Doug’s Story

Doug’s Story

Doug's Story

In a trade like ours, that sense of purpose and place is uncommon, and its presence goes a long way to understanding why we love what we do, where we do it, those with, and for whom we do it.” – Doug Imhoff

“…and we headed out for Denver”.

A Minnesota boy – that mythical place many have come to know by listening to the Prairie Home Companion – is my birthplace. I grew up in Windom, a small farm town in the southwest corner of the state. I was not a farm boy, I was a town kid; our family owned a Happy Chef restaurant and my first job was washing dishes on Saturdays & Sundays. Dad told me when he hired me that if I worked hard, he’d pay me $1.00/hr! For 4 hours every weekend day I worked hard, but never made more than $3.50 for it – I now know he was teaching me a lesson on how to reach and strive toward perfection – well done Dad. I also worked for local farmers who would hire town kids to work in the fields picking rocks, walking beans, and de-tasseling corn. By 1985, the farm economy was in the tank and because most of the town was in some way moored in agriculture – and suffering along with the farmers – our restaurant closed. At that we had a big, “Now what?” moment in the family. Having vacationed often in Colorado, my folks decided it was as good a place as any, and we headed out for Denver.

so elegant!

It took 5 years to meet my wife – my brother and I were the new kids in town, we were both finishing up high school when we moved to Denver. We didn’t know anybody, so we spent our spare time exploring the city – this was our first time living in a city so we had lots of adventures. Our favorite hangout soon became the old Celebrity Sports Center on Colorado Blvd, where we played billiards almost every night of the week (after homework & chores were done, of course). There was another group of high school kids that were also nightly fixtures in the billiard room and I instantly became enamored with one of them; she would cross one foot over the other when lining up her shot – so elegant! Of course, her boyfriend was always at her side, and being a well-mannered Midwestern boy, I did not interfere.

A few months after graduation, she suddenly stopped coming to the billiard room and I assumed she went off to college somewhere. Not feeling I was ready for college quite yet, I went to work for Rockmount Ranch Wear in Denver. After a couple of years working, I decided that I was ready to start college after all – that autumn began attending Metro State College in Denver.

On the very first day of my English 102 class, at the beginning of my 2nd semester, it was raining very hard and I had just come from work, my clothes were soaked but luckily I had galoshes on so my shoes were dry. Sitting in the seat right in front of me was a very large Vietnamese guy who at once turned to face me, looked down at my galoshes and asked if I would trade them for his leather jacket – I thought he was crazy. We struck up a conversation and by the time class was over I had traded overshoes for jacket, and had made a friend.

My new friend, Viet, and I hung out a lot, mostly at in the library or campus coffee shop. One day, Viet invited me to a Vietnamese coffee shop down on South Federal Boulevard in Denver. He wanted to introduce me to his brother and teach me how to play Chinese chess. And, he said, “There’s a really cute waitress down there.” As you have probably guessed, it was her! Fortune smiled on us and after 5 years our paths crossed again and Khanh and I fell in love. In 1994 we married, shortly thereafter our first daughter, Alexandra, was born.

Inauspicious beginnings…

I was working 3 part-time jobs (2 restaurants & banquet) and Khanh was working, too; we were busy new parents. One Saturday afternoon, over bowls of pho, Khanh’s father (Daddy) asked me if I’d like to work for him – he said he would pay me $400 a week and I could learn his trade – remodeling. I was ready for a change, so it was an easy choice. What I didn’t know at the time was that Daddy’s remodeling business was, like Daddy, imported. In Vietnam, as in much of the world, remodeling is done according to the remodelers’ skill – and the resources available, but not necessarily by any set of codes or rules – immigrant style.

