Ann Arbor – House Painting FAQs
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House Painting FAQs Categories
House Painting Estimates
Q: Can I get an estimate over the phone or via email?
A: Because every job is different, we need to meet in person, take measurements, and understand your full expectations before preparing a house painting estimate. So much of the job is ultimately in the details, and because we’re so thorough, we’re afraid we’d miss some things if we just spoke over the phone or gave you a ballpark figure. It’s a relatively painless process that typically takes between 60-90 minutes from beginning to end.
Q: What is the estimate process?
A: The painting estimate appointment will take about 60-90 minutes (depending upon the complexity of the project). We’ll first ask you to walk around your space or structure with us so we can fully understand your expectations while we discuss things like number of coats, product choices and color selection. After about 15 minutes with us, we’ll spend some time on our own getting measurements and preparing the estimate. Lastly, we’ll sit down with you, go over your printed proposal and answer any questions you may have.
Q: What can I do to prepare for my estimate?
A: One of the biggest hurdles to a project is picking out colors. With more than 20+ years in the painting industry, we’re experts on color selection and happy to assist you. But it certainly does help if you’ve got a good idea of what you want to accomplish and have a clear vision for your project.
Q: Will the estimate be itemized?
A: We try to be as detailed as possible and will work with you to break out items if you have questions. Keep in mind that the house painting process isn’t always easily done à la carte. There are significant savings that can be passed on to you when we’re able to work on multiple rooms in your home at one time, for instance. So we’ll often take an “entire project” approach to our estimates. Rest assured our proposal will be very detailed, including preparation steps, number and type of finish coats, and the colors (if known at the time of estimate).
Q: What will it cost to paint my house?
A: Every project is unique and different, which is why we need to look at each project in person, and prepare a detailed, written estimate. The condition of the home, quality of the products to be used, as well as your expectations are just a few factors that make up that cost.
Q: I received a number of bids and the pricing varies quite a bit. Why is that and how do I know I’m getting a fair price?
A: Every business has their own methods for estimating a project, as well as their own overhead and costs. I like to steer my clients towards the bids themselves to make sure you’re comparing apples-to-apples. And this is usually followed up with a series of questions: Are they doing the same preparation and/or repair of the surfaces? Are they doing the same number of coats? Are they using the exact same products? These questions and more will hopefully help you narrow down differences in painting bids. We are happy to help and would appreciate the opportunity to ensure we didn’t miss something in our proposal.
Q: Do you provide a discount for multiple properties?
A: Absolutely. We believe in building strong long-term relationships, so if you have multiple properties, projects, or are a returning customer – we’ll work with you on price.
Q: Why should I choose 360° Painting over other painting contractors?
A: Our customers experience peace of mind working with the honest, hard-working team of professional painters at 360° Painting. Every painter will tell you that they’re the best, that they use the best paint products, and that they’ve been in business for years, etc. But our warm, friendly approach to caring for your home or business for the short time we’re there makes a big difference. We’re constantly striving to improve ourselves, and put ourselves in your shoes. Reliability, trust, communication – these aren’t just things we talk about, it’s what we do.
Q: What credentials do your painters have?
A: I think that question is first answered with understanding the management team that hires and manages the painters. Our location owner has more than 20+ years of experience in the painting industry, having worked for Sherwin Williams for 12 years, and since then, running painting businesses. We carefully select our painters not just for painting experience (an average of 15+ years painting), but also for ethics and character. We understand that letting someone into your home is a big deal, which is why we’re fully licensed, insured and bonded, and we drug test our employees.
Q: Do you have references and examples of completed projects?
A: We’re extremely proud of our work and don’t mind bragging about it! Nowadays we’re really hoping our customers go online to give us feedback and review our business. This is also where we’re starting to post more and more before/after pictures of projects we’ve done, as well as “See Our Work“.
Q: How many house painting projects do you average each year?
A: That differs each year depending upon the weather, but we’re typically aiming to do 250-300 projects a year.
Q: Do you provide proof of insurance?
A: Yes we provide proof of insurance with every single estimate that we do.
Q: Why does it matter to me that you are insured?
A: Legitimate businesses are all licensed and insured – and this protects you, the consumer. For example, what happens if an accident occurs and someone falls and gets hurt on your property? Our insurance protects our workers, not yours. This gives you incredible peace of mind as a homeowner or business owner.
Q: Will my homeowner’s insurance policy cover me in the event something is broken or someone gets hurt?
A: You won’t need to worry about that, because we carry full general liability insurance ($2,000,000 policy) that would take care of anything that could get broken, and all of our employees are covered under our full worker’s compensation policy.
