There are many things which can affect the cost of your TV aerial installation. I’m going to go through all of the variables which can affect the cost of a new TV aerial and at the end I’m going to give some prices I have been quoted by nearby local aerial companies you us so you can get an idea of what the average price of an installation will be, obviously I won’t be naming the companies in question but the results that I share with you will be genuine and not presented in a way to make us look any better.
One of our competitor’s local to is recently done a blog on TV aerial prices for Freeview but there was no actual answer to the question, it was all self-promotion which was a shame as I know that they are good at what they do. So, I thought I’d do my best to provide a genuine answer to the question.
If you are looking for a price and not an explanation of what effects the price of a TV aerial installation, skip straight to step 12, but I strongly advise that you read the blog in full as this will help you when comparing Freeview installation quotes.
1 – Standard TV aerial installation price
Not all the companies are the same when they define what a standard aerial installation to be. But sure as anything they have a standard installation price. It still amazes me the amount of people who approach us for a TV aerial installation price and expect you to turn up and measure to see what you need when all that is really needed to know for us to give a fairly accurate estimate is the address of the property so we can look at the property on Google Maps – what on earth did we do before Google Maps?
The way aerial companies work this simply wouldn’t be practical. First you would have to attend the property to access and build the quote. By making every appointment into two you would have to charge more for your installations as there would be even more dead time in your business. Another reason is that almost every aerial installation would be a different price. Making the answer to “how much does a new TV aerial installation cost?” impossible to answer.
Because of this aerial companies nearly always have a standard price, they just sometimes differ on what they class as a standard installation. I know that I said I wouldn’t self-promote, but a standard aerial installation with Smart Aerials is defined as:
An aerial up to 32 element in size
Aerial installed onto chimney stack or wall with a bracket not exceeded 13” in size and a mast not exceeding 6’ in size.
Cable externally run new one room with cable length not exceeding 18m in length
Installation can be completed by one installer in under two hours.
A property not exceeding two stories in height
Nearby parking is available
There is some more but you get the idea, it doesn’t matter so much if a different sized aerial or bigger bracket as these are averaged out to form our price. You will also see that we allow for up to two hours with our installations as although we work efficiently I believe this is a fair amount of time to get the work completed. I used to work for a company that allowed 1 hour per installation. That was one hour to arrive meet and discuss the aerial install with the customer, you would then need to complete all the work with no comebacks from something not working as it should which may include pulling our TV’s, tuning and so on. Pack the ladders back on the van, write a detailed bill, collect payment and be on your merry way all within an hour!
The purpose of me telling you about this is not to have a moan, well maybe a little but if for whatever reason the job over run the hour we were expected to charge more for the installation, something that the customer was rarely ever made aware of prior to the appointment.
2 – Quality of materials that have been used
I’m not going to go too much into this part as I have already written a blog about what makes a good TV aerial installation. Essentially this is an installation which utilises the following a benchmarked TV aerial with integrated balun or a log period design, galvanised brackets and hard ware which are a decent size when in relation to the size of the antenna and mast height, an aluminium mast of at least 1.25” diameter, benchmarked double screened coaxial cable with all copper conductors, screened wall plates and splitters.
To find out more about what makes a good TV aerial installation click here
3 – TV aerial installations in your area – Local to you
As with everything where you will be buying and installing the TV aerial will affect the price of the TV aerial, you can’t get a quote for a new installation from an aerial company in Oldham and expect a company in London to be able to match that. This is perhaps the one thing that will affect the price of your installation the most.
4- What type of Freeview signal area are you in?
If you are in a strong signal area then there is a good chance that you could get away with an install that is much quicker and much easier. The installer may be able to install the antenna in a position that could save on time and materials such as in the loft for example or outside at gutter level.
If you live in a weak signal area there is a good chance that your aerial installation may cost more. Higher gain aerials, longer and higher masts with bigger supporting bracketry, amplifiers all may be required to get you a good TV signal. When this happens usually you would fall beyond a ‘standard installation’ (see point 1) and have to pay the difference.
It’s also worth noting that if you live in a Freeview Lite area you may be near the transmitter and have a very strong signal but not be able to receive all the TV stations so you may want to align your TV aerial to an out of area transmitter to get a full Freeview service – so this would be the same type of installation as that what would be done in a weak signal area, plus you may want to pay for a filter also to filter out your local TV transmitter too! Which again could add to the bill.
5 – Company Size
With company growth comes a big spike in costs. When staff are taken on companies need to pay salaries, pay into pensions, provide uniforms, vans and equipment, keep more stock, pay holidays and so on. Usually when there are staff there are others costs associated too such as offices/ yards and lockups, more admin & phone calls and appointments which need to be managed (usually more staff), with business premises comes rents, business rates and after all that comes tax, corporation tax, VAT and so on, I’m sure you get the point. With all these extra overheads means prices almost certainly go up. If you are choosing the biggest company in your area, although they may come with the best reputation be prepared to pay more.
If the company you choose is a one man band running the operation from their house, using their garage as a store and managing the calls from their mobile of course they should be able to complete the installation for less money. Of course once they start to grow expect their prices to rise!
6 – VAT Registered or not
I have already touched upon this in item 6 but I have added this under its own sections it’s a very common difference between quotes with aerial installers. Typically one man bands who install aerials will not usually be registered for VAT, this is usually because they do not turnover enough money for it to be compulsory so it is advantageous for them not to register for VAT as they can keep the 20% (currently 08/08/17) off of their bill which no doubt will keep their customers happy.
As soon as the one man band takes on staff this is normally so they can take on more work, as soon as they meet the VAT threshold VAT registration becomes compulsory which means that lovely 20% will be added to your bill which can of course affect your aerial installation price.
7- How good are they?
