Because of our wet/cold weather, another painter was booked out through August as of May 7th, 2016.  Anyone even thinking about a VA loan refi should get estimates for painting and pest inspections BEFORE starting on the loan paperwork, otherwise you will have difficulty getting painting and inspections done in a timely manner (and it is my understanding this is common with VA loans.)  
Excellent advice because there are many unskilled workers who are "trying to pull the wool over the customers eyes". One has to study about the project for which they are in need. I happen to need dry wall repair and painting done in my home and feel the advice in this article will be a great help to me in hiring someone who is ethical and does good work. Thanks. 

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Painters with bad reputations can avoid the problem of reference checks by giving their customers lists of relatives and friends.  The people will say great things, and the customer won’t be the wiser.  The best way to avoid this smoke and mirror trick is to ask specific questions about the project. If the reference seems hesitant, doesn’t know the details, or gives sketchy responses, be skeptical.  House Painting Littleton Colorado
Next, undercut the trim to create a gap (Photo 3). When you’re done, scrape any dirt or gunk out of the gap with a putty knife and blow out the dust using a vacuum or air compressor. To avoid staining the concrete, run at least three layers of masking tape under the wood. Apply repellent to all bare wood (Photo 4) including the underside (Photo 5). Bend a putty knife in a vise to make a handy tool for reaching into tight areas. Remove the tape right after application. 

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At ALLBRiGHT 1-800-PAINTING, we use only the best paints and preparation techniques, and pay careful attention to every detail. We fully prepare and repair each surface to ensure a uniform finish and proper paint adhesion, and are painstaking in our protection of your non-painted surfaces. Our experienced painters will be respectful, keep the work area neat and tidy, and work in a way that minimizes disruption to your home.
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) I highly recommend. House Painting Littleton Colorado
Surface preparation includes cleaning up the entire exterior to provide a neat, smooth surface for paint application. We always chemically clean and pressure wash each house before starting. According to experts, having a good surface accounts for 90% of a good painting.Our painters will first check for peelings, chipping and other flaws. We will then scrape away the peelings and perform a power wash. Home Painters Littleton Colorado
When the homeowner is at the point of hiring a painter, they generally will have colors selected or at the very least a color in mind. I always ask for the colors before I bid a job. Dark colors, high sheen colors and specialty finishes require more labor, this drives price. If its not a color change or I'm going over a similar color I give the pricing option of one or two coats. The best advise I can give based on 25 years in the business is to put it all in writing,colors, brands of paint preferred, when the work can be done, who moves furniture and how payment will be handled. I never get up front money. BTW you most definitely get what you pay for with paint. Higher quality products results in and better looking job. Don't be a cheapskate when it comes to paint or the painting contractor.

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I agree with you Richard, as a painting contractor for very many years, people are always looking to get more and more out of you. I had to give an estimate to a lady a few weeks ago who had more stuff around her home than a thrift store including heavy furniture, stuff all over the floor and junk everywhere. I knew if I accepted the job id be a furniture mover and cleaner. I also agree this article makes it seem like the contractor is out to rip off the customers. Fact is I always leave doing more work than agreed upon. It doesn't bother me since the customer is always satisfied. Just saying
On the exterior of your home, a professional paint job translates to beauty and elegance, but it also does much more; paint is a barrier against the elements that attack the integrity of your house.  Since 1987, we’ve been beautifying, enhancing, and restoring some of the finest homes in the Greater Los Angeles Areas.  Our experience, knowledgeable, and commitment to excellence make us the brightest choice for your exterior painting needs!
Buying a can of premium paint, then bait and switch over to low-line products? Again, complete nonsense. Think about it for a moment; the Painter needs 5 gallons of wall finish. So, he buys one can of premium and the rest 'cheap'? How is he going to hide the 4 other gallons? What's he going to hide it in??? He only has ONE gallon of premium. It's not as though he's going to keep older can labels, they would be covered in paint of a different colour.
• One room or the whole house? Applying one coat in one room is a reasonable DIY Saturday project (especially if you have help and beer). Multiply the time spent moving furniture, prepping walls and sanding old trim by the number of rooms in the house, and you might want to hire real help. It's the same outside. You can probably tackle one shady garage wall that needs a little scraping and sanding plus a coat of paint, but covering all surfaces of the house is usually best left to a pro.
Interior house painting costs are calculated on a few key factors. Nationally, interior house painting projects range from $200 to $2,500. The wide price range indicates how much square footage, paint selection and labor can affect cost. One pro uses a laser to measure each room, subtracting the size of the doors and windows, and then bases the quote on the square footage of the actual surfaces to be painted. Painters may provide you with savings if you opt to paint your entire home rather than just having one room or an accent wall painted. For example, the average house painting cost for an 8x12 room with 8-foot ceilings is roughly $200, when contractor-grade paint is used. Painting ceilings, baseboards and frames can also affect cost. Pros may charge per linear foot to smooth and paint baseboards. In one area pros might charge 50 cents per linear foot to paint baseboards, while pros in another part of the country could charge $1.50 per linear foot for the same task. Painters may charge flat rates for painting door and window frames, with one charging $20-$25 and another $60 per door. Geography and regional costs to do business play a major role in the cost of interior painting. The same painter in a rural region has less to pay in taxes, transportation, insurance and overhead than they would in a major city like New York. House Painting Littleton Colorado
Not only do I agree with what you are saying; but, I will not use Angie's List for referrals again. Their "A" rated painter did some of the exact things they are now warning against; however, they are still rated "A". I sent in a review and it took eight weeks to post it. They allowed the contractor to lie about what happened as a response. I had proof and photos. Angie's List is a scam; instead ask neighbors and friends for referrals! Home Painters Littleton Colorado
If a company has a formal training program, it’s a safe bet that they have their act together. They can do training in-house through regular meetings of their employees.  They can have field training systems in place, usually coordinated with classroom training sessions.  They can also use trade associations, such as PDCA (Painting and Decorating Contractors of America) or paint manufacturer’s representatives to stay up to date with the latest materials and techniques. 
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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Project management is important for contracted painting jobs because it helps with communication and lowers the chance of complaints.  The fact is, contracting is the #1 source of consumer complaints in the state and project management is what triggers most calls to the State Contractor’s License Board and the Better Business Bureau. With a proper project management system in place, these complaints can be avoided and your job will be completed the right way. House Painting Littleton Colorado
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