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@celicaxx What I quoted from the OP shows what his problem is. He needed to be more conservative in his promises. At the very least, if it came to a court action ( :eek: ) he is stuck with the promise he made on paper. I would NEVER make such a claim in my own contracts. One must be very careful what they write!
 

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I think that's hard wording in contracts, and it's wording I never used for mine. I'd just have "paint two coats ____" but just verbally went over the expectations of wall repair. I think wording like that in your contract opens a giant can of worms, because to some people they will expect nothing less than a full skim coat, but want you to do it for a bargain basement price. It's in the eye of the beholder what is "minor" or not, and we all know laymen think we can wave a magic wand to fix everything.

I think the main thing in doing this kind of work is underpromise and overdeliver, instead of overpromise and underdeliver. And some customers, you legitimately cannot promise them what their vision is, so if you lose the job, you lose the job, but it's better than working under the conditions of never being able to meet the expectation. I've straight out said during estimates, in a place not painted since the 90s, with pet problems on the walls, latex over oil on railings, etc, "I can't work a miracle here" (well I could have for a much higher price, but she definitely wasn't willing to pay that...) and didn't end up getting the job, but other customers (more landlords in this regard) were more understanding and just said "hey, do the best you can and that's it."

Of course since it's the internet we all want to say we always do our best 100% of the time, etc, but reasonably you can only work for what you're getting paid to do and not every job can be perfection. So I think then the key is understanding, or managing, your customer's expectations. With the OP, all my jobs I never had issues getting paid or people threatening to go to court, but I think I tended to underbid and do really good work but for wrong prices, so people were generally always happy, but I left a lot of money on the table.

With my boss and his business, though, he did get into situations of threatened litigation, though, kinda similar to OP, but I could always say regardless of who was in the right or wrong, he definitely tended to overpromise, hype himself up, etc, etc, more than I did. Of course he was a much more successful businessman than me, and actually made a profit, but still the amount of drama I think he went through was pretty high at times.
Awesome response. I feel you on that one.

Thank you
 

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I am NOT arguing against the question. My first question when reading the OP was, "How did you not see it?".

However, I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt that the walls could have been a nightmare.

The OP apologized and offered to fix it immediately. Sometimes you forget that small thing you meant to go back to. It happens.

The fact she went so far as to threaten a lawsuit is coo-koo bananas crazy!
I'm, in no way, criticizing the OP or his very reasonable response to the client, just offering a caution about what one writes in a contract. We have all had the crazies from time to time; it's better to avoid giving fodder for their neurosis. Also, I have OFTEN filled so many wall dings and holes on some jobs, it might just as well have been a skim coat.
 

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I'm, in no way criticizing the OP or his very reasonable response to the client. just offering a caution about what one writes in a contract. We have all had the crazies frm time to time; it's better to avoid giving fodder for their neurosis. Also, I have OFTEN filled so many wall dings and holes on some jobs, it might just as well have been a skim coat.
My brain was reading your response from a different angle originally. Sorry about unintended confusion.

I gotcha now and fully agree with you!
 

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@Smilingpolitely However, he promised all would be filled,
"I did have a contract saying that I would fill all imperfections:
Downstairs living room, kitchen, dining room, bedroom, and
basement walls will be painted with Super Paint Flat (color to be
determined). Walls will be prepped, and nail holes and minor
imperfections will be spackled prior to painting."

A promise made is a debt unpaid.
A promise made is a debt unpaid and the trail has it's own stern code...
Cremation of Sam McGee?
 

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We also don't know where the nail holes were. I've painted some teenage bedrooms after they go to college and it looks like they were practicing to become a world champion at darts!

If I have to spackle between coats, I "spot prime" those areas after sanding and don't have an issue with flashing on second coat.

The biggest pain, IMO, are the nail pops that you couldn't see with the halogen, but shine bright as day when you are rolling. Grrrrr.
My last job had so many small nail holes and lumps from previous repairs I spent a day just filling and patching. Even got some assistants involved holding the light so I could catch them all and it wasn't until I rolled the primer on that I could see dozens of nail holes in every room about 8-10" down from the ceiling! What the heck are they hanging up there?
 

