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Painting the exterior of your home is one of the most important types of home maintenance. And while many homeowners choose to hire a painting contractor, with a few house painting tips to keep in mind, this is one project you may be able to tackle yourself, especially if you have the time and you’re the least bit handy.
By doing your own painting, you can keep the cost to a minimum and you’ll also enjoy a great sense of accomplishment when your beautiful new exterior paint job is completed.
According to the Paint Quality Institute, there are four keys to successful exterior painting. Follow these expert tips and you’ll get a great-looking exterior paint job that will last for years.Careful Surface Preparation
Inexperienced painters can’t wait to begin applying the paint, but professionals know it’s what you do beforehand that spells success or failure with exterior home painting.
Before starting to paint, make sure the surface is clean and free of dirt and chalk. Scrub with soap and water, then rinse. Next, remove any loose, flaking, or peeling paint by scraping, wire-brushing, and sanding. Or, speed the whole process by renting a pressure washer to prepare the surface for painting.
On wood siding, sand areas with glossy paint so the new paint will adhere better. If you see any bare wood, be sure to spot-prime that area. You can skip this step if you are using an advanced, top-quality paint, since these coatings act as both primer and paint.
Finally, brush off any dust or paint chips that remain. With these house painting tips complete, your home exterior is now ready to paint.Buy Good Quality Paint
One of the most little known but important house painting tips to buy good paint! Even though the highest quality exterior paint costs a little more, you can’t afford to cut corners here: Your paint is the protective coating that keeps the elements at bay. Fortunately, even the best exterior paints are still rather inexpensive. Plus, since most of the work in painting is labor, you exterior paint job will last far longer when you use the best possible paint.
For the best performance, the Paint Quality Institute suggests you purchase quality 100% acrylic latex exterior paint. These paints have superior adhesion, so they’ll “grab” tightly onto a properly prepared surface. They also are very flexible, which permits them to expand and contract with the surface below in extreme cold or heat. Down the road, these qualities help prevent many common exterior paint failures like peeling and flaking.
There are other benefits to the highest quality 100% acrylic latex paints: they typically hide better than ordinary paint, which is especially important when painting over a dark color. They are easier to apply by brush and they typically contain special additives to help keep mildew in check.
Despite their higher cost per gallon, top quality 100% acrylic latex paints actually save you money and time. How? Because the best of these paints function as both primer and paint, so you won’t have to buy and apply two types of coatings to your home exterior. Plus, top quality home exterior paints typically last 10 years or more compared to three or four years for ordinary home exterior paint; so they are actually much cheaper when you consider their cost-per-year-of-service.Use Quality Brushes and Tools
The best quality tools and accessories not only help you apply a thicker, more uniform coat of paint to your home exterior, but they’ll also make your work easier.
Choose well-balanced brushes with tightly packed bristles that feel springy when you run an open hand across them. Assuming that you are applying latex exterior paint, you should work with brushes and rollers made of synthetic materials such as polyester.
Of course, you can also rent spray-painting equipment. If you do, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions carefully.Paint in the Right Weather Conditions
Exterior painting is not a foul-weather sport. In fact, braving it may actually compromise the quality and long-term performance of your exterior paint job.
As a result, try to paint your home exterior in moderate weather – when temperatures are no higher than about 85 degrees, with little wind. These conditions will permit your paint to form a durable, protective film that will last for years.
When painting on warmer days and in hotter areas, avoid painting in direct sunlight, since surface temperatures can be 10 to 20 degrees higher than the air temperature. Work your way around the house, painting areas that are in the shade.
Weather-wise, latex exterior paints offer a bonus: They can be applied just 30 minutes after it rains as long as the surface isn’t visibly wet.
There’s more to exterior home painting than meets the eye, but the project is well within the skill set of most do-it-yourselfers. By following these exterior painting tips, you can save a bundle by doing the job yourself.
For more information about exterior home painting and more house painting tips, visit the Paint Quality Institute’s website at www.paintquality.com.
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According to a recent report by Fico, a total of 43.4 million people have a credit score of 599 or less. For those hard working Americans, getting an apartment with bad credit, conducting many other basic financial transactions is difficult if not impossible.
