RPD EARNS ESTEEMED 2015 ANGIE’S LIST SUPER SERVICE AWARD

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Award reflects company’s consistently high level of customer service

Renovate Paint and Design has earned the service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award, reflecting an exemplary year of service provided to members of the local services marketplace and consumer review site in 2015.

Carol Loveless, Owner of Renovate Paint and Design, credits the company’s excellent reputation of consistently delivering quality services to the high standards which their Manager of Sales and Design, Charles Loveless, establishes with every job.  “Our customers know that they can trust Charles’ integrity and our crews’ performance including the expectations we have for all our services: to personalize our services and treat every customer’s home as if it were our own,” says Ms. Loveless.  They are so proud of their customers taking time to let others know about their positive experience with RPD.  “We know that it’s our customers that we have to thank for our business still being in operation since 2000.  We never take it for granite when offering our services,” states Charles Loveless.

​ “Only about 5 percent of the Painting and Remodeling companies in San Antonio, TX have performed so consistently well enough to earn our Super Service Award,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “It’s a really high standard.”

Angie’s List Super Service Award 2015 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, which include an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade, and review period grade; the company must be in good standing with Angie’s List, pass a background check and abide by Angie’s List operational guidelines.

Service company ratings are updated daily on Angie’s List. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in areas ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality. 

Here’s a video showcasing our commitment to quality and professionalism in all we do:

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4 Factors that Shout: Your House Needs to be Painted!

It’s inevitable, exterior painted surfaces will either have to be repaired and/or repainted, depending on the age, construction, and frequency of homeowner maintenance.  Typically, new construction homes need to be painted sooner than one might think.  6-7 years is the usual rule due to poor materials used during the construction phase.  However, most individuals appear to wait too long between paint cycles creating opportunities for wood rot and water damage.

A good way to inspect your home is to examine it with a pair of binoculars or telephoto lens. Here are some tips on what to look for when determining whether your home needs painting/repairs:

  1. Signs of fading and discoloration of the painted surfaces.
  2. Wood damage determined by rippling effect on exterior surfaces or actual damage.  The wood becomes spongy.
  3. Opening of caulk lines at joints and trim work.
  4. For stucco surfaces be aware of hairline or larger cracks.  This allows water in and makes stucco surface look splotchy, especially noticeable after it rains.

Remember the longer you wait and allow damage to set in the more expensive it will be to repair it.  It’s better to have the painting done as soon as you notice the first signs of fading and discoloration, that way you avoid expensive repairs.

We put together a video showcasing repairs we made to a house that waited too long and required extensive wood replacements.  In the end, we made it look beautiful as well as optimally protected with expertly applied quality products.

Your Chimney may be Rotting

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Get the Binoculars and Check It Out

“Out of sight out of mind” is a true statement for areas of the exterior of your home that are seldom seen or noticed.  Once a year I suggest that you visibly walk around with a pair of binoculars or telephoto lens and examine the upper levels of your home; especially where the wood touches the roof.

If you drive down the block you may notice about 20% of all homes have some type of damage to their chimneys.  On 70% of homes we paint, the carpenter first has to replace rotten wood trim or siding on chimneys.  The chimney is one of the most exposed surfaces on your home.  Wind damage, driving rain, occasional lightening, squirrels, raccoons, and sun cause substantial damage.

You might say, “Charles, we have no problem; my home is not that old or it has been painted in the last couple of years.”  Believe me when I say, do a visual check once a year of your home’s exterior.  You will save yourself a lot of money by being aware and catching the maintenance items on your home before they become major problems.

Remember this: wood rot usually begins with water penetrating cracks which affects the interior of the wood surfaces.  Look and see if the painted surface looks like it may be waffling or collapsing on itself.  This is a sure sign of internal wood rot.  You usually cannot see this from the ground without binoculars.

Don’t worry about getting up on a ladder to do your repairs, contact us, we do it all the time in and around San Antonio, TX: Renovate Paint and Design, 210-403-3232, info@renovatepaint.com.

Realizing the Olympic Home of Your Dreams

Like millions around the world, we have been enjoying the summer 2012 Olympics in London and watching the amazing endurance and fortitude of all those that are competing.  It has brought to mind the Olympic motto of “Citius, Altius, Fortius” or Latin for “Faster, Higher, Stronger.”

At RPD, we think there is a strong correlation between that motto and what every homeowner wants: a home that can endure and stand steadFAST against time / elements, having HIGH marks for décor, and a STRONG appearance / structure that has the HIGHest quality of materials and fixtures.  We all want an Olympic home and we’d like to share some ideas with you on how to make that happen.   If you need a coach to help get your home in Olympic shape, give us (RPD) a call and we’ll put it on the right track.  210-403-3232

Update Your Painting

The Olympic Home has only the best most durable painting products applied for endurance and color-fastness.  One of the most “green” and cost-efficient ways to paint your home is not have to paint as often, so using superb products encourages this.  Using the higher-end paint products to get maximum thickness and protection is what we recommend (RPD Painting Suggestions).  Consider these paint resources:

There are some trends we have noticed homeowners leaning towards.  This information is especially important for those that are considering the sale-ability of their home.

