roof repair can be dangerous – According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), falling is the leading cause of injuries in construction. In 2015, out of a total 937 reported injuries, 350 were due to a fall. Climbing and working on a roof is not an easy job, it requires training and precision to avoid falls and accidents – which do-it-yourselfers typically lack.

Professionals are licensed and insured – Make sure the company you hire is licensed and insured. There are usually two components to insurance – workers’ compensation and general liability insurance, which protect homeowners from injuries suffered by others on your property and accidental property damage liabilities.

Also, hiring a licensed roof repairing company means that they have the necessary experience, the required skill set and a verified background check. It means that an insured and licensed roofing contractor will have trained professionals.

Repairing the roof on your own can void the manufacturer’s warranty/guarantee – Most roofing material manufacturers offer a warranty, but doing the job yourself may void it. In addition, a reputable roofing company will most likely guarantee its own work, providing an extra degree of protection.

If you live in the metro Orlando area and your roof needs repair, get in touch with The Paint Manager. With more than 15 years of roof repair experience, The Paint Manager is a trusted name in Central Florida roof repair. Living up to our customers’ expectations is our highest priority. We adhere to OSHA guidelines, and work as a team to give your roof a new look.

 

How to Hire a Professional Painting Company

How to Hire a Professional Painting Company

A nicely done up office space or building speaks volumes about the taste of the commercial establishments it houses. It not only creates a stunning first impression on people who see and visit the space, but it also increases the curb appeal of your commercial building. Around the world, commercial spaces look stunningly beautiful because professionals paint and/ or refurbish the interior and exterior of the building. The same is true if you are in this part of the world, namely Orlando. Even you should hire an experienced commercial painting company that infuses life into your building.

To attract customers to your commercial establishment, you need an attractive exterior and an exquisite internal décor. Commercial painting is a specialized field, and not everyone out there in the market is fully equipped to do the job with perfection. Things can horribly go wrong if you don’t hire an experienced commercial painting company.

You might think that hiring a commercial painting company is a cake walk, but the reality is different. Looking for a commercial painting company is not all that easy a job, you have to carefully weigh your options and do some research on your own to find the best professional painting company.

If you own a commercial space in town and are interested in making it an attractive investment destination, then you are at the right place.

6 Things to Consider When Hiring a Professional Painting Company

There are many companies in the market who claim to be commercial painting experts. So, how do you differentiate between a company that is genuine from the one that is not? It is always advisable to start the process by doing some research on the internet.

The first thing that you have to keep in mind while looking for a commercial painting company is the quality of work they deliver. Secondly, find out about the painting company’s standing in the market. And, finally try to assess whether they stick to what they say. After all, you need to trust the company that would renovate your commercial space.

You should start your search by asking your friends, family and/ or colleagues to recommend a commercial painting company in town. Any recommendation that comes from your near and dear ones is worth considering because only a satisfied customer would recommend someone.

  1. Should have sufficient experience – Nothing can replace experience. The first thing that you need to do is find out how long the commercial painting company has been in the business. Inexperienced companies can do more harm to your commercial property than doing any good. You would also not want to hire a fly-by-night operator. Hence, make sure that the commercial painting company has a minimum standing of three years or more in the market. The more experience the commercial painting company has in the market the better is the result you can expect. Businesses that have been there in the market for long are more likely to paint your commercial space with perfection.
  2. Expertise and knowledge – It is important to find out whether the commercial painting company you are planning to hire has sufficient knowledge, adequate expertise and the required exposure. In fact, the company should have a team of highly skilled painters who can do the job with perfection. They should have adequate knowledge about all the latest products and modern painting techniques. A professional painting company would also make sure that their prep work is properly done. The painting contractor should also know the latest trends, finishes, and colors that can make your building stand out in the crowd.
  3. Always ask for referrals – Any commercial painting company worth its name in the market would not hesitate in providing references. Speak to at least three references to find out the track record of the company you plan to hire. Never think twice about speaking to the references. After all, it is your right to find out that the company you are hiring is trustworthy, experienced and hard working. You can also visit the website of the company you are planning to hire and go through the testimonials. This would give you a fair bit of idea about the standing and reputation of the company.
  4. Find out whether they have their own employees or are they subcontractors – This is an important one. You need to find out whether the commercial painting company you are planning to hire employ people directly or are they subcontractors. Direct employees of the company are covered for compensation and general liability insurance by the employer. But, if they are subcontractors, then you need to make sure that they are separately insured. Either way, the commercial painting company should give you proof of employee’s insurance details.
  5. Make sure that the company has a valid license to work – This again is an important consideration. Make sure that the commercial painting company you are planning to hire has a valid state issued license. Any reputed company will always have a state license, employees’ compensation insurance and general liability insurance. It is important that commercial painting contractors protect their employees. If the commercial painting company you are planning to hire is unable to show you the required documents, then don’t waste your time just move on.
  6. Always ask for guarantee – Find out if the commercial painting company you are planning to hire offers guarantee or not. Usually, paint manufacturers guarantee their products, but commercial painters worth their salt would also give warranty on the prep work they do. Make sure that you have everything in writing, all the promises, guarantees, and warranties.
  7. Do find out the total cost – This is again important; you need to know how much you have to pay. But, do remember that price should never be a limiting factor. If you hire a professional, licensed, hard-working, trusted, and reputed commercial painting contractor, then their rates would be higher than those who do not have proper paraphernalia, skilled workers, and/ or experience. However, looking at the larger picture is the key when you plan to hire a commercial painting company. For a lasting result and a stress free experience, you need to hire a contractor that is insured, licensed and has enough experience of delivering high quality work on a consistent basis. This should be your primary concern rather than just the rates.
  8. Finally ask for a written estimate – Make sure that you ask the contractor to give a written estimate for all the work that they plan to undertake. Nothing should verbally be agreed upon, ask for a written estimate. You need to know the material the contractor would use, the kind of prep work they will do and the time they need to finish the project. Ask the contractor for a written contract, and not something scribbled on the back of his or her card.

