Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Painting makes a difference in everyone's daily life

Every day we enter a business, a home or our workplace. Imagine if there was no color?

We take it for granted but the colors we see every day affect our moods, our productivity as well as the people around us.

Colors can dramatically change a space and alter the "feel" of a space very quickly for the good or bad.

This is why there are color consultants who are trained to not only choose colors that compliment each other but also make the space have a certain feel depending on the goal of that area.

It is amazing what a paint job can do to a home or business, trust me the real reason most painters take up a career in painting and stay in it is they love to see that look when someone sees the area they just completed.

I know when I am out driving I like to show off the things we painted to my family and I know the other painters we have do the same thing.

For most of us, it is our life, not just a paycheck

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Painting, why do it?

Top three reasons people have to paint.

Protection: To protect metal, wood and other surfaces from decaying and having larger expenses to replace things. Rust and rot can be devasting to any surface and if left go too long correcting will turn into replacing. On metal surfaces, rust also is very corrosive and can quickly turn a normal repainting project into much more.

Safety: making surfaces safe either by color coding to know what pipes are what such as gas, sprinkler lines water lines which you may see in factories. Anti-skid coatings for floors and ramps, safety lines for pedestrians, the lines on the highway etc. There are many reasons to paint for safety, without that we would have disorganization and many safety issues.

The last reason is simply beautification, you want things to look better, a store wants their facility to look great for their customers, you want your home to be beautiful for your family and friends to see.
This list is never-ending.

Painting any surface can have multiple reasons at the same time why it should or can be painted.
Our painters love to paint, it is always a way to help someone no matter what reason they are choosing to paint a surface. That is the best thing about our trade, when we're done we can step back
and take a look at the work we have done and the happiness it may bring whether for safety, protection or beautification.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

How to properly stain my deck

What to expect with my stained deck.

When staining a deck you have to have expectations that meet the work being done and products being used.

Living in the Northeast our homes and decks are under all types of weather, snow, rain, ice, extreme heat and with any wood surface they are also freezing when they absorb moisture, defrosting expanding and contracting. 

Not to mention we shovel them, our pets walk on them and typically we entertain on them.

With all of this abuse, you should expect yearly maintenance.
That may be washing every year to remove mildew and dirt or repainting or staining the floor and top rails that are exposed to the harshest abuse.

To expect a deck in our area to last year after year without any upkeep is setting yourself up for a disappointment. No contractor around can promise a long-term warranty on an exterior deck in our area.

Now selecting different products will certainly help, a semi-transparent penetrating stain can last much longer than a solid coating in some instances. We are referring to the stains that absorb into the wood and do not leave a clear film on top. That kind of stains will peel and a penetrating stain will fade.

The other benefit of a penetrating stain is you can simply come back, wash it and coat it again rather than the sanding or stripping required with most stains.

You can also select a solid stain, you will see no wood grain, it holds up very well but again expect to possibly re doing the floor and top rails every year or two. Solid stains may peel and typically it is because of moisture.

Knowing what to expect on any painting project can make for a successful one, but having expectations that are simply not possible can set things up for resentment, anger and blaming the contractor for something that is not controllable.

Friday, May 18, 2018


Hiring and training apprentices

Hiring and training apprentices can be a great thing for any company.
To bring new fresh faces into your business can also bring with it a new found energy and great people to surround your existing team.

We always say competition brings out the best in most people and for those that are threatened by it and fail well at least you removed those from your company.

The most important part of the apprentices is having a training program for them and keep up with it, to just hire a new painter and call them a trainee or apprentice but never train them is not fair to them and won't benefit your company in the long run either as they will never turn into your painters of the future.

With our company we do apprentice training each Friday, the first three weeks is a simple one-page training and the third being onsite and hands-on training. We have found it best to keep it short.

The biggest and most important thing in all of this is you experienced painters taking the time to help train these people, if they won't take the time to train them, again they are not helping the company out, the apprentice or themselves, wouldn't it be great to have a team of apprentices who can do a large project under you as the crew leader? You would be under budget, help others out and also make yourself look good. It's a win-win situation.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Working around weather and the schedule

Working around weather and the schedule

On a nice rainy day like today, it brings up a great topic, the exterior work, and the schedule.
What happens when it rains? Will the paint be ok and other great questions?

At our company and any company that does exterior work that is weather dependent we have to watch the weather report days in advance, we want to make sure the surfaces are dry and clean number one and we also want to make sure we are applying the paint as per the manufacturer's direction.

Now with exterior painting we do have to dodge and work around the weather, we may have to start and stop during the same day, work later in the morning or end the day earlier. The painters are very skilled at this so when you wonder what they are doing there is always a plan, feel free to discuss it with them. We want to make sure the paint has "skinned" up and with products like Sherwin Wiliams Resilence we can paint closer to rain than ever before.

So now the bad part, there are only so many available hours to schedule in a day, week or month so when any job is pushed back due to weather it may mean ALL the jobs behind it are pushed back even if it is an interior project, this is because we have allowed a certain time to do each project, when one is moved that doesn't mean we can move that one and still begin the next on top of it, there wouldn't be a company around that could manage that.

