Deposit for Building Work

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  • pebbleridge's Avatar
    Level 1
    I've had a Quotation from a Checkatrade registered builder but he is asking for a deposit "for materials transferred".

    What does that actually mean and is it normal.
    The builder is a Sole Trader.
  • 13 Replies

  • DCH roofing team's Avatar
    Level 1
    If you have agreed the price and he is taking the job on some people may ask for money to cover medical cost
  • MJS building service's Avatar
    Level 1
    I ask for a deposit to secure a start date. A skip for the job can cost £200 - £300 and most jobs require materials to be ordered.
  • Sean's Avatar
    Level 20
    Totally normal.
  • ChelseaDave's Avatar
    Level 20
    As all my work is bespoke I take a 50% deposit, with the balance on completion. My clients totally understand that what I make and install is bespoke and made specifically for them, therefore it is not transferable to another project. This has worked for me for 47 years and to date every project has been seen through without a hitch. It also shows client confidence and commitment. How I see it, if things were to turn sour and a client was to cancel at some stage into the project I have only lost half the money, but at least I have covered the materials and the overheads of my Joinery premises.
  • Aggy Steve's Avatar
    Level 1
    @pebbleridge simple answer is that it depends. You need to be wary of advance fee fraud which is very common by fraudsters masquerading as builders. Many reputable businesses, mine included, will ask for a deposit to secure space in the diary and to order materials, etc. You really need to be sure of the competence and legitimacy of the people you are hiring. As one previous poster has mentioned, a 50% deposit for bespoke is common. For anything without a lot of special order or long lead time items then much less. Good luck with your project.
  • RJHeating's Avatar
    Level 1
    As above, itís not unusual, but make sure you have a signed agreement in place for the entire works incl. the deposit. This will protect both you the client and the tradesperson carrying out the work.
  • ChelseaDave's Avatar
    Level 20
    Iíve always regarded my reputation as far more valuable than any project Iíve ever undertaken! The only way to protect this is with honesty, integrity and trust, if your client didnít see this they wouldnít part with money up front in the first place. As Iíve mentioned before, with a good paper trail of communication including financial arrangements/agreements both parties are legally bound and protected.

    The client has to take their own responsibility and do the necessary homework to make sure they get the right tradesperson, this includes checking credentials and track record, whereas the tradesperson has a responsibility to be professional and deliver! This is where recommendation, good reviews and feedback is priceless! When I visit a client to discuss and measure I always make them aware of my terms, so even before they receive my quote they know the score and how it works! Of course I have been questioned regarding a deposit of 50%, but when explained they fully understand. On more than one occasion I've actually had clients wanting to pay in full up front, but is always best to leave a goal to aim for at the end as an incentive!
    Last edited by ChelseaDave; 25-03-22 at 06:10.
  • Ajw's Avatar
    Level 14
    It is normal otherwise in effect the tradesmen are giving homeowners credit which is unfair but also look at tradesmen terms and conditions check there company history to see if they are legitimate company
    as I have stated before Checkatrade need a guide for customers to follow regarding dealing with trades if that was in place this question would not of been asked