Well guess what, the customer is always right, even if he's dead wrong!
Assuming he is 'dead wrong'.. that's where you, the paid developer, should be ready to argue based on your experiences and tell him what he needs. Even if he tells you to do it his way, its your responsibility to experiment. Your phrase is a bit absolute to be correct. There's always a degree of freedom in between specifications.
Trust me when I say this, I don't like it as much as you do when it comes to sloppy work
Did that come off wrong or what? To say he likes sloppy work more than you is bullshit. As much as it annoys the hell out of me, potatis still finds time to point out the extremely specific bugs of TWHL. That tells us his standards go beyond what you even understand. Thats not to say that you couldn't understand and recognize what he does in the future, its just that your statement is wrong... for now
On that note, you really should learn CSS. Assuming you're fluent with CSS, a website can be made extremely quickly. Time shouldn't be a particular issue. The code is also easier to read and maintain as well. It would also look a lot nicer, as CSS provides a fuckload of options when it comes to formatting anything.