Scheduling is a chaotic dance, always moving up or back and adjusting while trying to maintain the projects, the happiness of the client and keep the workers going. It is not a perfect science by any means and there are many many variables such as weather, call-offs from being sick or family issues they have to attend to the clients needing to change things. 

We all have to be flexible in this manner to have a great project, schedule things loosely and move things up when you can. It is always fun to call someone and say we have availability and can move things up. A client who won't be able to handle scheduling like this may have a tough time with any contractor and we like to know this ahead of time plus make sure they are well aware of this.

So the next time you see it raining outside know that there is a team inside the office scrambling to adjust things and make everyone as happy as can be.

You can't do it all

You can't do it all

Where is Ryan? Where is the manager? Is Ryan there, we hear it all day long or people contact me on personal emails, Facebook, or however they think they can. 

If I answered every request that came in all I would be doing all day and night is putting out fires or talking to salespeople or anyone one else who needs a "minute" I would be a glorified firefighter. The problem is I can put those fires out right away and make things better but that is doing a disservice to the people I personally put in place and trained myself.

I spend countless hours training everyone, we do more training than you would imagine and work day and night 7 days a week sometimes 16 hours a day or more I have gotten to a spot where I planned to not be available for the day to day things. I have put our company in a place where I can oversee and manage, be a CEO and not have to manage daily job sites, client issues, employee issues.

That certainly doesn't mean clients will understand that but that is the way it is if I had to fix every small issue that comes in we wouldn't be able to service the amount of work we do or do the training that we do and honestly it was never my plan to work "in" the business but to work "on" the business.

So yes the calls that come in for me I rarely take, anyone I need to speak with knows how to get a hold of me and it is a select few, guess what I also make mistakes so just by getting a hold of me doesn;t mean everything will be better, remember the answers your getting were trained directly by me to the people in charge who also will make an occasional mistake, we're all human, but you cannot say we are not accountable for ourselves.

You may say, you are the owner and have to do it, no I don't believe that think about all the companies you deal with day in and out and how many of them are you getting the owner on the phone? They work hard to get to a spot where they either have to step back to manage things or want to, you cannot fault someone for that, they place managers in positions to handle all of these things.

So let the people in place do their thing, hold them accountable for what they say and be a great customer

Friday, May 4, 2018

Top 5 reasons to pressure wash

Power washing is an inexpensive solution to quickly clean and brighten the exterior of your home however many people think this is a luxury and will get to it when they can. But there are real reasons you should be washing your exterior surfaces at least once a year professionally.
While it is very true high pressure can damage any surface most professional power washing companies are really doing a soft wash with lower pressure while letting the cleaners do the work.
Here are our top three reasons to power wash
  1. It saves money: Keeping your exterior surfaces clean and clear such as your gutters, concrete, and siding can help avoid much more costly repairs in the future.
  2. It saves permanent damage: Mildew can severely damage and stain any surfaces and will speed up the deterioration of those.
  3. Saves Time: A professional company will be cleaning from the ground, no ladders no safety issues. Leave the work to a professional where heights are involved
  4. It removes allergens: Pressure washing can help reduce the allergens such as pollen on the exterior surfaces of your home
  5. It prepares the surfaces: Pressure washing prepares the surfaces for painting and staining much faster and more thorough then hand washing, remember if you don’t prepare your surfaces paint and stain can fail.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Did you know this big secret of painting companies?

Did you know many painting companies have a dirty little secret they would hate for you to know?

You have someone come out for a painting estimate and they seem professional, well dressed sometimes and seem to know everything about painting and how the job will be done.

They make you feel so comfortable how can anything go wrong? They give you the proposal and it all sounds great so you agree to it, the project gets scheduled and as start day comes close you get all the things you may need to get done on your end.

When the painters show up it's not the company you met with, you may or may not know this. It is supposed to be disclosed within your proposal and contract but many times it is not if at all.

So who cares who shows up? You should most certainly care, the way the estimator said a project will be completed is now out the window as each different company will do their own projects a different way and as a true subcontractor the person you met should have no control over this new company, if they do they are not a true subcontractor and are really employees.

Why do companies do this? That's easy to answer, money. They will establish their profit before a project starts and reduces any risk on their end. They have no payroll taxes to be paid, no workman's compensation to pay, no training to do, no human resources, just sell the jobs and give them away for someone else to do, it's a great system until something goes wrong. 

Your gambling with your home, there are many great subcontractors and trust me being in the painting business there are also many horrible painters and scary people to be around your home.
having employees allows us to train our systems on how each project should go, we have accountability should something need correcting and a warranty if something goes wrong down the road. With a subcontractor, there is no telling if they will show back up to fix anything or if they will be in business a year from now.

The worst part about this is insurance, sure they may have liability insurance but where is the worker's comp? Anyone onsite other than the owner needs to be covered by workers comp. The company you hired cannot cover them as a subcontractor or they would be an employee. 

After a conversation with the IRS on another matter, we discussed this and they assured me this is a priority issue to address this locally, this is needed to protect homeowners, level the playing field and have trained craftsmen and women in and around your home.

