Trades Quoting for Work.

Discussion in 'Other Trades Talk' started by glob@l, Oct 28, 2021.

  1. glob@l

    glob@l Active Member

    Further to another thread on the board, how many trade members actually quote for every job in detail and in writing.
  2. Jord86

    Jord86 Screwfix Select

    Depends on the work, no one in their right mind is going to spend time doing what you describe if the job is to hang one lightweight door or put up a shelf, but a new roof or kitchen fit then yes, a written or typed quote stating exactly what is to be done, price, and whatever stipulations are the norm.
    CGN and woodbutcherbower like this.
  3. WillyEckerslike

    WillyEckerslike Screwfix Select

    I don't quote any more - my clients pay what it costs. Over the years I have built up a number of clients that trust me and, of equal importance, I trust them. All my work is from their families and friends and so it goes on.
    Edit:. I don't ask for anything up front by the way. I usually don't invoice until the work is complete and the client is happy. Occasionally I will submit a monthly invoice because that's what the client prefers.
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2021
    chillimonster, longboat and CGN like this.
  4. woodbutcherbower

    woodbutcherbower Well-Known Member


    I attached a typical quote for a kitchen fit - these go out on letterheaded paper. For small jobs I'll just drop the customer an email with a fixed price or a day rate if it's a pile of odd jobs. Each quote also include terms of trading, estimated timescale to complete, payment terms, plus details of my warranty and a copy of my PLI. The quotation number then becomes the job number, then becomes the invoice number for accounting purposes.

    Last edited: Oct 28, 2021
    chillimonster likes this.
  5. Wayners

    Wayners Screwfix Select

    Every job gets written estimate with separate terms and conditions. Got to theses days.

    We ask when work is required as no point looking if can't do work in time scale. Some want work done now.

    For big jobs for new customers I normally quote for part of work and see what they think. Every job is at least half days labour plus materials plus fuel, disposal of rubbish ect. Had one last week offer me £50 for small job but I never said nothing. Think I'd rather stay at home than work half day especially if there is snagging or can't finish and have to go back again. Trouble is we are all very conscientious and what to do job right.

    Seems a few youtube and podcasts covering the fact some trades aren't charging enough and not covering themselves legally but up to them I guess.
  6. Jord86

    Jord86 Screwfix Select

    I'm similar, check when the work is required to be done and try to break a bigger job for new people down into stages to suss them out before committing fully, though you don't actually go to the trouble of writing out and sending an estimate to put up a curtain rail or patch a hole in plasterboard then filler or something equally fiddly/piffling do you?
  7. Wayners

    Wayners Screwfix Select



    I send email normally and when they reply that's a contract. Although some trades have packs they email out good to go and just attach a template letter with boxes filled with job and price. How may times in my early days did a customer ask for small job then say why are you not painting over filled area. Oh you marked walls they need painting bla bla. Oh I'm not happy as that wall looks different to others so you need to paint them all.
    I write what I'm doing and just as important to write what you ain't doing or suppling.
    chillimonster, Jiml86 and Jord86 like this.
  8. Jord86

    Jord86 Screwfix Select

    Well fair play to you then, I'm not saying your not correct because you are safeguarding yourself and the customer to a similar extent, but I'd rather not entertain the job or spend a second longer than I have to if it's looking like hassle to start with.
  9. Wayners

    Wayners Screwfix Select

    You can get apps to do it. Just enter in job and price and away it goes.
    Also spread sheet templates.
    Just watch out because when you get dragged through the mud by a toxic customer it's a nightmare.

    When I first started a wrote price on back of business card and that was it. There is a site now and for £70 ish pounds you can buy all your legal docs and risk assessment ect.
  10. glob@l

    glob@l Active Member

    So in case of a dispute a contract covers the customer as well as the trade involved and another good point raise was what will not be included, avoids any ambiguity.
    Wayners likes this.
  11. chillimonster

    chillimonster Screwfix Select

    yep, real drag to write it all out ( post 4 Mr. Woodbutcher ), but if you don't you get what Wayners
    got ( post 7 ). The ideal is what Mr.Eckerslike enjoys, no estimates , moaning, problems with
    paying, and the rellies are ok to take on.
    I've realised some of my really lovely regulars have grown up kids who are a downright pain to
    work for.
    WillyEckerslike likes this.
  12. Truckcab79

    Truckcab79 Active Member

    I do quotes in huge detail for most jobs. Complete with technical drawings, links to products used etc as necessary. Could be a waste of time but I get most of the work so I don’t mind so much. Peace of mind so that there is no doubt between me and client as to exactly what they’re getting. (And not getting).

