Carpentry & Joinery Question

What is the best way to price up work?

13 Answers

Best Answer

Sounds by your question that you must be just setting yourself up.
I would suggest if you are new to the trade then look in your local mags for a QS who would do all your quantities, if the job is large enough and there is profit in it, it will pay dividends.
If its small works and jobbing, you can work out a price yourself based on how long you think the job will take, allow for materials if supplying, there are loads of hidden cost that need to be accounted for ie; van, insurance,road tax, public liability insurance, income tax, national insurance, telephone, the list goes on.
All these things have to be taken into account.
It takes a long time to get youself established, I have been in the trade 40yr and have regular clients, but times still get hard.
I use a pricing company for large jobs, Estimaters ltd, Travis Perkins for extensions upwards, who do all your quantities and material list.
Smaller jobs I can assess and price myself, but you have to be realistic as you will be competing with others, Im lucky as my overheads are small and I own everything, so I dont have vehicles etc on lease.
As for working on an hourly rate, which might suit you, the rates are going to differ all over the country, you will notice different rates on here, mainly the area they are in ie London prices, I am in the Cotswold, also some trades may be stacked with work and inflate the price because they dont need it, 9 times ouy of 10 they get the job.
On this basis I wouldnt give a rate as it could range from £7.50 hr and I know trades charging £55 hr.
Middle of the road price, as quoted by Travis Perkins is £28 pr hour.
You can always ask your local trades next time your in the pub what they charge.
If you can afford to go lower to get the work, then increase as and when.
Hope this is of some help, and best of luck.

Answered 30th Mar 2011


Member since 29 Oct 2008

Regarding the comment that says if you sont know how to price, then you shouldnt be doing it as its not fair to the customer.... Ive never in all my years heard such an outrageous comment! How can one learn without asking the question? Everyone has to start somewhere! I usually go to a job, work out what im going to need, and roughtly how long it will take. Example, if i think its going to take 5 days, i will allow for 6 just incase. And try to see where you may get problems ie access, allow time for laying sheets etc. Hope that helps!

Answered 6th Jul 2015

Homely touch

Member since 23 Feb 2015

Put on your lucky pants and hope for the best...

Answered 30th Mar 2011

Rebel Carpenter

Member since 24 Sep 2008

cost of materials + vat + 10 to 15 percent profit. Labour charge or fixed price estimating time to complete add together and there you are.

Answered 30th Mar 2011

Jeff Stockdale Plumbing and Heating

Member since 28 Nov 2010

You may as well ask us all to tell you our prices so you can undercut us .
Seriously it takes a lot of years to work out your own strategy

Answered 8th Apr 2011

Clark Joinery & Building Services

Member since 3 Apr 2008

If you went to college and have been given an award for a qualified trade, you should know how to price up correctly. 3 years min in college and on hand experience in the building trade.
Good luck. Beat the cowboyws Yehar!!!!

Answered 2nd Apr 2011

UK Property Services

Member since 21 Feb 2011

any big building company i.e: t brown, aspect maintenance, even the handy squad, pimlico plumbers, permanex plumbers charge: 80 per hour and that doesnt change even if you have 3/4 days work for them. and yet they are earning a fortunw ith teh best vans poorest and cheapest and prob not qualified tradesmen. now this gives room be be more realistic and fair about prices.

Answered 31st Mar 2011


Member since 25 Nov 2010

No feedback

price what up what,if you have a number of jobs and you are not sure how much budget will be then post the jobs onhere and get a trades man in your area to work a price out hope this helps

Answered 30th Mar 2011

Finebuild Builders

Member since 26 Feb 2009

Best to get somone you know to give you a hand with pricing, but as a guide break down the work into small parts then look at the materials needed at cost plus the vat plus 10%, think how long it will take you to do the small part of that job then mutiply the hours by your hourly rate. Working out your hourly rate can be a lot harder but a simple way is to see what you have been able to manage on when working for someone else then add 50% for your overheads but please take profesional advice from an accountant, an accountant that someone you know already uses and trusts ! Hope this helps Good luck Kevin G

Answered 30th Mar 2011

Kevin Grimmond & Son Decorating

Member since 11 Feb 2011

Carefully and accurately!??!

Answered 31st Mar 2011

Elements Property Ltd

Member since 19 Jul 2008

its same if you ask how to make a million :)

Answered 30th Mar 2011


Member since 26 Oct 2009

Without meaning to sound rude,if you dont know how to price work up you shouldnt be working for yourself.At the end of the day if jobs are not priced correctly it will be the customer who suffers because you will not be able to complete projects to the highest standards without loosing money.

Answered 31st Mar 2011

m w building construction and property maintenance

Member since 28 Sep 2008

can buy software like hbxl that will work it for you

Answered 1st Apr 2011


Member since 31 Oct 2008

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