After the plasterer comes the painter! Before the place is painted you can't really use it. No point placing furniture where it only gets in the way. And yes I could do it myself and start now, but my main worry is not my house but the strain exerted on me by my job. So I'll just focus on getting through this academic year and let someone else do the painting! I can do some details like patching up the damage done by the electrician in the bedrooms, or a cupboard, or some skirting boards. But the big stuff I'll have a professional do.
As I didn't know much about the painters in the area I had plonked the job on a tradespeople comparison site. One bloke bit. He came over to have a look. I was a bit suspicious! He was nice enough, but he said he would book me in already before we had agreed on a price. And he wanted to know what my budget was. I had seen that with stove installers; say you can spend no more than £X and you get a quote that totals up to, you guessed it, £X. I said I had to wait and see when the plasterers would do the work. After that we could make more detailed plans!
Then the plasterers appeared. they were good! And they recommended a painter. I figured it would be good to have two quotes; that would tell me if the initial guy would be taking the piss. I phoned this one up and he agreed to come and have a look the day after the initial guy would come over to actually give me a quote. But as soon as the initial guy heard that there would be another quote, he didn't want to give a number. He wanted to now the other person's quote first! There we go.
The recommended guy showed up and was quite pleasant. And my dodgy-alerts didn't go off. He gave me a quote and a time when he could start. It was all reasonable! But the other guy had first dibs. And he could start earlier. And he went under the other person's quote. So I said he had the job and asked him to send a quote in writing (I had learned from stove people and chimney sweeps it pays off to have documentation). He said he would that evening.
Then I got a text message that evening. He pulled out! I said I was surprised but was secretly relieved. He then explained he thought I had been rude to him. I think he meant that I was guarded when I thought he had been playing me. I did apologise because I am happy to be on guard, but I do not intend to hurt people's feelings. He then sent a big text with lots of needy nonsense (at least, that's how I read it) and I stopped answering. And I told the other guy he had the job. I think it's better this way! If you have a bloke in your house for at least a week it's best if you feel comfortable in their presence. And I feel better with the second, recommended one...
And for practicalities: he intends to start January 14. I look forward to the results!