Unhappy With Decorating Work

edited 30 September 2011 at 2:13AM in In My Home (includes DIY) MoneySaving
16 replies 3.4K views
jambooboojambooboo Forumite
92 Posts
I as of last weekend got someone in to decorate a property I recently purchased - painting the hall, lounge, and one of the bedrooms of a property built (and last decorated) five years ago. I got a quote for four radiators resprayed white, two coats of matt on the walls and ceiling and one coat of white gloss over the white skirting boards, window boards, door frames and architraves.

I got a written quote for £675 (me supplying the paint) for an estimated six days work, and the guy has thus far been in there four days for between 5-7 hours each day thus far. Tonight he called saying the work is almost finished; as far as I'm concerned the work is very shoddy and requires much more than the "two more hours" he stated when we spoke tonight to bring things upto any decent standard.

I've been in tonight after he called to properly inspect the place with a friend, and the work is good in some parts but very patchy in others - for example the skirting boards are as good as two tone with the inch or so closest to floor being the same discoloured white colour as they were previous (and above being shiny white paint). Likewise all of the cutting in by the skirting boards/around light switches and plug sockets/woodwork has been done without using masking tape, and the lines are wonky (for example on the walls the paint has gone on the sockets while there's the previous magnolia showing through).

We agreed before he started that I'd pay him in installments at the end of each day (basically the £675 divided by six), and have thus far been mostly happy with things. The bulk of the painting work is done, but it just isn't very 'neat' - I had anticipated that he'd be spending the remaining two days making things look neat, not that there's only a few more hours left to it.

I've been round with a friend tonight so as to get a second opinion, as I wondered if I was being finicky about things not being neat - they thought it was shoddier than I, and pointed out further examples of rushed and uncompleted work.

I'm unsure what to do about things. I don't want to get in a dispute with the guy, but I'm not happy with the quality of work and the corners cut. I've signed a contract with him, which states that it is estimated to take six days. If he did spend another two on it then I've no doubt it would look neat, and I'd be more than happy to pay the £675 as agreed, but he's talking like he's done and wants the remainder of the balance and onto the next job.

Advice on how to handle things/my next step?
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Replies

  • LeifLeif Forumite
    3.7K Posts
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    I have no idea what to do, but a professional should be able to cut in at edges by hand and get a neat result. And unscrewing switches and sockets to paint under the edge takes no time at all. I am renting a flat while I decorate a house, and the paint work in the flat was done professionally to a high standard, which I find hard to equal. Sounds like he is a bodger and not a pro.
    Warning: This forum may contain nuts.
  • nickj_2nickj_2 Forumite
    7.1K Posts
    if you're not happy with it , make a list of things yoi want sorted - give it to him and if he's a decent painter he will put it right , if not don't pay anymore until you're happy
  • Cheers for the advice.

    We spoke about it on his arrival today, and I pointed out the substandard work. He agreed with all of it, saying he'd make it good. After ten minutes of his doing so I realised his idea of making things good were different to mine, so I reluctantly said we needed to call things off and settle the work thus far.

    Not the most pleasant situation to confront, but glad I did so.
  • What paint did you buy then?
    Not Again
  • DVardysShadowDVardysShadow
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    jambooboo wrote: »
    ... I got a written quote for £675 (me supplying the paint) for an estimated six days work,

    .... We agreed before he started that I'd pay him in installments at the end of each day (basically the £675 divided by six),
    The written quote was good. But the rest of it looks bound to end in tears.

    A reasonably capable tradesman will recommend and buy his own choice of paint, to colours you specify - or get the brand you specify - only letting you get the paint if you insist. He will also not want paying for a job this small until completion.

    The fact that he did it this way indicates to me that he is not the real McCoy
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  • LeifLeif Forumite
    3.7K Posts
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    I wonder what the law says on these matters i.e. when work is deemed by the client to be of substandard quality?
    Warning: This forum may contain nuts.
  • Leif wrote: »
    I wonder what the law says on these matters i.e. when work is deemed by the client to be of substandard quality?


    Client bought the paint.

    Their choice & in court, most if not all their fault.

    Unless of course there are drips everywhere
    Not Again
  • LeifLeif Forumite
    3.7K Posts
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    Client bought the paint.

    Their choice & in court, most if not all their fault.

    Unless of course there are drips everywhere

    All of the complaints are due to poor workmanship rather than poor paint e.g. not painting the bottom of the skirting board and poor cutting in.
    Warning: This forum may contain nuts.
  • Leif wrote: »
    All of the complaints are due to poor workmanship rather than poor paint e.g. not painting the bottom of the skirting board and poor cutting in.


    Read it again
    Not Again
  • LeifLeif Forumite
    3.7K Posts
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    Read it again

    Once was enough. Did you read the first post at all? :D

    This is a quote: "I've been in tonight after he called to properly inspect the place with a friend, and the work is good in some parts but very patchy in others - for example the skirting boards are as good as two tone with the inch or so closest to floor being the same discoloured white colour as they were previous (and above being shiny white paint). Likewise all of the cutting in by the skirting boards/around light switches and plug sockets/woodwork has been done without using masking tape, and the lines are wonky (for example on the walls the paint has gone on the sockets while there's the previous magnolia showing through)."

    All of the above complaints relate to poor workmanship. He does say "the work is good in some parts but very patchy in others". Perhaps you read that as indicating that the paint itself was patchy. I don't think that is what was meant.
    Warning: This forum may contain nuts.
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