Are you licensed?
Yes. We tested for and possess a Class B contractor license issued from the State of Virginia, which we must have by law. This license allows us to do contract work in amounts ranging from $0.01-$120,000.00. To obtain this license we had to know about Business Organization, Estimating and Bidding, Contract Management, Project Management, Risk Management, Safety, Labor Laws, Financial Management, Federal and State Taxes, Lien Laws and more. We are also licensed by law in all counties in which we work, and pay taxes to each county accordingly. Make sure your contractor possesses a license and that your job cost fits within the range of their license. A Class A license only covers a job up to $7500.00.
Are you bonded?
Yes. We carry a $25,000 third-party fidelity bond. A fidelity bond is a form of protection that covers policyholders for losses that they incur as a result of fraudulent acts by specified individuals. It usually insures a business for losses caused by the dishonest acts of its employees. We also have performance bonds available to us on a case-by-case basis if required.
Do your employees speak English?
Yes. All our employees speak English. For some of them, however, English is not their first language. We make sure that they have a certain level of conversational English as opposed to some companies where only the foreman speaks English.
What other questions should I ask for my protection?
As a homeowner, you want to protect and maintain your American Dream. We believe the more you know about your contractor and their services the better the return on your investment. That’s why it pays to ask the right questions. For more information review the PDCA’s Code of Ethics (PDF).
Do you give estimates over the phone?
No. We never give estimates over the phone. There are too many variables involved in the preparation, amounts and types of surfaces to be painted and more. We like to meet with our potential customers face-to-face and look at everything in person. We don’t want to leave anything to chance or build false expectations.
Do you do more than painting?
Yes. That’s the “Plus” you get with All American Painting Plus. We provide many additional services you may need besides painting, such as carpentry and handyman services, just to name a few. If we can’t provide a service, we won’t pretend that we can. If we can’t do it, however, we may know another professional who can. Just ask.
Your estimate was higher than some others we got. Why?
We are 100% legitimate and 100% professional. We adhere to all federal, state and local guidelines, regulations and laws. We put our employees’ safety first. We use 100% legitimate and verified labor. We use professional career painters and not people off the street. We offer a product and service that is second to none and always put the customer’s needs first. This is all the cost of doing good business.
What are your payment terms?
We require a 50% deposit and the other 50% payment upon completion of the job. We accept all major credit cards. You will not be required to make a final payment until you are 100% satisfied with the job. The deposit is not for materials, it is used to hold your spot on the schedule and show your intent. We have had people cancel their jobs at the last minute, costing us hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.
What brand of paint do you use?
We use Sherwin Williams for exterior work and Benjamin Moore for interior work. We get our best pricing with them and feel that they offer a solid product with the best value for the money. When we get better pricing, that savings can be passed on to the customer. We know that people have individual paint brands they prefer as well, so we are more than willing to use those brands.
Will there be a lot of paint fumes?
There will be some fumes, but they will be dissipated by the end of the workday. All products that we use are “low-odor,” which cuts down on fumes. There may be a slight “new paint smell,” but as far as fumes, they will not be in the air. Learn more about low or “no VOC” eco-friendly paints.
Should I buy the paint?
People ask this question all the time to see if they can save money. Generally, our paint cost is only marked up to cover the time it takes us to go get it. We pay less as professionals because we have accounts with the vendors, so you’ll probably pay less through us than you would if you walked in off the street. Plus, factor in what your personal time is worth.
Will you be spraying, brushing, or rolling the paint on?
Unless otherwise stated, ninety-five percent of our work is “brushed and rolled.” People prefer the look and we feel it is best suited for residential painting. Spraying paint can be extremely messy and damaging if not done correctly, especially outdoors in tight-knit neighborhoods.
What are the different paint sheens and where should I use them?
Paints are usually identified by their sheens. There is an array of paint sheens you can use for residential applications. Typical sheens for residential painting include semi-gloss, low sheen, satin, eggshell, matte and flat.
Semi-gloss is shiny and reflective. It provides maximum durability, is washable and can be scrubbed. It is stain and moisture resistant. The only drawback with semi-gloss paints is that they highlight drywall defects (thus more preparation) and do not touch up well. This paint is ideal for interior trim as well as kitchen, bathroom and laundry room walls and ceilings.