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My last job had so many small nail holes and lumps from previous repairs I spent a day just filling and patching. Even got some assistants involved holding the light so I could catch them all and it wasn't until I rolled the primer on that I could see dozens of nail holes in every room about 8-10" down from the ceiling! What the heck are they hanging up there?
Here is a laugh for you, in places where I see a lot of nail holes and dings I prime first so they are glaringly apparent. After finding and filling them all, I do a second less fastidious prime with no detail like cutting in, just roll and feather edges. However, my stable of regular clients never questioned price, they all, just, wanted excellence. Most full house repaints got the full skim coat treatment so there was never an issue with missed flaws. BUT it took me nearly 10 -12 years to build a client base I liked and by then I was turning away more clients then I was willing to take on. I favored the old money in historic homes with clients that understood and appreciated quality. All jobs that took time and care. That said, it was not a way to build a big painting company: I worked solo or at most a couple of grunt workers. When I moved to a new city I lost that style of business and went semi-retired, only willing to work for half a dozen HOs in the new city. I am to, bloody, old to want to rebuild that style of business again. This would not be the city to even try it!
 

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Well, I am a Canuck, don'tch know! :LOL: & "There are strange tings done in the midnight sun..."
30 yrs ago a buddy of mine would challenge each other to memorize long poems then when our families would vacation together we would recite them around the campfire. The kids groaned then but often mention those as standout memories of their childhood.
I can still rattle off that poem to this day and he, The Raven.
 

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30 yrs ago a buddy of mine would challenge each other to memorize long poems then when our families would vacation together we would recite them around the campfire. The kids groaned then but often mention those as standout memories of their childhood.
I can still rattle off that poem to this day and he, The Raven.
And now let's return back to nail holes and pops!
 

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I think that's hard wording in contracts, and it's wording I never used for mine. I'd just have "paint two coats ____" but just verbally went over the expectations of wall repair. I think wording like that in your contract opens a giant can of worms, because to some people they will expect nothing less than a full skim coat, but want you to do it for a bargain basement price. It's in the eye of the beholder what is "minor" or not, and we all know laymen think we can wave a magic wand to fix everything.

I think the main thing in doing this kind of work is underpromise and overdeliver, instead of overpromise and underdeliver. And some customers, you legitimately cannot promise them what their vision is, so if you lose the job, you lose the job, but it's better than working under the conditions of never being able to meet the expectation. I've straight out said during estimates, in a place not painted since the 90s, with pet problems on the walls, latex over oil on railings, etc, "I can't work a miracle here" (well I could have for a much higher price, but she definitely wasn't willing to pay that...) and didn't end up getting the job, but other customers (more landlords in this regard) were more understanding and just said "hey, do the best you can and that's it."

Of course since it's the internet we all want to say we always do our best 100% of the time, etc, but reasonably you can only work for what you're getting paid to do and not every job can be perfection. So I think then the key is understanding, or managing, your customer's expectations. With the OP, all my jobs I never had issues getting paid or people threatening to go to court, but I think I tended to underbid and do really good work but for wrong prices, so people were generally always happy, but I left a lot of money on the table.

With my boss and his business, though, he did get into situations of threatened litigation, though, kinda similar to OP, but I could always say regardless of who was in the right or wrong, he definitely tended to overpromise, hype himself up, etc, etc, more than I did. Of course he was a much more successful businessman than me, and actually made a profit, but still the amount of drama I think he went through was pretty high at times.
I love those people who insist on bare bones to save money and get mad when it doesn't look like a pic out of Better Homes and Gardens.

Product Rectangle Font Wood Material property
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Thank you all for your posts, as it turns out, she was just threatening me because she had bad experiences with other contractors not following up with their promises (skipping out with the deposit). However, the only thing she really had a problem with was there were 5 nails painted over in the bathroom, which was an oversight by myself thinking that she had things hung on them, and she just removed them before I came and painted.

