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What is a reasonable cost for a pre-refurb asbestos survey?

Example: 3 bed semi-detached house (with garage),Bromley

When presented with a competitor's quote for only £320 + VAT we struggled to see how on earth the firm could arrive at that figure!

We were recently asked if we could match a quote for a pre-refurb asbestos survey for a family living in Bromley. The quick answer was a simple 'no' purely because the numbers just didn't stack up.

Our approach in 2023 and beyond, is to quote you a price that means we're still trading next week. A good working relationship, or any relationship for that matter, wants everyone to be happy. We have clients who love knowing we're there for them regularly whether that's each year, month or even week.

Profit can be a swear word to us Brits, but if we don’t make money, how do we invest in our business?

How can £320 + VAT make sense?

We thought it might be useful to break down the costs associated with our line of work - so you can see a quote like this spells disaster for a company seeking a healthy bottom line. It certainly won't be around next year to offer support and advice.

Start with 233* working days in a year.

* Calculation based on 365 days in a year less 104 days for weekends (2x52) and 28 days holiday (20 + Bank Holidays).

You arrive at a daily cost of £285.46 BEFORE you get to the site specific stuff like planning the survey, samples taken for analysis, fuel, parking, ULEZ, Congestion charges, etc.

That's before you've considered how people find you i.e. website and online advertising. What about accountants, book-keepers and the software to keep track of both money and jobs? And that's all before accreditations, SSIP, PAS61 etc.

And we've only scratched the surface!

The £285.46 is surveyor specific expenses, so how on earth can a pre-refurb survey be quoted at £320 + VAT?!

A homebuyers survey for a mortgage costs more and is there to protect the financial investment of the purchaser and the mortgage company.

An asbestos survey protects the health and safety of everyone that enters that building, is a requirement before carrying out work and does not have the benefit of using figures on Rightmove or Zoopla (part of Houseful) for research.

Our advice is this:

If you want to build a long term working relationship with an asbestos specialist that has been trading since 1988 (and will still be here next week), we're the people for you.