Although your home’s interior spaces get a lot of wear-and-tear from daily activities, your home’s exterior takes much more abuse from outdoor elements. Over the course of a year, your home’s exterior paint takes a beating from hot sun, rain, snow, wind, and pollution. These elements can quickly fade your paint, splinter your siding and wood trim, and damage your doors, gutters and facings. Your exterior will likely need to be painted more often than your interior to protect the structure of your home.
Some contractors work on time and material others on a firm contract. I would never hire the former and am leary of the latter. A contractor may low-ball a bid to get the job planning to make a killing on change orders. If you say good morning to them, they charge you extra for that. If the contract is not very, very specific and extensively fleshed out or if they display their change order schedule prominently on top, show them the door.
If there is any peeling — and there usually is somewhere — it's essential to scrape off any loose paint. This doesn't just mean the parts that are already separated from the wood and ready to fall off on their own. Each spot where paint has peeled loose needs to be scraped thoroughly until you can no longer get the sharp corner of a putty knife under any of the surrounding edges of paint. Then, the bare spot needs to be sanded until the paint edges are smooth.
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