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The Bishop, The EDT, The Great Exhibition, the Actress or another?
messageDecorator / refurb recommendation - Gary Skinner
Posted by he1enclare 18 June, 2018 20:20

Just had my house fully refurbished by Gary Skinner - who I found via ED forum - and promised him I'd give him a shout out on here.

I got a number of quotes and his was one of the most competitive - and he was very careful to help us not to stray too far from the budget when new things (inevitably) cropped up.

He project managed the whole refurbishment - from gutting, stripping wallpaper and scraping off years of grot, through to sanding floors, installing a new bathroom and kitchen and decorating throughout.

We were really impressed by Gary's team - all lovely guys who I was more than comfortable to be around with the kids.

We are happy with the end result and have recommended him to friends (he is now doing the same thing for some old neighbours of ours.)

Best to get him on his mobile: 07572 588222

messageRe: Decorator / refurb recommendation - Gary Skinner
Posted by Fuzzygus 29 August, 2018 10:23

On he1enclare's recommendation we also hired Gary and his team at First Choice Decorating (07572588222) to undertake a complete renovation of our Victorian house. It was a big project - the house was in a pretty dilapidated state. Gary walked us through what would be required and helped us make choices around what could be saved/repaired and what needed replacing. He was happy for us to mix in our own trades (we used our own plumber) but could pull in electricians, plasterers, decorators and flooring specialists as and when we needed them. Many of the rooms ended up being stripped back to brick/lathes and the house has now been completely transformed. Gary was also flexible enough to be able to handle additional requests as the project progressed - fitting insulation, building new internal stud walls, fitting the bathroom from scratch. He can turn his hand to most things and has a network of professionals that he can call on so if you're looking for some advice or have a refurb you're planning, definitely give him a call!

See some pictures here: [photos.app.goo.gl]

messageRe: Decorator / refurb recommendation - Gary Skinnerattachment
Posted by atiwhs 12 March, 2019 22:32

First time posting here but have browsed for a while.
Wanted to just add my own thoughts to the above two reviews. I found Gary’s number (07572 588222)through this forum and he’s just completed a bathroom refit in our 2 bed flat in Peckham.
As you can see from the before picture the bathroom was in desperate need of an update and needed total gutting and renovating as it hadn’t been updated for at least 30 years.
After searching around for a fitter I came across Gary's reviews on this forum and he came over quickly to measure up and talk through the practicalities of the refit for such a small bathroom. He provided a practical solution of building a stud wall to squeeze a little bit of extra space in the bathroom (to include a larger bath) and was upfront about potential extra costs that may be incurred when the condition of the walls underneath the old tiles are revealed.
He provided a detailed written quote as requested, a timescale of 3-4 weeks and was able to fit us in quickly which suited us.
The whole bathroom was gutted with a new bath, shower, piping, towel radiator, floor and wall tiles and vanity unit installed.
Gary provided all the required tradesmen and their work was also to a high standard. Dave, who works with Gary, was also there throughout the fit and was diligent throughout.
Just as importantly for us the rest of the flat was kept as clean as possible and they always cleaned up at the end of the day, which disappointingly isn’t always the case with tradesmen.
We are pleased with the finish and outcome and would recommend him and his colleague Dave for any future renovations.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit was 2019:03:13:13:27:20 by atiwhs.

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messageRe: Decorator / refurb recommendation - Gary Skinner
Posted by sam joanna 07 April, 2019 18:55


I'd like to add to this, as we've just used Gary Skinner and his team for the first time, and also found his details (07572 588222) through this forum. It was really helpful to have seen the recommendations and gave us the confidence to use someone completely new.

Gary has just renovated and decorated our loft stairwell - it's an unusual and challenging stairwell in that it is vaulted, so virtually double height, and very wide, and had suffered some significant settlement cracks along the wall where the staircase joins it (exacerbated by the fact we had done a large kitchen extention directly beneath it). Gary and his team did a great job of gouging out the old, very cracked filler, re-filling/painting and went the extra mile by installing invisible bolts to mninimise any further movement / future cracks. They also somehow managed to navigate their way around a glass balustrade and steeply winding staircase to paint the vaulted ceiling and walls (when it was first decorated the glass wasn't in situ) without a single drop of paint on the glass or the hanging chandelier lights (a huge concern of mine). And cleaned up all the inevitable dust from sanding and smoothing the new filler, and some woodwork, which was also part of the job. We felt that they respected our house as our home.