I learned something of that on my first day on the job; I was given an address and told to be there at 7:30 AM, the address was in a strip mall where we would be fitting out a new Chinese restaurant in one of the open pads. I walked in a little after 7, nobody greeted or even noticed me, it looked like I’d walked into a pre-day job huddle – over a set of drawings maybe? There were 5 or 6 men huddled in a circle in the middle of the bare room, I approached and peered between 2 of them and what I saw was to be my first experience with culture shock. There, on the concrete floor, was the carcass of a deer and a man sawing it into pieces with an old-fashioned hand saw while the others held it steady. One of them had struck the deer with his car on the way to work that morning, and being resourceful, family oriented, team-spirited immigrants, they were dividing it up among them – hair, hoofs and all. By 8:00 the mess had vanished, the meat was safely in their cars, and work had begun. This was the most resetting cultural novelty of many I would experience over the next few years working with Daddy. And I learned a lot about a great many facets of remodeling too – but none of what I learned was in any way advanced, especially where the painting was concerned.

After a time, Daddy wanted to move back to Little Saigon (Garden Grove and Westminster, CA) where the weather was always nice, and where his Vietnamese friends had settled.

Go West Young Man.

Back to Minnesota – Right about then, Dad (mine), called. He was in Eagan Minnesota and had started a painting company that was growing fast and he needed help. I told dad that I would ask my wife, but that I didn’t hold out too much hope. So, one day out of the blue I asked Khanh, “Do you want to go live in Minnesota for awhile?” A question, which, I know, left out a lot of important information. She said, “Sure.”

So, we moved from Colorado to Minnesota. In 1996, I started work for Imhoff Painting Co., in Eagan, MN. It was great; I loved working with my folks, John & Mary, and my brothers, Ben and Steve. And life in Minnesota was good: great neighbors, nice people, lush, beautiful summers, cabin at the lake, snowmobiling, sledding & ice fishing – just like real Minnesotans! In 2000, our second daughter, Hannah, was born. About that time Khanh’s sister moved from Illinois back to Colorado, making 2 (of 6) siblings now living back in Denver. Shortly thereafter, one of her brothers moved from California, back to Colorado, making 3. Meanwhile, in the family business, we began to experience what many family businesses do: discord. And, it began to feel a little bit like every family event became a board meeting; with Mom, Dad, and sons all in the company, no matter what we did as a family, it always felt a bit like work. We had moved to Minnesota to be near family, and work pulled us in so close that family had to get in the back seat. One day, after about 9 years living in MN, Khanh mentioned that she wouldn’t mind moving back to Denver. I felt I owed her one, so I said why not – I was ready for a change too.

Go West young man – redux. In 2005, we moved the family back to Denver. Khanh & I started Imhoff Painting Inc., she was the brains & central nervous system, and I was the rainmaker & hunter-gatherer. It was grand! We grew quickly from a 2-person family run business to over 14 painter employees! Then, over one month in autumn 2008, it all stopped. Just like that– I was back in the tools, by myself, and Khanh was once again running a 2-person company. Right about then another sister moved back to Colorado (this one from WA), which made 5 of 6 siblings back in their hometown, Denver. It’s important to note that in each of their cases it was by invitation of one sister that the others moved back – the invitation was to move home and join the local company she had spent a decade working for – a great company with excellent benefits and opportunity for advancement. It was with this inducement, 3 of them had moved family & stuff.

 

 

Imhoff Painting Inc. made it through the hardest years of 2009-10 and grew slowly through 2011-12. But it was clear that if things were ever going to return to normal, they would do so very, very slowly. About then, Khanh, too, was invited to join the company where her 4 siblings worked. She was hired and I then became sole owner/operator of Imhoff Painting Inc. Just in time, too. Khanh and I had begun to experience the same symptoms that had years before driven us from Minnesota – our family time was overshadowed by business, especially at dinner time – just when the day ends and we come together as a family, there were always important work items that snuck into and swallowed up family time. Looking back, it is obvious that for us, change seemed always to arrive when we were most receptive to it; and so it always seemed so natural to us.

…why we love what we do, where we do it, those with, and for whom we do it.

 

Things picked up along the way – Of the many things I did not see coming, one of the most profound was the realization and embracing of the fundamental human need to feel a sense of accomplishment, belonging, and service to others – this has been the compass which guides our company. In a trade like ours, that sense of purpose and place is uncommon, and its presence goes a long way to understanding why we love what we do, where we do it, those with, and for whom we do it.

