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Topic Title: £1,400 rewire
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Created On: 16 January 2013 09:10 PM
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 17 January 2013 08:51 AM
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SherlockOhms

Posts: 338
Joined: 05 April 2011

This is all about market forces.

Several times on recent jobs I've questioned customers on what they've paid for previous jobs. Most common answer is £650 for the consumer unit.

Clearly some of us have had it good for some time. The shoe now, however, is firmly on the customers foot. Give it a few years and it'll be our turn to wear it again.

S.
 18 January 2013 07:48 PM
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GJH

Posts: 501
Joined: 24 January 2008

Alan, i bet you've lost money on that bungalow job. No disrespect.

Sit down and work it out and i bet its COST you money to do it.

If it was 7 days, thats £100 per day, £80 after tax. All the time getting the gear, the diesel, time spent quoting it. Its not worth it mate.

Electricians should charge decent money for what i think is the most skilled job out there in the construction industry.

When you were called expensive who were you quoting against? The bloke down the pub, next door neighbour? An "electrician" who has done a 5 week course? We are multi skilled people and the industry has been degraded over the years and also a lack of public knowledge.

Gas installers come in and charge £2500 to change a boiler, £500 to fit a radiator and the customers doesn't blink an eye.Kitchen fitters charge £10,000+ to fit a Kitchen and everyone accepts it.

We charge £1500 to rewire a house and we are expensive!

You can see what you get for your money, that's the problem.

We are first on the job and last off it, and we are the most regulated trade on the job.

As long as we keep lowering prices and letting customers bully us into a corner the trade will never get any better. I have stuck to my guns and the price is the price, and i now win more work than i lose. I take time to explain the regs in the quote and try and be as professional as i can so they get an "added value" service.

I think the governing bodies should do more to help us create more public awareness but that's another post.

I know similiar companies like the one you've described in Leicester, but the lads aren't sparks. There is one qualified spark and 5 young lads. I have tested these places and its a death trap.

The most hated bloke on the job is the clerk of works because he rips the job to bits, Sockets different heights, bad connections, mess everywhere the list is endless.

I know at least 4 or 5 companies who have gone bump because of the standard of work and have not been paid.
 18 January 2013 11:34 PM
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peteTLM

Posts: 3419
Joined: 31 March 2005

Originally posted by: Martynduerden

I'm guessing its simply geographical variation, decent sparks round here are £250/ day minimum




Martyn, if you dont mind me jumping on this.....for the south east.......thats £250 for someone with a lot of knowledge, niceic reg etc etc, new transport, every tool available, good attitude and people skills, working as a company.

£120 a day gets you someone who went to college for their basic level 3 and never went back to improve on anything.... basic subbies.

hard hat on and duck for cover!!!

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Lack of planning on your part doesn't make it an emergency on mine....

Every man has to know his limitations- Dirty Harry
 19 January 2013 11:34 AM
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normcall

Posts: 8312
Joined: 15 January 2005

Called out on Friday to a recent build 'posh' property with a report that they have a few lights not working properly and could I 'pop in' before their dinner party at lunch time!
The customer tells me the builder was rubbish, the plumber was rubbish and don't mention the carpenter! The electrician, however, was really good. Obvious question was why not get the guy back. It appears he came from miles away and has now died.
Problem was a 6 gang grid plate with 6 dimmers controlling some 48 GU10 recessed spots. For some reason they keep failing.
I agree to redesign and then we get the, 'when you return can you fix this little problem and this one and look at this..........'

Housebashers still manage to get it wrong - I dare not ask if all this stuff was specified as it did look very impressive complete with certificates.

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Norman
 19 January 2013 01:31 PM
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peteTLM

Posts: 3419
Joined: 31 March 2005

overheating.......

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----------------------------------------
Lack of planning on your part doesn't make it an emergency on mine....

