Upvc Rip Off

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Scotland
9 replies 1.7K views
bennyboy3bennyboy3 Forumite
23 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Scotland
I am currently looking for a company to replace the existing wooden fascias and soffits on my house and garage with upvc.

I have had three companies who have given me estimates which range from £3500 - £14000. All these estimates are based on the same amount of work.

As the estimates vary dramatically i am unsure as to what a fair price is.

All i am really looking for is a reasonable job for a reasonable price.

I live in Lanarkshire and would be grateful if anyone could recommend a local company who will not rip me off and do a good job. Or alternatively suggest a way that i can work out a reasonable price

thanks

Replies

  • Sorry cant reccomend anyone but you have two options;
    Pit each firm against each other and batter their prices down(donno what kind of service you will get though)You could always ask at a local merchant who is and isn't reliable.
    Or go to a merchant and buy the materials yourself and get a reliable builder/joiner to do the work for you.

    Good luck
    That mrs macchicken to you!
  • My mum and dad had theirs done a few years back and were very pleased with it. They are also in Lanarkshire. Will ask who the company was and get back to you.
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  • All frames & glass are totally different as the companies have different manufacturers. It may be best to see samples of the frames & glass before deciding (my dads in this game) - and choosing the one that looks the best quality.

    Don't forget, you dont pay them til the job is done to YOUR satisfaction, so you will always have the upper hand.

    Choose a company which has an office & maybe a showroom so you can always contact somebody incase you have any problems...
  • PattyDPattyD Forumite
    74 Posts
    Part of the Furniture
    I'm not local so can't recommend anyone but have you considered buying the upvc and paying someone to put it up. My husband managed to buy the facias and guttering over the internet (which was delivered within 2 days) and he put it up himself with the help of a neighbour and some portable scaffolding. We have a large 4 bedroom detached house with garage and it cost us £280 (facias and guttering).
  • .....only if you know what your doing. But windows/doors are a different matter!
  • bob_a_builderbob_a_builder Forumite
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    But windows/doors are a different matter
    Indeed they are, and in fact not what the OP was asking about at all
    i.e. "replace the existing wooden fascias and soffits "
  • I was quoted £1200 by the company that did my windows at the begining of the year,i have a 3 bed semi and it included fascias,guttering and drainpipes,it also uncluded hire of the scaffolding platform, as there are strict H&S guidelines for working on a ladder,so they told me anyway ??? saying that, a workmate had his 3 bed semi done about 3 weeks ago for £600 by a man with a ladder doing it as an "hobble".
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  • quoiaquoia Forumite
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    We had our 3 bed semi done about 3 months ago.

    Perhaps my experience will be useful advice and give you some guidance as to how to successfully move forward to obtain the "right price" and avoid "the waffle" or being ripped off.

    I roughly priced up getting the bits and doing it DIY and came to a figure of £800 minimum and more likely to be nearer £900 when including the last screw, nail & clip etc.

    This was a benchmark for how much I thought the job would be, including labour, if I got someone else to do it. Afterall they would be buying the materials at a far better trade price than I was going to be able to purchase them at, unless there was a really significant quality difference in the product. I thought two tradesmen would easily do the job in a "generous" 10 hour day (8am to 6pm) and at a generous (well I thought so) £25 an hour, labour should not exceed £500. (For any quote ask how long it is likely to take (hours/days) and how many persons would be working on the job - if in any doubt as to working out a "fair" labour cost for yourself)

    Given that 20 "trained & experienced tradesmen" man hours with all the right tools and equipment would equate to at least double that if I were working alone on just a ladder, I'd be happy to pay £500 labour rather than have all the hassle and spend at least 40 hours (five 8 hours days) doing it myself.

    So I asked for a few quotes from companies like FasciaMania etc.
    Yes I got the silly £4000 that dropped to £3000 and then £2500 as the discussion progressed - just like double glazing salesmen. I told one salesman that if he gave me his very very best lowest possible quote and I said "sorry but that is more than I want to pay" and he then came back with a lower price, I would let my dog out (a Great Dane) to do with the salesman as he pleased - and he's not a very friendly dog to anyone he does not know very well. He did produce the lowest quote at the time (£2100) but still more than I was going to pay. He indicated that he might still be able to move on the price despite the "dog threat" so I just said that he was obviously a liar (since his best lowest etc. actually wasn't because he was just going to calculate another better one) and that I wasn't interested in him or his company at any price.

    I had further quotes of £1800 (from a right cowboy who would not have got the job if he'd done it for nothing) and another at £1500 but sadly his guttering was really crap & flimsy. I sure over time it would have turned brittle in the sunshine and even if it didn't, it was NOT LADDER PROOF !

    The right guttering WILL SUPPORT a ladder leaning against it at the correct angle with a 15 stone man standing at the top without it breaking or sustaining any damage.

    We then had our final and successful quote - from a smaller local "countywide" company rather than a nationwide "big boy" or a "fly by night" dodgy dealer.

