Over the next several articles I will be bringing you a step by step guide on how to decorate your own house to an amazing finish.

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For those of you who will never decorate your own house, here are some essential tips on selecting the correct decorator for you. There are many people who claim they are a decorator but have no knowledge of preparation or painting processes and therefore will not paint your house as it should be. Here are a few pointers to help ensure you choose a competent decorator.

  1. Ensure the decorator you find to give a quote has many good reviews online. (sites like Yell.com and Google offer, in most cases, legitimate reviews which you should read in full). A recommendation from a friend is not enough, you need to see their work to believe it for yourself.
  2. Your decorator should communicate well with you for instance letting you know when they are on their way or if he/she will be slightly late.
  3. A good decorator will take the time to explain what needs to be done, how it is done and how long it will approximately take. They should be enthusiastic and show a passion for decorating and helping the customer. I usually stay at a quote for up to an hour, explaining the processes and why they have to be done, pointing out imperfections that need treating and errors made by the last decorator.
  4. Find out how extensive their knowledge is by asking them several questions such as ‘will you need to treat the knots in the wood’ or ‘can you explain how you would prepare this surface for painting?’ Ask them where and how they learned to be a decorator.
  5. Establish what time of the day they would start and finish each day
  6. Get a fixed cost for the materials and paint.
  7. Under no circumstances should you pay all the cost of the job upfront. Always retain an outstanding balance until the decorator has completed the job. This way if you are not happy when they say they are finished they will have to do some corrections and additional work to get the final payment from you.
  8. Take before and after pictures of anything you are not happy about and ask them to correct them.

It is very important to gather all the information above on the decorator. Many decorators will come to your house to quote and say hardly anything apart from the price, so you know how much you’re paying, but you don’t know what they are going to do, if they are following the correct process, how long it will or should take and what quality of materials they will use. Knowledge of old decorating processes is also essential.. (In 1992, European Union legislation was implemented within the UK by the Environmental Protection, part of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), as the Controls on Injurious Substances Regulations. This prevented the addition of white lead to almost all paints except those intended for use in historic buildings and as artwork. )

In the next article we will look at preparing to paint and show you how to protect your property

Founder and owner of Straight Edges Ltd Decorators covers all of Manchester and Cheshire. Our ethos is to ensure the customer gets an immaculate job every time, done to an extremely high standard of quality and therefore offering longevity to the customer.

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Straight Edges Ltd

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