Discussion:
Tradesmen! Am I Being Ripped Off!!!!
(too old to reply)
handypandy
2007-04-14 09:54:51 UTC
Permalink
Hi All,
Is it me!??? I have had about 15 so called Heating Engineers com
out & quote for replacing my old floor standing boiler with a ne
condensing one and replacing my old copper tank with a new pressurise
one.

Most have not bothered to quote even though they said they would
others are quoting £1000+! (just labour)

At most i would say it would take a competent corgi engineer 2 days.
would hope a reasonable labour only rate would be £20 - £25 a
hour...Or am i being silly?

Regards,

S.


--
handypandy
Psst
2007-04-14 15:23:24 UTC
Permalink
On Sat, 14 Apr 2007 10:54:51 +0100, handypandy
Post by handypandy
Hi All,
Is it me!??? I have had about 15 so called Heating Engineers come
out & quote for replacing my old floor standing boiler with a new
condensing one and replacing my old copper tank with a new pressurised
one.
Most have not bothered to quote even though they said they would &
others are quoting £1000+! (just labour)
At most i would say it would take a competent corgi engineer 2 days. I
would hope a reasonable labour only rate would be £20 - £25 an
hour...Or am i being silly?
Regards,
S.B
Many self employed tradesmen are very busy and have full order books.
They often run the office side of the business themselves which is why
they can sometimes be slow to react/seem disorganised. They can pick
and choose what jobs they want,especially the better (not necessarily
cheaper!) people. I suspect that your expectations for hourly rate and
way short of the mark. Dont forget all the overheads that have to come
out of that. I have been in the industry for over 25 years and I am
afraid i wouldnt work for £25 per hour as a self employed person.
Huge
2007-04-14 18:00:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by Psst
Many self employed tradesmen are very busy and have full order books.
They often run the office side of the business themselves which is why
they can sometimes be slow to react/seem disorganised.
I have my Tradesperson Rule of Halves;

- Half of those called will not return your call.
- Half of those who return the call will not come to give an estimate.
- Half of those who come to estimate, won't actually submit one.
- Half of those who submit an estimate will deliberately price themselves
out of the job.
- Half of the reasonable estimates won't turn up on the day.

So, to get a tradesman, you need to start with 32 phone calls.

And this is why last weekend, this weekend and the next half dozen weekends,
I'm up a ladder painting the house.
--
Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those
who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this
or that problem will never be solved by science.
[email me at huge {at} huge (dot) org <dot> uk]
tim.....
2007-04-14 19:15:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Huge
Post by Psst
Many self employed tradesmen are very busy and have full order books.
They often run the office side of the business themselves which is why
they can sometimes be slow to react/seem disorganised.
I have my Tradesperson Rule of Halves;
- Half of those called will not return your call.
- Half of those who return the call will not come to give an estimate.
- Half of those who come to estimate, won't actually submit one.
- Half of those who submit an estimate will deliberately price themselves
out of the job.
- Half of the reasonable estimates won't turn up on the day.
So, to get a tradesman, you need to start with 32 phone calls.
And this is why last weekend, this weekend and the next half dozen weekends,
I'm up a ladder painting the house.
Oddly enough, P&D was the only thing that I found
didn't conform to your rule.

tim
raden
2007-04-14 21:14:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Huge
Post by Psst
Many self employed tradesmen are very busy and have full order books.
They often run the office side of the business themselves which is why
they can sometimes be slow to react/seem disorganised.
I have my Tradesperson Rule of Halves;
- Half of those called will not return your call.
- Half of those who return the call will not come to give an estimate.
- Half of those who come to estimate, won't actually submit one.
- Half of those who submit an estimate will deliberately price themselves
out of the job.
- Half of the reasonable estimates won't turn up on the day.
So, to get a tradesman, you need to start with 32 phone calls.
And this is why last weekend, this weekend and the next half dozen weekends,
I'm up a ladder painting the house.
But, the OP is posting to uk.d-i-y - that's what he should be doing ...

and at least you know how well the job's been done

There are not many CH fitters I would let into my house
--
geoff
The Medway Handyman
2007-04-15 09:45:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Huge
I have my Tradesperson Rule of Halves;
- Half of those called will not return your call.
- Half of those who return the call will not come to give an estimate.
- Half of those who come to estimate, won't actually submit one.
- Half of those who submit an estimate will deliberately price
themselves out of the job.
- Half of the reasonable estimates won't turn up on the day.
So, to get a tradesman, you need to start with 32 phone calls.
I hear similar things all the time. Having been in sales for 30 years
before becoming a handyman its second nature to me to call people back, turn
up when I say I will, give estimates on time. I even call if I'm going to
be late.

I do actually get a lot of work, at good prices simply by default.

Seems strange to me - how do you get work if you treat potential customers
like that?
--
Dave
The Medway Handyman
www.medwayhandyman.co.uk
01634 717930
07850 597257
Huge
2007-04-15 10:14:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by The Medway Handyman
Post by Huge
I have my Tradesperson Rule of Halves;
- Half of those called will not return your call.
- Half of those who return the call will not come to give an estimate.
- Half of those who come to estimate, won't actually submit one.
- Half of those who submit an estimate will deliberately price
themselves out of the job.
- Half of the reasonable estimates won't turn up on the day.
So, to get a tradesman, you need to start with 32 phone calls.
I hear similar things all the time. Having been in sales for 30 years
before becoming a handyman its second nature to me to call people back, turn
up when I say I will, give estimates on time. I even call if I'm going to
be late.
I do actually get a lot of work, at good prices simply by default.
Seems strange to me - how do you get work if you treat potential customers
like that?
The lack of a customer culture in the UK mystifies me. Here's another example; a
couple of years ago, I wanted to buy a sports car. I had a budget of some
GBP22K, in cash, in the bank. My short list included the Vauxhall VX220 (& turbo
version of same). I called my local Vauxhall dealer again and again and again
and again. Each time "Wayne", the VX salesman was unavailable. Each time, I left
a message. Each time, it was ignored (or forgotten.) So me and my 22K walked
away. And not only did Vauxhall not sell me a car, but they made an
anti-customer of me.

