Service Professional Cost & Benefits


Cost Guides - Accredited Traders

Cost guide: Drain and Sewage Services

The well-known adage of ‘prevention is better than cure’ applies itself perfectly to a range of trades and household works. Furthermore, the most savvy of customers will recognise that hiring a professional for jobs such as blocked drains and refilling sinks, can be much cheaper and less time consuming than trying to take on the task with an arsenal of gadgets and chemicals.

Preventing Drain Blockages

By way of preventing issues and protecting your pocket, it is advisable to be aware of what you fill your drains with. Food waste and dense fluids such as grease should be disposed of via the bin and not the drain. They can result in blockages that are stubborn and a nightmare to remove. Waste food should be thrown directly into the bin and grease or fat should be absorbed with kitchen towel before being binned. Another savvy tip is to pour liquid fat into a disposable container or glass jar, allow it to cool in the fridge. Once it’s solidified, you can easily scrape it into the bin.

Preventing Toilet Blockages

Although a blocked toilet may be more readily unblocked, addressing the initial cause of the blockage allows the owner to ensure that future complications and costs are avoided. A qualified contractor will be able to use CCTV inspection to determine whether the drain has suffered damage. Such damage can be caused, by tree roots growing into the drain and damaging the structure, fractures and displaced joints. In order to limit expenses, a drain liner can be installed, which is usually cheaper than a full excavation and replacement.

Guttering and Rainwater Gully’s

Rods and chemicals may provide some assistance in addressing blockages to guttering and rainwater gullies, though in general, they are ineffective in rectifying the full problem. A professional is able to access and clear the gutter or gully, usually for a lower cost than supermarket products. Again, preventing blockages in the first place also prevents unnecessary expenses. Those whose properties are surrounded by trees are advised to make use of a gutter brush that allows water to flow as intended, but prevents the collection of leaves and debris. The brush adapts to the gutter independently and can be removed with ease for cleaning if required.


Cost Guide: Plasterers

There are a wealth of jobs that plasters are able to undertake, including rendering, skimming and ceiling repairs and there are ways in which money can be saved when undertaking such work.

Ceiling Repairs

Damages caused by leaks and water can be costly to rectify. Do be aware that ceilings do not necessarily need to be fully replaced in the event of water damage. A plaster may well be able to address specific areas, without the need to undertake a full replacement. In order to reduce expenses, offer assistance where possible, by removing wallpaper and belongings, which will reduce the time that the plasterer must invest on into the job.

Rendering

Outside rendering can be a costly job, but there are ways in which expenses can be reduced. If a plaster has plenty of space and any obstructions are removed, there charges will be minimised. Making an environment more workable for the plasterer will always be reflected well in the price.

Skimming

Plasterers who are making the finish of walls smooth, or rectifying the scene following a rewire or other such work, will appreciate any efforts to improve accessibility. Removal of art, wallpaper and furniture will free up the plaster’s time and in turn, reduce your bill.


Cost Guide: Removals

Selling and buying property is an expensive enough game on its own and so finding new ways to reduce the cost of removals can be a welcome salvation for any mover. The following tips provide some great ways to save money when hiring removal workers.

Packing and Moving

Many removal companies offer the service of packing up your possessions, including dismantling and reassembling as needed. By way of limiting costs, completing as much of the work yourself as possible will reduce the amount charged. Also, be upfront and thorough when detailing the inventory. The removal company will likely charge a higher rate for last second adjustments to worker numbers because a job is larger than expected. Better still, ask the removal company to compile the inventory themselves and quote accordingly - that way, the responsibility lies with them.

Rather than hiring the services of the removal company to pack up your possessions, where possible complete the task yourself. Packing boxes, bubble wrap and tape are readily available at a low cost. You’ll also reduce costs if you dismantle any pieces yourself. Explain this to the removal company and they should reduce their quote.

For small properties or moves a short distance away, hiring a man with a van may be a preferred and cheaper option. There are several independent workers in this field and your removals company may even offer this solution. Do ensure that your driver has relevant insurance to ensure that your possessions are financially protected whilst in transit. Furthermore, be prepared to wrap and pack your possessions independently.


Cost guide: builders

Building jobs can be as varied as they are costly and the majority of homeowners are at a loss when gauging an appropriate price for their building job. There are certain jobs that allow the owner to influence the quote that they receive, as below.

