Saturday, October 23, 2010

Paint our Red Rocks Green!

Southern Utah Home Builders Association is working hard to promote Green Building Practices in Southern Utah. They have created the Southwest green Building Council and are trying raise money and awareness. Won't you please take a minute and vote!

More info here!



Friday, October 22, 2010

A brush with.... John Howell

Meet John Howell! John started painting by his father's side as soon as he was able to hold a brush! John says,

"When I was a kid I painted with him and grew to love painting. My dad was a guy that loved to see a job done right - the first time, every time."

John has carried on the family tradition and has run a successful painting business in the Portland and Vancouver areas since 1993. Contact him at John Howell Construction. John has mastered many aspects of the trades and can help any homeowner protect and beautify their home.

In his free time, John likes to network and offer advice to other painters at a poplar online forum, Painttalk. There John is known for his quick wit and cryptic responses! He is always willing to share his knowledge of paint products and procedures. He is always interested in seeing what others are up to and is a valued online friend! Great to "know" you John!


How to choose a Painting Contractor!

Some people spend more time doing research to choose television than they do to choose a contractor!

In the small town of Cedar City, like many Southern Utah towns, most of our work comes from referrals. Our satisfied customers are always happy to give out our name out to friends and family, and we appreciate that!

Southern Utah is also a desirable place to retire or build a second home, so we often get calls from people who have no local connections and found us by Googling "Utah Painters". Many of the people we meet are from the "big city" and have often been let down by unscrupulous contractors in the past. They are often surprised by the small town honesty and friendliness they encounter in our area. But I still encourage all homeowners to follow some basic steps when hiring a contractor.

1. Ask for referrals from family friends and neighbors. More than likely, you've been a guest at a home that's been recently painted by a professional contractor. If your first reaction to that paint job was favorable, be sure to ask the homeowner which contractor they used. 

If you don't have a referral from someone you know, there are plenty of contractors that regularly advertise in your local newspaper, flyers, or online at sites such as Facebook. Check your local paint store like Sherwin Williams and ask the manager for the name of a good painter.

It's generally a good idea to get an estimate for your project from 2-3 different contractors. You can set multiple appointments with prospective contractors for a particular day, or spread them out over the course of a few days in the same week. Generally, initial estimates are free.

2. Before you meet with a contractor, write down the details of the project you have in mind as well as a projected budget. Some things you can check before they come.

Are they licensed with the State?  Click here to the State Licensing Board to look up any contractor.

Are they insured? They will have to show you a copy of their Liability Insurance.

Are the employees covered under Workers Compensation? Click here to verify. If a worker is hurt on your property, you could be liable for medical bills!

What type of experience do they and/or their employees have? They should be able to show you samples of their work.

While price is always a factor, having skilled workers and a reputable company that has been in business for a minimum of 2-3 years should be high ranking factors as well in your final selection.

3. Was your home built before 1978? If so, your contractor must be EPA Certified. Click here for more info on Lead Paint.

4. When you meet, both decision makers should be available. As you and the contractor are take a look at your painting project, ask what type of preparation work they do. Painting is 90% preparation and 10% painting!

Ask for recommendations from the contractor for types of materials you can consider for your project. If you are wanting to do a more eco-friendly painting project, be sure to ask if the materials the contractor uses are low-VOC or zero-VOC paints, primers, etc. 

A well-versed and experienced professional contractor will know the latest trends in color, materials and techniques and can make suggestions that will best fit your particular project.

The Painting Contractor should provide you with a detailed, written scope of work outlining all the work proposed, a price and proof of qualifications. Some may also provide references from other customers, if not, don't be afraid to ask! On larger projects, some contractors may prefer to complete the proposal at their home or office and present it to you later, in person, or by fax/email. Some projects are simple enough that a contractor can complete the proposal on the spot and may have a contract ready as well.

5. Gather your notes as well as the contractors' estimates and compare experience, price, etc. It's important to compare "apples to apples", some contractors may use a cheaper paint or skip important prep.If you feel you're ready to make a final selection from the contractors you've interviewed, great! You're ready to contact them to begin the project. If you're still unsure, or don't feel like you've found what you are looking for, you may want to consider calling another contractor for an additional estimate.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Interior Paint Makeover

This homeowner wanted a fresher, brighter interior before the long cold Utah winter sets in! We finished the mudroom and gave the interior a bright coat of paint!



Saturday, September 18, 2010

Before and After Painting in Cedar City, Utah

See what a difference a professional painter can make to your home!

Call Rob at RC Painting to see what a difference we can make!


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Exterior Painting in Southern Utah

Many of the homes in the Southern Utah area are stucco with rock trim. This is a great option for our desert climate. There is very little wood trim to maintain on most houses. The stucco still requires some care though, we will talk about how to keep your home looking clean and fresh next week, so check back!

Stucco homes still need to be inspected every year, look for small cracks, efflorescence and flaking paint. These should be addressed and repaired by a professional painter. Often, a yearly check can prevent later problems. If your home is already showing signs of failure, it may be time to call in a professional for a proper prep and repaint.

