Downlights + Sockets Quote - Am I Getting Ripped Off?

Discussion in 'Electricians' Talk' started by Daniel Hunt, Oct 13, 2021.

  1. Daniel Hunt

    Daniel Hunt New Member

    I am based in the south east (Buckinghamshire) and getting downlights and some sockets installed.

    Getting just under 45 downlights installed across 7 rooms and 6 sockets (3 in each room).

    The quotes I've got back range from £1.5k-£3k. The two quotes I'm probably going with are both around £1.8k.

    Quote 1 tells me the materials cost is £300, same with quote 2. They're both going off the figure £40 per spot.

    Quote 1 tells me the work will take 1.5 days, quote 2 says 3 days (after asked why is labor so high for a 1/2 day job, mind you).

    So quote 1 is working out at about £1k a day for labor, and quote 2 is £500 a day . I'm not sure why there is such a difference in the time estimates.

    I've asked both if they have an hourly rate instead and they say they price per job not based on time.

    They both seem like nice guys, but I can't help but think this is ridiculously expensive. I don't want to get ripped off. It doesn't make sense to me that I'd get charged the near the same PER light for 3 downlights in one room vs 9 downlights in one room.

    All the other electricians I've spoken to are a bit iffy or too expensive (I've got 5 quotes).

    Do these quotes sound reasonable? And.. what would you say the time estimate is for this?

    The house is a 2005 new build and has no electrical issues. One room has loft access and the others will need to go through the ceiling.
  2. just pumps

    just pumps Screwfix Select

    1 man, 2 men or 3 men teams.
    No way is that a half day job.
  3. Daniel Hunt

    Daniel Hunt New Member

    Sorry, I was unclear. Quote 1 was 1 man for 1.5 days, and he said he might get another person in and do it all in one day.

    Quote 2 is one man job (3 days). By 1/2 I meant 1 or 2 day job, not half (based on the fact that quote 1 had told me it was 1.5).
  4. bright_Spark

    bright_Spark Screwfix Select

    I wouldnt install or reccomend cheap down lights, the ones we fit mostly are JCC V50 and they cost £14 each plus the bezels at £3.50 each. They are fire rated and can be installed under insulation without fire hoods. They last and give a good quality job, To use anything less is a waste of money in my opinion but I have fitted cheap down lights on some jobs but not keen on them. to fit 40 downlights is a lot of work. The quote you got for £7.50 each for materials is obviously rubbish lights and probably not fire rated and would need fire hoods if put (upstairs) into insulation in a loft. Pay the money for a quality job, quality is better value and not ripping you off. The cheaper quotes will usually rip you off as you are not receiving the same job.
    Sparkielev likes this.
  5. AnotherTopJob

    AnotherTopJob Screwfix Select

    As mentioned, £300 for parts is nowhere near enough for a good quality installation - 45 lights work out at £6.66 each, not to mention sockets, cable and connectors etc.
  6. Fusebox Wales

    Fusebox Wales Member

    I would expect qualified and registered electricians to cost between £75 - £95 per hour, which just about covers all the costs of running a professional & regulated business.
  7. Tony Goddard

    Tony Goddard Screwfix Select

    Round here (southampton / south hampshire area) I charge £250 a day which works out around £30 an hour with a call out standing charge of £70, clearly the call out only applies to small jobs where the hourly rate would be untenable - most other I know charge similar.

    In terms of parts the £300 is way too low, I'm paying about £12 each wholesale for Collingwood downlighters and trims (a decent make) then I put a mark up on to the customer, say 20%, thats £675 for the downlighters alone.

