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Old 12-06-2010, 07:40 AM   #16
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DIY Finishing basement


I once double ordered the drywall--60 sheets to many---silly mistake--glad it wasn't done for this man--
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Old 12-06-2010, 08:22 AM   #17
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Why are you being so angry and defensive, Doc?

It is in your opinion that the contractor is 100% correct. But do you really think that, had there been more materials required, the contractor would have stayed with the (hypothetical) $2000 quote? Of course not. He would have charged more. So if he uses less material than expected - and the homeowner paid for that material - why should the contractor suddenly claim ownership?

There are people in your profession that screw people over every day - just as certainly as people in my profession do. But I'm not accusing you of anything, nor am I assuming you're accusing me of something. I'm saying it happens, and we both know it does.


Long story short on the unscrupulous plumber... I wanted a main sewer drain augered out on a rental house (from clean-out to curb is less than 70 feet). The company said they charge $105 per hour, and that it should take less than an hour - maybe up to 1.5 hours. I explicitly told them that IF it looked like it would take longer than an hour, they had to call me for approval first. The guy never called, yet felt free to spend over 4 hours in the basement, and charged me for them. In addition, he never opened the drain. He simply sat down there smoking cigarettes (ask me how I know...). He then told me that he was going to need to come back, bring another guy with him, and run a camera down the drain (for an extra $250). He also actually had the gall to tell me that I was almost certainly going to need to have them dig in an entirely new sewer - to the tune of $10,000.

I called our local Roto-Rooter. The guy showed up (a Hispanic man, who actually didn't mind working), and opened the drain in 20 minutes. 6 month guarantee, yet 4 years later and the drain is fine.

Guess who had legal action taken against him - as he should?

Last edited by DrHicks; 12-06-2010 at 08:37 AM.
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Old 12-06-2010, 09:23 AM   #18
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I will make it easy for you Hear it is

I see it this way...

If you paid for the materials, they are YOUR materials, not his.

Secondly, I would get that guy out of my house as soon as humanly possible. Like yesterday! Who is he kidding, thinking he can also get you to have him do the floor?


Whatever you have to pay to get rid of him will be money well spent.


Now lets look at your Post
1- The Home owner did not pay for the material. Yes she put out the money BUT, the Home Owner was taking the Material cost off of the final Price so IN REALITY THE CONTRACTOR PAID FOR THE MATERIAL

2nd- What did he do wrong that you would say to get him out like yesterday? The Home Owner never said he did Horrible work, Never said He did not do what he said he would... The Home Owners only problem was that they did not understand that materials if paid for by the Contractor... Belong to the Contractor. So in the End you cost this guy a Job if the Home owner took your advice for something he was innocent of

As far as if he needs more material- I do not know any Contractors out there who has ever walked up to a customer and said "I need more material so you need to Pay more" In Fact the only way I see something like this happening would be if a roofer was removing Shingles and he removed the Shingles and found rotten wood. In other words things he could not see. If A Contractor is Smart he ALWAYS orders extra materials because you never know when you will make a Miss cut... I think the industry standard is to order 10-20% more than what is measured to account for waste.

Now this Homeowner is stating they will buy the materials next time. Hmmmm If I was the Contractor I would say no problem I am going to charge you this Price for the job BUT please understand that if I have any unforeseen issues and I need materials you will either need to go get them or I will bill you my hourly rate of $135 for the time I go to pick up material or for anytime that I am not able to continuously work because I do not have needed material. Now I will also say that if I was doing a Drywall Job of that size I will not show up with less than 50 pounds of Screws for my gun... Will I use 50 pounds... Probably not but the Home Owner will be Required to have it there because I would not grab 1 screw off of my truck. I have been in the situation where the Home Owner Contacted my Supplier and Got My Material Price which I marked up 10% in my bid and decided HE would pay for the materials and have them Delivered to the House. First trip I needed a $2 fitting... I left Drove 25 minutes waited 1 hour to get served and 40 minutes to get a hold of the Home owner to pay for the material drove 25 minutes back and I billed him 2.5 hours at $135 per hour... I guess I should say I had 15 on my truck. So that Part that I could have walked to my truck for cost him over $337... Why? Because he said I was cheating him when I added the 10% on my material list. By the end of the Job I had close to $2000 in overage charges for trips to the supply house for supplies.

Now as far as your situation with that Plumber
1- I would never hire a Person that quotes me per hour- ESPECIALLY FOR A DRAIN CLEAN!!!! That Plumber has No Idea how long it will take or even if they will be able to get it clean! I will tell you I charge 325 but I can not guarantee that I will get it clean and I have gone to jobs where I stuck my Snake down and Pulled back Clumps of Clay- Broken Pipe Sorry I still get paid... I have also gone to Jobs after another Plumber has been there for 4 hours and pulled bag 2 bags of roots and i jump in and with in 2 minutes of my snake going through it is clear. It Does not mean that the other Plumber did something wrong...I have gone to court being sued and testifying for the plaintiff... I have never seen the plumber get found at fault when I testify about drain cleans. Now Roto-Rooter and the 6 month Gaurantee... Do you really think they are gauranteeing that this drain will not clog for 6 months? If so......
EDUCATION TIME: The reason a Company gives a warranty on a drain clean is so if the Drain Clogs in 4 months they will be the one you call... NOW at the Second cleaning I look at you and say "You know this is the second time in less than 6 months that we are having this blockage and it seems to be happening with an increased frequency so what I have done is brought the camera to look at what is going on with your pipe after we clean it out" Reason you do this is that if someone tells you that it needs to be replaced after your first time ever having a clog then there is very little chace you will trust them... Even if they pull back a ton of Roots but, if it is the second time in 6 months you are thin great the next time is going to cost me another $3-400 and then you see the Roots and the explain how it will grab toilet paper etc... Well So what I had to give you a free drain clean... I also have a chance of selling you a sewer.

