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17 September 2014
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Get a quote

We've all heard stories about 'cowboy' builders who charge a small fortune for repairs and leave the property in a worse state than when they arrived. To stop this happening, it's essential that you employ a good tradesman and have an idea of how much the repair should cost.

What is a quote?

To obtain the exact fixed cost of a job, you should always request a quote before any work is undertaken.

The quote should include a schedule, especially if it's a large job. This will provide a breakdown of costs for each of the main stages of the work.

It's important when obtaining a quote that you confirm how long the price is valid for and whether it includes VAT. You can confirm the validity of the VAT number by calling your local VAT office.

Finally, remember that a very cheap quote may mean the use of poor quality materials or inexperienced workers. To avoid this, it's recommended to request at least three quotes before selecting a contractor.

What is an estimate?

If you're provided with an estimated cost for a job you should remember that this is simply a rough calculation. This is not a fixed cost and will almost certainly change upon completion of the job. To remove any doubts, you should always request a quote before any work is undertaken.

Price guide for home repair quotes

Hourly charges and call-out fees for builders vary across the country. Some builders always charge a call-out fee whereas others don't charge them but will add travel time instead.


  • Delay small repairs and write them down on a list. Keep the list in the kitchen so you always know where it is and once you have a few jobs, ring your local builder. This will save you from having to pay a call-out charge for each job.
  • Make sure you read the builder the list when asking him to call so that he has some idea of what materials to bring and how long he needs to do the job.

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