You are right on with this - why do people leave switch plates on when it's just so easy to take them off? Another thing that happened to us - we had the popcorn ceiling taken off and the ceiling painted white. When the job was done and I later went to change out all the fixtures/fans, they had left every fixture in place, so there was a large patch of popcorn and unpainted ceiling left behind - it just didn't dawn on me to specify that they take those down before scraping and painting. It was kind of a mess.
Even if you think you'll probably do the job yourself, it's good preparation to seek estimates from professional home painters, whether your painting the exterior or interior of your home. Then you'll have a financial point of comparison and you may benefit from what a home painting contractor has to say about the condition of your home, color choices and types of paint available. Let the painter make his pitch for a professional job before you decide what to do. You can still opt to do it yourself while having learned something worthwhile.
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.
I am in northern Nevada and you have not yet gotten sufficient responses to provide a painting cost chart showing the averages.  I do have a quote from an outside (Not Homeadvisor referral) painter who is local for $2,750 for soffits, patio cover and posts, Garage facia (redwood clapboard above (~300 ? Sq. Ft.) on a 2046 Sq. Ft. home where the walls are 9 ft tall and it is fully stuccoed with plastic stucco surfaces, so not being painted.  
If you're going to do any part of the painting or prep work on your own, you must know that the first step in preparing a surface is washing it. Since dirt can affect the smoothness of a surface area -- and therefore paint's adhesion to it -- use soap to remove any dirt or stains. Make sure there's no soap left on the walls when you're finished; also make sure to remove any gloss with sandpaper and vacuum up the leftover dust.

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Painting your home, both inside and out, improves its curb appeal, character and resale value. Painting is one of the quickest and easiest ways to give your home a face-lift -- and it yields some of the most dramatic results as well. If you have ever visited the painting section of your local hardware store, you know how overwhelming the multitude of paint choices can be. In addition to colors, there are finishes, stains, maintenance and other options to consider. And, if you're interested in adding a mural or trompe l'oeil, you're looking at a whole different set of choices and associated costs. House Painting Wheat Ridge, CO
I hired House Painting Inc to paint some new doors, a couple of hallways, and two bedrooms+baths in my house. The project took about 4 days, they even finished everything 1 day early, which was great since I had carpet installers scheduled to come right after them. They have been very punctual, professional, and helpful with things like color selection. They brought and painted a couple of sample colors, which helped in our final choice. The workers were very clean and came every morning on time. Extremely happy with their work and will hire them again for other projects.

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ScotchBlue Delicate Surface Painter's Tape with Edge-Lock 2080EL ScotchBlue Delicate Surface Painter's Tape with Edge-Lock 2080EL features exclusive Advanced Edge-Lock Paint Line Protector to deliver super sharp paint lines. This tape can be used indoors or outdoors and removes cleanly for up to 60-days without surface or paint damage even when exposed to direct sunlight. ScotchBlue Delicate Surface ...  More + Product Details Close
I hired Harvey's to paint most of the interior of my house. Harvey was so nice, professional, and answered all of my questions. The paint crew was also fantastic. They did a great job and managed to finish the job quicker than originally planned. I plan to use them again in the future to paint the rest of my house's interior because they did such a great job. Home Painters Wheat Ridge, CO

Paint Guarantee: If you are not completely satisfied with your interior and exterior liquid paint purchase (excludes stains and resurfacers), simply return it in its original container to any US Lowe’s store along with your receipt within 30 days of purchase. We will replace it with a can of comparable paint or refund your money based on our return policy (Lowes.com/return). Lowe’s reserves the right in its discretion to limit this pledge in the event of suspected fraud or abuse. US only.
Good contracts include descriptions of prep work and repairs; paint specs by brand name, type, color and product number; the number of coats; and a full description of the work, including frequently omitted items such as cabinet interiors and shutters. Minimize delays by specifying that, weather permitting, work will be continuous. Get a payment schedule that minimizes the down payment — the more payment you can withhold until the end, the more leverage you'll have to get the job done well and per your specifications. Insist that contractors provide proof that they carry both general liability and workers' compensation coverage.

