Tradesmen - am I being ripped off?

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by StringerBell, Jul 17, 2019.

  1. StringerBell

    StringerBell
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2013
    Messages:
    195
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Ratings:
    +25
    We are getting some work done to the house. Live in West Sussex, moved to the area recently and don't know anyone so have no local recommendations or anyone we can ask. All the tradesmen who have come round and quoted us I have found via Checkatrade and carefully reading reviews.

    Before we actually go ahead and make a decision, since I've never owned a house before or had any work done to it, I have no idea whether these prices are reasonable or not? Can anyone who has any experience either as a tradesman or someone who has had work done, please give opinions? I will add in other quotes received for plumbers and electricians when I get home.

    Master bedroom: 12' x 10'5"
    Nursery: 10'5" x 7'2"

    Plasterer 1
    Small Bedroom 1. Remove cupboard door frame. 2. Cut out block work above door frame and take blockwork back flush with the inside wall of cupboard. 3. Overboard ceiling with 12.5mm plasterboard. 4. Board over large board within alcove with 12.5mm plasterboard. 5. Block up vent above door. 6. Scrim tape all joins in boards and any cracks to help eliminate future cracking. 7. Set metal angle beads on external corners. 8. PVA all walls prior to skimming. 9. Skim all walls and ceiling with two coats of finishing plaster. Subtotal = £645
    Large Bedroom 1. Overboard ceiling with 12.5mm plasterboard. 2. Board over large board within alcove with 12.5mm plasterboard. 3. Set metal angle beads on external corners. 4. Block up vent above door. 5. Scrim tape all joins in boards and any cracks to help eliminate future cracking. 6. PVA all walls prior to skimming. 7. Skim all walls and ceiling with two coats of finishing plaster. Subtotal = £770

    Plasterer 2
    Both rooms will be completed the same way. - Ceiling plasterboard to be pulled down and New 12.5mm plasterboard but up and screwed into joists, all joints taped with scrim tape prior to plastering. - All walls will be prepped for plastering with x2 coats of Unibond. - All edges and corners will have new beading fixed in place for a crisp finish of new plaster. There will be some bonding out of walls if needed to straighten them up. - Any cracks in walls and where two walls meet will have scrim tape. - All plastering will be two coat skimming work for a top finish. - We will also need to speak to your electrician so we can work out the best way to attack ceiling lights as your going to have spots. - The wooden tops inserted into recess will be cut back and plasterboard fixed on top and all plaster will be flush with existing walls. - In the rooms and up the stairs I will put down roll and stroll for carpet protection and then dust sheets on top.
    Costings The labour cost will be £1,420 (fixed) Estimate to cover all materials is £250 (may slightly change up or down).

    Plasterer 3
    Nursery - Remove ceiling - Re-board ceiling using plasterboard - Remove shelf then square of using plaster board - Prepare walls - Apply 2 coats of finish plaster to ceiling and walls Labour = £540.00 Materials = £170.00. Sub-Total = £710.00
    Master Bedroom - Same as above - Prepare inside cupboard then apply 2 coats of finish plaster Labour = £690.00 Materials = £190.00. Sub-Total = £880.00
     
  2. Gaslight

    Gaslight
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2018
    Messages:
    229
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    46
    Location:
    South East
    Ratings:
    +224
    As I am looking to move to the East Sussex area shortly ad have been engaging with tradespeople, I sure know the prices of things is ridiculously high in the South East. Sometimes over double than say the North West.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Wow Wow x 1
    • List
  3. nheather

    nheather
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2004
    Messages:
    20,349
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    167
    Location:
    Horsham, West Sussex
    Ratings:
    +10,797
    Live in West Sussex (North near Surrey border).

    Generally found that all trades are bloomin expensive round here, builders, decorators, plumbers, electricians, gardeners, child care. They all have full order books so can afford to be expensive. Once you have recovered from the heavy quote you are then sent reeling with the "can't fit you in for 6 months or next year".

    I think the problem is that generally the area has low unemployment and high disposable income. Cheaper as you go south towards the coast.

    Where are you living.

    Cheers,

    Nigel
     
  4. swiftpete

    swiftpete
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2006
    Messages:
    5,199
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Notts
    Ratings:
    +1,308
    Personally I’d rather have it reboarded than overboarded, so I’d probably go with either 2 or 3 depending on who I liked/trusted more when I met them.

    £1500 is a lot for 2 rooms to be plastered but then I live in the midlands. If you live in a pricy area you’re just going to have to suck it off and up.
     
  5. MrSossidge

    MrSossidge
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2006
    Messages:
    6,562
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    East Riding of Yorkshire
    Ratings:
    +5,875
    As above. They are all with a couple of hundred of each other. 2 & 3 are pulling existing ceiling down. Which is what I'd prefer. That's messy works and creates a lot of dust and mess to be cleared. From what you've posted 2 has provided more detail so I'd go with him purely based on what has been written down from them all.
     
