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 Post subject: Undervalued trade
PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 8:40 am 
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Does any other decorators just feel like your the most undervalued trade out of them all. Clients happily paying plumbers, sparks, joiners and plasterers whatever they want but as soon as the painter turns up they try and scrimp and save and question prices like our time is worth any less than someone else’s. I understand plumbers and electricians are paid more but some folk expect you to turn up and think because anyone can have a go at painting you will work for next to nothing. Noticed it a couple of times lately and winds me up.


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 Post subject: Re: Undervalued trade
PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 9:31 am 
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I think it is down to the fact that most folk think they could do the decorating job themselves and they are only paying someone to do it because of the time and aggravation in doing it themselves. They begrudge paying though and they will try to chisel it down on price. Other jobs like plumbing, sparks and joinery are beyond their capabilities so they will pay the going rates to get the work done.

Lots of people still believe 'if you can p*ss you can paint' and I suppose that an elelemnt of this is true but people p*ss on toilet seats and by the same token paint can be splodged anywhere. Also decorating attracts a lot of wannabe bodgers who will do a job for a price. So proper decorators have to compete against people's mindsets and cheap labour offers as well. Far from satisfactory but good workmanship always produces good referrals and a steady stream of work in the long run. It always ends up with trust and after these cheap job merchants have bodged a job up the customer will not be inclined to go cheap next time.....you hope.

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 Post subject: Re: Undervalued trade
PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 10:50 am 
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It's something I was warned about by my boss when I first started back in the 80s

He said that unless you take on big jobs and employ quite a few people, you won't make a lot of money, but a decent wage, and also that it's probably the least valued of all the building trades.

What some people don't understand is how much you have to charge these days, to come out with a similar amount to someone that works on the books.

Someone that works for a firm can now earn the top end of £30k a year when you factor in the holidays, sick, paternity and a bit of overtime etc. They get travel expenses, or a firms vehicle, dig money and travelling time if staying away and probably do the odd cash job to further supplement that income. They work a basic 39 hour week, and have absolutely no responsibility other than to work those hours.


Why would a self employed bloke be cheaper? I sometimes feel like putting this in writing and sending it to certain customers, just as a way of educating them.

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 Post subject: Re: Undervalued trade
PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 12:11 pm 
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dewaltdisney wrote:
I think it is down to the fact that most folk think they could do the decorating job themselves and they are only paying someone to do it because of the time and aggravation in doing it themselves. They begrudge paying though and they will try to chisel it down on price. Other jobs like plumbing, sparks and joinery are beyond their capabilities so they will pay the going rates to get the work done.

Lots of people still believe 'if you can p*ss you can paint' and I suppose that an elelemnt of this is true but people p*ss on toilet seats and by the same token paint can be splodged anywhere. Also decorating attracts a lot of wannabe bodgers who will do a job for a price. So proper decorators have to compete against people's mindsets and cheap labour offers as well. Far from satisfactory but good workmanship always produces good referrals and a steady stream of work in the long run. It always ends up with trust and after these cheap job merchants have bodged a job up the customer will not be inclined to go cheap next time.....you hope.

DWD
I've probably posted this before but my heart sinks when I get a local enquiry, even in a gated estate of big houses in the next village I've quoted for jobs and been too expensive.

I made excuses only last week when someone asked for a quote for the daughters bedroom.

As soon as he said "its only a small room, should only take you a day, and we've got the paint and wallpaper" the alarm bells were ringing!

Maybe the way forward is just to one coat everything?


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 Post subject: Re: Undervalued trade
PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 12:28 pm 
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I don't like decorating. I'd rather pay somebody else to do it. I've seen enough splodge jobs (splash and bodge?) going round other houses to be wary of anybody not charging enough to make a living from it as well.
But it goes for all trades to a greater or lesser extent.
"It's only one (whatever)" "I've got the materials" "The last chap I'd had for years was really cheap and good" "It'll only take an hour or two"
Etc. etc. All set the alarm bells off.
People can't see that you're doing it to make a living, not as some sort of "favour" to them.
Somebody said something to me once about not charging enough being "supporting other people's lifestyles"



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 Post subject: Re: Undervalued trade
PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 12:51 pm 
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It all depends on what type of clients you get however the euro labour force has affected everyone.
I do multi trades and some clients just don't want to pay or they had some else overcharge and they want to recover from you

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 Post subject: Re: Undervalued trade
PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 12:56 pm 
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One was just an average person doing a new house up before they moved in. Quite happy paying for the new kitchen and bathroom including central heating and some plastering work with cornice but as soon as the trade that makes everything look nice turns up you get questioned about pricing and how long it will take.