Planning

Thorough planning of any job is advisable to avoid future unexpected costs. Making amendments or working ‘off plan’ can result in unexpected charges and surprise happenings. Thorough plans will outline all likely costs from outset.

Foundation Works

The greatest impact too unexpected foundation work costs can be weather influences. Rather than rush to begin a job at any part of the year, money can be saved by arranging for the work to be completed in a dry month that allows builders access to the site without being interrupted by rain. Another costly element of such work is waste removal. Rather than have your builder take responsibility for this, adopt the chore yourself. It may be that you can make use of some of the bi-products or that a skip-run or two could clean the area thoroughly.

Bathroom Refurbishments

Bathroom refurbishments are one of the most common jobs that are taken on by homeowners by way of renovating their property. To avoid unnecessary costs, it is wise to acknowledge that poor quality suites are more likely to fail and result in further work in the near future. Rather than opt for false economy, it is worth increasing your initial spend slightly, to ensure better quality and more reliable products.

Builder Utilities

Workmen on your site need provisions for toilets, refreshments and resting space. If your job is likely to take some time, it may be that the builders include the hire of portacabins and portaloos. These costs can be avoided by allowing the workers to access your facilities. This may mean storing your possessions if necessary, though these costs will be considerably less than the hire of portable facilities for the workers.


Cost Guide: Locksmiths

Locksmiths are often hired to assist owners in a variety of unexpected incidents or emergencies. Whether it be inadvertently locking yourself out of your home or having to urgently replace locks following a break-in, there are ways in which costs can still be minimised, without undermining the urgency of the work.

Avoid Further Damage

When an owner locks themselves out of their property, instinct often dictates that they try their best to access their home by fiddling with their locks or trying a variety of tools to break in. These measures often cause excessive damage and result in much higher costs to repair and replace the locks than would have originally been the case.

Damage can be caused to furniture locks easily and so the principle above applied. If the lock to a cabinet, unit or safe is jammed, a locksmith will be able to pick it relatively easily and for a low cost. Repairing a piece of furniture will be considerably more expensive than hiring an professional to pick the lock.

Prevention

By way of preventing unnecessary costs, it is imperative to change locks whenever there is a potential threat or increased risk of your property being accessed by a stranger or burglar who has a key to the old lock. The cost of a professional lock change, to at least one of the locks on an external door, will be considerably less than the expenses incurred if you are burgled.

uPVC Windows and Doors

A multi-point lock can sometimes become a difficult mechanism to manoeuvre, by forcing the lock it is likely to jam. To repair a jammed lock, a full replacement is usually required, which is costly and avoidable. Rather than trying to force the lock, a locksmith will be able to realign the locks and frame points. Although the job requires the specialisms of a locksmith, it is a low cost undertaking and as such, much cheaper than a full replacement.


Cost Guide: Bathroom Fitters

Replacing and refurbishing bathrooms can be a costly job and many homeowners accept this as a necessary evil in achieving their ideal property. However, there are a variety of ways in which costs can be reduced when making amendments to a bathroom.

Refurbishments

When refurbishing a bathroom, rather than making massive changes, costs will be kept low if bathroom fittings can remain in the same place. This avoids the need to employ specialist traders and reduces expense as well as time. Further reductions in price when refurbishing a bathroom can be achieved by keeping tiling to a minimum. Rather than tiling the whole room, tile only the areas that are necessary, such as shower and sink surrounds.

Wet Rooms

To reduce costs when installing a wetroom, consider only waterproofing the areas surrounding the shower, rather than the whole room. Again, this will reduce costs and the time taken to complete the room.

Fittings

Costs can be lessened by purchasing finance conscious fittings, such as economic showerheads and ceramic tiles, that are easier to fit. Floor standing sinks and bidets are more easily installed and therefore reduce costs. Being savvy with such purchases will ultimately decrease the cost to make changes and additions to your bathroom.

Cost guide: burglar alarm and security

There are a wide range of security measures that can be taken to protect a property, including alarms and CCTV systems. Although they are an additional cost, when compared to the expense of replacing goods and insurance increases following a burglary, these purchases can be much more costly.

Servicing

Burglar alarms should be serviced annually to ensure that they work efficiently and to prevent faults. Alarms that are not serviced are much more likely to suffer from faults and damages which can prove to be costly. Taking advantage of the opportunity to service your device will inevitably save money.

Wired or Wireless?

Modern, innovative alarm systems tend to be wireless and with most companies quoting per sensor, this can be a costly improvement to your security system. Enquire about including some of the wired system into the wireless improvements, to help reduce costs.

