How muich to pay a builder in advance


Hello - I'm having a bathroom fitted in my house. I'm planning on purchasing all the necessary things (bath, sink, loo, tiles, mirror etc) and have found a builder who will install everything for me. He does need to do a bit of work to remove my old suite, build a stud wall and a new platform to put my new bath in & so will need to purchase some materials in advance.
He's asking for 20% up front, 64% when the work starts and 16% upon completion.
Does this sound normal?
Any advice gratefully received.
Thanks, Mac
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Not if he is a good builder with a good reputation. 16% upon completion could leave you with a massive snag list that would cost far more to get somone else in and put right should the builder not return.
20% up front for what? Ripping out a bathroom and building a stud wall when you are buying all the expensive bathroom accessories. A stud wall cost less than a good shower cubicle.
Tell him 33% when the stud wall is up 33% when the bathroom is plumbed in and 34% when it is tiled, finished and you are happy.
Adam
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My immediate instinct is that your about to be taken for a ride.
Pay the cost of the additional materials and make sure they are delivered to your house.
Split the job into two or three stages and insist that you will only pay a stage payment when that stage is reached.
This way if the builders work quality is crap or he only shows up for a few hours per week you can sack him and find another builder to finish the job.
Adrian Smith
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Tell him to f**k o**! A bathroom refit should be 'run of the mill' for a good builder and shouldn't need any payment up front, after all you're purchasing all the expensive stuff!! How much does a few lengths of 2" x 2" and a few sheets of plasterboard cost. The only real expense he is putting in is his labour and if he is confident in that he will be prepared to wait to find out if you are also! Where abouts are you.? Anywhere near Leeds and I will quote you myself. (NO payment up front).
HTH
John
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John wrote:

Mac
Yeah, take the advice from this one, he obviously knows what he is talking about.
He want's to quote you for "does need to do a bit of work to remove my old suite" putting up a 2x2 stud wall (plaster it?) and "a new platform to put my new bath in", make good all plumbing, prepare the walls for tiling, install the bathroom suite, do the tiling, floor?, affix the accessories and waterproof where necessary with just "a few lengths of 2" x 2" and a few sheets of plasterboard". Then tell him it's falling down due to the lack of fixings and don't pay him because you need the money to pay for somone who knows what they are doing.
I don't see any problem with the payment structure, the 20% is to stop you changing your dates/builder, the 64% is for fixings, materials, etc and that platform for the bath, the 16% is for you to withhold until you're happy with the finish.
We normally ask for 50% up front on day one if we don't know the customer, 25% halfway through and leave with the last 25%. Our reputation gets us the work.
No one in this group knows how good the builder is, so any answers in regard to this should be ignored. You only asked if the pricing was normal so if you go ahead with this builder, please post back at the finish so some humble pie can be passed around.
Wex
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.co.nz wrote:

I think the point is that the OP clearly doesn't know the builder, rather than the builder doesn't know him - which is almost certainly also the case.
For a builder that you trust, either on personal experience or experience of someone you trust, then the payment structure is the least of the problems - it is getting him to do the job in anything like the near future, as he certainly won't be sat at home waiting for the phone to ring.
The OP is effectively being asked for more than 90% of the cost of the job (he is paying for all the expensive items) on day one. The main thing the builder is putting at risk is his labour costs...
As I said, fine, for a builder you know..
--
Sue









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The 50% deposit and 25% upfront probably covered materials as well.
This builder is asking for 84% up front in respect of his labour charges, all materials are being provided. That is way too much.
We also used to charge 50% up front, but that cost covered materials etc that we had to order.
Adrian Smith
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If you read my response correctly you will see I am referring to his material cost layout. We (in the bathroom fiiting trade) KNOW all the other stuff needs doing but the majority, if not all of that is LABOUR! OK maybe a bag of plaster here and there but still the majority is the builders labour. If he (builder) has confidence in his workthen he shouldn;t need theat much up front.

Point taken although I wouldn't ask for money up front on a 'labour only' job.

Unless he is only charging 100 then 64% for materuials is far too much money, also what's to stop the builder changing dates/customers etc once he has 84% of his bill in his back pocket. Trust works both ways!

Why not the other way round, 16% for materials and 64% on satisfactory completion.

If that works for you then OK. If I were doing a large job I wouls ask for 25% / 25% then a final 50% on completion. But not on a labour only job unless it stretched for weeks and then I would ask for some stage payments as 'wages'.

