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Decorator fitted the wrong coving - what should I do?

Discussion in 'Decorating and Painting' started by Julia30, 15 Mar 2013.

  1. Julia30

    Julia30

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    Hi folks,

    I was quoted £250 + VAT for coving to be fitted in my dining room. The decorator is part of the 'Buy With Confidence' (Trading Standards approved) scheme.

    They arrived today and started work. I doled out the tea and biscuits then left them to it.

    Two hours in, I went to have a look. I wasn't happy because they'd used 127mm Gyproc instead of 100mm. The room now doesn't match the rest of the house.

    When I pointed it out, the guys first started talking about how people wouldn't notice (etc). I wasn't happy and kept pressing them - it's important to me that the rooms match.

    They said "How were (they) supposed to know what size I wanted, when they'd not seen the other rooms?" This wasn't true, because I'd shown him the living room coving the week before!

    Then they said that Gyproc *don't make* 100mm coving. I told them the rest of the house was Gyproc 100mm, and showed them (on my smartphone) that the coving was widely available on wickes / B&Q etc.

    Then they said I'd never made it clear I wanted a "non-standard size." So I showed them my original quote request email, which asked for Gyproc 100mm.

    Then they said they'd stated "127mm" on the quote, and it was my fault for not flagging it up. However, they never stated a size in the quote, and I displayed it on my smartphone, to prove it. The decorators claimed there was a problem with my phone! Obviously there wasn't - I've seen the quote on a PC too!

    Then they said it was too late - they couldn't remove the coving because we'd need to replaster, so there wasn't much we could do. They finished and left.

    They also left behind a whole unopened box of 127mm coving, which I'm guessing I'll be charged for.

    To be fair, they were really nice guys and think it was just a genuine mistake. Also, they've done a brilliiant job - the coving looks great.

    However, the coving isn't what I asked for. It doesn't match the other rooms and it'll drive me crazy. I haven't paid yet. I asked him to send me an invoice. There was also talk of using the leftover (wrong-sized) coving to replace the 100mm in the living room (so at least they'd match).

    Ideally, I'd like them to take down the new 127mm coving, replaster if necessary, and then put up the 100mm as originally requested. Preferably without causing any unpleasantness.

    What's my best strategy? I know it sounds like a small thing, but it's really quite upsetting and stressful! This is the latest in a long string of tradesmen problems, and I thought that by paying a fair amount of money for a 'Buy With Confidence' member, I'd save myself some hassle :(

    Julia xxxx
    :cry:
     
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  3. Bosswhite

    Bosswhite

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    What does the Estimate/Quote state the size of the Coving should be,

    there seems to be some confusion with wording of emails etc, ( displaying sizes of the coving on a Smartphone dosent prove that the Estimate/quote was accepted.)

    if they have definitely used the wrong size, they should replace, If its their fault and they refuse to replace, refer it to Trading Standards ( under the "Buy with Confidence" Scheme) for their advice and help.
     
  4. Julia30

    Julia30

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    My first email enquiry to the company says I want 100mm Gyproc.

    The quote they sent (after a visit) doesn't specify a size/width. It just says "coving."
     
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  5. sparkwright

    sparkwright

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    I would notice the difference with the coving.

    I sympathise with you here. Features in a house should be consistent throughout, things should match.

    Re-doing the other rooms isn't the answer, because of the mess and expense.

    You had made it very clear what you wanted, and I would advise you don't pay the bill unless everything is put right to your satisfaction.

    Re-plastering the walls could be a slight exaggeration, unless they are really old and the plaster is very crumbly.

    Depending how the coving was adhered, it may come off very easy. Or it may be quite difficult to remove.

    Either way, it can and must be done. Any making good should be quite close to the coving, so when it's all decorated you shouldn't see any repairs at all.

    Don't let these people push you around. You have done everything right. I wouldn't bring the 'I made you tea and biscuits' bit into the argument though.

    Good luck.
     
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  6. joe-90

    joe-90

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    If you were changing 100 up to 127 then it wouldn't be a problem as the bigger stuff would hide the adhesive of the older stuff. However, the other way round you'll have lumpy adhesive showing and removing it will mess up the walls and ceiling - that means a complete re-plaster or very time consuming filling with Easi-fill that will probably not be perfect. I'd leave it go if I were you and tell them you want £50 off.
     