    I would say you are being overcharged for labour, undercharged for parts. If you are getting quotes from bigger firms they tend to charge more because of their overheads. I don't have a website, sign written van, modern van etc or a payroll of employees (to be clear, nowt wrong with any of that, but it cost the business, which in turn has to be paid for), just years of experience and customer goodwill and recommendations - you may get more joy from a similar guy in your area, recommendation or the list of competent person scheme members is a good starting point.
  8. Comlec

    Comlec Screwfix Select

    Just to support the others in here advising you to get quality fittings. I carry out a lot of EICRs and a common cause of an unsatisfactory report is poorly fitted downlights. Usually cheap fittings thrown in with a choc block and tape or conductors not fully enclosed.
    A bit of advice ask your spark to show you the connections before they pop them back into the ceiling.
    I often fit Ovia (fire and acoustic related) from Scolmore that have nice Klickflow connectors.
  9. woodbutcherbower

    woodbutcherbower Well-Known Member

    I'm a joiner and I do a lot of kitchens. The going rate in Derbyshire for the three different sparks I use (depending on who's available the quickest) is £65 a pop all in, using quality hardware. They all do a superb job.
  10. Bazza-spark

    Bazza-spark Screwfix Select

    Where in Derbyshire? My home town is Buxton.
    woodbutcherbower likes this.
  11. Tony Goddard

    Tony Goddard Screwfix Select

    I'm not a big fan of the quote per point method, it works for some, but I prefer to use an hourly rate, estimate the number of hours required and quote on that basis. Plenty of sparks work the way I do and you may do better with someone who does have an hourly rate.

    I do quite a lot of work for the council, they never ask me for a quote (did in the beginning, many moons ago) they just let me know what needs doing and they know my hourly rate, I have authority to buy on their account at CEF, again without question - I am told by the finance officer that the county surveyor knows he gets better deals by trusting hourly tradesmen he knows, and she tells me he scrutinises the invoices from us and the wholesalers, so if anyone did take the mick they would be out on their ear.

    If you can find someone trustworthy (ie you can trust) hourly is nearly always cheaper than quoted, because when you quote you always plan for the worst case - with your downlights, you might get one that takes an hour pfaffing around, then do 6 in an hour!!
  12. The Happy Builder

    The Happy Builder Screwfix Select

    Why would an electrician want this job?

    There’s furniture to move, carpets and underlay to take up, traps to cut in floors, flooring that can’t be lifted in bathrooms, marking out to miss joists whilst avoiding marking the ceils and trying to achieve a pretty pattern, holes to drill, lights to fit, then all the reinstatement relaying floors, underlay and carpets before finally putting the furniture back into place.

    The actual wiring up of the light fittings is a very small part of the job.

    I have ended up giving really high quotes for jobs like this, because if I am going to do them I’m not going to work for peanuts.

    Also those lights are a third of the price of the lights I fit.

    So £1800 is cheap, probably too cheap.
    Ind spark and Jord86 like this.
  13. woodbutcherbower

    woodbutcherbower Well-Known Member

    Last 6 jobs -

    Ilkeston. Bakewell. Dovedale. Ticknall (technically Staffs?). Castleton (technically South Yorks?). Mackworth. Pretty much the entire county.

    Buxton? That's south Chapel-en-le-Frith/Stockport, not proper Derbyshire. Take out your fancy opera house and your mineral water - and you're borderline Nottinghamshire :)
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2021
  14. Ind spark

    Ind spark Screwfix Select

    Your right there, most domestic work is hassle.
    90% furniture removals 10% electrical work.
  15. Sparkielev

    Sparkielev Screwfix Select

    Have to agree with most that has been said the fittings are way to cheap, for 1 man this will take more than 1half days unless all the furniture has been moved
  16. sparko69

    sparko69 Screwfix Select

    45 downlights can't be installed in 1 and a half days. It would take longer than that to get the holes cut.
    Sparkielev likes this.
  17. Sparkielev

    Sparkielev Screwfix Select

    And 6 sockets
  18. Paco de Lucia

    Paco de Lucia Member

    go with the 3k quote
  19. Bazza-spark

    Bazza-spark Screwfix Select

    Ha ha, left there in 1983, been in South Wales ever since lol
  20. The Happy Builder

    The Happy Builder Screwfix Select

    “It doesn't make sense to me that I'd get charged the near the same PER light for 3 downlights in one room vs 9 downlights in one room.”

    To be honest you have not really got the basic understanding of what the job entails.
    Jord86 likes this.

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