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 Post subject: Re: Undervalued trade
PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 1:02 pm 
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I suppose it's easy for us guys for us to understand the economics and pitfalls of it all, as we do it on a daily basis.

Your average customer is normally in full time employment and has no understanding of how much it actually costs their employer to keep them in a job. They'd probably be staggered if they did.

If I set a subby on, I would have to pay them £5-600 per week, and I'd want to make a bit of profit on top for my trouble, but it's very difficult when customers want to pay you less than you are paying your hired help! [WHITE SMILING FACE]



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 Post subject: Re: Undervalued trade
PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 1:11 pm 
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jedeye wrote:
One was just an average person doing a new house up before they moved in. Quite happy paying for the new kitchen and bathroom including central heating and some plastering work with cornice but as soon as the trade that makes everything look nice turns up you get questioned about pricing and how long it will take.
This is where you sometimes have to stand up for yourself and your trade mate.

Don't be shy in saying "I charge x amount for an 8 hour day. I run a business, do a good job, and that's what I need otherwise I can be somewhere else earning it"





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 Post subject: Re: Undervalued trade
PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 1:12 pm 
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jedeye wrote:
One was just an average person doing a new house up before they moved in. Quite happy paying for the new kitchen and bathroom including central heating and some plastering work with cornice but as soon as the trade that makes everything look nice turns up you get questioned about pricing and how long it will take.

At least part of it is down to them not pricing everything into the original job.
Either it's an afterthought, or they thought they'd get it done cheaper if it was done separately.
The "big jobs" like kitchens are often done on a loan of some sort. So it's not "real" money to a lot of people.
"Smaller" jobs come out of the clients pocket. Makes them feel the cost.


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 Post subject: Re: Undervalued trade
PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 1:14 pm 
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fitzy wrote:
jedeye wrote:
One was just an average person doing a new house up before they moved in. Quite happy paying for the new kitchen and bathroom including central heating and some plastering work with cornice but as soon as the trade that makes everything look nice turns up you get questioned about pricing and how long it will take.
This is where you sometimes have to stand up for yourself and your trade mate.

Don't be shy in saying "I charge x amount for an 8 hour day. I run a business, do a good job, and that's what I need otherwise I can be somewhere else earning it"


And never, ever, apologise for how much a quote is!
If you're professional and do a good job, you're worth your money!



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 Post subject: Re: Undervalued trade
PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 1:35 pm 
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And never, ever, apologise for how much a quote is!
If you're professional and do a good job, you're worth your money!

Totally agree well said

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 Post subject: Re: Undervalued trade
PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 3:48 pm 
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jedeye wrote:
Does any other decorators just feel like your the most undervalued trade out of them all. Clients happily paying plumbers, sparks, joiners and plasterers whatever they want but as soon as the painter turns up they try and scrimp and save and question prices like our time is worth any less than someone else’s. I understand plumbers and electricians are paid more but some folk expect you to turn up and think because anyone can have a go at painting you will work for next to nothing. Noticed it a couple of times lately and winds me up.

Why should a plumber or sparky be paid more than a decorator tho? It’s a skilled trade and my way of thinking is all trades should be on roughly the same money.


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 Post subject: Re: Undervalued trade
PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 3:53 pm 
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you've only got to look at some of the questions that people post on this forum that tells you there is more to decorating than what most people think..Anybody can go to a diy store & buy a set of brushes & rollers & start there own business up because they've decorated there front room and thought 'Wow' that looks good.I think i'll become a decorator..Until they go & paint a whole house for a customer and make a complete mess because there on a price & it's taken twice as long as they thought it would.
We are undervalued but there are a lot of people & other trades that understand the true worth of a proper decorator.There is also a lot of chancers who will charge an extortionate amount for a job which worth a lot less..A good tradesman should be able to save a customer money but a chancer won't..



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 Post subject: Re: Undervalued trade
PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 6:23 pm 
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Thing is , TV advertising has to a certain extent "devalued" the deccying trade (dulux adverts for instance) in the same way that the (octothorpe) olympus/kodak adverts devalued photography as a trade in the 70's

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