Is this reasonable?

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Sparksfly

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Any Customer who are hands on DIY etc will always find trades work expensive in my experience. (I was brought up to fix everything myself so i see your view) The cost was not expensive at all... in this trade you are expected to turn up when the customer wants usually at a moments notice with additional requests on the day and then find work somewhere else. It costs time to travel to the next job and most people will not wait. Costs money for insurance, scheme membership , regular updated regs, technical info...oh and fuel/van costs....admin as well.....oh i forgot food, why I am so thin?? There is much more outside the actual physical job. I usually test my work and provide a cert later.
So don't worry you have not been had at all. Gas certification is easy money comparing it to a proper EICR...way more involved.
Im just enlightening your good self...not here to criticise.
 

MegOmz

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Hello Chap for what’s it’s worth my rate is £60 for the first hour and £40 thereafter. I would have been around £80 - £90 for labour. I am not VAT registered but you would have got an EIC. It does cost to notify and it is additional time after I have left. The worry is it wasn’t tested. I am sure others will agree it’s difficult to price a job without seeing it though
 

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Hi,
I'm new on this forum, having only just discovered it and to be honest I've always been somewhat uneasy joining an electrical forum because though I consider myself to be a very competent DIY-er who has, with assistance from a friend who is IEE qualified, carried out electrical work on my home over the years, I've always thought my joining an electricians forum would be frowned upon. Anyway, I've finally done it, in part because I'm in need of unbiased help.

Being retired, I've decided to fit out my own 'man cave' in one of a farmer friend's outbuildings at the back of my house. As it required a new circuit from the distribution board in the outbuilding I engaged a local electrician to carry out the work. The work required the fitting of a new 32A mcb in the distribution board and the supply and install of two surface mounted switched, fused, spur outlets, supplied from the 32A breaker, in parallel obviously. The spur outlets are mounted right alongside the distribution board (short 300mm plastic conduit).
That's it, no more work required.

The electrician's father (retired electrician) came to spec the work, then his son came two weeks later to carry out the install. However, when he arrived he hadn't been told by his father it required two spur outlets, so had to go to his supplier (some 40mins away) to re-stock. He then returned and spent one hour installing.

I've just received his bill and it includes £125 (+VAT) labour, plus materials. I've queried the labour and been told that I have to pay for the time he spent on the day associated with my work. This doesn't seem right to me because surely his labour rates should include his overheads, which includes his costs going to his supplier from time to time to re-stock. I feel I should only be paying for his hour on site plus the 10 min journey each way from his home\workplace. My question is: is my assessment fair?

Unfortunately I failed to get a price up front, so I guess he can charge what he chooses, but I just wondered what a fair labour rate for a self-employed electrician is these days.

I'm not trying to do down electricians or looking to get work on the cheap, just want to be sure the price is reasonable. Your thoughts would be appreciated.

Asking what is a fair labour rate for a self-employed electrician is a bit of a daft question in my opinion...
As numerous factors are different for various businesses even if they are in the same or similar trade...
Also costings may differ for the same contractor dependent upon who the customer is..

e.g.
Geographic regional variations for prices in all sorts of business sectors are common place..
such as house prices.. north/south divide.. (you didn't actually say what part of the country you are in..?)

Bulk purchase discounts.. common practice for me to get material cost reductions if buying in bulk...
And in a similar principle, some of my long term regular customers will get better rates than new-kid on the block first time customers..

Overheads.. Ltd company -vs- sole trader working below the VAT threshold..
Larger business doing more 3-phase, commercial, higher value work, will also have higher insurance costings than a sole trader mainly doing single phase domestic work..

Do not forget that irrespective of how much time I spend on site..
My overheads have also got to cover ALL of the behind the scenes admin..
because if they don't I will very quickly be out of business.. as I would be operating at a loss...

Consider if you want to buy something from a physical bricks & mortar shop..
If I pop in for 10minutes to buy a loaf of bread.. a proportion of what I pay must go toward the upkeep of the physical shop..
Self employed people still have overheads even if it is not a physical shop..

The "Elephant-in-room" with your question is Why didn't you ask the price before agreeing the work??

If you agree to obtain some goods or services without any prior knowledge of how much the provider will be charging is not the wisest of selection methods..

Being unhappy after the event without asking the price before-hand is the un-reasonable aspect..

