Painting Tips and Advice

If you hire a pro or do it yourself you are always looking at money and time, the next decision is how much of those two are we planning on spending .If you do hire a pro they are generally priced between $1.50-$4.00 a square foot! This number will vary depending on how many square feet, how many coats to use, if the materials are supplied or not by the homeowner.


With that being said, you can save some money by doing the work yourself! Here are a few tips to doing a quality home exterior paint job.

Have a Plan

Not that painting your home is some humongous project but always having a plan is a good idea. First of all decide when it is that you may want to do this project, anticipate a couple if not a few days (depending on how many people you have to help you and the size of the house.). From that point you will want to measure out how many square feet you are painting, you can also go look on the tax assessor’s website for measurements and blueprints. Decide if you are going to spray or roll.


Spraying or Rolling

Depending on your method of application you will need to decide if you have a textured surface or not. If you have a textured surface it is best to spray the first two coats and complete the project with a roll on job. If you have a slick surface you can spray or roll on all of your coats but only rolling the whole job will take a little bit more time.


Buy Quality Materials

You get what you pay for and materials will show a difference. Purchasing top quality paint, primer and caulking will produce a more quality finished product. Specifically in the paints flow and ability to hide and deter new surface marks. Not to mention the life of your paint holds up longer and stronger than a cheaper paint. When buying paint be mindful that one gallon will typically cover 350-400 square feet with a single coat. Typically paints can cost anywhere between 20-40 dollars a gallon.



Look at the surface to be painted, typically clearing the surface of any old paint or debris is a highly recommended. With a cleaner surface your primer and paint will look and hold that much better. Go through and apply caulk to any cracks or crevasses. Do also be sure to strip any kind of flaking trim paint or just clean well before starting the job.



Make sure you start by applying your high quality oil primer base. Let it dry and plan to do 2 or 3 coats of surface painting. Making sure to apply the additional coats is a key objective in achieving the highest quality product.

Beat the Heat and Keep Your Air Conditioning Inside!

Beat the Heat and Keep Your Air Conditioning Inside!

With the summer in full swing that Air Conditioning unit is running harder than ever and keeping your home cool is a necessity  . On average 40 percent of your homes monthly AC and Heat are gone right out the door .A further breakdown of where its escaping from looks like, the attic (10%), the basement (10%), floors (5%) and walls (5%) other (5%) . Here are a few ideas on how to keep the AC in your house and that hard earned money in your pocket !

1) Door/Window Sweeps

Easy to install and made in a plethora of materials and designs . Door sweeps are a great way to even up any minimal space between the door and uneven thresholds . You can get a door sweep from $5-20 at your local hardware or general store. They are inexpensive items that will probably need to be replaced once a year . These door sweeps are also great for any window seal that may be a little bit loose or just aged with the home . This is not just great for the summer time but the winter as well because you are able to keep more of your heat from silently escaping.

2) Window Caulking and Drapes

Think elementary science , conduction vs convection ! Conduction is the transfer of energy (heat) through physical contact ( the sun beaming down on the house and heating the exterior ) and transferring that hot energy into your home . Convection is the transfer of energy ( heat through the circulation or movement  ( drafts in your windows or home ) . 

Go to the local hardware store ,get some caulking and go around each window frame and see if you can feel hot air entering anywhere and seal it up . Beyond that you may reduce the "conduction " by adding drapes or blinds to the windows . Specifically you want to look for products that have compressed insulation to keep that air from being heated up from the outside temperatures. Again , this goes for the summer as well as the winter because those blinds or drapes will further insulate those areas keeping your home warmer .

3) Foam Weather Stripping 

Extremely affordable and easy to apply , foam weather stripping is another great way to reduce the passing of airflow on your doors . Make sure you wipe the surface extremely clean before applying , then just put it on like a sticker . Different from the door sweep but similar, both items utilize the same function of preventing airflow in or out but the weather stripping targets the vertical up right sides of the door.

4) Attic Spray Foam Insulation 

Instead for tearing all the walls down and re insulating  for tens of thousands of dollars .Try adding an extra layer of insulation in the attic can cut back on the energy loss from your home by roughly 10% . Spray foam insulation is relatively cheap to have ,running anywhere from $1.50-3 a square foot . This is more of a long term benefit but even from the energy savings alone you should expect this investment to payback in 3-4 years roughly . 


When might you need a Permit to modify your home!

If you're considering upgrading your home make sure all of your paper work is in place! Typically with most home modifications , the local city or county has certain protocol that must be followed in accordance with building code and regulations .This could really be a headache if you are looking to sell your home in the future . Reason being that prospective buyers will need to have proof of the permits from the city or they may be looking at costly fines and fees from the state for failing to operate within the bounds of local ordinance .

This is just another reason why using a general contractor is a good idea. It maybe a little more costly as opposed to doing it yourself but you will have a well written contract that clearly states that all required paperwork will be handled in accordance with state and federal regulations .

Architectural Changes 

1) It is essential when adding or removing a load barring structure that you have a permit . Some examples could be balconies ,foundation flooring, sun rooms , porches or an elevated deck . All of these jobs require certain permitting.A good rule of thumb is typically a job that costs less than $5000 or a job smaller than 200sqft don't typically need permits but check with your city just to be sure.

Windows and Doors 

2) As odd as it may sound , if you would like to put in a bigger window or door frame , you will need to seek out a window or door pro who then will need to obtain these permits themselves before any work can go on . Cutting either on of these to fit a bigger size is tricky and can cause the integrity of the home to be compromised ( in a buyer or bank lenders eyes that is ). So before you go chopping away for that new skylight that your wife will love , make sure that city certifies you first.

Plumbing , Electrical , HVAC

3) Whenever dealing with anything such as plumbing , electrical or HVAC a certified personnel is typically the route to take .Just like the general contractor he will ensure you that all the needed paper work is dealt with and in order . Now jobs as small light fixtures or new suspended lamps/lights you may feel free to do on your own!

No Permits Necessary 

4) It must seem like you have to have a permit and a certified pro to do any kind of home improvement.Here are a list of jobs that you may do yourself without any permit necessary! New counter tops , installing hardwood floors or carpet , replacing a faucet or shower head . I would add a fence to this list but all you need to do for that is call and find out about height allowances that the city has set. 

Where can you get a Permit from you may ask ?

5)Typically the municipal courts will head up permitting and certifications


Why Starting Your Remodel in the Bathroom is a Great Start!

1) Increase Your Home's Value 

This is obviously the reason why most remodels are done anyway. Replacing older appliances and outdated features with energy efficient baths, sinks, and toilets will undoubtedly raise the value of your home by 3-5 thousand dollars . Beyond that, you may rest a little easier knowing that your home will be that much more appealing to potential buyers once it hits the market.

2) Add Much More Space to Your Home

We can all agree that more space is a great thing; a remodel can make the bathroom feel much more inviting. By simply altering the space you have available from disposing of nicks and knacks and magazines, to maybe moving out some outdated lower cabinetry with some elevated wall storage. Other considerations could be a floating vanity or maybe a curb-less shower, the aesthetic of a reduced barrier will greatly open up your view from the time you enter.

3) More Energy Efficient = More Money in Your Pocket

Did you know that more energy is used to heat water than any other household purpose ( except for heating and cooling). Simply replacing older faucets and shower heads will save you around 17,000 gallons of water a year. Toilets from the last 10-20 years average 3.5 gallons per flush; with new restrictions and environmental regulations, a new toilet only utilizes 1.6 gallons per flush. That's roughly 60% less water and money you're just flushing away! You're also doing the community a favor by decreasing the impact on sewage and water treatment facilities.