It’s that time of year! The time that everyone reflects on the past year and sets goals for the next.
How about setting some goals for taking care of your home in 2018? If you proactively take care of your home it will pay dividends down the road in terms of money savings and comfort.
Here are a few suggestions to get you started!
Don’t put off small maintenance items.
Changing your furnace filter is just one example. By changing your furnace filter on a regular basis you increase your overall comfort and lessen the chance of expensive furnace repairs in the future.
Keep an eye on the humidity in your home
Homes can get extremely dry in the winter months, so be sure to monitor the humidity in your home. I know of someone who’s place was so dry that all the glue in her wooden furniture dried out and it started falling apart!
Dryness can also affect your paint and wallpaper. Oh yes, if there’s not enough humidity the paste that holds wallpaper to walls can dry out and the seams in the wallpaper can open up. Also, if there’s not enough humidity in the home wooden trim can shift and open up cracks and gaps in the paint work.
A related tip..
Check the tops of your doors, door frames and window frames. Oftentimes these are missed or skipped by painters, however, it’s helpful to have them painted even though they’re generally not seen. If all sides of the wood are not painted as the more humid weather comes moisture can enter through the exposed surface and it can swell. This is the reason why when you shut a door it can feel tight at one time of year and loose at another.
How about some exterior paint-related tips?
Keep snow off your deck, front steps, window sills, basement window wells. Basically, if snow is sitting on a painted surface, it’s wise to clear it off. By removing the snow you not only protect the paint job, you also protect the wood underneath. Ice and snow build up can really take a toll on wood – even more so than a summer rain shower. When a rain shower comes, it generally passes in an hour or two. When snow comes, it stays for weeks on end.
This moisture issue is compounded by the wood expanding during the spring thaw too. As the wood expands the grain opens up, it can crack the paint and allow the melting snow to penetrate into the wood. The more moisture that gets into wood, the greater chance of wood rot and degradation.
Setting a goal for taking care of your home in 2018 can pay for itself in comfort and cost savings. It can also pay for a new paint job too!!! So why don’t you book a quote? CAM Painters would love to Transform your home with lasting beauty!
Unfortunately this is a more common experience in Toronto than it should be. Here’s how you can avoid this occurrence and find a reliable painter…
Here’s the backstory,
You found someone either through a recommendation of a friend, or perhaps on Facebook, or a lawn sign.
He seemed like a nice fellow when he met with you for the quote.
He gave you a price, you accepted it and booked in a start date.
The start date rolled around and no painter! No phone call, no text, no email – Nothing!!
Why would this happen in the first place?
First off, it’s very easy to call yourself a painting contractor.
Barriers to entry are very low, a vehicle, some brushes, rollers, roller trays and you can call yourself a painter. However, with such a low startup cost some people treat their “painting business” as a part-time hobby.
Many of these “painting contractors” will do cash only, so that they can avoid taxes and proper insurances, which places a lot of risk on the homeowner that hires them.
To sum it up, they don’t have much invested in the process, so it’s easy for them to quit on their customers and leave them high and dry.
How can you find a reliable painting contractor?
You can minimize the chance of this happening to you by doing your due diligence. How so?
Ask your painting contractor how many years they’ve been in business?
As a general rule of thumb, the more years someone has been in business, the more they are invested in the success of their business.
At CAM Painters, we’ve been in business for 16 years. We’ve invested thousands of dollars in equipment, so that we can provide a great customer experience.
READ MORE: Which painting contractor offers the best value for my Toronto home?
Look for reviews and testimonials
People will always say good things about themselves, sometimes they can even get a couple of other people to say good things about them.
Look for reliable contractors with lots of social proof:
They’ve got lots of Google reviews – not just one review from their mother! At CAM Painters we currently have over 20 5 star reviews and counting!
They’ve got video testimonials – and not just written testimonials because those can be fabricated. We’ve got a number of video testimonials both on our YouTube channel and our website
A reputable contractor will give a written proposal and back up their work with a written warranty
You want an agreement in writing, so that there is no gray area of “he said, she said”. At CAM Painters we have a written proposal that goes over every aspect of the job from start to finish.
A reliable contractor will offer a written warranty on their work. At CAM Painters we offer a 5 year written warranty on both interior and exterior projects, as well as one hour of free touch ups each year, so that your house always looks it’s best!