Bit like going out to a restaurant for a meal...
then moaning that you could have bought the bottle of wine cheaper in Tesco's and cooked it yourself for less than half the price!


My gut feelings is that you could probably have employed a more cost effective contractor..
who would have provided full certification as per BS7671 guidance...
But the invoice you have been given may not be that astronomical if we had the full details and circumstances to evaluate..

To my knowledge general good practice guidance that has been batted around for Donkeys years is..
"Get at least two, preferable three quotations for any proposed work you are considering"

Anyone who chooses not to do this has very limited grounds for complaint about costs..
 

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Trailer Boy - Electrician.
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Guys, he took one hour from turning up to leaving. That included ALL his work. Period. So £125 labour doesn't seem cheap really.
A joiner is a trades person too, and they will turn up, van, tools and all and fit a door for £45, which they base on an hour's time. I have a plumber friend who will do a domestic gas inspection for £80, all in, based on an your's time, certificates.
Anyway, I've asked my question and you've all kindly taken the time to respond. Thank you. Enjoy your weekends.

A joiner is a trades person.. working with a physical visible substance, that if he he/she makes a mistake would probably be seen or heard before it causes much danger..

A plumber is a trades person.. working with a physical visible substance, that if he he/she makes a mistake would probably be seen or heard before it causes much danger..

An electrician is a trades person.. working with an invisible substance, that cannot be seen, smelt, heard, touched.. And if he he/she makes a mistake in their design, installation, testing.. could easily have killed someone before their mistake becomes evident.. Any DIY bod can make something work... But ensuring an alteration/addition fails-safe, is a bit more involved, and carries a bit more risk than a joiner or plumber..

Gas/Heating tradespersons have similar issues with the dangers of invisible Carbon Monoxide fumes.. which can also take a life pretty quickly..

But... Joiners / Builders / Kitchen fitters etc.. etc.. etc.. Is NOT a like-for-like comparison..

:)
 

Lightningmcqueen

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I do agree with you it, it probably is expensive, sounds like it maybe warrants a couple of hours labour. Hard to understand fully what you’ve been charged for, labour, material, part P, certification, should all be done in a couple of hours really. But you’re always going to get over charged by some tradesmen, theres a lot around, but they’re not all the same , and most are very fair. You’ve probably had a bad experience here. Maybe have a word with him, and get him to explain it. He should have given you an invoice with a break down of all his costs, labour and material, that’s what I do.
 

Sharpend

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I do agree with you it, it probably is expensive, sounds like it maybe warrants a couple of hours labour. Hard to understand fully what you’ve been charged for, labour, material, part P, certification, should all be done in a couple of hours really. But you’re always going to get over charged by some tradesmen, theres a lot around, but they’re not all the same , and most are very fair. You’ve probably had a bad experience here. Maybe have a word with him, and get him to explain it. He should have given you an invoice with a break down of all his costs, labour and material, that’s what I do.
What should of happened is when the father came to look at the job the customer should have asked how much was it going to cost, at the very least.
This would have avoided any ill feelings after the event. If the customer didn’t like the price then he’d have the option to turn it down. So is the tradesperson at fault? (That’s not do I agree his price is correct - I don’t know the extent of the job)

Sadly and it’s no disrespect to any keen diyer, but you usually find such a person feels that they are overcharged regardless of which trade attends to do a job, this is because in their mind, there isn’t a lot involved, I could do it in this amount of time, etc. This type of person is often the worst type of customer and the one that is likely to run their mouth about you after you have gone.
Very often it has nothing to do with what the tradesperson does it all to do with their thinking.

Lesson to learn is always ask for a price.
 

David R Connell

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I thought the average for a decent electrician was £50.00 per hour am I wrong? Been out of the game for years now retired.
 
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Also depends where about you are located
My London rate is a minimum of £100 an hour plus any levy charges, plus mileage, plus guaranteed parking and/or all parking tickets paid for and many other 'riders'

You don't even want to think what my rate is if it's for ( carrying out work at a )
Solicitor
Barrister
Vehicle main dealership
Doctor
Dentist
Estate agent etc

Just saying

Edited to remove @Sharpend confusion 😉😂
 
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Tulip Spark

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I'm £120 for half days labour and £240 for full day. Both plus parts. If it takes me an hour then it's still same price regardless. I think it's a fair price.
 