Low sheen, low luster, eggshell, pearl and satin are all fancy names for similar sheens. The sheen names vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. These finishes have a slight sheen and are less reflective then semi-gloss. Since their percentage of sheen varies, it is best to ask the manufacturer about the amount of sheen in them. These paints are washable and can be scrubbed. Again, the only drawback with these paints are that they highlight drywall defects (thus more preparation) and do not touch up well. This paint is ideal for high traffic areas like stairwells, hallways and kids rooms. It is typically used on walls.
Flat or matte is just what it sounds like. It has little to no sheen and appears flat and non-reflective. Flat paint hides imperfections in drywall well and can be touched up beautifully for years to come. The only downfall to flat paint is it is not as washable as some other paints. This paint is ideal for most common areas and is typically used on ceiling and walls.
Do you use latex or oil-based paints?
We primarily use latex paint. Today’s modern latex paints are the best choice for typical homeowner applications. Latex paints offer quick drying, a wider range of colors, better mildew resistance, better fade resistance and are environmentally responsible. The problem with solvent “oil” based paints is pollution. A gallon of solvent-based paint contains about 2 quarts of mineral spirits. These solvents evaporate into the air as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as the paint dries. Not only does it smell bad but it is unhealthy for you and bad for the environment. The bottom line is this: The technology has shifted so dramatically that your best choice in most situations will be latex paint. Eventually, latex may become your only choice.
Do you use eco-friendly paints?
The harmful stuff in paint is what they call VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds); most of the paints we use are either low VOC or no VOC, which means they’re pretty good for the environment and are well below acceptable VOC levels.
Will Brian, the owner and operator of AAPPlus, be on location for my job?
Although I have plenty of painting experience, my skills are better used by directing things off-site. Taking care of clients needs, getting jobs started on time, getting people where they need to be and generally making sure you have a seamless experience is what I do best. We have gone through painstaking measures to make sure we have experienced and trustworthy people on your job.
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Do I need to be at home during the job?
No. Again, we have been painstakingly thorough to assure that the people on our staff and those in and around your house are trustworthy. Background checks and random drug tests are performed to assure we have the right people for the job. And, in the unlikely event that anything were to happen, we are fully insured. So go to work or go about your daily routine. We are professionals so leave it up to us; we will even lock up when we’re finished.
We couldn’t be more pleased with the work All American Painting did for our home. The team did a wonderful job from start to finish, from sending us an incredibly detailed estimate so there was no guess work, to keeping the work area tidy throughout the project. We certainly will use them again! Cheers!
Brian McCracken was courteous, professional and a delight, amazing qualities in a worker you invite into your home. I found him painting a home in my neighborhood. The homeowner had checked him out on Angie’s List and ranted as to the professionalism of the workers. It was important to me that the company was local and not a big, franchised company. Brian’s estimate was spot on. When I added more to the job, Rene – the foreman – consulted with Brian to give me an estimate on the additional work. The painters arrived when they said they would, working efficiently and cleanly. At the end of each day, it looked like they were never here. All of their tools picked up. When they needed to leave the ladders they asked if it would be ok and where would be the best place to leave they were they would be out of our way. All American has come back 2 more times to tackle different jobs for us. I have recommended them to friends. And now recommend All American to you. You will not be disappoint
I want to thank you and your team for the work you did on my residence. The men showed up at the appointed time to replace and paint the fascia board. You recommended a change from wood to a more modern substance, which I accepted, at a negligible increase in the price for the job. Thank you for that. You should be extremely proud of the team that did the work. They worked quickly, safely, and without complaint from neighbors on either side of the townhouse. As you know, I have fastidious neighbors, that watched the work on that day, and they told me later, that your crew impressed them as well.
All American Painting Plus has been my “go to” company for over 10 years for home and office painting and I’ve been consistently satisfied with the finished product and their professionalism. I’ve found Brian McCracken’s staff to be exceptionally skilled craftsmen and can count on them to do the job well, including taking care to prepare walls and fix problem areas before they paint so that the finished product is polished. Please ask Brian for my contact information if you would like more specifics.