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Residential painting in Massachusetts has its own set of challenges that painters should be aware of and be prepared for.  The buildings and homes in the state reflect how this architecture has changed throughout the history of the country, from its humble beginnings as an English colony to the high global profile it enjoys today.  Reputable residential painters in MA such as those at United Home Experts share common traits that play a big role in making the home painting job a successful one.

Evident Preparedness

Two words summarize how prepared the best residential painters in MA are: “knowledge” and “means”.  Massachusetts is different from most states in the country.  The streets and sidewalks are narrower and the buildings are taller.  This requires special equipment like scaffolding and lifts so the job is completed expeditiously and efficiently.id-10093118

Furthermore, residential painting in MA cannot be done on a whim.   Permission must be obtained from commissions that oversee the preservation of historical neighborhoods.  If the project may disrupt vehicle or pedestrian traffic, additional permits need to be obtained from the local government.  There are laws in the state that govern the amount of lead allowed in any new paint.  This ensures that the residents are safe from the dangers of lead poisoning.  Additionally, if the house is in the vicinity of a historical landmark or area, the color scheme should match the architectural style of the period.

The depth of experience and expertise of residential painters in MA is shown in how prepared they are in the face of these challenges and regulations.  The good ones can provide excellent and timely guidance and advice when it comes to the paperwork.  They have every bit of equipment that may be needed.  They can also answer questions without hesitation, and provide insight into any local painting “quirks” the house owner may not be aware of.

Concern for the Residents

Conscientious painters not only make the work area safe for the inhabitants, but also lessen the feeling of intrusion that accompanies having “strangers” in one’s home.  Their pleasantness to both their clients and the people who work for them makes the job enjoyable, not a chore.  They prioritize the owner’s vision and translate it effectively in the final project.  During consultation, owners not only feel that they are heard, but also see first-hand that the painters have listened to their expectations by delivering an excellent final product.painter

Excellent Track Record

The unequivocal stamp of nearly all of the best residential painters in Massachusetts is an excellent track record of satisfied customers.  Clients they have worked for attest to their work ethic and to how satisfied they are with the completed painting project.  There will be homes these painters can point to as hard evidence of the quality of their craftsmanship.  They are also prompt when it comes to addressing complaints and concerns, dealing with any complaint that does arise promptly and professionally.

In Summary

Painting the home should not be entrusted to just anyone.  Homeowners looking for the best painter for any job need to seek contractors whose preparedness for the job is evident, who make their client’s wishes and concerns a priority, and who have proven track records that can be evaluated.  United Home Experts’ painters in the Massachusetts area have all these.  This makes the company an excellent choice as a contractor.

Another informative article written by Steve from Ontario Home Inspection Services. He also provided some great photos of sloppy siding work.

Siding – How To Sell Your Home For Top Dollar

Siding is one of those aspects of a home that can add to the look and efficiency of the home as well as provide the homeowner a degree of maintenance peace of mind. More importantly, well-maintained siding can add substantial value to your home.  If you are selling your home, ensuring that the siding is well maintained and in good repair is will help you to maintain your asking price and give the buyer little to negotiate with.

Your Siding is Falling Down

What if something happens to the siding?  What do you do when gusts of wind cause the siding to come apart?  What do you do if you have vegetation too close to the siding and it’s growth is causing the siding to come away from your home?

Bad-siding-1Gettin’ Around To It

Too often homeowners wait until it’s too late to fix.  Often the initial damage has caused even further damage because it was left too long before fixing.  For example, the siding trim has been removed exposing the siding.  This now allows for water to penetrate between the siding and the home’s envelope.  Or the siding has come away from the siding it’s attached to, again allowing for water or vermin to penetrate the home.

It’s important to review your entire home’s exterior a minimum of 2 times per year and address any issues you find at that time.  If an issue is found before or after your planned review, it should be fixed immediately.  Waiting until the weather gets better or until you have time, could be disastrous to your home.  In many cases, it’s water penetrating the home that will cause the most damage.