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As a side thought to these type of costing disputes / misunderstandings / disagreements..

There is a law regarding doorstep selling that was originally introduced to combat unsolicited salesmen knocking on your door and signing an unsuspecting customer to buy a product they may not really want or need or afford..
(typically the classic double-glazing salesman offering an apparent significant discount but only if you signed up today!)

I am pretty sure this was amended to include all types of goods & services agreed in a home...
(including those where a prior appointment for the visit was made...)
Which then also encompassed all tradespersons including; electricians, plumbers, painters & decorators, landscape gardens / driveways, kitchen fitters, conservatories etc.. etc..

The basic principle is that the customer MUST be offered a cooling off period where they can change their mind and have a full refund of any deposits paid with no penalty payments etc..
AND.. they should be given clear description of the work or service offered and the costs.. and how to cancel or complain if they are dissatisfied following the work..

The standard cooling off period is 7 days..
And the tradesperson must give details of the right to cancel..
but if they don't give clear details then the customer can cancel at any time within the next 12months!!!

Somewhere way back in the bowels of the forum there is a thread, (or maybe two), about how this could impact small businesses..
especially sole trader, self employed bod's like a electrician members on here!!!

I can't remember all of the full legal detail links..
but the Gov.Uk website does give a brief summary...
Gov.uk Doorstep selling

Not sure if this could be applied in this instance..?
But if you never want to do business with a particular contractor again..
it may be a avenue to pursue to get a reduction and/or refund of a bill!

🍻
 

Dimeo77

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Hi,
I'm new on this forum, having only just discovered it and to be honest I've always been somewhat uneasy joining an electrical forum because though I consider myself to be a very competent DIY-er who has, with assistance from a friend who is IEE qualified, carried out electrical work on my home over the years, I've always thought my joining an electricians forum would be frowned upon. Anyway, I've finally done it, in part because I'm in need of unbiased help.

Being retired, I've decided to fit out my own 'man cave' in one of a farmer friend's outbuildings at the back of my house. As it required a new circuit from the distribution board in the outbuilding I engaged a local electrician to carry out the work. The work required the fitting of a new 32A mcb in the distribution board and the supply and install of two surface mounted switched, fused, spur outlets, supplied from the 32A breaker, in parallel obviously. The spur outlets are mounted right alongside the distribution board (short 300mm plastic conduit).
That's it, no more work required.

The electrician's father (retired electrician) came to spec the work, then his son came two weeks later to carry out the install. However, when he arrived he hadn't been told by his father it required two spur outlets, so had to go to his supplier (some 40mins away) to re-stock. He then returned and spent one hour installing.

I've just received his bill and it includes £125 (+VAT) labour, plus materials. I've queried the labour and been told that I have to pay for the time he spent on the day associated with my work. This doesn't seem right to me because surely his labour rates should include his overheads, which includes his costs going to his supplier from time to time to re-stock. I feel I should only be paying for his hour on site plus the 10 min journey each way from his home\workplace. My question is: is my assessment fair?

Unfortunately I failed to get a price up front, so I guess he can charge what he chooses, but I just wondered what a fair labour rate for a self-employed electrician is these days.

I'm not trying to do down electricians or looking to get work on the cheap, just want to be sure the price is reasonable. Your thoughts would be appreciated.
Ok, this is one big mess, you a)need a quote up front like someone else has already said, b) you will need certification (not open for discussion) AND you MAY need part p registration for a new circuit depending on domestic or commercial usage (this is on you, don't pass it on to your mate, you wanted the den you ordered the work). Whatever the chap charges WITHOUT a prior agreed price is reasonable (as long as he provides a certificate). And that is about it. Hope this helps, go on, stop spending your time on forums and spend it getting that certification from the chap you hired.
 
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The cooling off period etc only.applies if a contract is signed in the customers home. Alot of work is done there and then without written contracts.

I only use contracts for larger work that require a deposit. That way a Customer knows their rights and what's expected.

Deffo should have some form of certificate for the work even though not part p.
 
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I stand corrected.

However it doesn't apply in this situation any way.

As it only covers work in your home or another person's home. There is a 3rd option but can't remember it.

As this was an outbuilding unless its within the farmers home property it doesn't count.
 

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