Jump to content
House Price Crash Forum
VeryMeanReversion

Builders - Lack Of Work

Recommended Posts

I'm about to buy a house (another story) and started getting builders quotes. The common story is now "Haven't got much work on that the moment, an interior job would be quite nice this time of year, it's a bit cold and wet outside.". But when it comes to the daily rate, they are still quoting prices that I was seeing at the top of the market. (Range is £180-£192 per day [cambs/suffolk border]).

From my point of view, I didn't keep my powder dry during the boom times to blow it on peak-price builders when the tough times come.

When work was tight back in 2003, I cut my rates in half to get work. The builders I've talked to so far don't seem to have grasped that concept. Two of the ones that I have recently seen have been doing up their own houses and run out of money due to lack of work, another one has come back from Ireland due to lack of work and is now unemployed. They still want me to pay day rates for big jobs at full price for as long as they want.

Maybe its the same thing as house prices, nobody drops the price until they are forced into it.

Looks like I'm going to be doing the bulk of the work myself, it's nothing particularly difficult but I'd rather have got someone else to do it more quickly than I could. (Oil tank replacement, wall/rafter insulation, plasterboarding ready for a proper plasterer to finish, re-tiling the roof of a single-storey outbuilding)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have plans in for a big extension at the moment - the contractors want ALL of the added 'value' to the house and mostly will not engage in breaking down their prices - all they will say is 150-180 a sqft, could be more, plus VAT...... - er no chance.

All they are doing is working out how much X ft will add to the price of the house and saying that's what it will cost - they don't even discuss spec or fittings or even look closely at the layout, they just chuck out a price that hurts.... I presume it's because if they quote high 20 times, and 1 bites, it's more profitable than quoting competitively 10 times and getting 2 bites

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm about to buy a house (another story) and started getting builders quotes. The common story is now "Haven't got much work on that the moment, an interior job would be quite nice this time of year, it's a bit cold and wet outside.". But when it comes to the daily rate, they are still quoting prices that I was seeing at the top of the market. (Range is £180-£192 per day [cambs/suffolk border]).

From my point of view, I didn't keep my powder dry during the boom times to blow it on peak-price builders when the tough times come.

When work was tight back in 2003, I cut my rates in half to get work. The builders I've talked to so far don't seem to have grasped that concept. Two of the ones that I have recently seen have been doing up their own houses and run out of money due to lack of work, another one has come back from Ireland due to lack of work and is now unemployed. They still want me to pay day rates for big jobs at full price for as long as they want.

Maybe its the same thing as house prices, nobody drops the price until they are forced into it.

Looks like I'm going to be doing the bulk of the work myself, it's nothing particularly difficult but I'd rather have got someone else to do it more quickly than I could. (Oil tank replacement, wall/rafter insulation, plasterboarding ready for a proper plasterer to finish, re-tiling the roof of a single-storey outbuilding)

advertise in your local polish deli for an extra pair hands, cash folding (do the ad in Polish, use bablefish!, keeps the chav chancers away) , you`ll get it done a lot quicker with a bit of help and save a torn muscle in your lower back

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have plans in for a big extension at the moment - the contractors want ALL of the added 'value' to the house and mostly will not engage in breaking down their prices - all they will say is 150-180 a sqft, could be more, plus VAT...... - er no chance.

That's the same numbers that I see. I want a 750sqft simple extension done next year for £88K but at current rates, it's just not worth it. And the builders are sitting there under-employed at the moment.

Maybe we have to wait for the builders wives to get fed up with them sitting at home.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's the same numbers that I see. I want a 750sqft simple extension done next year for £88K but at current rates, it's just not worth it. And the builders are sitting there under-employed at the moment.

Maybe we have to wait for the builders wives to get fed up with them sitting at home.

we've got just north of 2000sqft to go on, the estimate prices are spiralling towards 400K with the VAT - I know what materials cost, I know you have to pay a good rate for a good job - no Lithuanian or illegals etc, but there is a total disconnect between the cost, a decent profit margin for them and the price they want. We also suffer a lot from, "look at plans, fine, then drive down the road,, see the area and oh, they can afford more and won't have a clue....."

