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Colgates_shaving_foam Posted on 08/10/2018 12:58
Tradesmen - Payment etiquette
 
 
I'm getting some work done - new garden - I'm happy with the quote, been asked for more than 50% of the money upfront to cover materials.

What's people's opinions, is this normal? I guess it's a bit of a trust thing on both sides?
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London_Boro Posted on 08/10/2018 13:00

Tradesmen - Payment etiquette

 
Perfectly normal IMO. Just get a receipt and don't pay balance until job is done and you're happy with the work.

Any good tradesman would not ask for final payment until customer is satisfied with the work.
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boris_x Posted on 08/10/2018 13:05

Tradesmen - Payment etiquette

 
Personally I would not pay anybody up front.
If the guy cant cover his material cost then he shouldn't be in business.
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Boro_Boro_Boro Posted on 08/10/2018 13:36
Edited On: 08/10/2018 13:41
Tradesmen - Payment etiquette

 
Second what Boris Said.

If they havent got the available cash or credit upfront with the supplier then they wouldnt get my business.

I would pay a deposit of 10% as a retainer but they sure as hell wouldnt get any more than that.

Think of it this way, He is saying the materials for the job are costing over 50% of the value of the work... Meaning he is only taking 40% at the end...

If he takes your money and does a runner he has banked more than the job is worth to him and your left up $hite creek
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brattleboro Posted on 08/10/2018 13:44

Tradesmen - Payment etiquette

 
in this day and age there is always a possiblity of the tradesman not getting paid,it happens.im a tradesman plasterer,never happened to me to be honest,i personally would never take a pound of the customer till they tell me they are completely happy with the job ive done. i may only have to pay materials of a couple hundread quid max,so its easy for me,but some people have to pay out thousands,the word trust springs to mind for me[smi]
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brattleboro Posted on 08/10/2018 13:46

Tradesmen - Payment etiquette

 
that works, boro boro boro both ways [8)],how do you know the customer isnt going to fefault on price agreed,as i said,trust ,the key word[^]
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London_Boro Posted on 08/10/2018 13:49

Tradesmen - Payment etiquette

 
tbf, I only ever go with recommended tradesmen. i.e. ones who have done work for family or friends already
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Boro_Boro_Boro Posted on 08/10/2018 13:50
Edited On: 08/10/2018 13:56
Tradesmen - Payment etiquette

 
You're Right Battle, But trust to me does not involve paying over 50% of the cost of the work before they even set foot on the job.

Hence Why I said a 10% retainer to start off.

If the work is taking weeks to do, then a payment time plan should be set to cover both parties.... EG after week one, a third paid, Week Two another third etc.
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MightyDuck Posted on 08/10/2018 13:54

Tradesmen - Payment etiquette

 
Dont pay a penny upfront. Get someone else to do it.
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Tomkd Posted on 08/10/2018 13:58

Tradesmen - Payment etiquette

 
Do you know people that have used them before? Are they on checkatrade, have you checked with companies house to see if they are registered and have been trading a while, if there are a lot of materials involved maybe pay the materials supplier direct so they are yours and not the tradesmans, or only pay for the materials once they are on your property, and get 2 invoices off said tradesman one for materials so you can prove you own then if a dispute arises.
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joseph99 Posted on 08/10/2018 14:19

Tradesmen - Payment etiquette

 
Is he insisting on cash? If so he will not be declaring it.

Stage payments are fine provided they are agreed up front and not a hefty chunk.

Do not trust any builder or trades person with money unless very well known, even then consider it a risk.

You need commitment on price, job spec (every fine detail so there is no wriggle room) and timeline to completion. It all needs to be written down in a quotation.
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xxlshirts_fit_all Posted on 08/10/2018 14:22

Tradesmen - Payment etiquette

 
Tell him to have material delivered to your address and you'll pay the invoice direct to the supplier on delivery if he wants to do it that way, at least you'll have the goods if he does one
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Colgates_shaving_foam Posted on 08/10/2018 15:13

Tradesmen - Payment etiquette

 
Thanks for all the responses,

Business been on checkatrade for few years, 100+ good reviews.

Think it's quite a small operation though which is probably why the request for so much upfront.

Company registered at companies House.

Think I'll go for it,

Look out for me on watchdog in the near future, proper gazette face
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Scourge Posted on 08/10/2018 19:19

Tradesmen - Payment etiquette

 
Had my garden landscaped, decked and top quality fake grass. Took a couple of weeks to clear etc as well as the work. I paid for all the materials and gave 20% of the agreed labour costs up front. Even with a reputable company I would be wary.
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middlesbrough123 Posted on 08/10/2018 19:36

Tradesmen - Payment etiquette

 
If your not happy paying for gear upfront you can imagine how frustrating it would be for him .

