UPDATE on Awning Disaster.... A Happy Resolution?

kswl2May 2, 2012


Called Sunbrella, after assembling and trying a chemical lab's worth of possible paint removers on our test fabric (identical to the awning fabric, which is much heavier and stiffer than regular Sunbrella upholstery fabric).

Some things removed the paint, notably paint thinner. However, it only removed paint from the surface of the cloth. The paint that had sunk into the cloth fibers was still there and VERY visible from the underneath where we sit. Sunbrella guy (Brandon at Glen Raven Mills in North Carolina) was really nice but after hearing what we'd tried he wasn't that hopeful. He also said that some of the chemicals that take off the paint would also remove the water repellency and mildew resistance. Although there is something you can treat the spots with to try to restore those qualities, it's never again like the fabric in its original state.

So, Head Painter came over and offered to trade painting for the cost of a new awning. As Cliff and Joann noted above, the expensive remote controlled mechanism of the awning does not need replacement, just the fabric part.

I called the awning company (best company ever for customer service) and they were working up a quote for the new awning (ours is 8 ft. x 14 ft. when the painter's son-in-law came up with a great idea--- could we take the fabric off and spin it around so that the painted end was rolled up on the axel thing under the eaves? Awning company said they would be happy to try that and are sending out two guys Friday to take it apart and spin the fabric the other way. He said the only problem might be that the stripes on the valance might not line up correctly and we'd have to have another valance made. Luckily, they have enough extra of the same cloth for a valance if that is even necessary. The awning company said they would just charge for their employee's time and gas to come here (over an hour each way) , not to exceed $150! If we have to make a new valance, that would run about $75 for labor.

Painter very happy with this turn of events, will pay for these repairs/ changes and wants me to know that the guy who did this is no longer working for them. Their reputation is intact and I am (or am about to be) completely satisfied with this resolution!

I can't say how relieved I am about all this--- the poster upthread was right when she was talking about some of our local work people. Our economy is VERY depressed and we are committed to working with and through local companies whenever possible. This is one of the downsides, as some of them do not have insurance. But it isn't like a big city, where you would never run into people who work for you. We all shop at the same grocery store, see movies at the one theater, go to the same pizzeria... It's just a different kind of life that is much more economically interdependent on each other.

Thanks everyone for all your good suggestions, I was glad to be able to say that we really did try everything before acknowledging that something had to be done. Ironically, the painters think the head painter's son-in-law (the one who came up with this idea) isn't very smart. I guess he's looking a LOT smarter now!

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Hope the clever solution works for you all. I think you are right to look for solutions that work for everyone.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 1:47PM
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I happy there is a new resolution and good for all. Mostly I want to say how impressed I am the way you handled this with such a caring and compassionate attitude.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 2:28PM
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I didn't post on the other thread because I've tried getting paint out of fabric and didn't have anything to add that you hadn't tried already. However, I want to echo the appreciation of your willingness to work with local craftsmen and to find a peaceful solution rather than having an entitled, vindictive attitude. I'm sorry it happened at all, but happy that it's working out to everyone's satisfaction (even the unfortunate careless painter has hopefully learned a hard lesson). It's so nice to know there are still community-minded people out there!

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 2:47PM
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So glad to hear there will be a positive resolution from this. I hired some inexpensive painters to paint the siding on my brick and siding (2 story) house. They did not do a great job of making and managed to get overspray on the brick. They cleaned up some of the areas, but were unable to clean up others, so now I'm stuck with minor paint overspray on my brick. Thankfully no one but me notices.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 2:50PM
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Good to hear of this.

BTW, our deck painting has started! It was pressure washed early this morning.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 2:58PM
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kswl, You sound like you are a wonderful person! I really hope it all works out well for you and your painters.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 5:54PM
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Wow, what a lot of good solutions and reasonable people all around.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 5:59PM
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Oh my, I got goosies reading your post. I am so tickled for you! That is fantastic!!! Yeah!!!

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 7:00PM
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Blessings : )

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 7:21AM
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I'm glad to read that there is happy ending to this situation. I think S-I-L deserves some respect from the boss.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 9:19AM
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So glad things worked out for you!

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 10:07AM
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Your patience and understanding paid off, no awful hard feelings involved and hopefully a good solution to the problem. I probably would have retreated and fumed in silence forever.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 10:11AM
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Good for you, You settled it fairly
for all concerned, both for you and the painter.

Your patience, understanding and good heart
paid off for you.
Bravo and best wishes!

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 7:10PM
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So nice....thanks for letting us know~~

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 7:15PM
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And the awning company came out today, took off the cloth and turned it around, lined up the valance perfectly and charged a total of $150. It looks great, the painter's son in law is a hero, and everyone is well satisfied .... It is almost as satisfying as a resolution in a Jane Austen novel :-)

Thanks to everyone for those comments. I am not any nicer or more sensitive than the next fellow, just very cognizant of the responsibilities of living in a small town!

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 7:28PM
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I'm almost glad this happened. (It's over so I can say that-right?) What a teachable story and I know you will use these painters again. The awning company is a great bunch so I know you will spread word of their kindness.
It's an aw moment that will stay in my memory. Thanks for sharing it.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 9:39PM
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I'm so happy this all worked out and nice to know the painter will be paying for this too. Good for him. Being a small business owner myself I know how important it is to keep ones clients happy.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 3:44PM
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I love happy endings!

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 4:32PM
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