Curious about how to prepare for the arrival of your residential painters? Here are some answers to commonly asked questions from homeowners before their exterior painting project is about to begin.

1. Arrival Time

Arrival times for the crews are generally between 8-9am.

2. Windows & Doors

If we are painting the moving part of your windows and doors, please make sure all of your windows and doors are functional and can easily open and close prior to our arrival. If you do not have the ability to get them opened and closed, they are most likely painted shut, and we can attempt to get them to open and close at an additional hourly cost. If we cannot get them unstuck, we will have to paint them in place.

If your home has storm windows, they usually have glass inserts that need to be removed from inside the home. The crew will need to come inside the home to remove them or you can remove them at the appropriate time. Some homeowners elect to hand wash the insert themselves once they are removed.

3. Neighbors

In the situation where houses are adjoining, like townhomes, in order to paint the sides of your house we may need to go on to your neighbor’s roof, deck or property. This is unavoidable, so please let your neighbors know we are coming and get their permission to gain access to these areas.

4. Weather & Scheduling

Make sure to keep an eye on the weather as your project date approaches. If the weather forecast is inclement, your field manager may reach out to you to reschedule. We generally will reschedule an exterior project to the next non-rain day if there is a 51% or more chance of rain on your scheduled date according to Along with weather, additional add-on work and change orders may extend the job that’s scheduled before yours. Unfortunately, scheduling is not an exact science, but we will keep you informed of any delays, and sometimes we may be able to start your job ahead of your previously given start date – with your permission, of course.

5. Parking

Please make sure that our team has a place where they can park their van. If there’s not a place to park in the immediate vicinity of your property, make sure there is somewhere nearby where they can access parking.

6. Initial Walkthrough

It is suggested that you be there on the first day of the job for a couple hours to do a walkthrough and make sure we are all on the same page about the scope of work. If you cannot be there the first day or at any point during your project, please arrange with the field manager or foreman proper access and lock-up procedures. Access may be needed at some point to paint window sills and the edges of windows and doors. They will also need to be left cracked for a certain amount of time for the paint to dry.

7. Pets

Please make us aware of any pets that may get out so we can be as vigilant as possible in making sure they stay within the house. If your pet is brought outside at any time, please make sure they are on a leash for their safety and ours. Also, please keep them out of the work areas.

8. Power Washing

If your project includes power washing, make sure we have access to a spigot where we can connect the power washer and that it is turned on. Please be aware that power washing can do amazing things, but it is not always a cure-all for all the stains or conditions on your house. Sometimes no amount of power washing will be able to fix certain blemishes, stains and other issues, especially on areas like gutters. If you are not happy with the outcome of these areas, an attempt to hand wash certain areas may be an option at an additional labor cost.

During the power washing phase, please make sure all of your windows and doors are closed. It would be helpful if you are home during this phase – usually on day one – in case there are any leaks around your doors and windows. We don’t want to end up with a puddle of water going undetected that may cause damage to the interior. If no one is home, we would appreciate access to the home to check for any water leaks ourselves.

9. Power

We will most likely need electrical access for things like power tools, so please make sure that is provided. If you do not have an exterior outlet, we will likely need access to power from within the house.

10. Security Systems

If we are performing carpentry on your window sills and you have a security system installed, please be aware that there is risk of damage during removal of the sensors. It would be best to know ahead of time what your security company’s procedures are in the event of broken equipment, and you may elect to have them remove the sensors prior to work starting and have them reinstalled after the work is complete. Keep in mind we are not security experts and cannot be held responsible in the event that an expert is needed.

11. Color Matching

Original paint colors often fade differently on different areas of the house. If you are trying to match the original paint color, it is helpful if you have the color from the HOA or the old paint, we can then use that color as long as we can obtain adequate coverage of the existing color. If you are not concerned about the current color, we can match the paint to the existing color that’s present. 

12. Outdoor Furniture & Plants

If you’re overly concerned about any exterior furniture, objects in the workspace, plants and shrubs please attempt to move them out of the workspace. If they cannot be moved out of the workspace and you have a particular way you would like them protected please let us know, otherwise we will protect them in the usual manner.

13. Change Orders

A change order is an unforeseen condition that changes or expands the scope of work. For example, once we power wash the house or have a chance to examine the wood up close, there is a possibility more rotted wood will have been exposed that wasn’t apparent during the initial inspection. We may also get on the job and find that some scope of the work is unnecessary, in which case  we will create what we call a negative change order for you to sign off on and will be taken off the final invoice.

Change orders are never desirable for the customer or a goal for our company, but it can be the nature of the beast when it comes to contracting, especially on exteriors. In a perfect world, estimators would climb all over your house and inspect every inch. Unfortunately, that just isn’t practical from a time or liability standpoint. Change orders are a reality and generally involve additional realistic costs. Also, be aware no additional change orders will take place without your written permission and you can always opt out of having the additional work done.

14. Final Walkthrough

We ask that you try to be around on the last day of the job to perform a walk-through of the work with the job foreman. And don’t worry if you later find something later that was missed – in the unlikely event that something was missed or fails, your job is backed by a 2 year warranty.

If you have any additional questions about your upcoming home painting project, you will always have an assigned Field Manager for any questions or concerns you may have – before, during, or after your project. We pride ourselves on our top quality customer service and attention to detail.

All American Painting Plus is more than just an interior and exterior residential painting company, find out more about our plus services in Northern Virginia.