C & E Professional Painting – A lesson learned the hard way

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Services for Real Estate Pros with Digital and Direct Response Marketing

C & E Professional Painting – A lesson learned the hard way

A few months ago we started a home improvement project.  I was hoping to blog about the whole experience.  Boy was it an experience that I hope I don’t have to do again.  Well I didn’t get to post regularly between working and dealing with the daily “issues” there wasn’t much time left.  Well I hope to write a few posts on the various lessons learned, highlight some of the great contractors, some of the not so great and who knows what else…

Working backwards I realized I learned a few valuable lessons from, of all people, the painter we hired (and in hind sight we shouldn’t have hired) so here goes…

C & E  Professional Painting in NJ who use the tagline of “Wizard of Walls”

First  some background

  1. When he asked for cash payments or a 7% premium for paying by check we should have turned and run.
  2. When he showed up and repeatedly told us his plans but didn’t finish them we should have told him to go!
  3. When he provided an extra invoice for “extras” that far exceeded our agreement we should have tossed him to the curb.
  4. When we found out the reason for all his delays was due to him having a full time job and his “guys” knowing he wouldn’t be there (so naturally they took their time) we should have asked him to leave.
  5. When we were too far in to start over and we noticed he doesn’t have an address on his estimates – we should have run
  6. Since he was referred to us we didn’t bother to check his references or reputation online.  Turns out he doesn’t have a website or presence online. Go figure.
  7. When he asked us for references and referrals before he was a quarter of the way through the work, we should have just sent him on his way.
  8. When every touch up became an issue and an argument we were so frustrated that we wanted to kick his a.. out but just wanted the work done so we could move on.
  9. He did what he claimed to do but I have to say there is nothing “Wizardry” about it.  Here is the latest conversation:

Chris – I put two coats on but you can see the old paint is still bleeding through
Josef – So what do you want to do?
Chris – I can do a third coat.  (Basically saying it is going to cost you)

10 – Over 4 months we had all sorts of contractors through our house and none of them were as messy or disruptive to our daily lives (even the demolition guys were cleaner) than C and E professional Painting

 

If you are a professional don’t you want to do whatever is necessary for your client within reason regardless of the black and white contract?

So what do I take away from this situation

  1. Check references and web presence regardless of how you find a contractor
  2. If the main “guy” is not going to be on the job every day I am not interested
  3. If you want cash payments give me a discount.
  4. Your friends may not always have the best recommendations
  5. When dealing with extended project contractors add a clause to the contract the gives you a credit for principles not showing up or delays beyond agreed upon time frame.

By the time this was all done I was so ticked off that I didn’t even want to talk to this guy and just wanted him out of the house.  Yes I got taken and probably will need to hire someone else in a few months to fix all the stuff he didn’t do correctly but we got Chris and C & E painting out of our house!

The best part of this whole situation is he wanted a reference and referrals from us.  So Chris of C & E Professional Painting in Bergen County NJ here is our recommendation – Don’t use C & E professional Painters.  There is nothing professional about them and there is no wizardry about their painted walls.

Just another set of life lessons I learned the hard way. 

Now to try and enjoy our updated home…

 

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Ambassador
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Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

I think you are trying to say: Dayenu! Enought already. Hope you will share the completed project with us and enjoy your home for many years.

Margaret

Nov 11, 2011 01:49 AM #1
Rainmaker
386,128
Jenifer Lower
Bozeman Montana Real Estate .net - Bozeman, MT
Your Dream. Our Passion.

Great post, and reminder to check on folks BEFORE we let them in our homes.  I'm sure glad it wasn't a referral to a client, that might have been a bigger nightmare!

Nov 11, 2011 01:54 AM #2
Rainmaker
160,360
Josef Katz
Digital and Direct Response Marketing - Manhattan, NY
{Marketing Maestro}

Margaret- Yes Dayenu!  I hope to share some pictures soon.  Still a few small things to finish up but I know my wife is already enjoying her new spaces.

 

Jenifer - Yes my nightmare was through a referral otherwise we would have definitely check references.

 

Nov 11, 2011 02:25 AM #3
Rainer
295,058
Brian Morgenweck
Power Realty Group, LLC Bergen County, NJ - Hackensack, NJ
Broker/Owner, GRI, CRS, ABR, SRS

I'd add to your list:

Get references of real past clients & contact info (& not their family members!), photos, proof of insurance...

All the best!

Nov 11, 2011 02:39 AM #4
Rainmaker
160,360
Josef Katz
Digital and Direct Response Marketing - Manhattan, NY
{Marketing Maestro}

Thanks Brian.  Good advice.

Nov 11, 2011 07:07 AM #5
Rainer
86,483
Amy Bly
Great Impressions Home Staging/Interiors - Montville, NJ
Styling Homes for Selling and Staying

Hi, Josef, Sorry to hear about your experience . . . you know, I could have given you some names of some truly good painters and handymen I've actually worked with or referred clients to, and the clients were happy with afterward! Keep that in mind for "next time"! Yes, I have to agree I would have run when he asked for a 7% premium to pay by check, yikes. I also hate when contractors ask for cash; you know they're not reporting it as income, which really irks me. I would love to see photos of your new decor when you get a chance to share on AR! 

Nov 12, 2011 05:50 PM #6
Rainmaker
160,360
Josef Katz
Digital and Direct Response Marketing - Manhattan, NY
{Marketing Maestro}

Amy - You have no idea how many times I thought about you during this process.  I think you gave me a few names which I passed on to my wife (she was dealing with this piece of the fun). This guy came "highly" recommended by a friend, who by the way now also wants nothing to do with Chris.

The cash thing bugs me too. 

New photos soon (I hope).  Hope all is great.

Nov 13, 2011 03:07 AM #7
Rainer
86,483
Amy Bly
Great Impressions Home Staging/Interiors - Montville, NJ
Styling Homes for Selling and Staying

Hi, Josef, It's nice to know you thought of me at least! I guess you never know if a painter who worked for someone else might not work for you, but this one sounded like he had a lot of red flags. Please keep me in mind for anyone else you know who might be looking to do re-design as well as staging! Do you still attend the Friday meet-ups, BTW? I haven't gone in ages, just always seem busy on Fridays.

 

Nov 14, 2011 03:00 PM #8
Rainmaker
160,360
Josef Katz
Digital and Direct Response Marketing - Manhattan, NY
{Marketing Maestro}

Amy- No I haven't been there in probably a year.  Just been too busy.  I need to carve out some time for regular networking.  Ill keep you in mind for anything that I hear about.

Nov 15, 2011 08:37 AM #9
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Josef Katz

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