I was hoping to have some building work done in England and got two quotes: I would have liked three or four, but it was quite enough work to get two. To my surprise, they different hugely: one was literally twice the price of the other.
Combing through them, it looked as though the higher one included items that the lower one didn't: skip hire, for example, and a substantial project management fee. This made me suspicious that although both are from reputable builders, the lower one might be incomplete and the builder might well find there are additional costs to bear during the work.
Now, I can afford the lower quote with a bit to spare, but I absolutely cannot afford the higher one. So I'm concerned that if I go with the lower quote, half the work will get done and the budget will run out. This, in turn, made me wonder about what legal recourse I might have in that eventuality.
The Citizens Advice Bureau site has this to say on the subject:
The contractor can’t charge you more than the price on their quote unless:
-you ask for extra work that’s not included in the quote.
-they let you know they have to do extra work and you agree to pay more for it.
-they made a genuine mistake when writing down or calculating the price - they have the legal right to charge you what it should have been.
The first point of which seems entirely reasonable, but as far as I can see, points two and three can essentially be invoked to cover the builder for any mistakes they made in the quote. Forgetting to add skip hire or project management, for example, could both count as "extra work" on point two or a "genuine mistake" on point three.
So, realistically, how much protection under the law do I have if I accept the cheaper quote and the builder finds their costs soar during construction because they left stuff out of the quote?