Sounds crude, put quite simply why the best in the aerial and satellite sector would want to charge the same as the people that are not as good as them at doing their job. With experience comes increased value and usually higher prices.
A good quote I heard is you can have two of the three following but all three:
So someone that is good and cheap will not be quick, an aerial company that cheap and quick won’t be and good and someone that is quick and good will not be cheap. Obviously I’m generalising here but I think that this helps when comparing aerial fitting quotes.
I just want to add to this section someone who is good at what they do, come with all the right equipment and stock can actually save you money – keep that in mind.
8 – Memberships and accreditations
When you join a trade organisation this usually requires extra time and money. We are members with the CAI – The Confederation of Aerial Industries, The Buy With Confidence scheme and Checkatrade but there are a load more relating the aerial and satellite trade such as the RDI, Trustmark plus some health and safety ones. Each of these memberships costs money and of course it’s the customer that ultimately picks up the bill.
You will need to ask yourself is the increased security that comes with using an aerial company that is associated with a trade organisation or do you want to save the £5 or whatever which may have been added to the bill to cover the cost of the membership.
The CAI personally guarantee their members domestic aerial installations for a period of 12 months, so even should the worst ever go happen and the company go out of business you will still have a guarantee in place.
9- Are the recording the sale or keeping the money their back pocket
I’m going to admit this one drives me insane, there is an aerial man who will remain nameless in my area who goes around beating everyone’s quotes by some 30%-50% and giving people in my area an unrealistic idea of what the installation should cost. I know what he is doing as I have personally attended multiple of his jobs where he has made a mess of the aerial installation and we have been called in to repair. It’s got the point now where I actually recognise his work. When the customer pays cash he will pocket the money not give a receipt and there is no record of the sale ever taking place and thus no tax liability associated with the job. Of course he can beat everyone’s quotes by 50%.
Obviously the down side of using someone like this is ever the TV aerial doesn’t work as it should people like this can often be hard to get back, which is what much or my customers have found out at an extra cost with our bill on top. So that 50% saving in the first place could actually mean that you 150%!
10 – Amount of TV points you want installed
The amount of TV points you want installed WILL affect the cost of the installation as extra time and materials will be required. Obviously the more TV points you want the more times you will need to split and weaken the signal meaning an amplifier could be required to keep the signal strength above the minimum and adding to the cost of the installation.
11 – Is the price you’re getting quoted subsidised?
When you sign up for a subscription TV service such as BT Vision and Sky they will often offer you a subsidised or reduced cost installation. I know Sky doesn’t uses a satellite dish unlike BT Vision, Talk Talk TV and EETV TV which all use a TV aerial but the comparison is still relevant. Because when you sign up to a subscription based TV service often you would sign up for a year. This is where they make their money not on the aerial installation itself which would almost become part of their costs.
As they want to get as many subscribers to their packages as possible often they will often do TV aerial installations as a loss leader to encourage people to buy. Please do not be misled when comparing a price BT or Sky have offered you to your local TV aerial company as they will make money off you over the year, maybe even get you to take them up on a phone and broadband package and the local company will not.
I have had quotes rejected because BT have offered to do the installation for a third of what we can do it. Literally all of the profit regardless of how good your terms are with your trade suppliers.
11 – TV aerial installation quotes in my area – East Sussex, Eastbourne, Bexhill, Hastings, Seaford
Because I want this blog to provide you with value I have contacted several aerial companies near to me with a request for a quote for a TV aerial installation. I have provided them with a fictional property in a road that does exist so they can look online at the nearby properties to see what they are up against, I must say waiting for aerial companies to get back to you with a price is one of the most frustrating things ever.
The following are all genuine prices I have been given my companies in the Eastbourne, Hastings, Bexhill and Seaford in East Sussex. I have done my best to give a brief description of the company to accompany the price to give you an idea of what may affect the price. I am point blank going to refuse any requests for information on the businesses in question as I don’t want to have any detrimental effect on any of the following businesses and I have also included my business Smart Aerials in there although I won’t be revealing which one this is. Shouldn’t be too difficult for you to work out though! Obviously you personally have the ability to contact all the companies in the East Sussex area so I don’t feel bad about publishing this information.
1) Ltd Company 1, between £140-£160
2) Ltd Company 2, VAT registered, £220
3) Ltd Company 3, VAT Registered, Many staff “from” £138+VAT (£165.60)
4) Sole trader 1, £100
5) Ltd Company 4, VAT Registered £175
6) Sole trader 2, “around” £150
7) Sole trader 3, £180-£220
8) Sole Trader 4, £130
9) Ltd Company 5, £130
10) Ltd Company 6, VAT Registered, £174
For those of you that are thinking that £220 from Ltd Company 2 was too much I would like to add that I have personally encountered their installations in many situations and their work has always been completed to the highest standard with the highest quality parts and components, in my opinion they are worth every penny. Obviously by the way I have written this chapter this isn’t my company Smart Aerials. I also have no idea how the business offering £100 for an aerial installation.
For the instances where I have been quoted a to and from price I have simply picked the middle value. From my research based on 10 quotes in East Sussex the average cost for a standard aerial installation was £159.46
12- Conclusion - Average Cost For New TV Aerial Installation was £159.46
From our results you can see that prices can vary greatly and companies that are registered for VAT will cost more. What is clear however that the companies running paid ads on Google for TV aerial installations for £40 are simply speaking a load of tosh. When I contacted one of these companies they responded immediately but didn’t even give me a price. If they can do installations for this price somehow (I don’t know how) they could have checked on Google Maps and given me that price.
I hope that this blog was of some use to you, it certainly took me some time to create. As always if you have any questions or suggestions that you would like for future blogs please do not hesitate to reach out and leave a comment.
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