Floodlights

When installing a floodlight, the most important consideration is the location of the light. Installing a light in the wrong area can lead to the need to replace or revise the system, which can be time and cost inefficient. Further savings can be made by making use of a energy efficient system. Older systems are often electricity gluttonous and increase utility bills rapidly. Installing a modern LED floodlight will be much more energy efficient and cost effective.

CCTV

Installing a CCTV system to your property can be the ideal way to increase security in the area. However, the installation job can rapidly increase in cost if location plans are not thoroughly cemented from the start. A CCTV installation company are likely to hike their prices up if changes to locations and plans are made halfway through a job. A digital video recorder, with extra channels and hard-drive will allow users to add additional cameras at a later date, without suffering unnecessary high charges.


Cost guide: roofers

Roofing jobs are amongst some of the most urgent repairs that customers look to fix. With the necessity to act quickly on a variety of such work, many consumers accept excessive quotes for speedy delivery. There are several ways in which costs can be kept low without compromising the efficiency of your roof.

Ridge Tiles

Replacing ridge tiles can be a cheap undertaking that can be completed quickly. In order to minimise costs, it is advisable to remove the existing ridge tiles and any damaged mortar and then arrange for a roofer to re-bed and reposition professionally. It is not always necessary to include additives in the water (such as waterproofer or cement dye). These can increase the cost of work and your roofer will be able to determine whether they’re absolutely necessary. Costs can be further controlled by, reusing any tiles that are in good condition. The roofer will be able to address the possibility of this and advise whether any of the tiles can be reused and re-bedded, rather than destroyed.

Fascia and Guttering Replacement

Removing wooden fascias and soffits and replacing all guttering’s and downpipes can be a time and money consuming undertaking. Replacing the material with products made from rosewood, mahogany and other expensive woods will increase the price vastly. The cheapest option is to replace the fascias and soffits with white products, which are readily sourced and cheaply replaced if needed.

Dry Verge Protection

Protecting your property from rain penetration using Manthorpe dry verge protection systems can be a costly job. False economy is prevalent in this area, as consumers opt for cheaper products that inevitably fail and need replacing quickly. In order to secure a good deal and reassurance of quality, source quotes from at least 3 roofing companies and be thorough in your research of their feedback. This will ensure that you don’t hire a cowboy or a company that has offered a poor service or products to previous customers.


Cost guide: electricians

Electricians may be hired for countless domestic jobs and it is therefore difficult for consumers to understand whether a quote is fair and reliable. Below are some examples of the ways in which homeowners can save money on some common jobs that require the work of a qualified electrician.

Tripped Circuits due to RCD (Residual Current Device) Loss

An RCD fault is the most common cause for loss of power within a home. A qualified electrician will be well placed to assess and address the cause of the fault safely. It can take a great deal of time for an electrician to source the cause of the fault and the consumer can save money by doing this on their behalf. By testing each piece of equipment in the home, to establish which one is causing the trip, the consumer can save the electrician a great deal of time, minimising the costs incurred. Also, electricians are likely to charge by time as well as job and so ensure that access is clear to all rooms so that the workman can freely move around your property as necessary.

Upgrading a Distribution Board

Safety and control of household electricity usage can be achieved by installing a modern distribution board, with at least 2 RCDs. Those looking for greater control, may opt for a board where all circuits are controlled by individual RCDs (RCBOs). This type of board gives the user greater control if a fault occurs, as only one circuit will be affected. However, if this is not a necessity, it’s an additional cost and so should be avoided. Upon installation of a new board, the electrician will need to complete a series of tests. To minimise additional costs, homeowners should provide easy access to all areas of the property, so that the electrician doesn’t waste time manoeuvring around rooms.

Full Rewire

Out-dated electricity systems can lead to the necessity of a full rewire of the property. This can be a time consuming job and the electrician will need access to all areas of the home. Costs can be reduced by, moving out of the property whilst the work is completed to eliminate the need for the electrician to clean away thoroughly each evening. This will also free up accessibility of the home while the electrician works. Rewiring of a full property takes time and causes mess. An electrician who doubles up as a cleaner will charge more and so do offer to undertaking some cleaning duties to, by way of minimising costs.


Cost Guide: Gardeners

Hiring a professional gardener to undertaking a variety of jobs in your outdoor space can result in exceptional quality, but high costs. The following tips provide advice on how to reduce expenditure for some common gardening jobs.

