OK, you’ve hired your decorator, chosen your colour scheme, and are eagerly awaiting the start date for the works. But how do you get the room ready for them and what does a decorator need access to? As a decorator myself, I thought I’d explain a little bit from our point of view. I hope it helps.
Getting your Room Ready
I can work around a certain amount of furniture in a room while I’m decorating. However, as a decorator, I can’t take responsibility if I break any personal items while I’m doing my job. I know that may sound harsh, but if a decorator goes into a room, moves items like pictures, mirrors, TVs, ornaments etc into the centre, sheets up, then has limited space to work, there is a good chance something will get broken. For this reason, most decorators will insist all breakables are moved from the room by the homeowner prior to works.
Some decorators I know insist on furniture being moved prior to works. I suppose I’m lucky because I work with another decorator, so we make light work of moving bigger items of furniture. It’s worth checking though.
Curtains and blinds don’t necessarily need to be moved by the homeowner, but it’s handy to have space in a nearby room for your decorator to use to store them. This is because items like this are easily creased, so it’s difficult to store them in the room that is being decorated.
If possible, space in a nearby room is helpful regardless of the need to store curtains. Decorators need space. So, if they have room close by to move furniture, or base up with their tools, it means they have more room to work.
Decorators generally work on a set price per job/room. They know how much work there is in a room and how fast they need to get through it to make a living (remember every business, including decorators have running costs).
If a decorator arrives to a job and it takes a couple of hours to get the room ready, they are already a couple of hours behind schedule, which puts them under pressure. They are then more likely to rush the decorating (drying times, prep etc).
So, the more you can do to get the room ready, the more relaxed the decorator, and the smoother the job.
What Else Does a Decorator Need
Other than space, the three essentials a decorator needs when working in a room is electricity, water, and access to a toilet. They may also need control of the heating, as this will affect drying times. It is worth talking through all of this with your decorator before he or she starts.
The other thing a decorator needs is to feel welcome. I know this sounds stupid, but it’s quite intimidating working in a stranger’s home. You feel as though you are intruding. Having a conversation with your decorator and explaining where the essentials are, or offering a cup of tea goes a long way. It won’t affect the standard of work either way, but it’ll make everything ore pleasant.
Getting a Room Ready for a Decorator – by Mike Gregory