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Cost of boiler install - why so expensive

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Hi folks was wondering if someone can tell me why boiler installs areso expensive 


Example, replace a combi, 1 day fairly straightforward, job, materials cost £600, total job cost of around £1000-£1100


So paying £400-£500 for Labour. I would have thought it would be about half that for the Labour. Is that just what gas engineers can command now? 


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Douglas Hi


I think that you may not be appreciating all the running costs of the business and if you are putting in the cheapest boiler I would only consider it if you were flipping and hoping not to sell on to an experienced landlord. You're not just paying for the time on site - a gas engineer has very expensive training to amortise (and these are on-going and require them to go off on regular courses; membership of Gas Safe is a legal requirement and cost £000s in membership fees, + insurances, vans & tools.  Boilers are not black box pull one out and plug in another and so there will inevitably be pipes to adjust and change and if you are fitting a new boiler the system will need to be drained down, often power flushed to get rid or probably years of gunge going round the system and then needs to be refilled with inhibitors and magnetic filters put in place to protect the system going forward. 

Usually the flues & vents are different for new models and these too will require skillfully fitting.

I am fascinated at the rush to basement for prices rather than getting a decent engineer who you can trust to do a good job and maintain it going forward.  I would be worried about too cheap a price as I do not know what corners are being cut and I have seen some horror stories in my time.  I've changed dozens if not 00s of boilers and £1000 sounds cheap and I would check what you are really getting for that budget figure.  If you're keeping he property to rent get a good mid range boiler with a decent warranty (5-7 years is quite common).  If you're selling - hope that if you go cheap that it is not spotted as I would walk away from a property with a budget boiler badly fitted as I know I'd be buying problems within a short period

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1 hour ago, douglas robertson said:

Tim that's all very well and I get what you are saying, but at the end of the day a boiler install is a days labour, so why 500? 

Vokera easiheat -£500, one of the cheapest boilers going, 5 year warranty , what's there not to like about that ! 


So why don't you install it?

The answer from Tim gives a good explanation that it's not just labour. There will be all sorts of other bits required to swap the boilers round and make them fit such as pipe and connectors, plus filling it with more than water, all of which will be included in the fitting charge. Add into that VAT, cost of a van, cost of the specialist equipment required, cost of being approved and I'm not sure what the problem is. 

And as for cheapest boiler going, well, rather you than me.

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From my experience and observation if you buy the cheapest you pay for it in the long run. If you buy an item from a pound shop you would not expect it to last long or be too robust  

with regards to costs above the boiler unit itself a routine drain down of a system is £185 & power flush more. If you push a contractor down on price you will pee them off and corners will be cut or you’ll have to use someone who is a bodger. My houses cost me a lot of money and I won’t use back street contractors to risk my capital value for short term fix. That said get a couple of quotes and see where the prices line up as it will be different in different areas. A good contractor is worth paying the going rate for. If the chips are down I want to know I can call on them and get a good follow on service. If you’ve screeed them down to the lowest price don’t be surprised to find they’re not obtainable later on. I presume you want an appropriate income from your work? I employ dozens of independent contractors and I expect my landlords to pay the going rate so that contractor will still be in business next year. 

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On 8/25/2018 at 3:21 PM, douglas robertson said:

I won't install it because I don't know how to and it would be unsafe 

And no disrespect Dino but I think you're missing the point 


And I think you're missing the point. Your first sentence makes it clear you need a competent, qualified person to do the work, yet you're complaining about paying them. Why should someone get the training, get the qualifications, get the ongoing licences, get the insurance and then do the job at the same price as someone who can just turn up and claim to be an expert, as often happens with other trades which don't have the regulation?

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Hi mate, I'm a gas engineer and I feel your quote isn't bad. I can't personally comment on the materials cost because I don't use Vokera as I don't rate them for build quality. Does the £500 your quoting the boiler to cost include a flue, does it include the vat and does it include one of the measures required now by law known as "boiler plus"?


regarding the labour costs: if your braking it down to a combi swap its a days work like you rightly say, so that's £50 per hour at 8 hours (£400), cost of misc. materials (flux, solder, gas, apprentice, fuel etc etc)


£500 labours not bad at all. also bare in mind your price may be including vat 


as previously mentioned your may be best to get another quote to see how that sits with your expectations

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Hi Leon thanks that's interesting to hear it from an engineer 


Yes the £500 was to do everything (except materials)  and there was no VAT, just a cash payment and it does seem to be the going rate, which I've no problem paying, I was just curious about it 


The thing that I find a bit strange is that when I've used gas engineers before their Labour rate hasn't been £60 odd an hour, it's been about half that, say £30 an hour or £200 ish a day 


It's just when it comes to installing a new boiler the going rate for the labour seems to double. 


To me it seems a bit like a joiner charging you £25 an hour to hang doors one day and then the next day £50 an hour to fit a kitchen


I wondered if the labour for  fitting boilers was a bit more expensive because it's just more technical and could command a higher fee for that particular job



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