Wealth warning…

Author: Mike Clough

Date Posted: Friday 24th April 2015

Every once in a while we get to see other contractors prices – and I cannot lie – it’s interesting. Nobody ever teaches a course in…. ‘How to price a Knotweed removal job’…so seeing how somebody else builds up a quote is always going to be interesting. How do they set out the programme of works, are they doing anything we aren’t…and of course…what are their prices!

Really there shouldn’t be that much difference between any two quotes for comparable works – the main difference should be geographic (how near they are to the site) and then it’s down to how much profit each individual company needs to make. The smaller the company the lower their overheads and the cheaper their price – but then there is also a greater risk that the smaller company will not survive – and in the world of invasive species management it is the re-visits that are critical

As many of you who read this blog will know – I have a bit of a ‘bee in my bonnet’ about clients just giving our quotations to our competitors and asking them to beat our price….so if you are a fellow INNSA contractor you know that if I’m given one of your quotes – the first person I will call is you.

If however you are a member of another trade body then you won’t get that level of courtesy.

Wealth warning 1

We were recently contacted by a Scottish developer who had received a quotation from local company (…local…yet had taken over six weeks to get back to him). The site had been visited by a surveyor who was able to give a quote for chemical treatment – but.. ‘wasn’t qualified’ to discuss any other alternate options.

When asked to provide a price for removal of material from site the client was told that ‘another’ person would have to visit site to provide this service. Six weeks later another surveyor from the same company arrived and quoted removal costs of £500,000.00 – not £510K or 498K ….but exactly £500,000.000

JKSL quoted £24,546.23

Each and every one of our surveyors are fully versant with all options for dealing with your invasive weed problems. They are also fully up to speed with legislation and ‘other’ invasive species.

Wealth warning 2

We have been treating an area of Japanese Knotweed on a new development in Glasgow – certain areas were excavated and removed – other areas were being treated with a glyphosate programme with repeat visits.

The plot of land adjacent to the land we are treating has been developed for housing with over 100 new houses having been built.

One of the first houses to be sold were ‘advised’ that they ‘were required’ to have an insurance backed warranty to cover any works needed to remediate problems associated with the nearby Japanese Knotweed.

They were pointed towards a local company who quoted them £4800.00 plus VAT for an insurance backed warranty – when asked what they would be doing for this figure they were told … ‘we don’t need to do anything – Japanese Knotweed Solutions provide the best service in the market’…they didn’t even visit the site before giving the quote and had no history of the project other than the fact that JKSL were dealing with the problem.

Wtf is going on here?

Somebody somewhere is in bed with somebody who is making a pretty penny for doing absolutely nothing….and getting paid on the back of the quality of our service.

Wealth warning 3

We were asked to look at a project in Leeds recently where an elderly couple had been quoted £38,000.00 to remove Japanese Knotweed

It wasn’t Japanese Knotweed – it was sycamore.

Wealth warning 4

A new housing development of over 400 houses had a minor infestation of Japanese knotweed on one small area in the corner of the development. Excavation and removal of this small area was going to cost just over £6800.00 plus VAT.

They were told that EVERY house on the development would ‘HAVE’ to ‘have an insurance backed warranty’ at a cost of £3500.00 per property

Do the maths £1.400,000.00

Totally unnecessary and totally scare mongering for business…


What I must admit I end up wondering….is….am I missing a ‘trick’ here??????….maybe the Scottish company that quotes.. ‘£half a million’ – occasionally actually get people saying yes – and it wouldn’t take many… ‘£half a mill’…. jobs to allow you to retire…? Maybe the company trying to sell insurance backed warranties for every house in the world is actually having some success and is now selling policies from a hut on a beach in the Maldives?

I’m also thinking – if these sites are ones that I’ve come across…what about the ones that I haven’t come across????

It stands to reason that not every knotweed project in the UK is going to land on my desk – so it also stands to reason that somewhere somebody is being completely ripped off by an unscrupulous contractor….

One way of avoiding the cowboys is to pick an INNSA registered company, another way is just to ask me!

Please though, look after your wealth and don’t be fleeced by an un-‘Wise’ choice of contractor.


Mike C

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Mike Clough

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