Perhaps some one can help. I've had a plasterer in to plaster a rear
room.New plasterboard, taper edge all round. Quoted £400 cash for finish and
two days to complete. Finish is awful more places below level. I can see
tape between joints. Plasterer says all I need to do is rub it all down with
sandpaper. Says this is normal practice for plasterers. I've never heard
this before. Does any one else believe this either.
£200 a day labour-only is too much. I've heard of plasterers getting £180 in
London, the going rate here is more like £160.
Rubbish. You should be able to shine a light along the wall and see no
imperfections. A few "snots" of plaster to remove in awkward places like round
cables in inside switch boxes is acceptable, but no rubbing down should be
necessary. Your bloke is no plasterer. Did he clean up properly? That's
always a good test.
Thanks for your rapid reply. No he did not clean up. In fact it took two
days to remove plaster from floor.
He refuses to return and correct work because he says it is a professional
finish. Refused to give an invoice and refuses to give me his full name or
address. He quoted two days work to complete the job. First day he was at
the job for three hours and the same for the second day. Six hours total.
Think I've been ripped off.
I wouldn't say he was a plasterer. To describe yourself as one implies a
certain minimum level of competence and capable of producing an
acceptable result. He fails on that count, so he's a cowboy pretending
to be one.
Thanks everso for your comments. Yes you are probably right, we shouldn't
have paid him when he had finished, but wet plaster certainly looks better
than when its dry. He describes himself as a master craftsman and having had
plasterers in before some are both quick and very good. Unfortunately our
good plaster disappeared some time ago. Any other ideas welcomed. TIA
indeed. Next time try 'OK, youve done the job, but Im not very happy
with it. I'm going to get a second opinion on this from someone I know
is well qualified, and if youre right I'll then pay you. If not we can
discuss our options. No, I wont pay you today. I'll call you when he's
Bad plastering can be patched up diy, done that before. Just a case of
filler, filling knife, and keen attention to detail. Only if its so
bad youve got lumps sticking up, or the plaster is coming apart, is
filler not going to do it. Little lumps can be bashed off first. Have
used this aproach before, and it works quite well. A lot of bits can
be smoothed fastest with a finger.
I'm thinking of trying this approach this time using a grouting thing
- a rubber edged spreader thing, to try to cover a whole area real
fast. The idea is just to fill the dimples holes and cracks in some
poor plastering. I know it sounds optimistic, but it might work fairly
well. Anyone tried that version before?
I don't agree with that action as a first resort.
If I did a job and the customer was unhappy I would far rather that
they told me first so that I can resolve the situation amicably. Not
all jobs go entirely according to plan (which I hate to admit but it
is a fact of life). I live by the promise that if the customer isn't
happy with what I do then I don't expect to get paid - period.
Furthermore I intend that the customer will not be out of pocket from
having employed me to do a job.
I'd be well miffed if I got paid and then found that the customer had
reported me to trading standards without telling me first. I try to be
completely honest with people I do work for. In this case the
plasterer appears to have screwed up - but unless I'm mistaken his
handiwork could be easily repaired by another competent person without
it incurring additional cost to the householder - which means that if
he wanted to then our cowboy plasterer could choose to effect repairs
thru getting another plasterer in (which he pays for) without the
householder being in any further debt.
Obviously if I was informed of the lack of happiness and didn't do
anything about it to resolve the situation I would fully support
trading standards and any other bodies being notified - but all I ask
for is the option of resolving the situation to the complete
satisfaction of the customer. Is that too much to ask?
Take one example. A customer recently asked me to fit laminate
flooring. I told her straight that I hadn't actually done laminate
flooring before and although I felt it was something I could do there
was a risk that maybe it wouldn't go according to plan. I said that if
I attempted the job and it didn't work out then she wouldn't be paying
me, and furthermore I would buy the materials I'd ruined from her so
that she could employ someone else to do the job competently, without
her incurring any loss. If it went well I get some extra credentials
for doing laminate flooring - and if it doesn't I don't lose any
credibility with my customer. Win-win.
Result was that she was delighted to find someone working as a
tradesman who was willing to be ruthlessly honest - I'd done some
other jobs for her previously which went well so she trusted me to do
the laminate flooring. I've not done the job yet (coming up shortly),
but even if it goes pear-shaped I have a customer who knows I am never
going to set expectations higher than they should be. Perhaps in this
plasterers case that's where the real problem lays?
It is rather unfortunate that in todays environment we are all too
enthusiastic to reach for litigation rather than employ dialogue. I'm
honest (or at least try to be), and it would be no bad thing if
customers were the same. We'd all be a lot happier as a result.
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