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This Gave Me A Laugh


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#1 Crofter

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Posted 03 April 2016 - 11:52 AM

Stumbled upon the site www.buildingsheriff.com the other day. His sections on 'Norman goes to the timber merchants' and various other bits had me snorting my tea out of my nose.

#2 ProDave

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Posted 03 April 2016 - 12:20 PM

I haven't found norman goes to the timber merchant yet, but the tradesmans day rate bit is interesting. It tells mer I am over charging, but hey ho, people pay what I ask and keep coming back for more and recommending me to others, so his list must be a little inaccurate.

#3 jsharris

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Posted 03 April 2016 - 12:52 PM

If there are things that are guaranteed to confuse someone new to building, then pricing is the biggest minefield. You can get people on a day rate plus materials, a firm price for the job including materials, an estimate (anyone who accepts one wants their bumps felt) and as a customer you start off with very little idea as to how to get best value.

Here's an example. I employed an electrician at £160 a day, no VAT. He was very good, but relatively inexperienced, and perhaps lacked a bit of self-confidence. For me he was good value, as I've 40 plus years of doing electrical work and a couple of years of teaching electrical apprentices, but I'm not really fully up to speed with the current regs. We made a pretty good team, with me as his labourer, and so first and second fix for our whole build cost me the grand sum of £1400 in labour charges. I've no doubt that this chap has now put up his rates, as this was his first whole new house wiring job.

Another example, I employed a joiner on a day rate of £180 a day, no VAT. Excellent workmanship and attention to detail, but took him over two weeks to fit linings and hang 12 doors. No complaint at all from me for the quality of his work, he was a perfectionist, even all the slots of every screw were perfectly aligned, vertically. Was he value for money? Hard to say, as he took maybe three or four days longer than I'd have expected to do that job, so in reality he was costing more than his day rate suggested.

Final example. I employed a landscaper/all round general outdoor building work chap to put in our massive soakaway system, grade and lay our block paving drive, build stone walls around the drive, around raised beds and around the borehole, lay sandstone paths and a patio, build the entrance sandstone steps to the front door and French windows and lay a paved path around the back of the house. He also laid membrane, wacked down scalpings and buff stone chippings around the edge of the house, as a path alongside the garage and two areas either side of the front entrance gable, where we're going to put some big potted plants. His day rate is the highest of anyone I've employed, £210 a day, no VAT. But, he has his own minidigger, tipper truck, mixer, wacker and tracked powered minidumper and he works like a Trojan. Despite his high day rate he is most probably the best value tradesman I've had on site since the foundations and frame went up. The speed and quality of his work, and the convenience of him having so much of his own plant, makes him good value, despite the offputtingly high day rate.

All this lot shows is that it really is a lottery when it comes to getting any building related work done, and that reputation is far, far more important than price alone.

Edited by jsharris, 03 April 2016 - 12:55 PM.