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A concrete quote: what to know before signing

A good quote is the first step to successful work. This paper, which acts as a contract, is not to be completed, much less to be signed lightly! Compulsory from 150 euros of work, the quotes must respect certain rules. We must therefore study very seriously the terms and conditions of this document before committing financially. This week, as part of our record of the month, DuitDesign guides you step by step in the establishment of a well built quote.


Definition and function of the quote

In theory, a quote is a detailed statement of the work to be done and the supplies to be provided, along with an estimate of the expenses. It must therefore specify all the steps and services that are committed to provide you with the professionals.

for the quote to be fair

The quote offers the customer total transparency, allowing him to know both the quality and quantity of materials needed for the smooth running of operations, not to mention their price and the cost of labor. The expenses envisaged by the craftsmen must of course be as realistic as possible. However, in some cases, it is possible that the price of the final invoice, including all taxes, does not correspond to that indicated on the quote. There is indeed an indexation clause which gives the artisan the right to modify his tariffs according to a coefficient estimated by law, taking into account the variations in the cost of materials and labor. To be applied, this clause, also called the revision clause, must appear on the quote.

Legal level, the craftsman must provide you with a quote as soon as the amount of work exceeds 150 euros TTC. If they are mostly free, it is important to know that professionals have the right to charge their quotes and travel.

The quote mentions

The quote mentions

According to Article 3 of the Decree of 2 March 1990 on the advertising of the prices of repair, maintenance and repair services in the building and appliance sector, an estimate must include certain information. mandatory which are:
The name and address of the company (SIREN number, the mention RCS followed by the city where the company was registered and, where applicable, its corporate form (eg Painting SARL).
The name of the client and the address of the site.
The date of writing the estimate.
The total to pay.
The amount including all taxes to pay.
The amount of VAT.
The validity period of the offer.
The dates of the start and the reception of the works (which are not compulsory in all cases but strongly recommended, as a precaution).
The price of the quote or its free.
Possible conditions for price revision.
Travel expenses, if they are charged.
The precise detail of each service: the quantities but also the cost of products and labor, designated by a reference unit (the price per unit meter and / or square meter for products and the hourly rate for workers' work).
The signature of each party with the handwritten mention of the customer: "Quote received before the execution of the work and Good for work" followed by the date of the day.

Other information that must be specified to the customer may appear on the contract without being mandatory. It is:
The method used to calculate the time spent on the site.
The hourly price of the labor, all taxes included.
The price of the services all taxes included.
The price of the quote if it is paying.
Travel expenses if they are charged.

If this information is not indicated on your quote, they must even be recorded on a written document that the craftsman must send you before the start of work. All estimates must be drawn up and signed in two copies, one for the craftsman and the other for the client.

What to do in case of problems

If the reception of the building site is late more than 7 days which is not due to a case of absolute necessity, the customer can denounce the contract of sale as indicated by the code of consumption: "this contract is if necessary, considered as broken upon receipt by the seller or the service provider of the letter by which the consumer informs him of his decision, if the delivery has not taken place or if the service has not been performed between sending and receiving this letter ". The contract can be terminated in the event of unjustified delays. Note that there is a margin of 60 days after the initial date of delivery, after which it is no longer possible to cancel the contract, in order to avoid abusive practices.

If the craftsman does not respect one or more points on which he has committed himself by signing the estimate, the client can have the legal benefits of the promised benefits fulfilled. The client may also claim damages if the delays have caused him harm.

If the craftsman carries out additional work that does not appear in the estimate without having consulted the client, the latter is entitled to refuse the payment of these costs.

Where to turn in case of dispute

In case of dispute

In case of dispute, disputes or disputes with the contractor, there are several organizations to address, which will help you in your efforts.

Before embarking on long and costly legal proceedings, it is best to consider other possible remedies. The DGCCRF, Directorate General of Competition, Consumption and Fraud Repression, can help you in the case of a breach of the order of 2 March 1990 cited above.

Conciliators appointed by the Court of Appeal can assist you in trying to obtain an amicable settlement of your dispute. These volunteers are responsible, without any particular formality, to put in front the two opposing parties to find if possible a satisfactory solution which can be concretized by a statement of agreement, having the legal value of a contract. However, the conciliator's opinions are in no way a legal obligation. Here you will find all the information and addresses you need to call a conciliator. To advise you or prepare your future legal steps, you can appeal to consumer associations. They will provide you with professional advice and experience in return for a generally low annual fee.

If none of these solutions has been successful, the legal route seems to be the last possible option, yet it is necessary to appeal to the right court. For disputes involving sums below 7600 euros, you must go to the district court. Up to 3800 euros, you will file a simplified procedure with the registry of the district court. Beyond this sum you will have to summon the opposing party to court with a bailiff's act following the normal procedure.

For sums greater than 7600 euros it is the court of grande instance that must be addressed, requiring the presence of a lawyer.

Last precautions to take before signing the quote

Some precautions

Once the quote has been prepared with care and precision, you still need to check a few things about your contractor. Make sure that the craftsman has a professional liability insurance and a decennial liability insurance both of which are mandatory and must be valid at the date of signing the contract.

It is also advisable to check with the commercial court if the company is not the subject of a bankruptcy. This can happen in the case of unscrupulous companies seeking to earn as much money as possible before closing the door, leaving your building site abandoned after receiving a large portion of its fees.

For more security, you can also consult L'ADIL; The Departmental Housing Information Agency of your department, which has information on building professionals.

As you will have seen, in terms of quotes, caution is required. If the vast majority of craftsmen are honest and serious, some may show bad faith. It is therefore essential to know your rights and fill a quote as accurate as possible to avoid unpleasant surprises. To avoid problems, HandymanDuanche advises you to call on craftsmen who have been recommended by relatives or acquaintances.


Video Instruction: How To Charge For Quotes And Avoid Working For Free