DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum > DIY Home Improvement > Roofing and Siding > Chimney crown re-mortar bid - overcharged?




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Old 02-13-2014, 04:53 PM  
oldognewtrick
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We're open 24/7 365 stop in any old time, we're here to help whenever we can. Hope your repair works out well for you.



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Old 02-13-2014, 05:01 PM  
nealtw
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Yes, you should have got more than one quote and a writtin break down of what would be done from each.
The down side of that is that each guy that comes along comes with his own idea of what needs or should be done and you end up with three or four quotes that you can't compare because they all include different work to be done.
There is nothing wrong with you saying you thought the job was bigger than it was and asking for discount, he should not get angry, he can just say yes or no.
But I would count the hrs a little more generous than you did. If I come to the house for a quote I am taking time off another job, I hope. I'm driving a work truck so I can carry a ladder, I would allow an hr for me to travel to and back andf if I get the job I want to get that hr paid for and the half hr I spent there. Two men, one hour is two hours plus the hour for each to travel to and from and the n the the guy that came to seal the chimney, two trips, two hours for travel plus the 35 minutes.
When you talk about the hours worked are you including time to set up ladders safety rope if they used them and power washer.
Then it comes down to what is a fair price for labour when it includes trucks, ladders, gear, insurance WBC and the fact that he has made these investment and is ready to do the job for you.
As a simple rule if I have a man in a truck and pay him $25 an hour and then charge $50 an hour for only the hours on the job, I am losing money. If it's a small crew and I'm included I might be able to work for $60 but that would include the travel time and the time I spent figuring the quote.
The thing is with quotes you win some and you loose some, and that,s true for both parties.



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Old 02-13-2014, 05:59 PM  
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I see..there sure does appear to be quite a bit of invisible accounting behind every bid and every hour when the client actually sees someone "working" on their house..good to know. Lessons learned indeed! Best,
A.

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Old 02-13-2014, 06:05 PM  
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Originally Posted by andrewm1 View Post
I see..there sure does appear to be quite a bit of invisible accounting behind every bid and every hour when the client actually sees someone "working" on their house..good to know. Lessons learned indeed! Best,
A.
Just currious with out detail, how do you get paid for the work you do.
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Old 02-13-2014, 09:08 PM  
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I am not in the home repair or any similar kind of occupation (explains my ignorance doesn't it). So typically there is a deposit to bank account every couple of weeks, the rest is pretty much automated to the point that nobody really knows how it works except maybe 3 people on the planet who sit in some HR Payroll Office dungeon, and even they mostly don't know but just push the right buttons now and then

Come to think of it, it's pretty odd. I almost never even see or touch paper money, and only handle checks when I pay a contractor..

In other words it's a very boring and I might add, impersonal and 'sterile' way to make and spend money. No money is ever really seen or experienced in a direct way. It's just numbers, piece of plastic at best, digits in a column on the online bank statement. Even those numbers exist only in cyberspace..bits and bytes, electricity and a few gazillion on-off switches... That's about it.

I can only imagine how fun it must have been back in the medieval times, when people actually swapped chunks of silver and gold for stuff..can you imagine the zeal and excitement? No wonder all those markets in ancient cities (in Middle East, India, etc.) are so loud and 'for real'. Probably a leftover from the good old days when you got gold coins in exchange for a chicken or a sack of rice or whatever.. The Gold Rush days must have been similar - no wonder tempers ran hot in those saloons!

I suspect if I had to deal with tangible currency more often, I would value money differently. It's kind of like wars and violence, in a way - we consume so much of it through news stories and movies, there is endless destruction. But how many people have ever seen a real knife or gunshot wound? Completely different ballgame. And completely sobering. So, I suppose if I accepted my monetary sustenance from real human beings instead of some abstract account transaction, it might change how I deal with people...but I haven't had too many opportunities to directly experience that. If you do have such experience, I would be curious to know how you perceive that...what does it do to your sense of money, its worth, and how does it affect how you treat other people?

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Old 02-13-2014, 09:52 PM  
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When I asked, HR never came to mind but I can see why it's only the numbers in front of you that you can see. Fair enough.
Contractors really live the American Dream.
Freedom to not have a master except for the customer, the employees, the government, the bank, the insurance company, equipment that breaks down at worst possible time and on a really bad day lawyers.
Freedom to make as much money as he wants except for all the things and people above.
Come to think of it, the only real freedom we have is to go broke at any given time.
Freedom to get bigger or smaller is one of the toughest parts of the job, laying off emplyees and parking trucks and equipment that might not be paid for is just slightly harder than growing a business, you take on more work and work longer hours try to figure out when to hire more people and buy more equipment, it can be tough out there and made worse when there are bad contractors who really do rip people off.

