£120 for install of two supplied downlights... expensive or not?

Discussion in 'Electricians' Talk' started by jamieharrop16, Jan 5, 2023.

  1. jamieharrop16

    jamieharrop16 New Member

    I was recently charged £120 for the replacement of a pendant with two downlights in a small ensuite. Patching up was done separately by a plasterer. I supplied the downlights. It took the electrician 20-30 minutes tops alongside some other work in the property that was charged separately. I understand I'm not only paying for their time, but also for their expertise, their knowledge and tools etc. I paid it without questioning, but thinking back it does feel expensive for a relatively simple task. Was it expensive compared to what you would quote (given I supplied the downlights) or was it about right? Just curious more than anything.
  2. Philip Hyde

    Philip Hyde Screwfix Select

    Maybe he Booked ½ a day for it. In case of problems? Had he looked at the job?
  3. bright_Spark

    bright_Spark Screwfix Select

    I would say a decent price. Do they work?
  4. jamieharrop16

    jamieharrop16 New Member

    Electrician was there anyway doing another job (running new switches and new pendant lights in a different room). I just asked them to put in the downlights as an additional task while they were there. Totally fine if it was a fair price... I just wasn't sure and it seemed expensive given I'd supplied the lights.
  5. bright_Spark

    bright_Spark Screwfix Select

    No mate that price is a good price, in actual fact it is fairly cheap.
    jamieharrop16 likes this.
  6. jamieharrop16

    jamieharrop16 New Member

    Good to know. Thanks. It was all fine regardless... I paid it at the end of the day. But just gives me an idea of what to expect in future if I ever ask for more to be installed. Cheers.
  7. bright_Spark

    bright_Spark Screwfix Select

    Look at it this way. cut two holes in the ceiling, run a bit of cable between lights, terminate from your old light position. it looks expensive as you think it is easy but he will have made it look easy. I charge on average the same rate.
    jamieharrop16 likes this.
  8. jamieharrop16

    jamieharrop16 New Member

    Yup. I totally appreciate it isn't always straight forward. I put 10 in myself a few days before in a different room. First time for me and it proved a nightmare in one or two areas (where I hit a spacer between joists with my final hole didn't help and then the hassle of being up in the loft covered in insulation). I only asked them to do the two in the ensuite because doing 10 in the week leading up to it was more than enough hassle for me.
  9. bright_Spark

    bright_Spark Screwfix Select

    Exactly mate. Worth paying someone else to do it.
  10. Tony Goddard

    Tony Goddard Screwfix Select

    Yep, a fair price, I would have charged about the same - smaller jobs inevitably are more expensive than bigger ones, economies of scale etc.

    As self employed, we have lots of overheads which PAYE paid staff don't have to think about, in the £120 we are collecting for the tax man, paying our pension & NI contribution, insurance, scheme membership, van running costs, calibration of test gear, wear and tear on equipment, lunch etc...

    When I sit down to do my accounts it's sometimes quite frightening where it all goes!, I used to work PAYE and thought nothing of it all, as it was all painlessy deducted before it got to me!
    jamieharrop16 and bright_Spark like this.
  11. seneca

    seneca Screwfix Select

    Sounds quite reasonable,
    jamieharrop16 and bright_Spark like this.
  12. Tony Goddard

    Tony Goddard Screwfix Select

    Other thing you have to consider is how long it really takes in these small jobs. I had one earlier this week, change two switches in a primary school - got there at 10.00, but had to wait for one classroom to be vacant to do that, then had to hang around for the next one and do that. Quick break for lunch (the head teacher is very nice and always offers a school meal, takes me back decades!!) off then across town to job number 2, replace a switch on a dimplex storage heater - oh poop, the replacement rocker switch is ever so slightly bigger than the old one and I havn't got a file, off to nearby B&Q to buy a file, back to job, switch fitted in minutes - landlord says, while you are here can you change a smoke detector, yes, so off to wholesalers for one of those.

    Total working time that day 1 hour tops, 7 hours of farting about!!, next day on a newbuild first fixing 8.00AM to 16.00PM solid graft.
    jamieharrop16 and bright_Spark like this.
  13. The Happy Builder

    The Happy Builder Screwfix Select

  14. Tony Goddard

    Tony Goddard Screwfix Select

    presumably thats the £20!
  15. Ind spark

    Ind spark Screwfix Select

    Bet that £20 went in his back pocket with the other £100
    bright_Spark likes this.
  16. Bazza-spark

    Bazza-spark Screwfix Select

    In post #4 you said

    So this charge must have included more than 1 sparky.
  17. AnotherTopJob

    AnotherTopJob Screwfix Select

    It seems to me that because other work was being carried out, this was expected to be a 'little extra job' at minimal cost.
    Fair price or not, it's not really surprising that people who aren't competent attempt these types of jobs.
    Ind spark likes this.
  18. Ind spark

    Ind spark Screwfix Select

    Yeah I agree, if it was me I probably wouldn't charge if I'm already there.

    But that's why I cant afford a Milwaukee toolbox:p
  19. bright_Spark

    bright_Spark Screwfix Select

    Buy one then you will have no option but to charge. My prices have doubled since l;ooking at the radio and coffee cup
    Sparkielev and Ind spark like this.
  20. jamieharrop16

    jamieharrop16 New Member

    Just one sparky. It was an apprentice. She was there by herself and did everything, including the original £280 worth of work plus the £120 for the two downlights, all at the same time. Business owner then sent me the bill a few days later.

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