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Unhappy with work done by painter / decorator - help please?!

(5 Posts)
hopingforanothermircale Thu 24-Apr-14 17:28:50

We recently got our hallway & landing, bathroom, stairs (bannisters and spindles) and a number of wooden doors and frames, and a fire surround painted by an apparent professional but I’m really not pleased with the overall finish and some work wasn’t completed as expected. What can I do? I feel stupid but angry too. The painter came recommended by two sets of people who are friends of my in-laws but we didn't see his previous work. He came and gave a verbal quote and then I tried to clarify with him by email what was included but have realised (now going back through my emails) that he never replied, but did confirm verbally when we agreed the dates the work would be done. He ended up taking a day extra (and charging for it) than quoted. We paid cash in full on completion and got a receipt. We paid £1100 in total. He supplied the filler, primer and paint for all the woodwork (except the fireplace surround) and ceilings and we supplied the paint for the walls.

I have a number of issues with the work in terms of both the quality of finish and the fact that not all of it was completed based on what we'd asked to be done and been quoted the price based on:

-Some doors and frames are patchy in places, with grain of wood showing through. Some of the doors and frames were bare wood (which the painter primed before painting them), others had been previously painted (not very well!) by my DP and I and the painter had sanded them down prior to repainting them.

-Some doors and frames were only painted on one side (when I asked painter about this at the time he was doing the job, he said his quote had been for just the one side of the frame and door to be done e.g. the ones facing the hallway and landing as that’s the normal way of quoting? To do both sides, you need to have the room the door opens into painted as well. (?) But we did ask that all the doors and frames be painted both sides when he quoted and he rubbed them all down BUT didn’t paint the one side of the bathroom door and frame even though he was painting the room….(WTF? Writing that all down I’m now kicking myself for being such a walkover at the time!)

-Wood grain is showing through the fire surround which clearly needs at least another coat.

-There are a couple of (small) paint runs / drips on the hallway wall which are bugging me now I’ve noticed them.

-The bannisters were stained with a satin varnish but the finish is patchy and there are some weird shiny spots on them in noticeable places. The wood appeared bare previously (we’ve not touched it since moving in) but it seems it may have been varnished previously and not stripped properly. Surely the painter should have ensured a good, even finish?

-Where we painted tester patches onto the bathroom walls, a bit roughly, you can still see he texture from the tester paints underneath the new paint, worse in certain lights. I would have expected the painter to smooth them down before painting over them.

-A couple of hairline cracks in the ceilings which were there before but which the painter said he’s filled and painted over are now showing again…

I feel stupid that we didn't pick these things up with him sooner but I found it pretty stressful having the work done at all with a toddler to occupy the whole time and DP at work long hours. We’ve also been away a fair bit since the work was done and not spent too long at home and some of the paint issues have only become apparent since the paint has fully dried etc. The work not done was obvious from the beginning but I accepted the painter's explanation and it’s only from speaking to other people since that I’ve realised how they would have challenged the painter on these things and expected them to be done.

What should my next steps be? (Am dreading dealing with this tbh. I hate confrontation and struggle to be assertive. DH deals with aggro all day as part of his work so I’d rather he didn’t have to deal with this too.) I hope it can be resolved amicably but I guess no tradesperson really takes well to people not being happy with their work…? If it can’t resolve it amicably, what recourse, if any, do I have? Can I use a small claims court? Or will I just have to pay out more to another, hopefully better, painter to make the job good and finish off? (How do I find a properly good one?!!)

I just feel let down and ripped off and above all, we have things unfinished that still need doing when the whole point of getting someone in was to have things all sorted with nothing left for us to have to finish / rectify. The finish isn’t what I’d expect from a pro either. We simply don’t have the time – or the skill really – to do the finishing off ourselves either. I feel the painter squeezed us in between other jobs, didn’t allow enough time to do it properly and thought he could add a bit of a premium because we lived in an area that’s perceived as being ‘naice’. Our ILs feel really bad that they recommended someone who seems to not be what they thought too. Help!

hiddenhome Thu 24-Apr-14 19:50:26

I'm not sure what you can do because you've paid him now. You could phone and ask him to come and rectify his work, ask for a refund or go to the small claims court.

TeenageMutantNinjaTurtle Thu 24-Apr-14 20:02:24

Yes, it's a shame you've paid him if you weren't happy... Did he offer any sort of guarantee? When we had professional painters in they said the finish of the work was guaranteed for 2 years....

allduffedup Thu 24-Apr-14 20:11:23

We recently had a similar experience with some tradesmen (not painters). Same as you, it was a job we could have done ourselves but paid a professional to do it as we wanted a good finish. We had given them a cheque up front, but I was so upset about the result that I cancelled the cheque and asked them to come back. Confronting them was not a nice experience at all, they thought they had done a good job and basically ended up shouting at me. We didn't get much out of it in the end, just a small reduction in the price.

In your case I'm not really sure what you could do since you've already paid him. You could ask him for a refund for the extra day, that seems fair, and ask him to paint the other side of the doors (if you really want him to!). The rest of it just sounds like he didn't take the time to do a good job and would just charge you more if you wanted it done to a higher standard.

Lincoln123 Wed 13-Jun-18 09:48:57

I had a verbal quote from a decorator to decorate my lounge &hallway I will supply materials it would take 3/4 days it has now been 2weeks&is no where finished what action can I take.what are my rights can I with hold some of the payment?

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