I did go with the highest bidder and it did not matter. They did a shoddy job and threatened to take me to court when I pointed out mistakes that they made based on their work standards stated on the quote. I have not paid them yet, just filed a complaint with the BBB. No money down asked, no contract signed. The boss stated I have to high of expectations just because I live in a 121 year old house!
The other difficult part is getting a painting contractor to show up. While this generalization does not apply to every painter, personally I am extremely grateful if I can get a paint contractor to show up to look at the house and to later produce a written estimate. I hardly fault the painting contractors, because I think it is a combination of the contractors being smaller operations along with a high demand for their work.
My wife and I couldn't be more pleased with Rich Harvey/Harvey's House Painting. Rich met me at my new home I just purchased to walk the entire house and provided a detailed quote less than 48 hours later. Rich was on time and also gave me a professional packet of detailed information to keep on his company (including a copy of his Certificate of Insurance) and the services they provide. His crew showed up on time every day, was extremely friendly, professional and completed the job on time. The quality of the work was outstanding, and even during the final walk through, both Rich and myself pointed out a few areas of touch up that needed to be completed and his crew did all of the minor touch up work right on the spot. When the job was complete, the final amount was exactly what Rich had quoted me, and VERY affordable (especially compared to other highly rated companies in the area I had quote the same job.) Rich has a great approach, he's honest, straight forward and was a pleasure to work with. I would definitely hire him in the future for any inside or outside painting job!