A do-it-yourself approach can work well for a simple painting project. More complicated, large-scale endeavors tend to require the expertise of a professional contractor. If you live in a house built before 1978, there’s an extra reason to hire a contractor: safety. Houses from that era often contain lead paint, and most contractors are specially trained to minimize the health hazards it can cause.

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I disagree with your criteria to hire a painter. A prompt returned call is nice but does not indicate the quality or fairness of the painter. As far as a written estimate, that should be more of a qualifier for the bid versus an evaluation criterion. I'm not sure one would have favorable results by hiring a painter on this basis. As far as the bidding process, change orders should ONLY be used if the customer requests additional scope (PMP 101). Angie's list should consider asking reviewers if/how much they were told to pay compared with the estimate. Unfortunately, there are a lot of contractors that are unethical and need to be accountable.

As an owners rep and former estimator for a gc i do expect to pay a reasonable deposit say 10 percent and then weekly progress payments. I am asking the painter to book his time and to do the work on my schedule. Most painting companies are not huge operations they will pay their staff weekly. For most repaints i ask for one tinted primer coat and one finish coat for 100 percent coverage. New work gets one tinted primer and two finish coats for 100 percent coverage. The cost of the paint is not really that different for colors or finish. Brands like european fine paint and C2 are more expensive than Ben Moore and sometimes more difficult to roll based on their consistency. Some home depot brands are as expensive as the Ben Moore and of equal quality others aren't. Red paints are notorious for number of coats required and special priming requirements.
I'm hiring an interior painter and that is why I was reading this comment list. I'm concerned about your comment about Angie's List. Some of us don't have personal recommendations for tradespersons, and rely on sites like this. Are you saying that Angie's List's reviews are not complete or that they do not print some of the negative reviews? It's hard to know what to do - I have not been able to find a person who just had their paint done so I can ask him/her about the quality of the painter.

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Oh, where to begin? Let me start with 'watered down paint'. 25-50% before the material gets to the site? Impossible. You would basically be painting with water at that point. It would be less of a hassle, and cost, to simply use proper material. You would be forced to apply three coats instead of two, as the coverage would be horrible. Whatever cost you think might be saved in materials would be lost in labor.

Painters with bad reputations can avoid the problem of reference checks by giving their customers lists of relatives and friends.  The people will say great things, and the customer won’t be the wiser.  The best way to avoid this smoke and mirror trick is to ask specific questions about the project. If the reference seems hesitant, doesn’t know the details, or gives sketchy responses, be skeptical. 

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You've got me very afraid now, I've been taken in a couple of times since I moved here. They take advantage of me because I am a single woman, not exaggerating! From gardeners to inside work. Wouldn't have house painted but I know my HOA will be after me soon, garage door is peeling and stucco needs repair. Got the $1500.00 deal, but paying more for extra work they say I need.

For years, there's been a lively debate about the supremacy of oil-based or water-based paint. Oil-based products, which include alkyd paints, clean up with mineral spirits. Water-based products, which are referred to as latex paints though they are now based on vinyl and acrylics, clean up with water. Although the question still gets asked, water-based paints win hands down for home exteriors. Research done at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) in Madison, Wisconsin, shows that water-based paints expand and contract with the siding. They also allow water vapor generated inside the house to pass through the paint film. Oil-based paints, on the other hand, dry to an inflexible coating that blocks moisture. The results can be telltale cracks as siding gives and paint blisters as trapped moisture tries to find a way out. Water-based paints are also gentler on the environment because they are lower in volatile organic compounds. Does that mean oil-based paint should not be used at all? Certainly not. "When asked to recommend a paint," says Al Beitelman, director of the Paint Technology Center for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, "I always ask about the previous paint job. If it worked fine, I suggest using what was there before."

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We are a Naperville-based house painting company offering professional, high quality painting -for interior painting, exterior painting, & deck staining, & powerwashing - without the high prices.  Each project is closely monitored by the owner, from the paint and color selection through to the last stroke of the brush.  We provide "one client at a time" service.

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the price can always be adjusted based on on or off season, amount of colors to be used. A job like this can be done in 2 days and much quicker with a helper. I charge a bit more than others just because its quality work done professionally. Theres others that charge more than this just because they can on the on season and most people dont get a 2nd bid...
If you have ornamental or colorful trees, shrubbery or floral selections around your home you should figure their colors into the color scheme selection that is made.  These landscaping attributes will have an effect on how appealing the property is as a whole throughout the year.  Homes that have a great deal of trees can make the property darker and cast shadows onto the home.  Individuals will want to avoid darker colors for these situations.
I would never suggest that one of my clients buy their own paint because A . They will pay an average of $20 to $30 more per gallon which could add up to $1,000 or more to a full repaint B. most times I'm in the paint store homeowners are kind of pushed to the foreground as they handle all the contractors in the store and C. Paint is heavy, takes up a lot of room needs to be left in it clean dry area and I hate to put a client to work when they are trying to hire me to do their job.
Because it is next to impossible to find out information about local painting contractors on the Internet, the old adage “talk to neighbors” applies here. Some painting contractors display signs on the lawns of houses they are working on, but you find this more with general contractors and siding and replacement windows companies. So, other than the painter’s white panel van out front, you often do not know what is going on inside your neighbors’ houses.
“Joining PDCA and working towards our accreditation has been hands down one of the best things we've done to help grow our business and ensure we're doing things right. It has been invaluable to be part of a group who is striving for excellence just like we are, and as a new painting business being able to connect and learn from others has been incredible. “
Choosing and matching colors can be nerve-wracking, which explains why there are so many white houses. Fortunately, paint companies are taking the pain out of this process. Many offer color cards that suggest color combinations for siding and trim. Several have also come up with other approaches. For example, Sears tracked colors customers preferred and those found in nature for its Weatherbeater line. Research by the company yielded palettes that correspond to different regions of the country - one set of colors for the coasts, one for the Sun Belt and a third for the center of the country. Color experts from The Home Depot came up with 30 popular combinations from its Behr line that range from soft pinks and peaches to bold rusts and blues. And if you have a classic home, or even a modern classic, the Sherwin-Williams Preservation palette offers a range of historical hues. Most paint dealers will also help you win the match game. Some offer color-matching software. For instance, Benjamin Moore dealers will also scan a photo of your house and let you experiment with color on a computer screen. Or you can choose a house from the program that looks like yours. Whichever method you use, remember that your roof and landscaping, along with the other houses on the street, won't change. So consider these permanent colors when making your selection. And favor lighter hues, suggests Mark Knaebe, a chemist at the FPL. Dark colors absorb heat and are more likely to suffer from moisture problems.

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