  • Wall paper is out and painting is in.  Wall paper is “dating” a house in the real estate world.  It is a more “Americana” look than most homeowners currently want.  Most customers complain about wallpaper in the bathroom due to the seams opening up due to the high moisture.
  • Cabinet  is out and painting cabinets is in.  Milk-staining and darker stained cabinets have lost their appeal with homeowners.  Many have opted to paint their cabinets, bringing color and brightness into kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Crown molding is never out of style.  Installing crown molding—in areas such as family rooms, dining rooms, master bed and bath—adds a touch of class and elegance to a room.
  • Two avenues of thoughts when choosing wall colors.  About 80% of our customers want to move away from “builders white” to warmer, earthen tones.  The other 20% are choosing a crisper and brighter look with shades of gray, whites and sage-tones.

Countertops

Out with the old Formica and simulated marble and in with Corian (DuPont brand), Silestone and granite countertops (when choosing granite countertops there are several well-known granite/stone yards in San Antonio;  RPD would  be happy to set up a tour of a local yard). Customers prefer the custom-look of a well-designed kitchen or bath: The Parade of Homes feeling.  In addition, these styles of countertops are more durable and come in multiple colors and styles.  RPD Kitchen Suggestions

Bathrooms

Bathrooms are one of the first rooms in a home that most people consider updating.  Changing out fixtures, tile, increasing the size of shower, and removing tubs, are all considerations.  It is one of the few rooms that when receiving a total makeover creates a dynamic appeal while greatly increasing the value of a home.

Tile colors trend towards earthen tones and true stone that provides texture to flooring, shower walls and elegant .  RPD Bathroom Suggestions

Flooring

Slick ceramic tile is out (linoleum has been passé for many years).  Simulated stone or real stone is the preferred product in bathrooms and kitchens.  There’s a full range of colors and styles to accommodate any style theme in a home, such as southwest, Mediterranean, and the modern Art-Deco.

One of the most popular choices of homeowners is changing-out carpet for wood floors, especially in high traffic rooms: living room, study, dining room.  Be wary of putting wood flooring in areas where there is potential water leaks (i.e.: bathrooms and kitchen).  Wood flooring adds an overall richness and appeal to any home.  Wood floor choices range from moderately priced engineered wood and more refined “glued-down” real-wood floor.

Windows

Windows add more value to a home than any other exterior surface.  They enhance the exterior look but also are energy savers and noise reducers.  The overall cost depends on the style preferred by the customer as well as the style of the home.  For example, the tilt-window is conveniently cleaned which adds a convenience factor for the homeowner.  RPD Window Ideas

Trendiness

When updating the colors or areas of your home, be sure your selections are choices you can live with for a long time.  Unless you have money to burn, you want the investments your making in your home to be ones that will not need replacement or changes for several years.

Art deco, modern, southwest, traditional American, old-world, eclectic, Mediterranean-style, etc., all of these can look great in any home, but be sure your décor and furnishings match the changes you want to make.  Web-searches and home-style magazines are great resources for creating the perfect style you’re looking for to suit you.  At Renovate Paint and Design we believe in personalizing our services to meet your unique style and interests.

Painting is not only cosmetic

Charles Loveless, Manager of Sales and DesignAs I travel around the communities I work in, I notice a lot of homeowners neglecting wood repairs and painting issues for their homes, sometimes the neglect spans 2 – 3 years or longer.  I would love to do a full exterior paint job with carpentry repairs, however, sometimes we have to fit inside our customers’ budget.  Therefore, about 15 jobs per month are smaller than $1,000 and only address carpentry repairs and touch up painting because the homeowner can’t afford more than that.  Unfortunately by not addressing the whole house, but only a portion, the homeowner will end up needing additional painting services sooner, and in the long run, end up spending more.

Some of the areas I see that need the most attention are the chimney, door casings, siding issues, and the face board around the roof line.   One reason neglecting regular painting maintenance and repairs leads to wood-rot is a caulk failure due to it aging and becoming brittle.  This allows water and moisture to seep in behind the wood.  I encourage all home owners to address the carpentry needs on their home immediately otherwise a few more serious issues may occur, such as:  termite or carpenter ant infestation, and internal damage to home’s ceilings and walls.

When you decide to have work done on the exterior of your home, ensure that the individuals doing the work prepare your house properly.  This includes mildew bath and pressure wash, sanding all peeling surfaces, priming exposed wood and then using a 60-year rated caulk to seal cracks and joints.  Some of the leading paint manufacturers include Sherwin Williams (Duration paint), Behr (Premium Plus Ultra), and Pittsburgh (Timeless).  Most paint jobs will look good even with a builders-grade paint on the house, however, will not last as long or protect your biggest investment: your home.  I encourage homeowners to spend a little more upfront for a quality paint job and paint materials, rather than spending more later due to poor workmanship and lower-grade paint products.