Every man has to know his limitations- Dirty Harry
 19 January 2013 02:53 PM
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Martynduerden

Posts: 3215
Joined: 13 July 2008

Originally posted by: peteTLM

Originally posted by: Martynduerden

I'm guessing its simply geographical variation, decent sparks round here are £250/ day minimum


Martyn, if you dont mind me jumping on this.....for the south east.......thats £250 for someone with a lot of knowledge, niceic reg etc etc, new transport, every tool available, good attitude and people skills, working as a company.


Should I take that as a complement 😋


£120 a day gets you someone who went to college for their basic level 3 and never went back to improve on anything.... basic subbies.

hard hat on and duck for cover!!!


I guess that's the employee vs company though @ £120.00 a day I'd go bust in a matter of weeks......

-------------------------
Regards

Martyn.

Only a mediocre person is always at their best
 20 January 2013 04:55 PM
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antric2

Posts: 1148
Joined: 20 October 2006

Rewiring empty properties is a doddle and the price of 16\1700 quid is a good payout as you are in and out 3 to 4 days.
The £2400 comes in when you have 3 bed semis that are lived in and maybe cluttered to theroof and you end up backwards and forwards.

.......'Get the customer to move the clutter themselves'... I hear you say...we have been down that route where we agree slightly cheaper cost ,ask customer to move all stuff to centre of room(nights before we go into certain rooms) or empty cupboards\understairs\under the bed\loft etc and it doesnt get done so we ended up doing it then started charging £10 per hour for clearance which causes friction when you add £50 to a bill so now we look at the house the people and clutter and adjust our price accordingly.

If any of you want to do lived in houses for less than £2 grand then you can have them for me.

Self employed people should not be earning £10 per hour .You have had the bottle to take a risk,work all hours,take full responsibillity, get and keep current and qualified,finance all your actions.... do I need to say more.
Might as well go employed at Asda if you want easy but hard graft for £400 a week.
Regards
Antric
 20 January 2013 08:38 PM
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Rulland

Posts: 489
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I find, and it does my flipping head in, that once you have done any work you are liable for anything else in the future, you fit an outside PIR flood-you get the calls to replace the halogen bulb everytime it fails, as 'you fitted it', etc etc.
'Can you put my 42" telly on the wall', 'Yes'-while your here can you tune it in, adjust the times on my heating, have a quick look at my intruder alarm, and while you put up a new light fitting in the lounge, move the old one from the lounge into the hallway and the hallway one into the small bedroom...................................all for the same price of fitting a tv bracket and replacing a light fitting..........and then they look at you like you're being a knob when you say 'yeh, can do, but it'll cost you extra'.

Is it just me that gets the feckers that want all for nothing?.

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Those who make no mistakes do very little work!!......
 20 January 2013 09:10 PM
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colinhaggett

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Originally posted by: Rulland

I find, and it does my flipping head in, that once you have done any work you are liable for anything else in the future, you fit an outside PIR flood-you get the calls to replace the halogen bulb everytime it fails, as 'you fitted it', etc etc.

'Can you put my 42" telly on the wall', 'Yes'-while your here can you tune it in, adjust the times on my heating, have a quick look at my intruder alarm, and while you put up a new light fitting in the lounge, move the old one from the lounge into the hallway and the hallway one into the small bedroom...................................all for the same price of fitting a tv bracket and replacing a light fitting..........and then they look at you like you're being a knob when you say 'yeh, can do, but it'll cost you extra'.



Is it just me that gets the feckers that want all for nothing?.


The "can you just" people

 20 January 2013 09:13 PM
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Rulland

Posts: 489
Joined: 11 April 2008

Thats them....

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Those who make no mistakes do very little work!!......
 08 February 2015 07:24 PM
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tickery2k1

Posts: 1
Joined: 08 February 2015

Look guys if you can gear up to do a rewire in one day and I am talking fully rewired not this partial rubbish also tested and certificated with a part p then you are behind the times.
This can be and is done on a daily basis.
For a 3 bed average size house with nothing too fancy should cost you around £1800-£2000
This would not normally include plastering.
 08 February 2015 07:44 PM
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antric2

Posts: 1148
Joined: 20 October 2006

Originally posted by: tickery2k1

Look guys if you can gear up to do a rewire in one day and I am talking fully rewired not this partial rubbish also tested and certificated with a part p then you are behind the times.