At your rates, I'll be taking your builder's number !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"look at plans, fine, then drive down the road,, see the area and oh, they can afford more and won't have a clue....."

I just had that. A quote over the phone for an asbestos roof removal based on sqm I provided (accurate). They visit the site and the price increased by 75%. Site and building has simple all-around access.

Not practical to do this one safely myself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's the same numbers that I see. I want a 750sqft simple extension done next year for £88K but at current rates, it's just not worth it. And the builders are sitting there under-employed at the moment.

Maybe we have to wait for the builders wives to get fed up with them sitting at home.

Holy sh1t!

88k!!!! I could build an entire detached house with under floor heating ,insulated with the latest materials for that. Piss takers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Holy sh1t!

88k!!!! I could build an entire detached house with under floor heating ,insulated with the latest materials for that. Piss takers.

I've had an estimate prepared for an extension on a property I own by a reliable online estimators and they came in at 92K, this really shocked me and I am a builder (originally,now build scenery for films etc). What I would say is that just like everything else that crosses our borders materials have spiralled upwards to the point where my timber supplier no longer gives out a yearly price list its now monthly !

Prices rising in a recession are a peculiar trait but this happened in the last recession as well, every one has a bottom line to operate at (which was reached long ago) unless you're a tax dodging, uninsured, unregulated and more than likely untrained individual. What you will and do see is -people reaching that line and deciding to leave the industry completely to do whatever:-even unemployment, which leads to a smaller pool of available reliable qualified operatives which in turn forces prices up. This can also be observed in the supply chain i.e. I needed tempored glass for a site in London, we use this when stunting cars thru large windows etc, it physically takes 5 days or so to make so turn around was normally 7-10 days now its 20 days and is dearer, why ? the manufacturer laid off 3/4 of the workforce as demand was down so things take longer, the cost ? well the machines/buildings cost the same or more to run service, raw materials are more etc etc.

The building industry for years has been schizophrenic whilst the public at large perceives it to be full of loadsa money types there are plenty who work a 60-70 hr week (and have done this for years) and acheive modest incomes as a result whilst not knowing where next months work is or will be.

As for the employment of "poles" etc whilst most of them (that are still here as Polands doing ok thanks, their professional class actually work and invest in their own country) are very hard working (when in London I have 2 polish brothers wkg for me and I pay them the uk rate , they wont work for less and why should they!) ,would you really want an untraceable individual installing something where problems only surface after time ? are they in he country ? were they qualified ?.

And as for paying cash and a different rate , avoiding Tax an VAT, well you are the problem(you should be a banker), most reputable builders dont want to know, the risk is all theirs for very little gain and huge loss :- fines,jail, credit loss and loss of gross payment status, with regards paying foreigners less you are EXPLOITING them, when I HAD to go to Germany (former East) we were there because, while the money wasnt bad it was much less than the Germans so much for the EU , it was hard work away from my family and life and not many apart from the young and single really enjoy, probably the same as the EE's who are here now (and good luck to them!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What I would say is that just like everything else that crosses our borders materials have spiralled upwards to the point where my timber supplier no longer gives out a yearly price list its now monthly !

I understand that materials prices have been going up a lot recently (family surveyor warned me). The bit that does surprise me is that builders rates went up during the boom but are not going down during the bust.

In the self-build bible book, there is a graph showing builders rates being highly correlated with house prices over the last few decades. I found that interesting.

they wont work for less and why should they!)

Demand and supply. When I lose work, I drop my rate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Meanwhile the big housebuilders carry on as though we're in a new boom. Today I walked past a local site and it was swarming with labourers, almost like a Hollywood film set for a busy building site scene. Apparently, builders are building 'for the recovery', so they can make a killing when the buyers flood back into the market. No sign that more than the odd completed house has sold, though, let alone any off-plan plot reservations.

Edited by blankster

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the self-build bible book, there is a graph showing builders rates being highly correlated with house prices over the last few decades. I found that interesting.

In that case, does it surprise you, since overall, prices haven't fallen that much really?

Peter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In that case, does it surprise you, since overall, prices haven't fallen that much really?

I would have expected 10-15% off. Last prices I was quoted around the peak was £150 so surprised to have seen them go up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I understand that materials prices have been going up a lot recently (family surveyor warned me). The bit that does surprise me is that builders rates went up during the boom but are not going down during the bust.

