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How long is an estimate valid for?

How long do people keep there estimates valid for ??

With material prices changes several times throughout the year and the governments tax and fuel cost increases to name but a few, how long realsitically can you honour your estimate for? would be interested to know others point on this..

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  • estimates are valid for 28 days

    full quotes it depends on the nature of the work 28days to a year BUT in my T's and C's it does state

    Quotation subject to revision if materials prices fluctuate more than 10% from those valid at date of issue, all changes would be confirmed before work commences.

    Some of the quotes i do are for organisations looking for grants for the work and I usually give a year on these as grants can take a long time to come through!!!
  • PRO
    I honour mine for a month in writing, but if the person came back within 2 or 3 and prices had not changed much I would still honour it. I state in my terms and conditions that it is valid until a month of receiving the quote.

    I'm hoping this also helps them get back to me quicker!
  • I have a form for when I give on site estimates or quotes. At the bottom I've got "This price is valid for" then a number of tick boxes ranging from a week to three months depending on how quickly the job will deteriate.
  • PRO
    Normally to the end of the following month. If their's a VAT increase due within a couple of months I usually factor this into my pricing.
  • Thanks guys ours are 28 days which is very reasonable.... worth getting feedback from fellow pro's
  • PRO
    I state on my quotes that Vat is at the current rate at completion.

    Paul @ Ashgate Garden Care said:
    Normally to the end of the following month. If their's a VAT increase due within a couple of months I usually factor this into my pricing.
  • PRO
    I'm not VAT registered. Was thinking more on the cost of items etc.

    Kieran Ray said:
    I state on my quotes that Vat is at the current rate at completion.

    Paul @ Ashgate Garden Care said:
    Normally to the end of the following month. If their's a VAT increase due within a couple of months I usually factor this into my pricing.
  • 30 Days, If they come back after that I revisit all the assumptions in the pricing
  • 90 days here. Never had a problem (so far)!
  • PRO
    Why not get said Merchants to provide you with a quote for the items you are most likely to use, ask what the time limit is on the prices, then you would know where you stand.
    As i've said before I spent 12 years in Merchants, prices for materials were often held for a year, ie quoted prices. You need to speak to their reps or sales office, Get a quote on this basis, best prices for yearly volumes, loyalty to their branch, long term quotes, then there should be no surprises.
    Remember if something has an RRP of £10 it has got at least 1000 trade prices, sometimes merchants sell below cost price, as well.
    Then you will be able to quote your customers with longer term certainty.

    Gary Cobb said:
    Our T & C's state quote valid for 6 weeks but we are flexible on this. The most troublesome time of year is the spring when all the manufacturers tend to do their increases so we have to be carefull then.

    I'm not sure what you're refering to with tax and fuel increases - If the vat changes then that change is reflected in the job automatically because T&c's state vat charged at current rate.

    With fuel costs, I don't see how that affects hard landscapers. How much fuel can you get through in a 1 week / 2 week build say ?

    I personally find one of the most annoying things is when merchants don't advise you of manufacturers increases so you merrily price away on paving / walling / whatever only to be told when you've won the job and place an order that the price has gone up !

    Some people might think well ring up for the latest price every time you quote. Firstly that would be a time consuming nightmare and secondly the price could still increase between quoting and winning the job.

    Why can't merchants simply email their customers and advise them of any potential increases ?

    Finally, yes, I do change merchants if they do it to often but in the end there aren't that many to choose from.
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