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.
Professional painters provide estimates primarily based on the square footage of your home. Painting an average home between 500 and 1,500 square feet can cost between $1,000 and $3,000. However, factors such as number of stories and ease of access can also affect the overall price. Homeowners report that the average cost to paint a house nationally is $2,581 and most pay between $1,714 and $3,682.
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It's okay to receive ballpark figures over the phone however, insist upon an in-home estimate. A quality painter will help point out why certain parts of the project might be more expensive and can even talk through the repair process if it's necessary. A painter should also ask questions regarding access to the painting site, where they should park and if any HOA rules prohibit hours of work.
When the primer is dry, caulk all small joints (less than ¼-inch-wide) in the siding and trim. Most pros use siliconized acrylics—paint won't stick to straight silicones—but Guertin and O'Neil like the new, more expensive urethane acrylics for their greater flexibility and longevity. O'Neil stresses that it's shortsighted to skimp on caulk. "If the joint fails, you're back to square one." Guertin uses the lifetime rating as his quality guide. "I don't expect 35-year caulk will last 35 years, but it should last longer than a 15-year caulk."
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. 

Many Californians have come to expect higher costs than their neighbors in other parts of the country for everything from gasoline to real estate. However, hiring a house painter in Sacramento is often about on par with prices across the country. According to our figures, the national average cost for painting is about $2,100 for interiors and $2,900 for exteriors. In the upper Central Valley, expect interior painting jobs to run anywhere from $800 to $3,500, with many jobs coming in, at, or below the national average. For exterior house painting, Sacramento homeowners should expect a bill in the $2,500 to $3,500 range with the simplest projects coming in at $1,000 or less and the most involved hitting $4,000 or more.

My painter franchisee, who I got from Angie's List, must have found some shmucks on the corner to paint my house. I specifically said I wanted stain. First my house was painted the wrong color, Then it was painted with LATEX paint- not stain. Estimates to 'undo' the damage is around $10,000 and its not a guarantee that it will work. The work is at best amateurish. Many underpainted or not painted spots, drips, etc. They did the entire outside (scraping?, priming? caulking?, painting), cleaned up and left within the time I left for work and came home. There were thee of them (my neighbor told me) This was two years ago and I am still upset. Can't be fixed.

Painting professionals might charge more or less to paint your home's exterior based on its construction material. Some materials cost more to paint than others because of their texture, the paint required to properly cover them, and whether specialized materials are required to prepare them for painting or the elements. Find more information on the various types of siding available, as well as how much it might cost to paint or prepare each.

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