In the self-build bible book, there is a graph showing builders rates being highly correlated with house prices over the last few decades. I found that interesting.

Demand and supply. When I lose work, I drop my rate.

Lots of work being doen before the VAT rise (and to beat the price rises in materials - they haven't been going up, they have been rocketing 10's percent). Tried to get a piece of ally today - company don't stock any more, only had one small piece left in stock and will only buy to order, warned "of course it won't be that price".

Too many companies carrying the fixed costs of the bubble.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had an estimate prepared for an extension on a property I own by a reliable online estimators and they came in at 92K, this really shocked me and I am a builder (originally,now build scenery for films etc). What I would say is that just like everything else that crosses our borders materials have spiralled upwards to the point where my timber supplier no longer gives out a yearly price list its now monthly !

Prices rising in a recession are a peculiar trait but this happened in the last recession as well, every one has a bottom line to operate at (which was reached long ago) unless you're a tax dodging, uninsured, unregulated and more than likely untrained individual. What you will and do see is -people reaching that line and deciding to leave the industry completely to do whatever:-even unemployment, which leads to a smaller pool of available reliable qualified operatives which in turn forces prices up. This can also be observed in the supply chain i.e. I needed tempored glass for a site in London, we use this when stunting cars thru large windows etc, it physically takes 5 days or so to make so turn around was normally 7-10 days now its 20 days and is dearer, why ? the manufacturer laid off 3/4 of the workforce as demand was down so things take longer, the cost ? well the machines/buildings cost the same or more to run service, raw materials are more etc etc.

The building industry for years has been schizophrenic whilst the public at large perceives it to be full of loadsa money types there are plenty who work a 60-70 hr week (and have done this for years) and acheive modest incomes as a result whilst not knowing where next months work is or will be.

As for the employment of "poles" etc whilst most of them (that are still here as Polands doing ok thanks, their professional class actually work and invest in their own country) are very hard working (when in London I have 2 polish brothers wkg for me and I pay them the uk rate , they wont work for less and why should they!) ,would you really want an untraceable individual installing something where problems only surface after time ? are they in he country ? were they qualified ?.

And as for paying cash and a different rate , avoiding Tax an VAT, well you are the problem(you should be a banker), most reputable builders dont want to know, the risk is all theirs for very little gain and huge loss :- fines,jail, credit loss and loss of gross payment status, with regards paying foreigners less you are EXPLOITING them, when I HAD to go to Germany (former East) we were there because, while the money wasnt bad it was much less than the Germans so much for the EU , it was hard work away from my family and life and not many apart from the young and single really enjoy, probably the same as the EE's who are here now (and good luck to them!)

No German builder was put out of work as a result of the British being there, German rates where not put under pressure, when the work ended the British went home.

It's a different ball game here and now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have personally witnessed two polish jobs and both ended in tears. My sister wanted underfloor heating in her London home and having been in the trade previously I was quite willing to install gratis that was until she told me my help would be two polish labourers. I refused and they decided to go ahead with just a polish contingent. Anyway, it's a sealed underfloor system and leaks are absolute not part of the design... they had to pay a professional to rip out and replace so cost twice in materials on top.

My wifes dentist went private so the only one she could sign up with in our area was polish. Very novel having a east European working on her teeth at the time she but actually caused over £2k in damage that was rectified privately.

Some are good but most make our own cowboys appear angelic by contrast.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My reasoning was on principle. My sister and her beau have a combined annual income of circa £90k and at the time it was trendy to have a polish this and a polish that not to mention the savings they made on the backs of the local tradesmen of whom they could easily have afforded. Personally my income dropped 10k that was a direct consequence of the influx of ahem 'skilled workers' from the eastern bloc. There was many an unoccupied afternoon spent in the pub hearing stories from other tradespeople who'd dropped their rate from £125-175 to £50 a day just to secure something only to find later on they had been undercut yet again and lost the business to Poles. Resistance was futile so I went back to being White collar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My reasoning was on principle. My sister and her beau have a combined annual income of circa £90k and at the time it was trendy to have a polish this and a polish that not to mention the savings they made on the backs of the local tradesmen of whom they could easily have afforded. Personally my income dropped 10k that was a direct consequence of the influx of ahem 'skilled workers' from the eastern bloc. There was many an unoccupied afternoon spent in the pub hearing stories from other tradespeople who'd dropped their rate from £125-175 to £50 a day just to secure something only to find later on they had been undercut yet again and lost the business to Poles. Resistance was futile so I went back to being White collar.

