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Paying tradespeople upfront

(13 Posts)
LittleSausageFingers Sat 26-Nov-16 16:36:42

Recently had some quotes through for redesigning our small back garden and tiling and partially refitting our small bathroom. Neither are massive jobs. Have done the responsible homeowner thing of getting three quotes for each.

I was quite surprised by one of the quotes for the bathroom job, the chap wanted 60% up front. No materials were included at all, the price he quoted was just for labour.

I can totally understand if, for example, it was a large building job with a lot of materials. But I've never been asked for money up front before, including when we had windows/doors fitted (so a lot of materials supplied by the tradespeople). We've decided to go with someone else for the bathroom (who's done work for us in the past) and who will pick up the tiles in advance and charge for everything on completion.

So just wondering what is your experience with small jobs like this and payment schedules? Any tradespeople out there (or in your family/circle) who charge up front?

The guy who we are thinking of going for with the garden said he would like 1/3 in advance, 1/3 half way through, and 1/3 at the end. Fair enough, there are a lot of materials needed (decking, paving stones, fences), but it has put me off him a bit. AIBU?

lalalonglegs Sat 26-Nov-16 17:09:16

No, it's madness to do that and would send out a very strong message to any unscrupulous tradesperson that you are inexperienced and easy to rip off.

specialsubject Sat 26-Nov-16 17:10:49

are you asking for it to be done soon? Many tradesmen and companies don't offer credit at this time of year because so many households prioritise tat purchase over bills.

so that isn't you, but equally the tradie doesn't know that.

Pradaqueen Sat 26-Nov-16 18:01:00

Definitely not. 20% deposit quite normal, anymore and alarm bells would be ringing that you are funding the completion of another job whilst yours slips down the list as there is no financial incentive to complete.

LittleSausageFingers Sat 26-Nov-16 18:15:29

For the garden we originally said early next year (feb time), but the gardener said he could do the work as early as December.

I wouldn't go ahead with the garden on the current payment schedule, but would be willing to say maybe 20% up front. DH argues it should be all on completion. Going to see what payment terms the other two gardeners who have quoted come back with. All the gardeners quoted a similar price.

Shiningexample Sat 26-Nov-16 18:18:28

I'd never pay money up front but I have made payments during the course of the work, always retain a good portion of the total until work has been completed, you need some leverage!

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Sat 26-Nov-16 18:20:37

I think too many trades have had difficulty getting people to pay up so more and more are asking for more and more up front. I would always pay for materials when purchased and labour when completed.

nancy75 Sat 26-Nov-16 18:28:39

My dad has a decorating company, he will only do work for business customers due to the problems that come with trying to get money out of people when you have decorated their house.

MumOfTwoMasterOfNone Sat 26-Nov-16 19:59:17

My DP is a tradesperson and not at all business minded. I've advised him to get people to either pay for materials themselves or tell them to get their own and he will supply the labour. I don't agree that someone should pay for a job upfront without materials though, that would ring alarm bells.
There are a lot of people he's had to chase to get money from and sometimes we just simply can't afford for him not to get paid and he hasn't got the time to keep driving miles to their house when they aren't answering the phone. Yes there are cowboys, but it works two ways. You don't trust them not to do a cowboy job or not disappear, but they don't know you will pay your bill.

wishparry Sat 26-Nov-16 20:04:15

No!no money upfront unless you have massive jobs requiring a lot of materials!

Shiningexample Sun 27-Nov-16 12:10:13


YelloDraw Sun 27-Nov-16 14:50:28

I paid £1.5k upfront on a £10k job - some materials. Contract signed.

I can see it both ways. Some tradespeople will take the money and run, but I bet more tradespeople have problems getting money out of customers than there are dodgy tradespeople (if you're using someone who is recommend and has references).

LittleSausageFingers Sun 27-Nov-16 17:24:04

I can definitely see it from both sides. For context, the garden is an approx 3.5k job and he wants around 1.2k up front, and the same half way through.

I think we will challenge this and see what he comes back with. We've made some bad decisions in the past with tradespeople and we are making an effort to not go against our guts, and paying that much up front does go against our gut somewhat!

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