Receiving Your Quotation From A Builder/Tradesman
Well now, you’ve actually been sent a quotation! Have a little sit down.
It’s more than you expected, isn’t it? This is because:-
You desperately really wanted the job to be inexpensive didn’t you! You probably don’t have any knowledge of what the process actually entails. I’m not just talking about the building process here. There’s all the other stuff the builder has to consider.
Particularly relevant to this are today’s Health and Safety requirements. No longer can a bloke shin up your roof slope to fix a tile, off a ladder tied to the guttering. He may be required to work from scaffolding and that’s expensive!
The quote itself obviously wasn’t free, his time travelling, discussing the job with you then putting everything down on paper, will be added to the job price.
He will also include travelling each way through an hour of traffic just to do the job.
Buying the materials, finding a parking space, carting all his tools and equipment to the relevant area, cleaning up completely after himself, going to the tip, coming back again in 3 weeks to coax the money out of you!
And all the while you have been looking over his shoulder making useful suggestions or even worse, trying to help.
Small jobs tend to be more expensive, per hour, than larger ones. This is the case for several reasons.
To undertake several small jobs per week takes a great deal more organisation and running around than building an extension, where a builder is in the same place for weeks on end and can organise things to come to him.
A builder has to consider travel to and from the job. This will be the same whether he’s there for a day, or 5 minutes. He will probably work in increments of half a day, so including travel, that could be just 2 hours actual working. If he knows he won’t have the time to complete any other job when he finishes yours, he may charge for the whole day (especially as he will have to pay his labourer for the day).
So, he’s charged you a day’s money for two men to do 5 hours work.
Builders are generally not good at organisation and don’t like small jobs, so they charge more for them, to make the hassle worthwhile.
Very few builders will undertake small jobs, so the ones that do, realise they have a monopoly and charge more.
The public won’t stand paying £60 per hour, day after day for a builder but most won’t think twice about paying a builder £60 to (say) put a slate back on. (which takes ½ an hour from the time he arrives to when he leaves).
The same people also get very annoyed if they are charged £60 to (say) change a tap washer, which should take the same amount of time. The public has a different perception of the work involved to change a washer, rather than a slate but in fact they are completely wrong. A slate can present very few problems, a tap washer can sometimes be a complete nightmare, take two visits and result in a complete changes of taps!
Unlike the public, most builders don’t discriminate between types of work. It’s their time they’re charging for. If you think that an hour’s work on a tap washer shouldn’t be charged at the same rate as an hour on the roof, builders don’t.
So….If you think he’s expensive, remember we’re no longer living in a Noel Coward play. The cucumber sandwich days are over, builders don’t doff their caps anymore. They are entitled to a good living wage. If you think he’s charging the same per hour as a divorce lawyer, at least you’re getting something tangible for your cash.
So stop whinging, be a man, give the “so and so” a ring!
An Fun Insider’s Guide To The Various Tradesmen In The Construction Industry
A-Z of Job Pricing