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Cowboy builders cash in on the extension boom



Link to recent national newspaper article -

Homeowners at risk as cowboy builders cash in on home extension boom | Daily Mail Online


This is becoming a far too familiar story and one that we have heard very recently happened to a potential client that we quoted about a year ago…………. only to be told that we were ‘far too expensive’ and that ‘we’ve had much cheaper quotes elsewhere’. They now have a half-finished project and no money left to complete it as they paid the ‘cheaper builder’ every penny they had and he’s since walked off site, never to be seen again! How does the old saying go? ….. If something sounds too good to be true, then it probably is! What has happened here is another builder has left off a number of large costs off the quote, probably deliberately, so they win the work and then drop those costs in at a later date once the client is already committed. In this case one of those costs was all the windows, can you believe it, no windows where accounted for on the quote and the question was never asked. Also, if a builder asks for 50% of the total costs upfront for the likes of ‘materials’ or ‘Deposits on materials’ then alarm bells should be ringing. This is another ploy, I can do it cheaper for cash. This is a great way for money to change hands without a trace! Don’t be fooled, you don’t get any discount at any suppliers for cash so they cant do it cheaper, all the costs are the same unless their labour charge is half what a decent builder would charge…… and there’s your clue.


This is a prime example of clients being completely unrealistic of the true costs involved in their project and not comparing apples with apples when it comes to comparing quotes from different builders and what is and what’s NOT included on each quote and if that builder is a reputable one!


On so many occasions, in the first stages of discussions with potential clients, when asked what’s their budget for their project we are told ‘I’d rather just get your price, I’m not giving you my budget’ and this is no help to anyone unfortunately. The only reason we ask for a rough budget is to ascertain weather the work you want done can be done within your budget and if you have a realistic idea of the work involved on the plans you have. This saves all parties involved a lot of time and money further down the line. For example, only today have we put forward a quote to a client that refused to give a budget for his project only to find out now that his budget barely covers half the complete costs of the works. This was a large-scale project of several hundred thousand pounds and took at least 16 man hours to put all the information and quote together. To put that in perspective, imagine if after two full days work you where told it was all for nothing and you weren’t getting paid for it! That happens all the time when it comes to quoting in the construction industry……. So please, if a builder asks you for a budget, please understand that its not so he can charge you more, it’s so he doesn’t waste his valuable time putting together quotes that will never come off.


Just like most things your hearing about on the news these days, building costs are at an all-time high and material price increases are nearly a daily occurrence in 2022 so please bare this in mind when having discussions about your project.

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