Price: In choosing the best price, make sure that you compare apples-to-apples. Compare written estimates (not verbal promises) regarding the amount of preparation, quality of materials, number of coats etc. The lowest price is seldom the best price.
If a painting contractor believes that price is all that matters, he will endeavor to keep his price as low as possible. He may omit items that are marginally necessary, use less expensive products, or simply cut corners. He may give the customer limited opinions, believing that the more expensive alternatives will not be considered. No matter his specific tactic, he tries to have the lowest price, because in his mind that is how the job will be won.
Promptness: A contractor who keeps the appointment for an estimate is more likely to arrive promptly for the job and complete the project on time.
Communications: How a contractor responds to phone calls can be an indication of your ability to contact him after the work begins. If you must wait days for a return phone call, will the same occur after the job starts?
Insurance: Adequate insurance is important for your protection. Ask to see a Certificate of Insurance.
Written Proposal: A well written proposal will carefully describe what is included in the job. This allows both parties to clarify any omissions or misunderstandings. The proposal speaks volumes about the professionalism of the contractor.
References: Any qualified painting contractor should be able to produce a list of good references. If possible, drive by a recently completed job and look at the quality of their work.
Consumer awareness: No two jobs are exactly alike. A professional contractor will seek to learn what you need and/ or desire. He will listen to your comments and questions and make recommendations suited to your purposes.
Trust: A painting contractor may be at or in your home for a week or longer. Be certain that you feel comfortable with him.