Out of all of the home improvement projects, painting is one of the most impactful. A fresh coat of paint can completely transform both the look and feel of a room. As painting can be so transformative, it’s no surprise that it is one of the most popular home improvement projects. Despite the current pandemic, homeowners are still investing in their homes and painting is one of the top projects. If you’re considering painting either the interior or exterior of your home, you may be wondering how to safely carry this project out during a pandemic. The good news is that HomeStars pros are constantly working on their safety protocols to ensure they can help with your projects.
HomeStars spoke with JDavis McLeod, owner and founder of JDavis Painting with many years of experience in the industry. We asked JDavis to provide his expert opinion on how to best complete your painting project safely during this time. From virtual quoting to custom safety programs, read on to learn more about completing painting projects during a pandemic.
How To Hire a Painting Company During a Pandemic
Get a Virtual Quote
Like most things these days, the quoting process has gone virtual. JDavis now provides quotes to his clients either through video calls or over the phone. Once connected, the quoting process is similar to in person. JDavis will ask questions about the condition of the walls to get a sense of how much prep work is needed as factors like this will impact the final cost of your project.
If you’re having a virtual quote done, it’s a good idea to have measurements ready. While JDavis is pretty good at eye-ball measuring smaller spaces like condos, larger projects will require specific measurements. He recommends homeowners look at their floor plans or a copy of the home’s listing to help find these. It’s also a good idea to have a tape measure handy in case you need to provide a measurement to the company over the phone.
JDavis believes in being prompt and efficient so while the conversation is going on, he will be putting the quote together. This way by the time you’re done showing the areas to be painted, he will already have a quote ready for you. This cuts down the waiting time because you can speak to the pro about the quote while they’re still on the phone. JDavis notes that this virtual process takes a little longer than an in-person quote, but it’s the safest option available. Be sure to ask about virtual quoting as an option with any company you’re considering hiring.
Ask About Safety Precautions Before You Hire
Once you’re happy with the quote, it’s important to ask any company you’re considering hiring about the safety precautions they are taking. For example, early on in the pandemic, JDavis’ team implemented a 6 point COVID Safety Protocol. This outlines how the company will keep both themselves and their clients safe during a job. It includes guidelines on Personal Health Checks, Social Distancing, Personal Cleanliness, No Touching, Disinfection of Tools, and Eating and Smoking Rules.
While the approach they’re taking is “better safe than sorry,” not all companies may be as strict. This is why it’s vital to ask any potential company about what steps they are taking specifically. JDavis notes that the precautions for the job site are the same as anywhere else: masks on, stay 6 feet apart and wash your hands often. Ask any pro you’re planning to hire if they have a formal policy and if you can take a look at it before hiring them.
Day of Project – How You Can Help the Pros
After finding a company you feel comfortable hiring, it’s time to prepare your space for the project. One thing homeowners can do that is a big help to the pros is clearing space for their arrival. JDavis says that he and his team want to avoid touching your items, so if you can move those out of the way ahead of time, it will help everyone. Not only will the company not have to spend time moving your items, but it means they can get started faster which will end up saving you money.
For interior projects, simple things like moving furniture, taking off lightswitch/power outlet covers, and clearing the clutter will help the team get started sooner. When it comes to exterior projects, you want to ensure the area being worked on is easily accessible. In addition, JDavis notes that a well-timed glass of ice-cold iced tea does wonders for team morale and energy!
Timing Exterior Painting Projects
Speaking of exterior projects, you may be wondering when the best time of year is for them. Timing can be a little bit tricky as you want it to be just right, not too hot or too cold. This way you won’t have to worry about the paint freezing overnight, although most paints are fine when the temperature drops as low as 5 degrees. You also don’t want the weather to be too warm, anything above 35 degrees celsius is too hot to paint, according to JDavis.
JDavis notes that experienced painters know how to move around the house and avoid direct sunlight. This is important because you don’t want the outer layer of paint to dry before the layer under it has. Otherwise, moisture will get caught beneath the surface and cause it to bubble. Then you have to start all over with the prep again!
Typically, late spring and late summer are the prime times for exterior painting projects. This is because there’s not as much rain and you’ve avoided the sweltering heat and humidity of midsummer. JDavis notes that these are also the busiest times for painting companies, so to ensure you get the pro you want, you should plan ahead and get quotes early. If you’re thinking about painting later this summer, you should start getting your quotes now.
