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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How are you doing with your springtime checklist?

Springtime Checklist

Spring is in the air, I can hear the birds chirping. Slight chill in the morning but the sun is warming up the earths surface and shedding light upon us. A lovely day it is to get started with our curb appeal as we walk around and see what the weather has done to our homes. So many things we could do, want to do and will eventually do yet without a checklist or plan it’ll seem overwhelming or daunting.

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.

Water everywhere and why?

Sometimes we run into situations where we could of avoided had we spent a little more time planning instead of rushing to do. I recently received a email that was last that stage. The homeowner had water leaking out from inside a wall over a period of time unknowingly and the walls had watermarks. Being that the marks were behind the couch she didn’t realize it as soon as she would have had it been not hidden. Franticly she broke open the wall and couldn’t stop the leak or find the shut off valve. After she calmed down she realized that the main shut off was in the garage so she shut it down and went to the hardware store acquired necessary parts and pieces to complete the project. (PVC glue and cleaner a coupling a simple fix). What caused the leak is what she found amusing. She hung a picture and since it was big she used a big screw and it hit a supply line on its way in. A common issue but now she has to replace damp insulation, repair the wall, patch and paint. Lesson learned.
I say all of that to say this:
• Use stud finder to locate studs and fasten your hangers the stud for a firm grip and to hold objects you hang.
• hardware stores have many different picture hangers that will suit the weight your trying to hang, spend a little time in this section before hanging heavy objects upon your walls.
• Never sink a 3″ or 4″ screw or nail in a wall expecting it to hold anything especially if it doesn’t hit a stud.

Thanks and send any question you may have to askabuilder@thebuildersbuilder.com