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Problem solving tips when quoting for jobs

I am looking at gaining some part time work for myself,emulsion,glossing basic decorating,i feel confident,i could and can sell my services at that level.When you go into a job to quote on and look at the walls,what problem signs do you have to look for on plastered,and lining paper,how can you tell if the walls need attention if they look in good condition,i had that with my sons bedroom the paint looked OK when i applied emulsion it started releasing from wall.How can you cover yourself its like a decorator stripping wallpaper,finding out that the plaster has been totally bodged ,and needs replastering,not that the decorator would have known until paper comes off.I have a very good eye for detail,damp patches,filling,flaking paint i could pick up on,is there a test you can do,to check.How do you no if lining papers stuck on walls correctly are there signs to watch out for not just joins coming loose.Would appreciate some feedback.


unless you are going back to a sound surface that you have prepared, sometimes you get caught out regardless!

Check walls with a hammer before stripping paper, that will give you a clue about blown areas of plaster.

Usually if paper looks well stuck, when painted it will go back down if it bubbles. But it may not.

Take some tape to the paintwork for a clue about adhesion.

A wet finger on wall paint or ceiling paint, if it leaves powdery mark on your finger, you have been warned.

Best to assume the worst really. Belt and braces, cover yourself, because at the end of the day, you need to leave the job in top shape, and not be broke.


Thanks Andy really been helpful.

Hi Darlic,

When quoting or estimating for any job, remember this: A “Quote” is a binding agreement between you and your customer! An “Estimate” is exactly what it says: an estimation for works to be carried out. IMO Most customers prefer quotations over estimates, but you will be the judge of what you want to offer?).

Always support your quote or estimate with a detailed specification: Specify how you will carry out the work, what prep and materials, plant, access equipment you will use etc… it doesn’t need to be an essay but it does need to detail what you are and aren’t going to provide.

This next part is key and very important to include especially if your unsure what lies beneath: Include a DISCLAIMER! - UNFORESEEN CIRCUMSTANCES.

For instance: If your stripping heavy anaglypta from a staircase and half the plaster comes off with it, as it can do! Is that circumstance down to you? Could you foresee that happening? Of course not!

Also include your T&Cs - Terms & Conditions. Customers will respect that and they will also be aware of how and when you need paying because you will include your payment terms.

No one wants a nasty shock or surprise at the end of a job, so be clear and concise, keep the client up to date on progress or any problems that may occur and you will build good trustworthy relationships with your clients.

Hope this helps


1 Like

I feel like got my own expert team on hand here.Thanks guys.

Whats your thoughts for putting in two diffrent prices one for a basic job and one for a top job?