£1700 for bedroom painting & flooring?

Hello,

I'm trying to help my mum with an issue with a builder. She has used a local builder for several jobs previously, and she asked him to paint a small bedroom (approx 3m x 3m) and put down floor boards. Unfortunately she didn't get him to give a quote beforehand because she trusted him from previous experience.

He has invoiced us for nearly £1700, which seems quite high. This included floorboards but not paint because we provided the paint.

Does anyone have any comparable quotes? I have no clue what reasonable rates are for this type of work (in London) and although it seems high I don't have previous experience to compare it to.

My mum got really stressed out about it, she gets very anxious, so I have taken over negotiating with the builder.

He has sent me an invoice without a breakdown of costs, so I have asked him to give me a full breakdown so I can see what daily rate is being charged and how much for the materials. He did provide me copies of the materials receipts.

The work on the bedroom was completed satisfactorily, over the course of a week. However in the course of putting down the floorboards they damaged a pipe, which caused a leak and damaged the ceiling in the living room below. So I delayed paying until the builder had repaired this damage.

I am not someone who wants to penny pinch, and I am happy to pay a sensible price for good quality work, but it seems inflated and I don't want my mum to be taken advantage of.

Any advice would be much appreciated...

Replies

  • benjusbenjus Forumite
    5.4K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts
    In SE London Zone 5, we recently paid £450 (excluding paint) to have the ceiling and walls painted in a bedroom that's almost double the size of your mum's (and has a high ceiling).

    We also laid a new solid wood floor, but I did that myself. The floor boards came to about £700, and I spent about £150 on fitting materials such as glue. We had previously had some quotes to supply and fit a floor - I think the fitting would have been about £700 if we'd had it done. So about £1850 for a room that's almost double the size of your mum's.

    So £1700 for a smaller room does sound on the high side, but it's hard to comment without more details. For example, what exactly were these floorboards? If it was something fancy it could easily make up the majority of the price.
    Let's settle this like gentlemen: armed with heavy sticks
    On a rotating plate, with spikes like Flash Gordon
    And you're Peter Duncan; I gave you fair warning
  • leyoleyo Forumite
    24 Posts
    Hi benjus,

    Thanks a lot for your reply, that's helpful.

    I am waiting to get a breakdown of the costs in written format from him, but according to the receipts the materials were about £650 - including the floorboards.

    This suggests he is asking just over £1000 for the labour.
  • misspricemissprice Forumite
    3.7K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Forumite
    leyo wrote: »
    Hi benjus,

    Thanks a lot for your reply, that's helpful.

    I am waiting to get a breakdown of the costs in written format from him, but according to the receipts the materials were about £650 - including the floorboards.

    This suggests he is asking just over £1000 for the labour.

    Need more info. You say floor boards, what do you mean by that?
    Were skirtings removed\renewed\something?

    Was the whole room prepared for painting by the builder or did you do it?
    63 mortgage payments to go.

    Zero wins 2016 😥
  • maisie_catmaisie_cat Forumite
    1.6K Posts
    Tenth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Academoney Grad
    Forumite
    To be fair, just because a room is smaller doesn't mean that the labour is less, sometime a small space is a pain to work in and constantly moving things around increases the labour element. So material he bought £650 plus 5 or 7?)days at £150-£200 a day, plus he probably used his own equipment tools etc and possibly consumables looks reasonable to me. Remember that the rate you pay him is not what he ends up with, he needs to pay expenses and tax/NI & pension contributions out of that.
  • leyoleyo Forumite
    24 Posts
    These were the things done (from the invoice):

    Remove and dispose old carpet
    Remove damaged render
    Make good walls-plaster
    Hanging lining paper
    Decorating walls, ceiling, woodwork (3 coats of paint)
    Supply and install wooden floorboards including scotia trim.


    The plastering was in a small area under the window, it wasn't for the whole room.

    He replied to my request for a clarification on the labour costs, saying 7.5 days @ £130/day. My mum says the work was done over 5 days, on the last two days there was a second person but the main builder only did a half day.

    Like I said I don't want to be unfair or penny pinch, just in a tricky situation when mum didn't agree the price beforehand and I don't want her to be taken advantage of, and I don't have the experience to check whether everything is correct. :/

    To be honest if it's not a crazy price I am thinking I will just pay so we don't have to deal with the stress of worrying about it...
  • benjusbenjus Forumite
    5.4K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts
    That's quite a lot actually - you didn't mention that he'd plastered the walls and hung lining paper. Also I note that he painted the woodwork, whereas in my case it was only the walls and ceiling.

    So it's not looking unreasonable to be honest.
    Let's settle this like gentlemen: armed with heavy sticks
    On a rotating plate, with spikes like Flash Gordon
    And you're Peter Duncan; I gave you fair warning
  • leyoleyo Forumite
    24 Posts
    Just to clarify, it wasn't plastering the whole room, it was a 30cm square patch under the window that needed plastering.
  • leyoleyo Forumite
    24 Posts
    Also thank you everyone for your replies - really appreciate it!
  • A base rate of 130/day is absolute buttons!!! Pay the man! So what if he wasn't on site the full long day on two of the days.

    I'm a gardener and I wouldn't do a day for £130. I wouldn't do a day for 200.
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