I got treated similarly by the London Sports Car Centre in St. Albans
(owned by HR Owen) when I tried to buy a Lotus Elise from them. At least
I got a test drive - from a surly, grudging, disinterested salesman who kept
me waiting 45 minutes, despite me having made an appointment. Another
anti-customer. More negative publicity.

I bought a TVR. The TVR centre in Barnet couldn't have been more helpful -
staying open so I could test drive & generally go over the car. Taking
my wife out for a ride. Of course, it's TVR that has now gone out of business.
There is no justice.

Anyhow, back to tradespeople. I suspect that most of them have so much business
that it doesn't matter how they treat their customers, or how poor the
workmanship is. So many people are desperate for someone, anyone, to do their
stuff for them that they'll tolerate being treated like dirt just to get that
dripping tap fixed.

No wonder we DIY. With a few exceptions (the tradespeople we now use and
carefully hoard to ourselves) I could have made a better job for much less
money than some of the jokers I've been unfortunate enough to employ in
the past.
--
Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those
who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this
or that problem will never be solved by science.
[email me at huge {at} huge (dot) org <dot> uk]
Andy Hall
2007-04-15 18:47:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by Huge
Post by The Medway Handyman
Post by Huge
I have my Tradesperson Rule of Halves;
- Half of those called will not return your call.
- Half of those who return the call will not come to give an estimate.
- Half of those who come to estimate, won't actually submit one.
- Half of those who submit an estimate will deliberately price
themselves out of the job.
- Half of the reasonable estimates won't turn up on the day.
So, to get a tradesman, you need to start with 32 phone calls.
I hear similar things all the time. Having been in sales for 30 years
before becoming a handyman its second nature to me to call people back, turn
up when I say I will, give estimates on time. I even call if I'm going to
be late.
I do actually get a lot of work, at good prices simply by default.
Seems strange to me - how do you get work if you treat potential customers
like that?
The lack of a customer culture in the UK mystifies me. Here's another example; a
couple of years ago, I wanted to buy a sports car. I had a budget of some
GBP22K, in cash, in the bank. My short list included the Vauxhall VX220 (& turbo
version of same). I called my local Vauxhall dealer again and again and again
and again. Each time "Wayne", the VX salesman was unavailable. Each time, I left
a message. Each time, it was ignored (or forgotten.) So me and my 22K walked
away. And not only did Vauxhall not sell me a car, but they made an
anti-customer of me.
I think that this must be a typical GM type of thing possibly coming
from their almost automatic levels of business from the company car
market when it was more substantial than it is today.

I went into one of the dealers with a similar type of question and the
first thing that they asked was whether it was a company car. As soon
a I said that it was, they immediately switched into sloppy mode and
started saying things like "Of course the company car policy will
dictate that you have to have X" or that "the fleet manager will insist
on Y"

He couldn't have been more wrong. It was a fairly small company and
we didn't have a car policy as such, although by mutual agreement we
agreed that we would have no more than three suppliers. I was the
defacto "fleet manager" for this.

Assuming people chose evenly among them, this would have been an order
for 10 cars. When the guy had finished, I asked to see his manager
and explained that his empoyee had just lost them a fairly substantial
sale.

He didn't care. I have never bought a GM car since.
Lurch
2007-04-15 10:40:06 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 15 Apr 2007 10:45:12 +0100, "The Medway Handyman"
Post by The Medway Handyman
Post by Huge
I have my Tradesperson Rule of Halves;
- Half of those called will not return your call.
- Half of those who return the call will not come to give an estimate.
- Half of those who come to estimate, won't actually submit one.
- Half of those who submit an estimate will deliberately price
themselves out of the job.
- Half of the reasonable estimates won't turn up on the day.
So, to get a tradesman, you need to start with 32 phone calls.
I hear similar things all the time. Having been in sales for 30 years
before becoming a handyman its second nature to me to call people back, turn
up when I say I will, give estimates on time. I even call if I'm going to
be late.
I do actually get a lot of work, at good prices simply by default.
Seems strange to me - how do you get work if you treat potential customers
like that?
From the other side of that coin, you price for more work than you
expect to be able to do as half the people to call are just idly
enquiring, half of those people are just gathering quotes to get the
numbers up before giving the work to someone who was already
recommended, etc...
--
Regards,
Stuart.
The Medway Handyman
2007-04-15 12:41:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lurch
From the other side of that coin, you price for more work than you
expect to be able to do as half the people to call are just idly
enquiring, half of those people are just gathering quotes to get the
numbers up before giving the work to someone who was already
recommended, etc...
...and the third half just want a quote for the insurance and will then do
it themselves...
--
Dave
The Medway Handyman
www.medwayhandyman.co.uk
01634 717930
07850 597257
dennis@home
2007-04-15 15:34:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by The Medway Handyman
Post by Lurch
From the other side of that coin, you price for more work than you
expect to be able to do as half the people to call are just idly
enquiring, half of those people are just gathering quotes to get the
numbers up before giving the work to someone who was already
recommended, etc...
...and the third half just want a quote for the insurance and will then do
it themselves...
Most insurance companies won't allow that.
I wanted to replace my bath after I broke it but I had to wait six weeks for
a plumber to do it.
Lurch
2007-04-15 17:21:44 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 15 Apr 2007 13:41:41 +0100, "The Medway Handyman"
Post by The Medway Handyman
Post by Lurch
From the other side of that coin, you price for more work than you
expect to be able to do as half the people to call are just idly
enquiring, half of those people are just gathering quotes to get the
numbers up before giving the work to someone who was already
recommended, etc...
...and the third half just want a quote for the insurance and will then do
it themselves...
Most of the insurance jobs I've done the insurance co has sent a
cheque to the customer made out to me so if they want to do the work
then fine, the money is still made out to me. :)
--
Regards,
Stuart.
Huge
2007-04-15 16:05:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by The Medway Handyman
Post by Lurch
From the other side of that coin, you price for more work than you
expect to be able to do as half the people to call are just idly
enquiring, half of those people are just gathering quotes to get the
numbers up before giving the work to someone who was already
recommended, etc...
...and the third half just want a quote for the insurance and will then do
it themselves...
Tsk. You've forgotten the Golden Rule.

