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Just a Quote: Expert advice without the hard sell
When was the last time you requested a quotation for home improvements and ended up with a hard-nosed salesman refusing to leave your home until you signed on the dotted line? At Just a Quote we provide you with independent advice and free quotations for a wide range of home improvement products – without the hard sell!
Just a Quote provides Independent, unbiased advice and the best deals on a wide range of home improvements
Instead of listening to the sometimes biased views of companies with a vested interest in selling you their own products, Just a Quote will provide you with independent, unbiased advice on a range of home improvements products available on the market, from the very best, to mid-market, to some of the least expensive. We will attempt to help you to avoid the pitfalls of making the wrong decisions or paying too much. Our vast experience of the way that direct selling works in the home improvement market enables us to judge when a company is prepared to discount further.
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Why use Just a Quote?
Just a Quote has access to a wide range of professional home improvements companies throughout England, Wales and Scotland who offer excellent products and services combined with competitive prices and value for money. No job will be too big or too small for these installation companies and each provides a range of home improvements products and services in which they specialise.
It only takes a few minutes to complete our online form, after which you will be contacted by telephone and offered up to four quotations for your home improvements project. You are under no pressure to accept any of them but we are sure that you will be happy with at least one. Our home improvement quotation service is completely free of charge to you and we are convinced that you will save money by using this service.
Just a Quote provides the following services: –
Free independent home improvements advice
We offer free, unbiased and independent advice on a range of home improvements products and services, right here on our website. We have tried to be as informative as possible without going into ‘nerdy’ depths of detail – however, for those who are interested, the detail is there.
Free home survey, design and quotation service
The installation companies which we introduce to you offer a free survey, design and quotation service, which may involve surveying your windows and doors and recommending suitable styles whilst ensuring compliance with current FENSA regulations. Alternatively you may wish to discuss a proposed conservatory or orangery and be advised on size, design and specification to create a room which is genuinely usable all year round. Or perhaps you need to extend or resurface an existing driveway which has drainage problems requiring improvements in order to satisfy the latest SUDS legislation. They will listen to your requirements and offer advice on a number of solutions but if all you want at this stage is Just a Quote, that’s fine.
Free sample products and literature
Many of the home improvement installation companies we deal with will demonstrate and explain the differences between sample products and provide product literature, advising which they think is the most suitable for your needs, and why. Although manufacturer’s brochures are useful for ideas, if you are considering replacement windows or a new block paved driveway for example, it is wise to see sample products before reaching your decision.
Introduction to local home improvement companies
We will introduce you to local, reputable home improvements companies which supply and install the home improvements product of interest to you – hopefully at a budget to suit. We do not act as an agent for either you or any of these companies nor are we party to any potential contract between you and any one of them.
Conservatory and orangery design service
Installation companies normally provide a conservatory, orangery, porch and extension design service, with virtual images of your chosen conservatory, orangery or porch superimposed onto a photograph of your home. Computer aided design (CAD) drawings can be provided showing the various elevations of your proposed conservatory or orangery.
Planning permission and building regulations
If your conservatory or extension requires planning permission or Building Regulations approval, most of the installation companies we deal with can organise this on your behalf, including a full drawing and submission service to your local authority. There will be charges for the drawings and additional local authority fees for planning permission and Building Regulation approval. There is no guarantee however, that any plans submitted, will be approved.
Driveway and patio design
If you are looking to renew or extend your driveway or patio, surfacing companies will discuss designs in tarmac, block paving, pattern imprinted concrete or resin & aggregate driveways – explaining the advantages and disadvantages of each type of paving surface, together with price comparisons. Sample products and literature are normally available and a full landscape gardening service is also available from some of the installation companies.
There are several Government schemes aimed at encouraging households to install renewable energy heating systems in their homes and many of these will pay substantial financial incentives. The solar PV Feed-in tariff may be one of the better known but in April 2014 the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (Domestic RHI) was also introduced.
Domestic RHI makes tariff payments for seven years to installers of biomass boilers, solar thermal water heating systems, ground source heat pumps and air source heat pumps. Our installers are accredited by the relevant authorities to install renewable energy heating systems and will help you to claim the tariff payments you are entitled to.
How to avoid drop-closing techniques when buying home improvement products
Many direct selling home improvements companies have unrealistically high list prices so that they can offer what appear to be attractive discounts. However, the only important amount is the one you end up paying to an installation company, not the figure where the negotiations start. To some companies it can be a bit of a game – a sales representative may start with an unrealistically high price to convince you that their product is expensive and therefore ‘must be of exceptional quality’. They will then start to gradually reduce the price hoping to catch you on the way down, that is, dropping the price until they get your business, or ‘close the sale’ – hence the term ‘drop-closing’.
All manner of supposedly justifiable reasons may be offered for such discounts but as credible as they may appear, for the most part they are probably fictitious. A common example is a discount paid out of the ‘marketing budget’ if you agree to the placing of an advertising board outside your home during the installation of your home improvements product. The discount may be used to ‘close the sale’ but don’t be surprised when no advertising board appears – it was never intended to be placed there.
Some companies even insist that their sales representatives telephone the sales manager for permission to give extra discounts. In the direct selling world, this is known as ‘phone-closing’. The phone call is an effort to convince you that you are getting a special ‘one-off’ deal which can only be authorised by the manager – when they know perfectly well that the ‘special’ discount is available to everyone if they negotiate hard enough. The big problem for consumers is that if you accept a deal part way through this procedure, you will never know whether they would have been prepared to discount even further. Just a Quote aims to introduce you to home improvements installation companies who will offer the best advice, best products, best designs and most of all the best deal – without you having to fight for it.
FACTS YOU SHOULD CONSIDER WHEN BUYING HOME IMPROVEMENTS
According to a report in June 2011 for the Office of Fair Trading: –
• UK consumers spend approximately £27 billion per year on home improvements, maintenance and repairs to their homes
• Approximately 148,000 businesses operate in the home improvements market
• In the year to March 2011, Consumer Direct received approximately 70,000 complaints regarding general home improvements, with an additional 15,000 specifically about windows, doors and conservatories
• 1 in 5 consumers initiating home improvements reported having experienced a problem with the work, mainly delays, poor quality of work and the use of sub-standard materials
• There are approximately 17,500 window, door and conservatory installation companies in the United Kingdom • There were approximately 2,000,000 window and door installations in the United Kingdom in 2010
• There are tens of thousands of driveway and patio installers in the United Kingdom, most of whom work from home
• Finding the right installer could be like looking for a needle in a haystack. Just a Quote will help you to find the right product, the right installer and the right price.