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Old 05-09-2009, 05:13 AM   #1
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Default The lighter side of LawnGuyLandSparky

As if...

This is sorta off topic, construction related but not electrical. FOrgive the indescretion...

I had to buy a house, mainly because it doesn't make sense not to since my mortgage is paid off and without a mortgage and some writeo-offs , I'd get killed in taxes.

This house needs the entire exterior re-sided and re-soffit/fascia/trim. Also new doors, windows. Built in '75 as a spec hi-ranch house, builder's bare-bones special, original single-pane aluminum framed windows, luan exterior soffits, asbestos-slate siding on back & sides, poor cedar shake job of the front top 1/2, and brick on the front lower 1/2. All typical...

Nothing touched, painted, maintained, etc for years.

So I've been getting extimates. (I'm doing all the windows and doors myself) From conversing on these boards I realized many of us in construction have no idea how to price work. Well, electricians aren't alone in this. For top-of-the-line Certin-Teed composite Cedar Impressions for the entire house, and composite trim, all soffits and fascia, I have 4 bids from 4 legitimate contractors:

I figured in the neighborhood of 15-20 grand...

#1 is a one man band, caught him in the neighborhood working on a neighbor's house. Works alone, 12 year old truck. Wants less than 10 grand. This is a week & a half worth of labor an 7000.00 in material. TELLS me he has no overhead.

#2 is a GC who showed up in an H2 HumVee all tricked out. Wants 18 grand and his nails were manicured.

#3 is a guy who did 2 roof for me. Wants 14 grand. I know he hires locals and works with them.

#4 Is a popular well-advertized local home improvement company... an "estimator" is sent to measure, in a car with the company ad & logo on all 3 visable sides, looked like he measured to the 1/4 inch. (ALL of these types of houses are the same, and this company has probably done 1000 of them if not more.) Bid in my email tonight...

$31,000.00

Now, what to do?
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Old 05-09-2009, 08:00 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LawnGuyLandSparky View Post
As if...

This is sorta off topic, construction related but not electrical. FOrgive the indescretion...

I had to buy a house, mainly because it doesn't make sense not to since my mortgage is paid off and without a mortgage and some writeo-offs , I'd get killed in taxes.

This house needs the entire exterior re-sided and re-soffit/fascia/trim. Also new doors, windows. Built in '75 as a spec hi-ranch house, builder's bare-bones special, original single-pane aluminum framed windows, luan exterior soffits, asbestos-slate siding on back & sides, poor cedar shake job of the front top 1/2, and brick on the front lower 1/2. All typical...

Nothing touched, painted, maintained, etc for years.

So I've been getting extimates. (I'm doing all the windows and doors myself) From conversing on these boards I realized many of us in construction have no idea how to price work. Well, electricians aren't alone in this. For top-of-the-line Certin-Teed composite Cedar Impressions for the entire house, and composite trim, all soffits and fascia, I have 4 bids from 4 legitimate contractors:

I figured in the neighborhood of 15-20 grand...

#1 is a one man band, caught him in the neighborhood working on a neighbor's house. Works alone, 12 year old truck. Wants less than 10 grand. This is a week & a half worth of labor an 7000.00 in material. TELLS me he has no overhead.

#2 is a GC who showed up in an H2 HumVee all tricked out. Wants 18 grand and his nails were manicured.

#3 is a guy who did 2 roof for me. Wants 14 grand. I know he hires locals and works with them.

#4 Is a popular well-advertized local home improvement company... an "estimator" is sent to measure, in a car with the company ad & logo on all 3 visable sides, looked like he measured to the 1/4 inch. (ALL of these types of houses are the same, and this company has probably done 1000 of them if not more.) Bid in my email tonight...

$31,000.00

Now, what to do?
OK lets see.
#1 gets a deposit, starts work, drops dead or falls off a ladder. No overhead = no insurance

#2 With in you budget, knows how to make money which means get in and get out fast.

#3 You have history with and is under initial budget enought to allow for additional work such as the unknown under the finish and extras

#4 Needs a phone call back to let him know what the local market is like

I would ask #2 if he could do it for 15 grand.
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Old 05-09-2009, 08:05 AM   #3
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I'd go with #3 if you were satisfied with his previous work.
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Old 05-09-2009, 08:16 AM   #4
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tell #3 you only want to spend 10 grand, you might be able to stomach a little more, what can he cut back on to make it work. go forward, plan on spending 12 or 13.
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Old 05-09-2009, 08:45 AM   #5
 
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hire illegals. everybody is doing it.
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Old 05-09-2009, 08:49 AM   #6
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If you don't hire union contractors you will show your true self.
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Old 05-09-2009, 08:53 AM   #7
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If you don't hire union contractors you will show your true self.
he he he lol
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Old 05-09-2009, 09:02 AM   #8
 
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go somewhere else with that union crap
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Old 05-09-2009, 09:12 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by sparkyboys View Post
go somewhere else with that union crap
it was a joke.

before you get all high and mighty, read some other posts by op
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Old 05-09-2009, 09:18 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by sparkyboys View Post
go somewhere else with that union crap
Spark, I am not in the union and never will be.

