Great Expectations Painting

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Helpful Gardening Tips Blooming Now!

Helpful Gardening Tips Blooming Now

Helpful Gardening Tips Blooming Now!Welcome to our gardening tips with the painters! This week, we have a few great more tips for getting ready for the spring weather! Enjoy!

Gardening is generally a relaxing and therapeutic hobby. When it comes to gardening there are some basic “need to know” things such as: knowing your soils, which equipment to use and the time frame for planting your seeds. This article contains important information for anyone wanting to begin a garden.

Do not improperly lay your new sod. You will need to prepare your lawn soil before laying the sod. Get rid of weeds and tilth the soil finely. Compress the soil lightly yet firmly, and make certain it’s flat. You then will want to thoroughly wet the soil. Then lay the sod in staggered rows so the joints are offset. Press the sod down firmly so that the surface is flat and even. If there are gaps remaining, fill them with a bit of soil. Water the sod every day for a couple of weeks. Then it should be rooted well and ready for foot traffic.

Helpful Gardening Tips Blooming Now!Healthy soil will be your best defense against the pests that can invade your garden. Healthy plants grown in robust and enriched soil have an advantage in fighting pest infestation. To boost your garden’s prospects of giving you the healthiest possible plants, make sure you begin with premium soil devoid of salt-accumulating chemicals.

If powdery mildew appears on your plants, don’t purchase expensive chemical solutions. Mix some baking soda and a very small amount of liquid soap into water. Spray this mixture on your plants weekly until the mildew is gone. Baking soda won’t harm your plants, and takes care of the mildew efficiently and gently.

All plants need an adequate supply of carbon dioxide in order to thrive. With a high level of CO2 plants will grow much better. A great way to reach these CO2 levels is through a greenhouse. CO2 levels are usually kept high to get the best growing situation for your plants.

It is a good idea to invest in a good pair of knee pads, made specifically for gardening. They can be very helpful when working close to the ground on low-growth plants. Long hours tending your garden can leave your knees sore and achy. Having a pair of excellent knee pads for gardening can help cushion the knees to provide additional comfort.

If you want the best tasting vegetables, learn about the optimum time to harvest them. Each kind of vegetable should be picked at a specific point for maximum flavor. For instance, peas and zucchinis are tastiest when picked young. Tomatoes, however, should be plucked from the vine the moment they appear ripe. Find out what the best harvest time is for your vegetables.

Don’t use broad-spectrum pesticides in the garden. These pesticides can also kill useful insects that eat your pests. The helpful insects in your garden can be highly sensitive to pesticides and if their population goes down, the harmful insect population will grow. You will need even more pesticides to deal with the problem, and it will never really go away.

Gardening is very rewarding, but only after one has the tools and know-how to do it effectively. If you have the proper advice and you plan out your garden correctly, your garden can grow quickly. A beautiful garden requires the right tools, soil, water and sunlight.

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Don’t Have a Green Thumb?

Don’t Have A Green Thumb? Gardening Tips with the Painters!

Don't Have a Green Thumb?Usually on the Great Expectations Blog, we write a LOT about painting/paint care and etc. With spring finally preparing to sneak out in the next few months, we wanted to lighten up a little and get back to our roots, literally! Over the next few weeks, we will be providing some great tips for preparing your garden as the spring weather saves us from winter. Here are a few gardening tips to get you started! Enjoy!

Pay close attention to your organic garden, and take the absolute best care of it that you possibly can. Gardeners need to use all the information they can to create and tend to their organic garden. Your goal should be to grow healthy, happy and delicious organic products. Follow these tips to make your organic garden stand out above the rest.

Use the handles of your tools as a handy ruler when doing your outdoor chores. Tools with long handles, such as rakes, hoes, and shovels can be converted into handy measuring sticks. Simply lay the handles out on the floor and run a measuring tape next to them. With a permanent marker, note pertinent measurements on the tool handle. This modified ruler will serve you well as you begin working in your garden.

