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How to handle situation with builder
cpalazzo
November 20, 2012 in Design Dilemma
We are building a new house and asked to upgrade our paint from flat to eggshell. We were told the upgrade would be $9000 because eggshell is so much more expensive. I did a little research, and according to the paint store, the paint contractor we are using actually gets a better price on eggshell, so they are totally ripping us off. Not sure if the builder is in on this but I'm not sure how to handle it to our advantage. Any advice?
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Aja Mazin
Confront him directly.
November 20, 2012 at 5:05pm     
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pcmom1
Wow, that is really awful. Are you comfortable talking with him frankly?

If you can't work this out nicely, one resource is to contact your state contractor's licensing board. My husband is a CPA, and has a lot of contractor clients, and one gave us this tip. We had a problem with a leaning pergola. Called and called trying to get contractor to fix it. Finally, sent him a letter outlining problem, timeline of trying to get him to address it, and ended letter with "if not remedied by such and so date we will be forced to send this along with a compliant to State Licensing Board."

He was out the next day. In Calif. they seem to hate to deal with this entity.

Gave this same technique to a girlfriend who was having trouble with a landscaper. Couldn't get him out with the Japanese maple and other plants to finish the job.

He came out to finish planting at 9pm at night the day he got her letter.
November 20, 2012 at 5:10pm     
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PRO
Urban Renewal Builders Ltd
Upcharges like this are what give contractors a bad name. You shouldn't pay more than a couple of hundred dollars more in the entire house for eggshell. I have never heard of eggshell being cheaper, though. That kind of money would repaint the whole house, inside and out! If they are doing that, what else are they ripping you off on? Good luck!
November 20, 2012 at 9:10pm   
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Anne Gibney
That is way to much unless you have 8000 sq feet! Talk with the builder is this a new subdivision or a custom builder? Talk with the building contractor he should be your liaison with painter. If he says it is normal changers, then I would let him know that you will be contacting the license board. By all means do not pay the extra up charge. Get two more estimates if possible from a licensed painting contractors and use this information in your decision.
November 20, 2012 at 10:27pm   
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Anne Gibney
That is way to much unless you have 8000 sq feet! Talk with the builder is this a new subdivision or a custom builder? Talk with the building contractor he should be your liaison with painter. If he says it is normal changers, then I would let him know that you will be contacting the license board. By all means do not pay the extra up charge. Get two more estimates if possible from a licensed painting contractors and use this information in your decision.
November 20, 2012 at 10:27pm   
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Anne Gibney
That is way to much unless you have 8000 sq feet! Talk with the builder is this a new subdivision or a custom builder? Talk with the building contractor he should be your liaison with painter. If he says it is a customary charges, then I would let him know that you will be contacting the license board. By all means

do not pay the extra up charge. Get two more estimates if possible from a
licensed painting contractors and use this information in your decision.
November 20, 2012 at 10:28pm   
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Dudley Smith
Hi. I'm a general contractor. Fire the painter. There should have been no extra charge. If you keep the painter you will have back feelings till the end. Usually the painters are the last to leave.
November 20, 2012 at 11:04pm     
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charleee
I'd fire the painter too. Once you call him on this outrageous charge, how do you know he won't feel resentful and do less of a job than you're paying for? I'd also file a complaint with the CSLB, not seeking resolution, but putting him on notice so someone else doesn't fall victim to his unethical practices.
November 21, 2012 at 4:05am   
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Shawn Lagemann
I agree, fire the painter. As far as eggshell being cheaper, that depends. I have contractors pricing for paint. The paint supplier gives me a much better break on the paint I use the most of. There does tend to be a slight upcharge for color changes from room to room, but not 9K worth.

Heres an example: Dark red color chosen in eggshell finish. Need tinted dark primer, usually requires more than 2 coats of paint. Dark red flashes in an eggshell finish, requires more labor in wall prep, dark colors show wall imperfections 10x's more. upcharge for room sized (say bedroom) 12x14 $250.00. For the 1 room.

Get another estimate from a different painter.
November 21, 2012 at 4:21am   
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charleee
I think every time they change colors they have to go to the trouble of cleaning out the paint sprayer. Agreed it's a pain, but who has a job without a part of it they don't like?
November 21, 2012 at 5:14am   
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