 

If you are based in Orlando and are looking for a commercial painting company, just get in touch with The Paint Manager. We have over 18 years of experience in the commercial painting industry. From big to small, we have undertaken projects of all sizes and completed them to the satisfaction of our customers.

The Paint Manger is a trusted name in the commercial painting market. We are a full-service painting company in Orlando having the requisite experience and expertise to deliver quality work.

 

Selling a House? Here’s How To Improve The Curb Appeal Of Your Home

Selling a House? Here’s How To Improve The Curb Appeal Of Your Home

How To Improve The Curb Appeal Of Your Home

Let’s accept it, first impressions make a difference. Don’t you try to look your best when you go out on a first date? Or, do you buy clothes that don’t appeal to you in the first place? In fact, you always want to look impeccable and you can only buy stuff that creates a good first impression. Likewise, when you plan to sell your house, first impressions make a huge difference.

People spend so much money on the upkeep and appearance of their home’s interior, but do you make sure that it looks attractive from the outside as well? If not then you should start paying attention to your home exteriors, as it improves the curb appeal of your house.

In fact, what people get to see from outside either makes or breaks their impression. The same is true for your home as well.

So, what exactly is the curb appeal?

Curb appeal is a term generally used by realtors to evaluate a house or property that is up for sale. It is the attractiveness of a house or property when seen from the street. Interested home buyers first see a house from the street, and if it appeals to them, then they ask the realtor to move forward.

63% of prospective home buyers will come by to visit a house only after they like what they see online (National Association of Realtors).

This clearly means that the house they see from outside should generate sufficient interest among the potential home-buyers in the first place. What do they see from outside? The front entry, driveway, sidewalk and yard. Your home’s exterior should have the capacity to attract prospective home-buyers and bring them to the table for further negotiations.

Hence, the home exterior is the first thing that you need to work on and improve if you want to sell your house at a decent price.

So, what is it that you need to do?

Let’s Examine 9 Ways to Improve the Curb Appeal of Your Home

  1. Start thinking like a buyer – The first thing that you need to do is start thinking like a buyer. Grab a notepad and pen, and walk around the exterior of your home with a hawk eye to find out what could annoy a potential home buyer. Make note of things that you think needs replacement, repair, or cleaning. Take your car and drive down the street on both sides of your house, both during the day and night. You might just see a few things on the roof that you must remove, or a sidewalk that needs repair.
  2. Make sure your address number is visible, clean, and tastefully depicted – Address number is a small thing which many people tend to overlook, but has a tremendous effect on everyone who enters your home. If you write your number differently, then it generates more interest among prospective home-buyers. For example, if your house number is 428, you can write it as “four2eight”. Written numbers are a more stylish form of displaying your address.
  3. Ensure that your roof is clean and spotless – Many people think that a clean and spotless roof doesn’t improve the curb appeal of your home. That can’t be further from the truth. It creates a negative impact on the image of your home. Therefore, ensure that your roof is clean, free of streaks, and does not look dingy. Also, make sure that your roof isn’t missing shingles. Once you plan to sell off your house, see to it that your roof is cleaned, pressure washed, repaired, or replaced.
  4. Make your front door attractive and eye catching – Front doors are another thing that influence home-buyers. An attractive, eye-catching front door can impress your prospective buyers, and raise the value of your house. Make the entrance of your home more stylish. Paint it a bold color, and don’t forget to place a new cheery welcome mat in front of the entrance.
  5. Repaint the trim and shutters, and get a new mailbox – When you are repainting your front door, don’t forget to redo the trim and shutters. Also, try a new mailbox for your home. If yours is damaged or weathered, it could detract from the overall aesthetic.
  6. Get your sidewalk, driveway, and deck pressure washed – A dirty driveway, sidewalk, and deck can act as a spoiler for people who plan to buy your house. This is another important thing that you can do to improve the curb appeal of your house. Get your driveway, sidewalk, and deck pressure washed to make it sparkling clean. Don’t forget that someone’s first impression at times turns out to be their last one. This is not just cost efficient, but it is also very effective.
  7. Light up your porch, walking path, and landscape – Putting up lighting fixtures at the right places can bring out the best of what your home has to offer. Use them to draw the buyer’s eye to the most interesting aspects of your home, and away from the mundane parts.
  8. Place flower pots in front of the entrance – There are many plants (in a flower pot, of course) which you can place in front of your entrance. Put the flower pots in a symmetrical fashion, and spruce up your front yard with seasonal flowers.
  9. Get your home exterior painted – If you think your home’s exterior is worn out, then get it repainted by a professional painter. A freshly painted home exterior can be your best tool, in finding a buyer and receiving more offers.

Freshly done up home exteriors can greatly improve the curb appeal of your house, but it is not all that easy to spruce up your home exteriors in a jiffy. You need a lot of time, innovative ideas, and executional capabilities, besides experienced and trained manpower to change the face of your home from outside.

It is always advisable to hire professionals to improve the curb appeal of your house. Get in touch with The Paint Manager and make your home exteriors look attractive.

From repainting your home exteriors, pressure washing your sidewalks, driveway, and decks to the installation of a new mailbox, redoing your front door and roof cleaning, professionals at The Paint Manager are capable of providing a facelift to your home’s exterior just the way you would love to see it.

Most importantly, you should consult professionals at The Paint Manager for innovative ideas that can improve the curb appeal of your house.

Photo credit: Scott Webb: https://twitter.com/scotty_webb

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