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The Consumer Guarantees Act and Painting

From the Resene Trade blog ›  Resene Professional development programme

This Act provides a guarantee of performance for customers and there are plenty of grey areas in establishing just how well your painting work performs and for how long customers may take actions against painters either real or imagined, for problems that arise with work.

Mostly problems are rare with both the materials and workmanship but arise because of unexpected substrate difficulties – for example timber can and does move substantially with weather changes, concrete surfaces can leak and rust is difficult to suppress.

You therefore need a safety parachute to provide some defence against the unexpected.

Well – after you work out your price and prepare your quoted systems add on another offer along the following.

“We take every care with the preparation and painting, but experience teaches us that sometimes problems arise due to substrates causing unexpected difficulties. We offer to return after 12 months and carefully inspect (and wash if exterior) our decorating and correct any deficiencies.

This will ensure your property is kept in great shape.

This service, should you accept, will cost ($ whatever) when completed, please advise etc etc”.

This sends a proper signal to customers because it will be an easy add on to keep everything spic'n span and you get to deal with the customer again.

And those that don’t accept the offer don’t have any retrospective claim again your work because effectively they have opted out of any such warranty.

The Consumer Guarantees Act provides that any work done for a customer must meet four guarantees:

  1. Reasonable care and skill – painters’ work is often judged by AS/NZ2311:2017 ‘Guide to the painting of buildings’ to determine skills and/or quality when things go wrong.

  2. Work will be fit for purpose – make sure your customer understands and agrees what is on offer – detail quotes properly.

  3. Work must be completed in a reasonable time – if you have discussed when the work will be done or written this into a quote or contract then that is the agreement.

  4. Work must be completed for a reasonable price – if there is an agreed price or quote, estimate on hourly rate, then this is the agreement on price. If not then the charges must be similar to others providing similar services.

Note: Commercial contracts, subcontracts with builders and developers and tendered works are not subject to the Consumer Guarantees Act, but often contain specific conditions of contract that must be achieved and can vary greatly from project to project. Read before signing.

Sell customers a Service Plan.

Resene Professional development program
This blog article is an excerpt from the Rates for work (PDF)

October 2017

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