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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71041
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Hi, I need advice. I am a self-employed decorator and recently

Customer Question

Hi, I need advice. I am a self-employed decorator and recently did some work for a contractor. I submitted a quote and for a certain amount of work - 2 large classrooms, 2 coats of paint. The job then increased to 5 classrooms. 2 were smaller. He wants to just pay me for 4. I admit that 2 were smaller but I had to apply 4 coats to these and 3 to the other to get a good finish. I have asked for more for the extra work but he doesn't want to pay. Is there anything I can do. This exchange happened over email 2 weeks ago now and he is remaining silent. regards,
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your question. My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

Did you not agree an additional charge before you did the work?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No. When the job was first viewed we looked at 2 large cream classroom that needed minor repair and 2 coats of paint. I sent my quote to the contractor who passed his quote then on to the school. We then viewed the classrooms again nearer the time and they showed me 2 smaller green classrooms and another large blue classroom. The blue room had water damage on one wall which needed stripping and sealing. I applied 3 coats of emulsion to this room to cover the blue and 4 coats to the green rooms.


Verbally after the walk around the contractor was saying he wished he had added 20% on rather than 10% so anything I could do to save on costs would be appreciated. I just said I would see what I could do. Nothing else was exchanged.


Added to this and this was verbal too - I said I would need a tower for the work. He said not to worry as he was thinking of buying one. One the first day of he job I asked after this and he said he couldn't find one so I sourced this through the hire company I have an account with. I invoiced for this at the end too and he said it was included in the quote. The quote doesn't specify either way on this just gives a price for 2 classrooms with 2 coats of paint.


Am out for the morning now but will respond as soon as I can to your next email.




Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

For future reference its always a good idea to get a quote approved before you start work. I know thats not always realistic but its worth trying.

In this instance you haven't done that but you are entitled to be paid for the extra work obviously. Nobody can expect you to work for free.

Since you didn't agree a price though you will have to drop down upon claiming the value of the job.

The way you assess the value of the job is to collect at least two quotes from other independent tradesmen for work of this kind and choose the median figure.

He probably will not be able about this and he may refuse to pay. He should have agreed a price in advance too. If he does not pay then you can issue against him here

Send him a letter before action first warning him of your intention to sue if he does not pay within 28 days.

You will win the value of the job at court.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

thank you. Does it cost me anything to take action? win or lose? By all accounts my price was very competitive. What if the quotes are both above what I have asked? Who would get the other quotes. If me, he would claim I know them and vice versa.... thanks again

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
Yes, but not a prohibitive sum.

This will be a small claims court sum so its cheap enough to claim and you can recover from him if you win.

The problem with your quotes is that you didn't quote them! If you get two more quotes and they are above your prices then the lesson for him is to agree a price in advance.