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TheFair86 Posted on 08/10/2018 19:44

Tradesmen - Payment etiquette

 
True, but as a business he has recourse against the home owner as they own the home is its an asset to chase them on through the courts.

As a home owner you have very little recourse against the business as they can suddenly wind up and you haven't got an entity to chase anymore assuming limited liability.

Many horror stories on facebook groups all the times 'I've paid for XYZ to be done and company have disappeared off the face of the earth'.

Wouldn't mind paying a small deposit and then money in stages, wouldn't be piling in though.
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streetwise Posted on 08/10/2018 20:29

Tradesmen - Payment etiquette

 
I would have to know the tradesman personally to pay up front.

I've had gardening, building and decorating done recently and none of them have been paid up front.
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joseph99 Posted on 08/10/2018 21:06

Tradesmen - Payment etiquette

 
It should be pay as you go da [;)]
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Cant_pick_a_username Posted on 08/10/2018 21:56

Tradesmen - Payment etiquette

 
Recently had my drive done. Contract didnít say anything about payment plan, just the price.

They asked for 80% upon concrete print, but I had a few issues with some of the work they had done so I said I wanted the bits doing first. They fobbed me off on the bits I wasnt happy with so I fobbed them off on the payment.

After a couple of weeks of stalemate they turned up and did the lot. I paid them full the same day.

Every bit of Work Iíve had done in my house recently I have issues with and the only cards that I have really are to withhold payments. Iíve been dealing with large companies and small sole traders all with good feedback from others.

Money talks.
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redwurzel Posted on 09/10/2018 10:49
Edited On: 09/10/2018 11:57
Tradesmen - Payment etiquette

 
50% is too high for materials on a gardening job unless you are buying something very expensive such as exotic trees, water features etc. Gardening is mainly labour costs. 10 to 20% would cover most jobs and you want a receipt listing exactly what is being bought with the money. Am alternative is you buy the materials and have them delivered to your property and you own the materials. You need a full list in writing of what is required if you order to avoid mix ups.
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Wev1 Posted on 09/10/2018 11:29

Tradesmen - Payment etiquette

 
You have no credit history with him, so why should he buy materials that may not get used or you may not pay for them? Equally you should not pay a penny for something not on site.

I work in construction and we do it a few ways:
1) Subject to a credit check of the client we buy materials, have an agreed mark up, send a copy order. Client then pays on delivery or 5,10, 30, 60 days from order etc. Obv if materials donít arrive, they donít pay. They then own the materials, and get a copy invoice of materials and our invoice with mark up.

2) Get client to order and buy materials, they donít like doing this and 90% of the time the order gets messed up so ends up costing the client more money, or me more time.

3) We order materials for client, client pays for them before delivery. Sounds like the best way but our suppliers are never on their suppliers list, so price goes up.

If anything we do makes it more awkward or costly for client, they go elsewhere.

Scenario 1 happens on 90% of jobs I would say. Massive problem with this though is if any of our materials come to form part of another structure, then the owner of the structure takes ownership of the materials and we lose all rights to them. Itís like if a brickie built you an extension and tried to take his bricks back if you didnít pay, he would be breaking the law and liable for repairs and replacement costs. Itís a crap law and clients use it to bully the subbies.

In your case, get him to supply a quote for materials, check it against another supplier then if heís not having your eyes out get him to order them and you pay on delivery, or you order his list of items. Only fair way for one off small works.
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boromike85 Posted on 09/10/2018 12:33

Tradesmen - Payment etiquette

 
It's a situation where in most cases there is no problem. The tradesman is honest and the client is honest and people get paid for the work they've done. There are obviously the odd case on each side of dodgy suppliers and dodgy clients that means nobody really trusts anyone.

Definitely a business idea in there somewhere for an intermediate company to hold onto the cash until both sides are happy. Then the tradesman knows the cash exists and the client knows they can get it back if the tradesman is dodgy.
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UgoAfro Posted on 09/10/2018 12:46

Tradesmen - Payment etiquette

 
Yes, but how do you know the intermediate company isn't dodgy? [;)]
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Wev1 Posted on 09/10/2018 23:33

Tradesmen - Payment etiquette

 
That intermediate company idea is kind of what etherium could have been. Money goes into a wallet an when criteria is met, the money is released and cannot be stopped.

Problem you have is who decides when the criteria is met? Client, contractor and sub contracter can all have wildly differing views. They even have massively differing views on a contract and itís interpretation, client holds all the cards though as they have the money. They also know the contractor or stubby wonít push things as the last thing the guy at the bottom wants is unrest or a legal fight.
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