Fixing the Underbidder’s Job

Wallpaper Installer in Houston

A comment to my previous post about loosing a job to a someone who underbid me, said that I may end up fixing the cheapo job. Well, that DID happen, at least once. I LOVE the story, too. Read on…

The client (once again, in a lovely near-million dollar home) had some gorgeous, hand-screened, $100+ per roll, Bradbury & Bradbury reproduction turn-of-the-century wallpaper (Google it), that had to be hand pasted and hand trimmed. Not a job for a novice.

I gave her my price, and she whined. I NEVER lower my prices (will blog on that at some point), and she whined some more, and finally went with another installation company who underbid me by FIFTY DOLLARS.

Well, it was gratifying to me, in a way, when, a week or so later, she called me and asked me to fix the other guy’s mess.

Whereas I work alone (for quality control and to reduce the impact of people tromping through the home) and planned to devote the entire day to this job, Wallpapers To go sent a crew of guys to all squeeze into the little powder room, knock out the job, and then GO ON TO A SECOND HOME to do another job that same day.

EIGHT HUNDRED DOLLARS worth of wallpaper, and they’re going to “knock it out” in one morning?! What about prep? (Didn’t do any.) What about carefully matching the pattern? (Had many mismatches.) What about the care and precision required to “double cut” (splice) the hand-trimmed paper? What about wiping excess paste off the surface? What about just paying attention, taking your time, and doing a careful, detailed job?

I can’t say their work was HORRIBLE, but it was by no means good. There was no way to make the room look great other than removing the old paper, buying more, and completely redoing the entire room, and that was out of the question. I was able to fix a few little things, and make the overall appearance much better. The client was satisfied, and realized that her $50 bargain meant she would have to live many years with the result of a “lowest bidder” job.

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