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Builders - how much to pay up front?

  • Thread starter Deleted member 39241
  • Start date
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Deleted member 39241

Guest
Found a nice local friendly builder, quote is reasonable, he is available this side of Xmas, and will do everything I need doing to the house (outside work, roof repair, repair to rendering on exterior walls, and decorating). He wants 50% of the cost up front in cash or cheque... what do you think?
 
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overkill

Distinguished Member
No way. Never pay up front. This is a licence for a builder to use your money to prop up half a dozen other jobs he has on the go. From long experience (plus working in the trade myself years ago) he will seem ok, start the job then vanish for weeks on end.

A solvent, reliable, builder will only ask for the money on completion.

Others may disagree, but no builder I worked for (on private jobs), or have used, ever took money before starting work, or even halfway through.
 
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Deleted member 51156

Guest
Im in the trade and personally have only ever asked for money when the job is finished and the customer is happy. :)
 

Adrenochrome

Prominent Member
I Am not a builder but i own a Timber yard that specialises in Hardwood Flooring we offer supply and fitting of every product we sell and i never take a single penny until the job is completed to the customers satisfaction.

My mate has just recently paid a 5 figure sum in cash to a builder as a deposit for an extension, needless to say the builder has legged it.

Pay nothing nothing nothing i repeat nothing. :lesson:

Adrenochrome.
 

mh123

Established Member
Maybe a contribution towards material costs IF it's a small outfit, but that's it. Not a penny more. DO NOT pay upfront for labour.
 
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Deleted member 39241

Guest
Oh crikey, thanks for the advice - got me worried now... I am waiting for another couple of quotes, so I will definitely not rush into anything, thanks again.
 
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shahedz

Distinguished Member
i have always paid in 4 stages, that me and the builders have chosen up front, 25% at the beginning, 25% halfy way through, 25% three quarters of the way through and 25% upon completion and snag list being done. all my builders have come recommend, have you any references for this guy?
 

GrahamC

Established Member
If its a big job I break it into stages and pay on completion of each job. Just done this for some major work and it worked well. Mind you it was for a builder that I have used for about 20 years.
 
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Deleted member 39241

Guest
Well the guy that I was planning on using has sent me a quote via text message! It has been difficult finding someone that can do rendering, roof repairs and decorating before winter sets in...

I phoned four builders from the Yellow Pages, they all came and had a look.

Guy 1 gave a ridiculously high quote to re-render and sandtex hi-build one wall - which is only a part of the problem.

Guy 2 gave a very reasonable quote (via text message) to do everything, and was very thorough in that he came back with a long ladder and got on the roof. He now says he can start on Monday, but wants 50% (£1000) up front, and I have had no paperwork from him at all. He has got a nice new sign written van though!

Guys 3 and 4, have yet to get back to me with prices / availability.

What should i do?
 
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Mep

Prominent Member
maybe go back to Mr Text with the expensive van....and say you would quite like him to do the work and whilst you may be prepared to make a small payment upfront towards materials (though you shouldn't even need to do that since he should have accounts with his suppliers that wouldn't require him to pay up front) there is no way you are prepared to pay more than, say £250 upfront. You could even try saying that you would pay this only after his first days work. And do get it in writing.
 

shahedz

Distinguished Member
a text really isnt a good sign in my eyes, hardly professinal, i think its quite important to get it in writing, i am trying to have my boiler replaced at the moment and it is a nightmare, and you dont want to be in my positon (5th bolier 19 years) because of shoddy workmanship. i agree with mep , dont pay more than 25% up front, explain 50% upfront is way too much. no one asks for that much,
 

gIzzE

Distinguished Member
There is no way you should pay up front, I had just short of £10k's worth of work done last year on my place and not once did any of them ask for money up front.

I am just about to have a shop fit done as well at circa £80k and all they want is to see funds are in place, we only pay on clompletion of the work.

My Dad has just paif a £4k deposit on a conservatory to a company, and they guy he was dealing with has left and the money has not been put through!
Luckily the boss of the company came round this morning and has agreed to do the work as he believes my old man.

Be careful.
 

overkill

Distinguished Member
Sorry Lisa, I would re-iterate, DO NOT pay upfront. It is a sure sign of someone who needs the cash to keep afloat. That means two risks. 1) he could go under during the job leaving it half done. 2) He will be trying to do too many jobs at once, which means you pay, and he's never there.

Some people have found that paying small amounts during the work (ie once it's started) has been ok, but only if they know the guy as above. I, as a former B&D myself would never have asked for that much upfront. In fact I never asked for any money upfront. If you need to it's normally a bad sign.

Keep getting quotes, choose the best compromise on price and known quality. By known quality, try and get a look at some work the builder has genuinely done. Ie not some mate he's slipped a fiver to, to say he has! ;) There is a website on which testimonials of builders work can be checked on.
 

FaxFan2002

Prominent Member
Never had work done, but i wouldn't pay upfront. A decent builder will have at least a 30 day account with a supplier so shouldn't need money upfront for materials.
 

Orson

Prominent Member
If it was a big job, then I'd consider paying some in advance for materials etc, but on a job of £2000, then any builder, even a one man operation, should have enough financial stability to stand the initial outlay on materials of that value. If he hasn't, I personally would be very wary of even using him to do the job, and no way would I lay out any cash upfront.

If the guy doesn't even have 2k in his own funds, what will happen if you have any problems? He's highly unlikely to be able to afford to come back & rectify for 'free', as he'll need to be on the next paying job.

If I were you, I'd wait for someone you have been recommended to use, even if it takes it to after Christmas. If you don't have any recommendations, then use someone you just get a good feeling for, and ask them for any examples of work in your area they have done that you can check out. And don't part with anything over £200 up front.
 

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