  7. cajar

    cajar

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    It's not what you asked for, so don't pay a penny. You'll probably end up having someone else remove it and refit 100mm so why compound that problem by paying to the people that caused the problem in the first place.

    By rights, the tradesmen should remove the coving and make good at their own expense but it sounds like they're being slippery already.
     
  8. dcdec

    dcdec

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    Did the decorators supply terms and conditions with their quotation? If so check them and in future try and use tradesman that supply them as it protects you both from this type of situation.
    Its a bit grey because despite your email request their quote does not state a size, by accepting this quote you agreed to have a non specified size installed. So its not entirely their fault, you've made a mistake but they should have picked up on your email stating the size, so all you can do is try and reach a compromise. If they are part of a trading standards scheme they should be keen to rectify the problem to protect their reputation.
     
  9. sparkwright

    sparkwright

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    Some plasterers seem to use the wrong adhesive, and it's been known for it to come away without any mess. You never know,

    How much of the room had they done before you noticed it was wrong? Shame they finished it. But it sounds like they talked you into it.

    A decent tradesman will always try to match any kind of new work with any existing. That applies to anything. Doors, skirting boards, architraves, heights of sockets and switches, replacement windows etc. Anything that's pretty permanent.

    The first thing the decorator should have asked for was 'is there any existing coving to match up with?'.

    Would he have seen any coving in the hall or another room on his way to the lounge?
    Either way, don't put up with it.
     
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  11. Bosswhite

    Bosswhite

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    I am also with the "Buy with Confidence" Scheme
    When I go to a job I always take a copy of the Estimate /Quote with me to work from, just in case there is a descrepancy or a problem arises with materials which can be rectified with the customer
    .
    You have now admitted that the quote states "just coving to be fitted", No Size stipulated, and you agreed to the Quote/Estimate.
    You also stated that you knew the wrong size (According to you) was being fitted and allowed the decorator to carry on and finish the job, which you have said looks good.

    I dont think Trading Standards would uphold your complaint, you could try and argue it out with the decorator, as dcdec says just hope the decorator knocks £50 off the bill for goodwill ( he dosent have to)
     
  12. cajar

    cajar

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    Hold on a minute, they didnt specify a size in their quote at all, and they based their quote on the information the customer gave them which clearly said 100mm. It was entirely reasonable for her to assume that it would have been what she asked for.

    Telling her to hope for goodwill deductions for their feckup is hysterical, she's in the right and I think not only trading standards but small claims would agree if she were to seek recovery of damages for the incorrect installation.
     
  13. sparkwright

    sparkwright

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    Kind of agree there with Cajar.

    Their quote should have specified a size, especially as the op verbally and on e-mail specified an actual size.

    I can't see any point of the decorator knocking off £50. The coving would still be wrong.

    At the moment, I bet the op would gladly give £50 to have the problem put right.
     
  14. joe-90

    joe-90

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    What will happen is that they will walk away and take the hit of not getting paid, then you will have to get someone else in to redo it - and put it in writing this time.

    That's the real world. Forget about a 2 year battle through the courts that you might not win.
     
  15. sparkwright

    sparkwright

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    I agree with that too. They probably will just walk away from the job and put it down to experience, leaving you to remove the coving and make good the walls. Your next plasterer may have to do some easi-filling or skimming.
     
  16. dcdec

    dcdec

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    I'm not suggesting what the compromise should be at all, i'm just stating that its not entirely the dec company that did the coving thats at fault. Clients have a responsibility to read the specifications provided on quotations before they accept and if there is no spec it should be questioned.
    It doesn't matter what was 'said' or 'pointed out' if its not written down you wouldn't stand a chance in court, which is a waste of time. Invite the boss round for a cup of tea, tell him you believe its a genuine mistake through faults on both sides and ask what can we do to put it right?

    I've said it before but don'y employ trades with no T's & C's they are in place to protect all involved.
     
  17. Bosswhite

    Bosswhite

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    Why didnt the OP check when the decorator first turned up with the materials that the coving was right size,
    Why when it was realised by the OP that an incorrect size was being used did the OP allow the work to continue to its end and now complain and withhold payment.
     
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