Here is a recent video we did on this topic

Thursday, April 26, 2018

You Don't Have To Spend A Fortune To Get A Great Paint Job

You don't have to spend a fortune to get a great paint job

When your looking to paint the exterior of your home we know the first worry may be the price.
How much will it cost? Can we afford it and who will do this work?
How do we know we're not being overcharged?

These are all great questions and ones that are normal to ask and worry about but let me ease your worries, if you do your homework you can find a great painting contractor who will do a professional job and one that you will be proud of. Here are the things you need to do.
  • You must know exactly what you are expecting when the project is done, a professional estimator should spend time finding these expectations out and providing solutions to meet these 

  • Be open to discuss the budget. Let me say that again, BE OPEN TO DISCUSSING THE BUDGET. You must be open to discussing the project's budget, you may not know your budget and that's fair but a great estimator can give you examples of other projects they have done and their costs to help you zero in your costs.
  • Be open about the experiences you have liked and not liked with past contractors. This will help alleviate any issues on the new project by bringing to light past issues the contractors will be wary of.
  • The time frame of the project. Your time frame can directly affect the cost of your project, an immediate need will certainly increase your costs by having to bring in painters that were not scheduled for a project or bringing in the fastest painters who demand more money to complete projects in a fast and professional manner. Or when work is busy some contractors will pick and choose the work they do. See how many will even call back in the summer when they are busy. Do you really want those types on your project?
  • Micromanaging your project can actually affect the cost. Spending too much time micromanaging a project will slow down production, make the contractors nervous and not want to be on your project. Hire someone you trust and let them do the work. No one likes someone looking over their shoulder.
By following some basic rules you can certainly keep your costs down on a painting project, failure to do these can certainly increase costs before and throughout the project.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Ryan Amato Painting wins top job award 2018

Ryan Amato Painting wins American Painting Contractor Magazine Top Job Award 2018 for their work on the Paxinosa School project in Easton,Pa 
APC Magazine has announced the winners of its 2018 TOP JOB Awards, sponsored by Zinsser. This year the publication is recognizing 31 painting contractors for excellence in the craft of residential painting.
This year’s winners tackled challenges across a wide spectrum of projects, from faux finishes to failing finishes, and historic renovations to modern wallpaper-heavy solutions. Winners demonstrated an ability to solve complex challenges, exceed customer expectations and create long-lasting finishes that show mastery of the craft.
“We are thrilled to win this award as it shows the dedication to our projects from our crews and staff”  says owner Ryan Amato
This has been an amazing year for Ryan Amato Painting with winning countless awards and can be a testament to the quality and service we provide

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

How much is it to paint my shutters?

How much is it to paint my shutters?

It's almost exterior painting season and we get asked all the time about painting shutters.
Drive into any neighborhood and you will see those faded ugly vinyl shutters.
Painting them is a great way to preserve them and really get a huge bang for the buck.

The issue is to do them yourself your talking about heights, ladders and making sure you don't get paint on your home. The professional painter to the rescue To paint your shutters is something we do all the time, we can paint them on your home with little to no disruption to anything else.
Using a great quality paint from Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore certainly will guard against premature fading again and being able to keep them clean.

You still will have some maintenance on them, a once a year washing is best to protect the paint and make it shine but little else is needed at all. We even suggest painting new shutters before hanging them up to guard against the fading.

The most common vinyl shutters on a standard two-story home should cost you between $50-$75 per shutter to paint them depending on their condition, the heights, and access.

It is generally a one day project for one painter and can be done in an assortment of great deep colors to compliment your home. Give us a call for any of your shutter painting needs or any other exterior painting projects you may have in mind. 484-821-7112

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Your puppy is ugly

Your puppy is ugly and other positive comments online

I love YouTube, I will say it again I love YouTube, I use it at work, at home and it keeps me company at the gym on those never-ending treadmill sessions. I also use it myself for our business uploading videos, tips and other things to help clients and other companies.

It always amazes me that people can be so nasty but more so they have the time to do it? I barely have enough time in a day to get my things done, I would never have time to troll someones YouTube or Facebook page to write nasty comments. I am impressed they have the time honestly.

So no matter what video you search for someone will either give it a thumbs down or have a nasty comment, try it now go to YouTube and search puppies, who would hate puppies? You will be surprised, I haven't set this up, the fourth result down for me is "Puppies playing with babies" now that is double the cuteness and it has 15K of dislikes? and reading through some not so nice comments. Ok let's try another search kids like to watch "kids playing with toys"
How can that be bad? well, my first result has 10k of dislikes and comments are disabled most likely because people leave nasty ones. Can ten thousand people really dislike a kid playing with a new toy?

Let's go back to business, I have been lucky on YouTube with people being so supportive, leaving great comments but I am not naive I will get some eventually, now Facebook is another story, we are always on the defensive there and it's not from customers.

We receive messages from other companies pretending to be regular people, spouses putting ads up of their husbands' companies, people telling us the pictures aren't real or the same or they can do it better, faster, cheaper etc. I can only imagine what it must be like to be a celebrity, I do not envy that at all, the money would not be worth the attacks. I also can not imagine what kids nowadays must go through, I can only imagine in age they are already sensitive to how they look when people write nasty things on their pages it must really hurt.

