Tips for Finding the Right Painter for A Historic Home

Spring is almost here. It’s time to start thinking about home repairs and home improvements. There’s always a project to be done.  Some by want and some by necessity. One such project that needs to be addressed, especially if your home has a more historic distinction, is the need for a fresh coat of paint from time to time. But this is not an undertaking that can be done lightly or without careful attention.

You Need A Specialist

You may be tempted to tackle this chore as a DIY. Don’t. Historic homes come with a special nuance. They need the tender, loving care of professionals who are experienced with the task. You’ve probably heard the expression, “They don’t make houses like they used to.” That is absolutely the case. The building techniques and materials that have been used throughout history are unique to the timeframe during which the home was constructed. This is true for the exterior treatments as well. Modern or currently available methods or products can, at best, fail to properly restore the exterior to its former glory and at worst, damage the home.

It’s important that whoever is entrusted with the task of renovating a historic home knows what they are doing. It’s not enough to hire a professional, you require an expert. You need an expert who understands the unique aspects that these types of homes require. Here are some ideas on how to distinguish between a contract painter who specializes in historic from your average painters.

Ask Around

If you live in a historic home, chances are, your neighbors do too. Check around to see if anyone else has recently hired a professional to improve the look and appearance of the exterior. Take your search online to see if any specialists in your area have already established a reputation of bringing new life to an older home. Preview the before and after to judge for yourself if the painters made an impact…be it good or bad. Follow up with previous customers to inquire about their experience and if they were pleased with the results.

Experience Matters

For most people, a home is the single most expensive purchase they ever make. Do not entrust the care and safekeeping and renovation to anyone who does not have experience. It’s just worth the risk. If there is damage, you could end up paying significantly for the repair. Judge discriminately between those who you’ve already vetted.

Consider Your End Goal

There’s a specific type of character that’s often associated with an older home. There is architectural and aesthetic craftsmanship that gives the home its character. During the renovation, it’s important to evaluate what you hope to see when the improvement is finished. Do you want to completely honor the historic tastes of the original or do you want a hint of the original with a modern spin? Painters who serve historic homes are very familiar with this dilemma.

Do you live in a neighborhood with a Home Owners Association (HOA) who may also have an interest in your color choices? You certainly do not want to be forced to go through the project a second time due to an unapproved palette. Be sure to present your plans ahead of time to your HOA. You may even want to have a couple of color palette options to present in case your first pick doesn’t fit within the preordained HOA guidelines. Finally, some HOAs require that you get approval or simply notify neighbors before beginning a project that could interfere with the neighborhood aesthetic or overall look of the street.

Some companies may offer a specialist to work with to determine a color profile if there is an interest in making a change. Perhaps through the use of technology, you can get a preview of just how the paint will look on the home. Having the option to visualize how the home will look with the fresh paint digitally applied can help to uncover a potentially wrong color choice or help to rediscover the beauty and curb appeal of the historic home.

Once you’ve narrowed in on a look, you need to ensure that the appropriate paint is available. Again, historic homes were made differently than modern homes so won’t be able to use any random, off-the-shelf paint to fully realize the improvement.  If your hired painter doesn’t appreciate the necessity of using a paint product that specifically protects and enhances the special needs of a historic home, you need to contract with someone who does.

No Subcontractors

So far, you’ve researched to find a company with experience that understands historic homes, and who has a plan for the necessary nuances that are unique to historic construction. But here is where you can still run into a problem.  Specifically, ask if the company plans to use any subcontractors to accomplish the project. In the world of home improvement contracting, you may find that the “expert” you hired, may go out and hire a crew to complete the job on their behalf. Make sure that you have access to vet the crew as well and the company. Insist that on only working with a company if the crew has experience with historic homes as well.

The painters at Double G Painting invite you to view the before and after photos of historic homes that they have renovated in the San Diego area.  Notice the attention to detail and the efforts that have been made to not only refresh the exterior but to call out and enhance the natural beauty and charm that was built into the home.

There is a unique privilege that comes with restoring a historic home. It goes beyond just upgrading a lovely house with a nice curb appeal. The repainting of a historic home is no small matter. With careful consideration, choosing the right specialist can lead to a beautiful restoration, saving you the necessity of having to experience the project again until many more years down the road.

Was it worth reading? Let us know.