The funny thing though is that my father used to work with me, and him being 61 and myself being 29 (and I look 21 I might add), she only dealt with me during this whole transaction, and made the judgement that I didn't know what I was doing. So when I went back, I brought my father (really just in case she tried any ****, like claiming I did something to her or was belligerent), and I did all of the spackling while he just stood around. While I waited for the spackle to dry, I dropped my father off at another local job, and when I came back, she exclaimed how my father looked like a 'true professional' while spackling, and I should take tips from him.... well.... he didn't spackle **** while there, and I told her this (not with that kind of fancy language)... It was interesting, but she then wanted me to bid another job at her place... I don't know about any of you, but when someone threatens to bring me to court over 5 ****ing nails, I don't ever want to do work for them again. lol

Thanks again everyone!
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Here is a laugh for you, in places where I see a lot of nail holes and dings I prime first so they are glaringly apparent. After finding and filling them all, I do a second less fastidious prime with no detail like cutting in, just roll and feather edges. However, my stable of regular clients never questioned price, they all, just, wanted excellence. Most full house repaints got the full skim coat treatment so there was never an issue with missed flaws. BUT it took me nearly 10 -12 years to build a client base I liked and by then I was turning away more clients then I was willing to take on. I favored the old money in historic homes with clients that understood and appreciated quality. All jobs that took time and care. That said, it was not a way to build a big painting company: I worked solo or at most a couple of grunt workers. When I moved to a new city I lost that style of business and went semi-retired, only willing to work for half a dozen HOs in the new city. I am to, bloody, old to want to rebuild that style of business again. This would not be the city to even try it!

I love that! Prime first so the patches are glaring... brilliant! I'm going to use that next time...
 

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I spec filling nail holes and caulking cracks is included, but fixing surface imperfections is subjective and done on an hourly basis. We usually fix most free but covers me for OCD people
More importantly I’ve found that when I change the energy of the situation by being generous, praying for them, surrendering control of the outcome (I have no control of other peoples reactions) and basically trusting in my higher power to resolve the situation it does wonders to solve the problem in ways I couldn’t on my own.
 

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the only thing she really had a problem with was there were 5 nails painted over in the bathroom, which was an oversight by myself thinking that she had things hung on them, and she just removed them before I came and painted.
when someone threatens to bring me to court over 5 ****ing nails, I don't ever want to do work for them again. lol

Thanks again everyone!
Really, no painter should be painting a wall with nails still in it. If one thinks the nails are wanted there, remove them and replace when done. Nails make a real mess of a paint job.
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Painters like you give the rest of us a bad name. If you say you're going to do something then do it.
I did, that was the point of my post, I had a time scheduled with this lady to fix what she wanted fixed (which I had no problem with at all), but she was texting me, worried I wouldn't come out I guess, and threatened to sue me. I did go back, and all went well. Read the rest of the thread....
Also found out after the fact from her family members (who all commended me for a job well done) that she was on medication, so that definitely would affect her mood, and would explain her 'swings'. I just wanted to ask for advice because I have never been threatened like this before in the last 12 years of doing work like this.
 

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I did, that was the point of my post, I had a time scheduled with this lady to fix what she wanted fixed (which I had no problem with at all), but she was texting me, worried I wouldn't come out I guess, and threatened to sue me. I did go back, and all went well. Read the rest of the thread....
Also found out after the fact from her family members (who all commended me for a job well done) that she was on medication, so that definitely would affect her mood, and would explain her 'swings'. I just wanted to ask for advice because I have never been threatened like this before in the last 12 years of doing work like this.
I just don't understand as a professional painter how you could leave nail holes in a wall.

Imo she shouldn't have paid you until you did what you quoted. Even if you offered to fix I would never recommend you or "commend" you as you say her family did.

Some people think terrible paint jobs are good and some think perfect paint jobs are bad.

I think if you tell someone you will fill nails holes and you don't then that's on you and your professionalism.

She definitely can see you and will win. She won't win the whole amount of what she paid you but probably something to cover another painter to come and fix it.
 

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I did, that was the point of my post, I had a time scheduled with this lady to fix what she wanted fixed (which I had no problem with at all), but she was texting me, worried I wouldn't come out I guess, and threatened to sue me. I did go back, and all went well. Read the rest of the thread....
Also found out after the fact from her family members (who all commended me for a job well done) that she was on medication, so that definitely would affect her mood, and would explain her 'swings'. I just wanted to ask for advice because I have never been threatened like this before in the last 12 years of doing work like this.
Want to know what's a better reflection on a company? A. Doing perfect work or
B. quickly resolving a problem to make a customer happy.
The answer, time and again, is B.
You did good! Well done.
 
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