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Everything posted by Jonnybegood

  1. £125 a day for a qualified builder back in 2005, I wish. The plumber was charging £50 a hour looking at some of the quotes.
  2. No, they just know how much work goes into fitting a bathroom or fitting a door and simply not out to rip people off. Maybe I am not in the right industry but I can assure you my wages didnt go up 100% in 5 years, so why should tradesmen expect working class people to pay prices double of that 5 years earlier. Just because I was not prepared to borrow money to pay them I should go without having any work done, when in 6 months time they will probably put in more effort for half the price.
  3. Thats what we did in the end for the majority of the work, 2 guys in their 50s, work all day, gave them the key in the morning, came home at night and the house was cleaned and work they said they would do got done. Like you say, old skool type happy to plod out listening to the radio and a few cups of tea, some of the specialist jobs they could not do, but they done 70% of the work that was needed, saved us a fortune.
  4. Its not just the price, its the attitude that went along with it and how different they all seem now. I have no doubt they would be bending over backwards for the work now and would turn up on time and not shoot off to another job half way through.
  5. Before I start, this is from personal experience of the last few years and does not reflect the whole industry. In 2005 we decided we were going to revamp a large part of our property, re plaster hall stairs & landing, new kitchen , bathroom and heating system along with converting the attic space. We had various quotes from different builders, carpenters , plumbers etc and the prices that came back were nothing short of crazy, me and the wife work in good jobs and have worked hard to have what we have today, having little left to pay on the mortgage and a nice amount of savings. I have never minded paying anyone a decent wage for a decent days work but these tradesmen we were having in were quoting sky high prices and basically had the attitude, if you don't like the price then we have plenty of other work on. I have just dug out some of the quotes from June 2005. Hack off and board, re plaster hall, stairs, landing £2800 Emulsion same area £850 Fit 5 interior doors £500 Fit new bathroom and tile etc (Fitting only no supply) £2100 New heating system, combi boiler, 14 radiators and new pipework £6500 Attic conversion £23480 After thinking it all over we decided to leave the work until prices dropped, I even told a few of the tradesmen this and they walked off laughing, saying it will never happen, they will only go up from here on. It was not only the prices that put us off it was the service and attitude of these guys, doing you a favour coming to quote you for the job, take it or leave it attitude. one of them wanted £200 to move a radiator for F**k sake, did it myself in the end, took little over 5 hours, probably would of taken them half the time. Driving to work this morning I see one of the builders re pointing a pillar to a property down the road, the plasterers van seems to have not moved from outside his house for the last 2 weeks and now he advertises in the local rag, reskim typical room 12 x 12 - £100, the carpenter also has advert 6 doors fitted for £299. I even have people knocking the door offering their services, guttering, facias, general carpentry work etc etc. The days of earning regular £1000 a week for many of these tradesman look to be well gone for a good few years, around here 3 building sites are on stop until March, where have all those tradesmen gone? Anyone else got examples of prices being reduced and becoming more realistic from the local tradesmen
  6. Its hard not to be when this country has lost both its lifelines in one swoop. Financial sector and easy credit. We are in a hole which will take years to climb out of.
  7. If the pound keeps falling against the Euro / Dollar, then importing many of the building materials is going to increase, and as more and more companies go to the wall then competition in every sector decreases so buying materials will come from only a handful of suppliers compared with the many more at present. End result you pay more, last time around we made much more now we import and so at the mercy of exchange rates. Oil is only having a short setback, when it rebounds and britain is still not recovered then expect this to put further pressure on manufacturing costs, so I don't think it will be a return to normality i.e pre boom. It will be alot worse and will take years to put right. Not sure about this, currently the rental market is very competitive due to high numbers of BTL landlords. Before this boom I always remember rent being higher than mortgage payments, only in recent years has it been cheaper to rent, they have stayed pretty much in line with wages. House prices will fall further but as mentioned above will not need to fall by 50% as some think, because at the same time everything else will be rising, the poor are stuffed anyway cheaper rent will not help, food and energy costs will see most of them off. Question- What are peoples thoughts on the average uk wage in 5 years time, if it currently stands at £26k
  8. I think by now everyone has settled for the fact that things are going to get harder but some still believe this will only be a short downturn and before we know it things will be back to normal. The evidence is there now, once we come out of this (I firmly believe we will) maybe 3-4 years down the road the landscape of Britain will be changed forever and things will become more expensive. The Euro V Pound , high street chains and their suppliers collapsing is just the start, the domino effect is already well underway. In the end lack of competition and exchange rates are going to see items in the UK prices well above what they currently are, for me I think its a good thing, the culture of spend spend spend has gone, maybe never to return. We will have to save as products become more expensive. The only decision for many in these difficult times is do you spend now or wait for a recovery with better job and earning prospects but pay the higher price. My strategy as always if I don't need it I don't buy, but if its the right price now and I may need it later then I stock up now in preparation. Expect middle of next year many items on the high street from TVs to new kitchens costing at least 20% more and many more businesses going to the wall, with only the strong surviving get used to paying higher prices for almost everything, and yes that will include mortgages as well. For the housing market it is very hard to see where new houses are going to be built in a recession with the price of raw materials still rising and even oil if the rest of world recover quicker than Britain.
