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Asking for breakdown of cost of materials

17 replies

DataColour · 28/03/2023 10:15

Hi, just wanted to gauge opinions on this.
A friend of ours is doing our bathroom fitting and they have requested we transfer some money over to cover material purchased so far. Not the big items, just mostly plumbing accessories. The figure they have stated sounds quite high and they haven't given us a breakdown or receipts. Would it be weird to ask for this, a bit awkward as he is a good friend. But really we would have expected him to show us the receipts without having to ask ideally.

OP posts:

GasPanic · 28/03/2023 10:35

The perils of doing business with friends.

The problem is, if something goes wrong, or is not to your liking, how is that going to impact the friendship when you pursue it.

This is going to be especially true if you don't have a clear schedule and costing going forwards. Either you resent paying high prices or he resents being audited. With any luck there might be some middle ground where you can agree on something reasonable, but I wouldn't count on it.

Ultimately whatever opinions you get on here, they don't really matter. The only things that matter are his opinions and yours.


DataColour · 28/03/2023 10:43

thanks for your reply.

yes, you're right. We don't know if it's a high price or not, probably not and things cost more than we think I guess, but I would've thought it would be professional to provide receipts when asking for money for materials, is this not the done thing?

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Crazymadchickenlady · 28/03/2023 10:47

We have never really had receipts from tradesmen for materials though we have never had ones who charge us upfront. We have had a lot of work done by various tradesmen and I don't think it is usual for you to get the receipts for the materials from them. It is best to agree a price upfront though!


DataColour · 28/03/2023 10:54

ok perhaps unreasonable asking for the receipts. How about a breakdown what the actual materials are? Because the cost seems high (nearly £600) for some plumbing accessories, extractor fan and a light.

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romdowa · 28/03/2023 10:59

I'd ask for an itemised break down of the costs. There are no friends in business and this needs to be treated as a business deal.


Diyextension · 28/03/2023 11:09

I sometimes ( very occasionally) do jobs for friends/family) if I need to get materials the I just give them the receipt and they pay me back. I just change them for the time.

I think it’s fair to ask for the material costs….. if he’s got nothing to hide, then it shouldn’t be a problem.

Has he quoted you a price for labour + materials or just a price for the whole job ?


DataColour · 28/03/2023 11:14

He's quoted a daily price and around 10 days worth of work.

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DataColour · 28/03/2023 11:15

materials etc. we bought all the big stuff.

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DataColour · 28/03/2023 11:15

materials extra I mean.

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reno22 · 28/03/2023 11:25

I'd ask for a breakdown incl receipts. This is a standard IMO. We've done the same with our builder and contractors. The only time we haven't is if we've agreed a service eg building the built in wardrobe - we gave the design and agreed a price. I paid that price regardless of what material costs ended up being.


Im99912 · 28/03/2023 11:36

I’ve just had a bathroom extractor fan installed
plus 6 bathroom spotlights
and a new light switch
fixed the lights downstairs as the
switch for them wasn’t working properly
cost just under -£500
It was a 1.5 - two day job as the electrician had to get into the attic for the extractor fan

so just for parts it does seem expensive


Im99912 · 28/03/2023 11:37

Oh and yes he gave us the receipts for the stuff he bought


Crazymadchickenlady · 28/03/2023 11:54

£600 for some plumbing accessories, extractor fan and a light does seem very excessive if you bought all the big stuff. Did you buy all the taps and waste fittings? Our plumber also needed plasterboard, wood (to build a frame for the shower) and plaster and a roll of sticky back plastic that he put on the carpets where he was walking in and out. Our extractor fan was about £100 (a quiet powerful in line one that goes in the loft). I can't imagine a few bits of pipe and connectors are that expensive! I would definitely ask him to break down the costs and if he has receipts. Also is he qualified to do the electrical work?


Tromso · 28/03/2023 14:09

Just ask. Frame it in such a way that it makes it look as though you're wondering if you can get something cheaper to save money because money is tight, e.g. taps. (I just had a bathroom done and taps can be far more expensive than I ever realised hence the example)


Barold · 28/03/2023 14:16

Just say ‘sure - just send over a breakdown or the receipts and I’ll transfer it’.


Oblahdeeoblahdoe · 28/03/2023 14:20

You could say you're shocked at the cost so you'd like to see if you could get cheaper. Therefore, can he share the breakdown so you can compare prices?


DataColour · 28/03/2023 14:52

I feel like I've missed the boat to do a breezy request for it as we have already said ok and will transfer the money. argh!
What I'm a leeetle bit sceptical is that he's bought tools etc for the job and thought it would be acceptable to charge us for them. hope I'm wrong though.

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