My gold. My rule.

:o)
--
Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those
who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this
or that problem will never be solved by science.
[email me at huge {at} huge (dot) org <dot> uk]
P***@ntlworld.com
2007-04-20 20:14:57 UTC
Permalink
it's not the cost per hour i object to, it's the walking off the job
half way through to 'just do this other little job...'

once the floor is up and the radiators delivered they know they have
you over a barell and theat 2 week job just keeps on stretching...

just imagine if a surgeon did that!
Brian Sharrock
2007-04-21 07:42:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by P***@ntlworld.com
it's not the cost per hour i object to, it's the walking off the job
half way through to 'just do this other little job...'
once the floor is up and the radiators delivered they know they have
you over a barell and theat 2 week job just keeps on stretching...
just imagine if a surgeon did that!
Isn't the mantra;- Surgeons bury their mistakes ....?
--
Brian
Mark
2007-04-16 11:27:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by Huge
Post by Psst
Many self employed tradesmen are very busy and have full order books.
They often run the office side of the business themselves which is why
they can sometimes be slow to react/seem disorganised.
I have my Tradesperson Rule of Halves;
- Half of those called will not return your call.
- Half of those who return the call will not come to give an estimate.
- Half of those who come to estimate, won't actually submit one.
- Half of those who submit an estimate will deliberately price themselves
out of the job.
- Half of the reasonable estimates won't turn up on the day.
So, to get a tradesman, you need to start with 32 phone calls.
IME it's a lot higher than 1/2 for small jobs, which means even more
phone calls. For larger jobs it's less.
Post by Huge
And this is why last weekend, this weekend and the next half dozen weekends,
I'm up a ladder painting the house.
It's often quicker to do the job yourself than to make all those calls
:-)

M
handypandy
2007-04-15 07:33:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Psst
On Sat, 14 Apr 2007 10:54:51 +0100, handypandy
-
Hi All,
Is it me!??? I have had about 15 so called Heating Engineers come
out & quote for replacing my old floor standing boiler with a new
condensing one and replacing my old copper tank with a new pressurised
one.
Most have not bothered to quote even though they said they would &
others are quoting £1000+! (just labour)
At most i would say it would take a competent corgi engineer 2 days. I
would hope a reasonable labour only rate would be £20 - £25 an
hour...Or am i being silly?
Regards,
S.B-
Many self employed tradesmen are very busy and have full order books.
They often run the office side of the business themselves which is why
they can sometimes be slow to react/seem disorganised. They can pick
and choose what jobs they want,especially the better (not necessarily
cheaper!) people. I suspect that your expectations for hourly rate and
way short of the mark. Dont forget all the overheads that have to come
out of that. I have been in the industry for over 25 years and I am
afraid i wouldnt work for £25 per hour as a self employed person.
What is a reasonable hourly rate then?

I'm based in the West Midlands, presume the Engineer works from home
has a semi/unskilled mate who is paid per job.

I cannot see a great deal of overhead apart from running a van & admi
expenses.

I'm not running the profession down we all have to make a living bu
I'm not going to line the pockets of unscrupulous individuals


--
handypandy
The Medway Handyman
2007-04-15 10:03:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by handypandy
What is a reasonable hourly rate then?
I'm based in the West Midlands, presume the Engineer works from home &
has a semi/unskilled mate who is paid per job.
I cannot see a great deal of overhead apart from running a van & admin
expenses.
Oh lets see; van on lease at £200 a month + tax, fuel & business insurance,
public liability insurance, advertising - have you seem what yellow pages
charge - £1500 a year for a modest advert?

Accountants fees, bank charges (no free banking with a business acount),
depreciation on tools & equipment, funding stock.

And if you are CORGI or the equivilant electrical there are anual fees, cost
of training & certification etc.

And a self employed tradesman con only charge that'reasonable hourly rate'
when actually working. No pay for sitting in traffic, collecting goods,
going on holiday etc.

My cheapest rate for a handyman is £20 an hour. That only applies to a pre
booked full day. I can make that work because I operate in a very small
densely populated catchment area and charge a higher rate for smaller jobs.

You haven't ever been self employed have you?
--
Dave
The Medway Handyman
www.medwayhandyman.co.uk
01634 717930
07850 597257
tim.....
2007-04-15 12:30:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by handypandy
Post by Psst
On Sat, 14 Apr 2007 10:54:51 +0100, handypandy
-
Hi All,
Is it me!??? I have had about 15 so called Heating Engineers come
out & quote for replacing my old floor standing boiler with a new
condensing one and replacing my old copper tank with a new pressurised
one.
Most have not bothered to quote even though they said they would &
others are quoting £1000+! (just labour)
At most i would say it would take a competent corgi engineer 2 days. I
would hope a reasonable labour only rate would be £20 - £25 an
hour...Or am i being silly?
Regards,
S.B-
Many self employed tradesmen are very busy and have full order books.
They often run the office side of the business themselves which is why
they can sometimes be slow to react/seem disorganised. They can pick
and choose what jobs they want,especially the better (not necessarily
cheaper!) people. I suspect that your expectations for hourly rate and
way short of the mark. Dont forget all the overheads that have to come
out of that. I have been in the industry for over 25 years and I am
afraid i wouldnt work for £25 per hour as a self employed person.
What is a reasonable hourly rate then?
I'm based in the West Midlands, presume the Engineer works from home &
has a semi/unskilled mate who is paid per job.
I cannot see a great deal of overhead apart from running a van & admin
expenses.
I see that Dave has given you some numbers....
but would you want an uninsured person doing work in
your house that he could seriously damage it if he made
a mistake.

