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Old 03-07-2017, 11:17 AM   #1
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Default Fair wage for roughing/trim of tract homes?

Hello, everyone. I'm new here and pretty new to electrical, so here is a little background info before I ask my question. I have been doing rough-ins and trimming on tract homes for a little over 6 months. I'm not with any company, nor do I own my own. The first few months I was working side by side with someone showing me the ropes. Since then I have been on my own and have been doing great. After doing a little research, it seems most contractors will price by opening or by material cost, not by sq. Foot. I am a little confused on how to come up with a fair number for a raise because we are paid by the square foot. The builder provides all the material and is basically paying us for labor. So far this is working for me because I don't have to bring anything nor do I have any business expenses, I just need to cover my bills and set aside money for taxes. I wasn't able to find any info about anyone in my position so I'm a little confused on how to ask for a raise. What is a fair $ amount per sq foot you would work for if you were in my position? Material is provided, so just labor by the house, not hourly. Let me tell you a little about the houses.

There are 4 plans, two single story and two 2-story. The 2 story plans are about 2800 sq ft and 3100 sq ft. The single story plans are about 2000 sq ft and 2300. We are currently doing everything in all these houses. Tv/phone, bell wire, recessed lighting, etc. Everything. Same thing when it comes to trim. Everything and then troubleshoot.

Any advice or info is greatly appreciated. I'm almost embarrassed to say what he's paying us now, but I would like to fix that.
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Old 03-07-2017, 11:24 AM   #2
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So you have been in the trade for 6 months and wire houses while working directly for the builder? You don't have a company or a license? How does that work in California?
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Old 03-07-2017, 11:35 AM   #3
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And who pulls the permits?
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Old 03-07-2017, 11:47 AM   #4
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Yes. I think he has investors, but he is the owner of the project. I'm working under someone that has it. And I'm not sure about the permits. I'm assuming he does as well.
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Old 03-07-2017, 11:57 AM   #5
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You're being taken advantage of.
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Old 03-07-2017, 12:24 PM   #6
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How much are you making per house? Do you get a 1099? W-2? Paid cash?
What happens if you fail inspection? Do you repair it for free?
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Old 03-07-2017, 04:08 PM   #7
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How much are you making per house? Do you get a 1099? W-2? Paid cash?
What happens if you fail inspection? Do you repair it for free?
I get a check for each house completed and I will get a 1099. All of my houses so far passed inspection without corrections, but I stand behind my work so I would fix it.
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Old 03-07-2017, 04:11 PM   #8
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You're being taken advantage of.
Unfortunately, you're right. I'm looking to change that though. What would you do it for per sq foot if you were in my position? Not that you would put yourself in that position, but hypothetically speaking.
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Old 03-07-2017, 04:14 PM   #9
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You like electrical? Get a W2 job as a helper or a union apprenticeship. Think long term.
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Old 03-07-2017, 04:23 PM   #10
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It's illegal for you to be paid like this. You are being treated like a subcontractor by being given a lump sum and 1099, but you can't subcontract without being a contracting company with a license and insurance.
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Old 03-07-2017, 04:41 PM   #11
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You like electrical? Get a W2 job as a helper or a union apprenticeship. Think long term.
I love it. I have some hours logged but I'm not sure if it's enough. How many are required?
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Old 03-07-2017, 04:44 PM   #12
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I'm not from CA, but, someone else here may tell you.
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Old 03-07-2017, 04:47 PM   #13
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It's illegal for you to be paid like this. You are being treated like a subcontractor by being given a lump sum and 1099, but you can't subcontract without being a contracting company with a license and insurance.
Would I need a license for electrical if I had a contractor license? I would love to get established
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Old 03-07-2017, 05:35 PM   #14
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Would I need a license for electrical if I had a contractor license? I would love to get established
You and your GC are breaking California's contractor laws.

The 1099 is also a fraud upon the IRS... and 0-care regulations.

Forget about 'hours' -- just apply with the local -- or a non-union electrical contractor -- right now.

Your GC is riding for a fall.
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Old 03-07-2017, 05:45 PM   #15
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I love it. I have some hours logged but I'm not sure if it's enough. How many are required?
I hate to tell you this, but you have 0 hours logged as an electrician. None.

I don't know if you realize the situation that you are in. You are at legal risk right now, you are working as an illegal, unlicensed, uninsured electrical contractor. You need to stop working for this guy as of right now. Then follow Telsa's advice, get into a union or get hired by a legitimate electrical contractor.
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Old 03-07-2017, 05:59 PM   #16
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This is 1000% illegal for so many reasons.

Quote:
I wasn't able to find any info about anyone in my position
There is a reason for that.

If what you (OP) posted is true, that builder is going to jail.
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Old 03-07-2017, 06:05 PM   #17
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First off welcome aboard!

Secondly, get out of the timebomb you are working in and go apply to a Union local.

Do you have any clue how much liability you are exposed to the way you are working right now?
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Old 03-07-2017, 07:09 PM   #18
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First off welcome aboard!

Secondly, get out of the timebomb you are working in and go apply to a Union local.

Do you have any clue how much liability you are exposed to the way you are working right now?
No, but it looks like I have a lot of homework to do. I was under the impression if I worked under somebody licensed, I was ok. If I work at an hourly rate for this person, does that change anything? If I want to do piece work, I need to be my own entity with a license and insurance?
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Old 03-07-2017, 07:14 PM   #19
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Sorry for any confusion when I said I am not with a company nor do I own my own, but the gentleman who taught me is licensed. Does that mean HE would have to be the one paying me, not the builder?
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Old 03-07-2017, 07:22 PM   #20
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Sorry for any confusion when I said I am not with a company nor do I own my own, but the gentleman who taught me is licensed. Does that mean HE would have to be the one paying me, not the builder?
Yep, you re getting taken to the cleaners.
1. You should not be working without a J man for at least 4 years.
2. You should never be working as a sub when you only work for one company when they are dictating term of hour and payment.
3. Why would you be required to repair any mistakes on your own time?
4. You should be getting around $15K per house labor only and that is if it is very basic, which I have never seen in a 3,000 sqft house.
5. since you acting as a contractor you could be on the hook for anything bad that happens.
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