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Old 01-09-2011, 10:40 AM   #1
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What's reasonable - quote for hanging & finishing


I had a guy come by for a quote on hanging /finishing drywall yesterday. The area covers two 16x16 rooms with 8' ceilings. In one of the rooms I am installing two layers of board for sound proofing. there are about 14 boxes per room to cut, and 6 recessed lighting fixtures per room.

He quoted $1000 to finish for primer, or $800 if I help.

Reasonable or should I keep shopping?

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Old 01-09-2011, 11:12 AM   #2
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What's reasonable - quote for hanging & finishing


LOL. That reminds me of a sign one of laborers on our jobs had hanging from his rearview mirror. It said:

Hourly Rate: $12
If you wanna' watch: $15
If you wanna' help: $20

To many variables to tell you if that is a reasonable price or not. Does he have to carry the panels up 3 flights of stairs? Is your house 20 miles outside of his usual operating area? Are there any ceilings or high walls?

Best practice is to get at least 3 quotes. Be aware that, out of all the DIY tasks, finishing drywall is one of the most difficult. It is more art than science and knowing when to say when, depending on your personality, can become a major issue.

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Old 01-09-2011, 11:18 AM   #3
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What's reasonable - quote for hanging & finishing


Sorry, after reading your post I see that some of the variables are addressed. Still a great many though.

You could do your own material take-off and deduct that from his total quote to give you his hourly rate. It is probably going to seem outraguously high (think doctor lawyer level) but then you have to remember to deduct his overhead. Insurance, Workers Comp and all of the time he spent giving out those "Free Estimates".
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Old 01-09-2011, 11:28 AM   #4
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What's reasonable - quote for hanging & finishing


are you installing two complete layers (all walls and ceiling) in the one room??

Just doing a rough board count, I come to 48 4x8 sheets for both rooms, single layer. At $10.00/sheet, that is already $480.00. now, add your mud, tape, screws. finally labour... he is going to be 3-4 days anyways, so even at 3 days, he would be charging about $20.00/hour.. that seems pretty reasonable to me..

has he provided any references that you can go talk to??

good luck.

rod
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Old 01-09-2011, 11:44 AM   #5
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What's reasonable - quote for hanging & finishing


Thanks rditz, I hadn't taken time to do the take off but from the looks of it this guy is on his way to putting himself out of business.

The OP should take advantage of that price before he is gone.
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Old 01-09-2011, 11:51 AM   #6
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What's reasonable - quote for hanging & finishing


CPLdevildog,

thanks.. It does seem pretty cheap... i assumed that the guy was supplying material... i hope that was the right assumption, otherwise he is charging double that for labour...

rod
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Old 01-09-2011, 12:08 PM   #7
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What's reasonable - quote for hanging & finishing


Seems mighty cheap--in this area any way.

Rule of thumb around here is $60 a sheet materials and labor--or about $2.00 a square foot.

Some times you can get a labor only price of $10 to $12 a sheet to hang--and $10 to $12 a sheet to finish.

Labor around here is higher than many areas-- The skill level is the reason to choose a hanger or taper---never the price---That's like looking for a cheap deal on plastic surgery for your daughters face---There is a time where skill is the biggest concern and taping is one of them---Mike--
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Old 01-09-2011, 12:27 PM   #8
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What's reasonable - quote for hanging & finishing


Many customers balk at the “hourly rate” their contractors are charging but often they are forgetting to take into account the overhead associated with running the business.

A contractor who is running an above board business and plans on continuing to run an above board business has to price into every job: Liability insurance, auto insurance, worker's compensation insurance, payroll taxes, office and shop rental, maintenance, operating and replacement costs for tools, vehicles and office equipment, professional memberships, publications and training, marketing materials, web-site hosting, yellow book presence and a percentage for all of the “free estimates” he provided that didn't turn into sales.

Suddenly that hourly rate starts looking pretty pitiful.

I believe RSMeans lists an unskilled laborer at $17/hour burdened cost, this guy is digging a hole. He's lost money on the job and he doesn't even know it.
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Old 01-09-2011, 12:27 PM   #9
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What's reasonable - quote for hanging & finishing


Quote:
Originally Posted by rditz View Post
CPLdevildog,

thanks.. It does seem pretty cheap... i assumed that the guy was supplying material... i hope that was the right assumption, otherwise he is charging double that for labour...

rod
Labor only.
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Old 01-09-2011, 12:31 PM   #10
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What's reasonable - quote for hanging & finishing


I haven't found a helper worth hiring for that price in many years---Our labor costs are a bit higher here--
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Old 01-09-2011, 12:34 PM   #11
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Quote:
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I haven't found a helper worth hiring for that price in many years---Our labor costs are a bit higher here--
We worked together on installing the new joists & attic ladder.. he said he ordinarlily doesn't let people help because people get in the way, but that I was a good worker. so.. fwiw.
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Old 01-09-2011, 01:20 PM   #12
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What's reasonable - quote for hanging & finishing


You are fortunate to have run into someone that you work well with----If you trust him and enjoy working with him--perfect!--Go and have fun.
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Old 01-10-2011, 11:18 PM   #13
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What's reasonable - quote for hanging & finishing


Labour only price no doubt. Sounds cheap to me

Hanging board, taping, let dry, sanding, filling, let dry, sanding, finishing, let dry, sanding ,spot check, let dry, sanding, primer, clean up every day, transportation, tools, insurance, gas, truck, years of a developed skill.
I'd jump on it and help for free for the learning experience. Maybe you could do the pole sanding to help things go faster
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Old 01-11-2011, 03:00 AM   #14
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What's reasonable - quote for hanging & finishing


Quote:
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Labour only price no doubt. Sounds cheap to me

Hanging board, taping, let dry, sanding, filling, let dry, sanding, finishing, let dry, sanding ,spot check, let dry, sanding, primer, clean up every day, transportation, tools, insurance, gas, truck, years of a developed skill.
I'd jump on it and help for free for the learning experience. Maybe you could do the pole sanding to help things go faster
Great! I'll call him back right away and tell him to increase his price because I am working for free. This is a fabulous DIY (do it yourself) solution - thanks!
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Old 01-11-2011, 04:55 AM   #15
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What's reasonable - quote for hanging & finishing


I sense we may have offended?

Apologies if we have but you did not ask for DIY help. You asked if a quote is reasonable and, honestly, there is just no way of knowing that.

Your best option is several quotes. Educate yourself about the various specifications associated with drywall work (we are more than happy to help with that) and write down the "specs" that you expect out of the contractor.

That way each bidder will know what is expected and you can compare apples to apples. It's no good to use contractor A if he bids the job for nail fasteners while Contractor B was planning glue and screw.

Still willing to help
D

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