Hiring Us / Our House Painting Process
Q: If I decide to hire you, what happens next?
A: Once you reach out to us and accept, we’ll need you to sign our proposal. This can be done in person, or through our electronic signature bid system. After that, we’ll get you onto our production schedule (weather permitting).
Q: How much money do I need to put down to begin the project? When do I pay you?
A: We do not expect payment until you’re completely satisfied. There are occasions on commercial projects where we’ll take draws if the project is very large, or will take a long time to complete through phases. But most of our customers simply sign our proposal, get on our schedule, and pay on the day we’re completed.
Q: Once you start the job, do you stay until it’s done?
A: Once we begin your project, the crew that’s assigned to that job is dedicated to be there until it’s done. We communicate each night the progress of the job and let you know how it’s going all along the way.
Q: Who will be supervising my project?
A: A Production Manager is assigned to your job and will be communicating with you and the crew to ensure a smooth project. Their job is make sure you’re 100% completely satisfied and that we’ve earned a five-star painting review from you when we’re done!
Q: What hours does the painting crew work?
A: This will sometimes depend on the weather for an exterior, and your schedule. We usually work between the hours of 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Some customers ask us to stay later into the evening to get the project done a little quicker and we’ll often meet that request.
Q: Will the painters need access to my bathroom? Where will they clean up?
A: They’ll only need access to your bathroom if we’re actually painting it! Your home is your sanctuary – we’ll find a local establishment and use their restroom facilities. We appreciate the use of your laundry tub to wash hands or brushes out, and for exteriors, we use our own hose and clean up outside.
Q: What about the mess of the project itself? Will the painters clean up after themselves?
A: Most painting projects do, in fact, get a little messy. We understand the inconvenience it’s causing you, with your furniture moved, drop cloths, and plastic hanging all over, etc. We do our very best to minimize the disruption to your everyday life, and get out of there as quickly as possible. We have a motto, “Always leave a job site better than you found it.” We’re fanatics about cleaning up after ourselves everyday we’re on site, and especially when we’re all done. We want you to start enjoying your newly transformed space right away.
Q: Who will keep me updated on my house painting project? Who do I talk to if I have questions or concerns during and after the project?
A: Your assigned Production Manager will keep you updated daily on the progress. If you have immediate concerns about safety, or what the crew is doing, you’ll be introduced to our on-site job Foreman, but every other question can be directed to your Production Manager.
Paint and Paint Brands
Q: What brands and types of paint do you use? How is it selected?
A: We really like working with national, well known brands like Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams. Often in the painting industry – you get what you pay for. We put a lot of effort into the preparation and application of the paint, so we want to make sure that it’s going to last. Selection depends usually on each project. We have some customers who prefer a certain brand and we’ll accommodate that request. Sometimes one manufacturer simply makes a better product for your situation so we’ll use the best fit. We will discuss product recommendations during the proposal process.
Q: Are more expensive paints better?
A: Not necessarily. Our general rule is that you get what you pay for, so many of the cheap or inexpensive paints don’t as long, aren’t as scrub or burnish resistant, or simply don’t cover well. Our experience also shows us, however, that the right applicator (brush/roller/spray) or the experience of the painter can make all the difference in the world. Your project may not need a paint that will last forever – maybe you’re moving in the next 6 months and want to save a few bucks – so we’ll suggest the best products for your specific situation.
Q: Do you offer Green products?
A: Absolutely! We’re proud to offer zero VOC (volatile organic compounds) products whenever we can that are low odor and more environmentally friendly. We use water-based acrylic paints about 99% of the time.
Q: What are the differences between latex and oil paint?
A: Typically latex or acrylic coatings are water-based, lower odor, dry faster, are more flexible and color-fade resistant. Alkyd or oil paints on the other hand, tend to dry slower, level a bit nicer (less brush marks), dry really hard, are more moisture resistant, but only clean up with mineral spirits. Each has their best scenarios for use, but again, we’re using acrylic products about 99% of the time now.
Q: Is it true that I won’t be able to buy oil-based paint in the near future?
A: That’s probably not going to happen for a while still. Although it’s becoming harder and harder for a consumer to buy a gallon of oil based paint, they are still being made. With VOC law changes over the past 20 years, paint manufacturers have made great strides in improving water-based acrylic coatings to oftentimes out-perform their oil based counterparts.
Q: I see paint sales advertised all the time. Can I buy my own paint for you to use? Will I save money if I buy the materials?
A: You most certainly can. I would say that, most of the time, our everyday pricing from the paint store is going to be better than your sale price, and we simply pass those savings onto you in our estimates. We’ve had a few customers want to save a buck or two and buy inferior products, and unfortunately, that lead to us having to do extra coats to get it to cover. But if there is any way we can help keep the cost down on your job, we’re all for it!
