Painters,University Painters
Written by Colleen Kalil

To License or Not to License

Just like doctors, lawyers, nurses and a wide assortment of other professions, painters may need to hold a license in order to operate. Overall, occupational licensing is a controversial subject. The more formal title for the process is ‘occupational licensure’. Each state is able to set up their own parameters for what occupations they would like to have licensed so the person who is employed in that field can receive compensation for their services. According to one group of researchers, the number of occupations that require licensure has skyrocketed over the last six decades. Where as once only one in twenty occupations required licensing today it is nearly one in four!

So, if you are interested in starting a painting business your first step should be to investigate the requirements of your state. And if you are looking for a reputable painting company you should also find out what the state requires. Licensing gives the consumer greater confidence in the supplier of a product or service.

But, there is no question that every state has different expectations. Some have highly stringent licensure requirements such as Arizona, whom many say has the toughest expectations in the land, and others do not require a license at all in order to operate a painting contract business. For example, Michigan just dropped the need to have a license in order to alter a structure. At the time the requirement was dropped there were 432 licensed contractors who devoted their services solely to painting – at $150 per license to be renewed every three years.

In other instances, a state such as Arizona is now opening their doors to let those with a license in other states automatically qualify for similar licensure. States that have taken an aggressive stance on licensing find that the fees they collect do not offset the cost of oversight of the licensees nor does it make up for the impact it may have on overall economic growth.

So, no matter what side of the fence you’re on – painter or the person looking for a painter – start by ensuring you have all the facts. If you happen to live in a state that does not require a license, then find an alternative means of assessing the company’s competency.

If you are in the market for a residential contractor, contact the professionals at University Painters, Inc. We will treat your home like it’s our own.

Repaint,University Painters
Written by Colleen Kalil

Double Checking Commercial Painting Projects

So, you have decided to take the plunge and have your commercial property upgraded with a new paint job. You have done your due diligence and gotten no less than three quotes. You’ve compared them for similarities and differences to help determine what best fits your needs at the most reasonable price.

  1. Compare the number of hours the contractor bids to complete the job. If there is a wide discrepancy among the bids, question each contractor on how they arrived at that number and then use your common sense. Some contractors will underbid the number of hours just to get the business and then either cut corners to complete the job during the listed time frame or come back and say there were time and cost overruns. The internet is an excellent resource to get an estimate for this information.
  2. Go over the terms of the contract with your painter prior to both people signing it. The painter has the option of visiting the site more than once to ensure they have given the job its ‘due’. Any changes or decisions to back out should occur before both parties agree. Otherwise, it can become a legal matter.
  3. This is your business! Walk through the job with the painter and have them explain what they intend to do. Because it is only fair that the professional be paid for their time, expect that they will require a fee for these services.
  4. It is a good idea to visit a few jobs the painter has completed previously. It will give you a better idea of what a finished product looks like. Any reputable painter will be more than happy to provide references.
    You are a smart business owner – otherwise you wouldn’t exist! Do the smart thing by keeping your property presentable while also getting the best bang for your buck. One last piece of advice – you might take the time to visit a work site in progress. There is nothing more insightful than seeing the painting company at work.
  5. If you are in the market for a reputable and expert painting company for your commercial property, contact the professionals at University Painters, Inc. We look forward to working with you.
painters,University Painters
Written by Colleen Kalil

Beware of Paint Contractor Scams

The contracting industry is all abuzz lately because scamming is wreaking havoc with manyr businesses. Here are just a few examples of what you as a consumer should be on guard against!

While technology has been a boon to the human race – opening up new and wonderful possibilities in all areas of life – it has also become an avenue for tricking people out of their hard earned money. Texting is the latest medium for scamming. For example, a bona fide painting contractor recently received a text asking for a quote on a job. But, several mistakes appeared in the request and the contractor politely explained that he only gives quotes once he has seen the structure and can do a walk-through to better estimate the amount of time and work that will be required. The scammer then stated he was out of town and he was giving the contractor permission to go ahead and make the quote. The contractor put the issue to bed by saying that he would contact the realtor who recently sold the home and see if he would be willing to open the house up. By the way, the home had been recently purchased but it had been done in a different name than the scammer gave. Once this offer was made the scammer ended all contact.

