Plumbing Question

Refitting a bathroom - are my costs reasonable?

I have just completed a job on a bathroom that was about 2.5M x 2.5M. The exact works were:

Remove existing suite (bath, sink/pedastal and WC)
Remove radiator
Remove existing wall tiles (on 3 walls)
Fill, sand and PVA walls prior to re-tiling
Isolate and cap-off two redundant electrical sockets (shaver type) and prepare and fix plaster panels to cover over prior to tiling
Remove plaster and plasterboard from above side and tap end of bath, and 'trim' brickwork ready to receive new Aquboard
Plumb in pipework for new over-bath thermostatic shower taken from existing bath feeds
Fit isolation valves and flexible hoses to all pipework
Refit bath
Create/fit timber frame for bath panel
Cut and fit extra battens to existing studwork and 'replaster' with LaFarge Aquaboard to tap end and over side of bath
Tiling (approx 7m) to all 4 walls - inc complex cuts to sloping wall
Grouting same
Fit Thermostatic shower valve (exposed) and rigid riser
Fit Bath taps/waste etc
Lift/cut and refit several floor tiles (previous installation had tiles cut around WC and pedastal) to work with new WC
Fit basin and Pedastal
Fit basin taps (two) and waste etc
Make bespoke MDF bath panel and fit
Box in basin waste-pipe
Fit Moveable Bathscreen
Mastic around bath and bathscreen
Test and Tidy

The house is a 300 year old former pub - with a currently poor DHW vented system, with a too small cylinder and CW storage tank. There was no way to isolate the DHW or DCW supply to the existing bathroom - leading to having to plug the CW take-offs from the storage tank (prior to cutting pipes and fitting iso valves), and draining the HW cylinder to reduce pressure for the same reason. When the CW tank was 'un-plugged' there were a couple of air blockages in the pipework that necessitated blowing through with mains CW - all of which took a little time - but were resolved satisfactorily.

As the work was for a friend and neighbour we (stupidly) did not agree a price upfront, but I just cracked-on at best effort taking my time but cutting no corners. I scrupulously recorded my hours - and left the 'meter running' if I had to leave the site on a job related errand (plumbers merchants, builders merchants and tilers). I did NOT charge for any fuel used. The total time expended was 78 hours - but this included 2 occasions where I went chasing after 'phantom' problems with HW reported by the client. In both cases a shortage of HW was determined to be a user problem caused by not really understanding how their boiler and HW system worked (and how ill-suited the current system is for such a large house).

Anyway, for all of the above I charged the client a labour fee of £1580. They have said that they are happy with the work, but think that my labour charges were excessive. They supplied all the suite/hardware and I charged them cost for all additional materials.

I would be really interested to hear what you think....?

8 Answers

Best Answer

Bang on I would say, I fit bathrooms nearly every week and my general labour and general material charges are around £1450. That said it doesn't take me usually longer than 5 days, 7 at most to completely transform a bathroom. £130 a day is cheap for the work carried out. If you did a good job tell your mate to pay up.... the problem these days is people seem to want professional standard work completing for next to nothing. If you are worth your salt then you have the right to charge a decent amount of money. If we wanted to go to work for a wage we would all have employed jobs, take 4 weeks holiday a year and get sick pay when we are off work....we run our own businesses to improve our lives and earnings.

Answered 21st Sep 2013


Member since 3 May 2013

You charge very little in you quotation and I'm sure you are not a builder. The way you describe everything so thoroughly and so professionally. You are just an architect or someone with a degree related to building works or just a guy who has spent hours formulating a work description.
Despite your education you are not making any sense. Building works are real stuff. I can probably learn your job in a few weeks training but you will never be a buider.
I challenge you to a real quotation with a real client.

**Admin edit - please be aware this links to your profile, which potential customers can see**

Answered 10th Nov 2016

Giovanni Building Services

Member since 9 Jul 2015

Hi, I think you did good I would have charge nearly twice that bargain.

Answered 3rd Apr 2013

Rigsby Handyman

Member since 14 Aug 2009

A lesson learned the hard way! Always make sure the client knows what the anticipated cost is before you start. I think your charges are more than fair. If it's still an issue, add up all of the hours spent on behalf of the client, add in the travel cost and the difference between what they would have paid for the materials you purchased for them. You could well be up around £1750. I wonder if they would still think they are paying over the odds.

Answered 9th Apr 2013

TB Renovations

Member since 9 Jun 2008

As always the Client thinks you are overcharging after the job is done, try and give a written estimate to allow them the chance to question it.
Charges are more than reasonable and there is always Trading Standards, it goes both ways.

Answered 10th Apr 2013

Bradley Pumbing Srvices

Member since 14 Mar 2013

As always doing work for mates never works out.

Having said that, you did 78 hours which on 8 hours a day is 9.75 days.

2 weeks.

1580 take off 20% tax (im sure it was put through the books)

Works out approx £130 a day.

I think thats about right. I generally work on rule of thumb of £150 - £200 a day for a tradesman (day rate single days / 2 days) so £130 a day for a longish job seems fair

Answered 17th Jun 2013

Aquarius Home Improvements LTD

Member since 9 Apr 2011

I recon you were pretty reasonable.......
Ask him how much he earns a day....
Mmmmmmmm different story then..

Answered 27th Jan 2018

A@tiling services

Member since 22 Jan 2018

No feedback

It is the usual client I know everything but I know nothing. All the client sees is the finished article, not all the work that goes on underneath or the problems that can occur which we have to find a way round. I think you've been too cheap, a good job at a fraction of the price.

Answered 4th Aug 2014

P.M.P.S. Kilmarnock

Member since 15 Jul 2014

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