New Power Washing Division part of Ville Painters, Inc.

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Have you walked outside your home or property lately?  The seasons can take their toll on exteriors, leaving them dirty and lowering curb appeal. Breathe life back into your outside environment with Ville Painters’ power washing services! One of the most interesting reactions I receive when discussing power washing is “I didn’t know you guys did that”. 

Since this is part of our standard cleaning process prior to repainting, we do this on almost every exterior project. We have the craftsmen, systems, equipment, and experience to open up a new market for Ville Painters Inc., our Power Washing Division. This spring we will be offering our client base and many new customers reliable power washing services for their exterior surfaces. Whether it is cleaning siding, patios & walkways, around the pool, garage floors, we will clean up your space! 

We are developing and further training a team dedicated to this vertical market and intend to roll out this division sometime in April.  Meanwhile look for further information coming your way reminding our loyal client base that we offer this service.

Through an electronic estimating system, out team will be able to go out and meet with you to look at the project and measure for a cost estimate. The dimensions along with a visual of what ladder setups will be needed help to project costs with a high degree of accuracy. It is an opportunity for us to broaden our client base and have them enjoy the same “extraordinary experience” that we offer our painting clients.

Take a walk outside in the next few days (especially on your North facing elevation) and see if we can provide you with this new service. If while we are there, you have some other things for us to look at, we would be happy to work with you on any projects you are considering.  Call for a free estimate soon though, our Power washing team is also responsible for cleaning our painting projects and those are about to break out soon!

NOTE:  With regards to wood and aluminum siding, certain preventative measures and controlled application must take place to ensure we do not esthetically disturb the surface. Some surfaces simply cannot be cleaned without affecting the finish. For example, it is likely that an older, oxidized and chalky aluminum surface will not clean evenly. Also, wood siding that is showing signs of loose, peeling paint may not be washed without consequence. 90% of what we typically would power wash does not fall under “compromised” substrates.  We do have the ability to touch up, and even “face-off” those areas if revealed when the washing operation is complete.

Recharging the “Batteries”

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I just got back from the Painters Academy 3rd annual Painting Profits Summit.  This year the conference was in the beautiful city of Chattanooga, TN. There were over a hundred innovative business owners and influential industry leaders. While I was in the “classroom”, my wife Christy was able to visit museums and walk around the waterfront.  In the evenings we enjoyed the Southern Charm of the unique restaurants and very good craft breweries. If the opportunity presents itself, I strongly encourage Chattanooga as a destination to visit. 

The great thing about conferences is that they get your batteries recharged. With the economy on the upswing, the mood was much different than events like these from 10 years ago when everyone was reacting to the challenges of the recession. People from all across the country congregate to learn, share ideas, and re-connect. 

There were several take-aways for me this year. The most rewarding was that I was able to share much of what we do as a customer service oriented company. That seemed to be the universal theme – providing an exceptional experience for you, our customers. This included ways to incentivize employees to go the extra mile in providing stellar service. There were so many ideas from companies of all sizes and from various geographic markets. These ideas were all designed to develop the relationship between the client, painters, and the office.  The biggest byproduct is the morale of the field because they see their role is vitally important to the success of the company.

Some of the other highlights were social network marketing, email campaigns, and technology solutions to streamline the process from “first call” to the final walk-through and beyond.  When I was on the “Hotseat” presenting my company to the audience, I was asked to share what had the biggest impact in my business over the past 30 years. My response was very clear after having spent 2 days in this high energy, trade specific conference.  It was my involvement over the years in organizations and conferences like this. The ideas, systems, and passion for excellence we share with each other brings so much value for me to share with others, helping them grow as customer service professionals.

Steve’s Monumental “Aha” Moment

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Last evening I was having dinner with my wife reviewing paperwork for a Painting Contractors Summit I’ll be attending in Chattanooga beginning Thursday. Each attendee will have a chance to share “their best secret” or “aha” moment.  It should be something that had a monumental impact on the way I conduct business.  Initially, I was citing consistent customer contact and pursuing positive social media reviews, but my wife suggested going a little deeper.  We were asked to select three, flush them out, and then pair down to a single answer supported by examples and potentially handouts for the others in the group to gain new insights. 

We discussed exactly what things have truly impacted the way we conduct ourselves as a company.  It really was vital to have someone helping, who knows me so well and is able to remind me of events that occurred over the last 30-plus years. After much thought, here are the three things that we believe truly impacted Ville Painters and has made us what we are today.  These are not in any order of importance because I have yet to decide which one is the most important.