  9. How about those who have bought a place in the sun from their retirement fund and get their pension sent from the uk overseas. Double or even triple whammy, falling property price in Spain (Europe), falling property price in the UK and less to spent in Europe from your private and state uk pension. Its starting to get messy for those who thought they could escape into the sunset when they retired.
  10. For now we cannot directly, however a weaker pound and the chinese standards of living improving year on year it will not be long before the chinese want more of what the west has had for the past couple of decades. We may not be able to compete on price, but quality and technological advances are our best approach. Or maybe China will implode, but thats for another time.
  11. Looking to censor media reports during times of crisis by the looks of it. This maybe just the start of things to come http://www.parliament.uk/parliamentary_com.../tc0708pn85.cfm
  12. After catching up on a number articles this weekend it seems the only real way out of this mess will be for us as a country to sell more overseas and also become self sufficient in many other areas. For years we have bought goods from the far east on borrowed money from the far east thinking the day of pay back would never come. So it leads that we need to import less and sell more, but all the news is pointing towards job losses in Manufacturing and many of the job losses are not high paid but the workers I would assume do work for a living, night shifts, long hours working on the assembly lines putting a stamp on the final product 'Made in the UK'. I understand that demand for goods are down and the result is lower production and job losses, but then you see public sector council workers still sitting pretty sending out council tax reminders or simply paper shuffling between departments. The recent news of Corus offering a 10% pay cut, well how about the public sector (the most overly paid) leading the way and themselves taking a pay cut to reduce public spending for a start. All these counciller meetings where they turn up sign the book and leave £100 richer, don't even mention expenses they claim. Its a complete joke, the very sector that can pull us out of this hole is getting hammered because of those who are still sitting behind the desks have f**ked up. I really do hope and really do think that eventually manufacturing will come through strong after taking a hit early on, and this time around the big losers will be the legal sector, private dentistry, public sector, banking, insurance and some of the other professional professions. These sectors have not known a downturn and always escaped the full wrath, however this time they will get caught up in it and the field that they are in will take a big hit which will seem worse because they have not previously been hit hard. For example the legal field now has too many candidates for the positions available, legal aid will be cut and the no win no fee culture of personal injury will disappear along with browns boom reducing legal vacancies even further. Dentistry that charge 5x the price of the NHS and carry out these fancy treatments are as good as gone, instead of being happy to earn £120k on the NHS they set up these private practices earning £250k plus, it will be another victim of boom turning to bust. I think after the recession has played through many will have to get used to earning alot less at the same time as their debts remain the same.
  13. You need to get your house in order from day 1, get procedures in place, PDPs etc. If she is not meeting expected targets then verbal warning, then another and then a written warning all logged on her record. Put her on performance management and if that fails give her a final written warning and then its goodbye. If she takes you to a tribunal she will have to pay something or if its no win no fee and she has no case to answer then no solicitor will touch her.
  14. Masked, You probably know Port Talbot well. The steel plant there stretches the length of the town, if that place was ever to close it would be the end of Port Talbot. Don't think a single person there does not have some kind of link to that steel plant. I think Llanwern is in a more vulnerable position than Port Talbot from what I am hearing
  15. An excuse to borrow more....... No lesson to be learnt
  16. Been keeping an eye on the BDI all year myself, worrying the amount its dropped in such a short period, 6 months ago it was running at its highest level. A good indicator for global supply / demand
  17. Saw the report on the BBC website tonight, Corus are looking for government support to help them through this downturn having cut production by 30%. What hit home with the report was the number of people Corus employ in the UK, 25,000. This must be one of the biggest private manufacturing employers in the UK and usually once manufacturing jobs go they don't come back, especially the steel industry which is not like a little chocolate factory with a few machines but heavy industry. The knock on affect would be massive, suppliers and outside support contracting companies would also be heavily hit for sure. It's surprises me that a company like Corus have asked for government aid, but do remember someone on here saying something a couple of years ago about certain industries in the UK cannot be allowed to fail, and if memory serves me correctly the steel industry was one of those. Something to do with war and the country being able to produce its own steel, is there any truth in this? do you think a bail out should be allowed considering the amount thats been thrown at the banks, or does it set a precedence. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7773955.stm
  18. The only thing the government has not attempted, but according to newsnight tonight its currently being looked at by the treasury and highly likely to be the next step. Having tries other stimulus methods many are now calling for quantitative easing for the banking sector, helicopter drops and direct lending by the bank of england coming soon.