Paint Colours – What’s Trending in 2021
While the best time to paint is slightly limited by the weather, your colour choices are endless. Depending on the reason for the project, your choice of colours may change. For example, if you’re planning on selling soon, JDavis notes that white is all the rage. White on the walls, trim, ceiling, and everything in-between is being painted white right now. This could be to help create the appearance of a fresh start for new homebuyers. If you’re looking for the perfect shade of white to sell your home, JDavis suggests Dove White and Chantilly Lace from Benjamin Moore, or Pure White and Origami White (JDavis’ personal fave) from Sherwin-Williams.
If you’re not planning on selling but want something neutral, JDavis notes that trends are going towards cool greys and away from warm beiges. Expert Design Tip: try adding a nice cool grey to your walls with a crisp white trim for a fresh and bright look!
For those who want to be bold in their colour choices, it’s all about rich cool tones. The most popular colours are anything in between rich emerald green to a deep midnight blue. If you go for a bold accent wall in a colour along those lines, your home will look particularly trendy. The great thing about paint is that when the trend fades or you tire of it, you can always repaint. For example, JDavis notes that a few years ago it was very trendy to have a red wine or cranberry-coloured feature wall. As the trends change and people change their minds, paint is an easy way to keep up with or remove the trends from your home.
Benefits of Hiring a Painting Company
If you’re looking for more advice on paint colours and trends, you can always connect with a pro to get their expert opinion. That’s just one of the benefits of hiring a professional painting company, but there are many more. One of the main benefits is the quality of work they will provide, which can’t always be said about your own painting skills.
A number of JDavis’ customers are people who have attempted a DIY paint job and realized they’re in over their heads. The most important step of any paint job is the prep, and this is something most homeowners don’t know how to do properly. And it’s hard work! After spending hours prepping on their own, they hated the process so much that they eventually gave up and called in the professionals. This experience is all too common and is expensive and frustrating to deal with. Instead of getting frustrated with your own DIY gone wrong, you should call in the pros from the start. Doing so will not only save you time but money as well.
In addition to them doing a quality job, hiring a professional paint crew will also save you money in the long run. This is because paint stores provide professional painters with a giant discount on paint which is not available to the general public. Professional painters also already have the right tools and have perfected their painting process. While you may think you are saving on labour costs by doing the work yourself, you will likely lose those savings by overpaying for paint and having to buy tools that you will probably never use again.
That said, JDavis says that there are a few times he would recommend DIYing. If the job you are planning to do is quite small and you already have the tools, DIY it. If your deck or windows were done by a professional last year and you are adding another coat as a preventative measure, DIY it. If you need to do a rom-com style montage with your partner to post on social and show everyone how cute you are, DIY it.
Red Flags When Hiring a Painting Company
When it comes to deciding which company to hire for your project, there are some red flags to watch out for. For example, while everyone wants a good deal, you should be cautious of a company that provides a quote that is drastically cheaper than others. JDavis warns that a company with the cheapest quote may either have made a mistake in their quote or they are planning to charge you for extras at the end of the project. Either way, you may end up paying more when accepting a deceptively low quote.
Any company you are considering hiring should be able to provide you with their WSIB number. You can call and ask if they are in good standing, meaning their employees are indeed insured. Any trade you hire should have liability insurance so this is an absolute must-do. JDavis has noticed that not nearly enough homeowners do this vital step. Be sure to ask your pro for proof of insurance before you hire. You can also look for a Verified badge on their profile as HomeStars also asks our pros for proof of these things.
After asking for proof of insurance, be sure to ask about their COVID safety protocols. If the company cannot provide you with these, this is a red flag that they may have trouble enforcing safety protocols.
JDavis reminds us that if the company won’t provide you with a written quote, then you cannot guarantee that they will stick to the agreed-upon price and scope of work at the end of the job. A written agreement protects both the contractor and the homeowner and is essential, even for small jobs.
Last but not least, JDavis urges homeowners to never hire a company they feel they cannot trust. Ask the necessary questions so that you feel comfortable having the company carry out work on your home. Remember that the right pro for you will work with you because they’re there to help you. You should feel comfortable talking about your budget or colour concerns. Be sure to read their past customer reviews and look out for a Verified badge to confirm insurance. When you’re ready to get started on your next painting project, connect with local painting pros like JDavis to get started. Remember that only the pros can provide you with a quality and safely done job during this time.
JDavis Painting is built on years of experience in the painting industry and the belief that hiring a trade shouldn’t be a nightmare, it should be a fun and exciting endeavour! They believe that communication is the key to a great relationship and will work with you to complete your painting project. Their main focus is delivering incredible customer experiences. If you’re looking for a painter in the Toronto area, be sure to check out their HomeStars profile to read their glowing client reviews, confirm their Verification badge and see their recent HomeStars Best of Award!