decorator messed up ...wants to charge me for his mistake

(65 Posts)
princessconsuelabannahammock Wed 06-Jul-16 11:39:20

We had a guy in to repaper and paint our kitchen whilst we were on holiday. 2 weeks before we left we had him over to explain what we wanted done. I was worried i didnt have enough wallpaper as i had bought in from a clearance place - luckily i did, he calculated that i had plenty.

He has done work for us in the past and is very good and reasonably priced.

So we went on holiday, i left a note detailing everything again. He text a couple of times to clarify some points, i got back to him very quickly - within the hour.

In the box where i had the wallpaper i also had 2 rolls which are for our living room. Came home and he had done one wall in correct wallpaper and one wall in living room paper. I could have cried - it looked awful and its not moisture resistant and is next to hob.

So he came over and tried to blame me for the mistake as there were 2 types of paper in the box. I explained our discussions and said i couldnt pay him until its rectified, he reluctantly agreed to this but wants to charge me for a day to strip and repaper the wall ( its only a small wall but fiddly). I think a day rate (£150) for a 8ft section of wall with units on is unreasonable.

AIBU to not pay him as its his mistake (extra day not previously agreed sum) and if he was unsure he should have checked? Also i now dont have enough for the very expensive paper i bought for the living room.

I am happy to pay him a bit extra say £50 but not full day rate. He is good and i do want to use him again as house needs a lot of work. AIBU

MollyTwo Wed 06-Jul-16 11:41:32

In the note did you state clearly that the room needs to be done in the one wallpaper only and which wallpaper to use?

princessconsuelabannahammock Wed 06-Jul-16 11:54:52

No, note did not say that as he had been up to visit and we had a long discussion about whether i had enough of the correct wallpaper i didnt think i needed to. Also second wall paper is so totally different (colours, style) and isnt suitable for high moisture areas.

It however was a mistake to have the wrong wallpaper in the box, we were packing for holiday and i just dumped the whole box on the counter rather than taking out the correct rolls. Hence my aibu. I can find the extra but i saved hard to pay a professional and if i pay his day rate i will have to put off something else.

BikeGeek Wed 06-Jul-16 12:18:30

YANBU - if he had done the kitchen in all the wrong paper I'd say it was your fault, but mixing and matching like that without checking is ludicrous

MelB1992 Wed 06-Jul-16 12:19:52

To be honest I think I would look for another decorator. It's not 100% his fault if you didn't clearly state on a note and had the wallpaper in the same box. But my dad has been a decorator for over 20 years and would say he is clearly incompetent if he used wallpaper that's a completely different colour and not suitable for at area and not even bother to confirm with you.

Also if you don't pay him for the full day to correct his mistake and then ask him to do more work he may do a shitty job just out of spite.

princessconsuelabannahammock Wed 06-Jul-16 12:59:21

He is a good guy and i feel sorry for him but he should have checked. The wrong paper doesnt look like kitchen paper. I dont think its a days work - i could do it myself in a day - except it would be shit! But obvs he wont be able to get another job in and if i hire someone else they will def charge me a day rate for the same reason.

I am less furious now, this is the first time i have hired a decorator and this is my forever home and i just wanted it nice. On the 2 different walls - he said as the kitchen previously had 2 different papers he thought that was what we wanted ( we bought the house like that).

I am pretty sure he will do a good job -i wont be paying him if he doesnt. I will def give him something but i dont want to have to pay £150, i will have to negotiate with him - i am no pushover. It got a bit awkward but i didnt back down, i am tougher than i look!

MaisieDotes Wed 06-Jul-16 13:05:21

OP, you say this is the first time you've hired a decorator but in your first post you say this guy has done work for you in the past.

Did he do non-decorating work for you before? If so, is he more a handyman?

You might be wise to cut your losses with this guy and get someone else in to rectify the situation.

bumsexatthebingo Wed 06-Jul-16 13:10:49

To be honest I think as the kitchen was previously done in 2 different papers and 2 were left out it was both of your faults. I think you should have given clear instructions but also he should have made sure he knew what he was doing. I'm wondering why he didn't ask which paper you wanted on which wall for eg?

whois Wed 06-Jul-16 13:34:59

I think its a bit 6 of one and half a dozen of another - you should have been clearer but he should have checked. I'd probably pay him for the extra time but be annoyed about it/at myself.

princessconsuelabannahammock Wed 06-Jul-16 13:37:40

I do accept a little of the blame as there were two papers out - i didnt realise they were both in the box. I was on holiday and he did text to confirm some details as we had 3 colours on the walls. I dont understand why he used both papers - the right one was clearly labelled as kitchen and bathroom paper and the other one is just normal paper.