Q: What can we do with leftover paint from years past?
A: Most communities have paint recycling facilities to handle old paint. Here are some helpful links:
Q: Will you give us the leftover paint from our project?
A: We always leave a partial gallon of all of the finish coat materials used on your project – properly labeled by room or area of the project. It’s easier when you call us years from now to do touch-ups if the identical paint is stored in a dry, temperature-controlled space (like a basement).
Interior House Painting FAQs
Q: Does someone have to be home while the painting is done?
A: While you don’t need to be home during the process, it is helpful for someone to be there when we get things started, and of course it’s required for someone to be there when we’re done. That final walk-through and making sure we’ve exceeded your expectations is a very important step.
Q: How might the interior painting project affect my life at home?
A: You can certainly expect some disruptions as it relates to furniture being moved temporarily, drop cloths, and plastic/tape hanging. But the most important way it will affect your life, hopefully, is in the dramatic change that’ll take place and the pride that’ll come from your newly designed/remodeled space. Enjoy!
Q: I am concerned about fumes and odor. What can be done about that?
A: We typically use low odor water based acrylic coatings for our interior work, but we also work with seniors and others that might have allergies or are more sensitive to paint smells by using zero VOC products.
Q: Do I have to move my own furniture?
A: All we ask is that you remove valuables and breakable items and take down wall hangings. You can leave the heavy lifting to us and trust that, when we are done, your furnishings will be returned to the same position they were when we arrived.
Q: How is my property and furniture protected during painting?
A: We use drop cloths, red rosin paper or cardboard to cover your floors and we cover your furniture with lightweight plastic.
Q: How do you prepare the surfaces of my walls / ceilings for painting?
A: We’ll repair nail holes, worn joints or nail pops, and clean surfaces or seal stains as needed. Most jobs require a light scuff-sanding. We have years of experience repairing drywall damage and will include that in our bid.
Q: I have drywall damage. Do I need to get it repaired before you come?
A: Not at all. We have years of experience repairing drywall damage and will include it in our bid. We’re particular about making drywall repairs and imperfections as concealed as possible and would prefer to paint over our own drywall work versus someone else’s. Plus, you only have to deal with one company for your painting project.
Q: Will you remove wallpaper prior to painting?
A: We will remove wallpaper and that’s typically done on a time-and-material basis. Although we’ll give you an idea of what it will most likely cost up front, it’s simply too difficult to know for sure how hard/easy that paper will come off until we start. Sometimes it’s been primed or sized improperly underneath, and other times we’ve had to remove it glued straight to bare drywall. We do not recommend painting over wallpaper.
Q: When is primer needed?
A: There are various reasons why primer would be needed on a house painting project. Primarily, primer is designed to seal up porous surfaces to make it ready for paint. Primers come in all different flavors though – some are specially designed for blocking out stains, some are fast or slow drying, others go on heavy to fill in cracks or crevices. Anytime you have bad stains, bare drywall or wood, we’ll need to use a primer.
Q: How many coats of paint will I need?
A: It depends on the project, but generally, we recommend two coats. First, you want enough coverage to even out the wall surfaces where damage, repairs and imperfections cannot be completely concealed. Second, two coats will provide you with a more scrub-resistant, long lasting finish.
Q: What temperature conditions are needed for interior painting?
A: Interior paints typically need a minimum of 50 degrees with a humidity around the same. The more humidity or the colder it is, the slower the drying time of the paint.
Q: What about the paint? How is it selected? What kind is used?
A: Each project is different, which is why we like to see your project in person and help determine your needs. Some products are washable and could be used for those with younger kids or in high traffic areas. Some have higher sheens, which might help it dry harder and be better for doors or railings. We’ll work closely with you to determine the right product for your job.
Q: What are the differences between flat, satin, high gloss and eggshell finish?
A: Primarily, the differences are in how shiny the paint is. Flat paints have almost no shine at all. These are typically used on ceilings and in areas where you’d want to hide previous imperfections. Eggshell and satin finishes are very similar and are the most common for walls. This wall finish has a little bit of shine, more than a flat, but not as much as a semi-gloss. This provides a good balance between washability/dirt resistance and hiding wall imperfections. Semi-gloss and full gloss sheens tend to be used for trim work around windows and doors or kitchen cabinets. It’s exactly as it sounds – glossy. And is therefore very washable and dirt resistant; but because it’s so shiny, it reflects more light, showing off that surface.
Q: Do you provide help with color selection?