Don't Have a Green Thumb?Remove your garden’s weeds! If you’re not careful, weeds can take over your beautiful garden, ruining it. To aid in this venture, you might want to use white vinegar. White vinegar kills weeds. Mix white vinegar and water into a spray bottle instead of pulling the weeds by hand.

Don’t cut your grass down by the soil when you run the mower. If you leave your grass kind of high, your roots will be deeper and your lawn will be stronger and not dry out. Cutting your grass too short will cause it to dry out and turn brown in patches throughout your yard.

Make sure you protect any tender deciduous shrubs. Cold weather significantly affects these plants, especially if they are in pots. Tie the tops together, and loosely cover the wigwam with a blanket or sheet. This is more effective than putting plastic on the plant, it will let the air flow.

Split up irises. You can divide those overgrown clumps and increase the amount of irises you have. Lift the dead bulbous irises. They will literally split in your hand, flowering the next year after replanting. Make use of a knife to split up rhizomes. Throw away the center after carefully cutting new sprouts from the exterior. There needs to be a minimum of one healthy offshoot on each of the new sprout sections. Replant the new shoots right away.

Don't Have a Green Thumb?There are several all-natural ways to keep pests out of your garden, including certain plants. A good way to keep slugs away is to create a border with onions around a garden with vegetables. Marigolds would do this trick as well. Wood ash also makes a great insect deterrent; simply use it as mulch around your shrub and tree seedlings. These methods prevent use of harsh chemicals.

Take the time to place organic mulch in the area around your vegetable plants. The mulch will help keep the soil moist for longer periods of time. In addition, it will keep the weeds from growing. You will benefit by not having to spend so much time fighting weed growth.

By having an organic garden, you will be providing yourself with much fresher and more nutritious produce. It does take work and patience, but all is worth it come mealtimes that include your organic, homegrown produce.

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Our Great Expectations for the new year!

Great Expectations for the new yearThis week, we wanted to cover our Great Expectations for the new year! Having finally put the lid on last painting season, we can take a breather and prepare for the new year! Being a painting contractor in Coeur d’Alene, this winter was killer. It was so cold even by North Idaho Standards! The extra winter time means the painting season is going to be rushed right into summer, with not enough painting to go around! This year, we expect to paint 30% more houses, and have about 6 painting crews, ensuring we can get even more jobs completed!

We really stepped up our commercial building game this last year! We had the pleasure of painting some of the most iconic buildings in Coeur d’Alene! The Beacon is a local night life institution, and they needed a pick-me-up. We got all the doors, windows, and the bar freshly painted and looking amazing! Next time your feeling a classy martini, stop in and enjoy the amazing space on downtown Sherman! We also got to paint the interior space for the Hayden Verizon Wireless dealer! They hadn’t painted the interior of the space for almost a decade, and with their new remodel wanted to freshen up the look. All the colors and style are set by corporate, and we enjoyed every minute of working with their installation teams!

Great Expectations for the new yearWe painted a TON of exteriors last year! The most ever for Great Expectations Painting! We had a few customers that loved the work so much, we painted practically the entire neighborhoods in coeur d’Alene and Hayden.

As we move towards the new year, we plan to keep goals and expectations huge! With the economy starting to turn, its easy to see the excitement and success of everyone prepping in 2017! We look forward to seeing what this year holds for us as we prepare for a gangbuster 2017!

Happy New Year
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Happy New Year North Idaho!

We want to be the first to wish you a Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year from Great Expectations Painting! We have survived the presents, food and family. Now its time to look forward! Have some New Years resolutions to break? Finally going to start saving for that new car? That vacation to Hawaii going to happen? Part of what makes the New Year so much fun is the planning! Trying to keep resolutions to make yourself a better person is super fun and exciting. It usually doesn’t work, but “the thrill is in the hunt.”

While we don’t want to dampen you spirits at all (and chances are you might still be a bit hungover so we will keep it pretty simple), have you considered planning your home maintenance yet? Most local businesses (ours included. we aren’t any different!) are light on work coming out of the holiday season, and its the best time of year to search for deals! A Nu-Look Carpet Cleaning offers premier cleaning services in Coeur d’Alene and Hayden. They offer great discounts throughout the cold months. Im sure there are countless others as well. We also offer a discount on our bids for work in spring. If your looking to save some cash, make hiring home specialists a priority during the winter months. It will save you some serious money!Happy New Year!

