What to Consider When Hiring Professionals for Interior Painting

download (41)Whether it’s a remodel of an older home or decorating a brand new house, interior painting is an important part of the construction. It can be a pain to do it alone, so most people hire others. Here are some basic pointers to keep in mind when it comes to making your home a colorful, peaceful retreat.

Have Colors in Mind

This may sound obvious, but many people start interior painting without really having a full vision for their decor. Think about what each room’s decor and style will be like. Keep in mind smaller rooms-darker colors tend to make the room feel even smaller. In this case, light and bright colors will make the area feel open. Decide what sort of ambiance the room should have; for instance, bedrooms should be calm and relaxing. Light blues, grays, and neutral colors may work here. Figure out ahead of time what kind of colors to have in each room, and it will make the job much easier.

Lead Paint

It’s important to check for lead in homes built before the late seventies. Old layers of paint may still have traces of lead, which can be detrimental to one’s health and the environment. Make sure your painters check all layers previously painted for any traces of lead.

Think of Extra Costs

Sometimes, one is not just paying for paint and labor. Depending on the wall texture, it may require extra preparation and priming before the project is started. As well, ceilings that need to be painted will become an added cost. Painting baseboards and crown molding may cost more due to extra labor and additional colors. Even covering large walls in a house with high ceilings can cost more.

Decide on Finishes

This is definitely an aspect of interior painting that many overlook. Depending on the room, the walls may require a specific finish, such as a flat finish versus a high sheen finish. Flat does not have much of a shine, and it may be harder to clean because of its dry texture. Higher sheen or eggshell finishes have a higher gloss and hold up better to washing. In general, high gloss finishes are easier to clean. They do especially well in areas of high humidity or dampness, such as bathrooms and kitchens. Eggshell finishes in kitchens also make grease and grime cleanup easier.

Prep for the Job

Instead of hiring the painters to do the prep work for the home, it may be beneficial to do it yourself. This is important in any house, but especially for older homes with wallpaper that needs to be removed. This can save both time and money when the hired interior painters do not have to do this themselves. This also isn’t a step that should be avoided; paint can peel, crack, or chip if there is not a proper base.

If hiring a professional is required, it’s best to follow these tips and try to make the job easier. It will lead to a gorgeous home and beautiful results.

Tips for Choosing House Painting Colors

download (42)It is often said that the easiest way to change the appearance of a home is to paint it. And, while this is true, knowing what colors to paint your home’s exterior, or perhaps determine what color to paint a particular room, is rarely as easy as it sounds. Just take a walk down the paint aisle of your local home improvement store or visit a paint store and you will quickly discover that the days of simple red or white are no more. There are now more hue variations than one can begin to imagine. Add in the number tools, brushes, trays, etc. and just the thought of a weekend spent house painting can be overwhelming!

Thankfully, house painting doesn’t have to be terrifying or overwhelming. With an understanding of the following paint selection tips from house painting pros and average homeowners, you can have a new look for your home in no time at all.

Paint Selection Tips for Anyone

· Start in a smaller space. You don’t have to paint a main space first. Choose a small room, a hallway, or even and accent wall. Use an area rug, pillow, piece of artwork, or some other piece with a color you like in it, and take it to the store with you. The salesperson can help you find a paint color to match, or either custom mix that color for you.

· Use paint to enhance the existing architecture. By painting molding, mantel, built-ins, or doors, you can add color in a small way and make a decision regarding main wall color after you have lived with the new look for a few days/weeks.

· Note what rooms are visible to one another. Pay attention to what colors are used (if any) and how much of each room can be seen from an adjoining room. Consider keeping adjoining spaces in neutral tones as these are nearly foolproof choices.

· Think about the mood you want to create. Rich colors such as brown, deep greens, rich reds, etc. lend an air of intimacy and warmth; while softer colors like blue, light yellow or green have calming affects.

· Think about your lighting. Natural lights show the truest color, incandescent lights bring out the warm tones and, fluorescent lighting casts a blue tone.

· Know the terms. Hue is the term for color; the value refers to how light or dark it is, saturation refers to how dominant the hue is; and, intensity is the brilliance of the color.

Choosing a paint color for your next makeover project doesn’t have to be intimidating. You can walk with confidence into any paint aisle and make the decision with ease. Then, it’s just a matter of painting the space yourself or calling in a professional such as the Bay Country Painters. Regardless of your choice, you can have a great new look for your home in no time at all.