A: Absolutely. Color is by and large a very personal decision, and sometimes color can be very subjective. What we might like, might not be your taste, and vice versa. But we’re very experienced in helping guide our customers to the right family of colors and thinking through all the factors that can change how this color might look like after it’s applied. Things like lighting, flooring, cabinets, and furniture can all effect that color and how it looks in your home.
Q: I like the color inside my friend’s house. Can you match the color and will it look the same? Or can you match my existing interior paint color?
A: We can match colors. It’s helpful if we have an old paint can, or the paint color from the manufacturer. If we don’t, our options are to get a small piece to take to the paint store for a custom match, or pick a color from a fan deck that is very close. Colors may look different in different lighting, and surrounded by different things like carpeting or countertops – so we encourage that a color sample be applied to see how it will look in your space.
Q: There are areas that could be touched up instead of completely repainted. I have the paint that was used previously. Will you do touch-ups?
A: Our experience tells us that, for the most part, paint simply doesn’t touch up that well if it’s been more than 6 months or so. Our suggestion is to paint corner-to-corner on the wall that needs to be touched up. This saves you from having to paint the entire room while the results will still look nice.
Q: How long should I wait before washing the walls after you paint?
A: Although paint dries to the touch in roughly 4 hours or less, it takes more like 10-14 days to fully cure. This means that all of the water and solvents have evaporated, leaving the finish hard and fully formed. If you can wait that long – it’s recommended.
Q: Do you recommend a particular cleaning agent for washing painted walls?
A: The cleaning agent we suggest, for the most part, is good old fashioned H2O. The paint films that we’re applying today are so much better than they were 20 plus years ago, and are often washable. All it usually takes is a sponge and clean water. If that doesn’t quite do it, then we recommend something mild like Simple Green.
Q: How often should I paint the interior of my home?
A: Most homeowners look to refresh their rooms with a new coat of paint or switch things up color-wise about every 7-10 years. The higher traffic areas that are more lived in, like bathrooms, kitchens, hallways, and living rooms tend to be painted more frequently.
Learn about our Interior Painting services
Exterior House Painting FAQs
Q: How long will it take to paint my house?
A: That depends upon the size of the house and the complexity of the job. Typical paint jobs will take 3-4 days to complete.
Q: Does someone have to be home when the painting is done?
A: While you don’t need to be home during the process, it is helpful for someone to be there when we get things started, and of course it’s required for someone to be there for the final walk-through. We will also need someone to unlock and open any windows or doors that are to be painted so they can remain open while they dry.
Q: What should I do to prepare for the painters?
A: Each job is a little different. But if you could make sure that you have a working exterior water spigot (for power washing), an electrical outlet that works (if we’re doing carpentry repairs), and any bushes or trees cut back a few feet away from the house really helps.
Q: How many painters come to my home?
A: A typical job might have a 2 to 3-man crew assigned to it.
Q: How will exterior painting affect life inside my home during the project?
A: On power washing day, keep doors and windows closed so no water gets in. If we’re performing wood replacement or other carpentry on your home, you’ll probably hear power tools or a swinging hammer. And if we’re using an airless sprayer to apply paint finishes, we’ll cover over your windows with a semi-opaque plastic film to protect them. We work as hard and efficiently as we can to minimize disruptions. Once we’re done, you’ll undoubtedly be the envy of your entire neighborhood!
Q: What temperature conditions are needed for exterior painting?
A: Exterior paints can be applied down to 35 degrees’ Fahrenheit surface temperature, and we want to avoid painting in extreme heats of over 100 degrees if we can help it.
Q: What preparation is done before my house painting begins?
A: Typically, we’ll pressure wash the exterior surfaces to be painted – removing dirt and debris. Next, we’ll check for peeling paint to be scraped and/or sanded down, and caulk in the proper gaps and cracks in the wood. An appropriate primer is selected and applied to any bare wood before final coats begin.
Q: How is my landscaping and other property protected during painting?
A: We use drop cloths extensively on the exterior of your home as well as covering windows with a plastic film. We’ll also gently cover other exterior elements with appropriate protection to prevent overspray or paint from getting on them.
Q: What is the benefit of power washing?
A: Before a surface can be painted it must be clean, dry, and dull. Power washing uses an appropriate amount of pressure and water to effectively remove loose dirt, debris, and sometimes peeling paint from the surface. In the right hands, a power washer is a very valuable tool in getting your house ready to be painted.
Q: I have rotted wood in some areas. Do I need to get that repaired before the painters come?
A: We can do most wood repairs ourselves and will include that in our bid. If your house has extreme damage, we have other industry partners we’ll work with to ensure the wood is taken care of properly and professionally.