Killing Weeds

Buying supermarket weed killers or hiring a professional for a one-off application may not fully tackle the problem. Some weeds require several applications and extensive attention to fully remove them. It may be more economical to discuss to possibility of a year-round weed-killing programme with your gardener. Such programmes all but guarantee success and are likely to be considerably cheaper in the long run.

Lawn/Grass Cutting

Gardeners may readily accept lawn-mowing jobs, irrespective of the size of the grounds. The additional costs mount with the removal of cuttings from the property. The overall costs can therefore be decreased if the owner accepts the responsibility of the collection and removal of cuttings themselves. This can be removed via the garden-waste bin or in a compost heap.

Fencing

Erecting fencing, either as a replacement or new addition to your garden can be an expensive undertaking. The additional costs can mount up if there are accessibility issues or old posts are rotten and set in. By way of reducing costs, it is advisable to maximise accessibility and where possible, remove old fencing and posts prior to the new ones being erected. Again, accepting the responsibility of disposing of waste yourself will reduce the costs further.

Pressure Washing

Many gardeners charge an hourly rate for power or jet washing. To save unexpected costs or time delays, it is advisable to obtain a fixed price for a job. Also, hire a gardener who has their own equipment to prevent the need to pay hire costs for a washer.


Cost guide: painters and decorators

Decorating the inside or outside of a property can often result in the need to hire a professional painter and decorator. There are a variety of ways in which the costs for doing so can be minimised.

Redecorating

For many homeowners, wallpaper is a dated concept and paint is a preferred method of decorating. To minimise the costs of hiring a professional painter and decorator, homeowners are advised to remove wallpaper themselves, which will save a great amount of time for the decorator and reduce rates considerably. It is often believed that a plasterer will need to address the walls prior to painting, though a good decorator should be able to prepare the walls without the need to hire another tradesperson. There may be an additional charge for the preparation of the walls, though this is likely to be considerably less than the charges incurred for hiring a plasterer.

External Work

Many decorators are able to paint exteriors, including masonry and undertake minor repairs where necessary. This reduces the overall costs for a homeowner, who is able to avoid hiring multiple professionals. Exterior work should undergo maintenance every three years or so to prevent excessive faults or the need to hire multiple tradespeople to address issues.

Redecoration of Internal Rooms

The golden rule when trying to limit costs for internal redecoration is to make the room accessible and prepared. This prevents the decorator undertaking the duties. Remove furniture where possible and any items that cannot be removed, should be covered in preparation for the decorator to begin immediately.

Allowing a painter and decorator to work on two rooms simultaneously will give them greater flexibility and reduce overall working time. This allows the decorator to work around drying times in one room, whilst progressing on another and will ultimately reduce the overall cost of their services.

Paint Purchases

When buying paint, it is important to recognise that cheap paint is likely to stale easily and discolour quickly. Good quality paint may be more expensive, but it will last longer and look better. Buying a larger tub of high quality paint is advisable to guarantee lasting colour, less faults and a better rate.


Cost guide: carpet and upholstery cleaning

Cleaning carpets and furniture upholstery can be a chore that many people undertake themselves. However, to be guaranteed a great service at a low rate, the following tips should be followed.

Stain Removal

Following an accidental spill, the temptation to try a variety of chemicals and removal agents is tempting. However, this should be avoided as it can set the stain and even spread it. When this happens, a whole carpet replacement may be necessary. To reduce costs, ask the carpet cleaner to tackle the isolated stained area only, rather than the whole carpet. The carpet cleaner may be able to address the stain only and this will reduce costs considerably.

Carpet Cleaning in a New Home

When moving into a new home, the desire to clean the carpets professionally is likely to be a priority. In order to reduce the costs of completing a full clean, it is advisable to initiate the services prior to moving furniture into the property. This allows for thorough and easy access to the cleaning company.

Upholstery Cleaning

The time needed to clean a three-piece suite will dictate the cost and so the more quickly the job can be competed, the cheaper the expense will be. Be thorough in your explanation of the job to the cleaning company to ensure that there are no surprises once the work commences. Again, provide clear access to the furniture and remove and scatter cushions and throws prior to their arrival.

General Carpet Cleaning

When hiring a carpet cleaning company, discounts are likely to be given for multiple rooms. The bulk of a charge for a professional carpet cleaner is the call out fee and so utilising their services as much as possible in one visit is recommended.

