I am of an age when I can no longer do DIY, so having, been reasonably
frugal during my working life, I thought that I would be able to get
tradesmen to do those jobs. It is hard enough to get anyone to take an
interest, but what really hacks me off is those that come, suss the
jobs, say they will quote then disappear into the yonder, never to be
heard from again. Why don't they say straight out that the work is not
for them. It is so frustrating, am I taking the wrong approach?
On Sun, 17 Mar 2019 11:10:33 +0000, Broadback wrote:
I tend not to do domestic work now, but I have been in that situation
before when quoting.
I dont always go to look at a job. For smaller ones, I say I'm not
quoting, I'll come and do it, but I wont bother quoting for anything less
than £100.It just isnt worth travelling to quote for a socket or light
change. Many say they want a price before going ahead, I give them an
estimate over the phone, but that isnt good enough for many, so I dont
get another call from them, which suits me.
Other things, you get there, being polite,you dont say anything about the
shithole of a house that you are being expected to work in, or the place
is falling apart, and they say 'can you just do this' knowing if you
touch one thing, 3 other things will need repairing. Another one is I've
got a little job, which actually means floorboard up in 2 rooms,
chiselling out a wall, and plastering to make good. When you tell them 6
hours to fit an extra socket, they sayits only one extra socket!
The homeowner can give off some bad signals, such as asking if you can do
it a bit cheaper for cash etc, I need it doing tomorrow, then tells of
the tales of woe of other tradesmen who have done work before and have
never come back. Those are bad signs.
Little jobs, not really worthwhile unless they are close to home and can
be fitted in.Some people, say I've got some work for you if you want it,
go to look, and what they think is a lot, is an hours work.
Sometimes I say a price there and then. Others I need to work out a
price, realise I am not going to get the job at the price I will be
quoting, so dont bother even letting them know. Others, you know there
will be problems when you have finished and done a really good job. You
get called back for the slightest thing, then realise they are trying to
get a discount for the work done. One I did, all accessories were changed
in the hallway for brushed brass/bronze. They had a sample switch to look
at beforehand, I ordered the bits, £100ish, then got a call when they
were fitted that they didnt like them as they were too dark, and could we
have shiny brass. WTF can you do? They werent going to pay, so I replaced
them with brass, and still have the bits sat in my garage.
Get a big Company in to quote for your work. They'll quote and do the
job, but you'll pay double compared to a lone trader, who can be picky as
to what jobs are taken on.
When subjected to the general public, you get very cynical of people, and
assume everyone is out to get one over you, which isnt a good attitude,
but dealing with the public drags you down, so sometimes nice people dont
get the service they should have.
A builder said that to me once. I need this job doing quickly, can you do
it at a good price, if you do, I've got loads more work for you.
He was a liar. It's cynical, but mostly true.
I've had customers the same. It is very rare for a small job to lead to
something bigger. Price rules for the vast majority of people.
The last Company I worked for lost a £30k job by £1.5k to another
Company. We had worked for the customer for years, always did a good job,
yet that counts for nothing when you quote for a job.
Personal recommendation is the best way to get people working for you.
I take your point but there may be a difference between a company with
strict procurement rules to be followed and a private individual who
may be more concerned about getting a good job done by someone he/she
trusts. Someone who did a small job well for me would certainly be in
pole position for a bigger job.
What's the solution then? Not to get tradesmen for small jobs?
Reverse quoting- make them a high offer at maybe double market value?
Get the person who recommended them to do the chasing up? Bad reviews
(though I think you can usually only post a review after the work is
finished)? We have a company here called Polbuilt employing only
quality Polish tradesmen. Give them preferred supplier status?
There isnt one. If there was, we would have found it in the hundreds
of years we have been getting work done on our houses since we
stopped doing everything needed on our own house or just told
the staff to fix it or were so stinking rich we didn't care about what
the trades people would charge.
Don't expect many to bother with a quote if you
insist on getting multiple quote before any small job.
Have enough of a clue to know what needs to be done
with a small job and just ask for a rough quote that you
will be happy to see not be feasible if the shit does hit
the fan with the small job and when the individual you
ask to do the work saying it will cost about what you
expect, tell him to do the small job right away and
don't fart around getting anyone else to quote.
But they don't all get multiple quotes and choose the
one they decide should be used to do the work.
so it cannot be an
No one ever said it was impossible,
JUST that there isnt any 'solution'
Doesn't need to know, they are free to assume that
and will most likely be correct with that assumption
even if the individual asking for a quote doesn't say
that it is getting other quotes in an attempt to
encourage that particular tradesperson to provide a
more competitive quote than they would otherwise do.
No it wasn't. And there in no 'solution' to that problem either.
Maybe no solution but some must have found a successful approach since
lots of work is carried out in domestic premises.
I phone up and ask for a quote and tradesman if 'free to assume' I
might get another quote if his is too high. Are you suggesting:
'Don't bother with a quote, mate, just come round and do the work and
I'll pay you whatever you ask'? If you want any work done at your
place, just let me know :-)
To remind you:
'It is hard enough to get anyone to take an interest, but what really
hacks me off is those that come, suss the jobs, say they will quote
then disappear into the yonder, never to be heard from again.'
This is not restricted to the process of obtaining quotes.
Yes, most don't bother to get a collection of quotes.
Most don't even do that when buy a major appliance
or getting one repaired either. Same with their car.
No, like I said, I think a better approach is to work out
by reputation who is likely to be able to do the job
properly, ask them how much they will do it for and
make it clear that you wont hold them to that quote
if it turns out to be much harder to do that is
expected because of some detail not initially visible.
And have a reasonable idea of what the job should
cost so you can work out if that reputable tradesman
has got a lot more work available than he has time
to do, and is happy to charge a lot more if you insist
on him doing the job when he can. Although the
best of the tradesmen will just say that they have
too much work queued up and that they can't do it.
If you want any work done at your
That's complaining about those who say they will quote and don't.
Sure, when things are busy work wise, it can be hard
to get those with a good reputation to do your job
even if you trust them to not rip you off price wise.
Maybe not formally but I don't know anyone who would instruct a job
without knowing how much it was likely to cost, or who would not ask
around if they thought the price was too high. Maybe that's because
I'm a Jock.
I suspect this depends on the socio-economic group you associate with.
Fine if you live in a village. Impractical if you live in a large
city. Further, if you phone and say you want to talk about a job but
don't want a quote, you are likely to be told where to gef off even
more quickly. They will think you want free advice.
This assumes you know how to do the job yourself. If not, I don't see
how I would know the quantity of materials, cost of materials, number
of hours labour, charge-out rate etc.
We have a local and busy solo roofer, happy to do little jobs. I have
had him round a few times to quote - never more than £80. He always
quotes and says the quote is good if he can do it there and then, I
always tell him to get on with it whilst he is here. It works well and
I get the jobs done cheap and usually quickly.
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