Internet Know How

Man and Machine hire estimates WOW!

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Hey Everyone,

 

Been obtaining some prices to have a 4 bed detached property demolished. I am seeing some really wild prices from people and this is why you always need multiple quotes

 

demolition: 7.5k - 21k for same house. One trying to bluff me he is only making £300/week over 3 weeks when I know it will only take the one week.

Basement dig: I need someone for 2 weeks with maybe a 14 tonne machine max, and being quoted £7000. Quite ridiculous when I can hire a 20 tonne machine for £1k/week without a guy. Im sure I could then find a guy for £150-£200/day to work the machine no problem. Total saving: £3000

 

What are your thoughts on pricing jobs, or your own experiences of being priced by trades ? I feel sometimes people think it's the postcode lottery when they rock up, and most want to know where the property is before the quote....only one reason why.

 

Heavy hitters are those doing surveys. Most want 4 figures just to turn up, and when it comes to the structural engineers, they all want £100/hour, but seem to price much more when its a really expensive house. 

 

 

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Apple's with Apple's? Sticking a guy in a machine and saying dig there is very different from a company doing a package to produce a desired result. 

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Diggers don’t work very well if you don’t put diesel in them, factor that in to your cost.

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Can I suggest those of us who are spending many thousands of pounds invest in a copy of SPONS Architects Price Guide?

 

Yes it costs £120 ish, and takes some effort to dig in to,  but saves  fuss and difficult conversations. Far in excess of its cost. It gives you hard objective evidence. For non professionals spending lots of cash, its invaluable.

 

It comes with a license for the electronic version , and that makes for high speed research.

Every time I post this response to pricing threads I get a stream of PMs asking me to price something based on my copy of SPONS. Usually I can help, but my copy has vaporised recently. Proof of its value maybe?

 

I have no financial interest in the book

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21 minutes ago, Internet Know How said:

when I can hire a 20 tonne machine for £1k/week


Try insuring a £125k machine with no operator ticket and see what your insurance price is ... That £1k will be an assumed all risks hire and have a ticketed operator. Add another £300 for delivery and collection too. Doubt you will have change from £5k min all in before you put a driver in the cab. 
 

On your demo are you asking for everything taken away ..?  Any soft strip and reclaim or are you just letting them hit the building cold ..? All makes a difference. 
 

 

 

 

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My mate did our ground works for £45 /hour for him in a 16tonne machine. He charges £35/hr for his 5tonne. The house clearance and ground works, stoning and muck away and drainage came in at £15k. I demolished the house myself.

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6 minutes ago, Rmawdsley said:

Diggers don’t work very well if you don’t put diesel in them, factor that in to your cost.

 

How often have you over-filled yours ? Is so easy to end up with a boot full of red.

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4 minutes ago, PeterW said:


Try insuring a £125k machine with no operator ticket and see what your insurance price is ... That £1k will be an assumed all risks hire and have a ticketed operator. Add another £300 for delivery and collection too. Doubt you will have change from £5k min all in before you put a driver in the cab. 
 

On your demo are you asking for everything taken away ..?  Any soft strip and reclaim or are you just letting them hit the building cold ..? All makes a difference. 
 

 

 

 

The £1k is plus £100/each way delivery and pick up for the 20 tonne machine. For demo, its to take everything away yes. Id say the 7.5k to 10k to be about the right price, but upper levels of 21k is pushing for too much. Im just finding that with these types of jobs, people want 5-10k profit out of it at the end of the week...and even then they might be cleaning and selling on the brick etc. Im all for making profit....but not pricing myself out of a job

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3 minutes ago, ToughButterCup said:

 

How often have you over-filled yours ? Is so easy to end up with a boot full of red.

Diesel for 2 weeks, few hundred quid max. no problem

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9 minutes ago, Conor said:

My mate did our ground works for £45 /hour for him in a 16tonne machine. He charges £35/hr for his 5tonne. The house clearance and ground works, stoning and muck away and drainage came in at £15k. I demolished the house myself.

Thats more like it. Its 100% reasonable. When you start getting to £100+ per hour, its way over priced then. I dont want to pay cheap and get cheap, I want a job done well at a good going rate. 

 

Thing is....making 3k savings on jobs of this size 10 times on a big job and its £30k saved. 

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24 minutes ago, ToughButterCup said:

 

How often have you over-filled yours ? Is so easy to end up with a boot full of red.

Our 13 and 7 ton machines have pumps 🙌  and the 3 ton machine it just ends up all over your jeans and in your boots if your preoccupied.

