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Quotes, Quotes.... Frustrating Quotes.

why is it so hard to get a quote?

So, I've been feeling a little frustrated recently. Perhaps you can tell from the title of this post? I'm from a small town where apparently finding a decent honest reliable builder or tradesperson is somewhat impossible! OK, I'm being way too harsh and unfair. I'm certain there's some good honest tradespeople out there, but I'm just personally struggling to find them!

I hate to generalise and call all tradespeople the same, but the word "time-waster" is the general impression I'm getting. I wonder if perhaps it's just me. Maybe I give off the wrong impression? Perhaps it's me that appears to be the time waster, maybe I don't act serious enough, maybe I need to stand with a wad of cash in my hand, maybe just maybe I'm the one doing something wrong? Because quite frankly, something here just isn't working and for some unknown reason, I'm not receiving quotes.

Taking the time to research a company or tradesperson takes time. To then go ahead and decide to speak with, or request a quote from that said person takes more time, after all getting hold of someone is never as simple as it should be. For that tradesperson then not to show-up, is really aggravating, especially when it happens repeatedly. Or how about when they turn up, you spend 10... 15 minutes discussing the job with them and then they don't even bother sending you that quote and you're back at square one searching again. This is happening to me over and over again - one way or another, I end up quote-less.

They say you should get three quotes before you go ahead with a job, I can't even get one!

Oh the lies of "No job is too big or small". The words I read on almost every website. Really? What's wrong with my job then? Too medium?!

I've had such bad luck with trying to find a decent tradesperson, it's unreal. Even when I do manage to get a quote (rarely!) oh, the amount of times I've heard the words "quote is for cash only...unless you want to pay VAT" is becoming a joke. Really, I have no interest in helping you exploit the tax system. I've tried hiring through recommendation - Remember how that turned out? The dodgy electrician who left live wires hanging out of a light switch? He failed to finish the job within one day (fair enough) and then proceeded to leave us waiting for more than two months before returning with a mate and requesting more money. Turns out even recommendations can't help.

And how should one receive a quote? Fully itemised with all costings? Well, I'm yet to receive one of those, I can tell you. More like a number scribbled onto a bit of paper (yes, sometimes not even a business card!) - maybe it's a small town thing, maybe it's just the type of jobs we need doing.

Let's talk about online 'search engines', such as mybuilder and ratedpeople. I've had very questionable companies contact me regarding jobs I'm not sure they're qualified to carry out via these means. I posted a job for asbestos removal via mybuilder and a tree surgeon responded. He was not HSE licensed to work with asbestos - I checked, (although the type of asbestos we needed removing didn't require a license - I hadn't clarified this in my ad!) and clearly just thought he could cowboy it for some extra cash. I also had another contact me regarding structural work - but the company was non-existent anywhere else on the entire web. When I dug a little deeper and googled the guys name (rather than trading name) I found other trade companies in his name that had 'dissolved' which left me somewhat suspicious. I may have been a little paranoid on that one, but come on - building work is expensive, I want every assurance I'm going to hire someone highly capable and honest... and I've perhaps watched one too many 'cowboy builder' programmes.

So I'm 100% totally and completely failing at finding trades to come and work for me. I've contacted well known builders and trades in the area to no avail, I've tried random google hits, the FMB website, recommendations,, mybuilder, ratedpeople and still I'm left feeling rumbled.

I once contacted a trade guy in our old house, who lived on the next street and even he couldn't be bothered to give me a quote. I do question, just how do these people get work?!

How do you find decent trades folk in your area, I would absolutely love to know... Because I am endlessly failing! If you're a tradesperson and reading this, truly, I don't hate you. I just wish more of you defied your stereotype!

(On the up side, I do believe we have found a builder (despite not achieving three quotes of comparison) and potentially a gas man. But I must say, it's been a bloody struggle and I'm still searching for other trades and my not-received-a-quote number is approaching ridiculously high figures. Help.)


  1. having brought our first house 5 months ago, I now can relate. We are wishing to have a wall knocked down inbetween our kitchen and dinning room and then an extension out the back. I have also used my builder and ratedpeople and put our jobs out and get no answers. Its not jobs to small our extension will be between 25 and 30K we thought people would be all over this. We have had 2 builders turn up, one even took notes of what I wanted, but no quotes and its been weeks. One did a quote without even coming to the house and have quoted 48k so thats a big no!!! oh the joys!!!!

    1. Wow - one quoted without even coming to see the house?! How could they EVER create a realistic price playing a guessing game?! Makes me so angry! I don't think caring for customer satisfaction is a real thing in the building trade, there's so few online reviews and they know whatever they do, it wont leave a trail behind them that could jeopardise their business. I feel like there almost needs to be a website purely for trade reviews, something like trust pilot, but you don't have to hire through them to be able to use it (like mybuilder). Good luck with finding a builder, hopefully the wait/struggle to find one will be worth it in the end! I know how frustrating it can be!


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