Insurance for such people has gone sky high in the
last few years, I imagine that some don't see any
change from a couple of grand a year

tim
Derek Geldard
2007-04-15 20:08:00 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 15 Apr 2007 13:30:41 +0100, "tim....."
Post by tim.....
I see that Dave has given you some numbers....
but would you want an uninsured person doing work in
your house that he could seriously damage it if he made
a mistake.
Insurance for such people has gone sky high in the
last few years, I imagine that some don't see any
change from a couple of grand a year
Yeah, total.

We do work for hospitals, one customer (Rotherham DGH, ISTR) insisted
on 2 megaquids worth of public liability, nobody else anywhere in the
country did. So we just took it without looking too hard at the cost.

Turned out last year that after 8 years when the contract was
concluded and the machine came out of service we had effectively had
*zero* revenue for making 2 service visits every year for *8 years* to
this customer, it had all gone in paying for the enhanced public
liability insurance.

That's not zero profit, that's zero *revenue* (turnover minus direct
costs).

In fact they had made money out of us by charging for car parking.

:-(

DG
John Rumm
2007-04-15 21:02:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Derek Geldard
Turned out last year that after 8 years when the contract was
concluded and the machine came out of service we had effectively had
*zero* revenue for making 2 service visits every year for *8 years* to
this customer, it had all gone in paying for the enhanced public
liability insurance.
Most frightening example I heard was from a friend who ran a small
groundworks business that specialised in augured piling (he had a small
pile drilling/driving machine that could be driven through a front door
of a house to do underpinning inside etc).

First couple of years of trading the insurance was about 2K. Next year
they wanted 26K, after than 134K! (managed to get that down to 96K IIRC
by shopping around). In that time they had no claims or anything - just
the insurers changed their mind about the risk profile of businesses
that dig holes! Needless to say, they folded the company the next year
since they were in effect working for the insurers.
--
Cheers,

John.

/=================================================================\
| Internode Ltd - http://www.internode.co.uk |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
| John Rumm - john(at)internode(dot)co(dot)uk |
\=================================================================/
Lurch
2007-04-15 21:09:59 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 15 Apr 2007 22:02:22 +0100, John Rumm
Post by John Rumm
Post by Derek Geldard
Turned out last year that after 8 years when the contract was
concluded and the machine came out of service we had effectively had
*zero* revenue for making 2 service visits every year for *8 years* to
this customer, it had all gone in paying for the enhanced public
liability insurance.
Most frightening example I heard was from a friend who ran a small
groundworks business that specialised in augured piling (he had a small
pile drilling/driving machine that could be driven through a front door
of a house to do underpinning inside etc).
First couple of years of trading the insurance was about 2K. Next year
they wanted 26K, after than 134K! (managed to get that down to 96K IIRC
by shopping around). In that time they had no claims or anything - just
the insurers changed their mind about the risk profile of businesses
that dig holes! Needless to say, they folded the company the next year
since they were in effect working for the insurers.
How the hell do insurers manage to come up with figures like that.
That is just insane.
--
Regards,
Stuart.
John Rumm
2007-04-15 22:40:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lurch
How the hell do insurers manage to come up with figures like that.
That is just insane.
It does make you wonder. When I did the software for the central control
computer for the comms system in the EH101 Merlin helicopter, our
insurance costs were something like £650/year. I have a suspicion that
doing something that allows one of them to fall out of the sky might
represent a more expensive risk than drilling through a electric cable.
--
Cheers,

John.

/=================================================================\
| Internode Ltd - http://www.internode.co.uk |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
| John Rumm - john(at)internode(dot)co(dot)uk |
\=================================================================/
Dave Plowman (News)
2007-04-16 07:51:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by Derek Geldard
In fact they had made money out of us by charging for car parking.
:-(
I'd simply tell a customer who expected me to absorb transport or parking
charges to get stuffed. And NHS premises will have some sort of pass
system available.
--
*How can I miss you if you won't go away?

Dave Plowman ***@davenoise.co.uk London SW
To e-mail, change noise into sound.
Lurch
2007-04-16 08:15:07 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 16 Apr 2007 08:51:06 +0100, "Dave Plowman (News)"
Post by Dave Plowman (News)
Post by Derek Geldard
In fact they had made money out of us by charging for car parking.
:-(
I'd simply tell a customer who expected me to absorb transport or parking
charges to get stuffed.
That's generally my view, although sometimes I can see why he customer
would be a bit miffed at paying 20-30 quid extra per day for parking
charges.
Post by Dave Plowman (News)
And NHS premises will have some sort of pass
system available.
As we are generally workign on the security side then we get to park
pretty much anywhere as most sites (not just NHS) as most parking
rules are enforced in house, ultimately. I have a stack of passes in
the van for various car parks and sites.
--
Regards,
Stuart.
Owain
2007-04-16 11:45:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dave Plowman (News)
Post by Derek Geldard
In fact they had made money out of us by charging for car parking.
I'd simply tell a customer who expected me to absorb transport or parking
charges to get stuffed. And NHS premises will have some sort of pass
system available.
If they don't, just add the cost of parking onto the bill.

Plus usual markup, of course ;-)

Owain
Derek Geldard
2007-04-16 12:54:21 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 16 Apr 2007 08:51:06 +0100, "Dave Plowman (News)"
Post by Dave Plowman (News)
Post by Derek Geldard
In fact they had made money out of us by charging for car parking.
:-(
I'd simply tell a customer who expected me to absorb transport or parking
charges to get stuffed.
Especially when the parking revenue goes to them.
Post by Dave Plowman (News)
And NHS premises will have some sort of pass system available.
Some have a hardship scheme, you have to queue at the "Poverty"
window. Some you can get the boss of the dept. to phone the car park
admin but it's likely to introduce 20 -40 mins worth of delay you
can't charge for at the end of the job when you want to be getting
home. So I usually just pay the £2.50 - £3.50. Southend General wanted
me to pay £18.00 for 8 1/4 hours of parking. I had to walk right to
the back of the site to speak to the dept (having just walked the trip
once with my kit), then walk back to the car.