Of Primers, Sealers and Undercoats

images (17)So you have decided to give your home a new coat of paint and while looking for paints, you come across this terms and wonder what they do. Firstly, I would like the congratulate you on your brave decision to re-paint your house. In order to ensure your newly painted house will look as good as it can be, it is important to have an understanding of these terms. Not to worry as even professional painters are confused by these words “primers”, “sealers” and “undercoats” are used interchangeably. In this article, we will help you clear some of the doubts you may have.

What is a Primer?

We will first have to take a look at what a primer does.

A primer is a coat of paint that is applied directly to the bare substrate. Its main functions are to:

1. Provide excellent adhesion to the substrate (wall) for the new paint.
2. Provide protection to the substrate (wall) until it can be top-coated.
3. Prevent moisture reaching the substrate (wall)
4. Protect the substrate. Some wood primers have fungicide to prevent mould-growth and anti- rust properties in metal primers.

Primers are usually pigmented to allow painters to know that a wall has been primed. Also they contain a higher amount of pigment volume concentration (PVC) which results in a slightly “rough” finish after drying. This “roughness” provides for better adhesion for the subsequent coats of paint.

What is an Undercoat?

An undercoat is designed to fulfil the following roles:

1. Provide a base for the topcoat to adhere to.
2. Provide a film to prevent moisture from getting to the substrate (wall).
3. Even out small imperfection on rough surfaces.

Undercoats generally have the role of filling surface imperfections and preventing moisture. They have high pigment volume concentration (PVC) to fulfil this role. Steel primers often contain pigments such as micas and talc powder which work well to protect against moisture.

What is a Sealer?

A sealer can be seen as a specialised primer. A sealer can be used prior to, or in place of a primer. Sealers are designed to:

1. Provide good adhesion for the subsequent coats.
2. Recondition poor substrates such as old, cracked walls.
3. Seal off surface porosity to prevent subsequent coats from sinking in which could lead to a “non-uniformed” finish.
4. Prevent stains.

The composition of sealers are quite varied as sealers carry out many different roles. Unfortunately, the naming of sealers and primers can be rather loose among products. In this case, it is important to know what you want to do with the sealer/primer and check against its uses on the product label.

General Rules

1. An undercoat is a type of primer, but a primer is not always an undercoat.
2. If it is a new surface, use a primer. For surfaces that have been painted, use an undercoat.
3. A sealer can be seen as a specialized primer.
4. Always use primers, sealers and undercoats from the same brand as your top-coat to ensure maximum adhesion. While most brands claim their primers and undercoats can work with any paint, they general do testing only within their product lines.

Through this article, we hope we have given you a better understanding of 3 different products. With this new knowledge, you are better prepared to undertake that painting project and utilize these products more effectively.

Benefits Of Installing A Sump Pump

images (16)A sump pump is used to stop water from building up in basement and crawl spaces. It is a common inclusion in various residential and commercial buildings. It is a waterproofing system that collects and redirects water away from the foundation of the house. It is placed in the pits designed to collect water and other liquids.

There are mainly two types of sump pumps, namely, submersible and non-submersible. Installation of this pump should only be done by an expert. He can also advise you on the type of pump which will be best suited for your house. Here are a few benefits of installing a sump pump in your house:

Prevents Damage from Flooding – It is a great device if your house is in a region which is prone to heavy rains. It can help prevent your home from water damage due to flooding and humidity, especially the basement. It also saves you from huge financial losses that water can cause. It ensures that every space and room below the ground level remain dry and warm by eliminating dampness and humidity. Installing a sump pump is a convenient and low-cost solution to remove accumulated water from your home. It will also keep your personal belongings from getting damaged.

Reduces the growth of mold/mildew – A damp and moist basement helps in the development of mold. By preventing water from accumulating in the basement you can prevent mold and mildew from growing. This not only helps in protecting your house from any damage, but also protects the health of your family members.

Reduces the risk of Fire – Electric fires are common in flooded areas. You can prevent electrocution and electrical fires by installing a sump pump.

Increases the value of your Home – If your basement other lower areas remain dry, the foundation of your home will remain structurally sound. This will help in increasing the value of your home considerably.

Some sump pumps are powered by electricity, while others are water-powered. The number of pumps you need to install in your home will depend on the size of your home. Sump pump installation is a complex task, therefore it is never recommended to install it on your own. It is best to hire a plumber for this task. It is important to make sure that you hire a professional and skilled plumber for this task.


