This is a keeper. John Burbidge is an excellent writer with a great ability to describe some truly improbable situations and true-to-life human interactions. This is a book of essays but also a bit of an autobiography and it is immensely entertaining and thought provoking. The one about using his mountain climbing skills to paint a huge building in "Risk Takers" is hilarious. If I had to pick a favorite, "Fathers and Sons" is at the top of my list. It's funny, sad, heart-warming and true, all at the same time. I wish the book were longer, it's just that good.
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I was taught to paint by a professional and when estimating the amount of paint needed, I always allow for a second coat just to make sure of coverage. We interviewed a painter who tried to tell me I bought poor quality paint without knowing where I purchased it, and stated he would have to buy all new paint. He had not seen the cans and was just guessing so I asked him where I should buy paint from now on. It was the same place I had purchased my paint and he wanted to charge me an extra 20 a gallon more than what I paid for. Needless to say, I have interviewed numerous painters and they are not all honest.
This is the memoir of a professional painter (think houses, not canvas) from Montana who desperately wants to be something else. Or does he? Burbidge rolls out the long, sometimes painful, but always interesting journey he underwent for 15 years, and his eventual break with that fascinating subculture, all the while retaining his painter’s soul. The book, as you might assume, is not really about painting. It’s about the people who apply the paint. It’s also about their lives, loves, hates, prejudices, addictions, and phobias. Burbidge describes them as “Dressed in white as they craft a backdrop to civilization, painters invite invisibility, smarting from the stigma of a simpleton occupation.” The author’s masterful descriptions, dialogue and characterizations serve as an ideal base coat for these entertaining stories in which humor is often found even amid the soul-deadening weight of the daily grind. Burbidge hints at an undeniable pride in being a professional painter. And for good reason, as he says in his introduction: “First fact about paint: it’s only one-thousandth of an inch thick when dry. But that one-thousandth of an inch protects and colorizes most of what humans construct on this planet, so what it lacks in depth it recovers in width, despite going largely unnoticed except by the people who put it there. The painters.” The next time I visit a supermarket or cross a bridge, I will try to remember that someone had to go up there, brush, roller, or sprayer in hand, and do the job that most of us take for granted. I’ll think about what that person looks like, if he has kids, a college degree, a gambling addiction, a penchant for practical jokes, or a chip on her shoulder about how the public perceives her choice of occupation. And if you read this powerful and entertaining collection, I bet you will, too.
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Steve, not only did you come off with an edge regarding the article written for Angie's list but you came awfully close to being slanderous. The article was written if you will have read his bio by a very well established professional painter. The issue regarding the deposit was put in question by a responder. I have read your response in full as you suggested, and companies as large as yours are just as likely to use the tricks of the trade as the small guy as you suggest, if not more so. A large company has less oversight and workers get lazy with the boss not looking over their shoulder. I have had experience in this area, and thought that i was dealing with a very reputable company that had been recommended by a couple friends, my insurance company, and my adjuster who had dealt with the company. I had terrible problems with the company, who do full restorations and like your company paint in all areas. To finalize your statement that Established businesses do not cheat customers is completly false and is a very misleading statement. I am suprised that Angies list allowed you to post such an outragious comment. All you have to do is look in the Civil lawsuits section of the Established businesses that are being sued or are under investigation for fraud and cheating their customers!
Started out funny, got kind of hapless, but at least one painter became sucessful. Actually John's dry sense of humor was present throughout the book, but just not as much as in the beginning. I am just about to start a painting and minor maintenance business and I must say, this book does not make me want to go rushing into it enthusiastically, but I am going to do it anyway as my business model is sole proprietorship and not a bunch of painting employees working together in one company. Lots of great painting tips in the book, but nothing compared to the wealth of information on John's website.
OF the different type of customers there are at least two: cheap charley's and people who want great results. I agree the need for wall repair is critical to the end results. Most critical is for the customer to be told ahead that the walls are going to need exactly what is needed. This means the contractor must look, touch, examine the walls for defects and needed work. I've been a building manager for 40 years and seen a few paint jobs. Typically a contractor does a lot of talking about how expert he is, but the guys who walk through with note pads, iPads, examine, measure, point things out, explain and recommend are the ones I will deal with. It confirms if they know what the business. Nobody likes the workers to show up and when you talk about the job they're going to do they know nothing but they we were told to be here. Their boss who bid the job doesn't supervise - a big no no around here. Nobody likes surprises or worse, at the end of a job that's not right getting a bunch of little kid excuses. Contractors that do not like the customer to be around looking at the progress don't get the job.