Wood-Rot on the Exterior of Your Home

“How could I have so much wood-rot on my home?”  It’s always surprising for a homeowner to discover their extent of wood damage.  The obvious damage stands out to most people with wood that is visually deteriorating.  Wood-rot only occurs when the wood absorbs moisture multiple times (Formula: WOOD + WATER = WOOD-ROT).  This can be prevented by visually inspecting your home twice a year for cracks and/or caulk-lines that have opened up.  Be aware of damage to the edge of the roofing shingles as this may lead to fascia wood-rot. Since most rotting occurs from moister damage inside the wood, it is seldom noticed during a casual inspection.  Many homes have both exposed and hidden damage.

This obvious wood-rot was caused by the roof shingles not extending far enough to prevent water back-flowing onto the fascia.

To locate wood-rot the best tools for inspecting are a good pair of binoculars and some type of pointed tool (pen or screwdriver) to poke suspected areas.  The areas of most concern are at the base of door casings, trim around windows, joints on the fascia (board at roof line), and occasionally joints on the siding.  Begin your inspection by looking for wood that appears cracked or discolored.  The tool will penetrate any rotten area even if it appears good on the surface. 

Most wood decay is less obvious and only can be detected once you have a trained eye.  With your binoculars examine the upper fascia, trim, and siding.  You will be looking for a “waffled” surface.  The latex paint may still look good, but you will notice indenting on the surface that runs 2 or 3 inches along the grain of the wood.  Usually this occurs at wood joints where the caulk lines have opened, thus allowing moister to enter.

When replacing the wood it should first be primed, and the joints sealed with a 60-year rated paintable caulk.  High-quality caulk tend not to shrink or crack and are more pliable over time.  The most important suggestion I wood make is to use premium paint with a color-fast formula.   When you have a lot of wood damage and cracking it is best to apply two-coats to all painted surfaces.  Following these steps should ensure long-lasting protection for your home.

If you would like to have our “trained-eye” take a look at your home and give you a free estimate for repairs and painting give us a call.  Our estimates our always free:  210-403-3232.

White Trim and Doors are Yellowing – Why?

A Clean color of white around Trim and Baseboards, accentuates your home's walls and flooring.

Homeowners will find that most of the trim and doors in their house are painted with an oil-based product.   Trim is found around the edges of the house (baseboards, windows, doors) and can accentuate and add style when installing crown molding or decorative trim molding.  The problem is oil-based paint on interior trim and doors is notorious for changing from white to an antique cream 7 to 10 years after painting.  Over the years, I have been asked “Why does this happen?” by many customers. 

First of all, you may wonder why oil-based paint is used so often; especially considering that it has strong fumes and isn’t  very environmentally friendly (due to high Volatile Organic Compounds- VOCs, strong solvents needed for clean-up and difficulty to dispose of properly)?  Using oil-based paints has its advantages:

  • It goes on smoothly
  • Is resistant to abrasion
  • Is moisture resistant
  • Dries to a hard / glossy finish and is more durable in areas with lots of traffic, which is why it’s used so often for baseboards. 
  • Using it on the decorative trim and doors helps to add continuity and color/sheen match with the baseboards.

The yellowing effect of oil-based paint occurs over time due to several causes. 

  • The alkyd chemicals in the oil begin to age/break down due to their curing mechanism. 
  • Exposure to sunlight and gas heat increases the yellowing. 
  • Oil-based paints are more susceptible to mildew.
  • Tobacco staining from smoking leads to a premature aging-effect.

There is really only one option for regaining the original trim/door color:  They must be repainted. The process to do this is:

  1. First, lightly sand the trim/doors with a 220 sand paper. 
  2. Wipe the surfaces to remove any dust from your sanding
  3. Finally, using a quality brush, apply the top coat with even strokes using high-quality oil-based paints.

If your trim/doors have oil-based paint you have to go back with the same type of paint.  Use this painter’s “trick” if you are uncertain what type of paint you have:  using an alcohol swab or cotton swab with alcohol, try rubbing off the paint.  If the paint comes off fairly easily, it latex, if not, then it is oil-based. 

Keep in mind that water/latex-based paints will not stick to oil-based paints resulting in peeling and being easily scratched.  You can use an oil-based primer prior to applying a latex top-coat, however there are problems:

  • you’ll still have to deal with the high VOCs of the oil-based paint
  • more paint is used
  • brush strokes will be more evident
  • Latex paint is generally not as durable as the oil-based.

If you have an option, try to use a quality interior latex paint, especially on decorative trim (crown molding).   Keep in mind that if any alcohol-based products touch the latex paint it will cause the paint to deteriorate and eventually come off.  FYI – some household cleaning products contain alcohol.  The advantages to using Latex paint are:

  • Low odor (lower VOCs)
  • Faster dry time
  • Water clean up
  • Long-term flexibility
  • Non-yellowing
  • Not combustible

Whichever option you choose, whether oil-based or latex, be sure that you use high-end top-quality line of paint.  Examples of paint brands that all have great oil-based (Alkyd) paint product selections are:  Sherwin Williams, Benjamin Moore, and Pittsburgh Paint.

NOTE:  A few paint manufactures have been testing out and/or have on the market new oil-based and latex trim paints that can be applied to trim/doors. These should release less VOCs into the home environment and be able to be cleaned with only water.  We will report on these products in the near future.