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Aerial costs, quoted by CAI fitter, are these about right?

Discussion in 'Satellite TV, Sky TV & FreeSat' started by ebiumn, May 7, 2003.

  1. ebiumn

    ebiumn
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    I live in Chelmsford, Essex. I have 2 aerials on the roof, 1 is 14 element pointing at Sudbury, and 1 is 18 element poining at Crystal Palace. These are combined, but blocking channel 5 due to old diplexor, I recieve digital and analog on these but wanted a complete new installation to inprove signal strength and distribution to 5 points. This will allow us to get rid of telewest and have freeview at some tv's and analog at others.

    The man who quoted last night said:-

    Aerial £139
    Amp £69
    Cabling £75
    4 x wall plates £40

    total £323

    This includes fitting and setup and using hi quality cabling and wideband aerial, but excludes VAT

    We then negotiated to £300 for cash, the job is not done yet, but I would like to know if this is excessive? I dont fancy climbing on the roof myself, but dont want to be ripped off.

    Can anyone recommend someone in this area?
     
  2. Bernard Barnett

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    Sounds hugely expensive to me for what seems a straightforward job. I suggest you look up the CAI website to see what other registered installers operate in your area and get a couple of competitive quotes.
     
  3. FunkyMonkey

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    Mine cost £60 for wideband aerial. £40 for amp. £20 for sundries I guess. £120 altogether. I thought he was ripping em off but evidently not.

    Mine was loft aerial and was already wired into wall socket so wire was already in loft. Picture is about 80 to 90% on my Nokia 221T.

    He said he'd charge £15 for each additional wall socket I wanted provided I wanted at least 4. Otherwise £20 a pop.
     
  4. Pod Person

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    Is it Gold plated? :eek:
     
  5. ebiumn

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    Just spoke to another CAI fitter for my area, and price is similar? Seems that this is a good earner for aerial fitters at the moment, this price is for fitting to chimney stack as well, not sure whether to cancel him are just get the job done now :(
     
  6. GaryB

    GaryB
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    Ask him if you can buy the parts yourself and just get him to do the Spiderman impression.
     
  7. alim

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    I think this is reasonable. I paid about the same 2 years ago. Remember though - no VAT = no receipt = possible problems with warranty.

    At the end of the day I think if you pay this much it should be a professional job. Will he be chopping out walls to mount the sockets flush and if so will he make good? There is always someone who will do it cheaper but will it be any good?

    Good luck.
     
  8. ebiumn

    ebiumn
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    yep, he is chopping out walls for flush mount, and he lives local to me, so i'm sorta thinking im gonna go with him now
     
  9. Bernard Barnett

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    Well obviously it's your decision but I don't think there's any doubt you're being overcharged. And my experience of people who overcharge is that they do NOT do a good job. It's really worth your making a few more calls.
     
  10. alim

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    Depends on your definition of overcharging. If builder 1 says it will cost £10000 to do a job and builder 2 wants £13000 does that mean that number 2 is automatically overcharging? He may have his own employees; have proper offices with receptionists/secretaries; pay holiday/sick pay to his employees, and actually fix problems should they arise, etc.

    If ebiumn gets 3 quotes and they are about the same then I'm sure he will be ok to go with them.
     
  11. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    Well a top of pile Televes Wideband aerial is £35 from TLC Direct so £139 is excessive!!!!! I would shop around and ask at a local TV retailer, who they reconmend. They normally know decent firms who wont overcharge. Although i have no idea how being so close to london will skew the cost!!!!
     
  12. Bernard Barnett

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    Hmm. I got interested in this as I've had quite a lot of recent experience of aerial installations, so I rang Aerialect of Colchester (CAI members who cover Chelmsford) and asked them what a full rig including masthead amp would cost. They said £250 top whack. I thought that was pretty expensive too! Mind you, a bit different from the original quote of £323...
     
  13. ebiumn

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    was the £250 price including fitting and distribution to 5 rooms? flush mounted sockets? what about VAT?
     
  14. Bernard Barnett

    Bernard Barnett
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    No idea I'm afraid. All I asked for was cost of "a full installation." I presume this would involve multi-points.
     
  15. Fernsehman

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    You presumed wrongly. Full installation involves installing the aerial safely, aligning it with meter, cabling down to TV.

    Wall socket fitting costs extra as it's time-consuming. Additional points are usually around £30 each plus the distribution amplifier to feed them (you can't simply run more wires from the aerial).

    I think if you look at the total parts cost plus labour at a mimumum of £30 an hour, the CAI quote is about right.

    Bear in mind that a CAI fitter is required to wear a safety harness and secure his ladders before he even starts. That can easily take 30 minutes - especially for a chimney job.

    Ask in advance for an itemised invoice including all parts and labour. (If this is refused I would dump him quick!)

    I recommend you watch him work (discreetly). Be sure to take photos of each stage including after he tidies up - that's part of the job. Make sure he uses proper (copper foil) satellite cable. Send him packing if he makes excuses. The difference in cost is tiny.

    Remember that you can complain to the CAI and probably get a refund or the job put right. You can't do that with a non-CAI installer.

    Fman

    Been watching too many American movies. I've edited "CIA" to "CAI"!
     
