We Like to Inform Our Clients

I have done a lot of online research over the years about some of the details and instructions for interior house painting. I'm putting it out there that a lot of the information that one would find on the Internet is just plain wrong.

This Painting Blog tries to help provide better painting information so hopefully it will be useful for both homeowners and other painting contractors alike.

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Homeowners Associations Regulations

HOAs and Restrictive Ordinances are designed to protect neighborhood property values by enforcing Homeowners to maintain their home and not to deviate in terms of paint colors or architectural changes. Sometimes however, the bureaucracy of the HOA can be a little overwhelming.  I’ve heard of stories of homeowners being sued by their HOA simply because they painted their shutters red instead of green.

So the front of your house needs to be re-painted or your vinyl siding needs to be power washed. Should you ask permission from your HOA before doing anything?

Usually most HOAs are easy to deal with. They will clean your streets, plow your streets, trim your trees, maintain the swimming pool, and allow you to paint your home the exact same color that was used when the house was built. There are some that have come up with more stringent guidelines. Most notably the Reston Virginia area has an HOA for Reston, and each of the small townhouse clusters has their own HOA

There are some HOAs that will require homeowners to hire an “HOA Approved” painting company. The most moderate HOA’s will limit color choices for an exterior repaint to three or four acceptable neutrals colors. If for some odd chance the homeowner would like to deviate from the approved list of colors, they must go through a color change approval process. This could involve submitting paint samples, provide paint manufacturer and brand information, and possibly even attend architectural HOA board meetings.

There are always obvious constraints. For example, if your next door neighbor had the exact same color that you would like to apply, then there might be an objection. Some HOAs rules do make sense in terms of paint schemes. Colors should be in the same schema when you take into consideration the siding color, trim color, garage door, front door, and shutters. Often times, they will regulate the brand of paint that you use to be the same builder brand and quality. All of these pesky rules and regulations should be included within the By-Laws of the HOA.

>As a homeowner within an HOA Controlled Community, you should take these regulations seriously, and always inquire with the Board if you are thinking about making changes to the exterior. Trust me; HOA’s have their ways of forcing homeowners to comply with their demands. As stated in the By-Laws of the HOA, usually they are able to fine homeowners several hundred dollars per month. If the fines get ignored, they can then place a lien on the property thereby forcing the homeowner into submission.

It's important to document everything whenever you're dealing with the HOA. For example, if someone complains about your color choice years down the road, it's a good idea to keep a paper trail concerning your color approvals. Paint colors on the inside of the home should never become an issue with the HOA in your neighborhood. Davinci's Painting has been dealing with HOA's in Reston since Reston was built! Please give us a call if you should need any assistance.

Environmental Friendly Renovation Tips

If you’re renovating your home this spring, there are many decisions that you need to make before the work can get started. In fact, it can be quite a task for many people. Sometimes it can be helpful to organize the project when you have time off! One thing you should always consider is to take into account environmental friendly considerations. More often than not, these strategies will not only help the environment, but it can go a long way in terms of saving money for the overall project. We recommend the following tips when you’re renovating.

Hire an Environmentally Responsible Architect

Environmental considerations over the entire life cycle of a building process is an important goal of sustainable architecture.  Over the past 20 years, conscientious contractors and the modern public have embraced green architecture as a socially responsible way to build and renovate.  Architects use many different techniques to reduce the environmental footprint of the building process, as well as, eliminate the need to use fossil fuel during the construction.  Green renovation projects can include the resourceful use of materials and the methodologies that are utilized to install those materials. A thorough site analysis that includes an environmental impact study will minimize the impact of building or renovating within the environment.

Use Recycled Materials When it is Possible

Using recycled materials in construction is not entirely mainstream in modern architecture, however, it's gaining traction. There are a many examples and ways to be ecologically conscious that doesn't have to impact the design and aesthetics of a renovation project. This can include anything from reclaimed wood, insulation, concrete, and floor tiles. Needless to say, it may not be easy to find the right kind of materials in good condition for your specific project. But it never hurts to see what is out there, because many times you will be surprised about the quality of some environmentally friendly recycled materials that are available. Moreover, recycled materials can be available at a quarter of the cost of new construction materials.

A Healthy Indoor and Outdoor Environment

Environmentally-friendly construction can not only help preserve the outdoor environment, it can also help to maintain a healthier indoor environment within your home. Traditional construction approaches and materials have often been associated with a wide range of health problems. Chemical compounds from paints, solvents, plastics and other composites are known to cause health issues for people living within the home. The utilization of non-toxic products and materials and recycled construction materials can help alleviate some of those health issues. Green construction techniques that are used today should focus on not only protecting the natural surroundings, but also the indoor environment.

Salvage Materials from the Existing Structure

Architects should find opportunities during the disassembly stage to reuse whatever they can in order to reduce the environmental footprint and reduce costs. Designing a home that can utilize some of the existing materials reduces waste overall and and provides environmental benefits for communities. Moreover, builders, owners, and occupants, also receive an economic benefit by extending the life of the parts of the house that already exist. Those house parts and materials can be taken apart and recycled for further use during the remodeling process. This could include salvaging the existing foundation, or perhaps dismantling and retrofitting roofing and framing structures to accommodate the new design.