He came over and we discussed it in detail a couple of weeks before he did the job. I got annoyed with him as he tried to blame me and i was just so disappointed. It really took the shine off of things. I saved for months to be able to afford this and paying 1/3rd extra on top seems a bit much.

trafalgargal Wed 06-Jul-16 13:38:29

My decorator told me no he hadn't hung the paper on our lounge feature wall upside down. I said it after he hung the first piece. He still continued on after I'd gone to work and insisted it wasn't. I couldn't be arsed arguing so took a photo and stuck it on FB asking if people thought it was upside down and tagged him in . Two hundred yeses and he re did it . Some days I just love social media !

user1467805734 Wed 06-Jul-16 13:40:55

I would be payin 3/4 at least if not all, it's your mistake you put the wrong paper in the box.

ArriettyMatilda Wed 06-Jul-16 13:45:07

I would have expected him to check which wall you want each paper on if there was two in the box. I can see why he might have thought you wanted both if there was two types previously.

FeliciaJollygoodfellow Wed 06-Jul-16 13:45:53

These types of threads are why I sometimes need to step away from MN.

Only on MN will you get people agonising over whether or not a trained decorator would have realised that the paper he made calculations for was or wasn't what he needed to put on the walls.

Tell him you won't pay for his mistake, if he wasn't sure he had the means to contact you. He's chancing his arm because he knows he's made a mistake.

princessconsuelabannahammock Wed 06-Jul-16 13:54:45

Felica - i totally agree with you. I like to turn it around and if i was the decorator i wouldnt expect to be paid to put right my mistake. I did point out all those things during our very awkward discussions. He hasnt expressly asked for a days pay but dropped several very large and unsubtle hints that i refused to pick up on.

We weren't here and i am sure he wasnt here for all the 3 days he charged me for and i had to pay an extra £50 as he said that 2 small things werent in the original quote.I am pretty sure i wont get an invoice either! If he doesnt kick up a huge fuss i will pay him an extra £50 but if he insists on an extra day i will probably dig my heels in. I still want to use him in the future as he is good and good tradesmen are hard to find.

Vixster99 Wed 06-Jul-16 13:58:40

We had a decorator in as part of an insurance claim, and it was agreed that they would pay him direct rather than reimburse me. I chose some wallpaper, which was pretty expensive, for a feature wall. I got home from work & he'd totally screwed up the pattern match, and it made me dizzy to look at it. He argued with me for ages about it & eventually I told him that whatever HE thought, I wanted it redone. He did. But he charged the insurance company for the extra paper & labour, and of course they didn't query it.

bumsexatthebingo Wed 06-Jul-16 14:00:15

When he said you had plenty of paper was he including the rolls for the lounge though do you think?

user1467805734 Wed 06-Jul-16 14:04:45

> if i was the decorator i wouldnt expect to be paid to put right my mistake.

It was your mistake you had a different roll in the box.

BurningBridges Wed 06-Jul-16 14:05:42

I don't think a guy who hangs wallpaper just because its to hand even though its the wrong type and colour is a good workman, and you have said that you think he over-charged a bit. I think you can simply offer him £50 as you have suggested and then not use him again.

BurningBridges Wed 06-Jul-16 14:06:35

Come to think of it that's exactly the sort of incompetent thing my DH would do and I wouldn't pay him to decorate!

Cleo1303 Wed 06-Jul-16 14:24:12

He sounds like a complete idiot. As you say, he contacted while you were away with other queries but not over this.

Of course he should have checked with you and he should have known that one of the papers he used isn't suitable for high moisture areas. That is his job.

Anyway, even if there were two different papers and he thought that was what you wanted, how would he know which paper you wanted on which wall without checking with you first?

Let's say one is floral and the other is plain. The obvious thing would have been for him to phone you and ask you where you wanted the floral paper and where you wanted the plain.

Offer him £50 to put it right and don't use him again.

princessconsuelabannahammock Wed 06-Jul-16 14:25:29

bum - nope i showed him the 4 rolls of correct paper i had, so no mix up there. The other 2 eye wateringly expensive rolls i had were for a feature wall in my living room- cant do that now, there isnt enough left.

Burning - he was the cheapest quote i had - the other two were very expensive and i believe they were taking the mick. Around here its £120-150 a day for a decorator, he charged me for 2.5 days. The other quotes worked out at nearly 5 days work and i could have done it myself in that time even with 3 kids hanging off my legs! I think his work is sound however and he has done a lot of work for people i know, he was personally recommended.

I am annoyed but i still feel that he deserves a little something. What i really want is for him to say "its all my fault, of course you shouldn't pay me to rectify it" and then i can have a clear conscience.

PuppyMonkey Wed 06-Jul-16 14:33:45

Could you meet him half way? - only because of you leaving the wrong rolls in the same box and not stating it in writing what you wanted?

ExtraHotLatteToGo Wed 06-Jul-16 14:34:19

He should be buying you replacement paper for the walls in the living room!

He's an incompetent moose - there's no way you should pay him anything more! FFS he'd seen the 4 rolls, you'd asked if it was enough. The other stuff is not kitchen paper & it's not a match with the other one.

Actually, I wonder if he sent an apprentice there knowing you weren't going to be there...

VeganCow Wed 06-Jul-16 14:36:57

so he charged you £450 to paper the kitchen? Is it a very ;large kitchen?!

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