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Painting your house? What to consider.

Avoid a "cowboy" job

Most New Zealander’s have DIY in our blood, or we think we do. We like to be practical and able to turn our hand to almost anything. But what about painting the house? Sure, no problems! It might take all summer to paint but we’re sure we can do it.

We’ve put together a few things to consider so you can make a good decision about whether you can do it yourself or call in the professionals?

  1. Timeframe – would you rather take your kids to their sports games or be stuck at home painting? Realistically, do you actually have the time to commit to the job from start to finish? For a high quality job, speed is not always your friend. Have you factored in how long this job may actually take?
  2. Materials – do you have all the materials required for the entire job? Your wife’s sheets out of the laundry cupboard are not drop cloths…. if you value a happy life. There are a myriad of tools and materials needed that you may have to purchase including: sanding equipment, sugar-soap, dust-masks, ladders, a variety of brushes, rollers, pails, let alone the paint for priming and top-coating. There’s actually a whole lot more, but I think you get the point.
  3. Preparation – as they say, preparation is the key to a good paint job? How much cleaning is required? Are you able to fill and repair holes and cracks? Do you need to sand back lightly or take it back to bare boards? – personally this is the part I HATE!!
  4. Health and Safety – hmmm – how much do you know about the existing paintwork? Is it lead-based? Might asbestos be involved? Will scaffolding be required or were you going to try to do your upper story with a plank slung between two ladders? Are you going to be another ACC statistic?
  5. Knowledge – do you actually know what you are doing or were you just going to read a few brochures or watch some YouTube videos? What paint for what surfaces? How many coats? How late in the day can you paint? What difference does the temperature make?
  6. Experience – are you ‘actually’ any good? Or do you just think you are OK? How much painting have you ever done in your life? Have you done anything of this scale before? Did you know that paint drips down the handle of a brush when you paint soffits above your head? Believe me cutting in is MUCH harder than it looks.
  7. Boredom – it sounded like a good cost-effective idea to paint the house yourself while you listen to the cricket, but when you are only a third of the way through you’re already over it.
  8. Budget – after considering all the thoughts above, should you just stick to your day job and call in the professionals to paint your home? We know what we’d advise.

We know that painting the exterior or entire interior of a home can be an ambitious proposition for a busy homeowner. Whether you do it yourself or hire the professionals it will be a costly exercise. My Dad always said, “do it once and do it right!”. This is a good time to bring in the pros, and when you do, ask them the questions above. Their answers could well determine whether the job is a good one, or a cowboy job.

The Progroup - “making the place you live, a place you love.”

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