Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, January 14, 2012

MVNews this week:  Page 16



 Mountain Views News Saturday, January 14, 2012 

One Of A Kind: Featuring unique homes and gardens and the people who create them. Story by Chris Bertrand.Photos courtesy of Quality House Painters.

QUALITY HOUSE PAINTERS Repainting the San Gabriel Valley One House at a Time for 30+ Years 

Back in 1980, Todd 
Delahooke and David 
Andrews were seniors at 
Maranatha High School. 
Delahooke, who’s always 
lived in Sierra Madre, was 
busy painting apartments 
for his dad’s business 
in the off-school hours. 
Andrews, a “late comer” 
to the community, moved 
to Sierra Madre at age five. 

The two decided to make a business of painting 
houses. And the rest, as the saying goes, is history, 
with over 5000 homes painted across the San 
Gabriel Valley by the Quality House Painters 
(QHP) team over the last 31 years. 

Both continue to make the small city of 10,000 
their home to this day; their families living only 
a few blocks apart now after three decades as 
business partners in this close knit town. 

You’ll likely see the two around town, after a 
long day amid paint, bushes, scrapers and their 
newest equipment, a HEPA vacuum system. The 
QHP team even sent out their annual Christmas 
card sporting the new, bright yellow backpack 
system to control dust and contaminants from 
spreading through the air, by sucking up the 
particulate when sanding and scraping.

“We purchased it for safely removing toxic 
lead paint from buildings before repainting. 
Our customers love it for ALL our sanding 
and scraping applications now, not just the lead 
paint removal situations, because it leaves much 
less dust and debris at the job site,” remarked 

QHP is staying ahead of the curve, with this 
new equipment. “There are new regulations and 
certifications required to meet Environmental 
Protection Agency (EPA) standards (http://www. for sanding 
and removing lead paint from pre-1978 homes, 
but we’re finding that we’re using it for everything, 
even non-lead based paint on interiors and 
exteriors, because it keeps things so clean.” 

When asked about how to evaluate a painting 
company, Delahooke reflected, “Ask to take a 
look at a property that was done several years ago, 
not one completed last week. Take a look at how 
the work stands up.” Then he adds, “And always 
check that the company carries insurance, is 
licensed, bonded, has liability and workers comp.” 
Pretty important in an industry where a majority 
of the work is done up on a ladder, on a roof, and 
with wet and potentially messy materials. 

“Our specialty is repainting projects. Though 
we often work with designers and architects, 
and occasionally work on new construction, 
we love working directly with the homeowner 
who is repainting their home, or part of it.” 
We feel we have a better handle on our direct 
communications with clients, scheduling and 
quality control in these situations, and we love 
helping our customers choose colors and finishes 
based on our decades of experience,” smiled 

“Unfortunately, “he continued, “contractors 
generally have the reputation for being difficult 
to reach when necessary, and to pin down to a 
deadline. On the contrary, it is important to us 
that our clients can reach us easily and can expect 
us to be punctual.”

QHP does large color samples on every job, as 
part of their color consultations, so homeowners 
can view and decide from the real color on the 
real walls, as opposed to a color chart or small 
chip from the paint manufacturer. This also helps 
with matching an older paint job to a new one due 
to repair or other circumstances. 

As far as paint products, Delahooke remarked, 
“Paints have changed over the past five years. 
Paint companies are changing their products due 
to requirements from Air Quality Management 
District (AQMD) and the EPA. A vast majority of 
the products we use now are water based materials 
with low VOC from the painter’s vernacular, 
meaning low volatile organic compounds.”

 “We always keep current on those changes 
in order to provide highest quality materials for 
our clients. There are green low to zero VOC 
products, and that affects how the paint stands 
up. Low VOC application is easier and much 
less costly than zero VOC paint, which is very 
expensive.” Those who are very sensitive to 
chemicals are typically those who opt for the zero 
VOC products, according to Delahooke.

In their over 5000 homes painted, their 
biggest projects were an all white application to 
a 10,000 square foot Victorian and parts of the 
Wrigley Mansion, now the headquarters for the 
Tournament of Roses executive offices. 

Reflected Delahooke, “At the Wrigley Mansion, 
it was all about the colors, the detail work like 
crown molding and lots of this to cover and be 
careful of, especially with debris and dust! Detail 
and craftsmanship are important to us.” 

QHP works primarily by word of mouth 
referral from their bank of successful clients, 
though you might see their advertising bench in 
front of Dunn Edwards Paint in Pasadena. Client 
who have lost our number, have been known to 
drive over there to jot down our phone number!” 
Ummmm…. I was one of them!

Quality House Painters can be reached 
at 626-355-5453 or visit their website: www. 

Keep Your 

Deer Free

Deer damage to ornamental plants is an 
increasing problem. Deer populations in 
neighborhoods have grown rapidly due to 
abandoned farms, hunting restrictions and 
suburban sprawl. And they are dining on 
expensive suburban landscapes – especially 
in areas with heavy snowfall in the woods. In 
those areas, front and backyard plantings can 
serve as easy winter forage.

“Deer are selective feeders that eat leaves from 
flowers, shrubs and ornamental trees,” explains 
Tchukki Andersen, staff arborist with the Tree 
Care Industry Association. “Damage to larger 
trees can extend up to 7 feet off the ground.”

