We finally got some nice weather, and while working outside may not be everybody’s idea of fun, it does make us happy. The good weather has enabled us to complete some projects that were delayed and get moving on to some other projects that were delayed. The point is, everything outside was delayed for a while, going back as far as last fall, possibly further.
We still have a lot of work to do, but if you have been waiting patiently for us to get to you and your home or business, thank you. We appreciate it, and we continue to move forward with our teams working several jobs at a time. We hope for and expect several more months of comfortable and productive working conditions. We’ll see you soon.
Here are a few pictures of some recent, exterior work.
We’ve been painting this home for years. Now, before you get the wrong idea, I don’t mean that it has taken us years to complete the job. It’s just that we’ve worked on many different projects, inside and out. Some of these projects include annual maintenance on decks and docks, staining exterior siding, painting trim, repainting interior rooms and painting and refinishing cabinets.
We have long-standing relationships with many of the home professionals in the Lake Sunapee Region who have also worked on this home.
And it isn’t just this home. We provide regular maintenance for many clients throughout the region. Rather than wait many years until your home looks like it needs to be painted, it is more cost effective to regularly maintain the finish. Decks and docks are prime examples of things that require more frequent maintenance. They are often fully exposed to the sun and weather, and regardless what product you use this will inevitably dull their appearance more quickly than other surfaces. It’s best to keep up with them before they need more extensive work.
Again, it’s fun to see a story about clients whom we have known for so long. They are great clients and even better people.
Moving is a common motivation for a painting project.
If you are planning to put your home on the market, painting is an important part of the home staging process. Experts suggest that effective staging can significantly improve your sales results. You want your home to look its best so that it will sell more quickly and for the desired asking price, or higher, depending on the market.
On the other hand, if you recently purchased a home, you may want to change the colors to appeal to your personal style. We had the pleasure of working with some wonderful people over the past few months. Two of our most recent interior painting projects were for couples who moved to the Lake Sunapee region within the last few years. It was time for them to update their colors.
“If you don’t like the weather, wait ten minutes.” Have you ever heard a variation of this expression about the status of the weather in New Hampshire? I’ve heard it many times. Mostly it seems like a statement of pride, and maybe a response to a complaint about the current conditions. Often it is exaggerated, and it comes out like this: “If you aren’t tough enough to handle the extremes in New Hampshire, then go back to where you came from.”, as if it were a test. Am I wrong? I’ve heard it in other parts of the country also. It appears to be a regional colloquialism in places that experience less than ideal weather. Conversely, I’ve never heard it said in Southern California. I don't believe this is a coincidence.
One of our most frequently asked questions is “When is our (painting) project scheduled to start?” For interior painting this can be answered with a relatively high degree of certainty. However, for exterior work it is more complicated.
For recreational purposes I think that most people adapt to the climate in which they live. If it’s nice outside there are many options from which to choose, like a picnic or boating, biking, etc... If it’s cold and snowy, they perhaps go skiing or snowshoeing. Regardless of where they live, people adopt a similar strategy if they like to spend time outside. And why not? It's better to enjoy it than complain about it. There are very few places with perfect weather (again I refer to SoCal).
However, when it comes to business, and in particular the business of exterior painting, the weather can be frustrating. We can schedule projects, but we are dependent on certain environmental conditions. Technological advancements in the paint itself have made it possible to work in a wider range of temperatures, but we still need a dry surface to begin. So, this time of year you will see us out there washing and prepping projects, and beginning to finish them, but please understand that we often get delayed due to rainy conditions. We are actively working through our commitments. You are on our schedule, and we promise that we will get to you as soon as we can. Feel free to check in with us, as many of you do, but we may not be able to give you an exact date.
services are most important to you? I read a recent painting industry
study with an interest in comparing our services with those offered by
similar companies throughout the country. The study was the result of an
industry survey for the year 2018. I think the variations can probably
be attributed to regional differences.
I addition, the study shared some information about shopping; in this
case how customers are typically finding painting companies. I think
this is really a representation of shopping trends overall.
I’ve shared a little more detail regarding these findings in the boxes below.
One other glaring observation is that across the country the greatest industry challenge is finding and hiring employees. Those interested in working with us at Prana Design Painting can find us at: https://www.pranapainting.com/careers.html
When it comes to what people want, it’s clear that we provide all of the services mentioned, but I thought I noticed an oddity that stood out from our experience. We have found that one thing that clients do not want is wallpaper. Yet wallpapering services were still being provided by 50% of respondents. However, when I looked closer, I noticed that the service was labeled as “Paperhanging/removal”. It makes sense to me that most of those services are likely for the removal of wallpaper. When we do encounter wallpaper these days, it is because someone wants it removed and the walls repainted.
We find that this also holds true regarding popcorn textured ceilings. While there was a time when popcorn ceilings were very popular, that time has now passed. When a home has this type of ceiling, it is usually perceived as being dated and out of style. So, regarding both wallpaper and popcorn ceilings, we are often called upon to remove and repaint. We also do quite a bit of Cabinet Refinishing, as well as Deck/Dock Refinishing.
Most often shoppers are looking on-line. In keeping with the technology being used in 2018, (now 2019) we try to keep our website and social media sites up to date. These were identified in the survey as the top two sources of information for people who were looking for painting services. Drilling down on social media, for those who are using these apps Facebook is by far the most popular. If this is the place where customers are looking, it makes sense that it is where contractors should focus their energy. However, social media isn’t embraced by all. The survey shows that 35% of contractors do not use social media sites.