This past year we have been blogging pretty consistently. As our audience increases, we would love to get feedback on additional content you would like to see on our blog. If you have painting questions, or general home repair questions, let us know! We would love to keep the insightful helpful content flowing!

This year we are excited to see what is in store for North Idaho! We love painting, and expect this to be our greatest year yet! Thanks again to all our great customers, and we can’t wait to see you in 2017!

Happy New Year!

 

Christmas
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All We Want for Christmas!

ChristmasChristmas time is here again! Other then being the starting words to a great song, everybody loves Christmas time! The Great Expectations Team wanted to take just a minute this week, and reflect on a few to the things we are thankful for this season. As always, we would love to thank our fantastic customers. You are all the reasons we are here! 2016 was our best year yet, and we are so thankful for you all! This year we painted almost 100 home interiors, exteriors and businesses. That is a LOT of painting (almost double our total last year). We have been so busy that we are still painting our hearts out, hoping the hard work will keep us warm. Thanks again for the great year!

Another Christmas gift we have this year is time with our families. Beyond the presents, traveling, and food, we love the chance to spend a bit of extra time with the family! With all the “glamour” that surrounds the holidays, it is really easy to forget the important stuff! This holiday season, make sure and spend a bit of quality time with the family! While the kids will want presents (of course, what is Santa for???), your parents will just be glad to see you. Trust us, we know!

ChristmasAs for our Christmas gift? If anyone asks us, its warmer weatherThe boss’s family lives in North Dakota. The web guys family lives in North Idaho. Our painters all live up here as well. ITS SO COLD! Our Christmas gift this year involves drinking some Pina Colada’s on a beach somewhere toasty. We would also settle for the middle of the Oregon coast, far enough to avoid the Californians. There are tons of cool things to do down there, biggest of which is not freeze to death!

We love you guys, and thanks for the great year. We wish you and your family all the best this holiday season. Remember to enjoy the time you have together opening presents and eating. Family is what its all about! We will see you all next year

~The Great Expectations Painting Team

driving
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North Idaho Weather Preparation: Driving

When driving in the winter, you need to take some extra steps to ensure your safety! Winter gets super cold up here, and being prepared can make the difference in a winter storm. In the past few weeks we have covered your home and family. This week we will give you a few helpful tips to ensure you stay safe while driving this winter!

  1. drivingWinterize your vehicle.  While some cars and trucks require special care (anything that gets cold and requires diesel will fall into this category), most gas powered vehicles don’t require much winterizing. Keep your gas tank full, and make sure switch your wiper fluid to “cold weather.” Depending on how cold it can be where you live, you might also look into specialty fluids, although they are almost never needed. Keep the tank full, and you will be fine!
  2. Put together a supply kit. With ample space in our car trunks, you should make sure and have an emergency supply kit whenever you are driving. The sell these in most big box stores for about 20.00, but if you want to put together your own, most contain the following:
    1. Emergency blanket and heat packs
    2. Water (at least a 3 day supply)
    3. Food (non perishable, easy to heat)
    4. A flashlight
    5. Basic Medication
    6. Multi-Purpose tool
    7. Extra Cash
    8. Warm clothes.
  3. Be Careful. Now, we know we’re not your mom, however someone needs to say it! No matter how much experience you have driving in the snow and cold, you need to be careful. Ice makes it very dangerous to drive in the winter time and you can never really be sure how much ice is on the road. Just make sure your paying attention (put away the cell phone) and you aren’t driving to fast. While there are tons of “tips” for winter weather, nothing can compensate for being careful and using common sense!

As we get closer to Christmas and the holidays, the Great Expectations team wants to give you a warm seasons greetings, and stay safe this holiday season!

North Idaho Weather
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North Idaho Weather Preparation: Family

Normally on the Great Expectations blog, we talk painting.

