Every holiday, I make a list of what needs to be done in the house. Odd things like cleaning the ventilation system or painting the stairs. As a result, the last one is now on my list, and it takes good planning with a family who walks the stairs daily! Next time I decided to ask for a stair renovation, ready in one day. So maybe, I should write already, asking for a quotation from a company on my list.
Out of my experience, nowadays, Dutch companies are so busy that you are lucky that a company is willing to give you a quotation. And, after you said yes, there is a waiting list of a few months.
Asking for quotation
If you want to have a quotation, first think about your wishes. The more precise you are, the more precise a quotation is. However, you can always ask for a revision if necessary. Sometimes, it will take a few quotations before you end up with the one with fits you.
You can ask yourself these questions:
– When do I want that the work is done?
– Which companies or contractors do I want to ask for a quotation from? This needs some investigation on forehand.
– What is my budget?
– What kind of finishing do I want?
– Details. Do you want an extra wall outlet or renewing of the radiator?
– Is there something you don’t want?
– Quality, what do you expect?
– Is there something you want to do yourself.
Let’s give an example:
You want a new bathroom, with a shower, a bath, a new toilet and a sink. First, the old bathroom may be demolished. However, you just have a new stair finishing, and you want to keep your house neatly. The stairs require protection also. And, you think you can do it yourself. So, you require a rubbish container.
Then you think about what kind of shower you want. You can choose a very luxurious rain shower. But, does that have implications for the hot water boiler?
After thinking, you require also space for storage in your bathroom. Also, you have an idea for Portuguese hand made tiles. Is that possible?
Why this example?
In the first case, it seems so easy to ask for a quotation for a bathroom. However, the details can make a huge difference in the quotation. And, with that, you don’t want to be surprised with extra work in the end.
What is mentioned in a Dutch quotation?
1. Your address
2. Address from the company
3. The date of the offer
4. The number of the Chamber of Commerce from the company.
A company, in the Netherlands, needs to be registered. You can always check how long this company exists already.
4. The validity
5. Deposit up to 50%. But 25% is normal.
For a company, your project needs planning and ordering materials on forehand. For this, they can already send you a bill before they start.
6. Summary of the work
Read this thoroughly. Is everything noticed what you asked? What is clear? Is there anything that you miss? Of course, a Dutch quotation can be difficult to read, as it is not your mother tongue.
7. Guarantee period
Normally, in the terms and conditions, you can read about the guarantee period.
8. BTW = VAT
The Dutch VAT system is not easy to understand. What you need to know is this:
21% VAT is used in most cases.
For example, you buy solar panels. And at the end of the invoice, you will see the 21% VAT rate.
9% VAT is used in the following cases:
– Insulating your house
– Painting the house
– Plaster the house
– Apply wallpaper in the house.
This is only the case if your house is older than 2 years old.
– Cleaning the house is always 9% VAT.
– You pay 9% VAT on your water bill.
You want to insulate your house. You received a quotation and there are 2 VAT rates mentioned. 9% is for the labour and 21% for all the materials.
9. Attachment: Terms and conditions.
This one is very important. In this document, you read what will happen in unforeseen cases. What your rights are, and how to handle them.
Which questions can you ask the company?
– When is there time for my project?
– How long will this project take?
– Is there a guarantee period?
– Are there other possibilities price or time-wise?
– Always ask if there are any provisional posts (stelpost) and how this is calculated.
– Do you have a reference project?
Which questions can you ask yourself?
– Is this a fair price? A handyman will cost you around €40- 60 euros an hour, while an architect easily will cost €120.
– Is the quotation complete?
– Does this company have good reviews?
– Do you understand what is written? In the Netherlands, it is never rude to ask for an explanation if you need it. If not, ask for help. We love to help you with reviewing your Dutch quotations. You can easily do that by just sending a message.
– Can this job wait till I have more work to be done, or do I need this work done soon to prevent extra costs?
Reading a Dutch quotation can be hard. Prepare yourself on the forehand, ask questions and think about what you want. The more preparation you have done, the more precise the offer will be.
Perhaps, you can use some help in preparation to ask for quotations. For this reason we developed the “House renovation guide”. It’s a download free of charge.