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.
Guy Painting is a family owned and operated, Indianapolis based, full service professional painting company.   Ron, owner of Guy Painting, has been offering professional painting services for over 15 years, and we have worked with over 9000 homes and businesses in Indianapolis, Geist, Fishers, Carmel, Noblesville, Westfield, Zionsville, Avon, Brownsburg, Plainfield, New Palestine, Greenwood, and all over Central Indiana.
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.
David took so much pride in his work and was really wonderful about communicating with us each step of the way. His crew painted the interior AND exterior of our home in maybe a week or less. I love how they painted our pipes outside of the house to match the colors- I'll attach a picture to show what I mean. Their attention to detail was fantastic! They seriously did not miss a spot and there was zero paint in any place that it wasn't supposed to be!

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First off all clients want a "deal" As a painting contractor for 38 years I can tell you that residential-commercial-industrial clients (and their needs are all diffrent. It seems this discussion mostly concerns residential repaints,so here goes--first off ALWAYS get a personal referance from a friend or co-worker. Always get an itemized contract that specifies the prep,color, number of coats, and specifics on payment. Remember you want to set up a relationship with the painting contractor of your choice. Bond, license and insurance are required to get a contractors license and are readily available online at your state Labor and Industries website. Second-- find someone you trust. He or his crew will probably be left alone in your home for most of the time. I always tell my clients that I wont bring someone to their home I wouldnt have in mine. Third--$$ Dont ever pay up front always insist on progress draws if the project is 2 or 3 phases remember If a contractor wants $3000 to do the job and you give him half up front he will be working for $1500. It WILL affect the quality of the product. In 38 years of business I have never taken a deposit and have never not been paid in full remember do what you said you would do for exactly what you said it would cost and there will be no problems with getting paid. one last reminder to clients you are also being evaluated when you interview a contractor. He is sizing you up as well. If he thinks you are a bit sketchy the the price will go up or he wont take the job at all. I have turned down some jobs that looked very profitable on the surface that turned out not to be so.(word gets around fast in the small painting community) Good Luck to clients and contractors House Painting Arvada Colorado
GMZ Painting & Remodeling is a full-service commercial and residential general contractor, located in Grand Prairie, TX. We have been a leader in residential and commercial construction for many years and our goal is to continue to serve the community with quality and professional work on each and every project. With over 28 years of experience in residential and commercial construction, we have developed an expertise in various types of insurance claims, kitchen & bathroom remodels, interior & exterior painting, roof replacements, flooring installation & even whole house remodels. GMZ Painting & Remodeling is committed to ... View Profile Home Painters Arvada Colorado
When their bids are successful, contractors meet customers to finalize their requirements and plan the order and timing of work. Contractors estimate the time required for surface preparation, painting several coats and drying time between coats. For interior painting jobs, they might have to allow time for clearing rooms. Exterior painting schedules might be dependent on the weather in different parts of the country. Exterior painting is not practical in very wet or very cold conditions.

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Painting can be a huge pain. Leaping over piles of furniture and ducking around ladders in your yard for weeks isn’t exactly fun, is it? (Unless, of course, you’re training for a furniture dodging competition.) You only have so much time, and that time is valuable—that’s why we aim to have your painting job done fast. Our painters are fully licensed, insured and bonded. When we say we are the most trusted painting company, we mean it! House Painting Arvada Colorado
Thanks, all, for your time & efforts adding to the article & comments, especially Dave urging requesting both General Liability AND Worker Compensation insurance certificates to protect from real & fraudulent liability--from my experience especially in California, where insurance fraud is a popular income thief, even causing car collisions to collect.
Maybe you've just moved into a new home, and you haven't got around to buying brushes and rollers yet. Perhaps you're worried that your brush-skills aren't that good, and you won't achieve that professional-looking finish that you’re really going for. Handy professionals will turn up with everything they need to get the job done, from ladders and brushes, to rollers and tarps. You just have to provide the interior paint and primer!
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.
These days, it seems like anyone with a paintbrush and a business card can call themselves a painting contractor. Homeowners who are most likely to be taken in by these unscrupulous “painters” are those who are focused on cost and cost alone. With painting, like anything else in life, you typically get what you pay for. If the painting contractor you are considering cannot answer these ten questions, proceed at your own risk. If they answer all ten satisfactorily, then you know you’ve found a great great professional contractor to work with.
They painted our home exterior about 12 years ago and did the interior about 9 years ago as part of a major remodel. As it was time to re-paint the exterior again, we used James Lee again, and were very glad we did. In walking around to find 'punch list' corrections after they were done, there was pretty much nothing to find - they did a great job.

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Steve, not only did you come off with an edge regarding the article written for Angie's list but you came awfully close to being slanderous. The article was written if you will have read his bio by a very well established professional painter. The issue regarding the deposit was put in question by a responder. I have read your response in full as you suggested, and companies as large as yours are just as likely to use the tricks of the trade as the small guy as you suggest, if not more so. A large company has less oversight and workers get lazy with the boss not looking over their shoulder. I have had experience in this area, and thought that i was dealing with a very reputable company that had been recommended by a couple friends, my insurance company, and my adjuster who had dealt with the company. I had terrible problems with the company, who do full restorations and like your company paint in all areas. To finalize your statement that Established businesses do not cheat customers is completly false and is a very misleading statement. I am suprised that Angies list allowed you to post such an outragious comment. All you have to do is look in the Civil lawsuits section of the Established businesses that are being sued or are under investigation for fraud and cheating their customers! House Painting Arvada 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.

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Concrete walls must always be prepared before painting, but in some cases previous finishes will also have to be removed so that paint doesn't peel or chip off. Additionally, special sealants, primers and paints may be applied to ensure concrete's endurance in face of the specific elements. Depending on the wall's condition and exposure to the sun, painting professionals will usually estimate between $500 (~250 sq. ft.) and $2,000 (~1,000 sq. ft.), depending on wall area to cover.
The quality of our workmanship is the best because of our professional, skilled painters, and our "Payment Upon Completion Only" policy, to ensure satisfaction guarantee. We can also recommend a specific paint for your project because we use two of the best, paint stores in the nation:  Sherwin Williams, and Kwal Paint. Beyond The Brush only uses top quality products from these companies or we can use the brand of your choice as well. Home Painters Arvada Colorado
Second: all the tricks of the trade in regard to "cheating" customers is for hustlers and cheaters and NOT established businesses. At the end of the project the job should come out looking professionally painted as specified in the contract. A selected color that takes multiple coats that was not calculated by the contractor should cost more money. It's not the fault of the painter.

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If you hire a contractor for a painting job, you’ll want some assurances in the form of guarantees or warranties.  Knowing the importance of warranties, some companies even give unrealistically long warranties such as 10 years, 20 years or even lifetime warranties. The sad fact is that most of these companies will be out of business long before their warranties expire. So what is a realistic warranty that you can trust? Here’s what you should look for in a great warranty: House Painting Arvada Colorado
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