My Dad bought a new home in Scotland and is trying to do it up, and I'm helping him find tradespeople, but the quotes we're getting seem way higher than the ballparks most trade websites suggest.
For example to reglaze his 3 bed semi (about 9 windows and a door) we had a quote of 9K and 13.5k (discounted to 11.5k if he signed right away...).
To service his roof, two sections of flat roof replaced and a tile maintenence (no idea how many tiles need sorting, quote didn't say), the guy just quoted 4.5k. The quote suggests this wouldn't even need scaffolding.
Am I just being a tight old git, or do these quotes seem a bit on the high side? Maybe this is what things cost nowadays, but it's so difficult when you're dealing with trades you aren't familiar with so have no point of reference.
Sounds about right for the windows. You should be looking at £1000 per window on average. That's bog standard uPVC. A couple of grand for the door so the 9k quote is reasonable.
Impossible to say if the roof quote is high or low without knowing the sizes.
Where is the house? Just saying 'Scotland' is a bit like me asking is it raining in England.
We're in Stirling! Checkatrade reckon it should cost almost half that, https://www.checkatrade.com/blog/cost-guides/double-glazing-cost/
Maybe they're talking nonsense, but it seemed a big disparity.
>For example to reglaze his 3 bed semi (about 9 windows and a door) we had a quote of 9K and 13.5k (discounted to 11.5k if he signed right away...).
Sounds like one of the big chains, using sleazy high pressure sales tactics. We had similar, from SafeStyle, two bods who overstayed their welcome. One went outside to pack up, the other called his 'boss' who happened to have a spare order slot we could have for 25% off, if we signed there and then.
If you have upvc already, you can replace just the sealed glass units. If not, the link below is a trade place, that will deliver. You may not be a diy'er, but it gives you the base price of the units. Then add 1 hour per window labour.
>To service his roof, two sections of flat roof replaced and a tile maintenence (no idea how many tiles need sorting, quote didn't say), the guy just quoted 4.5k. The quote suggests this wouldn't even need scaffolding.
We had a new tiled roof for not much more than that.
Having just had some building work done, many trades are booked out months into the future. Backlogs of work, due to covid. Materials have gone up as well.
How big are the windows? We recently had 2 uPVC windows replaced for just over £1k each and they are approx 1m x 1.7m. Last year we had some alu framed windows installed in an extension and they were 3 times that price (each) for the supply only. There's a huge difference in costs depending on the windows. Opening or non opening? Again, big difference.
I have always found the websites that estimate to estimate on the low side.
The trades that work through them have to pay for the sales leads, by pricing low more people are likely to advertise their jobs on the website leading to more fee paying trades paying to get the details of the customers.
We paid 14k for 16 high spec sliding sash windows. Worked out about 200 quid per window for the fitting. That was a hell of a lot cheaper than the next nearest quote (20kish) but we did have trouble getting them back to do the final sealing and they've now gone bust. Still I'm quids in even though I need to get them sealed myself!
> At those prices it would almost be worth paying them to drive north for the job!
When Mrs J's sister lived in Surrey she had, over 20 or so years, a garage conversion, conservatory, double glazing, drive and patio all done by firms based in Carlisle.
I'd get recommended locals doing the works, ask in the local newsagent. For the windows at least make sure they've been in business longer than their guarantee. There's a big variation in the quality of glazing cassette, space between glass, seals etc.
For the windows maybe see if window advice centre can help and work in your area? I tried adding a link but it went weird.
We used them 3 times in Edinburgh and found the whole process a doddle. They handle a lot of the admin, get quotes etc and they check the work before you pay out.
FWIW, we were also offered the if you sign tonight we'll discount by blah blah by one of the big names, shocking tactics.
A lot of tradesmen have retired, died or moved back to mainland Europe in the last 2 years. Rates are silly at the moment.
I ordered a made-to-measure double-glazed white uPVC 1.2 x 1.2m window with opening top sash for £180 in Blackpool, today. Currently 4 weeks lead-time on delivery.
Between fuel costs, material costs and high demand prices for anything like this are way up.
My PSA though is if anyone ever tries to give you a 'cheaper if you sign up today' type offer kick them out immediately (or walk out immediately if you're on their premises). This applies to windows, cars or indeed anything else. Don't entertain any more conversation just cut them off and get them to do one.
> they've now gone bust.
Very common in the window industry. Go bust on the Friday, open up again on the Monday with UK after their name debt and warrenty free.
Window companies, tyre fitters and mattress makers are 3 industries I only supply to cash up front.
Negotiation is the way to get reasonable prices. Be prepared to walk away if you don't get the price you want but in the end if the companies are busy they wont price drop. Would you? But invest time in negotiation and be patient. Be prepared to visit the sales person at their premises. If you do that they will believe you are for real and worth spending time on. Be friendly and they will go the extra mile. But in the end make sure they know you will walk away if you don't get a reasonable price.
I'm pleased you got good service from the Window Advice Centre. We were deeply disappointed by the standard of work from their recommended window fitter, but got no support from their 'quality inspector' who signed off the job even though it was pretty clear he shared our views. Admittedly that was c.15 years ago but we wouldn't use them again.
Air compressors, Blowers, vacuum pumps and associated equipment.
Window companies all have compressors and use air tools as do mattress factories and tyre fitters.
