Hiring A Pro Might Be the Way to Go!

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How to decide whether to DIY or hire a professional for a paint job.

When it comes to completing a large-scale paint job, there’s a lot of deciding factors that can help you determine whether you’re cut out to DIY the job or if hiring a professional is in your best interest. Although you might think accomplishing a paint job might be an attainable challenge, we’re here to tell you what the major home project sites aren’t telling you and that sometimes, it isn’t as simple as ten “easy to follow” steps. To make this decision, you first will have to mentally answer these following questions.

  • What project am I trying to complete? There’s many different paint projects you may desire taking on, so it’s important to assess each project based on your experience and skills.

“If you have never painted before, even an interior surface, an exterior is probably not a good place to start. If you have painted an interior and had many problems or hated doing it, this is probably a good sign to call a pro.”

–Carl Minchew, Director of Product Development for Benjamin Moore.

Home Exterior: As Minchew said, painting the exterior of the home is not a project for beginners. We even recommend that experienced interior painters hire a professional because of the workload. Professional painting companies like us have separate interior crews that are very different from the exterior painting crews because the work is so different. It requires different tools and techniques, as well as knowledge of different types of products. If you want the outside of your house painted, continue reading because you have a lot more to consider!

Interior Walls: If you’re trying to update the interior design of your home, fresh wall paint is a great way to transform a room. Interior wall painting, depending on the room and desired outcome, could go either way in terms of DIY or hire. Painting a room isn’t as intricate as a home exterior, but take into account that there is still a lot of preparation, such as clearing furniture, removing wallpaper, spackling, taping and  priming that may be necessary. And just like any other home project, painting a room will take time. If you’re still unsure whether or not to paint a room yourself, keep reading.

Cabinets: If you are looking to update your kitchen by painting the cabinets, this is another circumstance where it’s in your best interest to hire a professional. Your kitchen is where you’ll spend a lot of your time and a space that you want to look presentable for guests. A lot more work goes into painting cabinets than you might think, so let the professionals who have done it dozens of times before deal with the hassle.

This is an example of skipping the taping step and sloppy painting done by a home owner that hired us to fix it.

Doors: Painting a door on its own is a project that you can probably take on without much experience. There still is important preparation steps necessary, but with a little research and a few tools you should be able to do it on your own. If you’re revamping the entire exterior of your home, a professional company can paint the front door easily as an additional part of the job!

Shutters: A commonly overlooked aspect of home exterior, painted shutters can nicely accent the color of your home or even add a pop of color. This job could be a DIY, but if your home is more than one story, we recommend hiring a professional to accomplish the job for your safety. Painting on a ladder isn’t as easy as it looks! Just like your front door, if you’re already planning to hire a company to paint your whole house, they can paint the shutters as well.

Furniture: Painting wooden furniture like kitchen chairs or a dresser is a more attainable project that you can do on your own. A smaller scale project like this requires much less time and preparation and allows room for error that can easily be fixed. Updating your décor gives you the opportunity to be creative and artistic with the paint. There’s hundreds of YouTube tutorials on how to DIY furniture so start exploring and get painting!

Mural: Hire a professional artist for the best results, or you’ll have to hire us to come paint over it!

Still need more convincing that you shouldn’t attack all paint projects on your own? Consider these questions to help make your decision.

  • Do I know what materials are needed? You might be thinking, “just paint and some brushes right?” Not quite! Painting a surface certainly requires those two main materials but you also may need: painter’s tape, spackle, sand paper, ladders, scaffolding, paint scrapers, power washer, hose, buckets, safety googles, drop cloths, sealant, primer, paint rollers, roller trays, a paint sprayer, caulking, caulk guns, sandpaper and stir sticks just to name a few! So if you’re like me and you’re imagining a cash register going “cha-ching!” over and over again with that list of products, you might be rethinking tackling this project on your own. And, realistically you’ll use all of these materials once then they’ll go into storage. So instead of spending your money on purchasing all the required equipment, just hire a crew that already owns and knows exactly how to use all these materials.
  • Do I have the time and a flexible schedule to complete the job? There is so much preparation, planning, time and skill that is required to accomplish a largescale paint job that you might be biting off more than you can chew. For example, painting an entire home isn’t a handyman job that you can knock out by yourself on a Saturday afternoon. Depending on the weather, amount of repairs needed, size of the home, number of painters along with other variables, the job could take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. That’s why we say save yourself the headaches and let the professionals take care of it! And if you do end up hiring a company to paint for you, be understanding if the job takes a little longer than you anticipated because many of these variables are out of the control of to the workers.
  • What is my knowledge of home exteriors? The project process will look very different depending on how old your home is and what it’s built out of. Homes built before 1978 may contain lead in the paint and will require extra care in removal. Older homes may have issues with mildew, peeling, or structure. Your exterior home may be comprised of brick, wood, stucco, stone, synthetic siding or fiber cement siding. Depending on the surface, the techniques and steps of painting may be very different.
  • Do I know what I’m doing? This question may seem a bit silly, but take a minute and think if you actually are aware of everything that goes into the painting process. Doing a quick google search and following the steps of a tutorial might seem like a reliable source, but like I said before there are many variables and obstacles that could arise to complicate the process. Painting a home is a rather physical project! Be sure to keep this in mind before putting yourself or others in harm’s way.
  • Do I know the possible outcomes? At Textbook Painting, we’ve seen a number of jobs that were completely poorly and we were called to come fix them. If you want your project to look it’s best, be warned that there are many things that could make your home look sloppy or unfinished.

Hopefully by answering these questions you have a better idea of whether or not to complete a project on your own. Maybe you’ve come to the conclusion that hiring a pro is in your best interest! Here are a few tips and things to consider going about the hiring process.

  • Ask around. Talk to your friends, family, neighbors and coworkers about previous paint jobs they’ve had done. Ask about the pricing, how long it too, the professionalism of workers, the customer service, the follow-up process, the overall experience they had and if they’re pleased with the finished product. Don’t forget to also read reviews online for unbiased opinions from strangers!
  • Do your research. Look up different painting companies in your area. (If you’re from Cleveland, we could be the right fit for you!) Read about the services they offer and if their work aligns with the project you’re seeking help with.
  • Get quotes from a few companies. Getting an idea of how much the job will cost from a few businesses will help in making a final decision. It may even make you realize you need to adjust your budget or timeline for the project’s completion so that you can properly save up. Many companies offer free consultations so there’s no harm in getting several quotes! Painters will also be able to give great advice as far as popular paint colors and what type of paint to use.
  • Prepare a timeline. What is you ideal completion date for the project? Keep in mind what we said before about that this is a time consuming project, so it’s important to keep your expectations realistic.
  • Weigh out your options. Just because a company is cheapest, doesn’t mean that it’s the one you should choose. Or, the most popular company might already be fully booked for the summer and might not be able to help you before the season ends! Because you value your home highly, it’s important to make a pros and cons list for each option to ensure you choose the best fit for your needs.
  • Decide on a color. This can be a very important and difficult decision, so don’t take it lightly. Choosing the color of your home exterior can be intimidating because it can make all the difference when it comes to selling your home. At Textbook Painting, we provide free color consultations with an interior designer to help you choose so you’re happy with the results!
  • Make your final decisions! Finally, you’ll be able to get that project underway! Now sit back, relax and let the pros do what their best at!

Hopefully by answering these questions and following these steps, we made the painting project process a little clearer. If you’re around Cleveland, check out the services we have to offer and get a free quote today! We’d love an opportunity to work with you.

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