EasyPaint is an end-to-end online marketplace providing consistent, guaranteed best value paint contracting services. Founded by Marty Cornish and the former CEO of Benjamin-Moore Paints, Denis Abrams, EasyPaint offers pricing and quality to match your individual needs, on demand scheduling, certified painters, and a satisfaction guarantee. Visit easypaint.com or call 800-275-9946 (direct line) for more information or to request a quote.
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This is very important, since an estimate is just that. Many contractors will submit a "paper estimate", meaning they've written the estimate down on paper. The bill is the true amount owed and will almost always say "Invoice" or "Bill" at the top of the page. The bill should also list the date it was issued, the due date of payment, and a list of services rendered.
This is important mostly for larger jobs. Clearly a two man operation is going to build a home much slower than a 15 man crew. This is also a good indication of the overall size of the Painting company, if that's an area of concern for you. The reason you may want to ask about the fleet is that fleet size is a good indicator of the mobility of the company. Mobility may not sound important, but it's hard for the Washington contractors to get to job sites if they lack appropriate vehicles.
Always ask for references, and always check them. Keep in mind though that the only references you'll get are people who the contractor is certain will give him a good review. You'd also be well advised to check online review sources in Washington as well, which will give you a broader view of customer satisfaction for a given company.
The question is great for some industries and non-applicable for others. A general contractor, for example, will by definition employ subcontractors. Most Washington Painting companies do not, but there are exceptions. You should always ask this question to your service providers. If they do use subcontractors, ask if they're all licensed and insured independently.