Tips for Hiring a Painting Contractor

While it may be tempting to DIY, painting your home is more difficult and time consuming than you imagine. What could potentially take you weeks to accomplish can be done in days by a professional.

Here are a few tips for hiring a painting contractor.

Get Quotes

Before hiring a painting contractor or local roofing companies, you’ll want to get quotes with details of what the job will entail. Make sure that all the quotes you receive are for the same work to make accurate comparisons

Verify License and Insurance

If you live in a state that requires painters to have a contractor’s license, you will forfeit your right to collect money for neglected promises if you hire someone who is not in compliance with the law. Note that this is not required in all states.

Schedule a Meeting

Have the painting contractor come to your home so you can show them everything you want painted. Go over details and ask about surface preparation, priming, what kind of paint will be used, how many coats, etc.

Other things you’ll want to cover during the meeting:

  • how your furniture, floors and fixtures will be protected
  • preparation and cleanup details
  • areas to be painted, along with colors
  • when work will be started and finished
  • daily work schedules
  • remedy if work not completed on time
  • what happens if paint is spilled


Is there an applicable warranty? Does it cover the work? Are labor and materials covered? What happens if there are issues with the paint? How long is the warranty?


Get references from the painting company, and if they are using subcontractors, get references for them as well. Check with the Better Business Bureau.

First Impressions

What was your initial impression of the painting contractor? Were they punctual? Polite? Did they seem interested in the job? Were you comfortable having them in your home? Make sure you take these things into consideration.

Follow these tips to help you make an informed decision on hiring a painting contractor.

Tips for Removing Wall Paper

When it comes to home improvements, there are so many things a person can do to update the look of their home. Whether you are planning to pressure wash a deck or even pave your patio or refinish your hardwood flooring, an update can not only make your home look better, but it can also increase your home value. Even planting a garden or new trees in your yard is a good idea. If you are trying to sell your home, simple updates like removing or replacing old wallpaper is a good way to make sure possible buyers like what they see so they will want to place a bid on the home.

Removing wall paper is a chore and one that not many people want to undertake. When you must tear it down, you need to make sure that you have some tips to ensure that the process goes much smoother. Wall paper will fight to come off, which can cause a large headache for many. Wall paper is currently not used very often, so it is important to note that in some cases, just putting the wall covering that you want to have up over it might be more practical. However, other wall coverings might require the wall paper to come down.

Tips for Wall Paper Removal

  1. Mix liquid fabric softener with water and paint brush it on the wall. Let the mixture soak for 20 minutes and then start to remove the paper. It should easily peel right off.
  2. Use steam to remove the wall paper from the walls. When it becomes wet, it can be removed much easier than if it is dry.
  3. Always use a scraper to remove the wall paper from the walls. You want to use something durable, since wall paper will stick and without a sharp, durable tool to help you remove the paper, it can become harder to remove from the walls.
  4. Is the wall paper used strippable? Sometimes, wall paper is made to be removed with ease. A lot of times just getting one edge of the paper up can help you rip down the rest of it easily. Sometimes however, the wall paper is not strippable, which is going to mean that you need to put a bit more effort into removing it.
  5. Soak the paper as much as possible using warm water. When you soak it, you’re able to wet the paste that is behind the paper. When it is wet, you can then easily remove it from the walls.
  6. There are chemicals that were specially made to remove wall paper from the walls. By using these chemicals, you’re able to easily remove the paper since it was made for this! However, a lot of people choose not to use these chemicals since they can be harsh.
  7. Mix vinegar with boiling water to create a mixture that can be sprayed on the wall paper. Let it sit for five mins and then remove the paper. This should be done in spots and not all at once. You want the water to stay hot while working, since this is what is going to help break down the adhesive on the wall paper.
  8. Mix a teaspoon of baking soda, liquid dish soap and hot water together to create a paste. Use the hot paste over the wall paper and let sit for a minute. Easily scrape off the paper and the mixture that you put over the paper.

Remember, it is best to hire a contractor for any household work that needs to be done. When you have a good contractor, you can ensure that you save time and energy pulling down wall paper, since you can have them do this, then provide you with the beautiful walls that you want.

Removing wall paper should not be hard to do. It should provide you with a way to do something new on the walls around you. It can provide you with a way to enjoy more out of the room you’re remodeling. Of course, if you do not have the time or effort that is needed, it is always best to speak with a contractor that can come out and provide you with the help needed.

The Value of Hardwood Floors

When it comes to flooring, there is no shortage of options. That being the case, why are hardwood floors so popular?


Hardwood flooring is timeless, durable, stylish, and can add to the resale value of your home. It comes in a wide variety of styles, colors and timber types to complement any home or décor.


