29 Mar 2008
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United Kingdom

I am looking to replace my aged Baxi boiler with a nice, reliable condenser combi.

I am willing to pay to a maximum £800 for the boiler itself and a fair and reasonable price for the fitting. As this is an old 2 bedroomed terrace, with 7 radiators spread across 7 rooms, it may need to piping being done as the BG said our pipes are too small.

BG have quoted me 3800 for a worcestor greenstar 24e or something along those lines plus install.

An independant boiler installer wanted £1400 including parts, boiler etc. Vokera boiler (never heard of them before)l, although i dont think he noticed pipes may need doing

Realistically, we need something reliable, that will add to the value of the house and isnt too expensive. We are first time home owners so its quite difficult to work out what the best boilers are for our needs, what a fair price is for its installation and how reliable it will be, after care support etc.

From all the research I've done online, it looks as if Valliant are the most recommended. Can only Valliant engineers install them or could I request that my local gas installer buy and install one for me? Do they cost more to install?

The one I've been advised on is:

Anyone got any suggestions on what the best boilers are, how much we should expect to pay and how much typically we'd expect to pay for installation.

I am not sure whether i should be buying the boiler myself and then paying someone to get it installed or whether i should leave it all to the engineer. I'm just worried that I will be ripped off etc.

We'd reallly appreciate your advice!
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You will find that the heating installers on this forum love reading the term 'ripped off' in the same sentence as their vocation being mentioned.

While we are all working hard for our living the general public seem to drink every word the media writes about our profession.

I suggest you keep reading the Daily Mail and get one of those fantastic Polish plumbers round for a quote. They won't make a mess on your carpet, will be CORGI registered and will definitely come back if there's a problem - assuming they haven't gone back to driving their bus in Warsaw.
Simon, with all due respect, I posted here for some advice, not to be insulted.

You can be ripped off by taking the cheapest quote and the most expensive. I've done my research before coming on this forum and posting, I am very aware that there are rogue traders in every profession, not just in the heating industry.

I want to pay a fair price for a good standard of work and was hoping for a few pointers in the right direction. I learnt from the forums so far that a professional service should include a system power cleanse if it is an old heating system and also that the independant installer should really have picked this up, along with the size of our gas pipes, when accessing our needs.

I did not come here to tar anyone with any brush, I came here in good faith that I would get good advice from proffessionals that know what I should receive with my boiler installation. I have already got quotes for the work, and I'm sure that I will be able to gage what is the average price and go from there, but if I need a pipe change or the system cleaned and noone quotes me or recommends this, then how do I know if this is a good service?

We are first time buyers and are in a vunerable position because we don't necessarily understand what needs to be done and why it needs to be done which is why we are here asking for advice. We do not want to go for the cheapest quote, because quite rightly you get what you pay for. We want to do what is fair and right. I did not presume that every trader is out there to rip me off. I wanted to find out what simple steps of understanding I could take to make sure the right thing is done, because if it is not then I will end up paying for it sooner or later through boiler repairs and call outs.

From the outside, it looks as if this is a sore spot for you Simon, but personally attacking someone that you know nothing about really does little to resolve the situation.
Thanks for your due respect.

I suggest you get three quotes and choose the installer you believe in. I reread my posting and can't see anything personal in there, but I can see you suggesting that heating installers will rip you off.

If you have already have three quotes how are you going to get ripped off? Take some advice from Gordon Ramsay, reach out, find your b*llocks and make a decision.

And stop suggesting we are rip off merchants, that is personal.
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Hi Simon,

I did not suggest that at all, please re-read my original post:

"I am not sure whether i should be buying the boiler myself and then paying someone to get it installed or whether i should leave it all to the engineer. I'm just worried that I will be ripped off etc."

I am not suggesting that anyone is a rip off merchant and having re read both of my original posts, I don't I have ever claimed this either. It is never my intention to make anything personal, as it is offensive and also counter productive.

In my original post, I was asking whether I should buy the equipment myself (I am not sure whether that is norm) or whether I should allow the engineer to source the materials for himself. For example, one engineer told me that I would need to pay £1000 for the cost of the boiler. When I advised that I could source the boiler for £650 including flue kit etc he said that he would immediate match the price! It is these incidents that make me unsure whether I should be or whether I'm meant to be buying the boiler myself or whether I should leave it up the engineer to buy and take responsibility for the boiler he sources.

Additionally, I have tried to get quotes from Valliant boilers and every engineer has been trying to push an alternative brand of boiler that I haven't heard of before. Perhaps that is because they are used to or have special deals with the manufacturer on certain boilers. Again I am unsure whether all boiler installers should know how to install all brands, especially one of the leading brands like Valliant. I have sourced a local Valliant boiler engineer who should have able to give me a quote for the boiler that many people have been recommending on these forums.

In terms of how I am worried that I will be unfairly charged? Well, that is in terms of not just price but also service. Again, as mentioned in my previous post, one of the quotes from BG included the gas pipe being changed out of necessity, another quote did not entail having the pipe replaced at all. One included the water system being cleansed and did not even suggest at having the water system cleaned. When there is a £2,400 difference between price quotes, then you start to wonder what the middle ground should be and what basic standard things should be done and quoted for when asking for a boiler installation.

