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.
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.
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I agree with JHs. If there is no new color on it at all, just talk to the painter about it, if it was an honest mistake (which can happen very easily while painting) your painter should have no problem fixing it. However, in my years of experience, it is not unusual for 2 coats of door paint (good quality) not to cover very well at all. I once painted a red door 7 times, plus a tinted prime coat before I found the door to be a solid color.
To get basic measurements, measure the length and width of each wall you want to paint in inches. Multiply the length and height together, and divide by 144. This will give you the square footage for each wall. A gallon of paint typically covers around 400 square feet. In some cases, you may need a primer 2 first, then a single coat of paint, meaning that you may need one gallon of primer and one gallon of paint to cover 400 square feet. However, if the wall requires multiple coats, this will increase the total amount of square footage required, and therefore the amount of paint.
The obvious trick here is for unaffiliated contractors to use the BBB, PDCA, Chamber or other organizations’ logos without being a member. Other tricks include claiming membership when that membership has expired or even make up fake organizations that sound good. The BBB continuously goes after unscrupulous companies that attempt to trick customers into thinking they are members. Nearly every organization has a web page these days; if you suspect something, do a little searching to find out the truth.
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!
Referred by a neighbor, I got an estimate from Excel along with two other companies to paint the exterior of our home; their estimate was the cheapest by at least a grand compared to the other companies. They contacted me a couple of weeks earlier than expected and offered to do the power washing a week or so earlier due to an opening in their schedule, another opening got them to our house 2 weeks earlier than planned to paint!!! Hernan and his crew showed up promptly Monday morning and knocked out the job in just 2 days! Hernan was very professional and thorough. The house looks amazing and the care and detail-orientation of the crew is evident. I also felt very comfortable with them in and around the house whether or not we were home. We also got support from our contact person via email about paint selection. The only negative, and not worthy of losing a star, is that they don't take credit or debit cards. I was bummed to miss out on my cc points and it was annoying to have to mail in a check rather than just pay over the phone or online. For such a large purchase, I couldn't be happier with how it all went down and came out.
If you're going to do any part of the painting or prep work on your own, you must know that the first step in preparing a surface is washing it. Since dirt can affect the smoothness of a surface area -- and therefore paint's adhesion to it -- use soap to remove any dirt or stains. Make sure there's no soap left on the walls when you're finished; also make sure to remove any gloss with sandpaper and vacuum up the leftover dust.
I was a painting contractor for many years and never asked for a deposit upfront. A good contractor should have great credit with his suppliers and an even better contract if the deal should go south before the job is done. Get to know your customer and explain how each paint covers so they understand fully before you have to apply 3 or 4 coats. If you didn't bid your job right and the client has already signed the contract then that is on you not the client. Yes I haven had to eat the difference but the client was happy and a return customer for years so I made up for it.