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Like painting the Forth Bridge

I’ve got Rob the painter here yet again all week, painting yet more of the outside of the house. This time he is concentrating on the woodwork at the back of the house, where I had a new utility-room window installed, the large stretch of replacement barge-boards and soffits where I had work done on the roof a few months ago, plus the back door and kitchen windowsill which also need attention.

However, Rob is also painting the barge-boards on the garage extension, where the paint is just peeling off, and I’m rather annoyed about the need for that. The extension is only a few years old, and there is no way it should need repainting for several years yet. Indeed, the window frames on the extension are all still in good condition and don’t need any work at all yet. And, oddly, the soffits (i.e. the horizontal wooden panels underneath the vertical barge boards) are largely in reasonable nick. It is just the barge boards, which it seems have been badly primed, so that the paint hasn’t properly bonded to the wood underneath. Rob suspects that my builder used pre-primed timber for those lengths of wood rather than “doing it properly”.

Under other circumstances, I would probably be putting in a complaint to the original builder and insisting that he “makes good”.  But I really don’t think it’s going to be worth it. Last time I saw Brian, the chap who built the extension, was about 13 months ago. He was sitting in the chair next to Christopher in the oncology department of Worcester hospital having chemotherapy for lung cancer, and looked seriously ill. I’ve checked the online obituaries in the local paper, and someone with the same name, of approximately the right age, died of cancer a few months ago – so I’m pretty sure it’s him. Even if it’s not, I reckon that he would be far too sick to go up a ladder with a paintbrush. So I’ll just have to put up with the shoddy paint job and get Rob to do it properly.