  16. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    My grilfriends dad just paid £55 to get a new aerial for freeveiw fitted and now has a stunning PQ (his words) OK so amp or extra wall plates but aerial fitted for £55 all in and that would not be a cash job (he doesn't do stuff like that) so £300 does seem a bit much.
     
  17. ebiumn

    ebiumn
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    Aerial fitted while I was at work yesterday, wife is very pleased with the standard of finish on flush fitted wall boxes, the tidy job, the polite manner of the 2 men, and when I got home I was very pleased with the excellent signal and quality, the neat cabling standard inside and outside the house and in the loft.

    All in all, £300 well spent :)
     
  18. Bernard Barnett

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    Safety harness/secure the ladders?? I've used different CAI riggers four times in the past five years (reasons too boring to relate) and none of them has worn a harness or secured the ladders.
     
  19. Fernsehman

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    I just happen to have a copy of the Code of Practice (borrowed from a CAI installer last week). If a roof ladder is used then it must be lashed to the bottom ladder and that ladder must be lashed to an eye bolt in the wall. Safety harness appears to be "optional" except that, if you look at the Guidelines on Safe Operating Procedures, it clearly shows a "recommended system" which includes a body harness and a means for attaching it to the ladders.

    Obviously, those installers prepared to risk their necks by not buying or using this expensive equipment will be able to undercut those who do.

    Fman
     
  20. simon123

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    as a cai menber in the north west fo 15 years the price quoted sound fine as menbers we have to install to a standard which means the job takes slightly longer and this meand more labour charged we also have to use cai aproved cable (ct 100,wedro etc) and our materials also eg galvaised brackets alloy masts no steel aand we are inspected every year,this involves the inspector picking 2 jobs from our receipt book and visiting the address,after all these rules the price is always going to be higher than the man with no name on his estate car with a set of wooden ladders on the roof also all aerials used by cai members now have to have a balum in the connection unit and we can't use contract aerials anymore this the next step forward for the cai as they want to benchmark tv aerials with an approved status one of the rules are they have to have at least 13 db gain
    after all that i should get a reduction on my fees
     
  21. Fernsehman

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    I had to take a very, very, very deep breath to read that sentence!

    I think CAI members should be legally bound to use punctuation! ;)

    Fman
     
  22. ebiumn

    ebiumn
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    The CAI fitter left behind the old aerials and mast they were attached to, and his parting words to my wife were, ask your husband if he feels he needs the 2nd aerial put back up and pointing at the 2nd transmitter, if not leave the aerial out on your drive and ill pick it up and dispose of it. Well my wife has been putting it out on the drive every morning and putting it in the garage at bed time, and its a week now and no show, i have left a couple of messages as well, hmm he is letting himself down now after a job well done :(
     
  23. CounterWhine

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    I just had a TV aerial and a DAB aerial fitted by a CAI installer.

    The TV aerial used existing cabling and included a masthead amp to drive two TVs. The DAB aerial had new cabling. One of the TV points and the DAB point included surface mounted (ie. not flush) wall sockets.

    Total £258.50 including VAT.

    I was not impressed with the installer. After four hours :eek: his boss came 'round to bail him out and finish the job!

    D.
     
  24. hornydragon

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    At least with CAI his boss came round and bailed him in a few years that guy will probably be doing it himself and not getting pulled out of nasty brown stuff by his boss.
     
  25. Bernard Barnett

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    Ebiumn, if you get no joy you should call the CAI - that's what they're there for. Sorry to hear about everybody's bad experiences - if anyone in the Berks or Bucks area is looking for a good installer I recently used Reading Aerial Services (yes, CAI)and they did a perfect job at very reasonable cost. The chief fitter was Phil.
     
  26. ebiumn

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    He has now been round and collected the aerial, my wife has stopped moaning and everyone is happy again, whole experience wasn't really that painful and i'm fairly happy with the £300 bill for the service I recieved, so now i can get on with planning all the goodies that are going to end up attached to it :)
     
  27. simon123

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    sorry Fman
    back to school hey............all these will make up for it
     
  28. Fernsehman

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    You shouldn't have accepted that. He should have replaced it with double-shielded cable to make it "digital-ready".

    Old cable tends to deteriorate anyway. You show me a 10 year old cable and I'll show you a 10dB loss in signal. The cable sheath cracks due to UV light from the sun. Moisture eventually works its way in. In any case, ordinary cable only has 60% shielding. "Spoiling the ship for a halfpenny worth of tar."

    Fman
     
  29. rigger2504

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    nothing personal but people like you drive me mad. if your head gasket needed replacing, which costs say £30 for the part, you wouldnt say £200 for the garage to supply and fit it was excessive!
    on top of the price of the aerial, you need brackets, pole, conectors, cable, the engineers labour. he has to pay tax, fuel etc i charge £160 for and aerial, £50 for an amp and £40 per point which is below average! you pay for our expertise, time, costs, and guarentee.
    at the end of the day you get what you pay for
     
  30. rigger2504

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    as an installer, most of the time i will wear a harness because my insurance wont cover me if i dont! all good engineers should, there are times though when it does get in the way! ie carrying an aerial up the ladders then reaching round a chimney to put it up!
     

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