There are other fraudulent schemes that contractors and consumers should watch out for. One is a request for the payment to be made in full up front before any work has begun. Reputable and licensed contractors will provide a contract and the usual amount that states will allow to be paid upfront is 10% of the total cost.

In fact, if you have a painter that does not want to provide a contract who says you should just take their word for it – move on! There is are guarantees without a contract. Contracts are legally binding and should be signed by both parties. With all the exceptional painting companies in the business you should have no trouble finding the right one for your job.

As if the aforementioned hustles aren’t enough, still another bit of trickery is for the contractor to ask for more money because they ‘ran into unforeseen problems’. The responsibility to provide an accurate quote for all work to be done rests with the painting contractor. Any unforeseen problems will be their responsibility unless you have requested changes.

If you are in the market to have painting done at your house or place of business, contact the honest professionals at University Painters, Inc.

Professional Painters,University Painters
Written by Colleen Kalil

The Special Care Needed to Paint Medical Facilities

Some painting projects are more sensitive than others. For example, painting an auto body shop may require general expertise but painting a medical facility of any type requires special knowledge . Hospitals and medical buildings of all types must keep in mind the types of actions that are going to be taking place. In any given day, a hospital will schedule surgeries, operate laboratory facilities, feed hundreds of people in the cafeteria and require the use of chemicals to clean and maintain the building. Trying to fit painting inside or outside into this schedule can be a very complex undertaking to say the least.

Then, of course, there is the idea that the smell of paint or paint fumes can be mildly offensive to some and make others physically ill. So, as you can see, painting a hospital or medical facility requires expertise and experience. What kind of knowledge base would you expect a paint company to have if they were going to undertake a hospital painting project?

A professional painter will understand low-VOC and no-VOC. VOC stands for volatile organic compounds. These are NOT harmful to humans or the environment. The term usually refers to paint (and several other types of materials such as cleaners, sealants and adhesives). Volatile organic compounds are photo-chemical and react when they are exposed to the air. This could occur on a short term basis or even over long periods of time in the form of harmful gases from traditional paints and adhesives. They can even lead to some very serious illnesses such as cancer, central nervous system disorders, headaches and much more. Therefore, the newer paints that are low-VOC or no-VOC are the clear better choice for large commercial jobs where people’s health is at risk.

Other things that also need to be taken into consideration when doing commercial painting of a hospital are the types of drywall repair to be completed prior to the actual application of paint, the types of flooring (non-slip safety and epoxy), and the electrostatic paint equipment that will be needed.

If you have a large and sensitive commercial paint project you need completed, call the experts at University Painters, Inc. Your painting needs are our business!

Staining,University Painters
Written by Colleen Kalil

Stains You Won’t Want to Get Out!

Spring and summer are peak times to update your home’s exterior. The gloomy and gray skies are gone and you are able to see how your house looks more clearly. If your home’s wooden exterior looks worn and faded, it is time to give it a fresh look. If you have a home that is ‘stained’, then this blog should be very helpful.

First, there are a variety of stain options for your home. A clear stain will allow the natural grain of the wood and its color to shine through. An application of clear stain will also allow the wood to weather naturally. If you add toner this will give the wood just a hint of color. As you might expect, there are a wide variety of toner options on the market. A toner, much like the clear stain, will still allow the natural color to shine through. A semi-translucent stain is more intense in color but also allows you to see the natural grain and texture of the wood to which it is applied. Finally, a solid stain will cover the grain, but the texture will still be visible.

Deciding on a stain should not be solely dependent on the color you want for your home’s presentation. It is important to realize that the darker the stain the better protection it gives your wood in all different types of weather. If your home’s exterior is covered with paint your only option will be to use a solid stain. No matter what stain you use, you should also keep in mind how it will blend or conflict with the color of your roof, garage door, windows and other components. Decide in advance if you want it to contrast or blend.

Staining your home is much different than painting it. It can make a bold statement, depending on the neighborhood in which it is used. Before taking this step it is advisable to choose a couple of stain options and apply them in small patches on different areas of the house. Take some time to ‘try them on’ and see which one you like best.

If you are looking for professional help creating that ‘stained finish’ to your home, contact the experts at University Painters, Inc.

Exterior,University Painters
Written by Colleen Kalil

Are You Stuck on Stucco?