And because family is so important to us, we strive to be the best family owned painting company and the best family oriented employer for our team members to invest their work career with. With that always in mind, we seek to grow and serve our community – and beyond – to make positive changes everywhere we go – from painting homes, to employee gatherings, to family outings. We look forward to working with you for positive change in our community and beyond!


Winter Painting: What to Do and What Not to Do

Winter Painting: What to Do and What Not to Do

Some homeowners do not like to paint in the summer, as the days are hot and humid. Therefore, they save their energy for cooler weather. However, paint does not adhere well to a surface when the temperature is below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, you need to practice some discernment in this respect.

Painting Should Take Place during the Day

Naturally, most painting occurs indoors during the winter, as trying to paint when it is freezing cold is impractical. Therefore, when you paint inside on a January or February day, you need to make the most of the daylight hours. That is because the rooms are warmer and the sun can guide you into making the proper color selection in the paint.

As noted, you really do not want to tackle any painting task when the indoor temperature hovers around 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Paint takes on a different form when it is subjected to cooler temperatures. It can congeal and be difficult to apply. You will want to make sure that the paint you use is not clumpy or thick and that it goes on without too much difficulty.

Consider the Consistency of the Paint

If the paint starts to thicken, you should avoid painting altogether. Make sure you paint in a well-ventilated area as well. If it is extremely cold outside, you do not want to take on a major painting task. Doing so could affect your respiratory tract and make you sick.

When the temperatures plunge, you should put up your paintbrush and paint can and resume painting another day. While you can paint with a low-fume paint, you still need to ventilate the area for the sake of safety. You do not want a rush of glacially cold air flowing through a just-painted living area. Not only will it increase your utility use, but it is also simply uncomfortable.

Keep a Vigil over the Weather

If you want to paint in the winter, you need to carefully check the weather reports, especially when it comes to wind chill factors and temperatures. Doing so will make it easier to prepare a wall or ceiling. Probably the best way to use your time is to prepare the wall for the painting instead. For example, you may want to tackle a wall that needs to be smooth, so you need to repair any cracks or crevices first. You can do this type of task any day of the year.

You may not be able to paint the wall until it gets warmer. Nonetheless, it will be prepped for priming and painting when the temperatures become warmer. Therefore, you can enjoy the anticipation of transforming a space with paint. You just need to take the time in the winter to get prepared.

Keep a Realistic Perspective

If you want to make the most of your time and ensure a successful paint job, you need to keep the above information in mind. Doing so will make any painting project easier and help you stay better organized. Use the winter months to prepare to paint when it gets warmer or the ice starts to melt.

 

 

Don’t Forget the Laundry Room… Energize This Workspace with the Right Paint

Don’t Forget the Laundry Room… Energize This Workspace with the Right Paint

Imhoff laundry roomWhen it comes to picking out paint colors for your home, all too often do homeowners forget about the all important and hard working laundry room. This space is probably one of the most used in your household, but it often gets neglected in terms of care and decoration. However, adding a beautiful and vibrant paint color can be a great way to energize the space and bring a little more life into this area. Here are some colors that will help you make your laundry room just as attractive as the rest of your home.

Your Personal Favorite

Because the laundry room is, for the most part, a more private space, it’s a great place to put a little of your own personal touch on the room. By picking a paint that’s your own favorite color, you’ll be sure to love everything you do there. If you want a room that makes you happy every time you walk through the door, then this is a great way to do it. And, if you’re worried about your color choice being a little too over the top, remember that you have a fifth area to take advantage of. Rather than painting the walls, keep them white and add your touch of color to the ceiling. Not only will this be a fun and different design choice, but it will give you just the pop of expressions that you need.

Pastel Teal

Do you absolutely love that seashore look in your home? Would you love to turn your laundry room into a beach house getaway? If so, then a creamy pastel teal will be a great choice. This color has just the perfect balance of upbeat fun and sophisticated elegance and it will be the perfect way to easily integrate your laundry room with the rest of the house.

