Boyfriend charges to decorate girlfriend's house, girlfriend fumes

Alice Sholl
Should he have done the job for free? [Photo: Pexels]

If your boyfriend had a super-useful career, perhaps as a solicitor or builder, would you expect them to do work for you for free – or at least at mates’ rates?

One woman certainly did, as she thought it was “crazy” that her boyfriend wanted to formally charge her money if he decorated her house for her.

Writing on Mumsnet, user lucyloo345 explained that she’d been seeing the man for nine months – and he just happened to be a professional painter and decorator.

But when she asked him if he could do her stairs and hall for her during his day off, he quoted her £285.

They definitely need to have a conversation [Photo: Pexels]

She wrote on the website: “I’ve been seeing him nine months and he is a professional painter and decorator.

“I need my stairs and hall doing so asked him on his day off if he wouldn’t mind helping.

“I got quoted £350 from a guy a couple of years ago but couldn’t afford it at the time.

“My boyfriend says he will do it next Sunday… tells me to get the paper and paste. Then he says shall we say £285?

“Ok… so I was going to give him something but the fact he is making it like a official job has annoyed me a bit.

“Would you be a bit taken back?”

Decorating isn’t exactly an easy job [Photo: Pexels]

Her feelings have certainly divided opinions.

Many Mumsnet users responded to the post with support, with one writing: “I’d ditch him and pay the money to someone else who isn’t a tw*t.”

Another wrote: “Your BF is an ar*e. My DH [dear husband] is bit of a tech expert.

“He has never charged me for fixing my laptop/desktop/internet connection whatever.

“He even provides this service free to friends. Tell him you will do it yourself.”

Others, however, have questioned whether it’s fair to expect family and friends to work for you for free, given that it’s their living.

Have you ever asked a loved one for free work? [Photo: Pexels]

One person replied: “I’ve a friend that’s a plasterer, should he plaster my walls for nothing? My uncle was an accountant, he should do my books and work for free right?

“You could go back to him and say you don’t want him to do it, you’re going to do it, you just want help. But you shouldn’t expect people to work for free even if you are knocking boots.”

Another agreed: “He could be earning money decorating someone else’s house in the time he is doing yours.

“If he doesn’t work weekends why should he give a up a weekend doing what he usually gets paid for?”

Was it enough to just offer to pay for materials? [Photo: Pexels]

Some users couldn’t make up their mind, though, and suggested she talk the matter through with him.

One person said: “I’m on the fence really. Asking him on his day off to do his job is a bit off I think.

“Maybe he thought you were employing him. Surely a conversation as to your expectations – and his – would sort this out?”

What do you think – should her boyfriend work on her house for free or at least cheaply, or was it an unfair expectation?

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