If your home was built before 1979, the paint might contain lead, which is extremely hazardous to children age 6 and younger. Call your local public health department for information on how to check for lead and handle lead paint safely. For a free booklet on dealing with lead paint, contact the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency at www.epa.gov/lead.
The article and comments were great information to have before deciding how to go about getting a painting job done. I think the important point is that there are several key choices (who to do the work; color, sheen, quality, of paint; how many coats; amount of prep/repairs to be done and by whom, how long the job will take, provisions for changes, how detailed the contract needs to be; advanced deposit/progress payments/final payment; final inspection, etc.) that need to be made and it requires advanced research and planning in order to become well enough informed to make the right choices. Then it requires spending sufficient time to check materials and inspect the quality of the work while it is on-going, raher than waiting to do it all at the end. President Reagan's philosophy of "Trust, but verify." applies.
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!

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Because it is next to impossible to find out information about local painting contractors on the Internet, the old adage “talk to neighbors” applies here. Some painting contractors display signs on the lawns of houses they are working on, but you find this more with general contractors and siding and replacement windows companies. So, other than the painter’s white panel van out front, you often do not know what is going on inside your neighbors’ houses.

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I had a big job in a Townhome that I had just purchased.  I wanted the whole home painted.  Loft and high ceilings and all.  Estimate was timely.  The best way to paint is when the place is empty and luckily I had that luxury.  I wanted to make sure to be painted before I move in.  They were the ONLY company who promised that timing and I believed they would deliver.  You'll see if you meet James the owner.  Honest and classy he is.  The price was fair and I liked everything I saw and heard with the company
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.

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