I inspected one home where the siding trim was removed away from the home.  This allowed for water to seep down the between Bad-siding-2the siding and the building’s envelope.  It was so bad that water actually penetrated into the home causing puddles on the interior floor!  The windows sills were completely saturated and needed replacing.

Unfortunately, the homeowner left this issue too long and it was in need of major repairs.

If you don’t know how to fix the issue, it’s important that you hire someone who does.  Had the repairs been done when the damage occurred, the homeowner would have saved thousands of dollars in further repairs to the overall structure.  Although it wasn’t detected at the time, there was also the possibility of mold growth behind the walls!  This would not have been detected during a routine home inspection as a home inspection is a non-invasive, visual snapshot of the home’s systems and functionality, at the time of the inspection.

Maintaining the exterior of your home doesn’t take a great deal of time if it’s planned properly and any issues found are addressed at that time.  Waiting to fix issues may only increase the cost of fixing the issue or cause further damage or get you less than your asking price.

Negotiating Tool

Home inspections help homeowners selling their home as well as home buyers recognize these issues and the potential outcomes in the event that the siding has not been well maintained or issues fixed in a timely manner.  Defects in the siding of a home may affect the overall selling price and give the home buyer a strong negotiating tool to get a better deal.

If you don’t have the proper knowledge or tools, have your siding professionally repaired.  It will save you thousands of dollars and help to maintain your asking price.

Stephen Faudemer
Ontario Home Inspection Services
www.ontariohomeinspectionservice.ca

 

I recently responded to an email from a homeowner in Massachusetts (not a customer or ours) who was inquiring about “what x--pictures-booked jobs 2009-santos, westford c ws-before-picture 114causes paint to peel on his house?”

I thought this would be an excellent topic to address in a blog post:
My response was the following:
Mr. Homeowner,
It’s likely that you have 1 of 3 conditions:

  1. A really old paint job:  Even an excellent paint job will eventually peel in the moist New England climate.  In this case, my recommendation would be to not wait so long next time.  People often try to “stretch” the life of their paint job an extra year or 4, only to pay twice as much the next go-around.
  2. A moisture problem: moisture escaping from the wood and causing loss of paint adhesion.  Sometimes there are ways to correct or minimize this. The question is, what’s the source of the moisture?  Is it condensation from winter heat escaping through the walls? is it a leak? is it a moist climate?
  3. Mill-glaze: When wood clapboard is installed smooth-side out, the glazed surface of the wood will often reject adhesion from paint.  This problem will never be solved with paint and usually requires replacement of the affected areas.  Some painters will try to sand down the surface and re-paint, but our experience has been, this might help but the problem will persist.

In some cases these problems can be remedied, but there’s no way of telling without analyzing the specific situation. What many homeowners in this situation like about working with United is “one-stop-shopping”. If they need spot carpentry – we can do it.  If they need painting – we can do it.  If they need heavy prep work done – we can do it.  If they need sectional or full siding replacement – we can do it.
If you’d like an evaluation on your peeling paint issue visit our house painting page.  Or if your interested in knowing how much does it cost to paint a house, you may request a free quote below.

0010FederbeforeOver the past couple of years a few companies have popped up in new England that claim  to offer some sort of lifetime paint product.  They say, “Never paint your home again!”  or something catchy like that.

Sounds like a great idea right? But is it too good to be true? You may think the verdict is  still out but if we had to put our money on 1 side or the other we would play all our chips  on the side of “too good to be true.”

As exterior renovation experts in New England we see our fair share of houses. How well  paint holds up has as much, if not more, to do with the surface to which the paint coating is applied as it does with the paint product itself.  These types of “lifetime” paint products may work well on masonry that is not designed to breath, and they may even hold up in southern climates with more consistent air temperatures and moisture climate, but wood siding in New England is a completely different substrate. Wood siding in this climate has a tendency to swell and contract a significant amount in varying temperatures. Unless these “permanent” coatings have the exact expansion factor as the substrate they will most certainly fail. In this New England climate the temperature on the outside of buildings is far lower than on the inside of buildings the majority of the year. That means as the air tries to find equilibrium; warm, moist air is constantly escaping from the exterior wall of the house or building. Unless these “lifetime” paint coatings have a substantial perm rating (meaning they pass moisture easily), which they do not, the wet air will not escape properly.  One of two things will happen. Either the air with significant moisture content will remain in the wall causing rot and mold. Or the moisture will force the paint off the surface as it tries to escape. Sure the paint will last forever, but it will be in your garden and mulch beds, not adhering to the wood siding on your walls.

