It can be daunting trying to compare gas, water or electricity quotations, or even to know what you are getting from one you have received. Breaking quotations down, comparing them and ensuring everything is included that is required to complete a project can be a difficult task for experienced utility and construction professionals – for someone less familiar with the various processes it can be near on impossible!
In order to assess a quotation, there are some basic questions that can be asked and used as a guide:
- Are there limitations on site visits/ meetings?
- On larger sites, it is common for a contractor to make an allowance for the number of mobilizations to site to install mains and services. It is important that these correlate with any phasing you have and are realistic.
- Some contractors will limit the number of site meetings for a given project, it is worth noting that any meetings you require could then incur a cost.
- Is meter housing(s) included?
- Without meter housings, it is generally not possible to install services.
- This could be a gas/ electricity GRP kiosk, or a box that affixes to the side of a premises.
- Some contractors will supply and fit housings, some will just deliver them as part of a quote, and others will omit them completely.
- Is on site excavation included?
- An easy one to start off with. A fairly common omission is any excavation in private land.
- Depending on the distance and material to be excavated, this could be a significant cost.
- Is metering included?
- The supply and installation of metering is another cost to be considered when analysing a quotation.
- Without a meter fitted you cannot use the supply.
- Is the required ducting/ pipe included?
- For some services, there is quite a lot of work that needs to be completed prior to a contractor arriving on site. For example, it is common for a water services that the pipe has to be laid to the boundary of the site, inspected and possibly chlorinated prior to an appointment for connection being made.
- Some suppliers will provide duct and pipe required on private land, and some won’t.
- Is there any allowance for legal issues?
- If the installation you require is likely to cross 3rd party land, wayleaves and easements could be required. It is worth noting that these are likely to incur costs and some contractors will place an allowance against this.
- What level of traffic management has been included?
- If the connections required are in a high trafficked area or near junctions/ bends, some contractors will make an allowance for this in their quotation, whereas some will only allow standard traffic management and charge a variation for anything above this
- Has the contractor got the correct qualifications?
- Something that should always be checked is that the contractor has the appropriate qualifications and competence for the task at hand.
All of the above should be taken into consideration when assessing a quotation, as top line figures can look drastically different when first glanced at, but on closer inspection the cheaper quote can be the most expensive. The above are the basic criteria on which to compare quotations, but there are myriad other things that can affect quotations.
At BGS Utilities, we will always be open and honest with what is included in our quotations and will not hide any omissions that have been made. We are more than willing to assess any quotations that you have received and provide advice and a competitive quotation as required.