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
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!
Plan the workforce. If you intend to not hire a professional crew, you'll need lots of help. There are many jobs to be done. First there's the furniture moving, then wall preparation, floor covering, materials gathering and prep, cleaning, and don't forget everyone will have to eat. It can easily take a team of five people a full ten days to paint a two-story (approx 2000 sq.ft.) home. Get as many people to help as you can. If some can only come one or two days, great. Maybe others can fill in. Ensure you plan with your workforce members in mind. They'll need plenty of time to arrange days away from work. Identify a few key personnel:
The easiest way to choose a color scheme is to look through color catalogues or at paint samples. Most hardware stores and paint depots keep catalogs handy for customers to take home. Painters should take their time looking at the spaces in these catalogs and comparing colors to their existing floors, carpets, curtains, blinds, furniture and decorations. It’s important to look at fabric and upholstery first and then look at the other aspects to see if they coordinate with your color choices. Consider the prominent color in this coordination for the walls.
While painting isn't rocket science there is a lot of job-aquired skill in paint which a professional painter/home remodeler has aquired. There are way to many "EXPERTS" in home repair now and also way too many homeowners that know everything about nothing. As a full home remodeler/repair with over 30 years in the industry most people need to hire a pro and several bids should be the norm for ANY project about to be undertaken. The low bid is hardly ever the best but then again with todays economy a lot of professionals are looking for work. Just BEWARE of any one that comes in and immediately starts talking about lead abatement and air quality as most of these type of "Professional" contractors was probably working as an engineer or a school teacher or some other type of professional last year. Always check references, ask for a list of satisfied customers going back at least ten years and find out how long the individual has been a professional home repair/skilled craftmen in the field of the project you are paying them for...
"Modern paints dry too quickly, and are difficult to brush out," says Dixon, who uses paint additives, such as Floetrol for latex paints and Penetrol for alkyds. "Adding a few ounces per gallon slows drying time and makes the paint more workable," he says. Another problem is bridging. "Latex paints form a skin," says Dixon. "Removing painted tape can tear the skin, resulting in a ragged rather than a sharp line." Lastly, taping takes time. "Learning how to cut in with a brush takes practice, but if you can do it, you'll leave most tapers in the dust," Dixon says. (Cutting in is painting just the surface you want, not the surface adjacent to it — for example, where a wall meets the ceiling.) Although there are mildewcide additives, our pros prefer using bathroom and kitchen paints that have built-in mildew fighters. "These paints will prevent mildew from forming, but they won't kill mildew that's already there," Dixon points out. Because leftover mold spores can live beneath the paint and eventually work their way through to the surface, you should also prep bath and kitchen surfaces. First, wash down the walls with a bleach solution (3/4 cup of bleach per gallon of water) then seal with a stain-blocking primer, such as Zinsser's Bulls Eye 1-2-3 or Kilz's Total One.
The old adage says that you get what you pay for. With that in mind, does an expensive paint job guarantee the consumer better quality? Surprisingly, the difference in pricing does not reflect quality differences. Accurate price depends on the estimator’s business knowledge and estimating skills. The estimator of a successful painting company should know his or her “numbers”. How much a customer pays for the job is critical to the success (and often failure) of a contracting business. What is the right price for one contractor could put another out of business.
A good paintbrush is key to a professional-looking finish. "A quality brush costs $15 to $25, but you'll discover that pros aren't as talented as you thought," says Doherty. "The equipment has a lot to do with their success." Most of our pros prefer natural-bristle brushes for oil-based paints, but they recommend synthetics for all-around use. When choosing a brush, pay attention to the bristles. Synthetic brushes are made of nylon or polyester, or a combination of the two. Poly bristles are stiffer, which makes them good for exterior or textured work, but for fine interior work, Doherty uses softer nylon brushes. Look also for tapered bristles, which can help you work to an edge, and flagged tips, which help spread the finish smoothly and evenly. Brushes are available in 1- to 4-inch widths. Most painters keep an arsenal on hand to match the job. "Use common sense," says Maceyunas. "A smaller brush gives you more control, but no one wants to paint a door with a 1-inch-wide brush." Doherty recommends starting with a 2- or 2-1/2-inch sash brush. The angled brush makes it easier to cut to a line and puts more bristles on the work than a square-tipped brush.