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!
Not only careful communication is essential, but we would greatly recommend, when you pick out your type and brand of paint that you go and pay for it, with the contractor's discount, which is given by Sherwin-Williams and most paint companies. Then you will know how much paint you purchased and the coverage. If it is possible, inspect the work of the painter daily.

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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!
Carole, you raise an excellent point that should be included in this list. Any contractor coming on to your property should provide you with a Certificate of Insurance from his agent showing evidence of Commercial General Liability and Workers Comp. Without these protections in place, an attorney for a contractor's worker or a 3rd party injured in the course of the work on your property will name YOU in a lawsuit. It's a minor inconvenience up front to ask for this documentation compared to the cost of litigation when something goes wrong.
This article is outdated. Deep based colors were an increase in price back in the 90's. Most stores have a standard price for all colors now. The problems the author are citing are outdated and rarely happen. This is the 2nd time I've seen this article being emailed out, it's irresponsible of angies list to keep sending out this poorly written and inaccurate article.

Painting your home's interior is more than just a maintenance project. It's often the simplest and most economical way to transform the look of your entire home. A basic paint update can provide a much-needed refresh to the walls, ceiling, and trim in your home, while a change of colors can help redefine a space, a room, or the entire place. With a limitless array of colors available for virtually any surface and a number of sheens to provide just the right look and level of durability, you're sure to find the right match for every application.
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.
The graph says the average cost to paint a home interior is $1600; at the high end, $4,000. But for what size home? I'm getting estimates for painting an 1800 square foot townhome in the range of about $6500 - which includes sanding and repainting all doors, and painting all trim, walls and ceilings. What does the range above include and for how big of a home? Thanks. 

Home Interior Painter

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