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Warranteed! Um, except for that. And that. And...

 
 
sozobe
 
Reply Thu 10 Jul, 2008 08:21 am
When we first saw the house we live in now, it was a really weird color. I was OK with it, but evidently it was a major obstacle for the sellers -- people wouldn't even give it a second look because of the color. (Of all possible value-reducing problems to have, that was a good one, from my perspective.)

When we first toured the house, there was a note near the entrance that said "the house will be painted soon!!," with paint swatches of the color it would be painted.

The house was actually painted after we made our offer but before we moved in -- about April 2004. (I do like the new color better, though it's a bit bland.) The sellers handled everything -- selected the painter, paid him, etc.

I don't remember what precipitated this (and if it's important, I can find out), but in November 2004 we received a letter from the painter. It said:

    Dear Mr. [E.G. -- not sellers] This is to inform you that [name of company] agrees to do scraping and touch-up of any peeling occurs [sic] on exterior paint. Time frame covers from 4-1-04 to 4-1-09. Original contract does not state a warranty. Since there was a peeling problem in the past, in some areas. [signature, date]


We had our roof replaced last fall -- there is a lot of ugly sealant stuff on the flashing that we want painted over. We also have a fair amount of peeling going on on the exterior -- maybe 20 individual places, all fairly small (maybe 8 inches by 1 inch, as an example). We decided to call this guy to a) have the touch-ups done as per the letter, for free, while also b) painting over the sealant stuff, which we'd pay for.

The guy came out. He seemed very amused that we would think that he'd do any touch-up for free. First he insisted that the painting happened in 2002 and that the five-year window had expired. Then E.G. fetched the letter. More amusement. No, no, no. He didn't do anything wrong, he said. Not his fault that there was peeling, he said. Well, yeah, but what about the letter where he said that he'd do exactly that? No, no, no.

Um.

E.G. at first just kind of accepted it, then after I and a few other people went "WHAT??", he got mad. Thought he'd ask for a quote on what the touch-up WOULD cost, if we paid the guy to do it, with the idea of maybe suing him for that much money.

The guy wouldn't give a written quote but left a message, which we have on tape. $1,270 for just the touch-up/ peeling. This is separate from what he'd charge to paint over the sealant.

We're looking for advice on where to go from here. (E.G. asked me to start this.) Better Business Bureau? Small claims court? (Perhaps this should be in "legal," but could go a few different directions.)

Thanks.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 2,311 • Replies: 22
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Jul, 2008 08:29 am
(Just noticed the dates... maybe it's all an elaborate April Fool's joke? ;-))

E.G. has said that he'd be happy to just get 1/2 the quoted amount from the guy (~$600), and then move on. Not use his services (find someone else), but not make a hassle for him either.
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  2  
Reply Thu 10 Jul, 2008 08:38 am
Erm.

IMO, I wouldn't bother with it. The fact that the paint is peeling after such a short time indicates to me that the guy either doesn't know what he's doing or is out to screw people over.

I certainly wouldn't have him work on the house again. (Sounds like ya'll have already made that decision.)
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Jul, 2008 12:27 pm
Reading with interest....

We're getting ready to paint our house. (Get this: boomerang chose the color kangaroo.)

I think I'd probably push it a bit -- that's a lot of money.

Do you have some kind of consumer advocate agency or person you could contact?
0 Replies
 
fishin
 
  2  
Reply Thu 10 Jul, 2008 01:09 pm
His letter doesn't say they'll do the touch-ups for free but it certainly implies that they will.

Not sure about OH but here in MA painters have a license and there is a state board that oversees them and accepts complaints about them. We also have a fund that all contractors pay into and you can file a claim against that fund for the cost of damages/repairs (this is over/above any liability insurance the contractoir carries).

If OH has a similar board I'd go to them first and include a copy of the letter the painting company sent you. If you don't have a similar board then you can probably file a complaint through the Atty General's office ("Consumer Affairs" or some such...). This is, IMO, a much better route to take than contacting the BBB. Contacting the BBB basicly just lets other consumer's know there was a problem. They can't force the company to remedy it. The Atty General's office can actually force them to fix it and they are much more likely to respond if their license is at risk. If they don't get you results then I'd say small claims court would be your next step.

And if he won't give you a written quote I'd start looking elsewhere. Who doesn't give written quotes when requested??? That's just silly.

You can search the company name for a license here:
https://www.comapps.ohio.gov/dic/dico_apps/lics/coemp_lookup/default.aspx
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Jul, 2008 06:15 pm
Good advice, fishin', as always.

I'm wondering if since the previous home owners paid for the paint job if you might have to enlist them in any complaints.
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caribou
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Jul, 2008 06:29 pm
From the stand point of someone who paints... yeah, I would be leery of using this guy.
A) He wrote some silly contract at some point,
B) now he knows nothing about nothing.

I don't know how big your house is or what kind of paint or anything.
But it think the price sounds abit high... And will the touch up match? Has the paint faded?

You do get what you pay for when it comes to paint.

Get some other quotes and opinions from other painters. See what they say when they look at the house.

Paint matching would be a big question for me.
You don't want a pokadotted house.

They need to scrap, put a good primer on and topcoat. At the very least.
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Jul, 2008 06:43 pm
Oh! Oh! caribou!

When painting something big (like a house) that will be outside (like a... uhhh.... house) is it better to go a little darker or a little lighter?