Q: The house doesn’t look that bad. There are just a few areas that need attention. Do I have to paint the whole house?
A: Not necessarily. There are really two main functions of paint on the exterior of your home – aesthetics and protection. Although at first glance it might look pretty good, the surface maybe be weathering and the paint film may not be protecting that part of the house as well as you think. Keep in mind that if you paint the entire house at one time, you won’t need to it again for another 5-7 years minimum. If areas of the house are coated at different times, then they may weather differently and unevenly over time.
Q: How do I choose the right exterior paint color?
A: That’s the million-dollar question! Most of our clients start out by looking at their existing neighborhood or others close by to look for inspiration. There may be elements of your house you won’t be changing – brick, stone, or other architectural items. The roof color/texture on the home is also a factor in which color to pick. Paint manufacturers have color fan decks that group exterior colors together – or you could simply hire us and we’ll help you!
Q: I like the color of my friend or neighbor’s house. Can you match the color?
A: Yes, we can match the color. All we need is a small piece of the home (like a downspout for example) or you can talk with your neighbor to get the color they chose. Keep in mind that, even if you know what the color was originally, more than likely, they’re house color has faded a little bit over time.
Q: Can you match my existing exterior paint color?
A: Absolutely. Colors can be matched very closely. We recommend painting the entire surface, however, to ensure color uniformity.
Q: Why does the paint begin to fade or peel? Is there anything I can do to help make it last longer?
A: There could be any number of reasons why you’re having fade or peeling issues. Fading is usually due to exposure to the Sun’s UV rays. Less expensive paints with lower quality resins tend to fade quicker, or when there is less paint film applied (like one coat instead of two). Peeling can happen for a variety of reasons, but is most likely linked to moisture intrusion. Moisture is getting behind the paint film somehow and is being drawn out by the Sun, causing it to peel. We usually see peeling on the south and west sides of the house. When we come out and give you a written proposal, we’ll help you troubleshoot the issue.
Q: There is quite a bit of peeling under the eaves of my house. Why did that happen and can you prevent it in the future?
A: There could be several reasons for this, but most likely it’s a result of poor ventilation in your soffits. We first usually look to see if you have soffit vents, and if they’re plugged or clogged up. Some homes do not have soffit vents and instead use a roof vent. Either way, you probably have a build-up of moisture and heat in your attic causing this issue. Sometimes it can be as simple as replacing your soffit vents with new ones, and/or installing a few new ones if you don’t have enough air flow.
Q: There is mildew forming on my home’s exterior. Can you remove it and prevent mildew from reoccurring in the future?
A: We usually see mildew forming on sides of the house that have a lot of moisture and are not usually exposed to the sun. We use a solution of bleach and water to kill the mildew spores and scrub them off the surface before power washing. We cannot promise we can prevent it in the future, but cutting back trees and bushes that are too close to the house or moving sprinklers that are too close tends to solve a lot of these reoccurring issues.
Q: How are window sills painted to keep them looking nice for the long term?
A: We start out by using high quality paint products that stand up to the harsh Ann Arbor rain and snow. Inexpensive paints that have inferior acrylic resins don’t last as long on horizontal surfaces. We may use a specialized bonding primer underneath a high-end final coat for vulnerable areas.
Q: What finish do you use with exterior paint?
A: Most homes today are painted with a flat or satin finish on the siding, and satin or gloss on the doors and windows. Areas that have peeled in the past should use a flat finish to make for a better look, whereas high traffic areas or things that might need to be washed (like a door) should be in satin or gloss.
Q: Can aluminum or vinyl siding be painted?
A: Absolutely! Both aluminum and vinyl siding, if properly prepared to remove all dirt and chalk, can be painted with exterior acrylic paint. Some vinyl siding is limited by the color selection, however, as a darker color painted over the manufacturer’s color could result in warping. We use Sherwin Williams Vinyl Safe Technology products to prevent this from happening.
Q: How do you apply the paint?
A: We use multiple techniques: brush, roller, and airless spraying. Some of our clients worried about spraying at first, but once they saw how careful we were and how we meticulously covered and protected their home during the process, they were relieved and enjoyed the cost savings we could pass along because we could produce the job much quicker. The sprayer is simply a tool to get the paint out of the bucket and onto the house faster.
Q: How often should my home’s exterior be painted?
A: Most of our customers have a repaint cycle of about 5-7 years. But it’s a great idea to walk around the exterior of your home every Spring and Fall to look for any damage: splitting wood, peeling paint, or cracking caulk. If you can get to these minor areas before they become major, you’ll save a lot of money in the long run.
Learn about our Exterior Painting services
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