  19. Short memory, only a couple of months back many on here were comparing renting with buying and saying that renters have more rights. Another reason not to buy.... Well its about time homeowners got more protection, its been a long time coming. Boom or no boom homeowners should be better treated. Myself for example have worked since 18 years of age, now me and my wife work full time and pay £1850 a year council tax, have spent over £5k in the last year improving the outside of our property to make it more appealing and had a new roof fitted last year at a cost of £7k. Reading the local rag tonight and a number of houses on the approach to the town are being improved as part of this funding from central government, new render, new roofs, new windows, water goods. The majority of the property down there is rented, there is more chance of me winning the lottery than getting my house improved free of charge. And as well as maintenance and up keep and having paid tax and NI for over 20 years I have to ensure I meet monthly mortgage repayments, council tax, elec / gas and no support whatsoever. Now I earn good money and my wife even better so we quite happy pay all the above, so its nice to know there is a safety net if things were ever to turn bad for us. I have never made a benefits claim, 2 years of interest payments deferred would still not be enough to repay all that I have put into the system over the last 20 years. Bring it on
  20. Funnily enough this was one of the conversations in the office this morning, credit crunch, what credit crunch they were saying. Queues everywhere the weekend, Bridgend Designer outlet village, Swansea retail parks all very busy the weekend according to conversation this morning. There are some serious slashing of prices at the moment and all seem to be filling their boots, must admit I bought 2 LCD TVs the weekend, could'nt resist, been watching the price of 2 particular TVs for a couple of months, one for the kitchen and another for the bedroom. They were £299 & £330 respectively 2 months ago, picked them both up yesterday for £445. Very difficult to resist. They seem to be almost giving clothes away.......
  21. Halifax , Nationwide reporting 12% plus falls this year and the land registry 10%. The land registry figures lag by 3 months and this fits in with 2% difference in falls being reported. Looking through the latest land registry release my area and the 3 surrounding are showing falls of between 2 and 4% so far this year. Add on another 3 months of falls and it could be between 4% and 6% now, which is inline with what I have been seeing. So for most looking to buy the headline figure makes no difference, its the local price of houses and the falls that count surely. With the latest nationwide release showing less falls this month, i think my local area by year end will officially be 7% according to land registry data. That could be some 7% less than the uk average fall, which i feel is being driven by flats with house falls alot less. Next year is going to be bad and probably by far the worst for the housing market, 2010 the falls will most certainly ease up and in some cases start to increase slightly. Many on here predict 50% falls in house prices, that would mean my local area having to officially fall a further 43%. Over a year into the crunch already I find it hard to imagine 43% of falls still possible. Another 23% over the next 2 years, yes maybe, but 43% seems very remote even if that does show as the national average, here locally I for one simply cannot see it happening.
  22. Your probably right, Corus shares were trading at 4p around 3 years ago and then sold last year for 605p when they were bought out by Tata steel. They do seem to be up and down. Its the old saying that the steel industry is usually first into recession and last out as most of the products steel go into are big ticket items or construction.. On a separate note though, all this bail out of the banks and now woolworths, the steel industry in the uk should be top of the governments bail out package if required and even nationalised if things got bad. We have sold our utilities to foreign companies, offshored various businesses but the steel industry is needed here in the uk, for national security if nothing else. Once steel plants go they simply dont return like a call centre or bank, these are big industries with skilled workers. Maybe the government will bring forward some defence contracts, tanks, ships, subs....
  23. For a company that employs tens of thousands of people a few hundred is a drop in the ocean. The impact locally will obviously be felt but if companies can act quickly in this way then a few hundred now may save a thousand a year down the line as they quite rightly react to the changing economic environment. For *uck sake, steel prices have fallen 50% over the last 3 months, sales of cars, white goods and construction have gone through the floor. Companies still need to make money, shareholders or no shareholders.
  24. Thing to remember when insulating and sealing your home to cut the heating bills, is to keep the property breathing. I would rather pay £200 a year more for my heating bill then have damp / mould problems later. Chimneys allow hot air to escape but also keep air circulating in the property keeping damp at bay, air bricks against dry out the cavity and under floorboards, but do bring cold air into the property. Its your choice, £200 a year more gas bill or 5 years down the road poor health and big big bills to put the damp problems right. And remember the more gas you use the cheaper it becomes, 20000kWh does not cost twice as much as 10000kWh. The other post regarding keeping the heating on 24/7 instead of a few hours a day is a myth, it is cheaper to only use the heating when you need it. There is the misconception between convenience and cost, yes keeping it on 24/7 will make it more comfortable but you will use more gas as heat will always try to escape until outside temperature equals inside temperature. So unless you are at home not do switch the heating on, it is being wasted.
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