To sum it up…
If you do your due diligence when you select a painting contractor you can minimize surprises during the painting process, such as someone not showing up when they say they will, or any other myriad of missed promises.
At CAM Painters we strive to give an excellent painting experience from start to finish, so why don’t you book a quote? We’d be happy to Transform Your Home With Lasting Beauty!
During the holidays you give gifts to relatives that you don’t really like – so how about giving a gift to your Toronto home?
Your Toronto home protects you from the harsh elements, keeps you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. So why don’t you show it some love this holiday season? If your Toronto home could talk, I guarantee these things would be on it’s holiday wish list
A wallpapered powder room…
Much like you gals have a fancy scarf, or guys have a cool neck tie, your home wants a shot of colour and drama. In this case, a little pop of colour can go a long way, so try a bold patterned wallpaper in your powder room! Because it’s a small area you can make a very dramatic choice vs. Wallpapering the entire main floor, for example.
Or a few wallpapered accent walls
For the very same reasons listed above, accent walls are a great way to add a shot of colour and drama to an otherwise lifeless room. If you have reservations, start with the guest bedroom, or if you want to go all in, go for the master bedroom.
A painter for a day
Over time your house experiences some wear and tear. When that happens, it doesn’t necessarily need a full paint job from top to bottom, but just a freshening up. Why don’t you book a Painter for a Day? This program gives you a fully stocked professional painter for up to 8 hours to take care of those areas that need a little freshening up.
In fact, you could book a Painter for a Day before the relatives come over for the holidays, so that your home can look it’s best.
Conversely, I know some of you have rambunctious nieces and nephews! So maybe you want to book a Painter for a Day after the holidays, to fix the wear and tear that the little hooligans have inflicted on your home!
Read more about our Painter for a Day Program
A consult with an Interior Designer or Professional Organizer
If you’re not happy with your home, maybe you don’t need a new home, maybe all you need is to reorganize the way your home works for you.
If you have a consultation from an interior designer, maybe they can suggest some simple steps for you to enhance the look and/or the functionality of your home. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with all the stuff that’s lurking in your home, perhaps a professional organizer can help make your home less cluttered and more functional.
Hiring a professional is always wise, because the savings in time and aggravation more than pays for the service itself, and you reap the benefits for a long time after the consultation.
A final word on your home’s holiday wish list
Although this gift guide is not exhaustive, we have offered some suggestions to get you thinking about your home. I’d suggest that your home wants a splash of colour, to be well maintained and be organized, so that it works for you.
Why don’t you buy your home a gift and book a quote with CAM Painters, we’d love to Transform Your Home with Lasting Beauty!
This is a familiar scenario: You have the flooring redone in your Toronto home and then realize that the staircase doesn’t match the new flooring. We can help!
Many people are painting the wood on their staircases in a two-tone colour scheme and it looks fantastic! Or they paint everything but the stair tread – on that area they have it stained and varnished to match the flooring.
I’ll go through the process shortly. But first, let’s define the anatomy of a staircase:
- Railing: This consists of the handrail – what your hand rests on, spindles and posts
- Stair tread: the part that your foot walks on
- Stair riser: the part that your toe inadvertently kicks when running up the stairs
- Stair stringers: the piece on either side of the stairs that holds the whole assembly up
What are our options?
If we want to paint the stairs, here is a typical colour scheme:
dark colour: Handrail, posts, stair tread
light colour: spindles, stringers, risers
If you want to do both stain/varnish and paint, the stair tread would be stained and varnished and the rest of the colours could be similar to the above scheme.
How do you ensure that the staircase is durable?
As you can imagine, stairs take a beating and it’s essential to have the most durable paint on them.
First thing, proper preparation is key:
If the stairs are currently varnished and we want to paint them it’s essential that we scuff sand the surface, this gives the primer something to grip on to.
After sanding we vacuum the surface to ensure all the dust is off the surface
We prime the surface with low odour alkyd primer – latex primers don’t stick good enough for foot traffic and constant abuse.
If We’re Staining and Varnishing
When staining and varnishing the stair tread we need to remove the existing coating all the way down to the bare wood.
If We’re Painting the Treads
We apply two coats of finish – low odor alkyd paint on the stair tread, which is suitable for walked on surfaces, on the other areas we use a latex enamel suitable for trim.
