Zero VOC paints.

When looking to refresh your home’s look, repainting can brighten up a room’s look quickly. First, though, you may want to explore the option of using zero VOC [Volatile Organic Compound] paint.

elementary speaking, VOC’s are the odor you smell when repainting a room. Ingredients react with other elements in the air to produce the strong scent of paint, which can result in a headache or feeling light-headed. While you may think that this is a temporary problem, in fact, VOC fumes are released over the course of years. In fact, only 50% of VOC fumes are given off during the first 12 months, meaning you breath these harmful chemicals every day.

Paint is composed of three primary parts: the dye, the binding agent that binds the paint to your walls, and solvents that keep the paint in a liquid form. This last ingredient evaporates, leaving the color pigmentation bound to walls. When made with oil-bases, VOC levels are higher than water-based paints. Therefore, aim for a VOC level less than 10 g/L

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A little goes a long way.

Hiring a contractor is a stressful process.
We pick through the bunch and we try to keep those who do good work close and near for recommendations or our next project.
We inspect their work and make sure their doing everything that was in the contract.
We complain about where they park and the employees that may smoke or speak as if they are in a bar.
The question I have is do we say “Thank you” throughout the process? I’ve spoke with contractors and worked in places where the customer has talked down or treated the guys poorly and also where they treated them good and there is a difference in performance on both sites.
They say you van catch more with honey than vinegar, needless to say I’m a believer.
Customer #1 Suburban couple doing well for themselves. They don’t speak, wave or acknowledge the workers. Ninety nine degrees in the shade and not a cup of water offered. Complain quite a bit about small things yet not once gives off a compliment or a sign of appreciation only speaks to the Owner and Foreman.
Customer #2 Another suburban couple digging into savings to do a necessary repair on the home. They place of picture of lemonade on the back porch for the workers and on the last day they cooked on the grill as they were so satisfied with the work. Allowing the workers to use the restroom in the basement as long as they removed their boots before entering. Have the greetings and once in awhile asked “How’s the family?”.

Which one of these customers do you think will have the better results from the contractor? If something extras was needed, one customer would get it for free while the other would be charged for it. If trash or crap was stuffed in the walls of one of these projects, I want you to guess which one it would’ve been.

You owe your contractor nothing but what’s in the contract. It’s not necessary but if not why not? Customer service is a two way street. Its not different than talking to your waiter like crap and them sending your food back. Think about that.

First things first.

Many people today are taking advantage of the housing market as the prices for a home are becoming more affordable. Foreclosures and HUD homes are very common yet they almost always require a bit of work and are never move on ready. The question is always what can I afford to do and should I do first.
Painting and flooring is a very common answer yet I say let’s look at what the inspector seen and what is structurally on need of attention. These matters matter the most. Hire a professional to inspect the home then one to correct your home and last what we do is dress the home. Often the error is made to make this pretty, bring in granite and tile backsplash etc. but this can be considered a grave error. It’s like putting perfume on a pig.

The painting and tile work you can actually do yourself. Yes, yourself.

Good contractor meets uninformed client

Stanley was on his way home from a long yet fruitful day as he finished up a sheetrock job early so that he wouldn’t have to return. Putting all his tools away he felt the vibration from his phone. After nearly 30 years in the business and operating heavy machines and power tools the young man had lost a bit of his hearing abilities so ringtones did him no justice. “Yes this is Stanley of S & L Contracting, How can I serve you?”. Nothing out of the ordinary it was a young vibrant lady looking for someone to rehab a house she bought on foreclosure, kind of frantic requesting him to come by tonight and look at it. Stan was tired but this customer seemed persistent and refusing to take “no” for an answer so the address was given and he headed that way.
Later model foreign vehicle in the yard, something told him this wasn’t going to go good but this customer was recommended by a respectable long time client so he pushed himself on. As most good contractors do he inspected the house with every step he took, noticing the holes in the fascia boards, the gutters backed up with leaves and debris that was causing them to hang, the blistering roof and he hadn’t made it inside yet. “Hello I’m Brandy and I want you to knock down this wall, put tile in here and hardwood floors in here, I want granite in here with a backsplash to match and maybe we’ll…….”. Stanley chuckled as he’s seen this before “Excuse me Ms. Brandy but I think there’s a couple of items we’ll need to address before you get to the cosmetic projects” She didn’t understand what he meant and Stan seen that look before as well so he proceeded . “Do you have a copy of the home inspection report, I’d like to point out some things that needs to be addressed immediately”…………………………..

Some people can paint good, others are good painters.

We can do many of the home improvement task ourselves but we must respect the skilled professional who has reached near excellence. There’s a difference between someone who puts sheetrock mud on walls (mud-slingers) and one whom finishes sheetrock. A good finisher doesn’t have piles of dust on the floor (due to putting too much mud on the wall) because he’s learned that lesson already and has learned to control his tools. The same with a painter who can cut with his brush like an barber. A good painter usually caulks the cracks, preps the walls and puts the furniture in the center of the room or stages the area. When situations arise with pros they usually keep gliding because they encounter these situations all the time. There is plenty of things a pro does and doesn’t realize as it has become second nature. Many can do it themselves, have done or did it themselves and will continue to do so. Then there’s those who have the passion to learn and go beyond completing the task, these people go above the bar. These are the people that pay attention to detail and will fix what their customers don’t see because it would bother them even after leaving the job site. These are the people that you hire. After all, if you just wanted not bad results anybody could of done it. When spending good money you should receive good results!