Navy veteran paints a brighter Pinellas County

Navy veteran paints a brighter Pinellas County

When Debbie Hoffman moved from California to a new house in Clearwater, Fla., she turned to Chris Millen, owner of highly rated Bermuda Bay in Seminole, Fla., to remove wallpaper and paint several rooms.

Since she couldn’t get into the house before it closed, the Seminole house painter worked from photographs to devise a painting and wallpaper plan.

“He had good suggestions on colors after looking at pictures from the virtual tour, and was hardworking and a real pleasure to deal with,” she says. “I loved the quality of his work, and he worked late to be sure the bedrooms were painted before our furniture arrived.”

Millen, a Navy veteran, says his experience includes building services of one kind or another going back to the early 1980s, including property management, carpet cleaning, and fire and smoke restoration. He picked up painting in 2004 and has remained active in that field ever since.

2013 Super Service Award winner:

Bermuda Bay

Owner Chris Millen, of Seminole, services Pinellas County. Bermuda Bay received the Super Service Award in 2012.

He says he selected the painting field partially because painters tend to stay busy in Florida.

“Because Florida is such a harsh environment for paint, you’ll always need new paint in 5 to 10 years, no matter how nice the paint is,” he says. “Business will always be booming. I’ve got more work coming at me right now than I can produce for people.”

Nonetheless, he keeps his painting company as a one-man show, saying he prefers the quality control he can maintain as the only one responsible for the work. “I’m not ready to grow yet,” he says. “It’s me, myself and I.”

Millen holds an EPA lead-safe contractor certification in addition to his Pinellas County painting license.

“Lead paint is an issue here in Pinellas County, as a lot of our housing stock was built prior to 1978,” he says. “It adds time and money to the process, but there are a lot of ways you can get around things and remain safe – like using an oil-based primer rather than sanding a baseboard. When working around lead paint, I wear a full respirator and bag and contain everything.”

He also uses low-VOC and no-VOC paints upon request. “Sometimes, it’s for people who want to go green on everything,” he says. “Other times, I’m able to help people who have chemical sensitivities.”

Seminole member Lori Landis says Millen excelled when painting her living room and dining room.

“I appreciated how he presented his certification, license and insurance information on the first visit,” she says. “He made everything easy, right down to ordering the paint and picking it up at the store. He even loaned me his paint chips so I could choose my wall colors. I wouldn’t hesitate to hire him again for another painting job.”

The Super Service Award recognizes contractors and health care providers that have maintained a stellar service rating on Angie’s List throughout the past year. Be sure to always check the List before hiring, however, as ratings can and do change.

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