If We’re Staining and Varnishing the Treads and Painting the Rest
Generally we need to apply two coats of stain to get the wood to the right colour. After we apply the stain we put two coats of varnish on the tread, with a light sand in between coats.
On the other areas we put two coats of latex enamel suitable for trim.
We’d love to update your staircase, so why don’t you book a quote? CAM Painters will Transform your Home With Lasting Beauty!
So you’re thinking about painting your Toronto home? Selecting a painter can be very similar to selecting a pair of shoes! How so, you ask? Well, it’s all about shoes that are a good fit, that are appropriate for the situation you’re facing and within your budget.
Are your shoes a good fit?
Everyone’s feet are different. A shoe that feels comfortable on one person might be uncomfortable on another.
Similarly, you might feel comfortable with a particular painting contractor. Maybe they relate to you better than another. It’s important to have a painting contractor that you feel comfortable communicating with, and who communicates with you in a timely manner.
Are your shoes appropriate for the situation?
You wouldn’t wear running shoes to a business meeting, nor would you go for a jog wearing dress shoes! It’s the same with painting!
Some painting projects require “dress shoes”; You want the project to look great with a flawless finish.
Some painting projects require “running shoes”; You need the project to be finished in the most efficient time frame possible.
Some painting projects require “hiking shoes”; You need the project to be durable in adverse conditions.
Some painting projects might require a combination of stipulations, or maybe something different altogether. It’s important to be clear on your needs from the beginning so that you can select a painting contractor that is skilled and experienced in delivering what you require.
Just as the price of shoes vary, so does the price of painting projects. In general, if you spend more money on a pair of shoes, you can expect a greater degree of durability, technology or style. It’s similar with painting projects, the more you spend, in general, the higher the quality of paint, and the level of craftsmanship.
In painting, there is a truism:
- Low Price
A consumer must make a decision as to their priorities, because a customer can only choose two. If a client wants efficiency and low price, they automatically choose to not have quality. If a client wants efficiency and quality, they can’t choose low price.
As with selecting shoes, selecting a painting contractor needs care to ensure that there is a right fit, appropriateness and budget. If you’d like to see if CAM Painters is the right “pair of shoes” for you why don’t you book a quote? We’d be happy to transform your home with lasting beauty!
So you’re thinking of selling your Toronto home, here are some painting projects that can pay big dividends in resale value! Obviously, if you can paint the place from top to bottom that would be the best for commanding top dollar in the real estate market, but that’s not always feasible. So here are our top picks for bang-for-buck projects when selling your Toronto home
Paint any area that is looking old or deteriorated
You want people’s first impressions to be that your home is clean and well kept, so if things are looking a little old and tired, freshen those up first. If the house is clean and fresh prospective buyers will assume that you’ve taken care of the place and be more willing to put in an offer. If you have some leftover paint that’s less than a year old feel free to use it to freshen things up. If it’s over a year old, it’s best to get some new paint.
Paint your wood panelling
If you have an older home, it might have dark wood panelling. If the panelling is painted a light colour it can really make the space look bigger and more open. This is especially helpful in basements which typically have very small windows and limited natural light.
Here’s a blog post on the how-tos of panelling painting:
What can I do with the wall panelling in the basement of my Toronto home?
Paint your kitchen cabinets
There’s no quicker way to update the look of your kitchen than painting the kitchen cabinets. This is way more economical than cabinet replacement in most cases. At the same time you can update the hardware (door handles and drawer pulls) too. With painting your kitchen cabinets the colour options are limitless.
Here’s a blog post on how we paint kitchen cabinets:
Paint or Renovate? What’s Best for the Kitchen in Your Toronto Home?
Paint your railings
Many people have dated stair railings in their Toronto home, these can updated with some paint! If you still have varnished railings in a dated lighter finish, you can transform them with a sophisticated 2-tone colour scheme as you can see in the blog listed below:
Toronto Home Stair Railing Transformation Project Guide
Painting can make the difference in selling your Toronto home
Many real estate agents will tell you that painting is one of the best things that you can do so that your house will sell quickly and for the best price. If you’d rather let us do the painting for you why don’t you book a quote? We’d be happy to transform your home with lasting beauty!