The proper order for your projects

It is not uncommon for my customers to undertake a number of home improvement projects a the same time. For example, they may have their roof replaced and the exterior painted. Or they may have their flooring replaced and the interior painted. Doing these projects in the proper order can save money and provide for a better job in the end.

On exterior projects, it is best to replace the roof first. The removal of existing shingles, as well as the placement of ladders, can often result in damage to fascia boards and siding.

Similarly, landscaping should be done after painting. Doing so will provide easier access to the surfaces to be painted, as well as eliminate potential damage to the freshly planted shrubbery and flowers.

On interior projects, the proper order can be even more important, particularly when new flooring is a part of the project. However, the order will be determined by the type of flooring to be installed.

As a general rule, it is best to remove any existing flooring prior to painting. The removal process can often create significant dust, and in the case of tile, flying debris can cause damage to walls and woodwork. The removal of carpet can cause damage to baseboards, and walls can be easily scuffed. An alternative to completely removing carpet is to cut away a few inches adjacent to the baseboards. Not only will this eliminate damage to the freshly painted surface, it will allow us to paint the baseboard below the carpet line.

It is generally best to install new tile, wood, or laminate floorings prior to painting. Even with the most extreme care, installers can easily mar freshly painted surfaces.

Wood flooring presents a unique problem. The installation process requires substantial sanding, and the dust can accumulate on the walls. Removing the dust from a freshly painted wall can easily damage the paint. Consequently, it is best to have the floors installed and sanded prior to painting.

Having the floors completed prior to painting however, presents challenges to the painting crew. As with paint, the freshly applied polyurethane on the floor can be easily damaged, even with the use of drop cloths and other protection. Consequently, it is best to have the painting performed before the floors are completely finished.

At the completion of the painting, the flooring company can apply their final protective coatings and install shoe moulding. With the proper care, no damage will be done to the freshly painted surfaces.

Following the proper order can require careful coordination between the home owner and contractors. But in the end you will wind up with a better looking job.