We both work full time but Gary kept in touch throughout the job, and was also able to fit us in to a partcularly short timeframe for when we needed the job done. We will be using Gary again in the not too distant future and would recommend!

messageRe: Decorator / refurb recommendation - Gary Skinner
Posted by Jason 687 23 May, 2019 14:31

Gary skinner from first choice decorating/refurbishment’s,has recently finished renovating the exterior of my house, including a complete refurbishment and redecoration of all windows and doors, along with masonry restoration/redecoration and new roof. This is the third job he has done for me, and I have found his work to be of the highest standard, extremely thorough and always with attention to detail.
I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending Gary to anyone on this forum.
Please find His number below.

messageRe: Decorator / refurb recommendation - Gary Skinner
Posted by firstchoicegary 28 May, 2019 18:07

Hi all.
Just wanted to say a massive thank you to those who've taken the time to recommend me recently and previously, all my work is from word of mouth and this forum is brilliant for that. I have before and after pictures of all the jobs if any is interested in seeing what we do.
Many thanks Gary.

messageRe: Decorator / refurb recommendation - Gary Skinner
Posted by Londonmark99 19 July, 2019 13:22

Just had Gary come to fix a very wobbly Victorian bannister. Other builders/decorators said it couldn't be done, but Gary came in and figured out a way. Wobbles all gone. Kids safe. And a very tidy job. Really impressed and pleased. Plus very quick and efficient.
Many thanks

messageRe: Decorator / refurb recommendation - Gary Skinner
Posted by ynwa 01 September, 2019 11:03

Another glowing recommendation for Gary. Having suffered considerable seasonable movement in our house in recent years it was time to get the cracks repaired. Gary was honest and knowledgeable in his recommendations, clearly explaining the risks/rewards in doing a ‘quick fix’ vs addressing the matter properly. He worked with respect to the house, covering all furniture Ahmed keeping the house as clean as possible despite the considerable amount of dust such a job creates. He raked out the cracks, sealed, bonded/rendered, repainted. Really happy with the work done and wouldn’t hesitate to use him again & thus recommend to others.

messageRe: Decorator / refurb recommendation - Gary Skinner
Posted by Bradders 10 September, 2019 13:55

I would like to add my voice to the highest recommendation for Gary Skinner at First Choice Decorating/Refurbishments.

I approached Gary through recommendations on this forum to look at some cracked steps and repointing a boundary wall at our flat in Brixton. Gary started work and discovered every significant structural problems which meant the job was much bigger than we had both anticipated. We are grateful he spotted the problems as left in the state they were, could have been dangerous. The wall needed completely rebuilding and some joists replacing in the basement before he could fix the steps.

Gary has gone above and beyond in every respect throughout the work, including supervising others on a weekend. He is 100% trustworthy, reliable and his work has been simply excellent.

We read about so many unhappy experiences that I felt it important to share so that Gary gets the recognition he deserves. I would recommend him without reservation.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit was 2019:09:10:17:22:38 by Bradders.

messageRe: Decorator / refurb recommendation - Gary Skinner
Posted by kojohn 24 September, 2019 13:03

Another recommendation for Gary. I found his details on the forum when looking for someone who could fit in a short notice repair and repaint of our front door that we needed doing before the following weekend. The paint on the door had bubbled due to poor preparation when it was last painted. Gary advised us what he could do in the time and budget we had, and also advised us that the door ideally needed fully stripping back and re-priming at some point to avoid the reoccurring problem. As we needed the job done within 2 days we couldn't go with the full renovation of the door - but he managed to fit us in around his other jobs and came back to do touch ups after he had been paid. Gary was careful to leave everything clean and tidy, and wanted to be sure that we were 100% satisfied with the work before he left. We are happy with the finish given the time we gave him.

messageRe: Decorator / refurb recommendation - Gary Skinner
Posted by swhenderson 04 November, 2019 09:38

Hi all,

I just wanted to echo all of the positive reviews here and say that I would wholeheartedly recommend Gary Skinner (07572 588222) for any refurb work you need doing. Gary and his team are that rare thing: reliable, communicative and great at what they do.

Much like Sam Joanna in the post earlier in this thread, we had experienced some cracking on the walls over the hot summer in 2018. We'd established that they weren't a sign of anything more serious but as they were larger than your average hairline cracks they were making the place look quite rundown. We tried a quick fix with some filler last winter but the cracks returned quickly - and so we knew if we were going to try doing it again we needed someone who would do a better, more professional job.

Following recommendations on this forum we contacted Gary who quickly came to assess the problem and managed to fit us in around other jobs. The job turned out to be bigger than expected, as Gary uncovered some substandard work done by previous owners which was making the cracks much worse/much more likely. Despite the increased scale of the job, Gary pushed on and finished the work promptly at a reasonable price. Alongside a high quality finish, Gary is great at keeping you updated on progress, which is not something I've often seen in a contractor.

I would highly recommend Gary to anyone looking for reliable, great quality refurb work - and will certainly use him again for any future work we need doing.

messageRe: Decorator / refurb recommendation - Gary Skinner
Posted by Muley 15 November, 2019 10:12

Another recommendation for Gary.

First off, my mother in law has a flat that had been trashed by previous tenants and it needed to be redecorated asap, ready to be let out again. Gary pulled out all the stops, even working evenings and weekends to get it ready. It was all done in a matter of days and looks fantastic.