In some areas, deer damage peaks in winter 
when snow cover reduces the food supply. Most 
areas with overpopulated deer herds experience 
problems year-round. The availability of 
natural food sources and the taste preferences of 
individual deer make deer-proofing a difficult 
task in many areas.

“Deer will eat almost any plant rather than 
starve,” says Andersen, “so damage control 
measures will be needed in addition to careful 
plant selection. Use of fencing and repellents 
can help control deer damage to landscapes.”

A fence is the most effective control against 
deer damage. An 8-foot fence is generally 
sufficient to deter deer, and lower fences can 
work if they slant away from your yard. Tree 
protectors (pictured at left) or shelters also 
prevent deer from browsing on young trees. 
Made of polypropylene tubing, plastic tree wrap 
or woven-wire mesh cylinders, netting can be 
used to protect individual or group plantings. 
The netting can be left on year-round if it’s 
attached loosely at the base to allow for plant 
growth, but should be monitored frequently.

Repellents may help deter deer, but they do 
not eliminate damage completely. Homemade 
repellents include rotting eggs (mix two eggs 
with a gallon of water and spray the mixture 
on ornamentals). The eggs rot on the plants 
and the smell repels deer. Human hair hung in 
mesh bags makes a simple repellent. Hang the 
hair bags on the outer branches of trees about a 
yard apart, and replace them monthly. Bars of 
strong-smelling soap hung in the same way will 
also work. This is a good way to make use of all 
those aromatic Christmas gift soaps you don’t 
plan to use. Repellents containing predator 
urine or spray-on, soap-based mixtures usually 
only last a few weeks, depending on the weather.

Once deer taste your garden, it is difficult to 
rid them of the habit. Replacing your current 
mix of trees and shrubs with plants that are 
less appealing will help move the herd along to 
other sites. The Tree Care Industry Association 
recommends planting trees that have a history 
of surviving areas of heavy deer activity, such 

Best trees

Bottlebrush buckeye, downy serviceberry, 
shadbush, Allegheny serviceberry, pinion pine, 
Chinese paper birch, ‘heritage’ heritage birch, 
paper birch, Japanese false cypress, Japanese 
cedar and Colorado blue spruce.

Best shrubs and climbers

Larger, tall shrubs tend to withstand deer 
browsing better than low-growing ones because 
they have more leaves, making them able to 
withstand some defoliation, and taller plants 
are out of reach. Try these shrubs: bearberry, 
pawpaw, boxwood, caryopteria, American 
bittersweet, red osier dogwood, Japanese plum-
yew, creeping wintergreen, John T. Morris 
holly, Lydia Morris hollies, leucothoe, European 
privet, Japanese andromeda, Virginia creeper, 
blueberry elder, dwarf sweet Christmas box, 
and rose of Sharon.

Check with your local garden center or tree 
care company for a list of trees and shrubs in 
your area that are the least appealing to deer.

What can you do?

The best advice is to hire a tree care 
professional with the experience, expertise 
and equipment to safely take down or prune 
damaged trees. Require proof of liability 
insurance and check to see if the cost of the work 
is covered by your insurance company. Contact 
the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA), a 
public and professional resource on trees and 
arboriculture since 1938. It has more than 2,000 
member companies who recognize stringent 
safety and performance standards and who are 
required to carry liability insurance. TCIA has 
the nation’s only Accreditation program that 
helps consumers find tree care companies that 
have been inspected and accredited based on: 
adherence to industry standards for quality and 
safety; maintenance of trained, professional 
staff; and dedication to ethics and quality in 
business practices. An easy way to find a tree 
care service provider in your area is to use the 
“Locate Your Local TCIA Member Companies” 
program. You can use this service by calling 
1-800-733-2622 or by doing a ZIP Code search 



If you own or plan to purchase a home, then 
you know that insurance is not just a luxury, it’s 
a requirement. While you should not skimp on 
certain coverage items, there are some steps you 
can take to reduce your overall premium.

If you have a security system installed (and 
operating!), you might lower your premium by 
5% or more. You’ll just need to provide your 
insurer with a copy of your contract or latest 
statement. Also, while newer homes have smoke 
alarms already installed, hooking them up in an 
older home might also reduce your premium by 
as much as 10%.

Just like health or auto insurance, if you 
increase your deductible on homeowners 
insurance, you’ll reduce your premium. Just be 
sure you’re prepared to pocket smaller repairs 
like broken windows or damages from leaks.

If your policy is held by a company that 
also offers auto or health insurance, look into 
discounts for multiple policies. You could save a 
percentage on both your homeowners and auto 
policies, for example.

Another money (and time and stress) saver 
is to document everything in your home with 
a photographic inventory. Store photos, cds or 
videos in a fireproof box or, preferably, a safe 
deposit box off site. This will reduce the time 
and effort required to complete a claim, and 
guarantee an accurate replacement payment.

“Luther Tsinoglou has been practicing real 
estate since 1992. He specializes in residential 
and residential income properties in Sierra 
Madre and the surrounding coomunities. Luther 
can be reached at (626)695-8650 or at Luther@