North Idaho WeatherWe really do love painting. Helping people meet their interior/exteior designing dreams, while ensuring a job done right brings a huge smile to our faces. When we come up with our “avoid horrible things” tips, they are heartfelt and really will save your painting job. Everyone once in a while (as a painter, every once in a while means “winter”) we like to pause and reflect on the important parts of life. Your home, cars, pets, sure…however family is where the heart truly lies! This week rather then telling you the best way to keep your paint safe, we are going to give you some warm cozy advice for prepping for winter! If one blog post isn’t enough for your cold weather preparedness needs, feel free to check out this great resource here. They have a ton of useful information in their years of archives!

Cold Weather Tips

  1. North Idaho WeatherKeep an ear out for winter weather warnings. The National Weather Service does a fantastic job warning people about dangerous winter weather. There are typically 2 different danger designations: Winter Storm warnings, and Blizzard Warnings. A winter storm typically includes snow fall and ice buildup, predicted to hit in the next 24-48 hours. A Blizzard warning means there will be whiteout conditions within 3 hours. You will want to avoid traveling during a blizzard warning, but usually have some time to prepare for a winter storm. During the winter storm, make sure and avoid extreme physical exertion, and creating body sweat. If the cold sticks around, it will be difficult for you to get dry again! Plan to stay inside with the family. Play a game or watch tv, it will be safer in the long run!
  2. There are a few items you will always want to have on hand as you prepare for North Idaho Weather. Rock salt (or something more environmentally friendly) is a must! You will also want sand for traction, and a snow shovel for clearing off your walkways. We also keep a box in the garage that includes extra blankets and warm clothes for the family. While loosing electricity is uncommon, it has happened before! The name of the game in preparedness is preparation. Making sure you have just a few items prepared will keep you and your family safer this winter!
  3. North Idaho WeatherDon’t forget about the pets! When the cold hits, make sure to bring your pets inside and out of the storm. We know people have outside animals (chickens, horses, goats, etc) and they have an innate sensibility about being outside. Dogs and cats however, have lost the natural survival ability, and will typically need to be brought inside! Don’t leave your best friend outside in the cold!
  4. Make a family emergency plan. This is the most important single step in North Idaho Weather preparation! Telling your family where to be and what to do in case of a storm ensures everyone stays safe!

We hope our few winter prep tips have been helpful to your family! Just remember to stay safe as we move into the winter months. You won’t regret putting just a little bit of work into keeping your family safe. Take care, and enjoy Christmas!

~The Great Expectations Painting Team

North Idaho Weather Preparation
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North Idaho Weather Preparation: Home

cold-air-freezing-chillyNorth Idaho weather preparation is important to ensure your home remains undamaged throughout the cold months. Up here it tends to get cold really quickly and this year will be no different (although it did stay warm for an extended amount of time!
Taking just a few steps to winterize your home can have a dramatic impact on your siding, decks, and paint! Here are just a few tips North Idaho weather preparation tips!

Prepare your home for winter!

  1. Check your Attic! Before the cold hits is a great time to check for leaks, and proper ventilation. It is WAY to hot to crawl up in the attic during the summer months, yet the winter months are great for attic maintenance. Make sure your home is 100% ready for winter with a quick trip “up north.”
  2. Clean out the gutters. They do a great job of keeping rain off your house, however of leaves and gunk will accumulate in there! Make sure and get it all out by hiring a professional, or getting the kids on the ladders. This will help keep your gutters from breaking when the winter snow hits and puts additional stress on them!
  3. Stop putting off the extra insulation! Throwing some more insulation in the attic, or finishing the basement will keep your family warmer, AND put more money in the bank. Its a win-win!
  4. Blow out your sprinklers. DON’T FORGET TO GET YOUR SPRINKLERS CLEARED! For 30.00, a professional will make sure your system is drained of water. If you forget (or are to lazy, it happens) you will be looking at a 1500+ dollar bill come spring time! Save yourself a serious headache and get those sprinklers cleared!
  5. Consider a water heater blanket. Depending on the placement of your home’s water heater, a blanket might be a great investment. Consult with your nearest home expert on whether you would benefit from a hot water heater blanket!
  6. Close the fireplace flue! It costs tons of energy to keep it open, especially when there isn’t a fire!