Utilize Low VOC or Zero VOC Paint Materials

Volatile organic compounds are contained within commonly used household products which includes a lot of older and inexpensive paint products. The process of applying those paint materials containing VOCs causes gas or vapors to be emitted within the environment. These organic compounds can cause a variety of health problems for some people, including watery eyes, headaches, respiratory ailments and even cancer in some cases. Women who are pregnant, young children, and other people with heightened sensitivity to chemicals may be more susceptible to VOC related illnesses. Most experienced residential painters will follow EPA Guidelines when utilizing paints containing VOCs and should recommend those products to customers.  We have a ton of information on our Website concerning Zero VOC Paints and Green Painting!

Extensive Interior Painting in Alexandria VA

This interior painting job was multi-faceted.  The new Home Owner wanted to change all of the colors from the previous Owner.   Although I happen to like deep red and orange, I probably would have chosen those colors for the dining room or office.  In any event, the new owners could not come to terms with the color options that existed in the the master bedroom, converted dining room, and especially the basement rec room.

Other aspects of the job included painting previously stained wood trim, and the paneled walls within the rec room.  In order to paint over the stained trim, we needed to completely prime the wood with Oil Based Kilz Primer. A respirator is always required whenever using oil based Kilz Primer.  Once the Kilz had completely dried, it was important to completely sand every square inch of the primed wood.

There was also an unpainted brick wall within the converted dining room.  This room was a previous porch addition that was built-out at some point to include a ceiling, door, and real windows.  In this case, it was necessary to completely prime the brick with heavy-duty block filler primer.  Because of the fact that we were applying three different types of primers, It was critically important to completely seal the tile and hardwood floor.

The preparation required 5 days to complete.  Since the property was vacant we were able to work late and did not need to accommodate for people living in the house.  Projects that require extensive preparation are performed much more efficiently when they are vacant.  The painting aspect of the job was very straightforward.  Prior to the application of the second coating, we utilized spotlights to check for any imperfections.

Exterior Painting in the Spring!

When spring time brings upon mild weather, most homeowners in Northern Virginia look forward to taking care of those things outside of their Home. Yard work like landscaping and gardening in general are usually the first things that come to mind. Many people just cannot wait to start buying bags of mulch and get to digging up the shrubbery. However, if you think that your Home is need of an exterior cleaning and paint job, then it would be best to put off the landscaping, and take care of the important project first.

You Shouldn’t Delay Painting Your Exterior
It’s never a good idea to delay performing exterior cleaning, repairs, or painting of your Home. Usually, the life expectancy of the typical paint job is 5 to 7 years. After a certain amount of time, those areas that were previously caulked or repaired could become exposed to the elements. Sometimes excessive water penetration due to a faulty gutter or downspout can also cause paint to fail prematurely. When wood trim becomes exposed to the elements, wood deterioration begins. As more time passes, this deterioration can penetrate beyond the cornice trim that you can see, and can enter into the wood framing of the house. The more time that you wait, the more expensive the repairs can become.

Paint First Then Do Outside Landscaping
Despite the great amount of care that is taken to protect plants and the landscape surrounding a Home, there is a lot of work that goes into getting a house painted. Power washing the exterior is the first phase, and often times the most difficult and dirtiest aspect of the job. Because of the excess amount of water, plastic protection of plants is not feasible during this process, and it is almost inevitable that something will be touched. On the other hand, plastic coverings and drop cloths are always utilized to cover plants and shrubbery throughout the preparation and application phases. In any event, if you have the option, you should always consider performing landscaping after any type of exterior work.

Exterior Painting and Weather Challenges
Temperature fluctuations are one of the most important factors to consider when you are thinking painting the exterior of your home. Latex paint will have an adverse reaction as temperatures approach the freezing mark. The reason is that latex paints contain water and will freeze at temperatures below 32 degrees, and this will cause the paint to not cure properly. Moreover, the evaporation rate is much slower prohibiting the latex particles to come together, coalesce, and dry properly. Weather in Northern Virginia is generally mild during the spring and summer months, and it is absolutely the optimal time to perform any type of exterior paint applications. Painting should always be avoided during rainy conditions.

Maximize Your Paint Job!
Painting the exterior of your home will increase the curb appeal because and will make your home look like new on the outside. It will also improve your home’s value and helps portray the idea that you have taken excellent care of your home. If you are considering putting your home on the market, this type of home improvement investment will help draw potential buyers for a first and second look. If your home was painted within the past 5 years, perhaps cleaning your house is all that is needed. Power washing is always included in all of Davinci’s Painting exterior painting work, and it’s the best way to remove mold, mildew and stains on your home’s brick, wood, and aluminum siding.

There are numerous factors that can affect exterior house painting and it can be challenging to get the work done the right way. This is why it is crucially important to hire a Class A Northern Virginia Painting Company. Davinci’s Painting is a museum quality painting contractor, and we perform additional preparation processes that other companies cannot and will not provide. Why not get your exterior painting done before more fun outdoor activities start like gardening, graduations, and family barbecues? Give us a call or request an estimate through our website!