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.
This is an area that interior painters can easily cut short to save time. Most contracts don't state the extent of the wall repairs included, so it's up to the painter's discretion how much they will do. If it seems like too much work, they'll usually point out the repairs but don't include it in the bid. They'll then ask you if you'd like it fixed after they start your project and let you know how much more it will cost.

Remember: You want to get the highest quality paint your budget will allow to ensure its lasting beauty. You'll also need painting supplies like primer, brushes, rollers and painter's tape. A professional will have these items on-hand. According to statistics, paint and other supplies account for about 15 percent of a professional painter's total cost; labor will factor into 85 percent of their charges.
Patrick Miller and his team were AMAZING with our house. We had a very tight window for the work as we purchased a house, had new wood flooring installed, wanted it painted and then wanted carpet installed. We closed escrow late and had 2 weeks to do all of our work before we were leaving for the east coast for a month. Patrick came out immediately, gave us a very competitive quote. After having 3 other paint companies give quotes, we went with Patrick because he seemed like an honest, trust worthy guy.

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Interesting information! We just got scammed in White Stone, Virginia... we chose the same color, but went from a flat to an eggshell finish. I wasn't available to stand over the painter while he painted. For such a detailed job, I marveled at how quickly he finished the project! After he was paid for the job, we discovered all he did was roll paint across the walls and close to the crown, baseboards and detailed trim around windows and doors leaving about an inch or so of the flat finish. By using the same color, he didn't even do the job he was paid to do, which explained why he could finish the job so quickly. By using the same color... he got lucky and passed it off as a completed job not bothering to paint to and cut in around the trim. Upon further evaluation of our walls we could see exactly where he stopped because we could see the difference between the flat and eggshell finishes. There are walls he didn't even bother to paint. Then where he did paint near the crown when we were in the room watching ... he hit the crown moulding and tried to tell us it was already there... and tried to sell us on painting the crown moulding. I am so disgusted and upset!! He'll be hearing from us to rectify the situation.
The cost to paint a room will vary based on the size of the room, the type of paint you select, any ceiling or trim work needed, and any repairs needed. If no repairs or other additional work is needed, painting a room with contractor-grade paint could range from $1 to $2 per square foot, including materials. Selecting a luxury paint (some cost more than $100 per gallon) will certainly increase your house painting costs. Here are some additional examples of average house painting costs, per room: House Painting Centennial CO
Over the past year I have had several jobs given to 2 Angie's list recommendations and 1 not from a recommendation. They all have one thing in common, lack of sufficient and correct preparation to save time, labor, and the fact that they put a person in charge that was a cut corners type of worker. The two from Angie's list sent worker/s back to try touch up problems, but once the job is not prepared correctly in the first place any extra work is like putting a band-aid on a dirty wound.

If there is any peeling — and there usually is somewhere — it's essential to scrape off any loose paint. This doesn't just mean the parts that are already separated from the wood and ready to fall off on their own. Each spot where paint has peeled loose needs to be scraped thoroughly until you can no longer get the sharp corner of a putty knife under any of the surrounding edges of paint. Then, the bare spot needs to be sanded until the paint edges are smooth. Home Painters Centennial CO
"Kelly's very sweet, professional, and easy to work with. She works efficiently and provides honest feedback to our selections. She pays attention to the vision that we are trying to achieve and listens to our concerns. She lifts the stress of decorating the house and self-doubt from us and makes us enjoyed the building process again. She's also very flexible and responsive to our requests. I appreciate that Kelly pays attention to details and provides us with tips and tricks during the construction process. I would highly recommend her."

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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.

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In some cases, professional painters may include additional charges for specialized equipment that homeowners can't purchase on their own. Because professionals have licenses and access to such equipment, it's simpler to let them get those themselves. But providing some of the smaller equipment and extras directly really can help to cut down on the total cost of your project.  Home Painters Centennial CO

