Standard down-payment / deposit percentage for home repair services?

What is the industry "standard" down payment (deposit) that is used when paying a contractor for renovations (not a large company like Home Depot or Sears, but an individual contractor)? In this case I'm being quoted about $2,000 to get the exterior of my house painted.
Should I pay 50% ($1000) immediately and the remaining 50% once the work is complete? What's the industry norm?
Obviously there is an equilibrium between fairness (to the contractor) and financial safety (to myself) to minimize risk in case the contractor goes bankrupt during/before the job (or if he's a criminal, to take my money and never do the job or do a lousy job).
Thank you.
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I do not think there is a standard. I work with a painter that wants $500 at signing for the paint and the balance on completion. ($1800.00) I have had a pool replaster that wanted 1/3 at start, removal and finish. I gave him $500 at signing, balance to 1/3 at removal and the balance when they finished. ($4000.00) Extras are paid in full at the time of payment. A grand up front is a lot of money to me.
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Here is the one I use:
http://www.actcontractorsforms.com/PDF/Painting_Contractors_PDF/XP3 (Ext%20Residential).pdf
Note the primer payment.
Bob
On 5 Jul 2004 10:11:01 -0700, jonny snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Jonny R) wrote:

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I would require $700.00 down for that size job. I collect the money the day we start the job. That way the homeowner is a little more comfortable as we have delivered all the materials and a substantial amount of work done that first day. I have one customer that pays cash up front for the whole job---his projects get done first.
AZCRAIG

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Get local refrences and check them , A one man crew should have ten for every year , A 4 man maybe 20 as he gets bigger jobs. Your court house records will show if he is a crook. Never give a downpayment till after he starts. 25% is fair . Big jobs get a payment in the middle . Never give 50 % . Go see their work, talk to customers.
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I have always advised NOT to give 50% down under any circumstances. I would suggest 10% to 25% maximum. There are reasons for this and a good professional company usually follows those guidelines. Also I would suggest a contract that spells out what you are getting, any warranties what is covered and for how long. A sample contract may be of help even though it is primarily ac & heat. http://members.tripod.com/arthurghewett/id27.htm#below_is_a_sample_of_a_contract___the
Don't tell me what I can understand, tell me what I can't mis-understand (Gen. Douglas McArthur)! No matter what you do you are a problem solver....what do you do? Arthur, Website: www.arthurhewett.com Email: snipped-for-privacy@bellsouth.net

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CB hes talking painting where material is not the like the outlay of thousands for a hvac unit . Initial prep and primer are usualy minimal.
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