Bullying is not just physical and bullies are not just teenagers in a school, you would be surprised how many bullies we run into, from nasty demanding spoiled clients who verbally abuse our workers and office staff to the general contractors who are so spoiled rotten and are used to getting everything they ever request whether its right or wrong, Kyle could tell you stories of contractors demanding we paint while it's snowing or pouring outside or calling to demand we have painters onsite even though we were there and they have no work ready. Bullies suck no doubt and you cannot reason with an unreasonable person. One day I will do a blog with examples of some of the things we go through with demanding clients that will blow your socks off. If we could only name them.

So what are we supposed to do? Let them bring you down? No way! You smile at them, be the bigger person but let them know they are being rude, I don't let them get away with it, let them know how they are treating you, one thing I always tell our staff is to not accept in any way someone abusing you. pack up and leave or hang the phone up, we don't need those type of clients. 

Saturday, April 14, 2018

How much will it cost to paint the exterior of my home?


How much will it cost to paint the exterior of my home is a question we receive all the time and it’s a great one.
It seems there is a mystery to pricing exterior painting work so what does everyone do? they open up Google search and call a few painting companies that pop up and hopefully one actually calls you back. That is a discussion for another time.
Once you get someone to call you back they all come out and do a dance around the home and tell you how great they are, they are using the best products, will put two coats on and whatever else they think will make you love them.
Guys, I am here to tell you everyone applies the paint the same way, uses the same stores, some are real insured companies with employees and others subcontract some or all of their work.
The difference that sets us apart is no one trains their painters like us, NO ONE! There are no apples to apples, from the support you will receive on the job to the communication from the office there is no comparison and we believe that.
So back to how much will my home cost. There are many factors that go into that question such as.
  • How much preparation does the home need?
  • When was the last time it was painted?
  • What type of heights are involved?
  • What is the timeframe for this work to be completed?
  • Are lead-based paints involved?
  • What colors are being used and is there priming involved
After these questions are answered and we discuss your expectations for your project AND we discuss your budget which is very important we can come to a professional summary for your proposal and prescribe the correct scope of work for the project.
On the home in this picture which is an actual home we did, I met with the homeowner to discuss his project, it was a new home for his family and wanted a color change. We went over how we would complete this project, we hit it off right away and he felt comfortable using us. For me this is where all the other estimates mean nothing, we were in his budget, we hit it off and our scope of work is everything needed. JOB SOLD: The house we completed would cost in this scenario around $3750-$4200 to paint it professionally.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

You want the exterior home painted now what?

You want the exterior of your home painted so now what?

Painting the exterior of your home can be a tough decision as let's face it you have no idea what this may cost.

It may be hundreds, thousands or more and that wonder sometimes can be stressful.

When you decide you need this done it may be for a few different reasons.
  • Protection of wood from rot or further rot
  • Protection from the suns uv rays which fade surfaces
  • Your selling your home and you want to increase the value
  • Purely cosmetic and you want to have the best looking home on the block
  • The city or township demanded it (codes)
So you can see there are many different reasons or wants to have this done and each has its own set of needs and priorities. If your needing to do it or codes you want it done as fast as possible and usually at a more affordable price as it was unexpected. So maybe you don't put multiple coats on or the prep is not the same as some of the other reason. 

With so many different reasons to have something painted, beautification, safety, and protection there is always a way to tailor your budget to match the job and budget. This is one reason it is so hard to have multiple painting companies come out when you're looking at the price only. They will all estimate it a different way, there are no apples to apples and if you believe you can look at three professional estimates the same when the painting companies can't figure out how to even bid it the same you may have a rough project or just add even more confusion onto an already difficult decision.

You should first know exactly what you would like to have done, what do you expect on that old peeling wood trim and how your expectations will directly affect the cost up or down. A good estimator should be listening to you and not talking the whole time. Their estimate should be tailored to your project, not the companies work tailored to your home.

You want to choose a company that will take the stress away from you, review the process and materials and has a direct written plan on how they will tackle it and then a driven agenda to deliver the result you both agreed upon.

Issues will arise when there is a disconnect between homeowner and estimator and then the transfer from estimator to the painters. Everyone needs to be aware and agree on the plan before work is to begin. Nothing is worse than a project starting and then the phone ringing as the homeowner is confused or didn't express their full expectations to the estimator and believe me it happens.

"Nothing is worse than a project starting and then the phone ringing as the homeowner is confused or didn't express their full expectations"

How can this be resolved? Review the proposal against the work order. It is important a company walks through before the project is to begin as well as the homeowner signing off on these processes. A lot can be avoided if only there is good communication between the lead painter and homeowner who is in charge. That is another key point, one person should be the direct person to communicate with the painter and one for the homeowner. With too many people involved it can open up confusion and mistakes.

So how much will that exterior paint job really cost? In our next blog, we will give some pricing example of homes we have done. Remember they are examples and each home should be priced on its own but it will be a great sample of what to expect.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Cost or Price?

Cost or Price?

What is your decision going to be based on the cost of the project or the price? You may say what's the difference but there sure is one and it will cost you in the end.

What if I said that lower price that looks all shiny and bright could cost you double the more expensive project by the time the years play out?

