Dear Mr. Okulicz,
Firstly, let me say once again, how truly sorry we are that your experience was not as we all hoped, and that we were not able to complete our work at your request.
We take our work very seriously, and with the highest regard for our customers. I can assure you there was no aspect of this job that my paint-crew could not have completed successfully, if given the opportunity to do so. The pictures you've opted to include here, are of surfaces they had yet to complete, and does not represent our finished work. Pictures of our finished work on similar surfaces, can be seen on our website.
Although I seem to have regrettably failed in this case, it is my policy and practice to gather all pertinent information during the estimate process, to ensure we provide the exact services most important to each customer, and manage expectations with open, honest communication. After all, we don’t like surprises any more than our customers do.
During our extensive initial meeting, you had expressed repeated disappointment with your previous painters and other trades you had fired throughout your year-long renovation. It was entirely my intention to help you overcome those bad experiences by delivering the good work we do routinely everyday for our customers. With aims to achieve that, I listened to your concerns, noted the areas you wanted us to focus on improving the appearance of, and explained how we would address those issues to finish the work done by others, to meet your standards. I also pointed out structural defects that would not be addressed as part of a typical painting project (as in: can’t be fixed by paint), and reviewed with you the Industry Standard which defines the makings of an acceptable painted surface.
When I believed we had reached an understanding of expectations and scope of work, I had genuine sympathy for you living on a job site for so long, and sincerely wanted to help you finish-off your project once and for all, so you and your fiancée could finally move-in your furniture, and start enjoying your home, and your life together.
So, we were surprised when my crew learned from you on the first day of the job, that you wanted them to perfect your previous trades’ hundreds of repaired tiny nail-holes on the crown mouldings that for all intents and purposes were finished. But without question, they began working to refine those details for you, anyway. These imperfections were not obvious without magnification from a normal viewing position, and certainly not visible to me, nor pointed out or discussed specifically in our meeting. Rather, I was simply asked if we would sand the crown before painting, which is a standard practice.
Day two, you pointed out several other items you wanted addressed more thoroughly on the crown and wall repairs, and more sanding was done on the crown to minimize the tiny peaks raised by the nails, along with its first coat of paint. But for the majority, the crew focused their attention that day on the much larger task of painting your 5 levels of staircase risers and stingers, which they almost completed.
A great deal of work was accomplished in these two days, and yet, at the end of the second day, you asked us to stop the work, even though nothing was in finished-form yet.
So, with respect and recognition that we were not going to be able to completely satisfy you, which is our priority with every customer, we agreed to leave the job to make way for you to select another contractor you were more comfortable with.
It was also our aim, that by leaving you with all the top-line Benjamin Moore paints we had purchased to complete the job, and the Frog-tape left installed to protect your steps, you would be free of having to pay your next painter for these materials, and for the time to install new tape.
It’s quite common for paint to bleed a little around the edges when it’s on a wood grain surface such as your steps, even through Frog-tape. We use this more-expensive masking-tape to minimize this type of bleed-though, and minimize clean-up in the end. It’s far better than using conventional painter tape, but we do expect some bleed on textured surfaces like this, and I’m only sorry we weren’t there to complete the job, which would naturally have included cleaning off these tiny paint-stragglers. Whichever professional you hired to complete the risers after us, would have had to clean it themselves even if they re-masked them. But since only a few risers needed their last coat, and the rest only needed touch ups, this way, we’ve left you with less time and expense needed to complete the work very easily, rather than if your new painter were to re-tape all 30+ stairs again.
So, for the breakdown in communication about the full scope of work, which I should have perhaps investigated more deeply during the estimate, and for which contributed to your decision to have my crew stop their work despite their best efforts, I can only apologize; and you will receive no further billing for the balance of labour and materials otherwise owed.
Sincerely, and without bias,
DEE L POTTER