When it comes to home maintenance, exterior painting is one task that is best left to a professional. Painting contractors have the experience and the manpower to do the job properly and efficiently. They can also recommend the best type of paint for the project, taking climate and building material into consideration. While you may be tempted to save money and turn this into a do-it-yourself project, your safety is important—professionals will have the special equipment needed to get up high and, more importantly, their own insurance, shielding you from liability. But there is a con: working with the wrong contractor. Be sure your contractor is insured, has a good reputation, and offers the best cost estimate to ensure you get the job done without any headaches. We asked Benjamin Moore’s Craig Bunting and Farrow & Ball’s Josephine Rance for tips on finding the right painting professional—so you can sit back and enjoy the finished product.

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to be the devils advocate i have been a building contractor 20 of the last 30 yrs. i do know that if you go to a higher sheen of paint and or darker colors then any imperfections in the walls will show up much more dramatically…therefore the painter or a good drywall finisher is needed to prepare the walls extensively. this could cause more expenses…for it takes a lot of time to prep walls (smooth walls..not textured walls) and this cost has to be absorbed.

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Project management is important for contracted painting jobs because it helps with communication and lowers the chance of complaints.  The fact is, contracting is the #1 source of consumer complaints in the state and project management is what triggers most calls to the State Contractor’s License Board and the Better Business Bureau. With a proper project management system in place, these complaints can be avoided and your job will be completed the right way.
I managed commercial construction projects for many years, have built and remodeled several properties, and never once have I encountered any of these scams. The tone of this article is deeply troubling. The author seems to be saying that ALL painting contractors are inherently dishonest, and that has not been my experience. The underlying advice here is sound: get it all in writing and cover as many contingencies as possible--so pointing out potential pitfalls like coat coverage is helpful. But do that in the spirit of clear communication of expectations, not with the expectation that the person you are hiring will try to cheat you at every turn. Not every contractor takes outrageous advantage of change orders; not every contractor will sneak past necessary preparation and/or repairs. Contractors of all sorts get a bad rap as it is; reinforcing a stereotype with articles written from this point of view just seems unproductive.

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A thorough scrubbing is a must before painting any exterior surface. It removes the dirt and broken-down paint residues that keep fresh coats from adhering and gets rid of mildew that grows on paint in all but the most arid climates. Most contractors clean with pressure washers, but in the hands of someone unfamiliar with the equipment, these can gouge wood, shatter glass, and drive water behind siding and trim. Using a hose, a pump sprayer, and a scrub brush is slower but safer, and just as effective.
Hi Donnie, Thanks for your comment! We would be happy to help you connect with a fencing pro to give you an estimate on your project. You can submit a request to our pros here: www.homeadvisor.com, browse a list of local pros here: http://www.homeadvisor.com/c.html, or send your info to [email protected] and a project advisor will reach out to assist you. –HASupport

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