  6. StringerBell

    StringerBell
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2013
    Messages:
    195
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Ratings:
    +25
    Yes I totally get that, but it seems like they are charging more in line with London prices even though not in London? My brother-in-law got his 4 bed house skimmed/re-plastered throughout for £300 each bedroom and this was in Manchester last year. Seems madness that I’m being quoted almost £1.6k for 2 rooms!

    Which part of East Sussex are you moving to? They are even more expensive there than West it seems! Lots of old money floating about and boy do they take advantage of it.



    Yes, agree with this post 100%. Living in Crawley so not exactly the dizzying heights of expensive Surrey but my god, this has been such an eye opener. :(


    You think that’s bad, wait until you see the electricians’ quotes!

    Yes I do understand that needs must and if that is what is being quoted, then that’s what I’ll have to pay.


    Out of interest, how many quotes does everyone think I should be getting? 3? 5? 10?

    Is there anything I should be asking them specifically?
     
  7. nheather

    nheather
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2004
    Messages:
    20,349
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    167
    Location:
    Horsham, West Sussex
    Ratings:
    +10,797
    Got builders in at the moment. We know what they charge for plastering because we have asked for some separate extra work to be done.

    They charge £18 per sqm, if we went though the builder there would be 20% profit and 20% VAT. But if we get the plasterer to do it as a '''extra' in his own time then we pay him £18.

    So that makes a 4m x 2.5m wall - £180 done as a side job or £260 through the builder. That is just the plastering. And these builders are very competitive compared with others we looked at.

    Cheers,

    Nigel
     
  8. nheather

    nheather
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2004
    Messages:
    20,349
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    167
    Location:
    Horsham, West Sussex
    Ratings:
    +10,797
    Bear in mind that Crawley was built as an expansion area for London. In fact if you are a public sector (e.g . Teacher) working in Crawley then you get a partial London weighting in your pay.

    The thing with places like Crawley and Horsham is that many people living there work in London. So London salaries without London house prices so more disposable income. Less inclined to do DIY so more demand for tradesman which pushes the prices up to London levels.

    If you went down to Worthing you'd find it a lot cheaper.

    Cheers,

    Nigel
     
  9. nheather

    nheather
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2004
    Messages:
    20,349
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    167
    Location:
    Horsham, West Sussex
    Ratings:
    +10,797
    Another issue with West Sussex, well the Horsham and Crawley area at least, is there is a hell of a lot of housing development going on - government dictat to destroy the green belt and build houses. Building companies rubbing their hands in glee because the government's attempts to make them build affordable house is so full of holes and loopholes that they can get away building 95% high priced properties - so we lose our greenery and the young and the poor still can't afford to live here.

    Anyway - rant over - the point is, all this new development is soaking up all available tradesmen in the area.

    Cheers,

    Nigel
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2019
  10. mr:w

    mr:w
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Messages:
    1,580
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    66
    Location:
    Broadstairs
    Ratings:
    +236
    If property is roughly double the price in south east compared to north west, would you expect the rates of those working on those properties - plumbers, electricians, plasterers etc. - to remain the same?

    Don't forget the DFL effect on the south coast. I've just moved back to Kent after 15 years in East Sussex (St Leonards On Sea) and a good friend of mine, a plasterer with 25+ years experience, moved down just when the DFLs were snapping up properties for renovation. He got in with a bunch of them and had work lined up for literally years, all of which he was charging London rates for. The Londoners were happy to pay as they'd freed up a load of cash switching from a 3 bed terraced in London to a 6 bed seafront place, and he was getting masses of good feedback from them on checkatrade, leading to more work despite him charging higher rates than others.

    He moved back to Kent (Margate) just in time for the next wave of DFLs to arrive, and he's doing exactly the same.
     
  11. Hixs

    Hixs
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2015
    Messages:
    3,654
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    France
    Ratings:
    +2,295
    Around here to get an English finish (glass smooth)- €1300 for a 25sqm room.
     
  12. Gaslight

    Gaslight
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2018
    Messages:
    229
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    46
    Location:
    South East
    Ratings:
    +224
    Minimum wage dosent change wherever one is, or if you work in Sainsburies, the rates are'nt different wherever you are in the country (excluding London) but I understand what you are saying, it's a fair point.

    Oh I know the DFL effect all to well :) Tbh, I am probably one of those because I'm from London, which is now utterly impossible to live on a standard wage, so I am now having to buy at the DFL level on the coast, which is just ridiculous, axctually getting closer to London prices. Three to four years ago in St Leonards, for what I am spending on a flat, I could have had a four storey house. Combination of the DFL inflation and also a housing crisis.
     
  13. NorvernRob

    NorvernRob
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Messages:
    4,407
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Sheffield
    Ratings:
    +3,480
    I’ve just paid £570 inc. materials for our living room plastering (4.4 x 3.3m), plus one wall in the dining room (I put a stud wall in where there used to be an archway between the two rooms). The ceiling was overboarded, some areas were made good and patched ready for new plaster, and the chimney breast and window were angle beaded. He then skimmed the whole lot. Just over 2 days work in total.

    I’m in Sheffield, I think an average price around here purely for skimming an average sized room is around £400.
     