The exteriors of homes can be made of many different types of materials. There’s processed wood, siding, brick and more. One type of home exterior material that can prove to be especially challenging to construct, maintain and paint is stucco.

Stucco is ‘fine plaster’. It is used on certain interior decorations and molding or as coating for the surfaces of walls. Stucco is durable and resists all types of weather so it is an excellent choice for a home’s exterior. Too, it can be turned into various patterns. The appearance may be smooth, raked, or even circular to give a home a unique look.

Stucco is not expensive as it is made from lime, sand and cement. It is simply a wonderful alternative for your home’s exterior. Even so, it will need to be refreshed with a fresh coat of paint. But, before you think about opening that first new can of paint, follow the same procedure you would with any exterior painting job.

Begin by walking the entire perimeter of your home. Look for places that are showing signs of wear, tiny cracks and holes, mildew or other damage. Next, power wash the entire exterior then perform a second walk around. This will help you confirm what areas really need repair and what might have been hidden by dirt!

Fill any small holes and cracks with a siliconized caulk. Make sure that the caulk has time to set and dry before moving forward. Now, before putting on that final coat of paint, do your home a favor and add a layer of acrylic primer. This helps to secure the weather resistant properties of the paint you are about to apply. In other words, it adds to the staying power of the paint while also enhancing the color you will apply.

Next apply the paint. It is best to paint around the exterior of the windows, doors and trim first to set up a nice perimeter border. Be sure to add a second coat.

If you have any questions, contact the expert exterior painters at University Painters, Inc. We look forward to creating the perfect look for you.

Professisonal Painting,University Painters, Inc
Written by Colleen Kalil

The Difference in Paints by Price

Spring is setting in and people start dreaming about spring cleaning and modernizing your home’s look. One of the busiest times of the year for home improvement stores is the spring! If you have stopped in lately and seen the price of exterior paint, you may be asking yourself why is there such a difference in price? In some cases, you can get a gallon of paint for ten dollars while further down the shelf it can cost up to forty dollars or more. Of course, if you buy paint in larger quantities the price difference can shrink. Is more expensive paint any better than the cheaper stuff? Let’s consider this more closely in this blog.

There are several factors that influence the difference in paint prices. Research also shows that nearly every paint company makes paint that falls within the continuum of inexpensive to expensive, so the name of the company alone should not be your deciding factor.

Paint is made of resins, solvents and pigments. The more expensive the paint the more pure and smaller the pigments. Pigments in the less expensive paints are of a lesser grade and spread out more which means the job will require multiple coats, so it is just as costly in the end. Too, the more expensive the paint the more likely the resin is of a higher quality which adds to the durability of the job.

Lastly, the solvents in paint also vary according to cost with cheaper paints having more solvents that evaporate leaving the paint and resin behind when it dries. And the more expensive paints also have additives that help prevent painted surfaces from mildew. Experts also advise you to purchase paint that is one hundred percent acrylic. Why? Because acrylic paint is fast drying and water-resistant when it has dried.

Whether you intend to do your own exterior (or interior) painting this spring, the best idea is to purchase the higher quality but more expensive paint. For all practical purposes, it will be cheaper in the long-run.

And if you decide to turn the painting responsibility over to an exterior home painting company, be sure they use high quality paint as well. If you are looking for experts in exterior and interior home painting, contact the professionals at University Painters, Inc. We look forward to providing you with superior service.

Exterior Painters,University Painters
Written by Colleen Kalil

Match the Color of Your Home’s Exterior to the Style

There are so many different styles of homes in the United States! People who live in certain locales tend to find them clustered. For example, if you live along the northeast coast you will find a lot of Cape Cod type homes. Floridians go for a more coastal look. In the Midwest there are blocks of Victorian homes mixed in with the colonial look, which, by the way, is a favorite style of Virginians. In Texas you’ll see lots of ranches. Yes, your home usually reflects the general style of the community.

As a result, when it’s time to paint the exterior to give it a fresh look, the paint company you choose should know the best colors to accentuate your home. In fact, they should be able to assist in the decision-making process of color selection by offering suggestions based on their professional knowledge. However, here are a few recommendations that should help you start thinking about the right color for your home.

If you own a home by the water, particularly the ocean or a lake, the best colors that blend with the environment are blues, grays and white. These colors help the house blend into the scenery using the water as a backdrop to tranquility. Interestingly, recent decorators suggest that a bright colored door can give the home a fun look. But, approach this idea with caution!

