Cowboy painters

Cowboy painters


The title isn’t about the latest Hollywood movie, although if we filmed the stories that featuring cowboys all these movies would be based on a true story. At the beginning of the story, the lead actor con man contractor visits another of his unsuspecting victims, and the simple scenario that after the assignment the contractor fulfills his job takes a different turn.


After being paid in advance is reached, he will not appear at the agreed time and his phone will not be answered or he will not be available at all.

Of course, there have been and always will be bad players in the construction industry. Some people sell their services very well with sales pitch, but after they have swindled the client out of money, they no longer appear at the agreed time. There are victims in my circle of acquaintance, and the most shocking thing is that it can happen to anyone.

Contractors are often faced by customers making a decision based upon price which of course is understandable, because everyone has a different financial situation. Two things follow, either taking jobs away from professionals by undercharging and providing shoddy quality of work. There are fewer and fewer good professionals, and more and more people  who are claim to be professional. The description can not be applied to painting businesses, but also to any construction profession.

How to find a reliable professional?

First of all, ask around in your circle of friends have any recommendation. If someone has recently renovated his or her apartment and the contractor has done a good job, ask for the company’s number and contact them. If you can’t find anyone, we can find somebody else on the Internet, but that can fraught with danger. Here are a few tips on how you can reduce the chances of being ripped off but unfortunately this guide isn’t a silver bullet.

Let’s not get impatient!

In today’s world, we want everything right away and hassle free. Quickly getting rich, losing weight, or building muscle, but everything requires patience. If you are faced with that the choosen contractor can not come in the foreseeable time, that means that he is pre-booked and either cannot or does not want to undertake any more work. They say if somebody can come immediately that must be a conman, but sometimes things do go as you planned, right? And that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s a cowboy, let’s not forget everyone runs their business differently. It is also possible that the scheduled work will be cancelled by the customer, in which case some time will be freed up (obviously depending on the size of the job)

Let’s check on the contractor.

In the digital age we have a chance to find the contractor or the company’s registration details. If we are talking about self-employed contartor who is registered under the KATA scheme you can find him here.

Ask for a detailed quote

After a face-to-face meeting and survey, ask the contractor to detail what he will do, what the cost of materials will be, and the cost of labour. If we are talking about a bigger job, let’s have everything written in a contract.

Let’s ask for references

A successful business must have customers who would like to help the contractor grow his business. They’re the ones who write Google reviews. We can contact them or ask the contractor to provide us with some phone numbers to call. However, it is important to note that if, for example, other European or overseas environments are  shown on the reference images, it is quite suspicious.

Ask if he has qualification for the job.

I could count on one finger how many times they asked for my qualification, and it’s not a typo. There are also other some things like that the person has qualification but has no hands on experience so it doesn’t necessarily mean we’re dealing with a cowboy painter. 

Painting is a profession that’s changing. We need to be up to date on what materials we need for differrent surfaces and how we can improve quality and how we can speed up work.  We have to know about which are those materials and tools that lead to a win-win situation.

Check quality while working

A lot of people don’t like to be watched at work. I have to admit, I don’t either, but I completely accept it. Customer may not like what they are seeing or may not fully understands the process, so if the contractor has not told you about the details of the work, ask about the process.

Let’s speak up if you don’t like what you’re  seeing.

You often see pictures on the Internet that can be considered finished, but you should have seen in the middle of the job that something was wrong. There are a lot of people who don’t dare say anything because they don’t want to generate „unnecessary” tension, or the contractor said he’s going to fix it in the end, which, of course, doesn’t happen that way or at all.

What do we do when it’s too late?

There are times when we realise  that we have chosen on the wrong person or company. That’s when we save what’s left to save. The most basic thing is not to lose our heads. Let’s try to explain our objections and ask if themistakes can be fixed. If the contractor is not willing to do so, we can request an independent expert opinion (which costs money) and take the case to court. If you have not received an invoice for the work carried out, you can give NAV notice of our case and report it to  Chamber of industry and Commerce as well.

Unfortunately, there has beena  shortage of trade professionals within the painting and construction sectors for a number of years and this doesnt look like being addressed in the near future.  Most of the young people do not picture themselves in a role involving manual labour but rather behind the drawing table, so there will be no adequate supply. The other thing is that a lot of people have left the country and are making their living elsewhere, moving forward in life, and they don’t plan on coming home.

It is worth planning ahead and contacting to the contractor in time because the family protection scheme that has begun will trigger a new attack for the honest professionals who remained.

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