Support Local?

So when we first moved into our current property we decided it would be a good idea to get the bathroom redone.  We got 3 different companies / builders and decorators to quote for the work but feeling the first flush of escaping from London (or some other madness I still can’t really explain) I thought it would be a good idea to go with the local company.  Support local I thought, the money goes back into the local economy and of course the companies reputation will be important so we’ll get better work.


Total disaster from start to finish took more than twice as long, a few leaks on the way and the stupid notion from the guy that we would want to fill the bath using the shower rather than having taps fitted.  I refused to pay the final invoice and never had a response back to my detailed break down as to why I wasn’t paying.  I later heard that the guy who “ran” the company left the area and trades somewhere else, clearly ran out of people to fleece.

First forward to last year and we have a leak again, no problem I think I have insurance that will cover this.  Well it sort of does, except it’s not the policy of Natwest home insurance to make good with a room, just sort out the areas that are damaged either by the leak, or in the repair of the leak.  So if I hadn’t insisted they would’ve replaced the tiles and boxing around the shower but were under no obligation to replace any other tiles in the bathroom to match in with the repair work.  Oh and within 6 months we had mould back on the walls and ceiling.

Yesterday as part of the preparation to (hopefully) sell the house we had a couple of Polish guys around to do some painting and make the place look better, and to sort out the mould in the bathroom.  I dug out the paint that had been used and pretty much at the same time as the Polish guy started chatting to his mate in fast Polish I noticed the problem.  The bathroom had been repainted by the Natwest approved contractor in ordinary paint, not bathroom / kitchen paint, just a bog standard tin of Dulux.  Explains the mould and the streaky effect.

So that’s twice that British companies have let me down in the space of 5 years on a single, simple job of making a bathroom nice for a couple and their young family to use.

No wonder some industries are so frightened of Polish tradesman, they are cheaper, faster and so far proving to be a lot better.  In half a day they have repainted the bedroom (walls and ceiling) done a first coat on the bathroom walls and ceiling, re-painted the inside of the window frame in one of the bedrooms and sanded down both sides of the front door in preparation of painting that, just two guys.  No wonder my local estate agent recommended them and is also using them to redo his entire house.

Oh and they are mad ;-)