Agreed
I would be interested if the OP would give us some figures quoted to him i.e. time scales, material costs, labour costs etc. but I understand he may notr want to do that
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Hmm, I'm not going to get involved in how some of you "in the trade" run you business, plus we don't know what is involved in this bathroom refit to comment. It could be 35 floors up with cemented on tiles, lead pipework, skip hire, labourers that want paying after two days, the bathroom suite arrives three days late and in the wrong colour, or it could be on the ground floor with nice square flat walls and a door onto the local free waste tip.
Personally, I wouldn't do a labour only job with an unknown customer as they can be dodgy and refuse to pay for no good reason, at least with supply and fit, the materials are my property until they pay for them so I am entitled to remove my property from their house if they try to pull a fast one.
I'm suprised though at your quickness to condem someone you don't know as a cowboy.
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Why will you not read my postings correctly? I am not saying he is a cowboy. As you stated, and I agreed with, we do not know this builder or his work. I am just stating that giving him 84% of the final bill up front is way over the top. It is irrelevant where the bathroom is the builder is asking for 64% for materials and unless it is a HUGE bathroom and bath I could build a stud wall and bath cradle for less than 100 (materials only, not labour included!).
As far as labour only for a customer you do not know,I assume you would turn down work if somebody asked you to fit their bathroom out after they had bought all the gear and were now too busy/injured/poorly/lazy....to do it themselves. If so how do you get new customers? Also how do you envisage removing 'your property' from a bad payer, break in when they are at work?
I have worked for myself for over 5 years now as a bathroom fitter, both labour only and supply and fit and (touch wood) I have yet to have a debt owed. Then again I pride myself on my work and ALWAYS do a job as though it was in my house and I had to look at it everyday. I have been out quoting this week and when my vasectomy stitches have healed I am booked from next week up till late November!
As I said previously if the OP is near Leeds and is interested I will gladly give him a quote.
HTH
John
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Also how do you envisage

No. You walk straight in through the front door one evening after they answer the door bell.
Only had to do it once.
Adam
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That is still trespassing if you're not invited in. I suppose you would expect him (customer) to make you a cup of tea while you remove, bath, basin, WC, tiles, towel rail. bog roll holder....and of course you would be considerate by doing it quietly while he tries to get off to sleep! Yeah right!
Cheers
John ;-)
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Trespass is a civil offence. No police.
I suppose you would

No. I took (paid for) a thug to come with me. There were no complaints from the customer whilst I removed my gear (who had also bounced his cheques to the plumber and joiner).
Adam
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John wrote:

John wrote:

As opposed to a bad builder.
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> "ARWadsworth" wrote in message
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I don't see any problem with the payment structure, the 20% is to stop

A lot of builders may ask for more on start up. I am not sure about up any payment upfront though. Are we talking a week or a month in advance of the work starting? I would not expect any reputable builder (or any professional tradesman) to ask for an advance.
, the 64% is for fixings, materials, etc and that platform for the bath,
I think you are telling porkies. No builder spends 64% of the cost of a job on parts :)
the 16% is for you to withhold until

I think that is a little to low and too much in favour of the builder.

I think the point is that you are not taking 84% off the customer at the end of day one and you are allowing 25% for final payment to cover the snag list and keep the customer happy. You also are not asking for advance payment. Your pricing structure looks a lot fairer than the one the OP has been offered.

And so it should. If you get your 25% final payment then you are doing your job correctly.

The quality of the work is, as you said, not under discussion . Only the stage payments.
Adam
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Mac wrote:

None upfront, it's not a big job, and you are buying most tof the stuff. If he hurries up and does it properly it'll only take a few days and he can have the money at the end when he's completely finished, and handed you the invoice.
Pay in advance? NO! Why does he need money up front? Going to run off without paying are you?
Be safe!
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Mac wrote:

As the other posters have hinted at - find someone else. You clearly don't trust the guy. Unless he comes with heaps of recommends from friends, relatives, the vicar, two popes and that nice cheakout girl in Sainsbury's, you would be a little /unusual/ to see if things are going to get even worse. Which they probably are...
Sounds like a recipe for hot water... but when you flush, rather than fill the bath...
--
Sue


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Don't pay any monies over. If he's anything like a decent builder he should have an account at a builders supplies. One thing that comes to mind builders don't fit bathroom suite, that's a plumbers job, stud walls are constructed by a joiner. I wouldnt touch him with a barge pole and Im in the building trade.
Keith.
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