Builders’ merchants wanting to improve profitability by offering speedy and accurate quotes for their customers can make the most of a new service that has proved popular across the residential building sector.

Already used to provide quotes in excess of £40m, HBXL’s Estimating Service not only allows builders’ merchants to establish better working relationships with local building firms, but helps them increase market share and improve profit margins.

HBXL’s marketing director Joanna Mulgrew said: “The popularity of the service shows that the build sector is making the most of new technology that is tailor made specifically for them.

“Every good builders’ merchant will have a hub of local builders who rely on them for good customer service. But how often have they had plans sat on their desk for a week or two and just not had the time to do them?

“By outsourcing take-offs to the HBXL Estimating Service merchants can offer their customers a really quick turnaround.

“The builder gets a speedy and accurate quote while the builders’ merchant ensures it covers all the building materials required for the job.”

Ms Mulgrew added: “The more you know about what your client is building the more opportunity you have to sell in products on your books. It’s about maximising the opportunity from every customer – by asking for a client’s plans you have sight of the whole job so you can sell more.

“Builders will then come to rely on their builders’ merchants as they need to get their own tenders in.”

Whether it’s an extension, newbuild, garage or loft conversion that needs pricing up, builders can now let someone else do it for them - quickly and accurately without it tying up essential branch staff or costly head office estimators.

It is also handy for pricing up complicated projects or at specific times of the year when the builder needs to be on-site or is away on holiday.

The service works by sending a set of building plans to HBXL where the company’s expert estimators will price up the plans quickly and accurately.

Once complete a detailed estimate report pack is then sent back outlining a summary of the project’s cost, detailed breakdown of materials, plant and labour, cost breakdown of each build phase, cash flow projection and a build programme for when each part of the project will take place.

It also comes with a professional customer quotation for the builder’s own client to help them win the job, which in turn leads to higher materials spend at the builders’ merchant.

For merchants anticipating large volumes of take-offs, any estimates produced for their branches can be worked out using their product descriptions, product codes and priced using each branches account prices.

HBXL’s Estimating Service ranges in price from £75 for a garage, £99 for a loft conversion and £199 for a three-bedroom house. A next day service is also available.

For details on the HBXL Estimating Service, call Ian Clark, estimating service account manager on 0845 1234 095 or visit