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Why do tradesmen take so long to quote?

(11 Posts)
stripytees Fri 07-Aug-15 09:30:34

I've experienced this several times now; someone comes to look at a job, seems interested, says he'll email a quote over in about a week's time? I'm specifically talking about the ones who do eventually quote, just wondering what takes so long?

I've also experienced other tradesmen who come in and say there and then "that would take me one day and cost £450". So it's possible... surely it's obvious to them after seeing the job how much they're going to charge, there's no need to spend several days considering it? Is it the putting it into writing that takes time?

bowsaw Fri 07-Aug-15 09:53:38

id have thought so they dont find them selves out of pocket when you hold them to the agreed price.

they might also be busy with other clients and enjoying a few hours down time in the evening with their families while the weathers nice/school holidays

chelle792 Fri 07-Aug-15 09:55:54

OH is a tradesman. Generally by the time he gets home from work he's shattered. He also works his quotes out using a price book and calculates materials quite accurately so he doesn't overcharge. They take him quite a while to do

DoItTooJulia Fri 07-Aug-15 09:59:08

Because it can take a long time! Working out areas and amounts of materials needed, getting prices off suppliers can take time. Invoicing for other jobs, doing the books, bedtime for the kids, seeing clients all need to be done after work too.
Dh is a tradesman and he hates how long it can take to get an estimate out to a client, but there's not a lot he can do. He works every single night after work on this stuff and often weekends too. I hate how much work he does out of hours when I could do with a hand with other stuff, but I know he has to do it.
Often, he is asked to quote just so that customers can compare prices, so he can spend 3 hours on a pointless quote.

Thistledew Fri 07-Aug-15 10:10:09

I feel your pain. We are having major extension and conversion work done and are anticipating spending in the region of £100k. About a month ago now we sent out 12 emails asking for quotes. 6 people have come round to look at the house. 2 people have quoted. I know there is no shortage of building work in London but I would have expected a bit more interest than that.

MrsTaraPlumbing Sat 08-Aug-15 13:54:34

Ditto what DoItToo says.
There are loads of reasons and here is a list of a few:
1. There aren't enough hours in the day to do all the things that need doing and so already working too many.
2. Yes working out a good price takes time. Putting it in writing is important because that is our contract should there be any dispute.
3. They already have loads of work.
4. Most people get 3 quotes, and we know we will NOT win most jobs we quote for.
I think we always do send back a quote although just now and again we send back a letter saying we are not interesting in doing the job for whatever reason.

One of the commonest "problems" we face when being called to do a quote is customer's unrealistic expectation of timetable. They expect the work can be done within too short a timescale - big job or small construction tradesman are booked up not sitting around. To get a quote for a bathroom or kitchen that you hope to have fitted in about 6-9 months time IS realistic, not within 8 weeks.
So people might not send you a quote because they know they can't do it within the timescale that you are looking for.

MrsTaraPlumbing Sat 08-Aug-15 13:58:19

As for checking prices - I'm amazed but things we buy change price quite dramatically and frequently. So even though we may have just done a similar job we do have to check the latest prices and not just from one supplier but a few.

stripytees Sat 08-Aug-15 14:05:51

Thanks, interesting insights.

It makes sense for bigger jobs where it's more complicated. My latest experience of this is with a small job, though - plastering a ceiling. The tradesman only does plastering and mostly works in the local area so I thought it would be quite straightforward to know what he's going to charge?

acatcalledjohn Sat 08-Aug-15 14:11:53

We've had plenty come round who then don't quote at all. Really frustrating.

Rosings25 Sat 08-Aug-15 23:14:41

Four companies expressed an interest in building our new house. Only one has visited, another has asked questions to the architect, zilch from the other two. They had five weeks and very detailed specification but the larger company asked for another two weeks. On Tuesday I expect one price to tender with a list of savings that could be made. Compromise might get the price low enough for a build mortgage.

220hawthorn Thu 13-Aug-15 22:59:43

Because they are 1. Knackered 2. Have their own life outside of work 3. Have other potential customers besides yourself to price up for. 4. Also on a serious note it may be they are not keen on the job once they have seen it so will drag their heels, ignore you or go in high in the hopes you won't use them

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