The heating engineers I know are far from busy. The main reason being the number of people signed up to British gas insurance schemes. BGs constant scaremongering advertising campaigns and the lack of faith and trust in UK workman means BG control the whole market. The general public will get screwed big time by BG when all the independent heating engineers have given up. Polish plumbers were seen as saviours, especially in London but they are being found out as being no better than their British counterparts. The middle class are no supporters of local labour as demonstrated by your sis

Who talks about the skill shortage now?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My reasoning was on principle. My sister and her beau have a combined annual income of circa £90k and at the time it was trendy to have a polish this and a polish that not to mention the savings they made on the backs of the local tradesmen of whom they could easily have afforded. Personally my income dropped 10k that was a direct consequence of the influx of ahem 'skilled workers' from the eastern bloc. There was many an unoccupied afternoon spent in the pub hearing stories from other tradespeople who'd dropped their rate from £125-175 to £50 a day just to secure something only to find later on they had been undercut yet again and lost the business to Poles. Resistance was futile so I went back to being White collar.

It's great that you could move from building to white collar - I think there are lots of people who would benefit from having such flexibility inst

I ead of complaining that they can't get a job.

I imagine that builders rely heavily on people moving house and wanting to do up parts of the house. Since people are not moving this must affect overall riequirements for builders.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

my experience of polish workers has been great. i got one bathroom in my house renovated by a scouse/welsh guy. i did not go for the cheapest. i looked at photos of his previous work. he did a reasonable job tiling and waterproofing. but made an error on the size of my shower enclosure door which i had to return at my expense. he had a few last bits and pieces to finish up, which i assumed he would do in the course of the last day. so i paid him and did not see him again. i had no preconceptions of scousers but it made me believe that there is some truth to the stereotype. for my next bathroom i got a polish guy through a polish tiler ( who in turn was recommended by an english plumber). he was fantastic. did a great job, his rates were very reasonable and he did not take many or any breaks. worked really hard and did a thorough job.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

my experience of polish workers has been great. i got one bathroom in my house renovated by a scouse/welsh guy. i did not go for the cheapest. i looked at photos of his previous work. he did a reasonable job tiling and waterproofing. but made an error on the size of my shower enclosure door which i had to return at my expense. he had a few last bits and pieces to finish up, which i assumed he would do in the course of the last day. so i paid him and did not see him again. i had no preconceptions of scousers but it made me believe that there is some truth to the stereotype. for my next bathroom i got a polish guy through a polish tiler ( who in turn was recommended by an english plumber). he was fantastic. did a great job, his rates were very reasonable and he did not take many or any breaks. worked really hard and did a thorough job.

Many british workers let themselves down. There is kudos involved in being in and out of a job as quickly as poss rather than doing the best job. Rather strange and may have something to do with the class system here. Obviously there are good and bad trades of all nationalities.

To some not finishing a job is akin to a tom cat marking its territory. Was going to ask if the scouser was rascist but with that background I suppose not!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

know a lad who's a plasterer,currently charges £90 a day and has a full book.his work(and this comes from a builder mate who uses him,is top notch).Said builder tells me he knows a few plasterers who moan about a lack of work and still want a ton fifty a day.

on anotehr tack,heard a story from a mate who's a plumber.was given the number of a young plumber who had no work.he needed help,rang the lad and said what's your rate,lad says won't work for less than £150.mate told me it didn't make sense to employ subbies who charge more than him.

The lad probably started training/thinking of being a plumber in the loadsa money days pre 2005/6. Plumbers were doing very nicely. ..but many tradesmen refuse to accept change.

BTW when did the plasterer lower his rate or was he always that price? I assume that the fully employed plasterer gets work from builders and I wonder whether they have made similar adjustments in their pricing or pocket the difference. Or is everyone in together.......?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • 259 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.