If the exterior of your home could use a fresh coat of paint, you can start the process by getting an estimate. This should include a list of all the work required for a long lasting, high quality paint job from a reputable painting company in your area. Here are somethings to look for.
Pressure washing the exterior of your home should be included in the estimate. Proper cleaning removes dirt and chemicals from the surface of your home, as well as mildew spores that can cause your new paint job to fail fast.
Never accept the listing of prep work without a detailed list of what that work entails. The type of work performed in this step can be the difference between an amazing finished project and a terrible one that will need to be redone within the next few years. Wood siding with loose or peeling paint needs to be properly scraped and any gaps should be filled in with caulk. Bare wood should be primed to prevent paint sinking in, costing you more in material than if the prep were done correctly. Make sure all of these things are listed on the estimate before signing.
Make sure the painting contractor details how the paint will be applied, as well as the number of coats. Stipulate that all non-painted areas be covered and that clean-up be done after the job is completed. Also, be sure to ask how the contractor will handle rain conditions and always get the name of the paint being used as well as the colors.
This should always be included without having to ask. A final inspection is necessary to make sure any touch ups do not get missed as well as any necessary clean up. Any concerns with colors or number of coats should be brought up at this point.
If your estimate includes all of these things, the finished product should be an exterior paint job that lasts you 10 years or more. Never be afraid to ask for things in writing. This is the only way to make sure you are getting what you pay for.