    Downside apart from time taken is that I’m essentially writing a detailed brief for them to have to someone else who can just tell them they’ll do all that but for £x less.

    Rarely happens though.

    Does rely on the them reading it of course. Just finished a large job where client thought I hadn’t fully quoted for a £6k element of the work. I clearly had. It was the first thing on the estimate, but they had only read it on their phone apparently and said they hadn’t seen it. Fortunately they can afford and accept it’s their issue not mine.
    WillyEckerslike likes this.
  13. kitfit1

    kitfit1 Screwfix Select

    As i use Articad for designing all my kitchens, Articad itself comes up with the price for any given kitchen and the only thing i have to work out myself is the fitting cost which i then add to the kitchen price. All very simple, very fast and professional looking along with 3d pics and even a virtual walk through if the customer wants it.
    T & C's are added as well along with how payment is to be made and at what stages payment is required and in what form (bank transfer in my case with no exceptions).
    Even with all the above in black and white (other than 3d's which are in colour :D), i still get customers trying to pull a fast one on me although very rarely. The one tried most often is, "i didn't know i had to pay for the kitchen on delivery".................."oh yes you did because not only is it the first set of figures on the contract, i would have made it VERY clear when you placed the order" And it's the first thing in the T&C's.
    woodbutcherbower likes this.
  14. longboat

    longboat Screwfix Select

    Pretty much the same for me too. Must be over two years or so since I wrote a formal quote out for a job and that's just the way I like it.
    99% of my customers are repeat work or recommendations and are usually quoted verbally.
    Smaller jobs I just tell them how much it'll be when I'm finished.
    Never had a problem with this system, they trust me and I trust them.
    WillyEckerslike likes this.
  15. woodbutcherbower

    woodbutcherbower Well-Known Member

    In a nutshell, that beautifully describes the only problem I ever have with quoting and subsequently getting paid as per my Ts and Cs. Customers usually don't read the quote. They look at the first couple of specification lines, their eyes glaze over, and drop straight to the numbers at the bottom of the page. Happens all the time, and is therefore the best possible justification for a detailed, itemised quote for every job, every time.

    I totally get what other lads have said in the posts above, and it's the same for me - I haven't advertised now for 27 years, it's all recommendations, referrals and so on. But everyone IMO deserves to know exactly where they stand from day #1 price-wise. And so does the tradesman carrying out the job. I'd personally rather spend an hour in the evening prepping a proper quote, than hours or days in an awkward standoff at the tail-end of a job because a customer didn't know what was included and what wasn't. Just seems like a no-brainer to me.

    Submitting a professional, formal quotation is also (to me, anyway) a reflection of professionalism, just like turning up at the job with the right materials, stocks of proper fixings, sealants and other consumables, sharp saw blades and new router bits. Recommendation or not - I think that a seamless, businesslike approach also instils a great deal of confidence in a new customer. These people are usually spending big chunks of their hard-earned money. I think that trades should show due respect to that, and realise that getting any particular job isn't a given, just because the customer's sister has told her how great you are.
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2021
    chillimonster and Truckcab79 like this.
  16. longboat

    longboat Screwfix Select

    Fair play to ya, I sometimes wish I had the same formal, business like attitude myself but it really isn't necessary in my situation.
    You have previously stated that you carry out a lot of work for the national trust (which is a business) so everything needs to be formalised thus keeping you and them on a level playing field regarding scope of works/payment details, etc.
    Same goes for a referral from a member of staff at your local howdens branch, they may know you and the quality of your work, but they have no affiliation with the person seeking the recommendation. They don't know them from Adam.
    I can trace all of my customers back through a long lineage of personal recommendations put forward by each successive client.
    Bar only one in the last twenty years, all have been friendly, reasonably folk who I'm sure would take a great deal of flack if they tried to diddle me.
    As would I, if I tried to diddle them.
    My reputation would be in tatters.
    Horses for courses.:)
  17. woodbutcherbower

    woodbutcherbower Well-Known Member

    And fair play to you, too. It’s pretty obvious that blokes like us (and many others on here) are successful because we’re good at what we do, and we care about it. There aren’t any rules - what works for some won’t work for everyone. As long as we’re all busy and making a buck with a huge string of happy customers - that’s all that really matters. All the best.

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