This can be and is done on a daily basis.

For a 3 bed average size house with nothing too fancy should cost you around £1800-£2000

This would not normally include plastering.


Evening Trickery,
Minimum 5 people of which at least 3 need to be qualified sparks, and 2 labourers who have done rewiring jobs,box sinking etc who are putting minimum amount of sockets and lightinging in a completely empty house with empty loft and floorboarded ground floor then yes at a push it can be done but todate I have not seen a job done in one day that has raised some issues with the client who ordered the work.

I have seen council rewires that involved an army of workers and what an absolute mess they make with no regard for the customers well being or security of the property.

Regards
Antric
 08 February 2015 08:39 PM
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RB1981

Posts: 360
Joined: 16 September 2007

Originally posted by: alanblaby

Then there are numerous illegal 'fines' for turning up 10 minutes late


LOL. How can you turn up "late" if you are self-employed? Surely the hours of work are at your discretion!

-------------------------
Walsh Electrical Services
http://www.walshelectrical.ie/
 09 February 2015 07:20 AM
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davezawadi

Posts: 3236
Joined: 26 June 2002

Gentlemen, you are looking at this the wrong way.
It is not that others charge too little, so you fail to get the work, but that your customer base is not recommending you to everyone they meet. This will probably make me unpopular again, but each new customer should generate 2 or three others! These complaints that you are called back to change the odd lamp 3 months after installation (or even a year) is your own fault. You are not selecting the fittings on the basis of hours per year, but some "cost" figure, which is very false economy as you are finding. If a fitting is on 12 hours a day you need to select one with a lamp life of 10,000 hours, not some halogen thing from somewhere where lamps last 500 hours if you are lucky.
How many hours do you take to remove a few floor boards and route a cable? Do you have every tool invented to make this the minimum possible time? Do you have the same to replace the board and leave the floor as it was before without squeaks, movement, or worse loose boards? How do you deal with chipboard floors? Does the result look perfect, is as flat as it was, and looks professional or is it a right mess which you cover up quickly? Do you make any mess whilst working or is the vacuum cleaner the first tool out of the van every time?

Honestly, its not rocket science. Customer care is the number one, because you know exactly haw to do the rest very quickly and to a high standard. (Unfortunately this is also rarely the case from the moaners who are not prepared to compete on anything, be it price quality, guarantee, after sales service etc.) If you cannot give a year of no quibble warranty on everything you supply or do, get some more training. It should cost you nothing if you do everything right, and more customers will follow in droves!

When you buy a new van, what happens for the first year if you find a snag? How about the first 3 years? (Go to the right dealer!). How does this compare with your service???

Works for me.

-------------------------
David
One time "wiring monkey" but not any more!
 09 February 2015 07:58 AM
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dickllewellyn

Posts: 1370
Joined: 19 March 2010

Good words Dave.

I personally wouldn't dream of ettempting to rewire a house for some of the sums mentioned here. I'm quite slow with rewires at times, certainly if I'm working on my own, but I've never promised a customer I will be quick, or that I will be the cheapest. I firmly believe in doing a good job and keeping the customer happy. I've been known to help unpack tesco deliveries during a rewire, give the customer a lift to the station, spend hours in an evening with them going through lighting catalogues, repeat visits discussing different types of electric heating etc.

IT can't be a coincidence that despite being fairly expensive, I've got more work than I can cope with, I don't have to compete with other electricians, and I regularly receive bottles of wine, joints of ham, sides of smoked salmon etc for Christmas from clients.

Work up to a standard, not down to a price is a motto I go by, and it seems to work. When I set up, most self employed electricians were charging £25 ph round here, so I charged £28. Never had a complaint!

An old thread, but still relevant, and quite interesting to discuss.

