Paper drop cloths: $3 to $5 for 9x12-feet. Paper drop cloths provide a cheap way to cover furniture or windows while painting small, indoor jobs, such as touching up window trim. They're absorbent and textured to hold paint. When you're finished, you can just fold them up and throw them away. However, paper cloths are not the best option for protecting floors since they can tear easily.
Get estimates from several contractors, request and contact references, search for complaints at the Better Business Bureau and check that the company is properly bonded and insured, as well as licensed in your state . Only pay a small deposit, and don't pay the entire amount until the job is finished to your complete satisfaction (both painting and cleanup).
Two aesthetic things to consider when selecting a finish are how shiny you'd like the surface to be and whether or not you want to hide any imperfections on the surface to be painted. Generally, higher-gloss paint finishes reflect light better than lower-gloss finishes, like eggshell and matte. That makes them shiny, and also causes them to highlight flaws in walls and ceilings.