If your stucco is failing, fading, or you are ready to update the look of your home, call RC Painting today to solve all your Stucco problems!

Look what a simple color change did for this home!


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Commercial Painting in Cedar City, Utah

Living and working in a small rural area often presents many challenges for small businesses. Many small business owners find it difficult to keep a full crew busy all year long, especially in these economic times. The construction industry has been especially hard hit in Southern Utah.

There are many contractors who have downsized their staff and then find themselves without an experienced crew to complete larger jobs in a timely manner. Many of these contractors will hire day labor from an employment agency like SOS Staffing, and hope that the employee has some safety training or experience.

Some may hire a friend, an inexperienced person, or worse, an illegal immigrant. They will often pay cash under the table, as setting up someone on payroll and Workers Compensation can be costly and time consuming.

RC Painting of Cedar City and Piazza Painting of St. George have had these same issues, we wanted to keep our experienced, insured and trained employees working all year round. In order to accomplish this, we work together often on larger projects, such as the Genpak addition in Cedar City. By combining our resources, we are able to complete jobs like these with experienced staff and the right equipment!



The weather in Southern Utah is starting to cool off........

Summer is coming to an end, the kids are back in school and the leaves will be turning soon! Did you get all your home improvement chores done? Are you ready to spend a few months indoors? How do your walls look?

If you are ready to add some warmth and personality to your home, call RC Painting at 435-691-1246 to schedule an appointment to freshen up your living space!



Saturday, August 28, 2010

Our latest project!

Five new homes in Enoch, Utah!



Free Speech and Profanity

What has happened to the way we speak and present ourselves lately online? I participate on a number of online forums and social media sites. I have noticed an increase in the use and the common acceptance of profanity and vulgarity on many sites.

As a moderator on two construction related forums, I hear (see) a lot of good natured conversations with an occasional profane word thrown in for emphasis and it really does not bother me. In both forums, there are private (members only) and public sections. For the most part, the members in the public sections show restraint, and in the private areas, not so much! But that is ok, because in the private areas, you know what to expect, as contractors can be an "expressive" group! 

What about the public areas? Should they be censored? Should anyone be allowed to use language that others may find objectionable? Many members have their business name visible, does it matter to them that a potential customer might find their post? Do people really worry anymore on how they appear? Does it make it a difference if it is "in context" or "gratuitous"?  I don't know?

This morning, I asked a member of a forum to remove the words bitch and jackass from a signature line (this appears in every post they make, sometimes a personal statement or opinion, most often a link to their own site). I was astounded by the response I received. I was accused of violating his Right to Free Speech! I had not asked him to edit his political opinion, only remove the two words. Was I being a prude? Is that oppression?

I did some googling and found some interesting articles like these:

Why do Educated People use bad words?

South Carolina Considers Law That Would Criminalize Profanity In Public Forums

Youtube patron outraged over profanity filter

What's up with all the profanity?

It seems there is a lot of controversy on this subject! Maybe I am just an old lady who still believes in good manners?

What do you think?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

A Building Marathon!

We are on the home stretch of painting 5 homes in 5 weeks in the Nichols Landing area of Enoch, Utah for SMJ Homes of Cedar City, Utah. This was a tight schedule, but having a General Contractor like Shem Mackert with an experienced staff and a group of subcontractors who are experienced in working together made it a very smooth build. Justin Bowler of SMJ Homes is the project supervisor and he made sure that all the trades were scheduled in a way that allowed everyone the access to do what they needed to do. This allowed for a quality home to be built in an efficient and budget friendly manner without sacrificing quality. Call SMJ Homes now to see what they can do for you!




Sunday, August 1, 2010

We love what we do!

Rob and I were talking about our business, RC Painting this weekend. The economy has presented many challenges to small businesses in the past year.
Many contractors kept busy during the building boom of the past and with the number of building permits down, many companies have gone out of business. We are so fortunate to have a loyal customer base, and a few quality General Contractors like Shem Mackert of SMJ Homes to keep us busy.

Rob and I love working with Homeowners, Property Managers and General Contractors to provide a stress free home improvement, renovation or new build.

We would not be able to provide the excellent service that keeps our repeat customers coming back if were not for the members of our team. So I'd like to thank Rob, Bill and Robert for all they do! We love what we do!

Interior Painting

Well, summer is drawing to a close! Are you ready for a long winter indoors staring at the walls? Before the snow hits, let RC Painting of Cedar City, Utah give your interior a new look! Call Chris now at 435-439-5690 to schedule your free estimate!

