A "friend" of mine has just replaced the two springs on my garage door
and bolted a bracket to the bottom of both frame supports as the old
ones had to be cut off to get the old springs out. Took him and his
mate about four hours, his mate didn't appear do do much except stand
around smoking. I bought the springs (£90) he supplied the two brackets
and the screws etc.
He now tells me he wants £140 for doing the job, which the missus and I
What does the panel think? Is this reasonable or is he "avin' a laff"?
Sounds a lot - especially for a friend in inverted commas...
That said, those springs tend to be very strong, so I suppose you could
argue there's a risk element.
Also, as often quoted, "it's 10 bob for clouting it with a hammer, and £10
for knowing where to clout it".
IME, the rate (or a pretty good estimate) for any job really should be
agreed in advance - whether from a friend or not.
I suggest you quibble about the number of actual man-hours worked, and check
what he paid for the brackets (or did he spend time making them?).
Others here will doubtless have better ideas.
To be honest, I didn't even want him to do the job in the first place
but he thought he was doing me a favour as I am unable to do it myself.
The brackets were just a couple of cut down items from Selco, probably
cost a couple of pounds each at most. He's no expert, he's a retired
plumber who to be fair does know his way around odd building jobs but
he'd never done anything like this before, I had to download him a set
of instructions from the site where I bought the springs. I never
expected him do do it for free, even though I have spent a lot of time
and trouble in the past sorting out his computer problems (for free,
where I come from you generally don't charge friends unless there's
actual expenditure involved) I was going to bung him £50 or so. £140
came as a bit of a surprise! I haven't paid him yet, I'm going to ask
for a cost-breakdown first. I will be deleting him from my life though!
Not much use now after the job has been done but my rule of thumb is BEFORE
anyone does any work for me I always agree a price in advance with the
understanding that if it's going to be more than 10% more it has to be
agreed in advance. Not only does this rule of thumb work it avoids
embarrassing haggling later ... and especially when it's with 'friends'.
It's really hard after the job has been done to dispute the price because
'The Job has been done and that's the price". Obviously if you'd known your
'friend' was going to bung you a high price you'd have said no thank you ...
is it worth loosing your friend over £70? (the difference between what you
hoped to pay and what your friend is charging) ... if your 'friend' is
indeed a good friend then either try and negotiate a lower price in the
spirit of friendship or just pay and put it down to experience. Next time
you fix their computer just bung them a bill for £70 :o)
I've just changed two springs on a Garador, £100 for the springs, and it
took me and my wife an hour and a half - and we've not done it before! An
hour for the first spring - 15 minutes for the second and 15 minutes to
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