I don't know of any hospital that will issue an on-going pass. It
would seem to be sensible to issue an annual pass when they sign an
annual contract.

DG
John Rumm
2007-04-16 14:16:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by Derek Geldard
Southend General wanted
me to pay £18.00 for 8 1/4 hours of parking. I had to walk right to
the back of the site to speak to the dept (having just walked the trip
once with my kit), then walk back to the car.
Cunningly designed building that isn't it - everything is positioned as
far away from everything else as possible!
--
Cheers,

John.

/=================================================================\
| Internode Ltd - http://www.internode.co.uk |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
| John Rumm - john(at)internode(dot)co(dot)uk |
\=================================================================/
Owain
2007-04-15 13:38:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by handypandy
I'm based in the West Midlands, presume the Engineer works from home &
has a semi/unskilled mate who is paid per job.
No, the mate will be an employee, with employer's NI, employer
liability, and annual leave costs to be added in.
Post by handypandy
I cannot see a great deal of overhead apart from running a van & admin
expenses.
Which mount up. When I worked for a council I was told the effective
cost of issuing an invoice was £5 taking into account not only my time
but the costs involved in running a finance department, IT department, etc.
Post by handypandy
I'm not running the profession down we all have to make a living but
I'm not going to line the pockets of unscrupulous individuals.
Why are they unscrupulous?

Owain
John Rumm
2007-04-15 15:12:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by handypandy
What is a reasonable hourly rate then?
Depends on the actual business in question and the way it is operated.

But if you start from the baseline that it is unlikely to cost less than
15K / year to run it, you have a baseline that needs to be recovered on
paying jobs to break even. Then add on what you would consider to be a
reasonable rate of return for your highly sought after and in demand
skill. Allow for the fact that you can only work for a proportion of the
days available and will get no income when not employed on billable work.
Post by handypandy
I'm based in the West Midlands, presume the Engineer works from home &
has a semi/unskilled mate who is paid per job.
Who he needs to employ, pay employers NI contributions for, fund
training, sick leave, holiday etc. So that is likely to be a minimum of
another 20K cost to the business.
Post by handypandy
I cannot see a great deal of overhead apart from running a van & admin
expenses.
In this example we are at 35K so far.
Post by handypandy
I'm not running the profession down we all have to make a living but
I'm not going to line the pockets of unscrupulous individuals.
If small business owners wanted just to "make a living" then they cold
do that by getting a job. Chances are they want to achieve more than
that. Does that make them unscrupulous?
--
Cheers,

John.

/=================================================================\
| Internode Ltd - http://www.internode.co.uk |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
| John Rumm - john(at)internode(dot)co(dot)uk |
\=================================================================/
Ed Sirett
2007-04-15 18:51:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by handypandy
Post by Psst
On Sat, 14 Apr 2007 10:54:51 +0100, handypandy
-
Hi All,
Is it me!??? I have had about 15 so called Heating Engineers come
out & quote for replacing my old floor standing boiler with a new
condensing one and replacing my old copper tank with a new pressurised
one.
Most have not bothered to quote even though they said they would &
others are quoting £1000+! (just labour)
At most i would say it would take a competent corgi engineer 2 days. I
would hope a reasonable labour only rate would be £20 - £25 an
hour...Or am i being silly?
Regards,
S.B-
Many self employed tradesmen are very busy and have full order books.
They often run the office side of the business themselves which is why
they can sometimes be slow to react/seem disorganised. They can pick
and choose what jobs they want,especially the better (not necessarily
cheaper!) people. I suspect that your expectations for hourly rate and
way short of the mark. Dont forget all the overheads that have to come
out of that. I have been in the industry for over 25 years and I am
afraid i wouldnt work for £25 per hour as a self employed person.
What is a reasonable hourly rate then?
I'm based in the West Midlands, presume the Engineer works from home &
has a semi/unskilled mate who is paid per job.
I cannot see a great deal of overhead apart from running a van & admin
expenses.
Because you can't see the overheads that does not stop them from being
there.
Have you any idea what the insurance premium for liability is just for the
mate?
CORGI are a philanthropic organisation, not.
etc. etc.
Post by handypandy
I'm not running the profession down we all have to make a living but
I'm not going to line the pockets of unscrupulous individuals.
--
Ed Sirett - Property maintainer and registered gas fitter.
The FAQ for uk.diy is at http://www.diyfaq.org.uk
Gas fitting FAQ http://www.makewrite.demon.co.uk/GasFitting.html
Sealed CH FAQ http://www.makewrite.demon.co.uk/SealedCH.html
Choosing a Boiler FAQ http://www.makewrite.demon.co.uk/BoilerChoice.html
Gas Fitting Standards Docs here: http://www.makewrite.demon.co.uk/GasFittingStandards
Dave Plowman (News)
2007-04-16 07:43:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by handypandy
I'm not running the profession down we all have to make a living but
I'm not going to line the pockets of unscrupulous individuals.
At the end of the day you pay what is asked for or do without. You can't
force anyone to work for what you consider a reasonable amount.
--
*Why is it that most nudists are people you don't want to see naked?*

Dave Plowman ***@davenoise.co.uk London SW
To e-mail, change noise into sound.
Eddy Young
2007-04-14 17:17:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by handypandy
Hi All,
Is it me!??? I have had about 15 so called Heating Engineers come
out & quote for replacing my old floor standing boiler with a new
condensing one and replacing my old copper tank with a new pressurised
one.
Most have not bothered to quote even though they said they would &
others are quoting £1000+! (just labour)
At most i would say it would take a competent corgi engineer 2 days. I
would hope a reasonable labour only rate would be £20 - £25 an
hour...Or am i being silly?
Regards,
S.B
At the risk of offending the folks in here, I'd say that I've put two
professions at the top of my "do not trust" list: tradesmen and estate-agents.
My wife says that I even have this "special look" when talking to them.

