Exterior Paint: Making Your Home Look New Again

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One key to how long an exterior finish lasts is how well the surface is prepared. But equally important is the choice of the paint or stain itself. Using high-quality materials, matching them to your house and climate, and conducting regular maintenance will extend the time between coatings.

Acrylic latex paints

Acrylic latex is the favored choice, both of pros and do-it-yourselfer. These water-based paints come in an endless range of colors and three popular finishes. Flat paint, commonly used indoors, offers the least protection against the elements. Satin, with its slightly higher sheen, is a good choice for wood siding. Semi-gloss or gloss offers the most protection and works well on high-use areas like window and door trim.

Pros: Latex paints are easy to work with and clean up with water. The paint film remains flexible even after drying, so it breathes and moves slightly to accommodate changes in temperature, or even house settling, without cracking. In addition to wood, latex can also cover siding made of vinyl, aluminum, fiber cement, stucco, brick, and metal.

Cons: Unless you’re using “green” products, expect to smell paint fumes from the moment you open the can until the paint dries completely. These odors, produced by volatile organic compounds, are toxic in high quantities and give to air pollution.

In general, latex paint doesn’t bond well to previous coats of oil paint unless you prepare the surface very well. That means stripping nearly all the old paint off the wood first, a time-consuming and expensive job. It’s often smarter to stick with oil if you’ve got oil, and latex if you’ve got latex.

Oil-based paints

Oil paint, long prized for its durability, used to be the gold standard for exteriors and some high-traffic house trim such as handrails, doors, and floors. But these days it plays second fiddle to latex.

Pros: Oil paints dry hard and get harder with time. That makes them perfect for high-traffic uses: porch floors, steps, metal handrails, even your front door.

Cons: Over time, oil paint can become brittle and crack, producing an “alligator” look. (Some people actually like the effect.) Oil paint can never be applied on top of old latex paint; the two won’t bond properly.

Toxic solvents are required to clean brushes and other equipment that come in contact with oil paint. The average can of oil paint has more VOCs than a can of conventional latex paint. Low-VOC oil paint is available, but even these products contain more VOCs than low-VOC latex paint.

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Why Could a Home Short Sale Take Long to Be Approved?

There are a number of decision makers involved in a short sale. And it’s a fact – the more parties involved, the more complex the decision process becomes because all parties must be in alignment before a home can be sold. Image

  • Ultimately, the decision rests with the investor, who is the owner of the loan. For instance, most large bank own  a very low percentage of the loans they service. The higher percentage is owned by investors (Fannie, Freddie, FHA, private investors, etc.). Most of the time, banks are under contract to handle the servicing for those investors., so in those cases they are acting not as the owner but as the investor’s agent with their fiduciary interest in mind. Each of these investors will try to decrease their losses and their unique contractor guidelines must be followed.
  • In addition to the investors, there are other interested parties, too – such as mortgage insurance companies and second lien mortgages holders.