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Decorating - we've been quoted £13,750 - please tell me they're taking the Michael?

(90 Posts)
KindleMum Tue 02-Apr-13 22:24:53

We complete new week on our new house and are getting quotes for work at the moment. The first complete quote has been rather a shock and includes £13,750 for decorating - that's just papering and painting, not plastering. Please tell me they're trying to take me for a ride because if all the quotes are in that league I'll have to learn to wallpaper and do it myself.
It does have 3 receps and 5 bedrooms but they are not enormous rooms. And I'd be providing any patterned paper and top colour paint on top of that. They're only including undercoat or lining paper in that figure.

Suttyshotty Wed 03-Apr-13 09:03:48

They are taking the pee surely, that's is an annual salary in some jobs! Wallpapering is dead easy, tell them but no thanks! shock

KindleMum Wed 03-Apr-13 09:21:09

Eskino - I'd never use unqualified people to do electrics or gas etc but for decorating then yes I think it could work out very well for both sides. I have friends who don't really want to take their annual leave as they can't go anywhere due to no money and they're afraid they'll still spend too much just by having the free time. So if I can't get a sensible and affordable quote, I think I will ask a friend.

Gregssausageroll Wed 03-Apr-13 09:40:37

Hi. He uses his own equipment but I provide paint etc.

Last job he took 2.5 days to do one room however, it was for DS and the colours used are red, blue, yellow and green - think Lego colours. He therefore had to do 3 coats each. If it were painting neutral on neutral I would imagine it would be quicker.

Potterer Wed 03-Apr-13 10:16:35

I'm in Leeds West Yorkshire and that quote is ridiculous!

If I remember correctly, when I had my double garage converted into a playroom 2 1/2 years ago I painted it myself but the builder said his decorator would do it for £450.

That would be probably 2 mist coats as it was newly plastered and 2 coats of paint. The room is 5.4m long x 3.6m wide. It would have included the ceiling and the coving.

Personally I would have the rooms replastered whilst the house is empty as wallpapering poor walls will look awful. I assume they are getting round the wall quality by putting lining paper on.

I prefer painting as if you change your mind about a colour a year later, you just repaint, no faffing with wallpaper stripping. Plus I have two boys who have knocked into wallpapered walls before and ripped it.

My lounge is 4.5m square and I was told it would cost me about £350 to have it replastered, it is currently wallpapered but has been painted over in the past. So when we come to decorate the lounge, then we will be having it plastered.

Rikalaily Wed 03-Apr-13 10:41:19

Wow, dp & I must have saved a bomb over the years decorating our own place. He's a plasterer and has skimmed almost the whole house, I paper and we both share the painting. He's also re-tiled the loo and put a breakfast bar in the kitchen. He'd never done either before but gave it a go and did a fab job with both so even if something is new to you, give it a try!

It might be cheaper and easier in the long run getting the walls that need it skimmed instead of papering, once it's skimmed the upkeep is easy and will save you alot of decorating money and time in the future.

I used to have to paper my whole house as the walls were a bit crap, when dp moved in one of the first things his did was strip and skim everywhere and now decorating is a doddle, a few hours and a couple of tubs of paint vs days of stripping and re-papering. In fact I'm going to be redoing the landing today while he's at work, will take me about 2 hours I think. If I'd had to paper it would take the whole day by myself.

flowery Wed 03-Apr-13 10:45:20

"their quote is charging me 25% more for this item than if I bought it retail and had it installed by the supplier."

That's your cue to walk away right there.

KindleMum Wed 03-Apr-13 10:45:57

Ok, taking the comments on board and will get a quote for total replastering/skimming. Any ideas what that "ought" to cost per room?

lightrain Wed 03-Apr-13 10:46:13

OP - my DH is a painter and decorator and we are in west yorks. PM me if you would like (his quote would certaily not be £13k!!!!).

lightrain Wed 03-Apr-13 10:47:09


ENormaSnob Wed 03-Apr-13 10:54:47

That is an obscene amount shock

flow4 Wed 03-Apr-13 11:18:50

I'm in West Yorkshire too, and agree it's a totally ridiculous amount! I had an insurance claim in 2010 (after a bath leak) and they paid out £2k to replaster, repaper and repaint a 4x5m room, hallway and stairs. I was surprised because I knew it would actually cost well under £1k using local trades people. But apparently insurance companies use set prices/formulae. Maybe this company does mostly insurance work, so quotes high...?

