Each room was unique to itself and yet all were connected in harmony. Our home became a warm, inviting and comfortable place.
- Charlotte and Michael Paull, Kildeer
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Archive for November 2009

How to Choose a House Painting Service

Selecting a house painting contractor can be a daunting task and choosing a painter on price alone can be a very costly mistake. Here, is a list of four major risk factors and ten questions you can ask to help you decide which painting contractor represents the best value for your particular needs and your tolerance for risk.
The four risk factors are:

1- Assessing Financial Risk:
Not every painting contractor represents the same level of financial risk to you. Do they carry liability and workmen’s comp insurance and do they have their own employees, instead of subcontractors? If the answers are yes, your financial exposure is much lower. Additionally, it is important to note that if the painting contractor is a small operator and will work hands-on as a painter on your project, he/she most likely is excluded from the policy; in which case, the risk would falls back on you if he/she is injured on your painting project. So asking if the owner-painter is excluded from the policy is a good idea as well.

2- Assessing Reliability and Professionalism:
Does the painting contractor belong to PDCA (Painting and Decorating Contractors of America)? Are they accredited as contractors by PDCA? Do they perform background checks and drug testing? If the answers are yes, this painting company has invested in being knowledgeable about the painting business and is committed to operate in a professional manner.

3- Assessing the Likeliness of a Successful and On-Time Project:
Does the house painting contractor have an Employee Training Program and a Safety Program? If they do, their employees will likely perform at a higher level and in a more consistent manner, while using safe work practices. These factors will contribute substantially to a successful outcome for your house painting project.

4- Assessing the Likeliness of a Long-term Relationship:
Is it important to you for the painting contractor you choose to be someone you can call ”My Painter for Life”? If so, ask the following three questions. Are they a member of their local Chamber of Commerce? Do they warranty their painting work? Do they have an up-to-date website? If the answers are yes, you have a painter who takes a long view about their business and is more likely to value a long-term relationship with you as a customer.

As a consumer, when you compare painting contractors, you assess their TRUE Value to you, based on what is most important to you.

Painting in Partnership, Inc. has developed an easy-to-use form you can download from our website. It enables you to actually quantify your risk in choosing a painting contractor. Click here to download the form.

House Painting in the North Pole – A Color Consultation Extraordinaire

Exterior painting in Chicago? Sure! However, exterior painting in the North Pole does not seem to be a likely prospect and neither does a color design consultation to develop a color scheme for an entire town of 1,400 inhabitants. Yet, both happened in a coal mining town called Longyearbyen in Norway, the most northern town on earth.

What makes it an unlikely scenario is that, in a climate this cold and dry, wood does not rot. Therefore, there is no need to use exterior painting as a means to preserve wooden structures, which is a nightmare scenario if you are a house painting contractor in the area. Consequently, without the colors that paint would have added to the décor of the town, the predominant colors, for most of the year, were black, white and every shade of gray.

Another critical factor was the wildly varying amount of light through the year, from total darkness for 3 months to twenty four hours of sun in the few summer months. The rest of the time, there are blue shadows and a sky that changes from pink, to turquoise to lilac.

Most of the town’s buildings are owned by a coal mining company. In 1981, in a bold and visionary move, the Board of Directors of the coal company hired Grete Smedal, a renowned environmental designer and color expert, to develop a color scheme for both housing and public buildings in the town. Having understood the power of color to enrich one’s environment, the Board presented Ms. Smedal with the challenge and the opportunity of a lifetime.

In 2004, I had the great pleasure and privilege to meet Grete in Trumso, Norway, at an international conference of painting contractors. After the conference , she sent me a copy of the book she had written on this unique color design and painting project.

After much study and deliberation, Grete finally settled on a color palette of almost equal whiteness, blackness and chromatic intensity. All the colors were of medium lightness, which allowed the color scheme to offer sufficient contrast in any season.

The actual exterior painting was executed in the 80s and 90s, which brought a smile to the local painting contractors. Ms. Smedal gave the school building a special color treatment. She had a row of 50+ windows painted in the colors of the rainbow. In her book, published in 2001, entitled “Longyearbyen in colors – status and challenges”, she quoted an anonymous miner who wrote the following:

“A span of the rainbow over summer wet meadow,
Is it a dream of a time you have left?
Much is forgotten, but may be not this:
The hunt in the woods for the rainbow’s end.

Just before the darkness of fall shadows the sun
You see a vision and then you see that
The end of the rainbow has hit on the school.
The treasure of Knowledge is the happiness you sought.”

Picture of Longyearbyen's School

Picture of Longyearbyen's School

Here is a picture of the school in the Fall:

Thanks Grete Smedal for your magical work in the North pole!

Color and painting have the power to add great value to people’s life. This is the belief that inspires everything we do at Painting in Partnership, Inc., painting contractors in the Chicago area.