Imagine this, you're getting a price on the exterior of your home and you do the get three estimates thing and all your bids come back and you have a price of $10,000, $15,000 and $20,000
Naturally, you look at that high one and think wow, they are overcharging me and you decide to take that low price, they said they are using the same materials and everything is "apples to apples".

So your project cost you $10,000 to start but guess what they didn't prime that bare wood correctly and it peeled off after the year warranty they gave you. (If they even stand behind their warranty)
So you had to hire another company to come out and touch up a few things and that took two days and cost you $1250.00 so now your project cost you 11,250.00

A year later you learn they used a cheaper exterior paint and your paint is fading and chalking so now you must get it power washed and one side that hits the sun repainted. Cost $3750. Your project now cost you $15,000.

A few months later the caulk they used is failing badly, you call the manufacturer but it wasn't applied correctly so there is no warranty and you need to pay someone else to come out again and redo the work. Cost 1 day $600 Now you're at 15,600
Now the big one, you learn on the high areas they only applied one coat of paint and never primed the bare wood and you have rot underneath the gutters. 

Now you must bring in a carpenter, possibly a gutter person and have all of this replaced and painted. Your cost of this work had now crept over that initial bid you thought was overcharging you. It turns out the cost of the project was correct and they had included all of the top of the line products and the prep that was really needed.

So the moral of the story is to not just throw away that initial price, it's cost may be the lowest one after all

Monday, March 26, 2018

What To Expect On Your Painting Estimate

What to expect when hiring an interior painting company.

When you decide to paint your home the first thought that crosses your mind may be the price.

That may be a consideration but it should not be your first. There will always be a lower priced company and someone willing to do a job cheaper but at what cost? The quality, cheaper products, labor or uninsured painters is a common problem in the painting and construction industry.

The first thing to decide before anyone shows up is what exactly do we want to be painted, what is our timeframe for this work and what do we expect. Without the client knows exactly what they want and expect it will be impossible for any painting contractor to be able to deliver off of a guess.

No two jobs are the same, companies will prepare surfaces differently and the idea of a properly painted surface and the completed project may vary greatly from company to company and client to client. Using the Painting and Decorating Contractors Of America standards is something every client should make sure their contractor is using. These are a list of standards that take the confusion out of how and why things are done or not done.

We receive a lot of calls asking for pricing over the phone, the reason that is sometimes impossible is there are variables to every project that may affect the cost such as.
  •  Timeframe: if you need a project done tomorrow and the company is booked out for weeks there may be a fee to rearrange everything to suit your schedule.
  • Preparation: The amount of preparation that is needed or requested. 
  • Access: Access to the work area and time of day
  • Specialty: Any special applications will cost more as it takes trained staff to apply them and they have spent many hours training to do this
  • Quality of paint being used can vary from $25 a gallon to $85 a gallon
As you can see no two projects are the same and we love to be able to give solutions and the proper scope of work needed for each project.
We look at each project as a new relationship, it takes the contractor and client working together to make sure it turns out as expected, this takes great communication on both sides throughout the entire process.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Free Touch Ups

Free touch ups for life!

Ryan Amato Painting is offering on their interior painting projects free touch ups for life.
An offer not many other painting contractors can offer. 

"We wanted to separate our company from the rest," says Ryan Amato owner of Ryan Amato Painting of Bethlehem, Pa

Once per year during certain months we will return for up to an hour and touch up small things like baseboards, door frames, window sills and small areas on walls. It's that simple, no tricks.

The benefit for the client is an assurance the areas all look great, maybe there is a party coming up and you need a few small touch-ups family is coming for the holidays. It's a great time to touch up.
The benefit for the company is we are present in mind of our clients giving an offer no other contractor we know of in our area can match.

It's a win-win for everyone, not to mention we are very confident in our painting and application of products, especially with the backing of our vendors Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore. We work closely with our reps to make sure we're trained on all of the new products, applications, and Maintenence of those coatings.

If you would be interested in this offer please feel free to contact us at 484-821-7112 or chat with us on our website www.ryanamatopainting.com

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Who to call for your painting estimate

Who To Call For Your Painting Estimate

When you first decide to paint anything around your home your first thought maybe can I do this myself? After realizing that your time can better be spent on other things or you would rather have a professional job done the question arises, who do you call?

You can ask friends who they have used in the past and their experience with companies or like me when I am looking for any service I open up Google and search painters.

You will get many results, some reputable companies, others not so, the service lead providers such as Home Advisor or Angie's List will show up. Remember most of the companies pay to be on those sites.

What you should be looking for is a company that from the start has great communication, let's face it most companies will give you the same paint job if you're speaking about the normal wall. It is the other things such as training their employees, do they even use employees and the backing of the work they do.

When you first call see how long it takes someone to get back to you if at all, that is a great indication if once your project starts how communication will go. I am not saying they will be at you beckon call but a professional company will either answer the phone or return a phone call during normal business hours promptly. If they don't you can assume they will certainly not once the project starts pr an issue arises.
Yes, an issue can happen, it happens to the best companies, sometimes that is their fault or issues out of their control. It's the sign of a great company when they don't run and hide but stand behind their work and complete or correct the contracted work. 

