Solution for: Advice on plumbers and decorators

Answer Table

1. weekend 6. messy
2. plasdeco 7. designs
3. clear 8. expensive
4. late/unreliable 9. painting
5. cheaper 10. ladder(s)

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Exam Review

Advice on plumbers and decorators

You will hear a woman, who has just moved into the area, talking to a neighbour about problems she is having in her house.

Oh, hi Ruth. How are you?

I’m sorry to bother you, Alastair, but I’ve been having some problems.

Oh. Come on in ... What’s happened?

Basically, I had a leak from one of the pipes in the bathroom and water started coming through downstairs and the kitchen ceiling’s badly stained. I’ve got the leak fixed temporarily but I wasn’t happy with the plumber and I wanted to ask your advice.

Of course ... Well, the first thing I’d say is make sure you choose a local company ... that way if things go wrong you’re close by and it just makes things easier.

Let me write this down ... Right. Yes. The plumber who fixed things yesterday was from quite far away but I chose him because his advert said he did emergency repairs.

Well, fair enough ... you needed something in a hurry. But another piece of advice I’d give is try to avoid calling anybody on weekends. That’ll really bump up the prices. Leave it till Monday, if you can.

Well, yes ... I think I can do that because the temporary fix should hold. And obviously I’ll need the ceiling plastered and eventually re-decorated.

Yes, sure.

So who would you recommend? Is there a directory?

Well, there’s quite a good website covering this sort of work. It’s Is that with a K? a C, P-L-A-S-D-E-C-O dot com.

Got it. Well I’ll try and have a look at that.

Yes, it gives price and quality comparisons.

Oh, that’ll be useful, but I find personal recommendations really helpful as well ... you know, you can find out whether you can rely on the company.

Well, I know a couple of reasonable plumbers and also some plasterers.


Man:            There’s a company called Peake’s Plumbing ... now they’re a father and son team. They’re really friendly and they tell you information you need in a clear way ... you know, so they really understand what the problem is.

Woman:      Right, well that’s good to know. Are they reliable?

Man:            Well, that’s a down side - every single time I’ve used them they arrive late. And friends have said the same thing.

Woman:      But is the work good quality?

Man:            Absolutely ... Another one is John Damerol Plumbing Services - he’s very good.

Woman:      How do you spell the surname?

Man:            D-A-M-E-R-O-L.

Woman:      Right ... got that. And does he  do high quality work?

Man:            Well, it’s fine, you know, but I wouldn’t say that was his main point. Basically he comes out cheaper ... you know ... than other people.

Woman:      I sense there’s a ‘but’ ... is he unreliable?

Man:            Oh ... he comes when he says he’s coming BUT he’s not very courteous and he has the tendency to be messy ... you know so you have quite a bit of clearing up to do.

Woman:      Hmmm ... OK.

Man:            So it’s up to you ... they’re both good workers and they won’t cheat you.

Woman:      Right. And you said you knew some plasterers?

Man:            Yes a company called Simonson Plasterers did our living room last year ... we chose them because we wanted some fancy work on the ceiling - around the lights.

Woman:      So they can do a variety of designs?

Man:            You’ve got it. But it comes at a premium because they are more expensive ... you know ...

Woman:      ... than the others ...

Man:            Yes ... Or you could go for a one-man firm called H.L. Plastering ... Harry Lester - he’s fine - very reliable, if all you want is a simple job ...

Woman:      Do either of them do painting for you if you want ... ? After the plastering’s dried out of course.

Man:            That’s what I was going to say. But I should explain that Harry’s quite old now and so he avoids doing jobs which involve tall ladders ... you know.

Woman:      But my kitchen isn’t too bad for that ... I’d have to ask him if he’s prepared to do it.

Man:            Yeah sure.

Woman:      So I’ll start by looking at the website.

Man:            All those companies are on there ... with their phone numbers etc ...

Woman:      Thanks ever so much ...

Questions 1-2

Complete the notes below.

Write NO MORE THAN ONE WORD for each answer.

Advice on plumbers and decorators


Make sure the company is: local

Don’t call a plumber during the 1
Answer: weekend    Locate  Listen from here
Look at trade website: 2
Answer: plasdeco    Locate  Listen from here






Questions 3-10

Complete the table below.

Write NO MORE THAN ONE WORD for each answer.


Positive points

Negative points

Peake’s Plumbing

  Pleasant and friendly

  Give 3  information
Answer: clear    Locate  Listen from here

  Good quality work

• Always 4
Answer: late/unreliable    Locate  Listen from here

John Damerol Plumbing Services

  5 than other companies
Answer: cheaper    Locate  Listen from here


  Not very polite

  Tends to be 6
Answer: messy    Locate  Listen from here

Simonson Plasterers

• Able to do lots of different 7
Answer: designs    Locate  Listen from here

• More 8  than other companies
Answer: expensive    Locate  Listen from here

H.L. Plastering


 Also able to do 9
Answer: painting    Locate  Listen from here  

• Prefers not to use long 10
Answer: ladder(s)    Locate  Listen from here

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