Angie's List: Right questions to ask when hiring a painting contractor

LEWISTON, ID - When it comes to home improvement, painting is one of easiest and least expensive ways to dramatically change the look of a room.

However, there are many factors that can influence how your project will turn out. We show you what they are in today's Angie's List report.

"When reviewing a painting contract, it should include how much the job is going to be, how many coats of paint it will include, what type of prep work they are going to do, and what type of products they are going to use," said Angie's List Owner, Angie Hicks.

"And the reason why you may have someone that's great at painting and they can make a wall look great, but if the under laying surface hasn't been prepped you may see imperfections, there may be problems with the adhesion's," said Painting Contractor, Sean Eichenberg. "Certain things not addressed prior to painting make a really good paint job not last and it could also make a paint job look really really bad."

"Recently, we had Pinnacle paint our mantle," said Homeowner, Brad Stutler. "Before it was stained wood. We really thought that was what we wanted when we initially built the house, but we really decided we needed a change so they painted that. It's been a great difference for our living room."

"A lot of times people tackle this project themselves, but you need to understand when you're over your head because a good paint job is dependent on the prep work," said Hicks. "If you have walls that need a lot of repair or re-surfacing hiring a professional may be well worth the money."

Consider these elements when obtaining a painting estimate: number of coats, square footage, and prep work. Get three bids to ensure you are comparing apples to apples. A good contract will include the type of finishes and colors as well as the number of coats and the pricing for additional coats. Quality products are key so be sure your contractor is using what you want.