  14. reiteration

    reiteration
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2012
    Messages:
    10,981
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Ratings:
    +10,538
    we're looking at getting our bathroom done (it's not very big) and we have the tiles, and bathroom suite - so, we may need the existing tiles taken off (tho, we could do that ourselves), an extended panel (uPVC) on the wall where the toilet is as it's a different fitting to the existing one, some panelling on the new bath and a few other bits and pieces... first guy we got quoted (tho, he has a mate to do the tiling) was 2k...I was life wtf?!? decent guy tho as we've had him in before...

    got more quotes from some guys to do different tasks and that looks to be coming in at under 1k...
     
  15. adam-burnley

    adam-burnley
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2007
    Messages:
    4,649
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Burnley
    Ratings:
    +2,544
    My uncle-in-law (plastered my cinema room for beer money) spends a lot of time travelling from Yorkshire to the Brighton etc. I don't know whether its because he charges northern rates so is in high demand, or whether the daily rate is higher so worth him travelling down.
     
  16. Wahreo

    Wahreo
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2012
    Messages:
    15,592
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Ratings:
    +13,050
    Checkatrade is in no way a guaranteed way to get a good tradesman. The trader pays checkatrade a lot of money to advertise on the site. The reviews are all very good. It’s a bit of a farce really.

    Instead of checkatrade and if the trade is a Plumber/electrician etc then why not ask to see their Qualifications and Public Liability Insurance certificates.

    To be perfectly Honest, most customers don’t really know the difference between a good and a bad job especially when it’s a trade where a lot is hidden. Even a plasterer might leave a superb finish but hasn’t done the prep work properly so after a year or two you see problems.
     
  17. nheather

    nheather
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2004
    Messages:
    20,349
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    167
    Location:
    Horsham, West Sussex
    Ratings:
    +10,797
    I had a top scoring tradesman on Checkatrade who failed to show up to start work on two occasions.

    The first time I accepted his excuse even though it was inconvenient and had cost me a day off work. The second time I had enough and told him not to bother.

    Tried to leave feedback on Checkatrade and found that I was not allowed because he had not started work.

    Personally I consider coming round to view, providing a quote, which I accepted, which led to me turning down other tradesmen, arranging a start date and then failing to show up without any explanation should be considered as started - but not in Checkatrade's eyes.

    I soon learned that (1) tradesmen pay to be on Checkatrade and (2) Checkatrade look after their customers - the tradesmen that have paid them money.

    Have since read lots of stories of negative feedback being removed.

    Don't trust Checkatrade any more.

    Cheers,

    Nigel
     
  18. Wahreo

    Wahreo
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2012
    Messages:
    15,592
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Ratings:
    +13,050
    Incidentally last week I had a customer contact me via Facebook. It was all arranged via Facebook messenger. A few messages back and forth and I showed up at her property to do a Quotation. Nobody in, waited for half an hour. Left a not through the door. No drama, these things happen. Left her a message on Facebook, it was read and ignored. Stupid cow.
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
    • Wow Wow x 1
    • List
  19. Wahreo

    Wahreo
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2012
    Messages:
    15,592
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Ratings:
    +13,050
    In fact, I’ve just worked myself up, I think I’ll send her another message saying that it’s polite to acknowledge that someone went out of their way to pay them a visit. This women is on Facebook all the time, plenty of time to send a message. Grrrrrrrrr :laugh:
     
    • Funny Funny x 2
    • Like Like x 1
    • List
  20. rob99

    rob99
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2006
    Messages:
    1,203
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    Aberdeen
    Ratings:
    +293
    Your definitely right there
    I’ve come behind newly skimmed work loads of times which looks great until it gets a first coat of paint and shows up that it’s a mess
    Especially corners round switches etc
    Plasterers been paid and someone else had to try an tidy it up
    Then you’ll get a call six months later complaining the plaster is all cracked !!
     
  21. hifinutt

    hifinutt
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2018
    Messages:
    21
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    birmingham
    Ratings:
    +3
    just 2 hours ago talking to a self employed plasterer in the midlands , those prices seem pretty good for west sussex , i imagine its pretty expensive there . reboarding sounds good if you can put up with the mess . I am amazed you got all those quotes , i had terrible trouble last year finding a plaster in worcester but eventually i did and paid 200 quid for a ceiling to be redone . it was complex with electrics but fairly small and took all day

    I use checkatrade a lot , had good experiences so far and my gas man always asks me to do a review
     
  22. Sloppy Bob

    Sloppy Bob
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    Messages:
    4,222
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Ratings:
    +3,421
    I trust reviews on Checkatrade as much as the ones on Trustpilot.

    Amazon can be pretty dodgy as well unless there are loads of them and you filter out the ones from obvious idiots and company shills.
     
  23. Gaslight

    Gaslight
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2018
    Messages:
    229
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    46
    Location:
    South East
    Ratings:
    +224
    Parcel2Go is a prime example of how Trustpilot can be easily manipulated. A friend of mine worked for them for a period, and they where 'encourage' (told) to make fake reviews on Trustpilot to essentially balance out the bad ones. You can normally see them, they have a one or two reviews to their name, no photo, and just a line or two of a review.
     

Share This Page

Loading...