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Regards
Richard (Dick)

"Insert words of wisdom and/or witty pun here"
 09 February 2015 08:16 AM
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davezawadi

Posts: 3236
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Reading the above posts I realise some other things.

It seems that some recon on 1 day per room for rewiring. That is a very long time if you are equipped properly. What takes the time?

1. Chasing walls need the right machine, and a dust extractor for little mess. Chasing machines cut at 1 foot per minute in concrete or faster in softer materials. Box sinkers, and drilling jigs make box holes much quicker without any surrounding damage. Floors need extra narrow circular saw blades, a powerful router to tidy traps in chipboard floors so that the result is almost invisible (and a supply of chipboard to make new trap covers), a mitre saw to make the new pieces exact and square, an electric hammer / chisel / drill, core drills for holes through walls, and anything else you see in the tool shop which "might even save time once", because it will save you loads of money.
Most rooms should now get first fixed in 2 hours maximum, you work hard, but that's what life is. You make no mess and the customer only has you under the feet for a short time, and they appreciate it!

2. Fitting a new CU. Electricity off, remove all the old mess, identifying circuits so that you can leave almost everything working as long as possible. Fit new board to wall and wire tails, check earthing arrangements and repair / replace as necessary. Wire all old circuits to new board in a temporary manner, extending as necessary using a temporary big box and chock blocks or whatever. Have a cup of tea with customer, handing out anything you can to reassure them and create a good relationship. Rewire rooms one at a time to disrupt life as little as possible. Use chaser, jigs, hilti gun etc to save time and do a neat job.

3. Lights. In roof space it is horrible, and getting worse. Wear cool overall, the white disposables are good. Use mask / respirator/ compressed air BA depending on how bad it is. Put new cables on top of insulation, try not to disturb too much although this is difficult with 200mm of insulation in wide rolls. Use a long screwdriver / sharp steel piano / fibreglass threading rods wire to locate points, pushed through insulation from below. Make wiring look as tidy as possible with logical layout.

4. Floors. The idea here is to do nothing which you cannot easily fix completely and tidily. Having a carpenter as a colleague / mate is often better than a sparkie, if you cannot do woodwork. Many houses have floors which have already been butchered by others. Aim to put them back better than they are found, and as far as possible like new. Make traps square and tidy. Be ready to support board ends as necessary, to fit extra strips of wood / chipboard / plywood, glued and screwed in position. Use the mitre saw, router, electric screwdrivers etc. Screw all removed boards / traps firmly down through drilled holes, so that they do not squeak! Keep using the vacuum cleaner at all times. Drill joists where needed with a short auger bit with screw tip, in the centre of joists (neutral axis).

That's it then, Spend 10 grand on the best tools and save it in a couple of months. I avoid battery drills in the larger sizes, and other battery tools. You have electricity available and the transformer / cable is not really a problem. Mains tools are much more powerful, more reliable and available all day without waiting for the charger. Battery drills / screwdrivers of smaller size are worth their weight in gold.

You should get a three bed down to 2.5 days or less with a bit of practice. The biggest waste of time known to man is a "quick trip to the wholesaler". Plan ahead! Keep sufficient stock of you favourite brands. Bulk buying saves even more money and time.

Regards

-------------------------
David
One time "wiring monkey" but not any more!
 09 February 2015 08:42 AM
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GeoffBlackwell

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In 1972 my partner in crime and I rewired 350 council house in Ramsgate, Kent. We were self-employed (very unpopular then) and we did the work sub-contract, labour only. We got £36.00 a unit and, on average, we did 4 a week (in 4 days). That meant we each got £72.00 a week for those 4 days which was around twice the wage of the average electrician.

The houses had about 19 points, gas and water bonds - all surface wiring on drops in capping or mini trunking.

We had a system and, after completing around five units of each type, we could get down to one unit in a 12 hour day - running all the time - it was not easy.

