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.
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!
The smallest detail can make a world of difference. This is why we take special care to prepare our workspace before the project begins. We will mask and protect any flooring, windows, furnishings, and other possessions before we begin painting. We take any necessary steps to ensure the job is done right the first time, and that you are completely satisfied with your paint.
To industrial and institutional. I also own and operate a professional painting company of elite painters ONLY 5 ELITE PAINTERS, and pay them good money for being elite. Less is better in my opinion.The fact is this a homeowner and a painting company owner can both be taken advantage of by hustlers and liars and amateurs posing as pros. I have had many laborers tell me they can paint. " Oh yes sir I can paint, I'm a painter of 8 years. Yes sir I can cut a straight line." Some people will say and do anything to get a buck. If yoir on the job to see their rookie mistakes you may have time to save your reputation before disaster ensues and fire them on the spot. As a painting Company owner if your not on the job with your crew at least 3 out of 6 days every week your taking a huge risk of damaging your reputation and losing the respect of your team. Homeowners want to deal with you or the crew boss (jobs site supervisor) not "the painter". Many things I have read are right on. Painters for the most part will milk a clock for all they can and still do a good job. But amateurs will leave your projects in shambles and the only ones to pay for it is the contractor and the homeowners. But an elite painter and crew will try to complete a project as quickly as possible and move on to the next one. They understand bonuses, incentives, and promotions. My company provides the opportunity for a homeowner to meet each member of the crew and shake there hand on day one. There is also a differentiation between the crew boss and the crew by the uniforms they wear. Should the homeowners have any issue at all they know exactly who to go to to get results. This eliminates the age old problem of who screwed up? I have found that by me putting on my whites and giving my crew the opportunity to out do themselves on each project it ignites competition, pride in skill, and excellent commraderie amongst the team. We all hold each other accountable. Choose your contractor by the crew not the owner. The crew is a direct reflection of the Company owner. No room for rookies on fine finish painting. Go pro for painting and you won't regret it. With that being said homeowners should always remember that you get what you pay for. With paint and services. In most cases it will be well worth a few extra bucks to get elite results. Never go with the cheapest bid there is always a reason why it's so low.
"I had called the last minute for an interior painter, because I had flown into town for just 5 days, to get my home painted. PPP Paint Services made time for me. Made an appointment on a Monday and they were there by Thursday and done by Friday. 9 rooms including trim work. The job came out great, and at a great value. I would highly recommend this company."
Estimates are one of the most important tools to help you land the next job. During our most recent webinar series on estimating, Fred Yarur of PEP (Painter’s Estimating Program) outlined 10 foundational principles to support effective estimating procedures. Use estimate tools. These enhance your ability to make informed decisions. Estimating is the process of […]
Painting contractors must also carry out administrative and marketing duties. They prepare final accounts for customers based on the original estimates and any additional work. They analyze the cost of the job compared with the estimate to calculate their profit. They market their business through activities such as setting up websites, asking customers for references or contacting property maintenance companies with details of their services.
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!

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.
Dave, you said it best! Every pro painting contractor truly worth their salt would and should cut and paste exactly what you say here about where customary and legitimate practices and expectations should be in regards to what customers should expect from contractors and how contractors should professionally deal with their customers. By the way, Dave, if you work in the Atlanta area, I would like to hire you! Thank you for your valuable advice!

I am a painting contractor and have been since 2001. Make sure the estimate provides in writing: What is EXCLUDED as well as INCLUDED. It should state the manufacturer and type of paint going to be used. Estimate says ALL LABOR AND MATERIALS. My estimates to my customers say "guaranteed coverage" eliminates the conversations of 1 coat vs 2 coat. I have my customers submit colors 5 days prior to start date. Customers need to inform me if they are going to use pure white, dark reds, oranges, and bright yellows they need to inform me in that 5 day window, so I can adjust my pricing for 3 coats. Although this more uncommon now than years past because a lot of paint manufacturers have primer with paint products. Let the contractor know if your doing accent walls. This takes longer to cut in straight lines and it requires the contractor to purchase more paint. If you add anything on the scope of work have the painter write out the description and cost prior to them doing the work. Have the estimate say how many days it will take to perform the work. Ask how many workers will be doing the job. Make sure to enforce that number of workers their everyday until the job is complete. Do not give final payment until you do a final walk through. Walk the job when its almost complete and point out areas that you want fixed prior to the contractors final walk through. Its best to do while the workers are still in that particular area as they will have tarps down and areas covered and it will be easier for them to take care of. Purchase a roll of blue tape and stick it to areas that you want fixed. This is called a punch list. 
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