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Plumber quotes - please help!

(8 Posts)
madcows Wed 06-Jul-11 21:23:19

Hi there,
We've got 3 plumbers to quote for us, and they've come in with very different quotes.... so would appreciate any thoughts.
We're in an expensive town in the SE.
We are having 2 bathrooms and a downstairs loo ripped out, and replaced with 2 new showers, 1 bath, 3 basins, 3 loos. The ceilings will need replastering, and floors and walls re-tiling. Also the hot water tank needs replacing. Here are the (labour only) quotes including VAT:
Quote 1 - £13092
Quote 2 - £12591
Quote 3 - £7776

The quotes do not include all the 'stuff' (which comes in at about £5000 from a local bathroom supplier, who recommended all 3 of these bathroom fitters. We haven't been able to get any personal recommendations.)

So - are 1 and 2 a rip off, and 3 the only honest one around? Or is Quote 3 going to be a hopeless job, causing us endless problems?
You can tell I haven't done this before...
Many many thanks....
madcows

madcows Wed 06-Jul-11 21:32:00

sorry .. computer playing silly buggers, and didn't realise it had already appeared!

Greenshadow Wed 06-Jul-11 23:01:06

Very hard to find something to compare your quotes to, but we have just had major bathroom works completed.
We had 2 internal walls knocked down to join the existing bathroom and 2 separate loos into one large family bathroom. Obviously involved lots of making good - plastering, tiling, totally new wet room type shower, one new window, new ceiling - similar to yours but perhaps not quite as extensive.
We paid the plumber/coordinator around £5,500 and the builder £2000. No 'stuff' included.
Based on that, the lower quote sounds roughly similar.

Have the first two quotes broken the quote down so you can see where the money is going?

PigletJohn Wed 06-Jul-11 23:29:42

Ask each of them for a local reference site or two where they have recently done a similar job. Go and knock on the door, give the name of the plumber and ask the householder what work they had done, what they think of the standard of work and the cost, ask if they will let you in to have a look at it (if not, bear in mind they may be the plumber's mates helping him out with a story). Any local tradesman that can't/wont do that, ask yourself why.

Next time, try to select your tradesmen in advance by asking around friends, neighbours, colleagues etc, seeing who they recommend, and having a sniff round their houses to form your own opinion, and also noting down the names on tradesman's vans working on nearby houses so you can later have a chat with the householder over the garden gate.

Obviously don't give work to any itinerant who does not have his RL name and address on his documents, and a landline phone no (not just a mobile). Mention in passing that you will be sending payment, by cheque, made out to the company name and address shown on the quote, and see if he turns pale.

madcows Thu 07-Jul-11 09:37:47

Many thanks, Greenshadow, for your figures. Makes me think that Quote 3 might not be so unrealistic.

And thankyou, PigletJohn, for that brilliant suggestion of getting recommendations from friends and neighbours. I wonder why I didn't think of that.

Anyone else had their bathroom done recently, and would like to throw some more figures in for comparison?!
madcows

PigletJohn Thu 07-Jul-11 10:23:40

I know you said you weren't able to get any personal recommendations, but I did also suggest some alternatives.

Good luck.

madcows Thu 07-Jul-11 13:08:09

Apologies, PigletJohn, for my extremely grumpy response. Was uncalled for... you were trying to be helpful, and I do appreciate that!

PigletJohn Thu 07-Jul-11 19:56:01

smile

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