I live in Fair Oaks and had my entire 2700+ s.f. home with baseboard/crown molding; ceiling and walls to be painted.  A big job.  We got 4 different bids with this one making the most sense.   The job took a bit longer than (by only 3 days) but admittedly we had a LOT of trim work.  The best part and the reason I give them 5 stars - is they showed up on time; kept the area clean and clear..and the guys / crew were the nicest people.  Having people in my house for over a week was comfortable.  I wasn't there on the final day for the walk through but they came  back the next day and finished the minor details  and even left me 4  containers (mine) clearly labeled for any touch-ups i have to do in the future (along with the larger unused portions of paint)
You are right on with this - why do people leave switch plates on when it's just so easy to take them off? Another thing that happened to us - we had the popcorn ceiling taken off and the ceiling painted white. When the job was done and I later went to change out all the fixtures/fans, they had left every fixture in place, so there was a large patch of popcorn and unpainted ceiling left behind - it just didn't dawn on me to specify that they take those down before scraping and painting. It was kind of a mess. Home Painters Centennial CO
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. 

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The authors emphasize ways to maximize profits by anticipating the problems that can quickly turn into expensive mistakes. THe book has extensive step-by-step instructions for planning a painting job and doing the work, whether by brush, spray, or roller. You'll find practical tips, sample forms, examples, and suggestions that can help you set up a painting company, and prevent mistakes in your painting jobs. House Painting Centennial CO
Upon first impression they were amazing and gave a great quote to paint my house in Pacific Palisades.  We settled on a start date of December 3rd.  The date came and went and they did not show up.  I had to follow up with them and they said they would come the first week of January.  I have put two calls into them today and they have not returned my call. Home Painters Centennial CO
I hired House Painting Inc to paint some new doors, a couple of hallways, and two bedrooms+baths in my house. The project took about 4 days, they even finished everything 1 day early, which was great since I had carpet installers scheduled to come right after them. They have been very punctual, professional, and helpful with things like color selection. They brought and painted a couple of sample colors, which helped in our final choice. The workers were very clean and came every morning on time. Extremely happy with their work and will hire them again for other projects. Home Painters Centennial CO
The cost to paint a room will vary based on the size of the room, the type of paint you select, any ceiling or trim work needed, and any repairs needed. If no repairs or other additional work is needed, painting a room with contractor-grade paint could range from $1 to $2 per square foot, including materials. Selecting a luxury paint (some cost more than $100 per gallon) will certainly increase your house painting costs. Here are some additional examples of average house painting costs, per room: House Painting Centennial CO
With over six decades of combined experience, our team has developed the skills needed to be great painters. We understand that being the best Tampa painting contractors means going beyond just the brush. We do everything within our power to ensure you have an excellent experience with us and our work. After all, our future depends on your satisfaction.
Repaint — exteriors especially — before visible signs of wear appear, Bancroft says. Don’t wait until you see peeling or flaking paint. “If I have to spend 40 hours preparing the surface before we can paint, that time is going to result in a lot of extra costs. But if I can spend 10 hours preparing the surfaces to be painted, you’re going to save money,” Freeman says.
FIRST: Unless you can stay in business painting 1 bedroom at a time for $500-$1000, which you can't, then you will be taking on several thousand dollar contracts that require thousands in Labor and Materials to fulfill the order. Multiply that by 3-4 jobs at one time or in our case 15-20 jobs at a time, YOU NEED TO TAKE DEPOSITS!!! It is horrible business not to take deposits. There are many jobs where its not possible to get a deposit and that is built into or pricing accordingly. If we are not getting a deposit, there is a finance charge built in, contractors are not banks. If you don't have a good feeling about a deposit, your hiring the WRONG CONTRACTOR. Hire people you know or well established businesses.

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There are permanent features of the home that have their own colors which cannot be changed when painting the exterior of the home but can have a dramatic satisfaction level that is experienced when the painting is completed.  Roofing shingles, paving blocks, concrete surfaces, stones and other such features are prime examples of the colors that should be considered when selecting your exterior color scheme for the home.  Homeowners can work off of these colors to make a home that looks uniform and luxurious when the exterior painting is complete.

If you paint over dirty, oily surfaces, the paint will easily chip or peel off. So before painting, clean grimy areas with a deglosser or heavy-duty cleaner intended for prepaint cleaning. They work well to clean painted, varnished or enameled surfaces to improve the adhesion of the new paint. They’re ideal for cleaning greasy or oily areas like kitchen and bathroom walls and removing hand marks around light switches and doorknobs. House Painting Centennial CO
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