How Much Does a TV Aerial Installation Cost?
TV aerial installation costs are driven by several variables. These factors can significantly affect the prices that aerial companies will quote you so it is pertinent that you have a good idea of what these are, especially if you are looking to save some money. This article will help you understand the variables that drive the prices of TV aerial installations.
1. Standard TV Aerial Installation Cost in the UK area
The standard TV aerial installation will vary depending on the company that will do it, but each one will have a price for every standard installation. There are people who will approach a service provider and expect the company to visit their place prior to the installation. But most companies nowadays will only need to look up the property address on Google Maps, which is pretty cool.
However, it is quite difficult to come up with a straightforward answer to the question, ‘” how much will it cost?”. Every aerial company will have a standard installation price, but their definition of “standard” will likely differ from one provider to another. In general, a standard TV aerial installation is defined as:
An aerial installation cost with a 32 element size
Aerial installed on a wall or chimney stack with a mast not more than 6′ and bracket not more than 13”
External cable with cable length not more than 18 meters
Installation completed by an installer in less than two hours
The property should not be more than two stories
There should be available parking near the spot of installation
There may be other things included in a standard installation, but in a nutshell, the above is the definition of standard aerial installation. The average time of installation is usually 2 hours, but it can be done with less with a competent installer.
2. The Quality of Materials
The quality of the materials used in an aerial installation significantly influences the cost. In general, an aerial installation will utilize the following:
a standard TV aerial with a log period design or balun integrated
galvanized hardware and brackets that are proportionate to the height of the mast and the size of the antenna
a 1.25” diameter aluminum mast
standard coaxial cable with copper conductors
splitters and screened wall plates
3. Local or Nearby Aerial installation cost
The price of a TV aerial is also affected by two things: where you bought it and where you will be installing it. In other words, the quote you get from a London-based company is never going to be the same as a quote from an Oldham-based aerial company. This is the variable that will drive the installation price the most.
4. Freeview Signal or Reception
If you reside in an area with a strong Freeview signal, the installation will likely be easier and quicker. The installer will simply install the TV antenna in a certain position so that you can save money on materials and time, too.
If the area has a weak signal, the aerial installation may cost more. To get a good Freeview signal, you need higher gain aerials, higher and longer masts with decent brackets, and amplifiers. If this is the case, your installation will fall beyond the usual installation and you will pay for the extra costs.
Should your place be near a Freeview area, you can have a very strong signal because you are near the transmitter. However, you will not get access to all the TV stations so the installer needs to align the TV aerial to obtain a full Freeview signal. You may also have to pay to filter the local TV transmitter and this will drive up installation costs.
5. The Size of the Company
A bigger company also means higher installation prices. This is because the growth of a company also means more expenses such as salaries and pensions, uniforms, equipment and vehicles, paid holidays, stock, and so on. The company also needs to manage their operating expenses such as office rent and upkeep, admin expenses such as phone calls and appointments that need to be managed by more employees. The bigger the company, the higher the revenue, the bigger the tax that must be paid such as VAT, corporation tax, and more. Additional overhead expenses mean that service rates will go up. Opting for a bigger installation company in your vicinity means you have to pay more, but of course, you can be somewhat sure that you are dealing with an established and reputable firm.
If a one-man company is your preferred installer, as long as they can install the TV aerial properly, it should not matter if he runs his business from his home. Once the business starts to gain traction, then you can also expect their rates to increase as their overhead expenses rise.
6. Still need a VAT Registration?
VAT or value-added tax is another factor that will make a difference in the quotes that you will get from various aerial installers. Small, home-based businesses are usually not required to register for VAT because it is not compulsory for the amount of income they are getting. Thus, both small companies and customers benefit from the lower rates – or basically 20% less than what larger companies will charge.
As soon as the one-man band grows the business, they will usually have more volume of work. Once they meet the threshold for VAT, they are required to register for VAT and the 20% will be included in the price of your aerial installation.
7. The Quality of Work
The more experienced a service provider is, the more likely it is for them to charge higher rates. More experience means more value in their services, resulting in higher fees.
In the TV aerial installation industry, the best service providers will not charge similar to an amateur one. It is very unlikely that you will get all of it in one quotation: good, cheap, and quick. This is a generalization and usually true – an aerial company that is so quick and cheap may not be too great at what they do. A reputable company will be able to provide the best service because they have the right skills and equipment, and you will be able to save money in the long run.
8. Accreditations and Memberships
Joining a trade organization is another expense that aerial companies will pay for. To be a member of an organization such as The Confederation of Aerial Industries (CAI), Checkatrade, and The Buy with Confidence scheme, the company needs to pay for a yearly membership fee. There are many more organizations that offer memberships and accreditations such as Trustmark and RDI, but these memberships require money – money that will ultimately be charged on their customers’ bills.
There are pros and cons to choosing an aerial company accredited by trade accreditations, but you should expect to pay more when your installer is associated with a relevant organization. The benefit of working with a company associated with the CAI, for example, is that you will enjoy the guarantee of quality work for 12 months. You, as a consumer, are protected in case the installer goes out of business or has performed a job that does not meet the standards of the trade industry.
9. Reporting of Sales
Unfortunately, there are tradespeople who will be able to beat the quote of professional installers not because they are great at what they do. These installers normally do not give a receipt so the transaction is unrecorded – meaning, they get away with not paying any tax and they can also make perform the substandard aerial installation. You may experience issues with your installation, sometimes so bad that you have to call a professional and reputable to fix the errors. Customers should know that the upfront savings they get from hiring an installer that does not report any of its sales will eventually turn to more expenses just to repair the unprofessional work done.
10. TV points
The cost of the installation will be affected by the amount of TV points requested. This is because the additional TV points will require more time and materials. The more TV points installed, the more you have to split the signal or reception. In this case, an amplifier may be the best option but it will add to your installation costs.
11. How much is Subsidized Installation
Subscription TV service providers like Sky or BT Vision usually offer a reduced installation cost which means consumers can actually save money. However, it will be unfair to compare the prices of a subscription service over a local TV aerial company. The former requires you to sign up for their service for at least a year, and installation costs will likely be part of the subscription fees their subscribers will pay every month.
Aerial Installation Costs – Average Cost
As discussed, there are a variety of factors that will influence the price of a TV aerial installation. Location, VAT, size of the company, and a plethora of things can drive installation costs. In general, the average cost is around £160, which includes the normal inclusions of standard installation. Extras, of course, will significantly increase the cost. It is important to remember that a reputable and professional installer is your best option to avoid the trouble of having to chase a service provider who performed the work haphazardly and professionally.
Ready to get a quote from local tradespeople?