I think we've reached a compromise color but I'm worried that over a big area that the color will look different. How do you know if you've found the right shade?

The paint we've selected is $50 a gallon so I can't afford to make a mistake.

Any advice appreciated!
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Jul, 2008 06:48 pm
Thanks fishin, and everyone!

Good point about whether we'd need to bring in the original sellers, boomer.

DrewDad did get it in his first post -- we're not using this guy. Basically we're wondering:

1.) Do we drop it entirely, move on?

2.) Do we just warn others (BBB, Angie's List, whatever)?

3.) Do we want some sort of compensation/ recourse? (Consumer affairs/ small claims court.)

4.) Do we THREATEN some version of #3 and try to settle for some amount (such as half of his written quote) informally, and leave it at that?

5.) Or should we do something else entirely, and if so, what?


If we do #3, we'd assume it would be for money rather than services... is that an erroneous assumption? As in, if we take it to small claims court and win, would the result of the win be that we get somewhere in the vicinity of $1,200 (to pay someone else to do it), or would it be that he has to do the touch-up for free?
0 Replies
 
caribou
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Jul, 2008 06:52 pm
Boomerang,
you made me go "oofph"

What brand paint are you buying?

What color is your house now? Is the color you compromised on about the same tone?

(Kangaroo, I'm picturing it)

Darker/lighter, opinions will vary.
When I was last trying to pick some colors for my own house, I took a picture of the house. Somehow sorta turned it into a line drawing and then filled in the color by hand.
Someone with more computer savy could probably just press some buttons and change your house color. I mean, on a monitor.
Of course.

Sorry, a little punchy. It's getting to be my bedtime.
0 Replies
 
caribou
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Jul, 2008 06:55 pm
Soz, I vote 4.
Threaten, then take what you can get and walk away.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Jul, 2008 06:55 pm
On number 2, I agree with Fishin re seeing if there is a contractors' board in Ohio.
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Jul, 2008 07:24 pm
Yeah, "oofph" is what I thought too.

It's Bejamin Moore Aura paint.

Mr. B is in construction related work and he asked around a lot: "If price is no object, and you don't want to have to redo it, ever, what paint do you use? He was told BM's Aura paint by everyone.

The house now is tan, a pink based tan. "Kangaroo" is tan but kind of a green based tan.

I worry that deciding on a color during the sunny months that I'll regret it in the rainy months.

I also worry about computer aided choices because I know that monitor colors differ. (I'm having a real problem with my new monitor and the photos I'm getting back from the lab -- it's driving me crazy.) They also don't take changes in lighting into consideration. "Pretend" painting just doesn't work for me.

My painting has always been limited to interiors where even expensive paint can be changed without a huge price tag.

That's why I'm looking at such neutral colors for outside.

I might be overthinking the whole thing. I get stuck on lighting.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Jul, 2008 08:53 pm
I haven't looked up the color, but I like green based tans.

I think darker colors often look good with the landscape. I never did get around to painting the house in Humboldt by the Bay, but I would have chosen what I think of as "sludge", kind of a brown green grey, not dark dark but not a light tan either.
0 Replies
 
dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Jul, 2008 02:51 am
Red or grey kangaroo?
0 Replies
 
caribou
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Jul, 2008 03:55 am
I hear ya, Boom.

I'm off to work. I'll look at the Aura deck.

Ben Moore is always my pick. Haven't had enough experience with the Aura line to have an opinion. How long has it been around? Seems like it just came out here.

It doesn't sound like you are changing your color by much. I know exactly what you are saying though. It took me 6 months to pick my livingroom color.

Buy a quart and make a large color sample to look at?
Wait a year to make the decision?

Okay, now I'm back from work.... For what it's worth, I like Kangaroo. Not to dark, not too light, not too grey, not too green. Just right.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Jul, 2008 07:09 am
caribou wrote:
Soz, I vote 4.
Threaten, then take what you can get and walk away.


OK, thanks.

Do you think that if he says "threaten all you want, I'm not giving you anything" we should drop it or follow up on the threat? (We'd obviously find out more about what exactly we'd be threatening first, as per fishin's post.)
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Jul, 2008 07:17 am
fishin wrote:
His letter doesn't say they'll do the touch-ups for free but it certainly implies that they will.

Not sure about OH but here in MA painters have a license and there is a state board that oversees them and accepts complaints about them. We also have a fund that all contractors pay into and you can file a claim against that fund for the cost of damages/repairs (this is over/above any liability insurance the contractoir carries).


Looked up the company name and they apparently don't have a license. Tried every permutation I could think of and didn't get any results, anyway. Can follow up with that.

Quote:
If OH has a similar board I'd go to them first and include a copy of the letter the painting company sent you. If you don't have a similar board then you can probably file a complaint through the Atty General's office ("Consumer Affairs" or some such...).


I just looked up the Attorney General and remembered he was (very recently) Mark Dann... heh. (Major scandal dude.)

Anyway, this seems to be what we're going for, thanks much for pointing us there:

http://www.ag.state.oh.us/citizen/consumer/complaints.asp
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Jul, 2008 09:52 am
Are other painters in Ohio licensed? If they are supposed to be, that can still be reported to the board.
0 Replies
 
dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Jul, 2008 02:41 am
Mediation could well end up with the painter coming back to do the tough ups. He'll probably do a dodgy job and you'll be back to square one.
0 Replies
 
 

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