A colonial home generally presents best with classic colors such as grays, greens, soft yellows, blues or the quintessential whites. Again, decorators in recent years have recommended a bright color door to offset the mild look of light colored paint. Take pictures of homes that have made that choice and think it over before using this idea for your own home.

Ranch homes are one-floor styles of the 1950s. In their heyday they could be painted any color and often were! Today, however, they present best in muted tones of browns, grays, blues or even avocado. Bright colors are no longer acceptable.

Finally, Victorian homes tend to look good in any number of colors, so you are able to choose a color that suits your personal taste. Don’t forget that the shingles, driveway and other accents of the home can be tailored to your style as well. Looking to redo your home’s exterior? Let the professionals at University Painters, Inc. provide you with exceptional service!

Exterior Painters,University Painters
Written by Colleen Kalil

Exterior Decorating Tips to Enhance that New Paint Job

There is no question that a freshly painted home has increased value and curb appeal. Even if you don’t intend to move and have only painted for your own enjoyment, there are additional things you can do that will further enhance the look of your home. Let’s consider some of these ideas in this entry.

• Add a fence. Fencing can serve as an addition to the home while also marking the boundaries of your lot. Fencing comes in a variety of options such as wood or chain link and also comes in a variety of sizes that can allow for privacy and safety.
• Add window boxes. They can be a bright and interesting addition all year round. You are able to put in seasonal blooms and decorations to brighten the home and make it more interesting and inviting to the passerby. Window boxes also come in a variety of materials, many of which give the appearance of one material (such as stone) while being made of durable plastic.
• Lighting. There are so many options to add light to your home! Solar lights are available that cost nothing except the initial purchase. They store their own energy and beam in the dark. Other lights can also be purchased to accent a particular part of the home such as entryways or windows. Lights come in a wide variety of colors and designs and add to the uniqueness of your home’s presentation.
• Paint accents. Once you have painted your home’s exterior and have become accustomed to the new look this is the best time to decide if you would like contrasting colors for window panes and even your door. Many times contrasting colors gives a home a bit of spark and interest.
• Don’t forget the hardware. Hardware for doors, windows, the garage and other appropriate areas can also make your home ‘sparkle’. Hardware can be fun or it can be used to subtly accent an area.
• Consider a new garage door or redo the driveway. These are two parts of the home that can make a home stand out in a neighborhood. Garage doors can now be custom made and options for driveways are expansive as well.

Let University Painters, Inc. give your home a professional coat of paint then you can add the extras!

commerical painting,University Painters
Written by Colleen Kalil

Commercial Painting Services

There are a wide variety of industrial, retail and office buildings that require regular repainting to keep the exterior looking fresh and inviting. This type of painting has different expectations than painting the exterior of a home. While both are important, if you are in the market for a commercial painter, be sure to ask for references to determine if they have completed any of the following types of jobs. Commercial painting is much different than house painting and you want to be sure the company you hire is up to the job!

• Condos, apartments and HOAs. Commercial painting professionals know that the best time to undertake these projects is in the spring when there is a better chance of multiple days without inclement weather. April, May and June are great times for exterior painting of projects of this size.

Your commercial painter should know that it is important for the weather to be dry over several days and that the forecast is for it to remain that way for the duration of the project. Water or moisture in the form of humidity or a high dew point can cause mildew, water rot, and paint failure.

Commercial painters of large properties such as apartments or condo units begin by inspecting the entire property for any problems with the surfaces to determine if repairs must be made prior to painting.

Next, the commercial painter should clean the surface using high pressured water. This should be done twice. The first time will loosen the dirt and impurities and the second cleaning will then wash them away. After this, repairs of cracks and removal of loose paint can be completed.

Exteriors should then be primed. Priming acts as an initial coat for the walls. It makes the surface smooth and ‘stable’ before the paint is applied. In the end, a primer gives the paint a more polished look while also increasing the life of the paint job.

The final step is to paint. Once this is done, the professional commercial paint company should do a complete and thorough walk through to ensure the job looks good from all angles.

Commercial property managers should consider painting the exteriors annually. It keeps the property looking pristine and presentable and helps to maintain its value. If you are in the market for exceptional commercial property painters, contact the experts at University Painters, Inc. We’ve got you covered!

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