There are resources online that I thought I'd try, and then I read an article in the Home section of the L. A. Times about a website directory of home and garden services. The headline reads "The Zagat Guide of home improvement" and features www.angieslist.com among others.
I gave it a try and found it had an easy search feature and rating system, including customer comments, good or bad. I selected PAINTER - EXTERIOR from the service search field and a substantial list of companies came up. There's a minimal fee to sign up, but being a homeowner I know it's tough to find good workers and reliable service, so I think it's a small price to pay, if it works out.
I selected three in the area (It'll provide you the distance from the company in relation to your home) and called. The first number said it was "Not a working number", the second one was busy the few times that I dialed it, and the third one got through. I spoke to Jay Hu, the owner, let him know what I wanted and he said he could come over to take a look at the place the next day.
He was here promptly at 2:30. And in my book, promptness gets you big points. Jay walked around the house with Will and I. I showed him the color combination that I put up on the bay window. Showed him the roof brackets I wanted to restore, as well as the trim that wraps around the front of the house.
At the end of the tour, we walked down to look at the garage and I asked him about his availability and how long he thought the job would take. Then I told him I found him on Angies List and asked him if he know about that service. He didn't. I showed him the printout that I had and read to him this comment:
shingle house, advising me well on choice of color...
very responsive to suggestions and specific requests...
The work was performed at the highest level of skill..."
He'll fax us the estimate tomorrow. I have a good feeling about Jay Hu. And I can't wait to see the old girl in her new coat.