Table of contents:
- How do craftsmen calculate labor costs?
- Expert tip from Holger Scheiding, lawyer and consultant to the Chamber of Crafts for Munich and Upper Bavaria
Video: Craftsmen: placing orders correctly
Almost all craftsmen are very busy and appointments are difficult to get. Nevertheless, homeowners should place orders very carefully.
One is annoyed when craftsmen leave dirt in the house. Another doesn't like the result of the renovation. A Forsa survey last year found that almost half of homeowners have had bad experiences with artisans. It is better to check the potential helper before placing the order.
Prevent annoyance: Ideally, homeowners will get three offers before placing an order. It is important to describe the project exactly to the craftsmen. After all, everyone should have the same idea of the result. Burkhard Neitzel, civil engineer and consultant in the federal government of apartment and property owners (BWE), knows that the recommendations cannot always be followed by everyone: "In the current market situation, homeowners prefer to strike quickly as soon as they have a plausible offer."
Recommendations from friends, neighbors or property managers are particularly valuable. In the offer, customers pay attention to a detailed description of services. In addition to the price, the terms of payment also play a role. Neitzel emphasizes: “Be careful when paying in advance!” For larger orders, a security retention is also customary, for example if an interim invoice is made: the customer can withhold a reasonable portion of the remuneration until the service has been rendered in full. As soon as and as long as the helpers are in the house, the client should be available for inquiries. "Anyone who shows up and shows interest from time to time can take countermeasures without constantly looking at the other's fingers, " says the expert.
Fixing defects: After the work is done, the craftsman and customer make an appointment for acceptance. Homeowners should take a lot of time to do this. It is important to document construction defects or defects in a single work in detail in an acceptance report - before the last invoice is paid. The craftsman now gets the chance - more precisely: the written request - to touch up within a certain period (usually 10 to 14 days). Minor defects are no reason to refuse acceptance. It is then declared subject to reservation. In this way, customers retain all rights - initially for reworking. If this fails or is refused, a lawyer should consider further steps (e.g. damages). Defects are not always recognized by both sides. Until acceptance, the craftsman must prove that he has worked in accordance with the contract. "Then the burden of proof shifts to the consumer, " explains Neitzel. In addition, the period begins after which claims for defects expire - depending on the measure, two to five years. The acceptance of the construction therefore has important consequences. Above all, it confirms to the craftsman that he has delivered a largely error-free result.
How do craftsmen calculate labor costs?
An average hour of craftsmen costs between 45 and 65 euros; here in the example 61.42 euros. This is how the price is composed:
An average hour of craftsmen costs between 45 and 65 euros.
Photo: Stuttgart Region Chamber of Crafts
Expert tip from Holger Scheiding, lawyer and consultant to the Chamber of Crafts for Munich and Upper Bavaria
Holger Scheiding, lawyer and advisor to the Chamber of Crafts for Munich and Upper Bavaria.
Photo: Argum / Thomas Einberger
Renovators can request and compare quotes from multiple artisans before placing an order. How binding are the details?
A cost estimate is a cost calculation. Certain exceedances - between 10 and 20 percent - are permissible. If the renovation is much more expensive, the craftsman must point this out. Then the customer has two options: he can accept the higher price and continue working. Or he cancels the contract and only pays for the services that have so far been performed. The company is liable for damages if it completes the work without first notifying that it will significantly exceed the cost estimate.
How do the quotation and offer differ?
Craftsmen can draw up a non-binding quotation and / or a binding offer. A cost estimate offers consumers guidance and can help them choose a company. However, I advise against concluding a contract on this basis only. A binding offer is beneficial for both sides: clients and recipients can rely on it 1: 1. Agreed prices, for example, apply to the cent. As a rule, both variants are free of charge. Remuneration for a cost estimate or offer is only permitted if it can be proven that this has been agreed.
What standards does an offer have to meet?
The legislator makes no specifications. However, it is important that the offer - as well as the cost estimate - contains a detailed description of services. The time frame should also be set precisely: when does the work start and by when is it finished? In addition to the remuneration, it should also be clear how billing is carried out. Some craftsmen make offers at a fixed price. This is too delicate for others. Instead, you enter a unit price, for example per piece or square meter. Or they call the hourly rate. When tradesmen make an estimate of how long they need for the job, they also have to be measured against it. A deviation of plus / minus ten percent is usually still within the scope.
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