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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
28th January 2021


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I chuckled when I received a press release this week, about a survey on the habits of ‘white van man’. Apparently, tradesmen are shaking off their boozy reputation and contrary to common stereotypes, are now more likely to be found in the gym (or even a slimming club!) than the pub.

If you’re a regular reader of KBzine you’ll be aware that I watch the many tradespeople who’ve worked at my house in recent years, very closely indeed – but it’s not to check out their builders’ bottoms or ogle their bulging biceps, it’s to see if they’re capable of doing the job I’m paying them to do.

The latest fiasco follows the fitting – in two stages, of a new carpet in the attic bedroom. We needed a replacement earlier than we might have done because the first roofer hadn’t replaced the leaking valleys – causing the original carpet to be ruined by a combination of rainwater and falling plaster.

We’d had the room replastered and repainted. The carpet fitters (one of whom is the shop manager) met the painter on their way in so I would have thought they’d have taken care getting the carpet roll up to the room, knowing that the paint had only just dried.

But no. They badly dirtied three walls which we ended up having to repaint in their entirety, as the scrapes wouldn't clean off and our attempts at patching up were obvious.

The second set of fitters scraped two walls so we are having to repaint them a second time. We had mentioned when they arrived that their predecessors had forced us to redecorate so you’d think they'd have been extra careful. They exacerbated things by not confessing and trying to clean up themselves, leaving dinner plate-sized shiny marks with the black scuffs still showing in the centre – I was not happy!

Their excuse? The stairs were quite steep! And when I mentioned that the diminutive fitter of the original carpet had managed alone without mishap, they retorted that his carpet was thinner!

I’m about to buy a bathroom. I should have had it done 18 months ago but have been put off by potential problems with the fitting. Am I alone I wonder, or are our nation’s tradespeople – however pretty they might now be, stalling KBB sales because of their incompetence?



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Jan Hobbs



13th November 2015

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