    We were offered a choice of white, black, brown, and 2 wood grain finishes for the soffits and facias.
    The guttering and downpipes were available in white, black or brown, and came in different shapes and combinations.
    Downpipes could be round or square and guttering came in half round, "square box" , a 5 sided "threepenny bit" style and another "square box" version with a "scroll" wavy front profile.
    Also one of the fascias had a shaped profile to the bottom edge - a bit like Torus skirting board but upsidedown.

    All the gutters were quite thick and very strong with very little flexing - leaning ladders on them would not be a problem.

    I knew beforehand that we wanted all white and I fancied square-ish gutters and downpipes.
    I thought that other colours or finishes would incur extra costs but it turned out white was actually the most expensive colour due to UV discolouration issues.
    The shaped "Torus" fascia was the most expensive, but I really liked it so picked that one.
    Square downpipes were also the dearest but I thought they looked "neat" so they were added to the quote.
    Finally the guttering - the shaped wavy front "square" profile looked really smart, and with the "Torus" fascia behind it, made a very pleasing "feature" to something that would have been very plain & boring otherwise. So wavy it was - again the most expensive guttering they had on offer.

    Price was negotiated on a little - £50 off for paying cash and not credit card (after the job was complete and I was 100% satisfied).
    Another £50 off for having a small board in our front garden for 3 weeks advertising the company.
    The salesman also agreed a further £50 discount since their company had not done this work on any other property within a mile or so of ours and so the "company advertising" was a in "new area of opportunity"

    He confirmed a 2 man team would complete the work in a single day - one of the efficiencies and hence savings that their company employed was a rapid assembly ladder based scaffolding platform system. Unlike other firms that might stretch the job out (money for old rope by quoting health & safety etc.) by spending half a day erecting such a structure using old style scaffolding to do a few hours work on the front of the house, before spending another couple taking it down. Then repeating the process at the back and/or side. 1 day job suddenly becomes a 3 day job instead and another £1000 added to the bill. Three times the labour costs mostly spent NOT fitting your guttering but playing with scaffold poles instead.

    Cost after £150 discount having picked the most expensive option of every choice I was offered ????????

    £1200 (and what turned out to be about 20 cups of coffee/tea keeping them well watered for the day)

    They came on time, just after 8:30, and apart from 20 minutes lunch, worked solidly until about 17:30.
    Their rapid working platform was indeed exactly that. Erected and in place along the entire front of the house in under an hour. They didn't even have to dismantle most of it in order to move it to the rear of the property.

    Everything was done to perfection including jointing to the original guttering etc. of my neighbours in the attached semi, re-pointing part of the gable end with mortar under the bottom 2 or 3 rows of tiles that they had had to disturb, and finishing the box end (where a bargeboard would meet on some gable ends) correctly at the side of the house. This is the "box end" above the soffit and behind the fascia. I was shown scores of photographs by the salesman where this was totally bodged by other "installers" using multiple ill fitting bits of soffit or fascia rather than a single piece of purpose built end cap (usually because a single piece of soffit or fascia is not big enough in one direction - especially for mitred corners). Other bodges included wrongly cut angles and big gaps and attempts to fix it with large quantities of sealant and filler or even duct tape.

    All the old guttering and pipework was cleared away and removed at the end of the day.
    They even cleaned all our windows and upvc frames & sills, AND next doors, with a special glass cleaner and upvc cleaner to remove all the dirt & dust that had fallen on to them whilst they had been working.

    A FANTASTIC job from every aspect !!!!!

    And a final comment - my original £800 to £900 DIY cost of materials, whilst they were very good products, they were inferior in quality, strength, design, function and looks to those that I eventually had fitted. I guess it would have cost me £1200 (retail) just to buy these products if I could have located them.

    An EDIT update - just a thought.

    BEWARE - there are TWO ways of actually getting UPVC soffits and facias.

    In both cases you will proably get the finish you are looking for and get new gutters and downpipes (which I presume you want - although you don't mention them) but the amount of work involved and hence cost is considerably different - also the materials are cheaper.

    You say "I am currently looking for a company to replace the existing wooden fascias and soffits on my house and garage with upvc.

    That's what we had. All the old removed and new fitted in its place. Very substantial boards - I think the soffit was 15mm thick and the fascia 18mm or 20mm.

    The OTHER way is upvc "cladding" - leave the old soffit and fascia in place but cover them with relatively thinner and cheaper upvc sheet, probaly only 2mm to 4mm thick.

    Just make sure you know what you are getting and obviously comparing like with like !


    also this might help

    http://www.diydata.com/projects/fascia/fascias_soffits.php
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  • a house behind me got new windows and fascia and soffit about 10 years ago .My next door neighbour said just leave it a few years and the facsia will turn pink .sure enough it did and all had to be replaced . It seems some people fit windowsill and not proper fascia board.
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