Labour prices

Discussion in 'Carpenters' Talk' started by Chippie mac chipface, Oct 14, 2021.

  1. I was talking to an accountant mate over the weekend, he is a director of the company who have just bought a plumbing company in west London (yes, you know the one) and he has spent time studying the building industry and pricing.

    He has come to the conclusion that all trades are charging too little at the moment, with the shortage of labour and strong demand I tend to agree with him, I increased my day rate by 30% a few months ago and am booked up untill Febuary. This is on price work as I don't think a high day work rate is practicable.

    My day rate for pricing is now on par with local solicitors hourly rate, we all know that you can see a solicitor within a couple of days but it is months for a tradesman.

    I thought it may be handy if chippies could message their day rate and location which others could use for reference, this may level prices up locally and people under charging with out knowing can offer higher quotes, we could all do with either a bit more cash or even a four day week.

    Aat the moment, for the first time, I think ever, tradespeople have the upper hand, should we take advantage of it? We are self employed, we are risk takers, we need to make the most of this, don't we?
  2. quasar9

    quasar9 Screwfix Select

    Pandemics, wars and crop failures, have historically reduced the the supply of Labour, invariably leading to higher charges. The businesses in turn have depended on more automation or immigration to offset these increases. Where neither is possible, the industry becomes uncompetitive and usually moves offshore. UK has seen multiple plague episodes, crop failures due to wet summers, many wars, each led to social changes, way of working or whole scale shift of industries to cheaper countries. No different this time.

    In such episodes, especially in the last century or two, actions of elected government can make a huge difference. As an Example, USA which was already investing heavily in mechanisation in the 19th century due to labour shortages (despite heavy immigration) got a major boost after WW2, which accelerated them to the biggest economy in the world.

    DIY has all but died out in UK, perhaps it will now return forced by high prices charged or just outright shortage of tradesman. Worse there is always the rise of the “cowboys” which damages the entire industry
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2021
  3. Max22

    Max22 New Member

    I charge around £250 a day, kitchen fitting in midlands
    Did a worktop change last week, remove old tops, fit new, fit new sink and tap. So there was a tiny bit of minor plumbing. Started at 8, finished at 3 and had charged £250

    He said another guy had quoted him £380 without plumbing the sink in!

    I’m all for earning more money, but if you are working in households rather than commercial, surely pricing yourself high isn’t sustainable. There is always someone who will do it cheaper. I think I charge a fairly highish price for a job that takes me 6/7 hours.
  4. Thanks, well thought out and the sort of dicussion I was hoping for. Why do you think DIY has died out (age difference in home owners?)

  5. Thanks for your reply, being Devils Advocote though perhaps his was the correct ammount and you are the one who is always cheaper. This is rteally the point of my OP, to establish what everyone else is charging in their area.
  6. Adamfya

    Adamfya Active Member

    Do you not think the building trades in general have been on a decent screw for some time now.....???
    Just saying, builders and similar trades doing a lot better than some and or most other blue collar trades....
    Was told earlier local building site is paying brickies 40 an hour as they are behind schedule!
  7. candoabitofmoststuff

    candoabitofmoststuff Screwfix Select

    Speaking as a potential customer...
    I do most things myself, but I respect trades, and the training they've been through and the skills they have, (assuming they really are skilled and trained!), and use them for some things...
    On that basis, when I need a tradesperson I'm happy to pay something in the region of £175 - £250 per day depending on the job/trade.
    However, if I'm given a quote, I don't try and knock it back... I either take it or leave it.
    Obviously some jobs are quoted for the job, not per day... I'm happy with that as well when it's the going rate.