99% of them don't pay their bill's until legal action is taken and window companies go bust for fun.
Some do it just to clear their debts and others because they couldn't hack it. Often a window builder, a fitter and a sales person will leave a large company and set up on their own, they see the prices and think its a license to print money.
Then the reality of how moch it costs to run a business sets in and they go under. Fair play though, they gave it a go and don't spring up again the next day.
I think the recent hikes in materials costs might not be being reflected in the quotes - certain common building timbers have quadrupled in cost. Ridge tiles can't be had for love nor money. All tradesmen are stacked up with work due to not being able to work during lockdowns, and extra demand due to people spending money on their houses instead of going on holiday so they can charge what they like.
You can get the price of the windows down more than that...
We recently did our 3 bed semi, all the windows and doors and french doors at the back and got the lot for around £6.5k.
Just push them really really hard on the price, and walk away repeatedly - they'll keep coming back with improved offers...
Think about it, if they were prepared to give you a couple of grand off just for signing then and there their bottom line is way below that.
Edit: The bloke who owned the firm came round to measure up one evening. He drives a McClaren. They make a tasty margin.
I had a quote of £12.5k for a new roof last week. That's for a moderately sized gable roof, nothing fancy, complicated or huge. 10 years ago, I paid £3500 to have the roof replaced on my old house and my parents paid £7000 for a much larger hip roof 4 years ago.
I was expecting maybe £7000 due to the price increases of materials but £12k seemed ridiculous! Then again, I spoke to a friend over the weekend and she was quoted £7000 for a replacement roof for a small mid terraced house so maybe that's just the cost nowadays.
"> 99% of them don't pay their bill's until legal action is taken and window companies go bust for fun."
There are plenty of legit window companies that go bust because other people don't pay their bills.
Yeah certainly materials and labour costs have gone up over the last 10 years, as have house prices overall. Worth shopping around to make sure though...
Have also encountered builders and tradesmen giving ridiculously high quotes as they just don't fancy the job. For whatever reason it's not for them, so they rather than giving a flat out "no thanks" and admitting they don't want to do it they give a price so huge they know it'll never happen.
Have also had a couple just say "no thanks" too, in fact one of the best builders I've used often does, he so in demand he can pick and choose his jobs.
> Have also encountered builders and tradesmen giving ridiculously high quotes as they just don't fancy the job. For whatever reason it's not for them, so they rather than giving a flat out "no thanks" and admitting they don't want to do it they give a price so huge they know it'll never happen.
Had this 20 years ago when the block of flats I lived in needed its 5 year re-paint. 2 companies came in at £9-10k, third came in at £31k! If they had secured the job they'd have been able to afford to pay a subcontractor through the nose to get it done ASAP and still make a profit.
> There are plenty of legit window companies that go bust because other people don't pay their bills.
I'm sure there are but between 1986 and now I have been taken for many many thousands of pounds and refuse to deal with that sector of the market again.
The last one who went bust on the friday and started again on the Monday with UK after the name tried to pull a fast one (long story), the day he was due in court he turned up in his range rover and paid £13k cash and a sob story about sleepless nights, my sleepless nights about paying our bills didn't interest him though.
I'm not going to name the company but they are still going, on their 4th name now.
I replace my roof last year. Comparable quotes ranged from £6500 to £12500. The lower end of the quotes were about what I was expecting / hoping for. I would expect it to be 20% higher now. I was happy with the work done.
It is like the early/mid 90s. Can't get tradesmen easily and rates are eye-watering. If only there was a neighbouring resource we could access, nearby countries whose languages lack vowels perhaps.
> Or you could just pay the tradesmen a good wage😉
Where do you draw the line with a good wage and people taking the piss? It's a serious question because indirectly it has an impact on everyone it the way that if one person wants a pay rise someone else feels poorer and wants a pay rise. And so the chain goes on with inflation and eventually the least powerful workers and those on fixed income or exposure to other economies will suffer.
Near me it seems the trades are doing very well.
The roof price sounds about right as my son recently had a similar job done for around the same price on his house in Cornwall. Last year we had three windows replaced, two bedroom, one bathroom and it cost £1450, so the window price seems excessive.
I think a skilled tradesman should get a good wage, if I need work done I try to find people with a good reputation for quality work, when they give me a price I either accept it and get them to do the work and expect the quality to be good, or I wait till I can afford it. There seem to be a lot of people who decide a price is to high then haggle for a lower price, then complain when the work is poor quality.
Price is no guarantee of quality work and in many cases neither is a recommendation. I've had numerous people from gas "engineers" (read as cowboys) to plasterers who have come with recommendations who've all been paid a good rate and still done half arsed jobs.
And really, it's only the natural to want a good price for something. If the tradesperson has plenty of work they can stand by their price or walk away. Offering someone a low price to do a job doesn't mean you can do half the job you offered to do.
Of course price is no guarantee, that is why you find someone with a good reputation for quality work, but you are also more likely to get a good job if you haven't nocked them down on price.
> Price is no guarantee of quality work and in many cases neither is a recommendation. I've had numerous people from gas "engineers" (read as cowboys) to plasterers who have come with recommendations who've all been paid a good rate and still done half arsed jobs.
It always makes me laugh when people ask for recommendations in our local FB group as people simply recommend their friends and relatives. It's a much better idea to ask who to avoid.