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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 11:51 pm 
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Hi everyone

I've done several trades across construction, and the thing I struggle most with is pricing, especially on small jobs. I've just finished a job which was only 3 square metres, but took a long time, and I just wanted to see what others would consider charging for it. i know I well undercharged but I wanted the job. What would you charge for labour for a high quality finish given the following:

The customer wanted the job done yesterday, so rather than wait I had to squeeze it in amongst another job. The job is a 40mins drive away or more than an hour if traffic, and was on the third floor of a tower block, requiring a special permit, electric gates etc etc, all making the job take longer. The bathroom is tiny, so I'm always working on top of myself. I have nowhere else in the flat to work

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The bathroom is waiting to be fitted out by someone else, so all it has is a plumbed in bath, and I was to retain the existing wall tiles from 600mm above the bath and remove those in between. So i had to fit in a couple of rows of Topps Tiles White Strattons (300 x 600mm) porcelain tiles between the bath and existing tiles.


Removing the tiles, old adhesive and patching up holes took me 5 hours.
The top row of new tiles remained whole and the whole bottom row had to be cut. The top row had a metal tile trim, and the bottom row sat on a bath seal, which kept moving all over the place under the weight of the tile. I had to stick it in place first.

The bath wasn't dead plumb and neither was the existing tiles.
Took me two days to remove all old tiles, clean up and cut and fix new tiles.
Third day I came back to grout which was a complete nightmare as the grout got stuck in all the uneven surface and had to be cleaned off with brute force and chemicals. The 2mm grout lines and uneven surface don't allow you to simply wipe the grout over. You have to force it into the gaps, and go over again to bring flush to surface.

Anyway, this is in London, and the standard price for such a sized tile, including adhesive and grout is £25/m2. Clearly no-one is going to do it for £75. I'm a bit slow, but an experienced tiler must surely do this in 2days.

So I would welcome some thoughts. I wanted this job for the experience so I priced low, too low, but next time I'd like to be more on the money.


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PostPosted: Thu May 04, 2017 1:14 am 
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I look at it this way.
You were there, you know what it was really like, you know your abilities.
If a person says 2 days £200, and then another says 3 days £200, of what use is it to you?

You have to work out how much you need / day and charge accordingly.

I really do wish there was an easy answer to the "How much is / how much would you charge" question, but it comes down to you and your abilities and overheads.

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PostPosted: Thu May 04, 2017 1:45 am 
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I think pricing jobs is a continuous, never ending, journey of self improvement. My own approach is that I know what I want to earn a day, or an hour, for my time, so I work out how long the job is likely to take, and add on about 10-20% contingency for unforeseen problems and quote that (plus the cost of materials, plus a small contingency again)

I've priced loads of jobs too low, sometimes because I didn't allow enough time for problems that I should have factored in, or sometimes because I massively underestimated how long some bits of it would take. All you can do is suck it up, add it to the bank of experience and be more accurate next time around. Some of my customers have had real bargains from me though, I have to say! By the same token, you occasionally get a bit of work that you think will be a massive pain only to find that you're done a day or two early.

I work in London too... there is always someone cheaper than you round here (lot of Polish/Czech trades of varying qualities who tend to be cheap, tax free, and if you have a problem in 6 months time, good luck finding them...). Best advice I can give is to ignore what you think other people are quoting, and quote a fair price that you are comfortable with. If the customer goes for Pawel and his mates who'll do it for £80/day, consider that you have probably just successfully dodged a bullet.

I had a text from a potential customer the other day informing me that they had a job that was "about 20 minutes work, tops" (that annoys me for a start -- how about *I* tell *YOU* how long it'll take me and we go from there?). I gave a rough estimate based on 2 hours because it was a 32 minute drive away (according to Google maps), so over an hour round-trip. And said I'd give a better idea of cost when I arrived. Never heard back from them. They clearly wanted me to spend an hour in the van, plus however long it took to do the job for £20 or something. I am happy to let some other mug do that sort of thing!

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PostPosted: Thu May 04, 2017 10:02 am 
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:thumbleft:

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Take it easy, a forum is only a collection of opinions. Above, are mine.

Which is correct? Metre or Meter? Click the link. to find out more.

No such thing as "Thou shalt put this wire here, Thou shalt put that wire there" .............Take a picture BEFORE you do the job.

If gloom had a voice, it would be me. :mrgreen:

:idea1: How to post a picture on this forum Click here


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PostPosted: Thu May 04, 2017 1:30 pm 
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Just a little thought which was passed on to me years ago "A man will always be paid the minimum he is prepared to accept"
Yes, and it still applies today!


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PostPosted: Thu May 04, 2017 2:30 pm 
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I'm not a tiler. I can tile, but a pro would be a lot faster.
I'd assume that £25 / m2 is for a job on a complete room "ready to tile" job with straightforward "stick the tiles on" bits and fiddly bits.
A job just doing all the cuts and getting the job ready to tile has to be done by the hour I'd have thought.
So I'd have charged by how long it took.
Incidentally, nobody ever did themselves any good by doing work cheaply. You get a rep. for being cheap, and you'll have too much work and not enough money.


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