KindleMum Wed 03-Apr-13 17:10:11

Ok, the builder phoned this morning to see what I thought of his quote and I'm still deciding whether to feel entertained or insulted by his explanations.

I said that we were waiting to compare it with other quotes but we felt it was much too high and a couple of things eg the decorating were just ridiculous. He said that they'd allowed headroom in the decorating price for problems etc and it was easily reduced. Isn't that just builder-speak for either " I thought I could get away with it as you're stupid" or, worse "I'll reduce it now to secure the work and then I'll find the aforementioned problems at a later date and put it back up"?

Anyway, it was a quote, not an estimate so if I'd paid I wouldn't have got this "padding" refunded, they do think I'm stupid, don't they?

Even better, I explained my confusion over the item where they're claiming to be buying for me so that I benefit from their trade discount and yet the cost to me is more than buying it retail and having it installed by the manufacturer's approved supplier. The explanation for that was that he has to charge me the gross price he pays and then add his VAT on top. The funny bit there is that he knows I'm a chartered accountant - wouldn't you assume I have a working knowledge of VAT and not try to lie about it. I know full well he gets to reclaim the VAT he's paid to his supplier. Yes, he has to charge me VAT but not VAT on VAT thank you very much! And there's still no trade discount in any part of that calculation, in fact his "trade" price from the supplier is dearer than my retail one for the identical item.

And I queried to confirm that "fit" means I'd be supplying the item and "supply and fit" means they've included buying the item in their price. Obvious but I had reason to be suspicious from the quote. Answer - it depends! They "might" have put "fit" in some places and meant "supply and fit". They will check and make it clearer. Really. Riiiiiight.

Why do they think I have the IQ of Homer Simpson? What did I do to make them think that?

DaisyBD Wed 03-Apr-13 17:54:52

Why do they think I have the IQ of Homer Simpson? What did I do to make them think that?

Failed to have a y chromosome, probably.

KindleMum Wed 03-Apr-13 18:18:36

Oh Daisy, it's so depressing that it's still like that. It really is. I'm not 100% sure whether me being female or DH sounding posh is the bigger problem - wrt to leading them to think that we're idiots.

Thing is, as I'm SAHM for another year or so, it will be me that is mainly dealing with builders, not DH. So I'm going to have months of being treated as a idiot ahead of me. Lovely.

flow4 Wed 03-Apr-13 19:03:00

They probably think you're idiots it's worth a punt, because...
You're female.
Your husband is 'letting' his wife negotiate with builders.
You're from 'down south'.
At least one of you 'talks posh'.
You have a very big house.
You are at home with children and don't have a visible job (when you say he 'knows' you're a chartered accountant, you actually mean you've told him, don't know? He doesn't necessarily believe you! grin )
... They were definitely trying it on. And yes, you're right it's depressing. sad

flow4 Wed 03-Apr-13 19:05:00

But no, you don't have "months of being treated as a idiot ahead" of you. You've simply ruled out this company, and you need to find the right trades-people who don't think like this. smile

pollypandemonium Wed 03-Apr-13 19:19:18

I guess it does depend on the existing condition and the standard required. You could say it would take a day to paint one room with two layers, but then there is preparation which could take longer. You want to be paying around £120 per day and if that's 4 days per room (generous) you're looking at £500 per room. Multiply that by 8 (5 beds 3 receps) and you have £4K add the stairs and any fiddly bits and you're looking at 5K just for the walls.

Woodwork if it includes doors and any 'making good' could take the same amount of labour again. But £10k would be absolute maximum although if they are including VAT it would come to £12K.

