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Carpentry & Joinery

Money upfont

is it usual for a builder to ask for money for materials before he starts a job ? more info for roc builders ....its mostly carpentry work in the kitchen, job was quoted at 750 pounds, builder wanted 200 pounds 2 days before starting the job, I said no, but if he wanted buy the materials, I would give him the cash on the day he started the job as long as he had the receipts and would also pay him his first days labour (by the way he is a one man band not a big building firm) sorry if it sounds so mistrusting but you just hear so many horror stories it just makes you warey ( whos to know I wont see my 200 pounds again) and all I had is his mobile no. no address as to where his business was ..........

4 Answers from MyBuilder Carpenters & Joiners

Best Answer

Hi , it depends on how much money is involved.
You will always pay a deposit when buying carpet.
Trust works both ways and unfortunately as well as rogue "builders" (conmen really) some customers can be less than forthcoming when payment is due.
Having had a job completed ,a customer could just say he /she is not happy with the work and the that the whole invoice is in dispute.
The tradesman could never get paid (happened to me twice in 34 years.)
It could be that builder does not have the wherewithal to buy materials, or he wants some assurance.
You could always offer to buy the materials instead!
It's all down to trust.
Charlie Bates
Having read your edit, I would say this is a good case for using My Builder for tradespeople.
Understand your concerns,



Answered 5th Dec 2012

Sometimes.Could do with a bit more info:) I wouldn't ask for money up front on a job of this size.I cant see why he would need it 2 days before either.I think that your offer to pay for the materials as they arrive is more than reasonable.Payment arrangements aside,you should tread carefully with anyone that doesn't give up their address etc IN THEIR QUOTE.If the quote is verbal then all in all,he doesn't sound very professional.


Answered 5th Dec 2012

Ask the trader for a shopping list and purchase the materials yourself. Whilst I don't mind being owed for labour I will not finance x number of jobs (can run into 10's of thousands £) and hope that every customer I deal with is honest. As Charlie said the trust issue works both ways. Moreover not every builder has (or in my case is prepared to on moral grounds) an interest free account with various builders merchants. It is you, the customer, who of course ends up paying for the privilege of so called interest free "trade prices". But that's another story.
In a nut shell - there is nothing wrong with him asking for a deposit to purchase materials. If you don't trust him simply purchase them yourself.


Answered 5th Dec 2012

I always agree with the client a payement schedule prior to starting the work any special items eg roof trusses, kitchens, wall & floor tiles special order items i ask for payement when delivered to site. I once had £3k worth of Italian ceramic tiles left on my hands because the client changed her mind and didnt want to pay for them
With the profit margins being so tight a lot of small contractors cannot afford to finance jobs out of there own pocket and hope they get paid at the end.
Some clients have the idea contractors make a fortune out of supplying materials


Answered 6th Dec 2012

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