By way of reducing the overall need for their services, removing shoes before walking on a carpet is important. Minimising the traffic of pets will also reduce dirt particles being trodden into the carpets.


Cost guide: Budget or luxury materials and finish?

Some budget fixtures and fittings may be equally as good as more expensive versions, whereas others may be false economy. The following tips have been received by a variety of tradespeople with regards to whether spending a bit more is worth it.

Kitchen and Bathroom Fittings

Kitchen and bathroom fittings and accessories are widely available and luckily, luxury doesn’t always equate to expense. Some brands are more readily recognised and their success is born from that recognition, rather than through the reliability and quality of their products. In order to save money, it is advisable to seek out a lengthy warranty on products, instead of a recognised brand name. A long warranty reflects a manufacturer's confidence in their products.

Carpentry

In carpentry, cost is directly linked to quality. Bespoke and luxurious pieces are available, though they will command higher sums but the costs are regarded as worthwhile for those who can afford it. When buying carpentry, it is advisable to buy the best quality pieces within budget and don’t compromise to save a few pounds. Such pieces will last the test of time and the quality will shine through.

Painting and Decorating

The paints and products used in decorating can certainly increase the cost of a job. However, quality can also be achieved through the service levels given by the tradesperson. A higher price tag may command better quality paints and papers, but should also guarantee a fine-tuned service that includes thorough planning and excellent clean-up services. Cheaper products may be an excellent approach for those looking to sell a property and those who are happy to achieve a temporary finish. Generally though, anyone looking for high quality appearance without compromising longevity should opt for higher quality initially.


Cost Guide: Central Heating

The following tips provide advice on how to make savings in a variety of central heating related jobs.

Replacing Room Thermostat

Poorly located thermostats, for example in a draughty area, can prove to be inefficient and costly. Relocating the thermostat to a more suitable area can be done wirelessly and lead to greater efficiency and comfort within the home. Don’t be quick to replace dirty thermostats. Instead, try to clean them or employ a professional cleaner to attentively address the thermostat first.

Replacing a Gas Boiler

Converting a cylinder system with a combination boiler can be an expensive undertaking due to the need to reconfigure pipework. The old system will also need to be decommissioned and removed. When making such a replacement, it is advisable to seek out the longest warranty for parts and labour, rather than the cheapest initial outlay. This can save vast amounts in the future if the new boiler fails.

Pipe and Water Tank Repairs

When a split water tank or pipe is noticed, delays can cause additional costs. Although emergency call outs can be costly, their expense is nominal in comparison to replacing ceilings and repairing further damage. Insulating all pipes and the tank will help to prevent splits occurring in the first place.

Shower Valve Replacement

When having a shower valve replaced, tiling may be needed if the new valve is not the same size as the previous one. Ideally, to reduce such costs in the future, opt for shower fittings that have replaceable cartridges to avoid the need to replace the whole valve.

Ceiling Damp Patches

Not addressing damp patches can result in extensive damage and increased costs. In order to prevent such patches, checking the seals around showers, taps and baths can ensure that leaks are avoided. Furthermore, tile grout can spoil over time and this will inevitably encourage damp patches and damage to ceilings and walls.


Cost Guide: Glaziers

Glazing damages are likely to need urgent attention and can be costly. The following tips help to reduce the expenses of some of the most common glazing concerns.

Misted-Up Windows

Rather than pay for temporary fixes, such as drilled in plugs, ask a glazier to replace the unit completely. New units last from between 10 - 20 years and can costs as little as £150 plus VAT per unit. This can result in a considerable saving over time.

Gutter Leaks

When gutters start to leak, many homeowners believe that the only option is to replace them. To save a vast amount of money, it is much cheaper to have gutters and downpipes removed and cleaned thoroughly. This will remove blocked debris and result in efficiency at a fraction of the cost of replacement.

Draughty Doors

Don’t be hasty in believing that a draughty door needs to be replaced. Rogue traders may jump at the chance to charge you excessively for a job that can be avoided. Rather than replace a full door, it may only be necessary to address loose seals on the door. This is a job that could be completed at home, or if you would prefer to hire a professional, it is readily completed for hundreds of pounds less than replacing the full door.

Conservatories

Rather than hiring a variety of tradespeople to build a conservatory, it is best to employ a company that can complete the work fully themselves. This avoids confusions and hiked costs. Request that your chosen company provide thorough plans, including a CAD drawing, prior to commencing the project to ensure that your requests, has been thoroughly interpreted.


