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Old 09-14-2007, 03:42 PM   #1
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Drywall and Plaster Repair


I have a 1910 home, and have a contractor completely remodeling the upstairs. They are at the drywall stage now, and my contractor is coming back with additional charges for plaster and drywall repair above and beyond what was quoted. I was wondering if anyone could give me a ballpark figure for how much it should cost for:

Roughly 1500 square feet under foot
7'5" wall height
drywall over plaster ceilings
drywall new areas, skim existing plaster walls and blend in.

They originally quoted $6500 to do most of the rooms upstairs. They are now adding another $2000 to skim coat all 1500 square feet, plus the downstairs hallway.

If anyone wants to see what they are doing, you can take a look here:

http://www.freewebs.com/klafollette

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Old 09-14-2007, 04:22 PM   #2
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Looks like they are earning the money and doing a good job.

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Old 09-14-2007, 04:24 PM   #3
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Yep...they are doing a great job, but they are nickle and diming me on overage charges...and I'm just trying to make sure I'm not getting ripped off.
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Old 09-14-2007, 04:37 PM   #4
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That is a lot of skim coating and less then most charge. You are getting a great value. get a meeting of the minds. The walls & ceilings will be paint ready. Finishers will return after prime coat to re-skim, sand or correct any needed areas.

All Restorations have two things in common. They cost more and take longer.
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Old 09-14-2007, 04:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Bob View Post
All Restorations have two things in common. They cost more and take longer.
LOL...I'm learning that the hard way I think.
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Old 09-15-2007, 11:55 AM   #6
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It doesn't matter how well of job they are doing. Did they provide you with a written contract? If so, the written contract binds them to do everything stated in the contract, without any extra charge.
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Old 09-15-2007, 12:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by argana View Post
Yep...they are doing a great job, but they are nickle and diming me on overage charges...and I'm just trying to make sure I'm not getting ripped off.

The issue could also revolve around who hired them, and what was described in the walk-through that they based their estimate on, and also what was stated in their proposal/contract.

It is not unusual for drywall or plastering costs to go up on a detailed, extensive remodeling project.

We run a drywall/plaster division in our company. About once a year, we may have a job that we have no choice but to deliver alot of additional charges to. This is generally due to: large quantities of changes in the original designs, very poor framing that creates delays and issues, a poorly described estimate walk-thru, among other reasons.

As a side point, prior to the actual start of work and delivery of the drywall materials, we always make one final onsite walk thru. All pre-start changes (if there are any)are noted then.

There are times when a general contractor with very poor communications skills and lack of drywall-understanding experience - shoots themselves in the foot with their own incorrect drywall cost estimate (Sometimes the result is something like what you are describing).

Really, there are so many factors that can effect a pre-determined estimate that changes as the job progresses.

Additonally, there is no way for anyone on here to be able to tell you what the accurate costs ''should be'' for your project. That is why no contractor will give a prices over the phone. Even with a million pictures of the home, such, cannot substitute for the accuracy of what an "onsite walk-thru estimate" accomplishes.

So, my question is, who walked their estimater thru the project and described what needed to be done?

You seem to be only pre-scribing blame to the drywall guys. I think you might also want to consider the possibility that someone could have mis-represented the amount of work (unknowingly).

Now, on the other hand, there is a small number of subcontractors out there (in all the trades fields) that bid on jobs this way:

1.) They bid low to get the job (That is why you never want the lowest bid - Quality is just as important as price).

2.) Once they land the job, they go in, start working, and start "jacking-up" the costs thru "Nickel and Diming" all the "supposed issues".

When that happens, experience helps. Without experience the hirer is at the mercy of the subcontractor:
A few years ago, we were doing a remodel of the corporate offices of a famous Sports apparell maker. At that particular time, all our company drywall workers were booked up on other remodeling jobs we were doing. They were working daytime shifts and we needed the drywall work done after hours (at night). So, we tried out a small drywall subcontractor. After he started the work, at one point, he tried to squeeze us for more charges for some things that he said took him "extra time to do". I laughed at him.
I told him, you know what: You were hired to do our drywall, not because we don't know how to do our own drywall, but because we are short handed right now. I told him that our company has been doing drywall for over 20 years, myself included at times. I told him he was full of crap and that what he said would take him more time, could not possibly take him ANY extra time to do. I told him that if he doubted me, I would go out to my truck and get my drywall tools and show him, how fast it could be done.
..... He uttered a nervous chuckle, looked at the floor, and went back to work....
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Last edited by AtlanticWBConst.; 09-15-2007 at 01:07 PM.
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Old 09-15-2007, 02:55 PM   #8
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Thanks for the response Atlantic.

Our job has been so complicated since day 1. When we hired our contracting company, we walked the GC through and told him everything we wanted done (kind of our wish list). He gave us an astronomical bid, so we met with him a few times afterwards to figure out what we could take out to bring the costs down.

Originally, we were planning on doing an upscale remodel of our kitchen, adding central a/c, moving the laundry room upstairs to an existing bathroom, adding a new bathroom in an adjacent empty room, bringing the electrical up to code in the upstairs (which required a new electrical box), etc. We ended up taking the kitchen out and just concentrated on the upstairs remodel, so he gave us a new quote based on that.

Now he is telling us that the original quote didn't include adding electric to the hallway upstairs, or bringing one of the bedrooms up to code or that it didn't include fixing plaster in an upstairs bedroom that they were doing work in, etc. and that is why they are now coming back saying it will cost more.

I am okay with cost overruns, I just wasn't sure if $8K sounded reasonable for drywall and plaster repair.
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Old 09-15-2007, 03:13 PM   #9
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The reason for obtaining bids on a project is so that you know exactly what the project is going to cost. If the job cost the contractor more than he expected, that's the contractor's problem, not the buyer's.

You have a right to request quotes for any additional work that you would like done, and if the bid for the additional work is too high, get bids from another contractor.

$8k is more than double the initial quote!

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