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Old 02-14-2014, 05:58 AM  
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Being myself fairly new to the forum and not working directly in the trades, I sometimes see a thread like this and answer first before the pros or long time members post and wonder how my answer will be taken, as to not feel compelled to join the majority. I use the same thought process in answering your question as if I was in your position and I have been many times. Sometimes with home repairs sometimes autos. Just about every aspect of our life is interconnected with a monetary set of checks and balances. That Neil correctly called “Free Market”. Much of the world doesn’t understand this system nor do their government endorse it. In a different model you would call the fairness contractor and they would advise you yes all home repair is one price per hour and it would also be unfair to put you ahead on the list before others. You might have to wait several weeks or months for your repair.
You have learned some valuable lessons that you could have paid much more for in collage and not learned and also found a nice forum to use in the future willing to help you.

The thing about Free Markets or Free Enterprise or Capitalism is the consumers also get a vote and competition is the restraint. Along with Capitalism we also have free speech and you have ever right if you can defend your displeasure to tell anyone you want you felt the price you paid was too high for the service provided. Contractors won’t last long if enough people are displeased with their work.

I once had 5 quotes on a new roof for my house. I had them set to come out thru the day and the first 4 were slick sales guys that measured the base of my house and used a computer and printed out a quote, all within 5%. The last guy showed up at dusk driving a truck and he was covered in dirt and was about 60 years old. I didn’t know he was there as I had given up and I knew he was there when I heard the ladder go up on the house. He walked around on the roof for 30 minutes and came down. Said did u get any other quotes and I said yes. He said for about X amount and I said yep you are right on. He said well you have some bad wood over here and over there if you want to go up I can show you. He said your gutters are shot and your soffits need work. You need new flashing and the chimney needs pointed and sealed and the crown is shot. And a cap wouldn’t hurt. He said he has to compete so he would do what the others said they would do and beat their price but they had planned to up charge me for the wood repair etc. when they found it. I asked him what would you do if it was your house and he said all the above plus a couple other things involving ventilation. He gave me a price for the whole deal and I said we have a deal. He said well not so fast don’t you want to see my insurance papers and some references first. We sat and talked roofs for a couple hours on his tailgate. After doing my roof I had him do my mothers and have referred him and now his sons company to dozens of people.

As to tangible money I’m the last person in my company’s location with over 5000 employees to get an actual paycheck I go to the bank each week and cash my check and make a deposit and get cash back. Both work and the bank have strongly pushed me to go computer and on line banking and I tell them I like to see and feel my money and I like the interaction of my boss handing me a check and then the interaction going to the bank. I even like to pay a bill in person when I can. To me it adds worth to the experience. Maybe we are being dumbed down to that experience intentionally. Something to think about.

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Old 02-14-2014, 03:23 PM  
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Bud; I'm the other way, I'm so used to digital and plastic when I get cash I forget to spend it.

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Old 02-14-2014, 03:36 PM  
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This is really good stuff..opens up a page of the homeowner experience where I have only started to scratch the surface. But I am still on the fence on how deep I want to get in. I think some people are naturally more inclined to work with their hands (and are good at it) and 'speak' that language well. Others would rather delegate. For example, I probably couldn't talk roofs for a couple hours with anyone - not that I couldn't come up with some good questions and ideas, but it's just not what I'd want to go that deep into. A 5-10 minute specific description of issues with my particular roof would do. No topic is objectively more worthy or interesting, it's just a matter of fit and taste..and knowledge. Maybe, as I deal more with these issues, I will be able to deepen my knowledge and some interest will follow. For now, I don't really care about what's above my head, as long as it does its job and keeps the rain out This (as you guessed) is my first house-home, been renting apartments mostly until a few years ago. The house is about half a century old, and I have a feeling I need to gradually replace *everything* in it down to the baseboard (literally - a lot of them are unglued are are simply *leaning* against the wall...) I know for a fact that I would rather not do any home improvement - something renting just can't be beat for...but when push comes to shove as in this case, her we are. But first things first.

The problem was only half-fixed, apparently - they closed (hopefully) the entry for new water, but did nothing to what's already collected in the no man's land between the roof and the ceiling.. Well, they should be coming in sometime in the next few days to try to address this..with a fan or something... I expect there here must be a sizable area covered with mold on the flip side of the ceiling sheet rock.

Again - there is a space of about 7 inches between ceiling and roof, no attic, just insulation - I think foam. There is a tiny rectangular hole that I can open and peek into but can't see much, insulation and scaffolding all around. Extremely hard to get to/access without cutting open from the roof ro the ceiling..

I am guessing the correct solution would involve ripping all that out, taking out the insulation, drying everything thoroughly, and re-doing the sheetrock/repainting etc. (basically replacing a good chunk of the ceiling on one side of the house)...

Is this assumption correct? What plan of action would you recommend?

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Old 02-14-2014, 03:44 PM  
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On cell now so reply might be shorter. 50 year old house are you sure you have drywall and or insulation? You may have plaster over something else.



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