Extensions Question

Payment schedules

I have a building project about to commence. It's around £20k with a 4 week time frame. I have been asked for 50% up front and am quite nervous about parting with this amount all based on trust. I have asked for a breakdown of materials costs (not labour as this is treated separately on the quote) but have been given vague information. Is it unreasonable to ask where the materials are being sourced from - if they are going into a house I have to live in for a long time? Is it unreasonable to ask for a detailed breakdown of materials? Thanks in anticipation of all responses

5 Answers

Best Answer

50% is probably too much.As far as im concerned,a deposit should be paid on the first day of work and should only cover the first lot of materials and labour should NOT be paid up front.The only time i would ask for a deposit up front is if im ordering something that cannot easily be used elsewhere.ie windows,stairs etc.I personally know of a few GOOD builders that havent been paid in full (cowboy customers do exist) and some kind of deposit is fair but only you can decide if you are comfortable with this situation.In fairness,i would need to know what materials are involved before condemning this guy completely as it may be justified and he may well have been stung in the past.The days of builders giving a free credit service are well and truly over:)

Answered 16th Oct 2012

Roc builders

Member since 25 Aug 2011


50% deposit is definitely excessive!!

I usually use contracts for extensions with set stage payments, for example: upto dpc, wallplate, watertight shell etc etc. This gives everyone involved clear dates that payments can be expected and also written confirmation in case the worst happens and you end up in a dispute!!

I dont know many builders that ask for deposits (including myself) but those that do have usually been stung by customers in the past but 50% is high.

Hope this helps,


R.Hughes Construction Ltd

Answered 24th Oct 2012

R.Hughes Building and Conservation Ltd

Member since 25 Feb 2009

It is fine to ask for a fully detailed quote but I wouldn't expect it to be broken down into too much detail e.g. screws, pieces of wood, price per brick.
Most builders will buy their materials from merchants/supply companies which are either big national ones such as Travis Perkins or may be a small local company they regularly use. If they don't want to divulge which companies they come from ask if you can see the items on delivery just so you can check them over. This is always advisable as it prevents problems if you are unhappy after installation.
50% deposit seems a little excessive when the project hasn't started but that may be just the way your builder works. My company will ask for money to cover the first phase of materials and a little extra for the first few days of labour - in the case of a 20k job this wouldn't be 50%. Then we would ask for stage payments - usually at the end of every week and when additional materials such as kitchen/bathroom/decoratives are needed


UK Property Services

Answered 16th Oct 2012

UK Property Services

Member since 21 Feb 2011

I would never ask or expect more than 10% deposit for a project however I would expect prompt stage payments every week and a floating fund for large purchase such as steels

Answered 16th Oct 2012

London Lofts and Kitchens

Member since 16 Oct 2012

50% does sound a bit excessive , when I am doing any job I only ask for payment to cover materials cost only once they have turned up on site and only for those materials that are present on site. Any labour cost would then be taken either weekly or fortnightly but only for work carried out and to the customer satisfaction. Also any new materials brought to site would need paid for only when arrival on site. Hope this helps you out.

Answered 17th Oct 2012

Chris Dall Builders

Member since 8 Oct 2012

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