Stunning Yellow

Another great color choice for your laundry room will be a nice, bright yellow. Yellow is one of the warmest and most inviting colors, so you’ll be sure to love all the time you have to spend in there. Your mood will instantly brighten from the moment you walk through the door and you’ll be sure to feel re-energized and ready to go. This color choice will match brilliantly with farmhouse and country style homes, so if you’re looking for a way to create an easy flow from the rest of your home to your more modern laundry room, this will be a great way to do so.

Black

If you’re looking for something with a little more modern feel, then having a stark contrast between white cabinets and black walls can be a fun and exciting choice. While having black walls might seem like an extreme, pairing them with lighter color appliances and decorations will give you a look you’re sure to love. Add a bright green rug or light blue laundry baskets to really give the room that extra bit of a pop.

 

 

 

 

Tops Tools for an Interior Painting Project

Tops Tools for an Interior Painting Project

While you could paint a room with just a paintbrush and a bucket of paint, you may not get the best results. Paint can easily splatter onto the floor. You may also have trouble creating a straight line when using a different color on the ceiling or an accent wall.

If you want your interior paint job to look as if it was done by a professional, you should invest in a few essential tools.

Paint Rollers

Using a paint roller will save you a lot of time. A roller also makes it easier to apply light, even coats of paint across large surfaces such as the walls and ceilings.

A typical paint roller frame includes one roller refill. You may want to purchase a few extra refills, especially if you plan to use more than one color.

Paint Brushes

A paintbrush is still an essential tool for interior painting even if you use a paint roller. The brush is necessary for painting near the edges of the walls and ceilings along with painting the baseboards and trim. You may also need a brush to complete touch-ups after finishing the paint job.

Use a one-inch or two-inch chisel trim brush or angled brush on the window and trim. For the edges of the walls and other flat areas, consider using a four-inch square trim brush.

Putty Knife and Compound

Before you paint, you should fill any holes or cracks in the drywall. Use a putty knife to apply joint compound to these areas.

You can purchase a small container of the ready-to-use joint compound, such as a one-pint or two-pint container. The compound can be applied directly to the wall without any mixing.

The type of putty knife is not a major decision as it is simply used to fill in the holes and scrape away excess compound.

Sandpaper

After the joint compound has dried, you will need to sand the area with sandpaper. Use 100- or 120-grit sandpaper to create a smooth surface for your paint job. When sanding near the outer edges of the dried compound, try to smooth the material so that it blends into the wall as much as possible.

Ladder or Step stool

Attempting to reach overhead to paint the ceiling is bad for your back, shoulders, and neck. You will also have difficulty applying an even coat of paint. You should always use a ladder or step stool to reach the ceiling even if the low ceiling is within reach.

When working in an area with a two-story opening, such as an entrance or foyer, you may also want to use an extension pole that attaches to the paint roller. This will allow you to reach further without climbing as high on the ladder.

Essential Painting Supplies

Along with the tools listed, there are a few supplies that you may find helpful. Tape and drop cloths help protect floors, furniture, doors, and windows. You can also use tape for creating straight lines or preventing one color from bleeding into another.

You do not need a lot of tools for an interior painting project. However, ensuring that you have these essential items can make the project go a lot more smoothly.

 

 

Prepare Your Game Room for a Painting Project

Everyone deserves to have their own sanctuary, and your game room is yours. You’re happy to share the rest of the home with your spouse and children. The kitchen, living room, dining room, master bedroom, your exterior décor – all of that is a team effort.

Your game room, though – that’s yours and yours alone.

To set your game room apart, you want to make it feel like it’s truly your own.

There are plenty of ways in which you can do that, the most obvious of which being to simply deck the halls (and walls) with all your favorite things. It’s your game room, so go ahead and lay out all the game paraphernalia you want.

Of course, that still doesn’t quite answer the question of how to best prepare your game room to be painted. That’s a game of an entirely different sort, and one which, when won, can result in a room that’s brighter and better than ever before.