Unlike carpet, which needs to be replaced every 5-7 years on average (plus paying for carpet cleaners), hardwood floors can last a lifetime…and beyond. While the upfront costs of hardwood floors are typically more expensive than carpet, in the long run it is a more cost-effective option.

When compared to the cost of stone, tile and other hard surfaces, the installed cost per square foot of hardwood floors is generally lower.


Hardwood flooring is a great option for those who suffer with allergies or asthma. It doesn’t harbor dust mites, mold, dander and allergens the way carpet does. Many doctors recommend replacing carpet with hardwood in the homes of children with asthma.

Low Maintenance

Hardwood floors are easy to keep clean and maintain. Cleaning spilled food and drinks off hardwood flooring is a breeze compared with carpeting, which can stain. It is also much easier to clean up dirt and mud from your shoes, as well as pet hair.

Environmentally Friendly

Hardwood floors are the most environmentally friendly flooring material available. Harvesting trees has minimal environmental impact, and hardwood floors us less water and energy to produce than any other flooring option.

The Environmental Protection Agency has determined that air quality is improved with wood floors.

Due to an industry-wide commitment to sustainable forest management, there is a 90% increase in the amount of standing hardwoods in the United States since 1953.

Wood flooring can last hundreds of years and won’t need to be replaced as often as other flooring options, using fewer raw materials, energy and natural resources.

Best Time of Year for Roof Repair

If your roof needs repair or replacement, you may be wondering what the best time of year is to have it done. The best thing to do is plan ahead.

Busiest Time of Year

Late summer and early fall is the busiest time of year for roofing contractors, so while weather conditions are ideal, prices go up due to the higher demand from customers wanting their roof replaced before winter. It would be wise to contact a roofing contractor well in advance if you want your roof repaired during this time, before their schedule is filled.


Winter may not be an obvious choice for roof repair due to snow, ice and cold temperatures, however, one of the advantages of having your roof repaired during this time is cheaper prices and more roofing company options, as this is the slowest time of year. Keep in mind if you’re using asphalt shingles, they must undergo thermal sealing, which requires temperatures of at least 40 degrees for several days or even weeks, so if you live in parts of the country where it regularly gets below freezing during the winter, this is probably not a good option unless it’s an emergency. If you have a metal roof or live in warmer climates, winter is definitely your best option.


If your roof can hold off through the winter, then spring may be the good time to get your roof repaired. With warmer temperatures and income tax returns rolling in, the roofing business starts picking back up, but has not yet gone into full swing. Expect to see price increases however.


Early summer can also be a good time for roof replacement. The busy season hasn’t yet hit, and many families go on vacation. Things start to pick up after the 4th of July holiday however and by the time Labor Day weekend rolls around, roofers are in full swing, and prices are at their highest.


Fall is crunch time for the roofing industry, and roof repair should be avoided during this time if possible. You’ll have less roofers to choose from and pay higher prices than any other time of year.

The best advice is don’t wait until an emergency arises. After your roof has sprung a leak is not the time to be trying to get your roof repaired. If it occurs during peak roofing times, you may have to wait several weeks for a roofing company to have availability.

Tips for Keeping Carpet Clean with a Toddler

Toddlers and carpet don’t typically make a great pairing. In fact, the two together can be the things nightmares are made of, both because of the havoc a toddler can wreak on carpet and vice versa.

Because your toddler spends so much time on the floor, you’ll want to make sure you’re protecting them both.

Preventative Measures

Try to keep your carpet as clean as possible with a few simple steps. To prevent dirt, germs and chemicals from being tracked into your home, keep doormats at entrances so everyone can wipe their feet before coming inside. Even better, take a cue from Asian culture and have everyone take off their shoes as they come inside. If walking around barefoot inside your home doesn’t feel comfortable, keep a pair handy strictly for indoor use.

Vacuum your carpet regularly to control dust, dust mites and allergens. Investing in a good vacuum cleaner will ensure that you’re cleaning deep into the fibers where dirt gets trapped.

Keeping Your Carpet Clean

Clean up spills right away by blotting first with a paper towel or absorbent cloth. Don’t rub. Rubbing can damage the carpet fibers and set in the stain. Make sure to soak up as much liquid as possible to prevent mold and bacteria growth.

Stain Removal

For non-toxic, toddler-safe stain removal try club soda for red wine or coffee spills; cornstarch or baking soda for grease; salt for mud or wine; and for melted wax lay a paper towel or rag over the wax and press it with an iron. The paper towel absorbs the melted wax. Just be sure you set your iron on a lower setting so you don’t burn your carpet.

Call a Professional

For tough stains or additional cleaning for your carpet, check with local carpet companies to see if they offer non-toxic carpet cleaning methods that are safe for your toddler.