Average Labour Cost/Price of Electrics
To clarify the following prices it is recommended that you read the article in the INFORMATION box below the PRICES…
(These prices are based on a tradesman’s rate of £150.00 per day and a labourer if required at £100.00 per day. This includes the cost of buying and collecting any materials, dumping any waste if necessary and any incidental materials they will need. The minimum price will usually be for a half day)
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These prices are based on an electrician’s rate of £200 per day and a labourer if required at £100 per day. They include the cost of buying and collecting any materials, dumping any waste if necessary and any incidental materials they will need.
(The minimum price will usually be for a half day)
You want a new surface mounted electrical socket in the bedroom at waist height (to do the ironing). There is an existing socket directly below the new position and you don’t mind the connecting wires being in a plastic trunking fixed to the walls surface. This will take him 2 hours top whack from the time he parks in the driveway, to the time he uses your vac. to clear up, at £25 per hour. (someone’s got to pay for the £600 a year subscription to his scheme)!
Materials £15, Labour £50,
Same job in the kitchen, done by the book. This could take all day. If the testing throws up a couple of faults caused by loose connections in concealed junction boxes, it could take him hours to find them, fix and relocate them.
Materials £15, Labour £200, £215.00
NOW ask yourself, do you actually want him to check everything?
A complete rewire in your “other” 3 bed semi, which is totally empty, with exposed floorboards all round. We are talking 2 sockets in bedrooms, 4 in receptions, 6 in the kitchen, an outside socket and one in the garage. Grids of down lighters in the kitchen and bathroom, security lamps front and back, full main and equipotential bonding, new split load consumer unit with 4 ring mains and 4 lighting circuits, hidden (plastered over) cables in conduit or capping, cables run round the loft not under the insulation, fancy brushed alloy switches and faceplates, all plastered up on completion, in fact …….the dogs!
(This will require a “competent person”)!
This will take 2 men 10 days at £200 per day each
Take up boards, chase out the walls, fit the wall boxes, remove old system. 4 days
Drill the joists, run in all the cables, inc. in loft 2 days
Plaster up all round 1 day
Fix all the face plates on, fix the ceiling roses, fit the fuse box 2 days
Replace boards, and problem sorting . 1 day
You would like the house’s (equipotential) earth bonding to be improved to meet the latest regulations and decide to fit a new fuse box at the same time.
This will take 1 man, 2 days, including testing (and fixing one relatively small problem that arises).
Materials £120, Labour £400, £520.00
An Information Sheet on Electrics
When talking to a sparks, besides using acronyms such as SELV, PELV and FELV (which aren’t the Lithuanian front row) he will mention lamps. For some inexplicable reason he isn’t describing “bedside" or "standard”, no, this is what he calls…. light bulbs. Also when he drops “consumer unit” or “distribution board” into the conversation he is only talking about the fuse box, silly man!
By law (since 2005) If any electrical work is undertaken in your bathroom or kitchen or externally, the person doing the work must either be registered with a “competent persons scheme” (you might even ask him which scheme this is, (there are several) and then check with that scheme), OR, if a builder is doing the work himself as part of a larger job, (after all he’s been fitting extra sockets in kitchens for the last 35 years hasn’t he?), a Building Control officer must be informed before the work begins. They will then get their pet electrical contractor to check the work and (hopefully) issue an electrical safety certificate. This will be charged for of course!
Also if a “competent person” completes the work you should receive, besides the certificate, the opportunity to have the work insured and he will have a full complaints procedure available, which he won’t want to tell you about!
Work in the remainder of the house which only entails a repair or routine maintenance or like for like replacement of a component, or a couple of extra power points or lighting outlets on an existing circuit, does not require building control’s involvement, nor do they need to be undertaken by a recognised “competent scheme member”. However it is prudent to get this work tested on completion and as the usual amateurs have no idea how to use the testing meters (even if they could borrow some) a sparks will be needed to come and test, he will want paying, so maybe he should have done the job in the first place!
Work anywhere in or outside the house, of a more complicated nature such as a total rewire, renewal of a complete lighting circuit, wall socket “ring main” (ring main is a common misusage - it is actually called a "ring circuit"), fuse box etc. or the addition of a circuit in a new conservatory for instance, will require either building control’s involvement or will have to be undertaken by a “competent scheme member “.
Here is a very sticky point that qualified and competent electricians are having a hard time getting their heads around.
When they undertake any work in your house they immediately become liable for any fault (which probably existed before they started), which remains, on the circuit which they were working on, when they leave.
So, to cover themselves legally, what they should do is check the relevant circuit before they start work and inform the householder (verbally and also preferably in writing) of any fault they find. (The householder’s first question of course will be how much more is that going to cost me then)?
They can then undertake the work they came to do (providing the fault they have found is not so serious as to make them feel morally obliged to state that they really must sort it out first, before any other work is started). The householder is now in charge, he must decide if the fault they found is fixed or not.
Let’s assume the fault was easily sorted and fixed along with the original work, the electrician should then check the circuit again on completion and hand over an electrical safety certificate with their bill.
All this checking can take far longer than the actual job the sparks came to do in the first place and can easily double the price. So a lot of sparks are prepared to ignore the potential legal repercussions, dispense with the expensive testing and therefore be much cheaper than their conscientious rivals.
BUT they should still hand over an electrical safety certificate (which they will obviously not do unless you know about it and ask them for one) and if the house burns down they will be heavily in the mire (putting it politely).
There are two parts to a dwelling’s earth system. The main and the secondary.
The main, is the process by which the whole house is potentially earthed if a fault occurs. (don’t worry about how it’s achieved but it’s a good thing).
Secondary earthing, or earth bonding, or to give it its full title, equipotential secondary earth bonding, is just as relevant, is now mandatory in new installations and will save your life before the main system kicks in.
This is how it works….
All the copper or steel or lead, water or central heating or gas pipework, in the dwelling should all be connected together, with special earth straps and cable, which is then connected back to the dwelling’s main earthing point.
The idea is this, if no secondary earth bonding exists and any metal object (radiator, boiler, exposed metal pipework, hot water cylinder, bath, tap, etc.) suddenly becomes “live” for whatever reason and you are touching it and another metal object (which is not live), at the same time, electrical current will flow through you and you will say “Ow”.
If the metal pipes (which join all these objects together) have been themselves “bonded” together, the other metal object which you are touching will also be live and you can quite safely touch both objects without getting a shock. It works, don't try it - just take our word!
Current regulations state that in bathrooms (but not kitchens), everything that conducts electricity (metal bath, radiator, metal water pipes etc), should be connected together and then back to the dwelling’s main earthing point either directly or via the earth block of any electrical source such as a wall heater or shaver point or electric shower,
IF the whole house is converted to plastic pipework this is no longer necessary, in fact it may be detrimental.
Questions to ask the sparks during his quotation visit.
Does the intended work, require him to be a member of a “competent person scheme”?
He may not know, but he should shouldn’t he?
Is he a member of a scheme and if so which one?
If he’s not, will building control have to be involved and who will inform them, organise their visit, and pay them?
(Actually, if he is an employee of a larger firm, the man himself doesn’t have to be a scheme member but his employer does)!
Will he be issuing an electrical safety certificate?
Can he offer you insurance?
Does he have a formal complaints procedure?
Will he be undertaking pre and post checks of the relevant circuit(s) as part of the process?
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A-Z of Job Pricing