We could spend the rest of the weekend writing small tips, but these are the biggies. Feel free to ask the guys at Home Depot for their advice too! New products and ideas show up on the market all the time! Enjoy your weekend, and get ready for turkey day!

~The Great Expectations Painting Team

Hobbies
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Hobbies

Hobbies: Finding something to do when there is nothing to do!

HobbiesDo you need a hobby to fill in some spare time during your day? Many different hobbies are available, including scrapbooking, woodworking and cooking. If you are excited enough about your new hobby, you can consider turning it into a career. Keep reading to find some great information on various hobbies.

Use your favorite hobby to balance the load in your life. When we do nothing but work, either at the office, around the home, or with children, we deprive ourselves of necessary relaxation and creativity. Set aside time every week during which you can partake of your favorite hobby, and the rest of your obligations will feel less burdensome.

Develop online and real life relationships with people who share your interests. Having a hobby can open you up to a whole new group of friends. Share your talents and experiences while learning from others who engage in this common hobby. You may even be able to expand current friendships through this new shared interest.

Before you decide to turn your hobby into a business, do the math. Estimate how much you will need as start-up capital, working capital and the amount you will need to keep going in the beginning until the business takes off. This will give you a good budget and you will be secure financially before you start.

Choose a hobby that contrasts with what you do at work. If you have a boring, mind-numbing job, choose an intellectual hobby. If your job involves making a lot of important decisions, choose a hobby that allows you to work with your hands to create something or exercise for increased health benefits.

HobbiesSet aside time for your hobby. A lot of people wish they had more time to spend with their hobbies, but the truth is that you simply must make time for it. Put your hobby in your schedule at the beginning of the week, and work around it as much as you can.

If you are looking for a new hobby, reading is one of the most inexpensive hobbies that you can have. To read a great book all you need is a membership to your local library. Most community libraries are free to join provided that you live in the community’s area. Simply sign up for a card and you are free to borrow as many books as you like.

It is wonderful to find a new hobby. It is an activity that you can do in your spare time, and devote as much or as little time to as you want. A hobby allows you personal expression, the opportunity to meet people, and possibly some extra money. Keep these tips in mind to help.

Late Season Painting
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Late Season Painting

Late Season Painting: How late should you paint?

Late Season Painting

Every year we do late season painting. We always get clients who are trying to avoid the rush of summer, and push their painting back until fall. We wanted to give just a couple tips to our blog readers on how late to paint! The most important part of late season painting (of course) is the weather! Modern paint is quite adaptable to damage once it has dried, however you need to be careful with late season applications. To much humidity will not allow the paint to adhere to the surface, which can cause peeling. Painting if its to cold, won’t allow the paint to fully develop and adhere, potentially affecting the paints seal on your home. If you are going to paint late in the season, it needs to be a non humid, sunny day (or few days)!

Use High Quality Paint.

Late Season PaintingRegardless of the exterior temperature, the exterior painting will correctly adhere with the weather on your side. Plan to pain when the forecast looks beautiful and the weather looks nominal. When you are late season painting, you need to use higher quality paint. Cheaper paint doesn’t have the sealing or adaptable of high quality paint. When your are looking to paint late in the season, the paint needs to be able to adapt to the exterior temperature and still properly apply. Higher quality paint is designed to adhere in different temperatures, and won’t have peeling the way a cheaper paint will.

Start Early!

The last tip is to only take on short projects. No matter what you do, dew will develop later at night in temperatures under 50 degrees. This means you NEED to have your project done 4 hours prior to the evening. The secret is to start REALLY EARLY! Sprayed paint will only take a few hours to dry, especially after the priming coat. Getting done mid afternoon with proper drying time will get the paint to really stick, even with late season painting. We could go on for hours, but these few basic tips should keep you out of trouble as the season develops. Good luck and get ready for the snow!