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What is your site access like? I see you are planning sheet piling down each side of your plot taking up to a property on each side. What’s the foot print of your plot? Is it a straight dig or are there services running through the plot? What’s happening with the excavated material? There are many variables to digging a hole and so the quote you receive of people will be down to their interpretation of the job, are they all like for like? And then you will get some chancers and then you will get some people who just don’t fancy the job and so lump a load on. 

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we where £400 a day (plus diesel) for one guy with 8t digger, 2t dumper and a sit on roller. i drove the dumper and my father was in the OUR jcb 3cx. Money well spent! He was one of that guys who could turm his hand to everything, we also took him on as a labourer on the ICF pour days.

Edited by Alexphd1

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1 hour ago, Rmawdsley said:

What is your site access like? I see you are planning sheet piling down each side of your plot taking up to a property on each side. What’s the foot print of your plot? Is it a straight dig or are there services running through the plot? What’s happening with the excavated material? There are many variables to digging a hole and so the quote you receive of people will be down to their interpretation of the job, are they all like for like? And then you will get some chancers and then you will get some people who just don’t fancy the job and so lump a load on. 

Access is straight in from the front. sheet piling will take place to the party wall, and the plot is getting up there for 1000sqm. Its a straight dig into sand, no services to worry about. Excavated material will be taken away on 16 tonne loads, managed separately but working with the team who do the dig. I agree its based on peoples interpretation so I always try to tell them exactly what Im expecting for the job so they can quote to the requirement. 

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1 hour ago, Alexphd1 said:

we where £400 a day (plus diesel) for one guy with 8t digger, 2t dumper and a sit on roller. i drove the dumper and my father was in the OUR jcb 3cx. Money well spent! He was one of that guys who could turm his hand to everything, we also took him on as a labourer on the ICF pour days.

That seems good value. 

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In Lincolnshire I was charged £35/hr for 16 ton excavator plus operator.  The problem with everyone telling you what they paid is that it may give you a false expectation of what you think you should be paying. It all depends on what the going rate is in your particular area and just what you expect for that price.

 

The price i paid was good value with a good bloke who was very good at what he does. But I still had to tell him where to dig, what levels to work to and I was there throughout. He did his job well but the expectation was that I would tell him exactly what I wanted to achieve, i left it to him to work out the best way to do that.

 

If a company has to do all the thinking/accept liability for mistakes then it will incur additional costs.

Edited by LA3222

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1 minute ago, LA3222 said:

In Lincolnshire I was charged £35/hr for 16 ton excavator plus operator.  The problem with everyone telling you what they paid is that it may give you a false expectation of what you think you should be paying. It all depends on what the going rate is in your particular area and just what you expect for that price.

 

The price i paid was good value with a good bloke who was very good at what he does. But I still had to tell him where to dig, what levels to work to and I was there throughout. He did his job well but the expectation was that I would tell him exactly what I wanted to achieve, i left it to him to work out the best way to do that.

 

If a company has to do all the thinking/accept liability for mistakes then it will incur additional costs.

I have had to do the same myself with contractors in the past where plans were not available. On this occasion a plan with everything will be provided. I am not looking for people to give me the going rate as I agree it depends on the area and job. I am just outlining some experiences with people who come in with such varying price levels. I had one electrician a few years back come to my place saying he was £360/day. He didnt come back

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@Internet Know How that is the same across the board when building. I had some wild quotes for the bricklaying on mine, an absolute joke some of them. Its part and parcel, I have a sparky doing a days work for me in few weeks to put power into the house and rig up some sockets - charging me £300 which I'm sure is pulling my trousers down but needs must. I will reasses pricing when his fixed price for wiring the house comes through. Most of the stress/issues i have encountered so far are down to contractors, either the standard of work versus my expectations or the price - am I paying too much! I've mellowed out about it all a lot now as its not worth losing sleep over. Contractors are a minefield that have to be navigated unfortunately! For every good one there's probably a dozen charlatans out there🤷‍♂️

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We had a similar arrangement as LA3222 ie it was me going with tape measure, level etc. It worked very well. Unfortunately we hit the neighbors electrical supply (nowhere near where was shown on the power supply map) it was my responsibility for the repair cost. 

 

Dont underestimate how easy a good driver makes it look. Whe would have been days ourselves to level the last course before the insulated raft. 

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Yeah it can become stressful. My father in law allowed a plumber to charge him a grand for what was 2 days work, fitting a couple of rads and flushing out his system. I only found out after he had it done. There are some real good contractors out there yeah, and its a shame of how many charlatans there are. One of the best guys I ever got in was a joiner I found from yellow pages. He said to me, I do every job as if it was on my own home. He wasnt wrong. Everything he did was absolutely perfect, and he was about £150/day

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To add to.. and to thank everyone for all the good posts.

