Which? survey

09/08/2011

There was an interesting article in the Guardian last Thursday
Guard against builder/decorator disputes, warns Which?

The warning came after a survey showed that at least 2.5m people have had a dispute with a builder or decorator in the past three years, with a quarter forced to take formal action.

Which? found that the most common disagreement was over the quality of work, while other major complaints included traders not turning up when agreed, delays over completion, and properties being left untidy.

Although the Which? survey results are disappointing they come as no surprise to me.

When I launched Juniper-ash Decorating I wanted to offer something a bit different. Firstly as a female painter and decorator I am a little bit different, but more importantly it’s the level of service and attention to detail that makes Juniper-ash special.

Attention to detail is not only about the quality of the work but about the way I do business.

If I say I will call someone back that afternoon then I do. When I make an appointment to visit a property for a decorating consultation then I arrive on time. When things do not go to plan or a delay occurs I call. In this day and age there is no excuse for poor communication.

I always provide my customers with a clear and detailed quotation. A copy of insurance details and references, which I encourage prospective clients to check, are also included.

Dear Liz.
Thank you for your very detailed quotation and the confidence it inspires to enable us to offer the project to you.

Common complaints recorded in the Which? Survey were traders not turning up or properties being left untidy – I have been known to threaten violence when this has happened to me!

At Juniper-ash Decorating I want my clients to have WOW moments. It’s not easy living or working in a property whilst it is being decorated but I do all I can to minimise disruption and cleaning up as I work and at the end of each day is part of the standard service agreement. When a job is finished the results should be enjoyed so extra attention is paid to the finishing touches when it comes to cleaning. Inside or out attention to detail is the Juniper-ash approach.

Juniper-ash offer a friendly, efficient outdoor painting service with the added quality of ‘being considerate’ which these days is rare to find.
No loud music or shouting, they arrived on time each day and before leaving the site was tidy and clear. No paint splashes on new window frames or glass which I really did appreciate.
I was impressed from the first consultation right through the job and would recommend them to others without hesitation, and of course call on their painting services again.

When engaging a decorator my top tips are:-

  • Talk to friends, colleagues and neighbours – word of mouth referrals are best but do look at the work that has been done. People have very different expectations so make sure you know the standard of service that is being offered.
  • Always get a quotation in writing, this sets the tone for the relationship and gives you clarity on what is being offered. If someone won’t put in the effort to win your business what are they going to be like on the job?
  • Plan ahead – For small jobs there is always slotting in but as a general rule if a decorator can fit you in immediately you have to ask why – I have a full diary until the end of September and have bookings as far ahead as December so a good decorator will be busy.
  • Do ask to see insurance details, check references and talk to other clients. A good decorator will have many happy customers willing to endorse them.
  • Don’t just base your decision on price. It is easy to focus on the end result and miss the stages in between. Good preparation is essential if you want a quality finish.
  • Try using a female decorator!

As Calamity Jane says “A woman’s touch, the magic of Aladdin couldn’t do as much”

Find out more from Which?