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Trader pricing survey: what to expect from local traders


We contacted highly recommended Which? Local-listed traders, including plumbers, electricians and boiler engineers, to find out how much standard jobs should cost and how quickly they should be completed.

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Avoiding rogue traders

When it comes to hiring a trader, knowledge is power. Unscrupulous traders take advantage of customers who know little about the job in hand.

Our research

Our latest research gives you the advantage.

With the help of some of the highest rated traders on Which? Local, we've compiled information about more than 160 jobs across 14 popular trades.

Our guides include:

  • prices you can expect to pay for common jobs
  • typical completion times 
  • useful advice from trustworthy traders.


Armed with this information, you’ll feel confident about hiring traders.

You’ll know what questions to ask, roughly what price you can expect to pay and how long certain jobs should take.

You’ll also be better equipped to spot when things aren't right and to avoid rogue traders.

Research methodology

In July 2012, we sent a survey to all Which? Local traders with a rating of three stars or more, and an email address, in the following categories:

TradeTotal responses
Bathroom fitters and suppliers176
Boilers and heating209
Carpenters and joiners22
Carpets and flooring 18
Computer shops, repairs and consultants 135
Domestic appliance repairs and suppliers28
Electricians110
Gardeners and landscape designers21
Home maintenance and handyman25
Kitchen showroom and fitters34
Painters and decorators55
Plasterers20

 

The survey
725 traders took the time to complete our survey. Using their experience and expertise, they answered questions about the cost of popular jobs, and how long they should take to complete.

Many also provided handy hints and advice to help you save money, avoid rogue traders and get the best out of the traders you employ.

Prices
The prices we show are estimates and are based on simple, straightforward jobs. They are only meant as a guide.

All jobs are different and most traders will want to talk to you and visit your property (or see your appliance) before giving you a proper quote.

All of our prices:

  • Include labour and materials.
  • Include any parts/products that we asked the trader to supply (such as computer hardware, parts for faulty appliances, decorating materials). In some cases we’ve assumed that customers would supply their own products but, if this is the case, it is clearly stated under individual jobs.
  • Include completing the job to an acceptable standard (such as making good, tidying up).
  • Exclude VAT. Not all traders will be registered for VAT, so remember to check this out beforehand and add this cost if applicable. 

 

Regional variation
We surveyed traders from all over the UK but we found that prices didn’t vary much across the country.

As you might expect, jobs tended to be most expensive in London, followed by the south east of England. But there were no areas of the country where traders were significantly cheaper.

 


When choosing traders, don’t forget the golden rules:

 

  1. Always use word of mouth or recommendations from friends, family and Which? Local.
  2. Always shop around to compare quotes and service.
  3. Don’t be afraid to ask questions up front.


Read more about avoiding rogue traders and disputes