Quote for Building and Roof Work Etiquette?


I need to get some quotes for building and roof work but this will be my first experience and it may be next year thatI can afford to get it done. 

Can anyone share any tips? Do companies ever charge for this service? Do I need to respond to let them know why I haven't gone ahead? Do people ever get put out that you haven't gone with them?



  • CliveOfIndia
    CliveOfIndia Forumite Posts: 782
    500 Posts Name Dropper
    edited 14 June at 11:24AM
    Any genuine tradesman should be happy to give a quote without charging.  And any good tradesman will usually be booked up months in advance, so the fact that it may not be done until next year shouldn't be an issue.  The only slight difficulty is that the price of materials may very well change by then.

    Anyhow, start off by getting some recommendations.  Ask friends/neighbours if they can recommend anyone, if you have a local community Facebook page, ask on there as well.  Personal recommendation is always the best route.  Ideally you want to get 3 quotes.  When they come to quote, be honest and tell them you'll be getting 3 quotes - it's what any sensible person would do and they should have no issues with that.
    When you've decided which one to go for, I'd give the others a quick phone call out of courtesy to let them know you've chosen to go with someone else.  Again, this is common practice, and any kosher tradesman shouldn't get upset if you choose one person over another.
    Oh, and do make sure to check whether the price is a quote or an estimate.  An estimate is just that - it should be in the right ballpark, but may be subject to change (especially if the cost of materials changes).  But a quote is a definitive list of prices, it should detail exactly what work is to be done, the price of each item (10 bags of cement at £3 per bag, 500 slates at £1.50 each, 40 hours of labour at £50 per hour, that sort of thing), VAT (if the tradesman is VAT registered) and a total amount.  Importantly, it may also detail things that are not to be done - removing waste for instance, or arranging a skip permit, that sort of thing.
  • TELLIT01
    TELLIT01 Forumite Posts: 15,740
    Ninth Anniversary 10,000 Posts Name Dropper PPI Party Pooper
    I wouldn't necessarily expect a full breakdown of materials in a quote, but would expect materials and labour to be listed seperately along with full details of what is and isn't included, like waste removal etc.
    No tradesman in his right mind would provide anything more than an estimate at present, unless they are going to do the work within a couple of weeks.
  • Bigphil1474
    Bigphil1474 Forumite Posts: 1,953
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    edited 14 June at 11:52AM
    I looked at having my roof done and garden wall rebuilt - I went on the local Facebook group to find local businesses because I wasn't totally sure I was gonna do the work (selling up so would depend on cost), so didn't want builders driving from miles away and wasting their time. You will find that not all of them get back to you. When I messaged the companies I wasn't too fussy on arranging a time (work from home) so just asked if they'd pop round when they had a spare minute. One of the builders came on bank holiday Monday as he was at the local Tesco's doing some shopping. He was great as he told me it wasn't worth having the wall rebuilt.
    Companies don't usually charge for quotes. It's polite (IMO) to let them know if you don't want to go ahead with a quote - one company asked why not, but most will be used to it and won't be put out.
    Decide whether you want a written quote or an estimate - a written quote will take them some time to produce but will give you a better picture of how that price is worked out, and they should hold to that quote if you go ahead. An estimate is a bit more woolly but will give you an idea of cost. If you are happy with the estimate, then you could ask for a more detailed quote.
    The first thing to remember is that most good contractors will be busy for months. The second thing is that any estimate you get now, won't be valid for next year. If you have a local Facebook group, ask on there for any recommendations of companies that people have used (rather than just people pushing their own company).
  • ambioni
    ambioni Forumite Posts: 104
    Eighth Anniversary 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    Agree with all above comments. Am getting quotes at the moment for repair to roof ridge tiles + replacement guttering + splice in new rafter + bit of new pvc roofing above bay window....several quotes now all coming in at ~£1400. All trade work is more expensive now than it was even a few years ago due to cost of living crisis so don't be alarmed if quotes seem high but DO get a few of them to compare. Gold standard for assessing quality is word of mouth recommendations from satisfied customers but failing that, check reviews on Google, Yell and Checkatrade to see what people are saying. Go with your gut instinct when  employing a tradesman: if they are polite, courteous, answer your calls and come when they say they will (or let you know if they can't come or are delayed) that is usually a good sign of care and professionalism. I had to contact 10 roofers to get quotes from just 4 so bear in mind some won't answer your call or return your text for whatever reason.
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