This is why I came to the forum in the first place, to make sure I was not making unrealistic comparisons between quotes, and to make sure that I get it right first time, instead of another 4 months without hot running water.
if you buy the boiler(vaillant) and someone else fits it, they will not take responsability for any faults on will then have to spend ages on the phone at 50 pence a minute trying to get through to vaillant , who will probably ask you to get your installer to have a look first.He will then charge you a call out fee.Great this trying to save a buck buisiness , aint it.

Thanks for your reply.

In this case then, it is best that I allow the engineer to buy the boiler his/herself from their known boiler source. Am I allowed to specify which boiler I want when an engineer comes round, or does each one have their own speciality?

Thanks again
You can ask for whatever you like - you are paying for this. You can do some research and try to understand about price-performance-reliability characteristics from people's posts on here. And then pick one which seems to be OK. In a more polite echo of an earlier poster's "find some *******s" comment I just suggest that you take charge of what is going on and ask some fair questions if you have them.

The thing to realise about a particular installer's preferred boiler is they may suggest it from a mixture of:-
* ease of installation (by design or their familiarity/built-up experience)
* reliability,
* stock availability,
* personal benefit. They should know the best price to them - and for a transparent quote this is what you would pay. So there's no mark up on parts in your price. But beware that the installer may not get the best price if they are chasing a supplier or manufacturer's incentive scheme. For example, there may be a "buy one of these and you get an iPod" offer. This might cost you 50 quid more than the best price elsewhere, but the installer doesn't care since he gets an iPod. Or another one: "pay on our trade credit card and get a 5% discount". Guess who saves 5%? Not you.

'd suggest you do some (sigh!) internet searches to check if the price is reasonable. Might not be the very lowest, but see if it seems fair. Not sure how popular incentive schemes are in this particular market, but they do exist.

If the installer/quoter doesn't seem happy with idea of a different boiler, don't use him. He's not going to be that happy with the job, and you aren't getting the best person for the job.

Go with your gut feel. Most people are trying to make a good living and feed their families/pub landlord. They don't want your job at "any price" - just a fair one. But equally they'll quote you what they think you will be prepared to pay.
Not knowing where you live makes it hard to say what a reasonable price is :confused:

If you ask for 3 quotes then accept one, then that obviously is a reasonable quote otherwise you would not have accepted it.

As a VERY rough guide to what you want done, as I do a lot of these in my area, I would quote you approx £2500 + VAT for a Vaillant 618 or similar.

I personally agree that letting the installer supply all the bits is better for you as he is then warranting everything, no disputes later.

Unfortunately what we as professional gas installers think is reasonable is not always what the public think is. You get what you pay for.
Personally, I never know why Vaillant is so widely respected. I always stick with Atag boilers as they are pretty much bullet proof and don't have silly rubber hoses inside like some Vaillants have. :LOL:
When I did my boiler last November, British Gas wanted to charge nearly £4,000 (inc. VAT) whereas all other local CORGI plumbers charged about half that. In the end, used a mate of a mate who'd just started out and wasn't VAT registered yet (that saved a decent chunk of money, but was just lucky!) and it was £1,400 for a Worcester-Bosch Greenstar.

In fairness, I can see how British Gas arrived at £4,000, in my case, but they were offering me a Rolls Royce when all I wanted was a Ford Focus. As with most things, you tend to get what you pay for. I'm perfectly happy with my straight boiler swap. If I'd gone with BG I would've had remote climate control in the living room and all new pipe from the meter to the boiler. Their mistake was to not give me the cheaper option - they lost my business to another fitter who was happy to quote on a simpler job as a result.
Don't be fooled by BG. Rolls Royce :eek: Normally with them the only one who gets that is their salesman. Customers get a Reliant Robin :rolleyes:

I am willing to pay to a maximum £800 for the boiler itself and a fair and reasonable price for the fitting.

We'd reallly appreciate your advice!

If you want an expensive boiler like a Vaillant then its a l;ittle shortsighted to limit what you pay!

Its like saying you want a new Merc but only want to spend £10,000. That would only get their basic petrol 190 !

You say you have done your research but there are discussions every week on here about buying the boiler yourself.

If you have never heard of Vokera then you have not looked at the market as they probably have a 5% share in the UK.

And you start your discussion by criticising Simon who is a professional heating engineer.

I appreciate that you think we are all just waiting for an opportunity to rip you off but have you ever noticed that the independents are usually at least 30% cheaper than British gas ???


Hi all,

thank you for your replies so far. Tony, if you read my previous comments, I have not stated that all tradesman are rip off and I certainly do not set out to offend or criticise anyone. I appreciate any help given. I had a look at the Vokera website, and they certainly seem to be a proffessional outfit. As with all internet searches, you mainly see the negative sides of the boiler and boiler companies, and I have tried my best to go by personal recommendations and noone seemed to have heard of them.

Thank you again for all your help

I appreciate it.

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