Are the crews trained? With our company, we offer a ton of training and it is required. From the start of the job to while it is going on and finishing our crews are trained to make this experience a great and professional one.

So when you're looking for a painting contractor look beyond the price, a low price does not usually make for the best job as also the high price may not either. Listen to what products will be used and why each company may have a different way of applying their paint or the method the project will be done.

Remember the way you're treated in that initial phone call will usually be a great sign of things to come.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

How to have a painting estimate our new podcast

our newest podcast is out. If you have always wondered how to have a great painting estimate without wasting your time or the painting contractor this podcast is for you.

Take a listen to Ryan Amato and Behind the Painting Scenes and don't forget to subscribe.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Ryan Amato Painting Wins PDCA PIP Award

Ryan Amato painting has won the PDCA PIP best commercial interior painting project award.
The Painting and Decorating Contractors of America (PDCA) is the only trade association dedicated to the success of painting and decorating contractors. PDCA provides members with industry-specific tools to become better painters and business owners through participation in education programs, local networking meetings, use of PDCA Industry Standards and more. 

"We are honored to be included with some of the best painting contractors and owners in the industry" Ryan Amato said
"To be honored and recognized by your peers is a feeling that is hard to describe."

The project that won this award was right in our hometown of Easton,PA.
The renovation of Paxinosa Elementary school. For us, this was one of the largest projects we had done up to this point. 

With a difficult schedule and always changing paint conditions, we finished the project on time and within the budget.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Amato Painting Donates $3000 To PEaceable Kingdom In Free Painting

 Ryan Amato Painting recently completed their Paint It Forward paint job and the organization selected was Peaceable Kingdom of Allentown,PA. They received a $3000 completely free of charge donation by Ryan Amato and the team enabling the Peaceable Kingdom to paint areas of their facility in much need.
All materials were donated by Sherwin Williams Of Easton,PA  All of the painters and staff donated their time in an effort to help someone else out with nothing expected in return Peaceable Kingdom is a no-kill shelter who helps with adoption and low-cost vet services.

Paint It Forward was started in 2005 by Josh Allbright of Allbright Painting and many painting contractors across the country participate each year and from the combined efforts has donated over 1 million dollars of free painting serves and materials to deserving families and nonprofit organizations.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Kitchen Cabinet Painting Podcast

We have released our newest podcast Behind the Painting Scenes with Ryan Amato.
In this episode we discuss painting kitchen cabinets. The do's and dont's, proper prep and what to expect on your project.
Kitchen cabinet painting can save you money vs replacing or refacing your cabinets.

Proper prep is the key to any painting project and even more so with cabinets.
Listen as Ryan discusses this and more on the podcast
Click here to listen and remember to subscribe.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

The most asked questions about painting

Frequently asked painting questions

We get a ton of questions each day regarding a potential house painting project and to avoid and missed expectations it is a great idea to ask every question you may have.

A project can go wrong quickly if something was never communicated to your painting contractor and they start a project doing things they believe were correct and spoken about.
Nothing is worse than an unhappy client as they will make everyone else unhappy as well.
All the painters want to do and live for is at the end of the project to look back at a great job and a smiling client.

To alleviate this we write everything down in our proposals, record estimates, send videos, blogs, and many many emails. We try to overly communicate all of this info so there are no surprises once that project begins.

Here is a recent video we did on our YouTube channel, there are many other informative videos on there as well so make sure you click subscribe.
Here are the most asked questions regarding a painting project. If you have any others please feel free to let us know we would gladly add them in a future video or blog.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

How long will the painting take?

How long will my painting project take?

This is the age-old question we get from the estimate when the project starts an during and one that can generally be answered but needs some flexibility as job conditions change frequently.
While on an estimate your estimator is measuring, looking at surfaces, the amount of furniture in the way, what types of paint that may be used, how many coats and historical production numbers from past similar jobs. They will use all of these things to determine how long a job may take to charge accordingly but remember this is an educated guess.

Once a project starts there are some unknowns, such as how well will the paint dry, cover or if they will run into any issues with the surface. Drying conditions change due to humidity and temperature and can severely slow the job process down or speed it up.

Sometimes your painter may have a family issue and have to miss a day, or a car may break down, these everyday normal occurrences happen and should be considered with the timeline, we always suggest leaving some room before and after the tentative dates we give.

If you have a specific deadline on a project this should be told to your estimator and lead painter AND marked within your proposal and contract so everyone is aware, there is nothing worse then disappointing someone who didn't let you know there even was a deadline.

If all of these things are in order you can count on a successful painting project, with little stress and a completion day you can be thrilled with.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Please vote for our videos


We have made the final round and now we need YOUR votes.
Every year American Painting Contractor Magazine chooses the best painting contractor videos from around the country and we have been lucky enough to have two of our chosen. We are up against some tough competition and some friends of ours as well. But who doesn’t like to beat friends for bragging rights?
Please go to these links and vote for our videos, you may vote once per day.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

What to expect when painting your kitchen cabinets

 What to expect when painting your kitchen cabinets.

Ok, so you made the decision to have your kitchen cabinets painted but have no idea how this will go or where to start.