Cost Guide: Plumbers

Plumbing jobs are varied and can be costly. There are a number of ways in which homeowners can reduce expenses and the following tips provide sound advice on limiting costs.

Boilers

Boilers that seem to provide no hot water are infuriating and can be expensive to repair. Faulty immersion heaters will need to be replaced, which involves removing and draining the cylinder, which will then need to be refilled and vented. Most plumbers charge by the hour and this job should take between 1 and 3 hours. The larger the cylinder, the greater the time needed to complete the work. To prevent the need for such work, it is advisable to fit a limescale preventer to the heater, particularly in hard water areas.

Blocked Sinks

Unblocking a sink is a relatively easy job, though plumbers tend to charge by the hour. Preventing blockages is the best way to reduce such costs and so disposing of cooking fats and oils in the bin, along with food debris, can go along way to reducing the need to hire a professional. A plumber will be able to install a ‘rodding eye’ to allow easy access to the waste pipe in the future, again preventing additional future costs.

Heating and Hot Water Failure

When your home is devoid of heating and hot water, urgent attention is often required. Before rushing to call a plumber, make some simple but thorough checks first. This includes confirming that the boiler is turned on, that there is enough pressure in the gauge, and whether there are any errors displayed on the boiler. Some jobs, such as venting radiators, can be undertaken from home by the owner rather than calling out a professional. ONline tutorials are readily available and can reduce call out and repair costs substantially.

Retrieving Possessions from Waste Pipes

Recovering items that have accidentally been dropped down the pipe of a sink or basin can be a tense and urgent job. Never run water down the pipe following the drop, so as to limit the chance of losing the item. Provide clear access and room to work for the plumber to ensure that they do not need to spend excessive amounts of time retrieving the item.

Ceiling Leaks

It is possible to reduce the costs charged by a plumber if you are able to give a reasonable location of the leak. This saves the plumber time in searching for the cause and in turn, reduced the cost. In order to further reduce potential expenses, make thorough checks of pipework and seals regularly. Replace broken seals and worn grout to limit leaks and damage.


Cost Guide: Interior Designers

Making your home look luxurious and adopting high quality style does not necessarily mean spending a great deal. The following tips will help to improve the aesthetics of your home, without spending the earth.

Window Dressing

Bespoke curtains can add to the grandeur of any room and enhance the quality of an appearance instantly. Curtain makers will be able to an exceptional job with low cost fabrics and so feel comfortable in choosing a lower cost material that drapes well.

Flooring

When replacing a floor, it is usually much cheaper to order in larger quantities and so if you are considering replacing the floor in numerous rooms, order in bulk. Flooring options are varied, as are costs and so liaise with your designer with regards to achieving the ideal finish within budget, It is advisable to hire a company that provides a fixed costs for materials, equipment and fitting to avoid nasty surprises in the future.

Dressing and Accessorising a Room

Where possible, when dressing a room, don’t replace everything and work with the furniture and accessories that you have. Colour coordinating a room can be aesthetically pleasing, without the need to replace large pieces of furniture. Buying a universal coloured three-piece suite means that you can readily change colour schemes through scatter cushions, rather than replacing large, expensive pieces of furniture.

High street stores follow high-end designers for inspiration and so mixing expensive pieces with cheaply available pieces can be an excellent way to achieve a designer finish for a fraction of the price.


Cost Guide: Landscape Designers

Landscaping outside spaces allows homeowners to have impressive entrances and leisure spaces. However, such jobs can be costly and so the following tips aim to provide advice on how to limit expense.

Extensions

Adding a domestic extension to a property may be an exciting undertaking but costs can rapidly spiral if a contract is not in place. Inexpensive and easy to understand contracts are readily sourced and should be insisted upon to protect finances.

Sandstone Patios

Ensuring that your contractor understands the full requirements and has interpreted them as per your wishes will prevent unpleasant surprises and price increases halfway through a job. Be sure to record the required meterage for paving and ask the contractor to mark this out prior to commencing. Costs may be able to be reduced if the contractor is able to source and make use of recycled products and so be sure to request this as a consideration.

Driveway Construction

Understanding whether the area to be paved is free of drains will ensure that there are no avoidable damages once work commences. Be sure to communicate any potential drains to the contractor. Where possible, costs can be reduced by undertaking the waste disposal personally.


