Electrician Charges And Costs?

Why Would You Want To Write An Open Cheque

Electrician Charges And Costs?

11 June 2018


Two people working at a table

Thinking of hiring an electrician? Read on but first picture this scene. You book into a well reviewed hotel for a well earned break away. After a most acceptable weekend it's time to settle the bill. However, on checking out you are given a long list of vague and expensive costs to work out. What's more, the final bill is at least twice what you expected it to be! There are additional charges and all manor of costs that definitely were not made clear when you arrived. Do you challenge the bill or just pay up and swear not to revisit or recommend the hotel ever again?   Electricians rates and charges can be a bit like this. Having worked in the industry for 20 years I've met them all. Even the good guys who did a nice job down the road can fall into this category. To many electricians making too many well intentioned promises in order to win over new customers. The end result. Spiralling costs, job overruns, or in a last ditch attempt to avoid the former. Corners cut.   The accepted method for hiring an electrician is to get 3 quotes then sit back, relax and compare them before choosing who you'll use. Easy right? No.   I call this the Fixed Price + 3 Quotes method. Or FP+3 for short. The FP+3 method is really for large scale projects. Jobs that cost tens of thousands of pounds. In the contracting industry it is overseen by professionals who are skilled in estimating and project management. It's quite a different field from small domestic and commercial work.   Yet it prevails here and is seen by many as the go to method for getting tradesmen in and to work.   I'm going to discuss an alternative to the FP+3 method and introduce a new way of paying for services that will...  

  1. Give you better results more consistently
  2. Be easier to manage
  3. Cost you less money

Enter The The Electrician Hourly Charge Method But you think... "Why would I want to write an open cheque" "This is open to abuse!" Answer. Thats misunderstanding how hourly charges work.   Start with the end in mind. Firstly, you must clearly identify with your electrician exactly what it is you intend to achieve. I.e replace the old fuse box and add 3 sockets. Talking about the time involved first will give you both a clear time frame for the works and expected downtime that will be incurred. The scale of the job will be readily transparent and potential issues if any can be highlighted here instead of getting glossed over.   Once you know approximately how long a job should take you now can get a guide price if you know what they charge per hour. If you ask your electrician what their hourly rates are you are requesting an upfront and transparent description of their charges. This leaves no room for mysterious extras to climb in. Any reputable company worth their salt will readily explain their charges. Ours are listed publicly on our website here. If they struggle to do this or resist to disclose a breakdown run a mile from them now!   Hourly rate work verses fixed price also has the advantage that the trades company isn't forced into costing for worse case scenarios. In practice worse case scenarios only play out in an absolute minority of cases. As said above worse case outcomes can usually be anticipated at the start. A simple "plan b" is normally enough to manage these. This means that time savings are passed directly onto the client.   The job takes as long as it sensibly should take and a fair price is charged for a job well done.   The traditional method of getting 3 prices leaves you with the issue of who do you choose. The savvy buyer may make a decision not solely based on whose the cheapest. But really, how else do you choose? What's the difference between the 3 qoutes? Promises of best service, lifetime guarantees. People have been saying that since they started making trees out of wood! Do you decide simply on which individual you personally warmed to? That's a start but not the grounds for making a commercial decision.   Hourly rate electrician charges approach the work from a time + work done basis. Costs are itemised and the job is broken down into a clear picture. FP+3 Quotes can leave undescribed work either done or not done. It does not convey a clear message of where your money is going. The value of the work is blurred into a bulky price tag that can leave little but final price as a deciding factor.   An electrician who charges by the hour will need to be upfront, transparent and clear. They explain the value of the work and good engineers must be held accountable for their use of charged time. Materials, parts and labor are itemised on the final bill leavingnothi g to guesswork on the part of the paying customer. The dreaded "extras" charges are eliminated in a stroke. Efficiency is maintained as only time on the job is charged for. Tea breaks, personal phone calls should all be excluded from a fair companies charging policy.   FP+3 Quotes is based on the notion that the customer must protect themselves from a company who would given the chance exploit them and abuse the trust placed in them. This is hardly the terms to begin a business relationship with anyone. That being the case don't get involved. It also assumes that competition will drive the costs down giving the customer a better deal. This is a falsehood too as low costs rarely result in genuine value. The opposite in fact.   Quantum Electrical Services is commited to providing our clients with an upfront, open and transparent charging policy. We only employ artisan electricians who are proud of their work. We are members of the reputable Trust Mark scheme and approved contractors with the NICEIC. Our reputation is built on trust and we value the confidence our customers place in us. If you'd like a free consultation on electrical work at your home or office then give us a call on 0208 818 3188. We can advise you on costs and options.

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