Cover and Remove Your Games and Valuables

First and foremost, you’re going to want to remove your games, consoles, and other paraphernalia from the game room itself for the duration of the paint job. The last thing you want is a stray globule of paint splattering onto your games, or worse, actually getting into a gaming console and preventing it from working properly. While it may be tempting to simply cover your games, there’s always the chance that flakes of chipped paint and other elements may lead to problems down the line. That being said, some items might not be easily removable. For example, your sofas, other large furnishings, and TVs are all likely to be too big to move in and out of the space in question. As such, you’ll want to take the time to carefully cover them. If your TV is mounted on the wall, be sure that it is completely covered on all sides to prevent paint from splattering onto it from any angle.

Get Rid of Old Paint

Next, you’ll want to set about covering the old paint. If you are simply retouching your existing color, you can take this opportunity to smooth out any rough patches. If you are painting the room a new color, you’ll want to uses a primer coat on the wall if it is too dark for your new color. If it is lighter, however, you may just be able to paint over it.

Getting Started with the Painting Process

After that, you’ll want to add a preliminary layer of paint to your walls. This should just be a nice, even, basic coat of paint on top of which you can apply the coat you’ll actually see. Again, these coats of paint should either be the same color, or a lighter color as the first layer followed by a darker one. Think of that first layer as “preparing” the canvas, allowing you to paint the second coat on as if you are dealing with a blank canvas.

Paint your game room a better way and bring out its true vibrancy with these painting tips.

Best Colors for an Epic Kid’s Room

The days of having to choose between pink and blue for your child’s room are long gone.

This antiquated boy versus girl color split has taken a back seat to ensuring an individualized aesthetic appeal and, not so surprisingly, making prudent paint selections based on the psychosomatic effects of environmental color schemes during the early developmental stages.

Color Transitions From and Emotive and Cognitive Perspective

Over the past several years, ever since pre-adolescent mental health transformed into a monumental aspect of parenting, psychologists have been delving into the effects of children’s room colors, namely with regard to how various shades, accents, and hues can trigger behavioral responses, mood shifts, and beneficial changes in temperament.

However, it’s not about manipulating your child or projecting your own preconceived notions; it’s simply about understanding the heavily corroborated, scientifically proven effects of colors on the human mindset:

  • Yellow and gold are closely linked to better concentration and improved memory, meaning that yellow-colored surroundings are the perfect option for workspaces and desk areas; in other words, the backdrops where he or she tends to do homework. But be sure to balance it out with a soft gray or cerulean blue to avoid overstimulation.
  • Brown, tan, and earth tones represent the ultimate base in terms of stability and steadiness, which enables parents to create a simple nature-based canvass on one of the walls. You don’t need any complicated stencils or wall art, just some painter’s tape to create outdoor-colored striping on the secure, brown-tinted backdrop.
  • Green is commonly utilized in counselor’s offices and classrooms because it positively alters neural activity when reading and learning. Cool, minty colored greens can synergize with brown bases to lend a sense of organic comfort and consolation, which is the ideal combination for an overly anxious or apprehensive personality.
  • Blue tints can be likened to green hues, as they have demonstrated the ability to assuage blood pressure and normalize respiratory rates, but an overabundance of blue will create a depressing or dulling effect. This is why cheerful yellow polka dots and self-assured red geometrics are popular accent options for ocean blue or cobalt backgrounds.

As you might imagine, the essence of color palettes for children’s rooms relies on sequential transitions and a slightly more complex approach than a uniform coat throughout the space.

Creating an Epic Plan That Can Adapt as the Child Ages

Believe it or not, a single gallon of paint can effectively cover about 400 square feet of wall space, and an unopened can will be useful for up to a decade, which makes it relatively easy to conceptually split the room in half and create a multi-year plan with a single trip to your community paint shop.

Prior to the age of five, you’ll want to pay close attention to your progeny’s behavioral tendencies and acclimate his or her bedroom to underpin and support intrinsic traits; just use the above-mentioned guide to tailor each wall appropriately. Then, once the child’s individuality and independence begins to blossom, you can coordinate succeeding paintjobs with his or her unique proclivities and partialities.

Painting your little one’s bedroom is an enriching, very personal experience, and now you have the tools to recreate and redefine this integral part of your child’s life, so start organizing your ideas today.

WordPress Image Lightbox

Pin It on Pinterest