  1. Consciously leaving the late ‘80s / early ‘90s new home construction game to seek out more niche’ markets. We were doing very nice large custom homes for some of the best home builders in the area.  The problems would begin to pile up. Scheduling issues –from the job not being ready for us, which naturally led to having too little time for completion because the move-in date never seemed to change.  We would have to work longer days and even weekends to avoid interference from other trades.  Also in order to keep up with the housing boom, I hired more people than I wanted to manage, leading to employee and quality control issues. After being stiffed for $20k (back in the 90’s that was difficult to overcome), I consciously decided to leave the game and focus on repaints and historic preservation. This decision was encouraged by an industry peer group I was involved with for many years.  It allowed me to shrink my crew size and attracted a higher caliber craftsman.  It changed the trajectory of my business and helped to build a brand for quality and customer service.
  2. Hiring an Operations Manager was another one of those “aha” moments.  While I had production managers over the years, it never seemed to be a steady position. I began to think about my own situation and how my college bound son had expressed interest in becoming involved with the company. I felt the need to build a structured business that would allow someone joining to have goals and support. One day searching through the internet, I stumbled across “Rocket Fuel” for your business.  It was a cartoon-based on the book by Gino Wickman and Mark C. Winters. It is based on the Entrepreneurial Operating System, a business method outlining how companies need a visionary and an integrator.

After watching that video I began the search that led me to my current situation. My Operations Manager allows me the time to work on strategic initiatives, business development, and helps me in the sales arena.  It has truly propelled my business to the next level and has created a sense of “organization”, allowing for growth and the expansion of office staff to accommodate growing sales.

3. The final option to consider as “most impactful” are the peer groups and organizations I have joined over the years.  Growing up in a family where my mom & dad were actively involved in all sorts of civic groups and social clubs, it seemed natural to “get involved”. I first joined the Home Builders Association (HBA) as a way to meet contractors and procure work. I joined the Painting & Decorating Contractors of America (PDCA) as a way to learn more about the products and processes. The unexpected consequence of both of these organizations were the relationship developed and sharing of information that occurred. Employee issues, regulatory concerns, marketing strategies, among other things were rigorously discussed. This gave me a taste of what other business leaders go through. I learned more in my first year of membership than I did in all my previous years in business. I found the key was to be active. I served on several committees, presided on local and regional levels, and chaired national committees. The next step on the ladder was joining peer groups. I was involved in one industry related group for over a dozen years. After a few years of non-involvement, I was invited to join a local business group and have gained even more insight, being the smaller fish in the pond. The key to success in these organizations in to constantly be pushing and challenging each other. You must caution yourself from going over the same old ground or becoming a “mutual admiration society”.

Now my challenge is to pick the one I think is THE MOST IMPACTFUL for my presentation Friday.  I am hoping to make my decision on my flight to Chattanooga. But it was wonderful having this discussion with my wife Christy, who was named “Vice President of Inspiration” back in the early 90’s!

Exterior Home Projects You Should Think About Now Part 3

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If you’re like most people, you always have a home project either on deck or in the works. But when summer turns to fall, the focus is usually on the exterior of our homes because we want to be sure things are squared away before the weather turns. These types of exterior projects fall into to three basic categories: 1)  painting, 2) carpentry, and 3) power washing.

Power Washing 

There’s nothing more satisfying that watching that built up dirt, mold and mildew get washed away! A professional power wash is a key step in preparing your home for exterior paint, but it’s also great for cleaning natural wood siding. A deep water clean will dramatically improve the visual appeal of your home, simultaneously preventing the growth of new mold and mildew. It even removes those unsightly balck streaks from asphalt roofs.

We use an environmentally-safe combination of bleach & Jomax. A low pressure wash is usually used to clean your home’s exterior; a high pressure wash is used when removing peeling paint and heavy growth of dirt and mildew which is commonly found on roofs and decks.

4 Colors That Will Transform Your Kitchen Without the Price Tag of New Cabinets

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Kitchen cabinets are one of the largest focal points that can make or break your kitchen design. Choosing a new cabinet color can be overwhelming no matter if you’re renovating the entire kitchen or updating the color. Here are some colors to help you spark your kitchen creativity:

WHITE

PROS: White cabinets are classic. If you’re looking for a timeless kitchen, this is your go-to option. A white kitchen can be a backdrop for colorful accessories or kept minimal for a contemporary design. It is a cheerful color that reflects light, making the room feel bright even when there is little sunlight.

CONS: The obvious downfall of white cabinets is upkeep. Dirt, dust, or stains will be an issue for this color. Most of the time, this can easily be combated when wiped down regularly. If standing alone, white can also have a clinical feeling when warmer accents are not added.

