Decorator messes up woodwork - advice needed.

Hi,
We have had the house decorated over the last month. The guy who did it is a friend of a friend. He works professionally and he has done some work for us in a previous residence. We have not had cause to complain about him before, but this is the biggest job he has done for us.
The house is about 15 years old and has not been decorated for a while if at all. He did all the downstairs, plus the upstairs hall and stairs. The walls and ceiling look fine but the woodwork (windows, skirting boards and door frames do not).
After he had finished the first time. Foolishly we had already given him the cheque we noticed the woodwork didn't look right. It was brown woodstain typical of many modern houses, which he renewed. We noticed lots of white blotches under the stain. Plus there was bare wood along the high points and curves where he had rubbed down. He had only done one coat, although the tinned recommned 3. We called him back, he blamed the blotches on white paint spilt by whoever painted the last time (could have been the builders) and confessed he hadn't noticed the bear patches on the wood. I wasn't to pleased as he should have sanded dodgy areas down. However, we know this guy and like him so I wanted to give him the benfit of the doubt. However, not being confident of his woodstaining abilities we decided to get him to do it in gloss white as he had to redo it. We offered him a bit extra to do this.
However, the gloss has not turned out right either. He spend 7 days on it this time. He did two undercoats, but I noticed that even after the sceond there were blue streaks showing through. In some areas you can still see these through the gloss if you are close up. They are about hairline sized. He sanded down some areas more than others. He said the wood was soft and wouldn't take it. Some areas he has gone directly over the woodstain.
Sadly, this isn't the worst bit. The skirting boards have dust and hairs stuck to them all over. He blamed a house with kids, a cat and dusty carpets. Anyway he said he didn't have time to do it to our standards as he would have to start over. We discussed money with him, but said it was up to us, but wasn't expecting us to give him anything after what had happened.
What I would like to know is
1. Are we being fussy and were his excuses reasonable. 2. What did he do wrong and how can we make sure the next guy doesn't make the same mistake. 3. He has done 7 days work the second time around - should we give him half of what was promised or just materials.
Thanks for your help,
AS
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"AS" <sNo Spam> wrote:
Hello AS

Plausible. You can't prove otherwise, anyway.

Yep. A house with animals (we have 3 cats and 2 dogs) is always dirtier than one without, hairs get everywhere. If you didn't keep everything away from the wet paint for 24-48 hours, of course it's going to stick to it.

I think it's a bit of both, but if you didn't make what you wanted exactly clear beforehand then you can't put all the blame on him. OTOH, you may have expected him to tell you of the problems.
I would pay him at least 50% of his labour, and the only way to avoid being disappointed is to do it yourself next time.
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Simon Avery, Dartmoor, UK
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On Mon, 8 Dec 2003 19:56:38 -0000, "AS" <sNo Spam> wrote:

No and yes. Probably.

The only thing he might not have got right was the surface preparation. If he's tried painting on top of a previous unsound surface then that'll be the root cause of the problems I would think. Two wrongs don't make a right.

I would talk to him and make him aware of your concerns. That's what I would want my customers to do with me anyhow. If he really took 7 days trying to recover the situation I'd say he's probably the genuine article in terms of wanting to look after you as a customer - the stetson and stirrups brigade would probably be demonstrating their skill at sucking teeth.
I have some pity for him - sometimes these "simple" jobs turn out to be anything but and you end up tossing lots of extra time at the job to make up (and in my case I tend not to charge for the extra time if it is something I should have spotted before I started, but that's just me). However, that said I think there is some cause for complaint that he's probably not prepared the surface properly before he started sploshing the paint on.
I think you could offer him a way out - maybe ask him if he'd mind repairing a small section of the paintwork, and if you are then happy with that result then he gets the rest of the job to put it right - and you pay him for one lot of time invested in the job (e.g. the 7 days). Otherwise it's a "very sorry mate, you haven't delivered so you don't get paid" - and get someone else in to do it properly with a guarantee!
PoP
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Sounds like one of the cardinal sins. Do not get mates to do big jobs for you.
Sounds like most of the job is Ok. i.e. the walls etc. How much do you value the friendship?
Lawrence
usenet at lklyne dt co dt uk
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