As I said it would depend on the condition of the surfaces and the quality you require.

Apparentlychilled Wed 03-Apr-13 19:21:50

I'm in West Yorkshire too and paid about £500 for a room 4m x3m to be painted last year. Pm me I you'd like the details. Sounds like bonkers money to me.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Wed 03-Apr-13 19:25:55

Good grief. Do not use him. He is a con man.

I am VERY pleased that we do it ourselves. I can't believe how much people are saying it costs to have your home decorated. I had assumed a couple of hundred quid, max.

silverfrog Wed 03-Apr-13 19:35:21

it does all depend on what you're getting for the money though, Hec.

eg last year when we spent just over £5k redecorating our house (5 beds, 3 bathrooms, 4 reception rooms - all rooms bigger than 4mx5m) we had a minimum of 3 people in virtually 24/7 (house was empty as before we moved in) for 8 days. call it 18 hour working days (they were deffo there at midnight, and would be arriving as dh went to work at 6am - moving across the road has massive advantages when it comes to keeping an eye on workmen grin), that makes at least 430 man hours (actually more as towards the end there was another guy working too to get the job done). that comes to £11.50/hour, inclusive of materials - not such a bad price after all.

the bill was eyewatering, and I was shock that dh wanted it done so badly. now, a year on, I am glad he did - at lest we havent sat looking at lurid 70s decor for the last year grin

noddyholder Wed 03-Apr-13 19:37:02

What size type of house is it? I renovate houses for a living It seems too much to me

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Wed 03-Apr-13 19:43:25

good grief.

I am either Scrooge or just really out of touch.

Either way, I am really glad we do it ourselves. We are lucky in that we just have plain painted walls in every room.

Anyone can do that! I don't think we'd be able to do wallpaper. Ok. I know we wouldn't. grin

Although, we are having a new kitchen atm and as part of that they stripped the walls back to the plaster and skimmed it again - is that the right word? A new coat of plaster?

And the language they were using as they tried to scrape off 7 years worth of paint that was coating the original backing/wallpaper. Well. It'd make a sailor blush grin

Kiriwawa Wed 03-Apr-13 19:50:18

I totally agree with what flow4 said. I'm a single parent so woman on my own, sound posh and I've had ridiculous rip off quotes from people in the past.

Get a few more quotes

KindleMum Wed 03-Apr-13 20:02:52

flow4 - well, he should at least believe that DH is a chartered accountant, but then, as you noted, DH "lets" me deal with the builders so is clearly a fool! And he's making too many assumptions - like many people, we have a largish house because we have been careful with our money over the years, no inheritances or windfalls, we've worked for it and we didn't get to be mortgage-free in our 30s by flinging cash at builders like confetti! I don't see why they think it's a good idea to assume we did. But thank you for being a calming voice of reason and pointing out that I just have to find a not-at-all sexist or prejudiced and 100% honest and good value builder! Hopefully most will be better than these guys. But I am disappointed as they were the most-recommended to me.

Polly - prep work is a good point but they've charged for that seperately! Charges additional to the decorating for stripping woodchip and skimming artex. It appears I should pay thousands for a plasterer and then be told the walls aren't good enough to be painted! We do apparently look that stupid, or that flush with cash. (can't be that as the BBC says I'm traditional working class)

Hecsy - as a result of this thread I am giving serious consideration to paying for perfect plastering so that I can paint the walls myself in future and give up on paper entirely. It sounds like it will save me a lot of time, hassle and money in the future.

noddy - iirc, about 177 sqm.

There are a fair few Poles around here. I wonder what they charge for stripping woodchip paper etc. They used to be good value in London a few years ago.

lalalonglegs Wed 03-Apr-13 20:51:28

Even in London I wouldn't pay excellent decorators more than £175 per day and I'd reckon on two men taking 3 weeks to do a building that size which comes to £5250. I know day rates are far lower in Yorkshire.

As others have said, the builder is being untrustworthy and disrespectful from the off and you shouldn't even give him the time of day. Use his quote as a yardstick to measure others against though.

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