But Lawnguysparky is always pushing the unions and how company owners are always making money on the backs of the workers.

So now lets see if his own actions meet up with his talk ......... I already know they won't.
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Old 05-09-2009, 09:34 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Badger View Post
Spark, I am not in the union and never will be.

But Lawnguysparky is always pushing the unions and how company owners are always making money on the backs of the workers.

So now lets see if his own actions meet up with his talk ......... I already know they won't.
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Old 05-09-2009, 09:54 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Badger View Post
If you don't hire union contractors you will show your true self.
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Old 05-09-2009, 09:54 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randomkiller View Post
I'd go with #3 if you were satisfied with his previous work.
I would do the same.
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Old 05-09-2009, 10:00 AM   #14
 
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sorry bob, i did not understand the post u had written.

my grandfather was in the union, it provided good pay to raise a family back in his day. he is 80 now, but when you mention the union to him he starts going off and has been as long as i can remember.
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Old 05-09-2009, 11:06 AM   #15
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Tell #4 you have a quote for $14 and ask him to meet it.
Too bad folks fall for guys like this. Maybe they do good work, but for more than double the price he is OBVIOUSLY gouging somewhere.
Tell him your grandmother needs some work done. I'm sure he can sell her something she does not need.


On the serious side. Tell #3 he has the job. If he is giving you what you want done there is absolutely no reason to question his price. It is obviously in the ball park and reasonable.
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Old 05-09-2009, 11:13 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Badger View Post
If you don't hire union contractors you will show your true self.
Bob, why MUST you turn every thread into a UINION VS. NONUNION argument?
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Old 05-09-2009, 11:14 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by LawnGuyLandSparky View Post
Bob, why MUST you turn every thread into a UINION VS. NONUNION argument?
Let's NOT. OK?
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Old 05-09-2009, 11:19 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by jrannis View Post
OK lets see.
#1 gets a deposit, starts work, drops dead or falls off a ladder. No overhead = no insurance

#2 With in you budget, knows how to make money which means get in and get out fast.

#3 You have history with and is under initial budget enought to allow for additional work such as the unknown under the finish and extras

#4 Needs a phone call back to let him know what the local market is like

I would ask #2 if he could do it for 15 grand.
No no, #1 is actually working in the neighborhood, and I've seen his progress, actually installing the same product as we speak. He's licensed and insured. His letterhead shows license number, his bid sheet names the agent and what to fax to that agent for a current copy of proof of liability and disability insurance. No complaints against him or his company, nothing comes up on the New York State unifed court system search (would show any case in which any person was named in any lawsuit, plaintiff, defendant or witness, or action within the state in any court, ever.)

Hiring him is not against my principals, since he has no employees he's simply self-employed.

#2 would probably negotiate. He showed up within 6 hours of my inital call and I didn't really want to go over the job during nightfall, but he insisted, crunched the numbers after 10 minutes in his truck. I know he's hungry. HE want's 50% down, which is slightly less than #1's entire bid... so basically he wants all his material and labor paid up from the get go.

I also know from past experience that contractors here are all over the map when it comes to pricing, and often the flashiest, heavily advertized companies are the ones who price high (hence the need to pour tons of $ into radio and TV ads) and hire the lowest paid, entry-level help... or illegals. This guy isn't as big as #4, but he definately is following that business model.

#3 is my roofer, he's done 2 houses for me. Lives a stone's throw away from my own home. But he doesn't really want to do soffit / fascia work unless he has to to get a roofing job, and siding isn't his forte, he'd rather do 5 or 6 roofs than side one whole house.

#4 is off the charts. I also want a specific brand & make of window trim, not j-channel, and he was all over trying to convince me that wasn't the way to go, it's a special order, (it isn't, it's very common stuff seen all over New England) I figure his "guys" know one thing and anything the deviates from what they're used to either bogs them down or becomes a communication / coordination nightmare.

Right now I'm pretty much set on #1. I'll take before and after photos, and scan the final bill, and e-mail it all to number 4 just for chits & giggles...
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Old 05-09-2009, 11:20 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Badger View Post
If you don't hire union contractors you will show your true self.




...just kidding Bob.
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Old 05-09-2009, 11:21 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LawnGuyLandSparky View Post
Bob, why MUST you turn every thread into a UINION VS. NONUNION argument?
Now that is just too funny.

I could care less who you hire but your choice will certainly prove if you put your money where your posts are.
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