Average Labour Cost Guides and Information Sheets For Large and Small Building Jobs

On this page you will find a comprehensive list of Price Guides pertaining to frequently undertaken jobs.

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These guides will not only tell you all you need to know about the cost of the work in hand, but will also offer an invaluable series of questions to ask builders during their quotation visits as well as genuine pricing examples for various jobs.

Simply click on the relevant link below to take you to the required information.

Read, enjoy, learn and SAVE MONEY!


A word on the tradesmen's day rates and materials

All labour prices given in these “information sheets” is based on a tradesman’s rate of £150 per day and a labourer’s rate of £100 per day. All pricing assumes this combination of men working, unless otherwise stated.
All job details (and prices) include collection of materials when relevant, removal of rubbish and for jobs lasting a couple of hours, travel to and from the job (though these are not actually mentioned in the job descriptions). Prices are all exclusive of VAT. Jobs which last 2/3 days can usually have materials delivered by the builders merchants at sometime during day one, without holding up the job.

Some specific trades (those that belong to “governing bodies” with heavy insurance premiums such as “Oftec” for oil installers, whose mistakes can cost lives (gas installers, electricians,) charge more, say £200 per day.
Plumbers also charge these increased rates. Why? Simply because they can because you need your water/boiler/bather/shower working there and then. No one said life was fair!
Other lads will “try it on” of course. You don’t
have to accept the quote though do you? This is what our information sheets are for!
And don’t forget: smaller jobs attract higher hourly rates
and often tradesmen will charge for traveling times. (If a job lasts all day most blokes will get all magnanimous and “chuck in” the traveling).
All material prices are minus the VAT.

Points to remember when hiring a builder:

- Ask friends and neighbours to recommend a good builder.

- Go to your local builder’s merchant and ask the manager to recommend someone.

- Check reputable builders’ associations and federations.

- Always get three quotations – you do not have to accept any. If you are unhappy, find more builders.

- Equally, the cheapest quotation is not always the best quotation.

- Trust your instinct – does the builder seem enthusiastic about the job or merely the money?

- Is he well mannered? Does he offer to take his shoes off on entry? Is he clean? A polite person is far more likely to show respect to you and your home.

- Ask for a business card – not having one means he is less likely to be established on the whole – be wary if it does not state both his home telephone number and address.

- Ask if he is VAT registered. It does not matter if he is not, but if he says he is remember to ask for his VAT number to be provided on his quotation.

- Ask all plumbers to see their Gas Safe registration if they are working with gas.

- Ask all electricians to show their Part P certification if they are working in either the kitchen, bathroom of outside.

The Grey Area

How a tradesman works out a job price and how YOU can check his quotation

It's a simple process based upon a simple theory:

Below is the
"Pricing Formula" that all Tradesmen, including ourselves at The Building Sheriff, use when pricing building jobs.

Cost of Total Tradesman Man-Days + Cost of Total Labourer Man-Days + Cost of Materials = Price of Job!

Therefore a 2 day job for a tradesman and a labourer will cost 2 x £160.00 (or appropriate rate) + 2 x £100 (labourer on £100 per day) + £200 (example material cost) = £320+ £200+ £200 = £720 Total Job Cost

How this helps you
1. When a tradesman comes to price a job, ask him to break down his costing into SEPARATE PRICES for labour and material costs.

2. When you receive his quotation (NEVER accept an estimate) call him and ask him how many days the job will take and how many tradesmen and labourers he will be employing during that period.

3. Ask him what he charges as a day rate - (say you might want him to do the job on a day rate if he asks why). (In today's economic climate, if he charges more that £160.00 per day, I would seek alternative tradesmen immediately).

4. Multiply the number of tradesmen-days by his day rate and multiply the number of labourer-days by £100 (this is generous).

5. Add the Tradesman and Labour totals together.

6. Compare this to the figure for labour costs in his quotation and see how accurate and fair his price is.

7. If there is a large difference - GO ELSEWHERE! I never would recommend trying to get him to reduce his price - why was he charging so much in the first place?


The following are vital questions you must ask when engaging the services of a builder or any type of tradesman.

1. Do you give a free written quotation (not an estimate)?

2. Do you have Public Liability insurance and will your quotation state this?

3. Do you give a guarantee and what is its duration? (Will it be worth the paper it’s written on)?

4. Do you charge VAT? If so does your quotation state your VAT number?

5. Will your personally be carrying out the work or will you sub-contract?

6. Will you be on site for the duration of the works (not leaving to do another job at the same time/in between)?

7. What will your projected start date be, will this be stated on your quotation?

8. How long do you anticipate the job will take?

9. Will your quotation state that all materials are to be provided by yourselves?
(other than those which have been agreed to be supplied by the client).

10. Will you require use of the house facilities?

11. Will your quotation state that all waste materials will be removed from site?

12. Will your quotation state that you will leave the house clean and tidy every evening?

13. Will your quotation state payment procedures? (Progression of any interim payments and when final payment is expected)?

14. Always insist on SIGNED receipts for all payments.

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