I had some new windows fitted last week and this morning, without warning, the plasterers came to tidy up the plaster work around the windows. I wasn't expecting them and was just about to leave the house so didn't have time to take down the curtains. I had to drop the children off and be at an appointment at 9am and was only just going to make it as it was.
The plasterers didn't bother taking the curtains down (should I have expected them to?) and so the curtains now have plaster on them and they are dry-clean only.
Would you get in touch with the building company and ask them to pay for the dry cleaning costs? Or is it my fault for not taking the curtains down myself and accepting that I'd be late for my appointment.
Oh yes, they should definitely have taken down the curtains. If they came unexpectedly you had no way of taking them down yourself, since you had to leave. They should have phoned you before they arrived anyway. Why did they just assume you'd be home? There was a lot left for everyone to assume here, but imo, a plastering crew should reasonably be expected to take down curtains before starting work with wet plaster, if only because it would have been much easier for them to get at the area they were working on without the curtains in the way.
It sounds like a company that doesn't care much about courtesy, but look at your contract if you had one, and then phone them, tell them you'll be asking for replacement curtains, then if/when they protest, say they'll have to pay the dry-cleaning bill, which might not be all that much cheaper, actually. Make them choose between cleaning or replacement, in other words, not between cleaning or not bothering.