Last year, when looking for someone to do the driveway (yeah, that one with the
weeds popping up), we had about twenty (twenty!) tradesmen coming round for
evaluation. Quotes ranged from £1,700 (too good to be true) to £4,000 for the
same job.

So, how does one find a good(?) tradesman these days?

Eddy
--
--
http://priscimon.com/blog

You know the drill for private e-mails.
Lurch
2007-04-14 17:19:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Eddy Young
So, how does one find a good(?) tradesman these days?
Recomendation. Pretty much most, if not all, of my work is word of
mouth. Has been for the last 8 odd Years bar the odd 1 or 2 enquiries
from Google hits.

Schemes, lists, registers etc... are only any good if they are
maintained and members are checked etc... Most are not and as a
potential customer you have no idea that one is useless and worthless
where another is well maintained.
--
Regards,
Stuart.
The Simpsons
2007-04-14 17:26:25 UTC
Permalink
So, how does one find a good(?) tradesman these days?

Eddy


Easy......Ask family, freinds and nieghbours for recommendations.

F
raden
2007-04-14 21:29:45 UTC
Permalink
So, how does one find a good(?) tradesman these days? Eddy
Easy......Ask family, freinds and nieghbours for recommendations.
It really isn't that easy

The number of times I've come across a total wanker who was recommended
by someone, just because he happened to be less clueless than the
customer who recommended him and was impressed.

<Rant>

We live in a "hairdresser" culture where people choose to be ignorant
rather than make an attempt to get a basic understanding and so lay
themselves open to being ripped off

</Rant>
--
geoff
Tim S
2007-04-14 22:00:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by raden
So, how does one find a good(?) tradesman these days? Eddy
Easy......Ask family, freinds and nieghbours for recommendations.
It really isn't that easy
The number of times I've come across a total wanker who was recommended
by someone, just because he happened to be less clueless than the
customer who recommended him and was impressed.
I've been lucky. The bloke who I found for the landlord, to re-do our shower
tiling, was a recommendation from the bloke over the road - then again, I
did see the workmanship many months later and it was still good.

That worked out well - the guy was efficient, polite, left the job tidy each
day and nothing's gone wrong yet, 8 months later...
Post by raden
<Rant>
We live in a "hairdresser" culture where people choose to be ignorant
rather than make an attempt to get a basic understanding and so lay
themselves open to being ripped off
</Rant>
Spot on. 30+ channels on terrestrial digital TV, a few quite good programs -
and what do 90% of the population watch? Big Brother, that sad sad program
with Simon Wanker-Cowell or some other equally pointless drivel. I've seen
people in suits, who sounded articulate on their mobile, on the train
reading the Sun. What's that about?

And my wife's been complaining that emails from our accountants[1] are
turning up full of spelling mistakes. The wife's chinese, English is very
much a second language for her - and not from birth either. That pretty
much sums it up for me.

Doomed...

[1] This is the first firm that we've found that at least actually *respond*
to attempts to communicate, before anyone asks why we don't fire them... Oh
look, back on topic, as if by magic!
Mark
2007-04-16 11:33:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by raden
So, how does one find a good(?) tradesman these days? Eddy
Easy......Ask family, freinds and nieghbours for recommendations.
It really isn't that easy
The number of times I've come across a total wanker who was recommended
by someone, just because he happened to be less clueless than the
customer who recommended him and was impressed.
That reminds me of when we were looking for a builder for a house
extension. Some friends gave a glowing recommendation for the builder
who built theirs. One look at their extension convinced us not to
consider that builder under any circumstances.

M
Derek Geldard
2007-04-16 12:58:59 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 16 Apr 2007 12:33:09 +0100, Mark
Post by Mark
That reminds me of when we were looking for a builder for a house
extension. Some friends gave a glowing recommendation for the builder
who built theirs. One look at their extension convinced us not to
consider that builder under any circumstances.
I.M.E. if a female was involved in assessing a tradesman's work her
highest priority is likely to be "Did he make a mess".

DG
Tony Bryer
2007-04-16 14:57:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by Derek Geldard
I.M.E. if a female was involved in assessing a tradesman's work
her highest priority is likely to be "Did he make a mess".
Not always. One of the worst jobs I ever saw in my BCO days was a
loft conversion. On one visit the front door was opened to a scene
that looked as if a bomb had dropped. The "builders" were creating
the opening for the new stairs by stamping on the lath & plaster
ceiling and letting everything fall down the stairway. In response
to my comment she smiled and said "you've got to be prepared to
put up with a bit of mess, you know".
--
Tony Bryer SDA UK 'Software to build on' http://www.sda.co.uk
dennis@home
2007-04-14 17:54:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Eddy Young
So, how does one find a good(?) tradesman these days?
It helps when your neighbour is head of building control at the local
council.
If they do screw you, they aren't going to stay in business. ;-)
Andy Hall
2007-04-14 19:57:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by ***@home
Post by Eddy Young
So, how does one find a good(?) tradesman these days?
It helps when your neighbour is head of building control at the local
council.
If they do screw you, they aren't going to stay in business. ;-)
I like it....
Huge
2007-04-14 18:02:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by Eddy Young
So, how does one find a good(?) tradesman these days?
By personal recommendation.
--
Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those
who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this
or that problem will never be solved by science.
[email me at huge {at} huge (dot) org <dot> uk]
Tim S
2007-04-14 19:43:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Eddy Young
So, how does one find a good(?) tradesman these days?
Word of mouth - from people that you trust - especially when you can see the
job as done, a year later.

Ask around - someone you know locally must have had a job done by the type
of tradesman you need.

