Charges for materials made by tradespeople

Tradespeople will usually add something to what they pay for materials to cover their time and costs.

When employing tradespeople you can choose to supply your own materials or ask the tradesperson to supply them. Here are a few things to consider when deciding which option to take:

Mark up on materials
Tradespeople will usually hold trade accounts with suppliers. These accounts enable them to buy materials at a lower price than retail price – i.e. what a “member of the public” would buy them for. In some cases this may be up to 60% cheaper. As with any seller / buyer relationship it is standard practice for tradespeople to mark up the cost of materials purchased before selling them on to a customer. This mark up is usually around 25% – 35% on the tradesperson’s purchase price.

Many tradespeople do pass on materials at cost but they are not obligated to do so. Mark up on materials helps cover the cost of the time a tradesperson spends researching, ordering or collecting / delivering materials. It also covers the time / cost of administering trades accounts as well as other overheads.

Collection and Delivery Charges
Trades suppliers may make a charge to deliver materials to your property, or the tradesperson may have to visit the supplier to collect the materials. In both cases the cost may be passed on to the customer either as a separate, itemised price or included in the total cost of a job.

Buying your own materials
If you choose to buy your own materials we would strongly recommend that you discuss with the tradesperson exactly what is required.

Keep in mind that it will be your responsibility to ensure that the correct materials are on site when they are needed and if they are delivered incomplete, damaged or faulty it will be up to you to sort things out (or you could pay the tradesperson for their time to do so).

You may also be liable for a tradespersons “idle time” if materials you are supplying are not available when required.

Where a matter of a particular style or design is to be chosen it is best that you choose the item yourself although the tradesperson may still be able to purchase it at less than retail price through their supplier.

You should also understand that where a tradesperson is turning up to make, fit or install items you have purchased they are turning up blind and so can probably only charge on a time and materials basis rather than quote. Not every tap, heat matt or boiler is the same.

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