BLUES

PROS: If you want to add character to your kitchen without going too crazy, blues are good compromise. Shades of blue tend to give us a sense of relaxation, space, or luxury. Navy blue will add richness to your kitchen while an aquamarine will give that tranquil beach feeling; and there are a million colors in between.

CONS: While the blues hues are endless, you can get lost when choosing the right shade. A color swatch might be beautiful on the small scale but consider what it will look like if it’s covering an entire wall of cabinets.

GRAYS

PROS: If you love white but the cons are too much, gray might be a option for you. Much like white, grays are a fantastic backdrop for other elements in your kitchen but add a bit more warmth. If you get your inspiration from Pinterest, you may have noticed that gray is definitely a trending option.

CONS: Some might think that grays are too trendy and will eventually become a color of the past. In fact, gray was trending in years past.

BRIGHT COLORS

PROS: Bright colors can bring your personality into your home while adding a surprise conversation piece for entertaining. Bold colors can add a stark contrast to your walls and other accents.

CONS: Much like gray, bright colors tend to sway toward trendy. You might swoon over a burnt orange kitchen design you saw on Pinterest, but you could find it to be overwhelming in person. When the sun goes down, be sure you also consider what this color will look like under artificial light.

Regardless if the color you choose is considered too trendy or bold, your opinion is what matters most. After all, you have to live with it! For many of us, our cabinets might have good bones but the color scheme is out of date. Luckily for us, adding a coat of paint can really transform the room without the price tag of new cabinets.

Contact our team for color ideas that work for your space!

Spring is on it’s way!!

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TImage result for spring is on its wayhe recent mild weather serves as a reminder that Spring is on its way!  Now is the perfect time to take a few moments and take a maintenance walk-around of your home or business.  The constant freezing and thawing that accompany the wild swings in temperature we have experienced can play havoc with caulk joints and other substrates and leave your home vulnerable to moisture.

There are a few things in particular to look for.

  1. Look to see if surface growth or mildew has attacked your exterior. It typically occurs on the northern exposure where direct sunlight may be minimized.  This can break down the finish that is protecting your home and allows dirt and moisture to compromise wood substrates.
  2. Look for open cracks around your frames & sills, especially in older homes. Snow and rain can easily find its way to your homes interior and create numerous problems with plaster and woodwork.  It also is an open for insects like termites to nest and create another set of issues.
  3. Make sure your rail system is free flowing and not clogged or blocked in any way. This prohibits water to be directed away from your home’s exterior.
  4. Check for cracking in the finish paint,. Especially on sills and other horizontal surfaces where snow and rain can lay for days on end, seeping into the surface of the wood.

We encourage you to call and allow us to come out and conduct an inspection of your home.  While you might not be in need of a full paint job on the exterior.  You can certainly take care of the problems areas and extend the lift of your homes finish.  Call (717)-396-1176 and we will have someone with the expertise needed to make a valid assessment of your situation and offer any solutions should a problem be discovered.

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2017 is coming to a close and we, at Ville Painters Inc, wanted to thank all of you for your patronage over the last 30 years.  We have been blessed with outstanding support and loyalty from you, our clients.  Repeat and referral business continues to fuel our success year after year.

Our team of professionals are focused on providing you with an exceptional experience from the initial phone call to the last day of the job. The addition of our Operations Manager, Adam, has allowed me to focus on sales and constantly work to improve Ville Painters Inc.’s service to you.

This fall, the beautiful Pennsylvania weather allowed us to keep up with client demands for exterior painting.  However, it is evident that winter has arrived.  The craftsman at Ville Painters Inc. are looking forward to moving to warmer indoor environments.  After the Holidays is an ideal time to consider repainting your home’s interior.  Once the holiday decorations come down, consider putting a maintenance coat on the walls, or a fresh new look for the upcoming year.

We appreciate the opportunities you have given us and wish to continue that relationship.  As an incentive to schedule NOW for winter work, we are offering our clients 10% discount off current labor rates. We have never been more ready and able to serve you.  Whether your painting project is at home or at the office; call to receive a free estimate while there is still room in the schedule.

If you do not currently have a project in mind, refer us to a friend or relative.  All successful referrals will receive a $25 gift certificate to Lancaster Brewing Company/Walnut Street Grill.  Give us a call at (717)-396-1176 or email us at Info@villepaintersinc.com to set up an appointment to review your project.  We look forward to serving you again.

School District Painting

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We have had the pleasure of working with the School District of Lancaster for many years. This summer we completed two projects which we believe had a positive impact on the students and the administration.

