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Why can't I get written quotes for my projects...or are all builders lazy cowboys?

(12 Posts)
springlamb Tue 11-Mar-14 08:32:25

I moved to this house six months ago. Trying to be all grown up so we haven't rushed any substantial jobs. We're now ready to go with two projects: conversion of a downstairs room to a wet room, and the construction of a very large patio out back. We have the money put aside for both, and are realistic about the costs.
So continuing with our grown up theme, we'd like to get 3 written quotes for each and then choose.
But arghhh, just getting builders to come and quote is a nightmare of calls not returned, appointments not kept. When they do come, they're all enthusiastic but the quotes don't materialise.i've been at this since January and so far have one quote for each. The patio one is a bit outlandish - £33,000, so we've put that aside, the bathroom one is not bad but we have nothing to compare it with.

What am I doing wrong? Why won't they send the quotes? We are not mad axe men customers, we have the money, I will provide tea!
Is there anyone such as a freelance project manager who can get these quotes for me because I'm losing the will to live!

HarlotOTara Tue 11-Mar-14 08:37:48

No idea - maybe the wrong builders? My dh has a building company and they always submit itemised estimates for jobs, usually quite big projects but size shouldn't be the issue. You should get a few and can ask to see previous work

KirstyJC Tue 11-Mar-14 08:39:35

We had this with a small repair job to our chimney, less than 3k work. We have numerous people out to look, and only 1 bothered to get back with a price. Really frustrating!

Is there anyone local that has had building work, that you could ask for a recommendation for?

yummymumtobe Tue 11-Mar-14 08:43:20

I sympathise. We're in exactly the same position. Some give a ballpark but don't give detail of what it includes. We have also only had 1 full quote where I am confident of what it would include in the costs. I think builders decide whether they want the job and then only quote if they do.

TeenageMutantNinjaTurtle Tue 11-Mar-14 08:43:37

We had the same thing with our building work. It was almost impossible to get quotes even from people who had been recommended. In the end we only got one... So we had one of DH's friends who works in the industry check it over. He said it was reasonable and we should go with it. So we did.

We're half way through the project and it seems ok so far...!

Around our area builders are really busy, no one is moving due to house prices so everyone is extending/renovating. I think you have to just get lucky and find a builder who's actively looking for their next project... It's been a really annoying process.

springlamb Tue 11-Mar-14 09:07:37

It's so frustrating!!! Just sent another batch of emails out. I wish there was a fairy godmother who would take on all the hassle.
We don't have many contacts as we are in a new area.
Don't expect much change out of £20,000 for these jobs, we have the cash ready from the sale of previous house, we have good access and I think we're pretty easy to work for! God, I'd even supply biscuits!
If anyone has any recommendations in Kent, please feel free to add them to my list!

SilverSixpence Tue 11-Mar-14 09:16:24

I've been impressed with the people we've had through ratedpeople website, and you can check reviews and photos too.

anchories Tue 11-Mar-14 09:19:05

I was going to suggest ratedpeople too.
Though I tried it for our area, and their is virtually nobody on there.
I think Which Magazine have a similar scheme, and again, it is virtually empty for here.

bryte Tue 11-Mar-14 09:24:48

We used ratedpeople too and found a fabulous builder that way.

Bambi75 Tue 11-Mar-14 09:45:46

Another vote for RatedPeople from me. We found a wonderful builder/decorator who not only turned up in a suit and took his shoes off when he entered my home, but presented me with a very reasonable, detailed itemised quote on letter headed paper.

Keep faith, amongst all the cowboys there are some fantastic hardworking tradesmen out there, you just need help to find them and ratedpeople is a great resource.

Good luck!

strongandlong Tue 11-Mar-14 09:50:26

We had good results from rated people too. All the people we contacted delivered quotes in the timescale they agreed to, and the guy that got the job was v good.

herbaceous Tue 11-Mar-14 12:08:24

On the other hand, while we had found lots of great tradesmen through Rated People, the builders who reworked out kitchen turned out to be a bunch of cowboys, leaving water coming through the walls, hundreds of other mistakes, and have refused to come and fix anything.

We're in the process of finding a builder to put right the shoddy work, and are having the same frustration of getting people to come, quote and then reply to emails. I think the problem is the good ones are booked up and don't need little jobs, while the shitty ones aren't organised enough to get a quote together!

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