We then got him back to repaint the front of our house. This turned out to have some nasty unexpected surprises, with a lot of the plasterwork in the porch blown and damp brickwork underneath. He stripped it back to the brick, treated the damp, replastered and redecorated everything, all looking good as new. Cracking job.

I’d have no hesitation in recommending Gary- he’s has a ‘can do’ attitude and does great work at a very reasonable price.

messageRe: Decorator / refurb recommendation - Gary Skinner
Posted by Bradders 29 November, 2019 15:40

Gary has come to our rescue again, twice.

A couple of weeks ago he came out on a Sunday lunchtime to sort out a blocked kitchen drain and again at very short notice, today he is repairing our box gutters after we noticed some water ingress in our flat. I can only reaffirm our previous recommendations for his work which is always of a high standard. He is completely trustworthy and reliable and a good bloke

Best to get him on his mobile - 07572 588222.

messageRe: Decorator / refurb recommendation - Gary Skinner
Posted by Morri 30 December, 2019 14:59

Hi, Gary did some work for us recently - he managed to fit us in even though he was very busy. He came and did a great job. He made some great suggestions and did it all really neatly. I would definitely recommend him.

messageRe: Decorator / refurb recommendation - Gary Skinner
Posted by MKandE January 08, 09:13AM

Gary and his team did a great job of work inside and outside our house pre Xmas.
Kitchen renewal, groundworks and decorating inside and out.
He stuck to budget, achieved a good quality finish, addressed problems as they arose and carried out unforeseen works.
Thanks Gary.

messageRe: Decorator / refurb recommendation - Gary Skinner
Posted by aaronsonenfeld February 10, 02:33PM

Hi all - wanted to add my recommendation for Gary and his team, who recently installed a bathroom light for me (along with re-filling and re-painting the bathroom ceiling). Found his details through the EDF, he was always timely with messaging, and came round to take a look at the job within a couple of days, despite being busy on other jobs. Work was done to a high standard, would definitely use him again for all kinds of decoration.

Thanks Gary

messageRe: Decorator / refurb recommendation - Gary Skinner
Posted by mikei February 20, 09:56PM

Gary and his team recently refurbished a fair section of our flat, consisting of:

- Striping, filling and painting multiple doors
- Removing and replacing skirting throughout
- Fitting a new engineered floor
- Sanding, filling and painting walls and ceilings

A refurbishment is messy work, and Gary did his best to try and ensure that the rest of the flat was kept tidy, also making sure to clean and tidy up at the end of each day.

Gary was in constant communication so that things were understood and problems resolved quickly.

He has a keen eye for detail looking for a quality finish and trying to spot issues ahead of time.

It took a little longer than expected but that was mainly down to a combination of the Christmas and New Years period, along with the birth of his child and the prolonged unloved nature of the flat.

Overall it’s a marked improvement and I’m very happy with the finish.

Thanks Gary!

messageRe: Decorator / refurb recommendation - Gary Skinner
Posted by andrewsavill19 March 02, 06:17PM

Hi all, another recommendation for Gary and his team. He recently completed works to our house in Forest Hill consisting of:
- Large new stud partition wall (incl. decorating)
- Complete redecoration of living room & kitchen
- New electrics for lighting in stud wall and living room & kitchen
- A few small bits & bobs (e.g. mastic finish to kitchen worktops)

All works were completed to a very high standard. Gary has a real eye for detail and he personally made sure everything was of a very high quality.

Gary coordinated the whole job, which at times involved 5+ guys from his team. He kept me well updated on how things were progressing and quickly resolved any questions or queries.

From my first contact with Gary, works had started in about two weeks. And overall I'm pleased with how long the job took to complete (about 3 weeks).

His team were great at tidying up after themselves, and they went above & beyond to keep the place as tidy as possible for us.

Overall, we're really pleased with the job and would highly recommend Gary and his team.

Thanks mate!

messageRe: Decorator / refurb recommendation - Gary Skinner
Posted by Mountain walker March 23, 02:07PM

We needed some internal plaster repair/replacement to one of window bays. We found Gary through the forum. He responded quickly, gave us a sensible price, and managed to fit in doing our relatively small piece of work around larger projects.

The job included removing the plaster, sealing the exposed brick, replastering/skimming and then lining.

Gary and his mate Darren did a good job and always left the place clean and tidy. They left the bay lined and ready to re-paint.

Next time we need anything similar doing we will contact Gary. Recommended.

messageRe: Decorator / refurb recommendation - Gary Skinner
Posted by granholme March 23, 07:03PM

Echoing other peoples comments here - found Gary via this thread and he's done a great job over the last few weeks fixing the half arsed new build kitchen and garage door installation done by the original builders.
Clean, tidy, sensibly priced and great attention to detail - will be our first port of call for future work

messageRe: Decorator / refurb recommendation - Gary Skinner
Posted by HRF May 06, 09:17PM

And another recommendation for Gary from me. Him and his team did a great job prepping and re-decorating our hallway under difficult circumstances. Hoping to get him back to do our reception rooms!

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