Cost Guide: Carpenters

Carpentry work can be costly, though there are a number of steps that can be taken to reduce the expense of some common carpentry jobs.

Door Hanging

When hanging new doors, the type of finish will dictate the cost of the job. A painted finish is more expensive than a wood finish. Also, bespoke doors are likely to cost more to hang than a standards door. Be aware of the finish that you require in order to save money in the long run.  Pre-primed, pressed doors are best for those who want a painted finish. Veneered doors are excellent for those looking for a hardwood and polished finish as they are less prone to warping and give an exceptional aesthetical finish.

Wooden Floors

Installing new wooden floors can be a costly undertaking, however costs can be, reduced by sourcing cheaper materials. An oak floor is less expensive than other woods, such as walnut. An engineered pre-finished floor may not cost less in materials, but labour costs will be significantly reduced and the need for sanding and sealing will be reduced.

Kitchen Fitting

To reduce costs when fitting a new kitchen, keep as much of your original fitting in place as possible. A high quality finish can be achieved by replacing minimal areas, such as worktops and taps, without the need to completely remove one kitchen and install another. Offering to remove waste yourself will also reduce the cost charged by the fitter. Be steadfast when discussing the new kitchen with a manufacturer or fitter to ensure that you are not upsold to unnecessarily.


Cost Guide: Kitchen Design and Installation

A new kitchen can instantly improve the appearance of a property and so it is easy to excuse costs, but expenses can be kept low by following the tips below.

Full Kitchen Remodelling

Designing, supplying and fitting a new kitchen can be incredibly expensive, particularly if numerous contractors are hired. Assuming that the location of current appliance is acceptable, a kitchen fitter can work around this to limit the need to hire a variety of professionals for rewiring and re-plumbing.

Store Bought Kitchen Fitting

When installing a store bought kitchen, ensure that all pieces arrive before the fitter does, to avoid delays in waiting for delivery and sourcing missing pieces. It is advisable to source a quote from an independent fitter as store fitters tend to be much more expensive.

Granite Worktops

Removing old worktops and replacing with granite finishes can rely upon the services of a specialist. Such a worker can overcome complications such as under mount sinks and multiple joints. By way of saving money in this area, it is advisable to offer to remove old pieces and waste yourself. This will limit the time that a contractor needs to invest in a job and in turn, reduce the amount that they charge you.

Appliance Replacement

Replacing appliances can be expensive, but costs can soar if changing fuel too. Replacing a gas oven for an electric one can hike prices considerably and so where possible, it is advisable to stick to the same fuel. Further price reductions will occur for those who are able to dispose of old appliances themselves. Stores and fitters will charge exceptionally high prices for removing such items and so independently taking on this task is likely to be the favourable option.

Tiling

When tiling or tiling a kitchen, to save money, it is advisable to consider using square or diamond ceramic tiles. Porcelain and mosaic tiling is much more expensive and time consuming to fit. To further reduce costs, consider using a splashback inset of tiling. This is much cheaper to buy and fit.

Vinyl flooring is currently a fashionable alternative to tiling. Vinyl floors are versatile and hardwearing and cost a fraction of the price of tiled alternatives.


Cost Guide: Aerial and Satellite Installations

Thorough planning and research can ensure that the costs for aerial and satellite installations are reduced substantially.

Aerial Installation

If signal levels are poor, a taller and larger aerial will be required. It is sometimes possible to connect a new aerial into an existing distribution system, without having to replace it. This will save the homeowner a good deal of money and the contractor, a lot of time.

Satellite Installation

Satellites rely o a clear line of sight and signals can be, disrupted by things such as trees and buildings. In order to source the most efficient location, time should be spent is assessing the surrounds of the property and ensuring that a clear sight line is available. Overcoming a blocked signal will require additional bracketry, which will increase costs and time needed to complete a job.

TV Wall Mounting

There are three types of brackets available for mounting a TV and they vary in cost. The cheapest option is the mount fixed bracket, which mounts the TV to the wall like a picture. Mount tilt brackets allow you to mount the TV and tilt the TV from top to bottom. The most expensive option is a swing bracket, which, allow you to pull the TV away from the wall and move it from right to left as well as tile from bottom to top.

To reduce costs, ensure that the bracket chosen is suitable to the desired wall. Be through in assessing the cables required and understanding how these will be fed to the TV and how you want to conceal them. The aerial installer will be able to assist in this work at a fraction of the cost for calling out a different trader at an extra rate.