  8. jonathanc

    jonathanc Screwfix Select

    £200 plus per hour? not sure any tradesman will get work at that price
  9. WillyEckerslike

    WillyEckerslike Screwfix Select

  10. jonathanc

    jonathanc Screwfix Select

    apologies I misread that :(
    Chippie mac chipface likes this.
  11. Wayners

    Wayners Screwfix Select

    Labour plus materials but van and running costs come out the labour charge so you need to be around £200 a day plus materials or might as well find a job with holiday and sick pay plus pension etc.
    I'm constantly dodging low paid small jobs and wasting time pricing redecorating rooms where my price is £700 or more and they are thinking £300 tops and only take a couple of days work Inc materials. Got offered £50 yesterday for half days work.

    Guess folks think £100 a day is 24k a year. Its not

    You earn 30k plus materials you will get taxed on 15k and and with 5 Bank Holidays and 3 weeks off there is a month a year you don't work..
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2021
  12. I have completed a 4 year apprenticeship, further C & G management and CIOB profesional qualifications and have been in the trade 36 years working in all weathers and being self employed taking all the economic risks, why should I be on 1/4 of the money of a 21 year old solicitor, solicitors are two a penny, try getting a chippie at the moment.
  13. We have to remember that as the price of materials rise all the one man bands are pushed closer to the VAT limit which will make smaller jobs more expencive and cause a lot more paperwork
    Wayners likes this.
  14. Hell68

    Hell68 Active Member

    Do you think diy has died out? I'd say it was increasing. Especially since lockdowns.

    Personally (single mum with a mortgage) I cant afford to pay for most trades to do anything so I use sites like this, Google and you tube to get priceless, informative help and everything in updating my whole house from electrics to decor top to bottom.

    Only thing I wont touch (and definitely not confident I won't kill all of us or blow the house up :D) and don't mind paying for a decent reputable service is anything gas related. Oh and gutters. Not too good with heights and can't afford to insure me! Lol
  15. Zed1001

    Zed1001 Member

    I generally charge £200 per day, South Manchester. I've recently had tilers and plasterers charge me £250 per day. I'm thinking of putting my prices up a bit, I have way more kit than them and have to pay registration fees that they don't. Every trade I speak to is booked well into next year.
    Chippie mac chipface likes this.
  16. Adamfya

    Adamfya Active Member

    Not saying you should.
    Should a top football player earn more than a cancer specialist....
  17. woodbutcherbower

    woodbutcherbower Well-Known Member

    Every business has its fixed overheads - including ours. In my case, it’s around £30 a day;

    1 Depreciation on a £28k van plus its operating costs - maintenance, fuel, tyres, insurance and road tax, plus keeping it clean and professional looking.

    2 As above on £15k’s worth of tools. I buy top-dollar kit (a quick glance in the back of my van finds Hilti, Festool, Mafell, Mirka, Fein, Makita, DeWalt, Paslode etc) - but even stuff of that quality eventually breaks or wears out. That’s not even taking hand tools into account - chisels, screwdrivers, handsaws, planes, squares, rules, tape measures, pliers - the list is endless.

    3 Consumables. Saw blades (I have 30, in a constant cycle of use/resharpen), router bits, screws and other fixings, adhesives, diamond cores, screwdriver bits, augers, drill bits, stains, varnishes, waxes, fillers, paint - the list is again endless.

    4 Nonprofit time = doing complex quotes and costing out jobs, customer visits, endless supply trips to timber yards, our hosts and other suppliers, travel time (I do a lot of work for the National Trust and I often have a 4-hour return drive to site and back without earning a cent), time spent gazing at computer screens ordering stuff online, doing accounts and tax returns, time spent on the phone with customers and suppliers, yet another endless list.

    There’s more - but you get the picture. I wonder how many of us (especially us chippies who have a disproportionately larger kit requirement than any other trade) actually factor all of the above (and more besides) into our rates? Not enough of us, judging by some of the pitiful rates I see lads working for.

    And the above, coupled with the highly specialised nature of a big chunk of my work, is why I charge £300 a day. And I often think it’s not enough.
  18. stevie22

    stevie22 Screwfix Select

    I hate the way that these overpaid prima donnas are described as "earning". They are paid. There is a world of difference.
  19. Adamfya

    Adamfya Active Member

    Pocketing far too much doh then!

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