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This is unreasonable, right?

(20 Posts)
Coconutfeet Tue 14-May-13 21:08:53

Just want to check with others who have more experience of this than me.

We've got a young family and desperately need some decorating doing, so have decided to get someone in to do our front room. We need to have textured ceilings skimmed, skirting boards replaced, walls lined (we are stripping wallpaper to save some cash) and whole room decorated. It's costing a fortune (we're in London) but we decided it was worth it to take the pressure off us. We are going away while the worst is being done.

The guy who's doing it came round to finalise things a week or so ago. I was a bit surprised when he asked us to make sure the floor was covered for the plasterer and then more surprised when he asked us to remove the radiator before he starts as I had assumed he would do that.

He has come back to us this evening and said that his plasterer needs the ceilings to be PVAd before he starts on Saturday, and can we do it as he's working too far away. I'm at home with two small children and dp is already going to be busy clearing the room and cannot take any more time off work. AIBU to think this is his problem, not ours as he should have known this would need doing? Would you expect some sort of discount if we do manage to find the time? It's a massive room and the work is going to cost us in the region of £2K.

JazzAnnNonMouse Tue 14-May-13 21:14:21

Sounds a bit crap. Ask for a reduction in price as you're having to do the prep work.

80sMum Tue 14-May-13 21:23:33

I think he should have clarified with you what state the room would be in when he started. I should have thought it pretty obvious that you weren't doing the prep work yourselves, but he may have assumed that you had builders in to do it.
I think may be you should cancel this one and get a building contractor to quote for the work, explaining that all you will do is empty the room of furniture and the rest is down to him.

Coconutfeet Tue 14-May-13 21:32:13

He definitely knows that we haven't got builders in to do it. We can live with covering the floor ourselves and taking the rad off if we have to, as I accept that I probably should have confirmed that with him when he quoted. The ceiling thing, is clearly something that his plasterer has just reminded him of as he has only mentioned it to us this evening and the work starts on Saturday. The work has been booked for a while now, but it's not even like we've got a weekend when we could possibly fit it in. I just wanted to check that it's not unreasonable of us to say to him that we just can't do it or that we expect some money off.

MrsSpagBol Tue 14-May-13 22:04:03


redlac Tue 14-May-13 22:09:38

He is probably not insured to take the radiator off the wall. He is chancing his luck with asking you to pva the ceiling

Ragusa Tue 14-May-13 22:23:46

No, this is all wrong....A decent plasterer will have all the necessary equipment to cover your floors and would do it themselves.

RE pva sealant - ha, total cheek. Again, this is their job.

Re the rad, well, it may be wise to get someone Gas Safe reg'd to do that but again you would have expected him to have raised this during quote.

They are trying to work as few hours for you as possible.

I would really, really get another quote. It would IMO be better value to get all the walls and ceiling skimmed and do the painting yourself. Lining paper not great unless you are papering again. Or get a qualified plasterer then aP and D in separately.

Coconutfeet Tue 14-May-13 22:25:24

He was originally going to cap off some water pipes for us as part of the job, but it turned out not to be necessary, so I'd be surprised if the rad thing is to do with insurance tbh. But as I said, that was perhaps something I should have clarified.

I'm reluctant to cancel the whole thing as it's all been carefully timed to coincide with us being away and we've been waiting for months to get started. I've got two poorly dcs at home and dp is really busy at work. I could do without the hassle really.

Coconutfeet Tue 14-May-13 22:27:42

Cross posts Ragusa. You could well be right. Sigh.

MaryPoppinsBag Tue 14-May-13 22:31:19

I would imagine he has asked you to take off the radiator to avoid the risk of him damaging your flooring if it spurts that nasty black stuff all over.

Ragusa Tue 14-May-13 22:38:23

How big's your room? A plasterer and mate could skim an average living room in little more thsn a couple of days.

Hope you get it done soon, how frustrating for you sad

Coconutfeet Tue 14-May-13 22:50:36

It's a knocked through lounge in average-sized 3 bed terrace.
The other thing that occurred to me was what if we do the Pva but wrong and the plaster doesn't stick or something? Who would be responsible?
Does anyone know what the average day rate is for plasterers in east London?

eyestightshut Tue 14-May-13 23:06:37

I realise you are in London, therefore will have to pay stupid prices- for comparison we are in East Mids, and have just had our bedroon ceiling and walls skimmed, and floorboards sanded and varnished (room is 16' x12') total cost was £500. I think he's taking the piss

MrsSpagBol Tue 14-May-13 23:14:50

Agree you should get another quote - go on rated people.

Coconutfeet Tue 14-May-13 23:18:19

London prices are bonkers. It cost us more than that just to have the floors sanded and I got several quotes.

To be fair I had other quotes for the same work and they were similar, or slightly more and I know his finish is very good. I just don't think we should have to sort out what is very obviously a problem that stems from his lack or organisation, forward-planning etc.

Thanks for all your responses. I feel justified now in going back and telling him to sort it out himself or cancel the work.

HappyAsASandboy Wed 15-May-13 07:22:18

I work on about £150 a day for a plasterer and his mate. A recent room of just under 5m x 5m with three door ways and a window (edges take effort!), for wonky walls and ceiling was three days effort (1 short day prep, one day for ceiling and one long day for walls), so £450 including materials (edging stuff, tape, plaster, pva etc).

We have done the pva bit for them before, but then you want a good £50+ off as it saves them most of the short prep day. You're unlikely to get it wrong - ask the plasterer what ratio of pva to water and then slap it on smile

HappyAsASandboy Wed 15-May-13 07:25:12

Just to add, we had quotes of triple that amount (from a lady who came to quote wearing black Armani jeans!). It really is worth getting a good number of quotes and also meeting the plasterers. The man we use now is fast, reliable, and cheap smile

Coconutfeet Wed 15-May-13 09:30:25

Thanks HappyAsASandboy. Are you in London?

Coconutfeet Wed 15-May-13 18:47:14

Just to update, it's all sorted. He is going to come over and do it himself. I think he panicked that he hadn't factored it in.

We'll treat the other prep stuff as a learning opportunity and will be clearer about our expectations at the outset.

Thanks for your feedback everybody. I definitely need to learn to get more assertive when dealing with trades people. Ridiculous really, as in other areas of my life I manage quite well...

MrsSpagBol Wed 15-May-13 20:42:35

Glad to hear it's all sorted for you.

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