Jerry Maren, 93, best known for his role in the 1939 film,"The Wizard of Oz," displays his hands after placing them into cement during a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of the film to be shown at the IMAX theatre in 3D on Sept. 18, 2013 at the TLC Chinese Theatre, in Los Angeles. Maren died May 24 at a residence in the La Jolla neighborhood of San Diego. He was 98. Nick Ut, AP
A thorough scrubbing is a must before painting any exterior surface. It removes the dirt and broken-down paint residues that keep fresh coats from adhering and gets rid of mildew that grows on paint in all but the most arid climates. Most contractors clean with pressure washers, but in the hands of someone unfamiliar with the equipment, these can gouge wood, shatter glass, and drive water behind siding and trim. Using a hose, a pump sprayer, and a scrub brush is slower but safer, and just as effective.
I would not recommend this company for the following reasons:1. Original appointment was very specific to them on what was needed and to take photos for 3 apartment unit plumbing fixture repairs. One unit had a bathroom tub/shower backup.2. No photos taken, 3 trips later and only 1 unit completed to satisfaction. (Backup) 3. Other faucets unable to find on line with their suppliers and repair 4. Had to find another plumbing company to complete the jobs. 5. Invoicing had to be redone as not in detail of job address for tax purposes 6. Bad communication throughout the project process with their internal customer service. Their technician and project manager ordering parts. 7. For the back up. Did not bring out correct snake on both trips and had to replace lines as too small to break through backup. Costing over $800 for 3 trips just to complete that situation out. 8. Ordered the wrong parts when 2nd trip out since no photos taken to confirm what was needed. Very dissatisfied and will never ask them to work in any of our rental properties again.
I'm an architect and my firm routinely specifies interior finishes for projects so I thought I'd contribute a professional's perspective on the issue of how many coats of paint are deemed "acceptable". The fact of the matter is the average consumer usually isn't a paint expert and can't be expected to know about all the factors that impact coverage. That knowledge is considered "means and methods" and in a court of law, the responsibility lies with the painter or general contractor, not the consumer. What the consumer should be concerned about is the final result-does it look good and is it what you expected? The simplest way to communicate this to your painter is to stipule in your written agreement that the number of coats will be "as required to cover". That way all the guess work about what kind of primer, how many coats, how color affects the scope of work, etc., is removed from the consumer's responsibility and resides where it belongs-with the professional. In the contract that's why retention is always a good idea-typically 10% is withheld from payment until the job is completed to the satisfaction of the customer. Of course in return you as the customer have to be reasonable about what constitutes a completed job. Just my $.02.
I totally agree with this as well. I think every time I have read Angie's List reports, they are inaccurate and not researched enough. I had COMPLETE faith in Angie but lately I am hesitate on reports. I would check your local hardware store or even your neighbors to get a recommendation for painters. If you liked what you saw, you can be stress free with your results. I live in Texas and I have borrowed my hardware store opinion bc that seems to be the place most of the contractors or painters come to buy stuff for the jobs. If your neighbors painters, contractors, electricians and plumbers have shown good results, stress free you. I have been stress free with results, glad I asked for other opinions.Don't forget, the Hardware Store knows if that person is trustworthy and honest, their accounts would be shut down.
Kansas City area homeowners, you can trust our team here at Neighborhood Painting. Whether you require exterior or interior painting services for your Kansas City home, our expert team of painters will take care of the job quickly and efficiently leaving you with a gorgeous new paint job in no time. We commit to completing a project that’s no less than the best. We have the skills, experience and workmanship you expect from Kansas City professional painters.
If your home was built before 1978, there is a good chance that lead paint was used in its construction. Scraping, sanding, or removing old paint can release toxic lead dust which can cause serious illness in children and pregnant women. Special handling is required when working with lead-based paints. If lead paint is present in your home, you will need to hire a lead-certified painting contractor or lead abatement contractor. Before getting started with your exterior painting project, consult your local building authority or visit www.epa.gov for more information.
So sad that Angie's List requires the contractor be notified!! They have lost me as a client. If I'm dissatisfied and want to give an "F" rating (question/workers...I SHOULD NOT be intimidated into passing up an opportunity to explain my experience! There is NO WAY my contractor got an Aplus rating from over five hundred people....so someone was lying....yet I can't report that without the contractor knowing it? REALLY?
As a former professional painter, something that drives me crazy is when I see painters cut in around wall plates. First of all, the amount of time that it takes to cut in is usually much longer than the amount of time that it takes to simply remove the wall plate. Secondly it does not look nearly as clean as it does when the wall plate is removed and thirdly it can invariably leave paint on the wall plate itself which also looks sloppy. Make sure the painter takes them off and then reinstalls them. It's less time.