Are You Underestimating the Cost of Your Home Improvement and Maintenance Projects?

New research by the Job Prices website has revealed that consumers are underestimating the cost of home improvement and maintenance projects by an average of 22%.

During 2018, the two-person team at Job Prices sourced written quotations from dozens of firms and tradespeople for seven home improvement/maintenance projects.

This data was then compared the results of seven polls where a total of 52500 consumers were asked how much they thought the projects would cost.

The seven projects researched were:

  1. Fence panel installations
  2. A new tarmac driveway
  3. Central heating cleaning/powerflushing
  4. Home air conditioning
  5. Combi boiler installations
  6. Roof cleaning
  7. Garden Soakaways/drainage

As part of our research into home improvement prices, we looked at how much businesses and tradespeople were charging to install garden fence panels.

We also created a poll so consumers could tell us how much they thought this work would cost.

Explore the results of our findings below:

We asked 26,000 visitors to our site how much they thought it would cost to supply and install 10 fence panels.

By October 2018, over 24% of those polled, that’s the largest proportion, thought that the cost would be between £750 and £1000.

A further 22% thought that it would cost between £1000 and £1250.

Our research into the true cost of fully installed fence panels, which is based on real quotes from businesses and tradespeople revealed a different price.

The average cost to install 10 garden fence panels came in at £1300, that’s £130 per panel.

This is substantially more than what consumers think it would cost.

Explore Our Fence Panel Price Guide and Poll Results Here


Tarmac drivewaysWe also looked at how much it costs to dig up and replace a 2-car driveway with a new tarmac surface.

In addition to sourcing quotes from tradespeople around the UK, we also polled 10,000 web visitors.

We asked our visitors how much they thought the project would cost.

Up to October 2018, we asked 10,000 visitors to our site here at Job Prices how much they thought a new tarmac driveway would cost them.

The largest proportion, 20% of those polled, believed that the price would be between £1000 and £1500.

A further 18% thought that this project would set them back between £1500 and £2000.

Our research into the cost of a new tarmac driveway, which is based on quotes and estimates from UK based businesses, revealed that the average price is much higher.

The average cost to install a new tarmac driveway came in at £3100.

This is more than what most of our polled consumers thought it would cost.

Explore Our Tarmac Price Guide and Poll Results Here


For the third part of our investigation into home improvement and maintenance prices, we looked at radiator power flushing.

This process cleans out the sludge and debris from inside both radiators and pipework.

Once complete, the consumer should experience faster radiator heat-up times, less noise in the system and hotter, more consistent heat from the central heating system.

Up to October 2018, the team here at Job Prices polled 3300 visitors to our site and asked how much they thought power flushing a central heating system inside a 3-bed home would cost.

The largest proportion, 26.8% of those polled, believed that the price would be between £200 and £300.

In addition, the next 26.2% thought that this project would set them back between £300 and £400.

After researching the cost of central heating power flushing in the United Kingdom, we found that the true cost was much higher than what many consumers expected.

The average cost, based on well over a dozen written quotations from companies and independent contractors, came in at £475.

The difference between the two was considerable, many of those polled thought the work would only cost half as much.

Explore Our Powerflush Price Guide and Poll Results Here


With the unusually hot weather experienced in 2018, we decided to look at home air conditioning costs in the United Kingdom.

We researched the cost to install a unit inside a typical bedroom. Our prices were based on quotes provided to us by firms in the south of the UK.

We also polled visitors to our website and asked them how much they thought a project like this would cost.

Up to October 2018, we asked 11,000 visitors to our site how much they thought air con installed into a double bedroom would cost.

32.6% of those polled, that is by far the largest proportion, thought that the cost would be between £500 and £1000.

After researching the cost of air conditioning in the UK, we found that a basic, budget-range system would cost around £1100.  A premium, higher-capacity unit would set you back around £1700.

The average cost, we estimate, is therefore £1400.

Explore Our Air Con Price Guide and Poll Results Here


As winter is approaching, we looked at how much it typically costs to replace a combi boiler in the United Kingdom.

To keep thing simple we only considered a like-for-like replacement in the same location.

Expect to pay more if you want to relocate the boiler, add or remove water tanks or upgrade the existing pipework.

Up to October 2018, we asked 940 visitors to our site how much they thought it would cost to replace a combi boiler in a 3-bed home.

38.4% of those polled, that is by far the largest proportion, thought that the cost for this project would be between £1000 and £2000.

After researching the cost of boilers in the UK, we found that a like-for-like replacement in the same location would cost between £1700 and £1900 depending on the quality of the boiler.

This is just the starting price with extra charges for upgrades, relocation and other work.

Explore Our Boiler Price Guide and Poll Results Here


Roof cleaning is a popular project, you can expect a brighter roof and fewer gutter blockages once complete.

We wanted to know how much it would cost to clean a typical roof on a semi-detached house.

We polled our visitors and also asked companies and firms to provide us with a quote.

Up to October 2018, we asked 966 visitors to our site how much they thought it would cost to have a roof above a semi-detached house professionally cleaned.

27.2% of those polled, that is by far the largest proportion, thought that the cost would be between £250 and £500. A further 23.7% the cost would be between £500 and £750.

During Autumn 2018, we sourced quotes from dozens of specialist roof cleaning firms and roofers for this type of work.

The average price to have the roof pressure washed was £800 while the average price to scrape off the moss by hand was £900. None of these prices include roof sealing or coatings, that would cost extra.

Explore Our Roof Cleaning Price Guide and Poll Results Here


We also looked at garden rainwater soakaways. These are drainage solutions that help to disperse water from the roof gutters into the ground.

We polled 376 web visitors and asked them how much they thought it would cost to replace a soakaway.

We also sent out 15 quote requests to local tradespeople.

Up to October 2018, we asked 376 visitors to our site how much they thought it would cost to replace a garden soakaway.

35.4% of those polled, that is by far the largest proportion, thought that it would cost no more than £500. A further 35.1% thought the cost would be between £500 and £1000.

During Autumn 2018, we sourced written quotations from landscape and ground drainage firms from around the UK for this type of project.

The found that the average cost for the smallest and most basic soakaway was £750 but for a larger system with additional pipework, the average cost rose to around £1500.

Explore Our Soakaway Price Guide and Poll Results Here


If you enjoyed reading through our research here, do explore our guide to haggling where we see how much of a discount we can get by hagging with tradespeople and businesses.