As I recall - I did the first floor (downstairs lighting first fix, upstairs power first and second fix - all furniture and floor coverings shifted and then put back), my partner did the ground floor (suspended floor) and the mains and then he came upstairs while I wired the loft (fully clipped) and he second fixed it. The council inspected every one we did and we did not have to carry out any remedial work.

So one a day is possible but definitely not on the odd one off rewire.

I saw the way some council house rewires were carried out when I was an NICEIC Inspecting Engineer - one site I visited looked like a bomb had hit it. The family were sat in the middle of an assault by at least 3 operatives who just ripped the place apart - that is not the way my partner and I did it.

Regards

Geoff Blackwell
 09 February 2015 09:31 AM
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FizzleBang

Posts: 1089
Joined: 05 January 2007

When I was a school boy, the council re-wired the whole estate. Well, contractors did.

3 days and it still needed joiners and plasterers (and occasionally plumbers!) to put the place back together.

The Consumer Unit came with all circuits connected and bunches of cables hanging from them!

They did my grandmothers house too. They had barelyt got out of the door when the RCD tripped (all power circuits were on the RCD side).
I went round to see what was going on. Tracked it down to the fridge...or so I thought. If the fridge was plugged in the RCD tripped randomly. Left it unplugged while she tried to find a serviceable second hand fridge. Then even when the fridge was unplugged the RCD tripped one night.
The council weren't interested, They'd talk to the clerk of works...

After some days of intermittent power I investigated and found very low I/R on the upstairs ring (can't remember L-E or N-E) . Then identified which leg, After lifting a few floorboards upstairs I found one leg of the upstairs ring had been kinked where it came from below through a gap between the joist and the wall. They'd pulled it so tight that the CPC had cut into a neighboring conductor.

I replaced that section of cable and re-instated the fridge
The council just shrugged when informed what had been found. I bet those contractors were boastful of how fast they could do a rewire too...

I bet not many 15 year old's had Meggers back then. Although it was one that my mate had nicked off the same contractors when they were re-wiring his house!

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To me, to you
 09 February 2015 11:55 AM
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davezawadi

Posts: 3236
Joined: 26 June 2002

It is not necessary to be shoddy to do a very good job quickly, just very organised and properly equipped. The guy with a pair of pliers a hammer and a screwdriver are long gone. He had no test gear either, or any certificates to say that the job was done to the required standard.

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David
One time "wiring monkey" but not any more!
 09 February 2015 02:20 PM
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FizzleBang

Posts: 1089
Joined: 05 January 2007

Originally posted by: davezawadi

It is not necessary to be shoddy to do a very good job quickly, just very organised and properly equipped. The guy with a pair of pliers a hammer and a screwdriver are long gone. He had no test gear either, or any certificates to say that the job was done to the required standard.


I'm inclined to agree, to a degree. Particularly on multiple identical properties.

There aren't many house round here that have light weight block interior walls that a box sinker would be usable on. At least not many that are due for a rewire.

Most that I did had clay brick walls with over-fired glass like intrusions. Can take an hour to drill and chisel out a double 25mm box.
Then there might only be 3/8ths thickness of plaster so it takes a few passes with the wall chaser and SDS chisel just to chase in a pair of 2.5's.
The housing stock I was raised in had hollow clay blocks for internal partition walls that really needed care to fix flush boxes in.
I have always done my own plastering because I make a much better job. You can't see any evidence of my chases once papered over!

I always make the floors good. Not just back how they were either. There is usually a load of treachery on the landing from the plumbers. I put that right too so as not to get the blame.

And that's why I'm out of it. For exactly the reason this thread was started.
You can't do a proper job, with pride and at a sustainable pace (for a middle aged man) and undercut the hooligans that leave a grands worth of remedials for other trades and just scarper.
The customer don't know and don't care.

As I packed up and went off on a new career the local rag had classified ads for "Rewires from £950".

[Duncan Bannatyne] So for that reason, I'm out..[/Duncan Bannatyne]

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To me, to you
IET » Wiring and the regulations » £1,400 rewire

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