When you call for an estimate from us we will take some basic information and direct you to our webpage where you can fill out this questionnaire. 

Once we receive this back our estimators will take a look at it and based off of the many other jobs we have done give a rough estimate without having to come out yet.

If this rough price fits within your budget one of our estimators will schedule an appointment to come out and go over this whole process with you. At this point, a firm price can be presented based off of what needs to be done.

The estimator will be counting doors and openings, asking some questions about colors, sheens, what you're expecting and how much you're prepared to maintain the cabinets. With any painting project, there will be maintenance. If hit hard or scratched the paint may chip and this goes for any product used on cabinets whether lacquer, epoxy or acrylics. We will show you how to touch these up easily with professional results.

You also have the option for a clear coat should you want to protect them even more than a standard paint job. You can also have the panels caulked for an additional fee. We typically would prefer not to do this as we want them to be able to move a little however we understand the cosmetic issue and when going from a dark color to light you may see a shadow in the areas not caulked. 

Once the project begins you can expect some light scuff sanding, deglossing using a chemical and some more cleaning. That typically takes a day. This is where some jobs may be different, each job is prescribed its own process which may or may not involve priming, it is dependant on what the current surface is. Should we prime we typically use an oil based primer and then two top coats using an acrylic coating. We choose acrylic as it moves more (think expansion and contraction) doesn't yellow or amberlike a lacquer or oil may. The surfaces on the job usually are brushed and rolled while we may or may not take the drawers and doors back to our shop to spray.

We have found we can achieve a fine finish by brushing and rolling just as we can by spraying. Each project is different. With the proper prep and products, your kitchen cabinet painting job can turn out great. Sit back relax and let the painters do their thing.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

The Old Switcheroo

The Old Switcheroo

A common issue between estimator/contractor and their client and it is hard to defend against.
The estimator meets one person at the estimate and goes over what they expect, how the job will be done and when.

When the job begins that person disappears and the new irrational, difficult and angry person shows up. These are two different people, it could have been the husband meeting first and then the wife or vice versa.

The issue is both should be at the estimate to express what is expected because once the job starts it is a losing battle, they will be upset and disappointed and the contractor will want to hurry up and get out of there and away from them.

Homeowners if your getting estimates and one person is more concerned then the other they should be at the estimate. Otherwise, it is ripe for missed expectations and not a great relationship.

Here is a recent video regarding the old switcheroo

Things Can And Will Change

Things can and will change

The rules of life do apply in contracting as well, things do and will change.
What do I mean by that? Schedules change, people call off, families have issues.

When things do happen job schedules get changed, manpower changes on job sites and hopefully the clients understand stuff happens.
But that isn't always the case, in their life everything must be perfect it seems.

We love that our painters take their families as the most important thing and our jobs second. If there is something going on at their house or a special occasion they need to attend they are welcome to do so and yes the jobs will be affected. 

I would hope other companies do the same thing. On most residential projects a day or two lost is not an emergency at all. Some feel the painting is stressful but we go above and beyond to make sure that doesn't happen. 

So the next time that painter is late, or cannot make it to your project that day just think they may have something going on in their life they need to attend to.

Here is a video I just made regarding this same subject

Share Your Budget and Don't Waste Time

I know how scary it may seem when someone asks you what your budget is for a project

Either you don't know, don't want to share or think its rude of the contractor to even ask but there are great reasons we ask this questions.

  • To not waste the time of the homeowner or contractor. Knowing the range of the budget can save wasted time if there is no way the contractor can meet it or there may be room to add even more work to make your project even better.
  • To make sure your expectations match your budget
  • So your not disappointed hiring a contractor who only gives you a price you need but can't deliver what you expect.
One of the first questions we ask before we even come out is do you have a budget for this project and then while were onsite we will ask that same questions again.

We want to work for people who trust us and vice versa and sharing this important information starts the relationship process from the start. If you can't trust the person your hiring to do your work it may not be the right person.

Here is a video I just did explaining this process in depth.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Hiring employees through values

Hiring employees through values

Hiring employees whether painters, office staff is never easy, we have learned some tough lessons over the years by hiring the wrong type of person.

There have been angry ones, irrational ones, demanding and just plain old you don't want to be around them. One of the typical ones is the type that never can do wrong, even when they do something totally abusing the company policy they don't understand why they had to be let go and they don't end it at termination. Angrily leaving voicemails, verbally abusing anyone who answers the phone or leaving irrational posts on our social media sites.

We decided there had to be another way and there was, by creating our key company values which are. Dependability, Commitment, Relationships and Accountability and using those as the basis we hire or don't hire someone and never wavering from it. 

Whether experienced or not a bad seed who doesn't share our values will totally ruin the morale of the other workers quickly. So from the pre-screening interview to the actual interview, we are trying to determine whether this person will be a fit for our company.

By doing so we have gathered a great group of people who I would want to be around each day and are excited to come to work and a team that does great things each day.

Here is a recent video I made discussing this very topic.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Top three paints to use when painting cabinets

Kitchen cabinet Paint Choices

When we are hired to paint kitchen cabinets we take a close look at the project. What is the current condition of the cabinets? How much use and abuse will they receive?
What does the client expect and do they have children or pets?

