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.

It takes time, skill and experience to produce results that are beautiful and guaranteed to last.  We’ll provide fair pricing for your project after meeting with you and listening carefully – our proposal will be detailed and our pricing transparent – and our pricing will also reflect our commitment to our employees, to run a legitimate company offering appropriate benefits, to attract and retain talented and successful painters.

At Supreme Painting, our goal is to provide exceptional quality interior and exterior, residential and commercial painting services. We strive to provide these services in the most timely manner, and with an ongoing comprehensive quality control program.  If you want the best residential house painter or commercial painting contractor, you can count on Supreme Painting.
When calculating total cost of your project, one of the most important factors to consider is the paint itself. Paint costs will be determined by the quantity of paint and primer required to complete your project, as well as the quality of the paint you choose. You can use this paint calculator to estimate how much paint you will need.. Once you have an idea what you're working with, go to your local home improvement store and compare the costs of a gallon in person. Painting professionals can also quote average prices from their years of experience working with different paint qualities.
Thorough preparation is essential to ensure a good finish. Contractors might have to fill cracks or holes and remove old paint if it is badly worn, peeling or flaking. They remove all paint and apply a suitable primer to the bare surface. If the existing paint is in reasonable condition, they clean it and rub it with abrasive material to provide a key for the new paint. On new surfaces, such as bare wood or fresh plaster, they apply a suitable seal, followed by a primer coat.

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The final cost will heavily depend on the size and nature of the painting project. For estimating the quantity of paint required, you will need to know the room wall sizes (length, height, and width), the number of windows, size of windows, the number of doors and size of doors. A standard living room (12’x8’) will require 2-3 gallons of paint using the industry average of 350 sq.ft. per gallon. Depending on the brand of the product and finish type, the cost can range from $20 to $100 for two gallons. If you plan to have a different color on the ceiling, trim or an accent wall, that will have to be calculated separately and would again add to the final cost.

I appreciate the information on what to ask a painting contractor. I agree that it is important to ask about past customers and possibly contact them to see how they were satisfied with the work done in the past by the contractor. I would imagine that there are a lot of choices in who to hire as a painting contractor and this helps to narrow the decisions.

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James' crew with Housepainting Inc. did an excellent job painting and updating my new home. They arrived earlier than scheduled on both days and finished their work in less than the two days promised. The crew were totally professional and thorough. A pleasant and excellent job all around!! I have already recommended Housepainting Inc. to several of my friends.
As you walk through your lighted rooms (preferably day light) see if the new coat has light spots showing the precious paint. This is call "bleeding through". This means that there's only one coat of paint or the paint was diluted or the trasition of colors were from light to dark (or the other way around) and primer was not use or the painter is inexperienced.
Freshly painted walls often look blotchy. The color is uniform, but the sheen isn’t consistent. This usually occurs over the holes and cracks you patched with a filler or drywall compound. The porous fillers absorb the paint, dulling the surface (a problem called “flashing”). When light hits these dull spots, they stick out like a sore thumb. The smooth patch also stands out in contrast to the slightly bumpy texture of the rest of the wall. A quick coat of primer is all it takes to eliminate flashing and texture differences.
Historically, the painter was responsible for the mixing of the paint; keeping a ready supply of pigments, oils, thinners and driers. The painter would use his experience to determine a suitable mixture depending on the nature of the job. In modern times, the painter is primarily responsible for preparation of the surface to be painted, such as patching holes in drywall, using masking tape and other protection on surfaces not to be painted, applying the paint and then cleaning up.[2]

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If you’re a construction or renovation worker who specializes in painting, you might have given some thought to how you can go into business for yourself. Painting contractors not only need to be skilled in a variety of painting techniques, but also know how to bid on jobs, calculate project expenses and hire workers in order to be successful. Before you can begin working as an independent painting contractor in most states, you’ll first need to apply for licensing, carry liability insurance and file the right documents to have your business officially recognized.

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In England, little is known of the trade and its structures before the late 13th century, at which paint guilds began to form, amongst them the Painters Company and the Stainers Company. These two guilds eventually merged with the consent of the Lord Mayor of the City of London in 1502, forming the Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers. The guild standardised the craft and acted as a protector of the trade secrets. In 1599, the guild asked Parliament for protection, which was eventually granted in a bill of 1606, which granted the trade protection from outside competition such as plasterers.[2]

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It may seem obvious to the homeowner that the contractor will remove any old wood, trim, empty paint buckets, worn out drop cloths or other detritus associated with painting, but unless this is stipulated in writing, the contractor may not remove everything once the job is complete.  Having everything in writing, with your contractor, makes certain that every small detail is going to be taken care of.
Calculate your costs.Having an idea of the cost of paint you need to purchase will help obtain quotes from a contractor. “Paint coverage is based on how many square feet of surface one gallon will cover,” says Bunting. “Most paints will cover approximately 400 square feet. Tally this by multiplying in feet the wall’s height by its width, minus windows and doors.” Determine how much paint is needed to complete the project. “To calculate the cost of a project, factor in the day rates, the size of the property, any architectural features, and the paint finish needed,” says Rance.
When determining the total cost of a home exterior paint project, you'll want to include the cost of materials like paint, supplies and other items you might want to cover in addition to the siding. If you know the average cost of these items in addition to your home exterior project cost, you'll have a good plan in place when you start calling for professional estimates. This also gives you the option to purchase or paint some items yourself to save money. Here are some of those cost factors and what you might expect to pay:

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This is another reason why you should always hire contractors who have employees and not those who use subcontractors. If the company you hire uses only subs to paint, they have no control over the training those subs receive.  However, even if you choose a contractor with employees, this does not guarantee that those employees receive training. The sad fact is that training just isn’t in the budget for most contractors.

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Our team of industrial, commercial & residential paint contractors have many years of experience working on projects of all sizes. All projects are managed and staffed by in-house professional employees from start to finish. With our attention to detail and commitment to excellent customer service, you can be assured that your project will be successfully completed on time and within your budget. Home Painters Westminster Colorado

Here is where this affects you as a consumer. You select a painter with a contract that says 2 coats, $500 down. You give the company the deposit and pick your colors a couple of days before the project starts. The painter goes to the store with your colors and figures out they are deep base. He (or she) not only needs to charge you more for the paint, but he also needs to charge you for a dark gray primer coat. Ninety nine percent of the time that primer coat is going to be really, really expensive since you already gave a deposit. House Painting Westminster Colorado
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