HTH

Tim
Owain
2007-04-14 19:50:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Eddy Young
So, how does one find a good(?) tradesman these days?
I think you need to start off with very pretty daughters...

Owain
unknown
2007-04-14 20:46:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Owain
Post by Eddy Young
So, how does one find a good(?) tradesman these days?
I think you need to start off with very pretty daughters...
Nah, that doesn't work.
Owain
2007-04-15 13:32:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by unknown
Post by Owain
Post by Eddy Young
So, how does one find a good(?) tradesman these days?
I think you need to start off with very pretty daughters...
Nah, that doesn't work.
Very pretty sons who like a bit of rough?

Owain
unknown
2007-04-15 14:50:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Owain
Post by unknown
Post by Owain
Post by Eddy Young
So, how does one find a good(?) tradesman these days?
I think you need to start off with very pretty daughters...
Nah, that doesn't work.
Very pretty sons who like a bit of rough?
Flock of sheep or a rather attractive hound would probably do the job.
Owain
2007-04-15 19:13:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by unknown
Post by Owain
Post by unknown
Post by Owain
Post by Eddy Young
So, how does one find a good(?) tradesman these days?
I think you need to start off with very pretty daughters...
Nah, that doesn't work.
Very pretty sons who like a bit of rough?
Flock of sheep or a rather attractive hound would probably do the job.
Wales, or Aberdeenshire?

Owain
Andy Hall
2007-04-15 20:48:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by Owain
Post by unknown
Post by Owain
Post by unknown
Post by Owain
Post by Eddy Young
So, how does one find a good(?) tradesman these days?
I think you need to start off with very pretty daughters...
Nah, that doesn't work.
Very pretty sons who like a bit of rough?
Flock of sheep or a rather attractive hound would probably do the job.
Wales, or Aberdeenshire?
Owain
Do they have wellies in Aberdeenshire?
Owain
2007-04-15 21:42:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andy Hall
Post by Owain
Wales, or Aberdeenshire?
Do they have wellies in Aberdeenshire?
Why do you think it's called "furry boots toon"?

Owain
Dave Plowman (News)
2007-04-16 08:18:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Owain
Post by Andy Hall
Post by Owain
Wales, or Aberdeenshire?
Do they have wellies in Aberdeenshire?
Why do you think it's called "furry boots toon"?
Just imagine wearing a kilt there with the wind whistling round the
Trossachs.
--
*Starfishes have no brains *

Dave Plowman ***@davenoise.co.uk London SW
To e-mail, change noise into sound.
Owain
2007-04-16 11:44:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dave Plowman (News)
Post by Owain
Post by Andy Hall
Do they have wellies in Aberdeenshire?
Why do you think it's called "furry boots toon"?
Just imagine wearing a kilt there with the wind whistling round the
Trossachs.
Aye, it could freeze your Ballochs off.

Owain
Andy Hall
2007-04-19 23:52:36 UTC
Permalink
On 2007-04-16 09:18:15 +0100, "Dave Plowman (News)"
Post by Dave Plowman (News)
Post by Owain
Post by Andy Hall
Post by Owain
Wales, or Aberdeenshire?
Do they have wellies in Aberdeenshire?
Why do you think it's called "furry boots toon"?
Just imagine wearing a kilt there with the wind whistling round the
Trossachs.
As in

Q: "What's worn under the kilt?"

A: "Nothing. Everything's in perfect working order."
Owain
2007-04-20 11:18:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andy Hall
Post by Dave Plowman (News)
Just imagine wearing a kilt there with the wind whistling round the
Trossachs.
Q: "What's worn under the kilt?"
A: "Nothing. Everything's in perfect working order."
A2: kilt hose and ghillie brogues.

Owain
unknown
2007-04-15 21:01:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Owain
Post by unknown
Post by Owain
Post by unknown
Post by Owain
Post by Eddy Young
So, how does one find a good(?) tradesman these days?
I think you need to start off with very pretty daughters...
Nah, that doesn't work.
Very pretty sons who like a bit of rough?
Flock of sheep or a rather attractive hound would probably do the job.
Wales, or Aberdeenshire?
Hampshire, so a hog would suffice.
Owain
2007-04-15 21:44:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by unknown
Post by Owain
Wales, or Aberdeenshire?
Hampshire, so a hog would suffice.
nuffin wrong wiv a good ampshire og.

I used to live near Beastly Eastleigh.

Owain
Stuart B
2007-04-14 17:23:56 UTC
Permalink
On Sat, 14 Apr 2007 10:54:51 +0100, handypandy
Post by handypandy
Hi All,
Is it me!??? I have had about 15 so called Heating Engineers come
out & quote for replacing my old floor standing boiler with a new
condensing one and replacing my old copper tank with a new pressurised
one.
Most have not bothered to quote even though they said they would &
others are quoting £1000+! (just labour)
At most i would say it would take a competent corgi engineer 2 days. I
would hope a reasonable labour only rate would be £20 - £25 an
hour...Or am i being silly?
Regards,
S.B
I had my Floor mounted Potterton Kingfisher removed and an Alpha wall
hung Condensing Combi installed at New Year and it cost £1980 .It
took just short of 2 days .
I'm in Glasgow and that was cheaper than some other quotes I got.

Why did you need to get as many quotes . What's the boiler .You still
need a copper cylinder .?

Stuart
"nightjar" .uk.com>
2007-04-14 18:11:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by handypandy
Hi All,
Is it me!??? I have had about 15 so called Heating Engineers come
out & quote for replacing my old floor standing boiler with a new
condensing one and replacing my old copper tank with a new pressurised
one.
Most have not bothered to quote even though they said they would &
others are quoting £1000+! (just labour)
At most i would say it would take a competent corgi engineer 2 days. I
would hope a reasonable labour only rate would be £20 - £25 an
hour...Or am i being silly?
Very silly. By specifying labour only, you are denying the tradesman the
profit made from buying at trade price and selling at list, so they will
whack it onto the labour rate instead, which won't be as low as you estimate
to begin with.