These are all great questions and will help determine which paint we will use on the project.
One paint may be easier to clean or be harder when dry. Another may offer an easier application or faster dry time.

Without knowing or seeing the cabinets beforehand it is impossible to diagnose and offer a solution to the homeowner on which paint we recommend. There are no two cabinet jobs alike and we tailor each project for what it needs for a trouble-free application and long-lasting one.

Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams and PPG Offer great products and one of which we would use on a cabinet job. There may be others that can be used but these are the ones we have used many times with great success.

Here is a recent video we did explaining our process. Please visit our YouTube channel for more great videos of a behind the scenes look at our painting company.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

No Shows On Estimates

What is more annoying than an estimator who you scheduled with not showing up at all?
A contractor who doesn't return a phone call ever?

I went through this same thing recently when I needed work done at my home. I simply could not get anyone to call me back except for a few who I mentioned in my video blog.

When you want something done inside your home or business you expect a call back at the least.
A scheduled appointment takes time away from your busy schedule and family so a call, email if that person cannot show up, would be the right thing to do.

I am amazed at the number of estimates I go to and the look of surprise on the faces and they say "wow I am surprised you showed up" It was crazy to me they would call multiple painting contractors and we would be one of the few that showed up to at least discuss the project. maybe at that point, it wouldn't be right for us but we can let them know that or refer them to someone great.

To be professional is not much to ask for from anyone.
With our company we call if were a minute late, let alone I cannot recall ever not showing up.
I have been on the other end of that with the homeowner not being home but that's a blog for another time.

Here is my recent video discussing this topic. Get your acts together contractors.

Why I started a painting company

Why start a new business?
The long hours? Sleepless nights, always constant worry?

It all seems like a ton of fun from the outside, you can set your own hours, have loads of money, freedom, no boss but in reality, you have a hundred times the worries of a normal job.

You now are responsible for the jobs of your employees who sometimes don't appreciate that or understand the worries and concerns you have. You now have thousands of bosses, from the clients to the general contractors, vendors and more, all of them you have to answer to at one point or the other.

You now have overhead, the office, trucks, equipment, bills, taxes, insurances, workers compensation and more.

The, you can set your hour's thing is out the window, how about working from 6am to 10 pm every night when the business first starts and that's a light day.

many things come into play when you are your own boss but fun is not generally one of them most of the time.

So then why do we all do it? We love it and wouldn't want it any other way. The stress you end up feeding off of, the fast-paced lifestyle, the ups, and downs.

Here is a video of why I decided to start a painting company.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Who is the most awesome Person this week?

Who was awesome?

We love to let people know when they have done something awesome.

This person I heard about long before I went out to do the estimate, the office told me I would love the estimate. "She has watched all your videos" and is excited to meet you.

When I arrived I could see right away Paula would be fun to work with, she had a great personality, was looking for someone to work with her on the project and was very interested in my ideas.

It is great to go on any project and form a relationship with the clients, they respect your opinion and work so that is a bonus.

When I left I knew she would push hard to have us as her contractor and as I expected we were awarded the project a few days later.

That is where my part ends but when the job leader came back from his meeting all he could say is Paula is great!

Once the job started the painters all said the same thing, she was very accommodating, fun to be around and enjoyed the whole process.

So for that we love Paula, I wish everyone could "be like Paula" the world would be a better place

Friday, January 5, 2018

Art Snarzyk to the rescue

"We need help!"

When we decided we could use some help managing employees we reached out to a few companies who all seemed to offer the same cookie cutter routines

But then I remembered a conversation I had with Art Snarzyk a few years ago that he most likely does not remember. 

I was having an issue with an irrational employee who was let go and I asked a few leaders in our industry what they typically do and they all said call Art.

I reached out via email and Art answered right away, no sales pitch no pressure and no cost. His answer wasn't really what I was expecting, he asked a few questions and said this person is a certain type of personality and this is what you need to say to diffuse the situation.

It worked like a charm and we parted ways and that was my last conversation with Art until this year.

I wanted the employees in the office to better understand me really, why do I need things done now, not wasting too much time thinking about it or planning or having idle chit-chat (I zone out)
How does he know all of this? A disc profile which basically asks a bunch of questions in different ways and out pops a very accurate personality type. I am a high D and High C which means I get things done quickly and will get frustrated with others who may plan and take longer. 

This can come off as not listening, not caring and tough to work with. It was great for others to see how to interact with me, I need quick questions not drawn out stories and an answer whether right or wrong. Just not doing something is not good.

So beyond knowing about me what this enabled us to do is making important decisions regarding employees, painters and even clients when we're out on estimates. Knowing what words can resolve situations or get the result you and is huge in our business.

From a sales standpoint I meet so many different types of people, some I get along with right away and some not, the key for us is knowing what personality type this person may be. If they are like me they don't need a full drawn out sales pitch, they want the info and price and let's do it. Or it may be another type that needs so much information they may be suited with a different estimator and that is where our team is so well balanced right now,we have different types of people for each unique situation and we will switch up relationships frequently.

If you or your company may need something like this I highly recommend Art and 
InnerView Advisors, give him a call and you will not regret it