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With more than 15 years of experience, Harvey's House Painting is owned and operated by Rich Harvey. Rich has painted hundreds of homes and businesses in his professional life and has an extensive knowledge of proper procedures and materials, providing you with the best job. With the quality materials and proper preparation, Rich knows that any paint job may be a long-lasting one. House Painting Wheat Ridge, CO
K&S Paint K&S Paint Services was founded in 2007 to offer painting and drywall services for homeowners who need an honest and reliable contractor for residential renovations. Keeping up with your growing list of home improvements and maintenance tasks can be a full-time job, and often times more than a homeowner is equipped to handle on their own.  At K&S Paint Services we have a vast range of experience home improvement including: Interior Painting Exterior Painting Minor Drywall Repair Drywall Texture Wallpaper Removal We realize that the larger painting contractors, drywall contractor’s don’t want to make time ... View Profile
It is often necessary to have a rental property painted -- whether it's to make it your own before you move in or to clean it up for someone new when you move out. Some buildings and landlords have pre-selected painters, while others will contract companies to paint on an as-needed basis. If your landlord or building doesn't have a pre-selected painter, see if you may be allowed to paint the walls yourself. If you're moving in and selecting a non-neutral color, understand that your landlord may require you to repaint the walls the original color when you move out -- and ensure that you're ready to make that investment down the road. Home Painters Wheat Ridge, CO
We had a bad experience with an interior painter years ago, with the crux of the problem being him overcharging us at the end for "extra work" he didn't anticipate. One thing I'd strongly recommend is making sure it's in the contract that any additional work or growth work is estimated and communicated to the owner as soon as it is identified, otherwise the owner is not liable to pay it at the end.

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Specify whether the contractor or you will supply the paint. Check Consumer Reports' paint ratings: In its tests, some relatively inexpensive paints performed better than more expensive paints and cost $10 to $20 less per gallon. But keep in mind that most paints will resist cracking, peeling, mold and mildew. Who does the painting — and how well they do it — is more important than what's in the bucket.

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Never, never hire "Hanks painting" , he is a scam. He charged me 1800 for an 800 sqft house, with the agreement of painting the gutters. He not only didn't paint the gutters, the paint of the walls and front door is pealing off. He did not sand the door and the wall color is washing off. His people don't know the work and he much less than them since he painted the door.
Consider credentials. Before you hire someone, consider his credentials. Membership in a trade or local business group, for example, isn’t a guarantee of quality work, but it shows a level of commitment and reliability on his part. Also verify whether the pro has the appropriate license(s). (You’ll find the licensing information in your state at the Contractor’s License Reference Site. Also check with the Better Business Bureau, the attorney general’s office in your state, or a local consumer-affairs agency to learn whether the contractor has a history of unresolved complaints.
James and all of his crew are truly experienced professionals. From beginning to end they were up front, honest, and fair. They did a beautiful and timely job and were knowledgeable about every step of the process. They patched windows and replaced a rotten wooden door without my even having to ask. I never felt the need to look over their shoulder because I was confident in both their skills and aesthetic. Andrew was the head guy assigned to my project and he couldn't have been more lovely to work with ( a bit of a language barrier, but we made it work). I would highly recommend this company and will look no further in the future. These are guys that take pride in their work.

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"We hired Dustin at James Kate Roofing to replace the asphalt roof on our home in Richardson after receiving three other bids. We are very thankful to have had the opportunity to work with Dustin on this project. Our roof was installed in a very professional way using quality materials at a reasonable price. Dustin was always available when I called and completed the job when scheduled. By the way, he saved us over $8k compared to other bids. Dustin is now our roofer for life! Perfect!" Home Painters Wheat Ridge, CO

First off all clients want a "deal" As a painting contractor for 38 years I can tell you that residential-commercial-industrial clients (and their needs are all diffrent. It seems this discussion mostly concerns residential repaints,so here goes--first off ALWAYS get a personal referance from a friend or co-worker. Always get an itemized contract that specifies the prep,color, number of coats, and specifics on payment. Remember you want to set up a relationship with the painting contractor of your choice. Bond, license and insurance are required to get a contractors license and are readily available online at your state Labor and Industries website. Second-- find someone you trust. He or his crew will probably be left alone in your home for most of the time. I always tell my clients that I wont bring someone to their home I wouldnt have in mine. Third--$$ Dont ever pay up front always insist on progress draws if the project is 2 or 3 phases remember If a contractor wants $3000 to do the job and you give him half up front he will be working for $1500. It WILL affect the quality of the product. In 38 years of business I have never taken a deposit and have never not been paid in full remember do what you said you would do for exactly what you said it would cost and there will be no problems with getting paid. one last reminder to clients you are also being evaluated when you interview a contractor. He is sizing you up as well. If he thinks you are a bit sketchy the the price will go up or he wont take the job at all. I have turned down some jobs that looked very profitable on the surface that turned out not to be so.(word gets around fast in the small painting community) Good Luck to clients and contractors

For years, Handy has been living up to its name by connecting busy customers with house painters. It doesn’t matter whether you live in a house or an apartment—you’re just a mouse-click away from booking top-rated residential house painters. Using Handy to find house painting services is a great way to save time and money! All you need to do is type in your zip code, enter a little information about your wall painting job, and within minutes, you’ll be connected to a top house painting professional in your area.  House Painting Wheat Ridge, CO

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