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How to know whether to use a professional or DIY

diy-vs-professionalProfessional Contractor vs.. Do It Yourself (DIY)

Size of job, quality required, personal skills, tools investment, timeline…

So far at this site, we have shown how to use a caulking gun, why you have a painters drop cloth, and made informed views on the best ladders as against cheap ladders. We’ve shown what types of paint brushes to use and how to paint ceilings with paint roller extensions.

For all of that, when do you use a professional, and when do you have a crack at it yourself?

I guess it comes to your own values, time available, and long term goals.

Doing the best painting yourself can provide immense satisfaction, with the bonus of saving you money and supplying you with a garage full of quality painting equipment that paid for itself. That lightweight step ladder can be used again and again for many roles; your best belt sander can be used on your furniture or car projects, as will the quality air compressors or electric spray gun. You will find the best painters tool has many applications.

Sooo…how much time and living space do you have, and what’s your earning capacity loss during the time your painting walls and cutting in ceilings?

Pride in your work is great, but sleeping in an unfinished bedroom for 3 weeks will strain the relationship of your current love interest…”Parfum de Paint” won’t cut it, Romeo. Time frame is a key factor when deciding whether to do a job yourself, and always keep in mind the expectations of others living in the house..

Could you be making extra $ elsewhere- that means you could pay a professional painter, giving some-one a job (great for the economy) and still not be out of pocket. Is it too big a job for the time you have? Be aware however, that a big wall doesn’t take long, with quality extension poles and paint rollers.

Unless it needs a lot of patching… (See our patching advice here..)


Our Recommendation – Here’s a thought…

Look, here’s the thing with the crew at Paintsonladders- we’re a bit of a Dorothy Dixer, we really want to share our knowledge, and most importantly help you to succeed when painting yourself. It can be a really worthwhile, money saving, esteem building, and dare we say it! – a relaxing thing to do.

So, we don’t actually recommend Services.

Personnel and management can move on, get better, or fall from grace. The guys we know in “your area” may now be a team of 7 skilled super painters, or a bunch of travelling yahoos from the Heckarwees enjoying a laugh and an earn at your expense when they bought the good guy’s business name…

We just can’t tell you, because brother, the world keeps change’ in.

Read our suggestions, they are what we truly think best, maybe have a tryout to test your own abilities, with that one room, and  if  still unsure, follow our ideas on how to find a good painter.

Get yourself the basic kit for, say the spare or smallest and simplest room- 4 straight walls, one window and a ceiling type of thing. Our front page tells you the basic needs, but think about a few quality bushes, a roller tray and a good quality roller, add a lightweight ladder and a few painters drop sheets. Have a go, be relaxed about the outcome, and view it as a learning experience- your temperament will describe the best outcome.

It could be fun, and it could cost you a few dollars, but it may give you an enormous boost that will make you just that little bit pleased with your work-for years !

Follow our Tips and Advice!!

safety-manSafety First – Assess the Task

  1. Can the Job Harm Me. Most jobs can harm you but what we are talking about here is the potential for the job to harm you, in other words what is the likelihood of you hurting yourself. Power tools, working at heights, in confined spaces and near hazards are all warning signs that you may need to consider however as we have mentioned in this article, it does come down to your own skills and confidence.
  2. Can the Job Damage my Home. Water leaks from plumbing jobs are a prime example of this, some other examples may include fire hazards from electrical work, structural damage from removing walls, using the incorrect materials for the purpose to name a few. Your home is a large investment and an investment worth nurturing so consider the task at hand in terms of whether you are protecting your home.
    1. Home Value – Home value can be reduced when the finished result of the work isn’t up to expectations, carefully consider the impact this may have when if it comes time to sell the property.
    2. Cost to Repair any Damage – If your home is damaged as a result of the work, consider the repair cost and weigh up the risk of this occurring.
  3. Does the Job Require a Permit. Electrical work requires the correct licenses as does plumbing and certain building tasks. Dig permits, building permits, council approvals are some other examples that you may need to consider.

What to expect from a professional painter

service level, accreditation, examples, questions to ask them..

You are about to ask some guy you don’t know to do a good paint job, eh? Will they use the best quality paint- or even just good paint? Are they cowboys with an electric paint spray gun, the paint types whose best brush is with the law?

Word of mouth is hard to beat, but there are other, subtle signs too.

pro clean_painterProfessional Painting Equipment and Work Methods

What is the equipment like?- if they left paint all over the vehicle they came in, maybe your home and fittings are going to be the same!

Generally, a tidy approach will affect how your property is going to be left. Beautiful cutting in paint work and dripless caulk gun use mean less work for the painter to have to do when he/she finishes- but making sure there is no “left behind “ work is your job to check. If you don’t look for it, a poor craftsman won’t be pointing to it. When they paint ceilings, is there fleck covering everything else- get on it- or away from them – straight away.

It’s YOUR home- be a nasty and check/ question everything that seems not as it should. Dry paint on your good sofa doesn’t remove itself…..Ever.

Where is the painters canvas drop cloth? The painters drop cloth should be covering everything- it is easier and better for them, so be suspicious of poorly placed equipment. Dumb but true- check behind items- the whole walls gets painted, even behind the refrigerator, unless the quote says otherwise

Are they using quality types of paintbrushes– or are they stopping and pulling bristle from the work- or worse, leaving them in the paint! Ask them how to paint ceilings and walls as a process- what do they think you should (and do) expect of the job, and how long will it take.

quality and cost

Note: At Paints on ladders we give you the skills and right advice to achieve top quality yourself!

Things to Remember;

  • There are 3 types of job- good, fast, and cheap.
  • You can have fast and good- but it won’t be cheap;
  • You can have cheap and fast- but it won’t good;
  • You may get cheap and good-but it won’t be fast!

Be fair to your painter- know exactly what you want done, what is being quoted for, and make sure you both agree with what’s written on the quote. A painter cannot, nor be expected, to change colour of paint once you decide on it. Paint costs money for them to buy (and you usually get it cheaper via the painter) but it also takes them time to purchase and mixed the paint required- if you change your mind- expect a bill for it!

Don’t go about it meanly- if they say the ceiling or doors require redoing, they probably do. It is such a letdown for you (and will cost more) when the new paint makes the old door frames and skirting boards look drab and ugly.

Painter’s will bring and often leave overnight the goods and equipment they require– expect tidy piles of drop clothes and extension poles to be sitting with the painters best ladder and caulk gun somewhere in the job-in-progress area. They may take home the lightweight step ladder, their best belt sanders or bring home the electric paint spray gun and respirator, but that’s because, hey- they don’t know you, either ( nah, they just wanna keep stuff tidy…)

Preparing the Family

Have you and your family readied yourself for the sights, smells and inconvenience of a paint out? To us painters, there is little, to no smell, but hey kiddo- you’re not a painter maybe, and for you it might mess with the delicate flavours of your Chilli Crab and Chianti dinner…


Summary of Advice – Professional Painters

Summary? Get word of mouth, or visit the “last job” local to you that they state they did to check their work. A fair price for a fair job, remember to get some left over for touch ups of the knocks that WILL happen later, and check your state for registration listings or what accreditation to be expecting. Make sure they are as proud of the work as you are of your home.

When they finish, buy them a pack of beer as an additional thank you- if they are as good as you’d want, they deserve it.

Handy DIY References:

  • Many ways to save money with a DIY project done right
  • House renovations for sale (including a lick of paint) can be very rewarding
  • A guide for when you require permits whilst working on your renovation projects
  • Contractors require a license if they are going to work in your home, be sure to check that any labour you utilise is compliant in accordance with the contractor requirements here..