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The meeting of the Individual. Quote from professionals: wise reading to pay the right price


Renovation of a roof, how to read the specifications. Illustrative photo. (MAXPPP)

The meeting of the individual helps you understand today the quotes of a service provider, a craftsman, a company. A monthly file The particular returns to this thorny subject for individuals, and specifies “how much a careful reading of these quotes is necessary to be certain of paying the right price.”

franceinfo: You tell us that to compare the prices of professionals you need a quote. But how can you be sure that this document is valid?

Valérie Valin-Stein, jjournalist, head of the magazine’s real estate section The particular : We must start by remembering that the estimate is the key to the commercial relationship between a professional and his client, that is to say you. This document will help you compare the prices and services offered by different companies. You must demand a written and exhaustive estimate, that is to say as complete as possible. It must include information on the cost of the operations to be carried out as well as on the materials chosen.

The estimate must also indicate the dates and deadlines for the delivery of the products and for the execution of the work. Of course, once you have quotes in hand – it is advisable to ask for, at least, two or three – you should read them carefully!

A quote, is it free or paid?

In principle, an estimate is optional. That said, it is compulsory, regardless of the estimated cost of the work, for certain services: breakdown service, repair and maintenance, personal services, or whenever you, the customer, request it. Regarding its cost, it is always free in certain sectors of activity: moving, funeral directors, optics, in particular …. In other cases, it may be invoiced.

Please note, the professional must warn you that his estimate is not free. Otherwise, you are entitled to refuse to pay it or to claim reimbursement of the sums already paid.

To avoid unpleasant surprises, this quote must include a number of things. What are they ?

The decree of January 24, 2017 requires that a certain number of information be included in an estimate: for example information on the professional, such as his company name, his Siret number or the amount of his share capital. But you must also find the hourly rate charged, any travel costs, the nature and description of the services, the total amount to be paid, even if it is not final, the date of establishment of the estimate and the period of validity of the offer, it is generally set at 3 months.

Attention, if you go through a craftsman or a self-employed building and construction contractor, the reference of their insurance contracts – professional liability, ten-year guarantee… – must appear on the estimate.

If I receive a quote, do I have to go all the way?

An estimate does not bind you until it is signed. For it to take effect, you must return the signed document with the handwritten mention to the professional. “Good for agreement”. It is at this stage that you pay a deposit or a deposit, generally corresponding to 30% of the total amount to be paid.

And besides, a professional in his estimate can give a vague price in the first estimate, and then revise this price?

The service provider is not required to indicate a precise amount in his estimate. Its price can be “determinable”, when the desired service is not clearly defined or else “revisable.” In this case, a revision or indexation clause must be provided for. Otherwise, the price mentioned in the quote will be maintained for its entire period of validity.

On the other hand, once you sign the quotation proposed by the professional, this document becomes a commitment on both sides.

Indeed, once signed, the estimate commits the parties. The professional is required to respect it in all points, whether in terms of scope of work, cost (possibly revised, if this has been provided for) and materials used …

In the event of a dispute, first try to settle the matter amicably by contacting your interlocutor directly or by going through a mediator or conciliator. If you cannot reach an agreement, you will have to go to court. As a reminder, the courts were created at the beginning of the year and are the result of the merger of the district and high courts.

Last advice, a contractor cannot claim a supplement from you for unscheduled work without your prior consent. And this, even if they are necessary for the completion of the site.

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