The reasons for bad credit can be many, but often include:Unpaid medical bills Delinquent taxes Too much credit card debt Large student loan balances Foreclosure Bankruptcy Job loss Illness
Regardless of why you have a poor credit score, getting an apartment in any city — from an affordable place like Bloomington, Indiana to expensive New York City — with bad credit can certainly be an issue.
Landlords regularly check the credit scores of prospective tenants, and if they have a lot of qualified applicants, those with less-than-perfect credit can quickly be eliminated. For whatever reason, if you are interested in getting an apartment with bad credit, there are some things you can do to improve your chances.
Clean Up the Credit You Do Have
If you have had a major negative event like a foreclosure, your credit score can rapidly drop by 100 points or more. This isn’t the time to ignore your issues, however, as there could be other items that are causing your score to drop even further. According to the FTC, 20 percent of Americans have credit reports that contain mistakes, and these errors can lead to lower scores. Even if you had a devastating economic event occur, check your report and dispute any errors as these could be making your score even worse.Find Apartments with Local Owners
If you are intent on getting an apartment with bad credit, look for rentals that are locally owned. If you merely apply to big complexes, you may find that there are rules in place that regular employees just cannot override. If the place you are looking for requires a credit score of 620, and yours is 615, you may be out of luck since large bureaucracies are not equipped to deal with individual situations. You can beg and plead to the local representative, but if a computer rejected your application, no one may be willing to help you.
Even if you have some credit issues try to find a suitable residence that has local ownership. In this situation, you may be able to speak directly with the owners. If you have sufficient income, and if your credit problems appear to be over, you could convince a local owner that you are a better credit risk than your score shows.
Offer to Pre-pay Rent
Even with a bigger rental complex, you could offer to prepay some of your rent to persuade the owners that they will not have a problem collecting rent from you. If you can raise the cash, offer to pay the first three months’ rent plus your security deposit up front. If you can show a steady income, offering to prepay can be another reason to persuade a landlord to say yes instead of no.Get a Co-signer
A co-signer is someone that makes themselves responsible for your rent payments if you don’t make them. If you have had a credit issue and are intent on getting an apartment with bad credit, the use of a co-signer can solve your problem. Always remember, however, that your co-signer will have to remit the payments if you cannot, and their credit can be seriously dinged if they don’t pay your rent.Assemble Good References
Not everyone in the rental business is cold-hearted and uncaring, and if you can show a prospective landlord that you are less of a credit risk, you can be successful in getting an apartment with bad credit. Work and personal references along with a good job can certainly help convince someone to rent to you.
Get Another Job
Approaching a landlord with a strong employment picture can definitely put points in your favor. Even if you have a credit score in the 500s, some great check stub history that shows you make more than enough money to cover the monthly rent can help put a landlord at ease.Set Up Auto-pay
Some landlords, especially non-corporate ones, get really antsy at the first of the month when rent is due. The last thing they want is another problem child that they have to chase for rent every month. If your credit has been dinged and your potential landlord is worried about collecting the monthly rent, offer to set up auto-payments where the rent can be automatically deducted from your bank account each month on a designated day. Once a few months have passed and your payments have been credited, you will get off the danger list.
Get a Roommate
Even if you like living by yourself, if it becomes impossible to get an apartment because your credit is a problem, consider getting a roommate with a good credit history. If you’re lucky, the application can be primarily in your roommate’s name, they can be responsible for the rent, and you can pay them. This may get you in the door, and after a while, you will have a better track record to present to other landlords.Consider Buying a Home Instead
This may seem counter-intuitive, but it isn’t in some cases. If you are a veteran, you can be approved for a VA loan that will allow you to purchase a home with a very low down payment and with a low credit score. Of course, there are always hoops to jump through, but this can be a way to solve your problem.
Also, in some states, deals like contract for deed can work. In Minnesota, for example, a surprisingly large percentage of homes are sold this way, and there are companies—blessed by the government—that specialize in these deals. Be careful of scams, however, as they are somewhat prevalent in the contract for deed industry.
The task of getting an apartment with bad credit is not a pleasant one, but you should not give up merely because you have encountered problems because of past difficulties. There are positive steps you can take that include repairing your credit, boosting your income, offering to pre-pay, setting up auto payments and more. Bad credit, although annoying, need not necessarily stop you from getting the apartment you want.
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