2- I hope if the guy was not working that you did win but unless he was the owner then it did not mean anything to that employee.


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Old 12-06-2010, 09:26 AM   #19
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He would have charged more. So if he uses less material than expected - and the homeowner paid for that material - why should the contractor suddenly claim ownership?

Homeowner Paid for the material with the initial Payment which they stated they were deducting from the total contract so the Home owner did not pay for it. I am not sure how else to explain this part
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Old 12-06-2010, 09:42 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oh'mike View Post
I once double ordered the drywall--60 sheets to many---silly mistake--glad it wasn't done for this man--
I had a guy insist that he wanted a boiler installed on the Saturday Last year of the First storm and he was going to supply all of the material because he went on the website and found a great price on a Boiler and all we would need to supply was Labor. I argued with him and told him I would supply the piping and he agreed. I never worked with this Boiler before but he did a ton of research and bought the Boiler. They Delivered it to his front porch because it was snowing they could not make it to the back... The HO did not want us to carry it through the house so we carried it around the block and up the ally (Boilers are heavy for those that do not know). We get it in the Back and unpack it. By this time the old Boiler was Disconnected and on my truck ready to be scrapped....That is when we look at the Packing slip and see the magical words "ON BACK ORDER" The guy Blamed us obviously for him not having heat because we should have looked at the boiler before removing his old one . I calmly showed him the contract where I specified what I was supplying and included my reciept on the paperwork... The Supply House only had a 20 ft stick of Copper and he wanted the rest of his copper back!!!! I could not believe it. He called me on Monday to have me call the company he ordered the Boiler from to find out where his parts were and actually said when we scrap the Boiler he needs a receipt to make sure we disposed of it properly. I was fine with that but, when the part came in and we finished the Job.... HE DEDUCTED THE $8.61 off of the final bill!!!!
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Old 12-06-2010, 02:08 PM   #21
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Hmmm... This doesn't seem very complicated to me.

You got a bid on a job, probably from several sources.
You liked the $2,000 bid, so you contracted him.
He completed the work and you paid $2,000.
You're happy with the work.

All correct?

Aside from the whole credit card thing (which is unprofessional to say the least), it sounds like you completed a very simple transaction that went as planned.

As far as the extra material goes, this was probably considered in his quote, and probably a long term consideration for setting prices and turning a profit. - Like my granddad once told me about business "Sometimes you eat the bear, and sometimes the bear eats you"
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Old 12-06-2010, 02:38 PM   #22
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I have in my contracts saying that if any changes are to be made they have to be dissused by client and I an have to be in writeing with two signatures before proceeding any farther. I have alot of stuff in my contracts to protect me from the client
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Old 12-06-2010, 04:38 PM   #23
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Are only as good as the customer if they read them and Customers always feel they are right... Here are a couple that I have gotten questioned on and the result

1- Woman called yelling at me and canceled a Water Service because I was $600 higher than another contractor- Difference -I was Leaving yard a rough Grade after inspection... He was not responsible to sit inspection of Backfill the hole. IT WAS ON THE BACK OF THEIR CONTRACT!
2-The Phrase on Contract extras "Payment is due upon completion" Did not Specify Completion of the Contract Extras! Job One Year later Job Still has not finished but the $8000 contract Extra was finished Over a year ago
3- Customer wanted to do trim out of bathroom. Felt Trim out was Putting on the Faucet and toilet paper Holder and hanging pictures
4- Plumber wrote "Final payment due when customer gives final approval on Job" Customer did not like the Tile so he did not give final approval (We do not do Tile)
5- Plumber gave a Quote for Poly but wrote Copper on the Contract for a water service. Had to do Copper

AND DRUM ROLE PLEASE.............................
Best thing I have seen on a Plumbing Contract was a California Plumber that stated
By signing the Contract if you decided not to do the work you were still going to pay and if you did not they can sue you for your House!!!

Out of The Plumbing industry I was a Finance Manager in a Car Dealership and I always loved that on the contract people give permission to have the Dealership name on the car and if you do not want it on their and they can not remove it for what ever reason you can charge an advertising fee
2- That a dealership has 30 days to get you financed if they can not get you financed you must return the car and pay a mileage charge
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Old 12-06-2010, 06:04 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Docwhitley View Post
I will make it easy for you Hear it is.
Nevermind. You're obviously convinced that a contractor is ALWAYS right and a homeowner is ALWAYS wrong.

This - and my experience with a worse than worthless plumber - is why I always do my own work.
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Old 12-06-2010, 06:40 PM   #25
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I am a newbie but have worked on several houses. Doc is right and didn't say the contractor is always right. He is on this one. Have to say though, It is why I also do most of my own work. I don't trust a lot of contractors.
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