The first project was preparing and repainting all of the walls in the music rooms and all of the corridors throughout the three floors. These walls had been defaced with no. 2 pencils and ball point pens. The day I went to look at the project, we witnessed first- hand Junior High students walking down the halls with “pen-in-hand”, writing on the walls between periods as they proceeded to their next class. The previous coating was not specified to withstand the beating. When the halls cleared you could see long stripes about shoulder to elbow high throughout the campus.  The maintenance staff was at their wits end because nothing they tried, whether it be cleaning solutions, magic erasers and the like would remove the markings.  The team of Ville Painters was charged to recoat the walls and remove this unwanted “artwork”.  After careful preparations, we used a special 2-part epoxy from Benjamin Moore which was designed to produce a harder finish, allowing maintenance to effectively remove more of the markings.  The project came in on-time, with the material quantities we budgeted for.  We believe it was a success!  We will re-visit the project at Christmas break to see if our solution worked!

The second project we were solicited to do involved magnetic paint and dry erase finishes in specified administration / IT offices and a large conference room.  The magnetic paint required 3-4 coats to be effective.  Two coats of the eggshell enamel to match the existing color served as the undercoat for the dry erase clear coat.  The dry erase product we used was from Sherwin Williams and at a cost of just under $500 per gallon kit!  The staff was very cooperative as we dodged in and out of many offices applying a multitude of coats.  There was also the issue of the odor emitted by both the magnetic finish and the clear coat.  While VOC compliance is part of our calling card, sometimes proprietary products like these, would not work effectively where they to be low V.O.C. (volatile organic compounds).  Again we were able to come in slightly under our materials and labor budget saving the school, and the residents / businesses of Lancaster, valuable tax dollars.  We look forward to the next adventure the School District of Lancaster wishes to send our way!!!

Painting Terms

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Your painter is talking to you and using “Painting Terms”. You are trying to grasp what he is saying but it’s just not working. No worries! Here are a list of some terms to help you understand the painter’s lingo.

Anti-corrosive paint: A paint designed to minimize rust or corrosion when applied directly to metal.

Bleeding: The migration of material from substrate, causing discoloration of the paint.

Blistering: The formation of dome-shaped projections of paint.

Burnishing: The formation of shiny areas on a painted surface, as a result of rubbing or washing.

Diluent: A liquid that is blended into a coating, and can be used to reduce its viscosity. A diluent is not necessarily a solvents for the binder.

Dry tack-free: Drying stage of a paint film at which it is not sticky to the touch.

Elasticity: The ability of paint or caulk to expand and contract with the substrate without suffering damage or changes in its appearance.

Intercoat: A layer of paint that is “sandwiched” between two others. Also refers to something occurring between coats, as in “intercoat adhesion”.

Mildew resistance: The ability of a paint or caulk to resist mildew growth on its surface.

Oxidation: A chemical reaction with oxygen. For example, the drying of oils in oil-based paint, or the rusting of iron or steel,

Viscosity: The fluid thickness of a coating.

Volatile: The easily evaporated components of any coating or caulk composition.

Terms credited to APC Magazine, The ABCs of Painting, Part 2 Article by Debbie Zimmer

A Memorable Job

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IMG_1586Ville Painters has just finished a memorable project that we take great pride in. Through High Construction Services, a long-time commercial partner, we had a second opportunity to work on Neffsville Mennonite Church.  This time we helped re-vitalize Fellowship Hall.  The designer did an extraordinary job of updating the space by combining style and functionality. The sound soaking ceiling and wall panels as well as the downward sound reflecting properties of the 23 suspended “clouds” are a perfect example of style and functionality coming to life.

This project involved some things we never had done before. One of the most challenging parts was using a wallcovering product by 3-M called Di-Noc on the suspended “clouds”. Installing a kind of contact paper upside-down, on a lift, while the substrate is swaying proved to be an almost impossible task. Our installer Doug Binkley, with the aid of project superintendent Jerry Bigelow, did a phenomenal job with minimal waste and we commend them both for their effort.

The ceiling had a sound soak foam material applied by another specialty contractor which looked awesome. The walls were two-tone both above and below the large chair rail. The ceiling line boasts a large crown molding on each side elevation.  We even painted a screen wall which required a different color and sheen to IMG_1582accommodate films and other projected images.

 

We have been painting Churches for over 20 years. Typically they are more traditional and conservative in their décor.  This project broke through that stereotype and truly enhances what was a “sanitary” look environment and gave it that “wow” factor.  It is truly inviting for the parishioners and guests alike.  We were pleased to have been involved and look forward to the next challenge.

 

 

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