If you still are not convinced that these types of products are too good to be true, just ask the company recommending them to show you one of their projects that was painted in this region of the country 8 or 10 years ago. I promise you that they will not show you one.  And even if they do, I’m sure you will not be willing to pay 2-3 times the cost of a regular paint job for the results you see.

If you are considering this type of product for your home, we’ll be happy to discuss it with you and offer other painting orsiding replacement options that you’ll be much happier with.

Whether you are taking on the task yourself or hiring a local painter for the job, there are certain factors to consider when painting the exterior of a Massachusetts home. One of those factors is considering the best time of year to do the project.

The two main variables in determining the best time to paint are moisture and temperature.

Spring

In New England, the climate is generally very moist in the spring with intermittent days of rain.  However, that does not mean there is no opportunity to paint between the months of March and June.  Assuming the surface has been dry for a couple days, latex paint will adhere just fine.  To be extra cautious, purchase a moisture meter that can detect moisture levels of the wood in question. Some homes in Massachusetts have a chronic moisture problem that will not be remedied by applying even the best quality paint.  In this case consider replacing the problem areas before painting.

Summer

The issue in summer becomes heat and humidity.  An average Massachusetts day with 80-85 degree temperatures and moderate humidity is perfect weather for painting with latex products.  However, when the temperature begins to exceed 90-95 degrees, latex products may dry more quickly then desirable.  In this situation the speed and experience of the person applying the coating is an important factor.

Fall

The fall in New England can be similar in temperature and precipitation as the Spring, and therefore the same precautions should be taken.  Consider using a moisture meter.

Winter

Although traditionally it is not recommended to paint under temperatures of 50 degrees, major paint manufacturers such as Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore have developed products such as Resilience and Aura that can be applied in temperatures as low as 35 degrees.  However it is imperative that the paint have sufficient time to bond to the surface before the temperature drops below the recommended level.  When in question, read the product label carefully.

We’re a Massachusetts Painter

As an Exterior Painting Company in Boston, MA we’ve done it all.  Boston and the surrounding towns have such an eclectic assortment of buildings that we have to be prepared to handle a variety of different tasks.  Here are some of the challenges we face on a regular basis.

Lead Paint:  Any homes or buildings the predate 1975 and have not been previously refurbished or de-leaded contain lead paint.  Our challenge is to abide by the strict state and local regulations for handling lead paint, while keeping the cost as reasonable as possible.  In many cases we advise home and business owners to consider replacing the siding on the exterior of the building with something lower maintenance and longer lasting such as fiber cement or vinyl.  Often times this alternative is not much more expensive then using approved methods of stripping the paint from the existing home.  In addition, the new lower maintenance siding will last a whole lot longer.

Historical Regulations: Many neighborhoods in and around Boston have restrictions of what one can do with the exterior of their homes.  Often this is handled on a case by case basis, but we have had some success getting approval to install synthetic products such as Fiber cement clapboard and Azek style PVC trim on homes in Cambridge, Somerville, and other cities in the area.

Height and Access: Many homes in Boston exceed a height that’s workable from regular ladders.  In this case we bring in scaffolding, or lifts to help us access the high areas.  Of course this can add to the cost of the project but in many cases there is no other option.  Small spaces, sidewalks and alleys can also cause problems when painting in Boston.  Many times we have to obtain permitting with the city to block the sidewalk while we are working.

These are the major challenges we constanlty face when exterior painting in boston.

Visit cityofboston.gov for more info on lead paint removal regulations.