Residential Painting Contractors

download (40)This is a professional who paints exterior and interior walls, the trim, and porches on a home. Professional residential painting contractors have specialized knowledge in knowing what the right types of paint to use for a job along with adding details to the painting job such as borders or texturing. There are some that also have the equipment that will allow them to reach places up high such as window shutters or second stories. Their primary job will be to provide paint applications in various homes. They may also work for a builder painting the homes that are being built.

Due to many homes now having vinyl siding that is paint-free homeowners no longer need the outside of their homes painted. There are some homeowners who do prefer the authentic wood look and may still need an exterior painter to do this work. Some residential painting contractors have their own business and will hire work out to subcontractors if they are extremely busy or have a rush job. Other times they may do all the work themselves so they will make a bigger profit.

There are benefits of hiring residential painting contractors instead of the homeowner doing all the painting. In addition to there being less painting for the homeowner the contractor has the special equipment and tools that can help the job go faster, the paint job will have a more professional look to it, and the contractor may have employees to help with the work. Some examples of special equipment and tools can include specialized lifts or ladders, extensions to attach to paint rollers so they can reach higher areas, knowledge how to do decorative details and more. Residential painting contractors are often skilled in many other tasks besides painting. They know how to get walls ready for painting by being able to sand and prime the walls and how to fill in holes and cracks so when it is painted it looks like nothing was wrong with the wall.

When hiring residential painting contractors you want to make sure that they have the experience to do the job. You can find a local contractor by checking with their local phone directory, asking friends and family for references, or looking online. Ask to see their license because in some areas they have to take the same exam as the general contractors. You should also ask how long they have been in business and what specialize training they have. You should also ask if they charge by the hour or by the job and if they give free estimates. Get everything in writing in the contract.


3 Ways Water Enters Your Basement

download (39)There are 3 ways that water enters your home. Cracks are created in the wall, footer and the floor.

The Wall

(Wall is usually made from Cinder Block, Poured Concrete, Brick or Stone)

Wall cracks are created through several different ways:

    • Lack of Parging and Tar – When you home was first build the builder puts a layer of parging and tar on the outside of your foundation wall. Over time the tar wears away just as the asphalt on you roof wears away and needs to be replaced. As the parging and tar disappear, water and ground acidity have direct access to your foundation wall.


    • Improper Backfill – When the builder used a bull dozer to push in the backfill around your foundation the pressure against a wall caused a crack.


    • Ground water – Water accumulates in the backfill area of your home and starts to pressure on your wall. Ground water gathers the Acid in the ground and deposits it against the wall of your home. Acid starts to eat away at the wall of you home and creates cracks in the foundation wall.


    • Settlement – When the home settles in to the ground clay the walls move slightly and crack.


  • Water is absorbed into the foundation wall and the area above the freeze line. The depth of the freeze line is 24 inches in Virginia. As the temperature cools and warms the wall expands and contracts. This causes cracks in the foundation wall.

The Footer – (A Footer is a 12-Inch-Deep by 16-inch-wide slab of concrete around the bottom of you Foundation) From a bird’s eye view the Footer looks like a side walk around your basement. It is place in the hard pan clay of the bowl in which your home’s foundation is built.

Cracks in the footer are caused by pressure from water forcing its way underneath the footer washing away the clay and gravel surrounding the footer. As the earth beneath the footer moves the footer cracks and moves.

Floor – (Floor is a slab of concrete poured after the Footer and Walls are placed in the home.)

Newly poured concrete and dry concrete do not bound together. Since the floor is poured separately after the footer and walls are built there is a natural seem between the wall, footer and floor. This is where water first appears. Usually you will see water in the corner near the where the wall, footer and floor meet.

The reason this occurs is due to the hydrostatic pressure that is created when water forces its way around the walls, underneath the footer and pushes on the floor. Hydrostatic pressure is pressure that is exerted at equilibrium at a given point within fluid due to the force of gravity. Hydrostatic pressure increases in proportion to depth from the surface due to the increased weight from the fluid exerting downward force from above. This pressure causes water to enter through the natural seem between the wall, footer and floor as well as push water up through the center of the floor.

How do you solve this issue?

In order to address water leaking into your home you must address all facets of the problem or the problem will continue and continue to get worse until you have non-reparable structural issues.

If you excavate and repair the wall will it solve your issue?

No – Repairing the wall will not solve the problem of water getting into the home underneath the footer and through the floor.

Will a French Drain solve the issue?

No – Putting in a French Drain alone will not solve the water affecting your wall and it will not stop the water underneath the floor. The mold mildew and smell will all still continue to grow.

The solution is to create a Water management solution that addresses the issues on the Wall Footer and the Floor. Water Management is less expensive and disruptive than excavation and provides better warranties.