Also, when it comes to advertising only a little over 10% of contractors use paid services such as Angie’s List and HomeAdvisor. We also do not advertise with those products.
February, 2019 A Great Resource For Design and Remodeling Ideas.
I’m pretty sure that I’ve mentioned this before, but I think it’s worth repeating. If you are not aware of this site, I want to introduce a great resource for getting ideas for your home. If you are remodeling or thinking about remodeling, I suggest that you look at Houzz.com. I’ve been an advocate for years, and you will see many of our projects posted to our Houzz site.
Houzz is very much a visual service. When I just checked, I noticed that there are over 18 million photos posted. There are certain quality and resolution requirements for posting to the site. I’ve included a few of these pictures from past projects below, and you may follow the link to see more. Houzz is also specific to home/residential use, so even though I have some nice pictures of commercial projects, like a library we refinished last summer, you won’t see those projects on Houzz. It is strictly for home ideas and services.
When you first visit you will be asked to register with an email address. It’s a free and simple process, and you may turn off or choose not to receive notifications if you’d like. I don’t work for Houzz, and have no affiliation with the company, I just think it’s a good place to go to learn about new design ideas and see examples of what is being done in the realm of home remodeling and design. It doesn’t replace your designer or architect (or painting contractor) but might help you choose these service providers and give you some ideas to discuss for your own home.
Check out Houzz if you’d like. It might be helpful when making those tough remodeling decisions.
There is no question that innovations in technology have influenced the painting industry. These developments have improved safety, efficiency and productivity across the industry. In the back-office we are better equipped with new, cloud-based, business applications, and on the client facing side we also have advanced color matching tools, safer paints and better equipment. I’m not sure any of this can be called “Artificial Intelligence”.
In the art world, Christie’s Auction House recently auctioned off a painting that was created using Artificial Intelligence (AI). The painting (if that is what it’s
called) sold for $432,500. I guess this quantifies the value of AI in the art market. But like many other items, like homes and cars, the value of a piece of original art is only limited by how much a patron will pay. Can a price that high be typical? I don’t think we have enough data to answer this yet. It might be a unique instance.
Computers are better than humans at many things, but I’m not convinced that painting is one of them. Follow the link below and take a look for yourself. However, I appreciate that despite being created with Artificial Intelligence it still requires creativity on the part of the programmer to develop the algorithm. That kind of imagination and vision is impressive. Is this a new medium for the artist and a new phase in the evolution of art? Also, in regard to the auction price, does the algorithm itself have a value? Perhaps the buyer also acquired the rights to the algorithm?
You may look at the artwork and read more about it here.
In other recent AI news, Waymo is preparing to test fully autonomous vehicles on the streets of Silicon Valley. Some aren’t convinced that we are ready for this, but the Department of Motor Vehicles has given its approval. Most of the time I trust the computer. In my own car I welcome my adaptive cruise control as it tracks the car in front of me and maintains a safe distance. It also helps keep me in my lane and warns me not to change lanes if it sees a car in my blind spot. It doesn’t drive for me, and I still need to pay attention, but I can see how it improves safety. It’s like another set of eyes watching out for me.
It’s a natural progression from cruise control to autonomous vehicles. But I still think humans make better painters.
If you need some painting done, please give us a call.
Pantone has once again announced their color of the year. I won’t leave you hanging on – it’s called “Living Coral”.
According to Pantone it is “An animating and life-affirming coral hue
with a golden undertone that energizes and enlivens with a softer edge”.
understand that to mean that it is a daring color choice, yet not too
bold as to be overbearing. Pantone suggests that the color encourages us
to put down our phones and turn away from social media for a while to
contemplate our authentic and reliable natural world.
that we could all use a little time to take break from our busy,
connected lives, and enjoy nature. This time of year, we can dream of
the warmth and peacefulness attributed to the colors of coral, but
outside it looks quite cold and unforgiving. Yet, we can still enjoy the
nature that we are given here in New England. Get out and play in the
white, gray and blue colors of the snow. Then, return to your warm,
coral colored living room and see what you missed on Facebook.
while back I enlisted the help of local interior designer, Liz Hause,
to say a few words about the Pantone Color Institute and it’s influence
on color. Feel free to contact Liz to get her thoughts on color and
As spring came upon us, I mentioned that if you looked around outside you would begin to see us getting started on various jobs. Despite some challenges with the weather, we’ve had a good run this year.
From the Richards Free Library in Newport, to residential repaints, and on to the Mountain Edge Resort and Spa at Mount Sunapee. Here are just a few projects.
1831 Farmhouse Painting Restoration
Early 1800s Repaint
Mountain Edge Resort
You may still see us outside, as we finish up as much as possible before it gets too cold to paint. But, don’t forget that we’re still here painting all year long. You just might not see us, because we’ll be hidden inside.
Don’t let out-of-site be out-of-mind. If you have an interior project that you’ve been waiting to tackle, give us a call now to get an estimate and get on our calendar. Don’t wait. Estimates are always free, and we are happy to help in any way, from color consultations to complete remodeling. We can also bring an interior designer to assist with other home decorating ideas.