Which? suddenly realise that builders can be idiots, too

23 March 2010

An absolutely normal, archetypal British builder, this morning

Despite the fact that half-baked consumer issues programmes like Rogue Traders, starring that grinning simpleton and his mate with a motorcycle, have been parping on about shitty builders since TV began, Which? have finally caught up and gasped at the way our mucky skivs don't play ball.

Yessir, the astonishing news from the meddling consumer folks have discovered that getting plenty of builders' quotes could actually save you money. Apparently, whilst they were undertaking this astonishing study, they found that the difference between the highest quote and the lowest was rather big.

Who would have ever thought that to be the case?

Which? asked builders and bricklayers to quote for a wheelie-bin shelter and, in their own words, "the differences were startling, especially so as we removed the top and bottom 10% quotes to get rid of extremes."

If you're daft enough to live in the South East of England, the biggest gap on the large side. The lowest quote was £235 and the highest £850.

Which? chief executive Peter Vicary-Smith said: "The difference between the highest and lowest quotes we got for this straightforward building job was astounding. It really does hammer home the fact that you should always shop around for the best quote - you could save hundreds of pounds."

Anyway, if you want to stare briefly at a table of results that Which? have devised, then click here. It'll tell you very little and, I imagine, you'll all end up contracting workers in exactly the same way you did previously (ie, Asking your mate to do it who is quite handy with a mallet, or by asking your mates who did their bathroom).

I'm your host Mof Gimmers and this has been Anti-News.

TOPICS:   High Street News


  • Builders V.
    [...] Which? suddenly realise that builders can be idiots, too … [...]
  • Theo C.
    Pretty dumb piece of research by Which! if they think that the issues with builders starts and stops at the point of "who has given the lowest quote." And a Wheelie Bin shelter? Really? What? like that's representative of a typical building project. Why not get them to quote for a moat and duck-house?
  • janaltus
    I once gave a builder my contact details and asked him for a quote. He contacted me once, I gratefully declined his offer. He never inundated me with unsolicited sales literature, subscription offers and junk mail from third party organisations that he thought I might be interested in. In fact, I never heard from him again. The same, sadly, cannot be said for Which? magazine.
  • kully
    ^^ What janaltus said.
  • Nobby
    What is a wheelie bin shelter? OK, it's a shelter for wheelie bins, that is clear. But what is it? Is it made from brick or from wood? If in brick, do the bricks match your house, or not? If wood, is it quality tanalised timber and made with a shiplap construction, or is it cheap, unprotected fencelap? Is there a door on it? etc etc etc All these things will affect the price of the job. You can pay not much and get something that will fall apart in a year or two, or pay a lot more and get something that is going to last a lot longer.
  • Anon
    Surely it would be better to build shelters for the homeless rather than wheelie bins - aren't they able to survive outside on their own?
  • Morocco
    If you feel so strongly about sheltering your wheelie bins, keep them in the house where they'll be nice and warm and "sheltered". If, like me, you're somewhere appraoching normal, leave the bastards out in the cold. They can cope. These figures are useless as they are not accompanied by a percentage of "builders who sucked air in through their teeth whilst rubbing the back of their head" when asked for a quote.
  • Bob
    Another Which? load of baloney press statement in a lame attempt to get more suckers to subscribe to their magazine. Just like the free "The simpleton's guide to using a computer" pamphlet they flog to try and hook in the oldies.
  • wombat
    Yet another BW crud article... Seemed a reasonable thing to investigate to me. Which? choose a pretty numpty item so there wouldn't be any way to explain away costs as using better materials. Seems like me, MOF and most posters here so far wouldn't bother to get more than a couple of quotes (if that many) and would have no idea whether we're paying a decent price. Not to say lowest is best but wouldn't you at least want to know your mate is charging 3x the cheapest price and ask him why?
  • Nobby
    @wombat. So can you explain what the standard is for a wheelie bin shelter, if there is no way to explain away costs as using better materials.
  • jsoap
    The price of a job, is how much people are willing to pay. Builders will sometime quote ridicoulous sums because a) they think you are an idiot, or b) the job is awkward and they don't want to do it, or c) they don't actually have the time to do the job
  • wombat
    @nobby - I've never even seen a wheelie bin-shelter let alone the 'standard' for them. Which? would have drawn up a fairly specific request - maybe - so perhaps they can tell you? Round our way we have three wheelie bins each and are also expected to leave out bags for clothing etc... - that would need a 'shelter' half the size of my garage.

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