This all comes down to the rules.....1. references....does the contractor have them??? I ALWAYS furnish all my prospective customers them....no excuses...2. insurance....again, I always furnish proof....3. Read the proposal carefully...I ALWAYS list materials down to tape used, the brand, the grit of sandpaper, the manufacturer, etc....its INEXCUSABLE to not list all of these items....I am a member of the PDCA, the Painting and Decorating Contractors of America, the foremost authority in the coatings industry and they also approve of what I listed....if you do not follow these guidelines, you will NOT get a job reflective of "professional". Look for the PDCA where any painting contractors are, if they are not a member, RUN!
Professional painters provide estimates primarily based on the square footage of your home. Painting an average home between 500 and 1,500 square feet can cost between $1,000 and $3,000. However, factors such as number of stories and ease of access can also affect the overall price. Homeowners report that the average cost to paint a house nationally is $2,581 and most pay between $1,714 and $3,682.
When hiring a contractor it is always best to hire one who is personally referred to you by someone you trust. Hiring through ads or phone book is hit and miss. Check with your local paints stores, they know the good guys from the bottom feeders. Go to the stores that sell the high quality paints like Benjamin Moore(nonpareil), Pittsburg, Sherwin Williams or Glidden. Don't go the the big box stores for referrals, the people there don't know squat!
"We hired Dustin at James Kate Roofing to replace the asphalt roof on our home in Richardson after receiving three other bids. We are very thankful to have had the opportunity to work with Dustin on this project. Our roof was installed in a very professional way using quality materials at a reasonable price. Dustin was always available when I called and completed the job when scheduled. By the way, he saved us over $8k compared to other bids. Dustin is now our roofer for life! Perfect!"

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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.

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On the other hand, if you've ever tried to tackle a medium or large-sized painting job, you know it takes a lot more time and energy that it seems at first. Houston home painters take the pain out of the paint and give you revitalized walls and ceilings without giving you a headache. Plus, some homeowners don't have the mobility (and a pain-free back) to be hauling furniture around and then crouch down near the floor with a repetitive arm motion.
David and his painting team were able to start working even sooner than they had told us originally and they finished much faster than we expected. This was so helpful to us since we were able to start moving things into our new home once they completed their work. We are so happy with the paint colors we chose; David made it easy for us by painting 3 different samples on the outside of the house to help us look at them as the light changed on the house for different times of day. We loved that he offered this to us since we were having trouble picking between 3 different shades of green.

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Comment: Due to foundation problems, I have a room with many cracks and detached crown molding. I need the crown molding reattached and recaulked and the wall cracks repaired and painted. No rush on this; I'm currently just getting bids. I'm reluctant to hire a handyman for this because I want to be sure the repairs are done correctly by an experienced painter. 

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Here is where a lot of homeowners really get into trouble. Exterior painting projects are far more demanding than their interior cousins. Not only will paint choice (even color choice) play a role in how long your paint job lasts, a few beginner’s mistakes left exposed to the elements can add up to premature aging as well as poor protection. Here, the cost of hiring a professional is far more justified for many reasons. Not only will the pros be better versed in which brands of paint hold up better in your area, the scaffolding, preparation techniques and professional sanding, stripping and spraying equipment they’ll bring to the job will make the entire project safer, more effective and faster. In fact, because of the increased amount of extra work this project requires, the difference in price between a professional estimate and a do-it-yourself cost can be extremely small. Exterior painting projects are a lot of work, and the tedium of doing this task well often compels homeowners to cut corners in order to save time. This, of course, is a mistake. Cutting corners, skimping on preparation and rushing through this project can lead to less-than-impressive results almost immediately, and when you consider the likelihood of having to do the whole exterior over years before a professional job would show signs of wear, hiring a pro right from the start makes a lot of sense.
This was very helpful. I wonder if i would really follow through and check to see if my painter was cheating me. I used a painter I found on Angie's List. This was 5 years ago. He did a great job. I know he did patching only for about a day and a half. We decided on the kind of paint before he started. that is what he used. I don't know if I could stay on top of him and watch him open every can of paint.
Start painting near the top of the house and work your way down. Apply paint to the butt or bottom edge of the siding first, then paint the broad surfaces. To avoid lap marks, always try to brush from one wet surface onto another wet surface. When that's not possible and you must paint onto a previously painted and dried surface, overlap onto the dried-paint surface by several inches.

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