 

I you can't drive a machine yourself then another option if you are selfbuilding is possibly to look for a driver /machine owner.. or if you are hiring in from a larger machine contractor (machine + operator) is to explain what you are doing and that you want an operator that has worked on a few self builds, extensions etc. Maybe don't haggle down to the last penny at the beginning. Seems odd but this it's also a people thing. What you maybe really want is an operative that is a bit older...the younger ones can drive fast..but they crash.. older drivers (ask saga) are a bit slower swinging the bucket around but they easily compensate by bringing experience.

 

A good experienced operator is worth their weight in gold.. well not quite..but often much more than a few pounds and hour plus the fuel. Often if you get to know them and make an effort to get on then you'll find that they say things like..

 

"Are you sure you want to dig there? .. Do you really want to double / treble.. quadrupal handle this soil, why not put it over there?" (..all of a sudden they have saved you money) . They often also say.. I was on another site and this went wrong, and so on, "maybe you want to have a look at doing it this way". I have worked with operatives that love giving a hand, they will jump out the machine and muck in if you are struggling on a pour say and so on. The next thing they say is , oh! I know someone who can help with your next stage. If you are not on site all the time they will also help / keep an eye on the young / less experienced folk for you. If you have a machine on site the operative will often offload material, stack it all right and say to the other contractors things like.. " you should cover that before the client" gets back and so on.

 

This can really start to work in a rural location as the same driver will often end be in the same village / as a neighbour. But even in the town there are a lot of operatives that are descent folk. All you need to do is get off on the right foot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Gus Potter said:

To add to.. and to thank everyone for all the good posts.

 

I you can't drive a machine yourself then another option if you are selfbuilding is possibly to look for a driver /machine owner.. or if you are hiring in from a larger machine contractor (machine + operator) is to explain what you are doing and that you want an operator that has worked on a few self builds, extensions etc. Maybe don't haggle down to the last penny at the beginning. Seems odd but this it's also a people thing. What you maybe really want is an operative that is a bit older...the younger ones can drive fast..but they crash.. older drivers (ask saga) are a bit slower swinging the bucket around but they easily compensate by bringing experience.

 

A good experienced operator is worth their weight in gold.. well not quite..but often much more than a few pounds and hour plus the fuel. Often if you get to know them and make an effort to get on then you'll find that they say things like..

 

"Are you sure you want to dig there? .. Do you really want to double / treble.. quadrupal handle this soil, why not put it over there?" (..all of a sudden they have saved you money) . They often also say.. I was on another site and this went wrong, and so on, "maybe you want to have a look at doing it this way". I have worked with operatives that love giving a hand, they will jump out the machine and muck in if you are struggling on a pour say and so on. The next thing they say is , oh! I know someone who can help with your next stage. If you are not on site all the time they will also help / keep an eye on the young / less experienced folk for you. If you have a machine on site the operative will often offload material, stack it all right and say to the other contractors things like.. " you should cover that before the client" gets back and so on.

 

This can really start to work in a rural location as the same driver will often end be in the same village / as a neighbour. But even in the town there are a lot of operatives that are descent folk. All you need to do is get off on the right foot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thats great Gus, yeah its not all about the haggle. Nothing in the building game is cheap, and often when you pay cheap you get cheap. Im all for a good balance and a great start with people on a job. I have worked with some younger lads who just burn out or dont have the heart in work, and some older lads who seem to love their work, and as you say....offer up experiences from their own previous portfolio. Its great when you find a good contractor because they are front of mind when the next job starts! I have used the same people time and time again.

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Thank you internetknowhow and for your encouraging comments. To expand on what you say.

 

Here is a thing for folk that are starting out, it is also applicable to "veterans" as sometimes it's worth reflecting on where you started out.. and maybe why you have become a "crusty old git/ gitesse"

 

If you are reading this then you'll know (if you don't then spend a bit more time here as it will save you money and if you get stuck folk will chip in and help you) that this is great knowledge bank. I learn something new here all the time.

 

I have made a few posts where I mention that this is a people business but I don't mean that you should be a soft touch. Do your research and this will serve you well. They say "walk softly.. but carry a big stick!"  your stick is your research in some ways. The key for an enjoyable build is not to have to actually have to use the stick. Sefl building can and should be mostly fun not a nightmare.

 

 

 

 

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