Colin Bignell
Owain
2007-04-14 14:37:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by handypandy
At most i would say it would take a competent corgi engineer 2 days. I
would hope a reasonable labour only rate would be £20 - £25 an
hour...Or am i being silly?
Yes. A self-employed CORGI is likely to be charging £40-60 ph (more in
London and SE) and for at least some of the job would need a 'mate'.

Owain
Andy Hall
2007-04-14 19:59:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Owain
Post by handypandy
At most i would say it would take a competent corgi engineer 2 days. I
would hope a reasonable labour only rate would be £20 - £25 an
hour...Or am i being silly?
Yes. A self-employed CORGI is likely to be charging £40-60 ph (more in
London and SE) and for at least some of the job would need a 'mate'.
Owain
This shouldn't be a problem

Go into any trade supplier and you will find loads of them propping up
the counter and drinking machine made beverages.

They all call one another "mate" and even refer to them in the third
person, so there is no shortage.
EricP
2007-04-14 20:14:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andy Hall
Post by Owain
Post by handypandy
At most i would say it would take a competent corgi engineer 2 days. I
would hope a reasonable labour only rate would be £20 - £25 an
hour...Or am i being silly?
Yes. A self-employed CORGI is likely to be charging £40-60 ph (more in
London and SE) and for at least some of the job would need a 'mate'.
Owain
This shouldn't be a problem
Go into any trade supplier and you will find loads of them propping up
the counter and drinking machine made beverages.
They all call one another "mate" and even refer to them in the third
person, so there is no shortage.
Would you recommend approaching them in The Flat Hat & Fag Disguise,
so as not to alarm them?
Owain
2007-04-14 20:16:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andy Hall
This shouldn't be a problem
Go into any trade supplier and you will find loads of them propping up
the counter and drinking machine made beverages.
They all call one another "mate" and even refer to them in the third
person, so there is no shortage.
But they still demand some of the folding stuff, readies, wonga, beer
vouchers etc before they'll be anyone's mate. It all adds to the final bill.

I suppose one could find a woman of the night skilled in manual
dexterity and retrain her on compression fittings.

Owain
John Rumm
2007-04-14 19:00:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by handypandy
Is it me!???
Fraid so...
Post by handypandy
I have had about 15 so called Heating Engineers come
out & quote for replacing my old floor standing boiler with a new
condensing one and replacing my old copper tank with a new pressurised
one.
Most have not bothered to quote even though they said they would &
others are quoting £1000+! (just labour)
Sounds reasonable enough...
Post by handypandy
At most i would say it would take a competent corgi engineer 2 days. I
To do the job properly I would guess more like 5 man days.
Post by handypandy
would hope a reasonable labour only rate would be £20 - £25 an
hour...Or am i being silly?
Yup, that may well expect to earn at least that. Now you just need to
add on the overheads of running a business.
--
Cheers,

John.

/=================================================================\
| Internode Ltd - http://www.internode.co.uk |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
| John Rumm - john(at)internode(dot)co(dot)uk |
\=================================================================/
Ed Sirett
2007-04-15 19:01:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Rumm
Post by handypandy
Is it me!???
Fraid so...
Post by handypandy
I have had about 15 so called Heating Engineers come
out & quote for replacing my old floor standing boiler with a new
condensing one and replacing my old copper tank with a new pressurised
one.
Most have not bothered to quote even though they said they would &
others are quoting £1000+! (just labour)
Sounds reasonable enough...
Post by handypandy
At most i would say it would take a competent corgi engineer 2 days. I
To do the job properly I would guess more like 5 man days.
This is the heart of the matter, it is very easy to evaluate the job as
just the visible part. The little things like flushing the existing
system. Add TRVs (you wont do them in less than 15 mins each and sometimes
they can be real bastards). etc. etc.etc.
--
Ed Sirett - Property maintainer and registered gas fitter.
The FAQ for uk.diy is at http://www.diyfaq.org.uk
Gas fitting FAQ http://www.makewrite.demon.co.uk/GasFitting.html
Sealed CH FAQ http://www.makewrite.demon.co.uk/SealedCH.html
Choosing a Boiler FAQ http://www.makewrite.demon.co.uk/BoilerChoice.html
Gas Fitting Standards Docs here: http://www.makewrite.demon.co.uk/GasFittingStandards
raden
2007-04-14 20:50:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by handypandy
Hi All,
Is it me!??? I have had about 15 so called Heating Engineers come
out & quote for replacing my old floor standing boiler with a new
condensing one and replacing my old copper tank with a new pressurised
one.
Most have not bothered to quote even though they said they would &
others are quoting £1000+! (just labour)
Stop wingeing and do it yourself
--
geoff
Edward W. Thompson
2007-04-15 06:25:54 UTC
Permalink
On Sat, 14 Apr 2007 10:54:51 +0100, handypandy
Post by handypandy
Hi All,
Is it me!??? I have had about 15 so called Heating Engineers come
out & quote for replacing my old floor standing boiler with a new
condensing one and replacing my old copper tank with a new pressurised
one.
Most have not bothered to quote even though they said they would &
others are quoting £1000+! (just labour)
At most i would say it would take a competent corgi engineer 2 days. I
would hope a reasonable labour only rate would be £20 - £25 an
hour...Or am i being silly?
Regards,
S.B
Consider the following:

Number of 'working hours' per year 1800 (taking into account holidays
etc)
Likely max. number of 'chargeable hours' 1800x0.8= 1440h (sickness,
van maintenance, office work etc)
Rule of thumb for overheads1.8 to 2 times chargeout rate.
Expected annual income after all overheads £35,000/yr
Chargeout rate (35,000/1440)x2= say £50 per hour.

Substitute your own numbers if you dispute mine but you realistically
must expect to pay anywhere between £40 to £60 per hour when you take
into account factors like supply and demand.
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