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Discussion Starter #1
This is the type of thread that would go better in a private forum so the whole world can't see.

I have a customer that I have done a considerable amount of service type work for in both his own condo unit and his condominium building (he is the president).

A while back he asked me to do a larger job in the basement consisting of a lot of lighting and other stuff. I usually avoid larger jobs, but I figured I would do it since he was a good customer. The plan was for him to do the demo of the drywall and everything else, while I did the electric.

Before we ever got a chance to start the work, he kept wanting more and more work to be done and decided to go with a GC since he made it into a much bigger project.

Well, as can be expected, the GC wants to use his own electrician. The customer says he will use me tho, but I know that will cause issues with the GC. This job is in the city and I could go without doing it.

I'd like to tell the customer that I don't mind if we cancel our contract and he uses the GC for everything. I'd also like to ask for a minimal fee to cover the time spent on the job including going into the city and waiting around for an hour to hand in the permits, fuel, etc. Something reasonable, like $200-300.

Is that bad business to do?
 

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RIP 1959-2015
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This is the type of thread that would go better in a private forum so the whole world can't see.

I have a customer that I have done a considerable amount of service type work for in both his own condo unit and his condominium building (he is the president).

A while back he asked me to do a larger job in the basement consisting of a lot of lighting and other stuff. I usually avoid larger jobs, but I figured I would do it since he was a good customer. The plan was for him to do the demo of the drywall and everything else, while I did the electric.

Before we ever got a chance to start the work, he kept wanting more and more work to be done and decided to go with a GC since he made it into a much bigger project.

Well, as can be expected, the GC wants to use his own electrician. The customer says he will use me tho, but I know that will cause issues with the GC. This job is in the city and I could go without doing it.

I'd like to tell the customer that I don't mind if we cancel our contract and he uses the GC for everything. I'd also like to ask for a minimal fee to cover the time spent on the job including going into the city and waiting around for an hour to hand in the permits, fuel, etc. Something reasonable, like $200-300.

Is that bad business to do?

You will cost yourself a good client in this case,I would just let it go if you're confident he will use you in the future .
 

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Bababoee
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"Before we ever got a chance to start the work,"

I would say your out of luck...
looking at the work and doing a site visit are costs associated with the job so unless you agreed upon getting paid for estimate id say your SOL.

if I was the other guy I would think your wasting my time too...
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
I've been waiting for him. I purchased the material a couple months ago. He signed the contract, I tried to submit the electrical permits, but they wouldn't accept them without the permits for the other work. That's what I have been waiting for. Now he decided to get a GC who has all his own subs.

How exactly did I waste his time?


ETA: I am not looking to charge for the estimate. I am asking if it's bad business to charge a minimal fee for time spent acquiring the material, doing the permit paperwork, going to the building department (a 2+ hour ordeal with Hoboken) etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Its not as bad as people say. I have a couple that keep me busy between more lucrative jobs and honestly I would rather they deal with the screwball customers I hate dealing with the public
I like dealing with customers. I enjoy service work and would rather do that than larger renovations or new work. I also like getting paid on completion.
 

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Bababoee
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Oh...ive been there a few times....its a tough call...you dont want to piss him off but wasting time sucks...
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Then I won't charge anything but I'll still give him the option to cancel if he'd like to have the GC do everything.

Working in Hoboken sucks, you gotta add 2+ hours extra onto everything to deal with traffic and parking.
 

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Who said you have to work for the GC? My boss won't work under a GC and bills the home/buisness owner direct. I have worked on several jobs this way and it works well for us.
 

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Tool Fetish
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Ultimately, the owner has the final say. I've had owners require their GCs to use me on quite a few different jobs. I have had the owners cover the cost increase from the GCs electrician to meet my prices. If you have a good relationship with the owner, have him pull the electric out of the GCs scope.
 

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Bababoee
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Then I won't charge anything but I'll still give him the option to cancel if he'd like to have the GC do everything.

Working in Hoboken sucks, you gotta add 2+ hours extra onto everything to deal with traffic and parking.
I agree Hoboken and Jersey City blow the big one... ever get a permit in JC..... it can literally take a half a day .....
 

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Electrical Contractor
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So what's the problem ?

You have a good customer whose project has grown too big to handle by themselves.
Since you two have a good relationship, explain to him that you would rather have your portion of the work being billed directly to him , rather than thru the GC.

Does it matter if you are being directed by a GC or a private individual? A customer is a customer. Someone has to tell you what and when the work has to be done.

You have stated/implied that a fair amount of time has passed since this project was conceived. You have spent time and money and are out of pocket. With a GC, (and your customer) you could have progressed billed for time and material expended. As a matter of fact, you should have done this all along.
With a GC, this project should move ahead a lot quicker, meaning you will be finish and get paid sooner.

I really can't understand why some of you are so anti GC in your beliefs? Yes there are some bad GCs but there are many more bad private customers. I can truly say, I have been burnt by more private customers than GCs.

And who knows, if the project goes well, you may just turn the GC into another customer.
 
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