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My wife’s aunt and uncle who she is close to asked if I could hang up a tv for them after they moved into their new home. I said sure and did it. No charge, we had dinner afterwards and called it a night.
The following week, her uncle calls me saying he needs a flood light outside with ring camera installed in the doorbell. I said sure no problem. Quickly realized after our conversation that he wasn’t planning to pay $. I spoke to my wife about it and didn’t feel comfortable asking for full amount of $ it would cost since it is family. Well I called him and asked if he could get me a new tool since I am starting up my own side work / company. He got me a 170$ tool I asked for, started texting me pics of it and telling me exactly how much it costed with tax.
I went to do the job today and he was following me around while I did the job, and showing me the tool. Kept asking if I needed to use it (but I didn’t). Also kept insisting that if I ever need any money to let him know.
But let me tell you this guy is up to his eyeballs in debt with the Home Depot. He is financing everything he can.
when the job is done today he says he wants to add 8 outlets total to the basement and about 8 recessed lights to a ceiling.This is literally a days work and I’ll need a partner to help fish wires etc.
He told me write up a number ($ wise) and let him know.
My question is do I ask him for another tool, a Home Depot GC, family discount or don’t do the job at all ?
what would you do? Thanks.
 

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Have him pay for all the materials and another tool.
Tell him he will need to pay the helper a fair wage for the day.
Provide lunch for you and your helper.
A couple of cold beers at the end of the day.
And a case of beer or your favorite bottle of spirits.
 

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I have a very close friend who I occasionally employ to help me with my business. I would never consider taking advantage of someone by expecting them to supply free labor so I pay him the same hourly rate I would pay a stranger.

While he is great at some things, he is not very mechanically inclined. A couple times a year, he calls and asks if I can help him fix something around his house. He never offers to pay me.

Recently his garage door opener died. He asked if I could replace it for him. (He would supply the opener.) He's my best friend, but I wasn't looking forward to doing two hours of work for free so I was truthful with him. "I'll do it for you, but I really don't want to spend part of my Saturday installing it for free." "I'll give you something" he replied. "Just so you know, if I were doing this for a client, I would charge them $300. I don't expect you to pay the full amount)" I said.

A couple of days later he calls me and says he found a deal where if you buy the opener, they come and install it for $89. I said "that's sounds good. You should do that."
 

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First. Asking for a tool was silly. Either charge him or not charge him. There is no middle ground IMO.
Let him put your charge on his credit card.
 

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I have 3 tiers for friends. Family is all far away so not an issue until I visit. :rolleyes:

1) If there is a remote chance I can trade for some skills or labor they might have, i will keep track of time and material and trade for equal value. By skills I mean licensed skills. Any difference worked out at the end.

2) Good friends will pay for materials as long as they can wait for my time and the beer fridge is adequately stocked.

3) Friends/aquaintances pay for materials at cost and recieve a good deal on my labor.
 

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My kids get free labour, and I buy the materials too.
Same when my parents were alive, but sometimes they'd buy me something that they knew I wanted.
Sisters, free labour, they pay materials beer and lunch/dinner.

Aunts and Uncles , It really depends on which one is asking !
Same goes for friends. There are really only 2 guys that I'd do work for just beer, cause I know they would for me.

For the OP, it's one thing to help out someone once, it's another when they keep calling back for more.
 
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No good deed goes unpunished?
I've had to learn (the hard way) to create boundries.

Anecdotally when going to a social function and making new friends I'm reluctant to share how I make a living.
the day you stop learning is the day you cease

i tell everyone i am a STD technician
 

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Its an interesting dynamic for sure.

One brother inlaw (carpenter) is very adept in his building trades circle to barter labour hours for personal projects. They all benefit. Another BiL (same family, low-voltage nerd) becomes the victim for anything to do with wires and technology, and especially troubleshooting. Lo and behold, he's the a**hole because he won't 'help'... nevermind he doesn't get the same barter consideration for his time.

There can be a big value-perception gap between installing/building with bulk material vs technical/troubleshooting work.
 

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As a rule, I charge friends/family/neighbors half of what my hourly rate was when I was doing electrical full time. No mark up on materials.

For someone I'm extremely close with or owe favors to I would only charge for materials. I wouldnt even charge for materials if I had extra laying around.

I have made it clear I only have time for small jobs and so far, no one has taken advantage of me. I have to practically beg my in-laws to let me fix stuff around their house when we visit.
 

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I will do Hot water and air conditioning calls at no charge for family and friends.
If someone moves into a new house, I'll send someone out for 2 days as a $999 move-in special.
This means my business loses two days of profit I would have made as part of my business plan..
If I don't want to do the call, I let them know I have an electrician friend that is much better at what they want to do, I give them each other's phone number. That gets me out of most of it.

Find out what your relative does for a living and try to reason with yourself why they would write you insurance for free, give you free tires, give you free shoes, give you inventory out of their store that they paid for and need to sell to pay for rent, payroll, taxes, and inventory.
If you have a regular job and are doing side work, you don't have overhead, employees, or all of the things that people know you don't have to pay for. They will do to you what you are doing to legit contractors. For this, I have no sympathy.
 

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Helping family with electrical work is a bad idea. Once you start you will always be getting request for work from them and others. If your Wife's brother works at a bank could you ask him for free money? Probably not. If your sisters boyfriend worked at Mc Donald's do you think he would give you free food. No. It's good to help family but if you do, it will snow balls on you. Soon everyone knows your an electrician and expect you to do work on the cheep or for free. Take your family out to dinner or drive them to their doctors appointment, but don't give away your livelihood.
 

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double post with no floppy drive button to delete this post? How do you delete a double post rather than just edit it ?
 
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