There was an interesting thread over on the selfbuild list last week about someone getting Everest in for a quotation for new glazing.
Had Everest round to quote on windows for our upcoming project. I
thought they would be expensive, but was in for a shock when he came up
with £45k for 12 windows, 3 double doors, 2 standard doors and a front
door with side light! The quote is for UPVC with a lifetime guarantee
for double glazing, U-value 1.2 and light oak finish. The front door
is hardwood, all the windows look very good quality and it includes
fitting. 2 garage doors added another £8600 to the price.
I pointed out that was 1/3 of our budget for the whole house build and
he seamed to forget all about the sales pitch! I also showed him the
prices in the self build bible for a similar number of doors and
windows for £7k, again he was stuck for words.
Before I pushed him out the door he had knocked off 28% for bulk order,
10% for ordering straight away and after a phonecall to the boss
another 20% if they can use the house for advertising purposes.
Knocking off the front and garage doors that we didn’t like much anyway
left a best price of £20k for 12 windows and 5 doors (inc fitting). I
was budgeting to get all of them (including oak front door and garage
doors) for £15k max. Am I in the wrong ball park?
Must say my heart always goes into my mouth when I read that someone is using my book for pricing purposes, especially when there is a huge discrepancy between quoted prices and what I’ve suggested that the going rate actually is. I needn’t have worried. Two replies came back thus:
Your instinct is right. Everest is a very expensive way to go and not really
suited to a new build. As an example, we got 15 assorted (softwood) windows,
with glazing (all double, toughened, Pilkington K and Argo-filled) from
Travis Perkins for £2000. Had to fit the glass into the frames ourselves
which added a few hundred pounds. OK, that was a cheap 'n cheerful answer
(which suits me well enough) but a VERY far cry from - what did you say? -
'get three quotes for anything significant, and six for windows ...
unless you know what a good price is !
'we paid roughly £10k for six French windows, one very large
window, one corner window, another window, and two small windows ...
a few years ago ... toughened & silvered, double glazed, with
internal glazing bars, fitted ...
Joinery is one of the more complex parts of a build to quote for but what I have been trying to do over the past few years is to reduce the price down to a square metre rate. It’s not perfect because some elements, particularly the smaller pieces, are much more expensive on a metre basis than larger ones. But given that most houses consist of a mix of small windows, large windows and largeish doors, it tends to work out
reasonably well over a whole house. What people don’t do, of course, which would be very helpful, is to state how much joinery they are buying in square metres. Instead you get long lists — effectively unmeasured joinery schedules — which you can merely hazard a guess at. As a very rough guide, you can guess that the area of joinery is going to be around 20% of your internal floor area, so if you don’t have a joinery schedule to hand, this is a good place to start.
The costs of joinery are also very variable depending partly on the quality but also on how they are finished and fitted. Is the glazing being purchased separately? Is fitting included in the cost? What I found on my last trawl through joinery costs is that prices varied from as little as £80/m2 for unglazed, unpainted softwood frames through to as much as £400/m2 for pre-finished upmarket glazing from the likes of Rationel and Velfac. A basic uPVC system, of the kind that Everest turn out, should be costing no more than £150- £200/m2. My guess is that the house in question has around 40m2 of joinery (not atypical on a selfbuild these days) and that the Everest rep was pitching initially at over £1,000/m2 and ended up down at around £400-£500/m2 mark, still way more than the prices of far better alternatives.