Some contractors work on time and material others on a firm contract. I would never hire the former and am leary of the latter. A contractor may low-ball a bid to get the job planning to make a killing on change orders. If you say good morning to them, they charge you extra for that. If the contract is not very, very specific and extensively fleshed out or if they display their change order schedule prominently on top, show them the door.
Upon first impression they were amazing and gave a great quote to paint my house in Pacific Palisades. We settled on a start date of December 3rd. The date came and went and they did not show up. I had to follow up with them and they said they would come the first week of January. I have put two calls into them today and they have not returned my call. I would not recommend this company. They can't even show up! After 48 hours they did finally follow up - be it by e-mail. They do care about their Yelp reviews, which I think is a good thing. I am going to increase my review from a 1 to a 3 star because they finally followed up. I did not end up using them, I did hire another company and so far so good.
Can't speak highly enough of the service we received from James and his team. I did my due diligence and met with 3 painters. If I'd have met with James first, I might have skipped the other meetings. He talked me out of some extra work that wouldn't have come out the way i'd envisioned and showed me a packet full of successful projects, happy clients that dated back to the 1970s.