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Erecta Rack

After using the Hinge Mags to paint the doors while they are hanging we move the doors to keep them safe from overspray and damage from other trades. We used to move them all out to the garage, moving 27 eight foot doors thru the house was a tough job, but Robert from RC Painting was able to do it using a lot of time, sweat and energy. Once out in the garage, they were still prone to damage from wind and trade traffic.
We recently had the opportunity to try the Erecta Rack System. This allowed us to stack the doors in one central area in a space no larger than one door. That meant Robert did not have to carry them all through the house! He was very glad to only move them a short distance and stack them. This also made it much easier for him to roll a coat of primer and paint on the bottom edge of the door. This is a step often skipped by many painters. He could then cover them with plastic and continue on with other details.
The Erecta Rack is not designed for spraying on, but as a stacker to allow doors and trim to dry.
It is well designed and sturdy, perfect for doing cabinet doors. I think this is something we will get a lot of use out of! Thanks Erecta Rack for a great product.

Hinge Magnets

Another product RC Painting likes to use is hinge magnets. These flexible magnets cover the hinge on a door and allow us to spray the door and the trim in place. Many painters use braces or stands to spray the doors all in one room and that can work as well, but we prefer not remove the hinges from the door. Often times a screw will get stripped or the door will just not hang the same.
Spraying the door hanging allows the sprayer full access to all edges except the bottom, which is dealt with later. Check out our video to see how well they work. You might have to turn your monitor;)

Using the right equipment.

In my previous post, I talked about using certain products to help increase efficiency and quality while painting New Construction homes in Southern Utah. One of the favorite products of RC Painting's is Tub Sealer. This is a product we spray on the bathtub as soon as it is installed in the home, this is usually done in the framing stage. The home is still exposed to the elements, and subject to damage accidentally by the plumbers, electricians, insulators, drywallers and others. This product is a thick rubbery substance that protects the bathtub until the home is completed. Currently, RC Painting is the only Painting Contractor in Cedar City, Utah to use this product. Shem Mackert of SMJ Homes is very happy to have not had to replace or repair a bathtub since he started using it.
Contact us if you would like to learn more!

Scheduling in New Construction Painting

RC Painting specializes in painting new construction homes for General Contractors and Owner Builders. Painting New Construction in Cedar City is a great experience, we are lucky to have a core group of subcontractors that we encounter in each home. Often times, many of the trades are in the house at the same time trying to get their portion done. When it is ready to paint, all other activity must stop so that the painting can be completed. This means that we must complete our work as quick as possible, while still providing a quality finish.

Rob Haught of RC Painting and his crew have a procedure and system they have spent years refining. This enables them to complete an average home (1700 sq. ft) in three to five days, depending on finish requirements. They have also kept up with new products in the industry to provide the best service and finish. Look for upcoming blogs to see what products we like!

Here is a video of our process.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

New Lead RRP Rule

This is a copy of a letter I recently sent to local newspapers.
Good afternoon, my name is Chris Haught, and I own and operate RC Painting in Cedar City, Utah. We primarily focus on residential and light commercial painting.
Part of my success in the painting business has come from not only sharing my knowledge with others but also learning from other contractors via the internet who share my passion of doing things "right". One of the most pressing issues that legitimate contractors are just starting to learn about is the EPA's new Renovate, Repair, and Painting (RRP) regulation that takes effect April 22nd.
A recently completed survey has shown that 9 out of 10 affected contractors (remodelers, plumbers, electricians, painters, etc...) do not know about this new regulation. The other scary part is that most of those contractors, could find themselves in trouble for not complying with part of the regulation that is already in place – namely the notification aspect effective December of 2008. The fines are well in excess of $30,000 for non- compliance.
I will be taking the required certification class and have applied for Firm Certification as required by the EPA. It is a complex regulation that will affect every single homeowner, nationwide with a home built prior to 1978. This will hit them right in their pocketbooks and they will have no choice as to whether they comply or not. Currently, there is an "opt-out" clause in the regulation. Due to a court settlement with the Sierra Club and others, it is most likely going to be removed prior to the regulation's start date on April 22, 2010.
We, as contractors and even homeowners working on their own rental properties, face major fines if we do not follow the regulations exactly. The process we must follow is rather complex even for simple "in and out" projects like a simple vinyl window replacement. This will add significantly to our costs, which we will then pass on to our customers.
Many of us are questioning not only the procedures that are sometimes contradictory, but even if they will even benefit the homeowner. There are also a few interesting issues still outstanding; namely will the local inspection departments request proof of certification in order to pull a permit for older houses. How will the insurance companies handle claims on older homes? How many contractors are going to be surprised, when they find out that their policies exclude issues dealing with lead? How many contractors will have to stop working on an existing remodeling project or postpone one because they have not gotten their Firm Certification back in time? Should a homeowner unknowingly hire an unqualified contractor and a fine is levied, what are the chances that the contractor will complete any unfinished work?
Here are a few news clippings of other newspaper, and additional links that you may find of use
Kansas Article
NY Times Article
I feel it is imperative that the public be made aware of this immediately since there are many homeowners who are currently planning projects that will be affected by this rule. Please note that contractors who have not yet applied to the EPA can expect to wait 90 days for their certification to become valid, and we are less than 80 days away from the rule taking effect. Unfortunately many of these homeowners may have already signed
Although cases of reported Lead Poisoning in children are rare in Utah, there is still a risk when improper procedures are used during renovation, whether it is a homeowner or a professional.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
Email me!