All you need to know about Painters and Decorators

Painters and Decorators

painters and decorators

Painters and Decorators

Decorators eh? You do realise that you
could do the job yourself? But you’d rather stick pins in your eyes… Why do you think most general builders stipulate the following caveat: “We do not decorate!”?

Decorating has to be the most soul-destroying work to the un-initiated:
“If you can *iss, you can paint” is the commonly-held view amongst general builders who tend to view painters and decorators as a trade underclass. Yes, building has its very own caste system: plumbers and sparks will argue that they are at the top of the tree, but so will a chippie. And who is going to argue with the scaffolders!

You see, in the trade, we builders are well-aware of our place with regard to the other trades in our own small-world of chest thumping. Is it the kudos of the trade (see
joiners)? Perhaps the need for qualifications (see gas fitters)? Or maybe the sheer manliness of it all (see roofers)! But, ultimately, it tends to come down to a pricing hierarchy.

And nearly ALL trades earn more than painters & decorators.

Let’s go back to the
“if you can *iss, you can paint” comment. ALL builders know that if the punter thinks they can do the job then there isn’t any money in it. See “putting up shelves”.

Homeowners know that they cannot
repair a boiler, repoint a chimney, or plaster a ceiling. And so they are happy to pay decent rates for these jobs.

The fact is everyone
can paint – maybe not well – and slapping a couple of coats of Barrow and Fall stoat’s muzzle on the walls isn’t dangerous and will have no dangerous or unpleasant consequences other than a minor sense of fatigue at the end of the day in your right wrist. It’s been a while, eh?

Perhaps the room won’t look amazing – you may well even be extremely proud, but to a pro it will look like you put the paint on with a three-foot broom. Blindfold. And wallpapering! Please, don’t. Really, don’t.

And so, what with the family commitments, the mess, the slight sense of unease at messing it up in front of the missus AND the fact that you will work three times slower than a pro (she WILL tell you that she wants it finishing when you are ready to put your feet up and watch Match of the Day), you wonder why you’d ever considered doing it yourself.

The decorator won’t (or shouldn’t charge a fortune) and he/she will do a darn sight better and faster job than a DIYer will ever do – and, even though pay-wise painters and decorators are towards the bottom end of the builders’ pay scale – a good decorator is well worth paying for. Spoiling the ship for a hapeth of tar is the most apt expression here. Get a proper painter and decorator in and you go to work the odd extra day or weekend to make up the difference. You’ll be glad you did. Believe me. All builders have seen DIYers at work. It’s hilarious! How do you think we builders remain sane while dealing with Mrs Upchurch’s fussing and tutting about the flow of the colours from her utility room to the downstairs loo?

By the way, don’t persuade the builder to get his labourer to do it either. Just because the doe-faced lad is covered in muck it doesn’t make him a tradesman. Having just had the pleasure of cleaning up after a small platoon of heavy-booted builders in your house for a week (remember your wife’s comments about getting a portaloo next time) I don’t think you’d be happy with the job he’d do. Personally I don’t trust some of the labourers I’ve employed to pee straight, let alone wield a 2½ ” Harris.

£100-£140 a day for a clean, tidy and QUICK decorator is well worth the money. In the trade we all know one. And we get him to do our places. Who do you think the scaffolders get to varnish the wagon wheels outside their bungalows after all?

For your must-see guide to Tradesmen's Rates please click on the map…


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