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Employing Painters and Decorators in the Home

By: Chris Hogan MSc - Updated: 18 Jan 2013 | comments*Discuss
Hiring Help Painter Decorator Paint

A lot of householders consider it a false economy to get painters and decorators in as they feel they can do it themselves and why shouldn’t they. But there are just as many people who see these tradesmen as a godsend, as they can't reach those awkward corners, or don't want to go and get the supplies and all the equipment to do a proper job. There are also people quite capable of doing it that are prepared to pay someone else because they can then do something more enjoyable with their weekends and holidays, and those people will consider it money well spent.

The classic advice applies when trying to find a good person or people to use. Meet, and get quotes from, at least three services, so that you can compare them against each other and choose the best combination of price and professionalism. Take up their trade certification and association memberships and make sure that they check out.

If possible, fill your shortlist with people or companies that you get from personal recommendation. Ask friends, neighbours and relatives if they've had any work done by people that they were happy with and would use again or, just as importantly, that they wouldn't. But if you can't find anyone that way, then you will have to resort to the telephone directories, local newspapers and internet searching to find your candidates.

Once you've chosen who are going to do the job, make sure you know who's going to buy all the supplies. Obviously you will expect them to have their own tools, brushes, protective sheets, tarpaulins and the rest, and you will want to choose the colours and patterns, but you need to sort out with the tradesmen whether it will be you or them who will get all the paint, wallpaper and other supplies, such as textured wall surfaces or tiles. If you get the supplies, they may not like your choice, considering them perhaps too cheap and difficult to use.

But if they tradesmen get the supplies, the shades and patterns may not be exactly the ones you wanted. Also, tradesmen might be able to get the supplies a lot cheaper, through trade outlets, but you might suspect that they are putting a margin on the materials. That's not unreasonable, as they will have spend time sourcing them and bringing them to you, but you want to be aware that it's not an over the top margin.

Either way, it's important that this is discussed between you and that you arrive at a clear understanding. It could be a mixture that they will get the paints according to your choice on a colour chart, and you get the wallpaper, choosing one that conforms to your pattern and their practical requirements.

While the job is being done the key is clear communication, finding out when the messiest bits are going to be done so that you can stay out of the way, for example, and clearing rooms, if possible, to make their lives easier and get the job done faster.

Assuming you do all your homework and are clear about what is going to happen, who's doing it and when, there's no reason to assume that you won’t get anything other than an excellent finish.

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