Discount for construction work (plastering)

Hello everyone,

I’m planning to have some construction plaster work done on the outside walls of my tower room, and also on the walls of the balcony garden. I think it’s safe to say that neither of these areas have received much maintenance attention in many years.

I don’t think renting out the room is an option while the room walls are being plastered. We’ll have to remove the air conditioner, and also it could get pretty noisy while the walls are being repaired. I’ve got a unbooked section of 6 days bracketing Christmas - I’m hoping that will be long enough to get the work done.

My main question is about the plaster work in the garden. This could also be quite noisy, and the garden isn’t far away from the room. The room is in a different building, but one window faces the garden. Also, guests will have to walk through the garden to get to the garden. Should I offer a discount during the time the garden plastering work is in progress, and if so, how much? Thoughts?

Is there anyone here who has experience with wall plaster work, particularly in a semi-tropical climate? If so, I might have questions.

I had to stop taking guests during my remodel. The work schedule starting at 7am, even when nothing loud was happening that day was untenable for guests. How loud will the plastering and such be? I am thinking it will be loud, like drywall. You may want to also give your guests the option of canceling and rebooking elsewhere.

I would not like personally to be staying in a place where remodeling was happening.

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Hi @konacoconutz,

I’m not sure how loud the work will be, but removing the old plaster will certainly make some noise. The rest of the work would not be noisy. And the guests would only need to go into the garden to use the bathroom. Aside from noise issues, they shouldn’t be inconvenienced unduly.

It’s possible that I could do the plaster of the room and the garden simultaneously. But I’m a bit reluctant to do that, because we haven’t used the contractor before, and if there are problems, we’ll have double the problems. Also, having work going on in multiple location makes it harder to track what is going on.

The work wouldn’t start at 7 am. More like 10 am. Where in the world do people start work at 7 am?

What I thought of doing is asking people whether they were willing to put up with it, and offer a discount. If they said no, I’d try someone else. But I’m still not sure what discount to offer.

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Kona has a point about the construction being an interruption. Where I live, Los Angeles, CA, by law Allowable Construction Hours are Monday through Friday between 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Saturdays and National Holidays between 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Construction is not permitted on Sundays. There is a house being built directly across the street from us. Even when the workers are doing something quiet they talk to each other in voices loud enough that I can hear them distinctly. Also, as you are doing plastering aren’t you worried that your guests will touch it while it’s drying?

What you might do if you really want to host during the plastering is include verbiage in your listing stating that your garden is being plastered and that you are offering a discount. If I were you, I would have them verify by Airbnb email that they understand.

Hi @EllenN,

Thank you for the comments.

Ugh, those are horrible hours. But it’s interesting to learn what people do in other places. And my experience in the US has been that everyone is an earlier riser than me.

Good point. Indian laborers like to yell at each other. I wonder if they are open to being educated that silence is golden. Probably not.

Having said that, our environs are extremely noisy (just off a main road + railway tracks immediately opposite), and I have the room sort of soundproofed. Though I haven’t tested how well I can hear people talking loudly in the garden. Maybe I should try some experiments.

I hadn’t thought of that. Would that be an issue?

I think I’d prefer to selectively contact guests. I don’t think this plastering will go on for too long, and I don’t see any advantage in publicizing it. If I were to do so, I can imagine every guest for the rest of the year asking me whether I have ongoing construction work.

I don’t know… If I were a guest who had this news sprung on me, I wouldn’t be too pleased. To remove old plaster would take power tools and cause a lot of noise. And there’s also the dust, I’m still cleaning up dust from my remodel. Isn’t India famous for workers who take their time on projects? If you started at 10 I can see why that might be the case!

I’m not forcing it on them. If they say no, I’ll ask someone else.

You have to be selective about who you choose to do the work. And no, not really. If one was to pay per hour, yes. But that would be extremely stupid. We always pay per job. Usually the problem is trying to get them not to rush the job in order to move on to the next one asap.

Dust is an issue, certainly. And yes, there would be noise. I’ve got little experience with plaster removal, so I can’t say how much.

You know how guests are though…often looking for any little reason to press for a refund or to nit pick. Plastering while they are there could give them a big reason.

Hence my thoughts about offering them a discount ahead of time. Though that doesn’t mean they won’t still complain about it, of course.

And this is exactly why I closed down for remodeling.

What kind of remodeling did you do? How long did you close down for?

I got a new kitchen upstairs (not in guest apartment), a new water tank with gutters, and replacement toilets and vanities. A new bridge to the house (replaced decking)… Repair of plumbing near the guest apartment. I would say I probably turned down a solid two months of bookings, not because it would take that long, but because the contractor kept rescheduling. Remodeling is pretty stressful… But I am glad it’s done. Well almost. He still has to install the new bar! Hope he can do it by Christmas!

Sounds like a big job.

That sucks. Yes, they like to do that.


For me the main issue is whether you can get it done in the six days you have free. With the best will in the world I’m going to guess not, unless you have offered the contractors a significant bonus for completing on time.

Guests will say they’re fine with it and then complain via the review. Faheem told us that construction work was taking place but we didn’t expect construction work to be taking place! 4 stars overall.

Depends how much you want to keep the good reviews; if you’re not too bothered you could risk it …but it would be a risk.

No, there’s been no discussion of bonuses. Though if the work overruns, it might not be such a big deal, since the really noisy stuff would be the early part of the work. My limited experience with this kind of work has been that it usually moves quite briskly. I realise that doesn’t sound like India to you folks, but contractors are paid per job, so they have no incentive to hang around. And they usually bring in a bunch of people in if they need to get the work to go quickly. But yes, overruns are common in construction work, so maybe I shouldn’t be optimistic. And I’ve never tried doing it against a deadline before.

Heh. Yes, that sounds like guests.

I’m definitely concerned about good reviews. Who isn’t? And I’ve had 4 stars before for no reason, often accompanied by glowing reviews. Maybe I’ll get a 3 star. Who knows? You don’t think offering a discount would make any difference?

I know I had building work taking place in my block but not in my flat. The whole time it was happening (even though it didn’t directly impact guests but they could see the scaffolding etc) 4 star reviews were the parr.

I wanted the money so it was fine. But if I had known how much it would have affected guests perception of my listing (because at the end of the day that’s all it was) I would probably have dealt with it differently.

I don’t know if you should offer a discount; people will take the discount and complain bitterly anyway. maybe just give them the option to cancel as Kona suggested…

Hi @Zandra,

I see. That’s interesting. Did this reflect in your reviews? If so, could you PM me your listing? And I’m not sure what “parr” is. I assume you mean something like “the norm”.

Dealt with it differently how?

Hmm. You mean, as in - construction is going to take place - would you like to cancel?

I think that’s what Kona was getting at yes.

Regarding my reviews; no they continued to be very positive in terms of what was written on my profile. Just each review came in at 4 stars … regardless of what they said publicly. In the 12 weeks that the construction work took place, I had 4 star reviews 80% of the time. Before then I’d had a 5 star overall percentage of 86%. My overall rating took a massive nose dive that I haven’t been able to recover from (still miles away from superhost).

The building work did also coincide with an influx of French guests but … with hindsight I don’t know if I would do it again.

You mean whether you would continue hosting while construction work was in progress? Yikes. 12 weeks is a long time. Was it some major construction work?

Yes it was. There’s about 8 blocks of flats in my complex and they were doing structural work to the exteriors and also replacing the lifts in all the buildings. It wasn’t noisy at all but there was scaffolding everywhere.

And yes I’d probably just shut shop until it was done. I hadn’t anticipated how it could affect my overall rating. I mistakenly thought because it didn’t affect my place it was fine…

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