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Old 05-10-2008, 03:34 PM   #16
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Contractor price fair or not?


Yes. You should have provided more and he should have too. Personally, I do not let anyone work on my house, my car, my body, or anything else without a written estimate.

For work done on my house, I usually prepare a written basic scope of work for the contractor to develop his bid from. I don't do verbal; too much chance for misunderstandings and mistakes.

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Old 05-10-2008, 03:40 PM   #17
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The term "Contractor" implies that there will be a contract. It can be verbal or written, but to allow anyone to do anything without one is foolish on your part.
So, it's foolish on my part that we didn't have any type of agreement on price, even though it's his policy?

I can't win, can I? How do I enforce a verbal agreement (e.g. for a window)? I have nothing written.

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Yes. You should have provided more and he should have too. Personally, I do not let anyone work on my house, my car, my body, or anything else without a written estimate.

For work done on my house, I usually prepare a written basic scope of work for the contractor to develop his bid from. I don't do verbal; too much chance for misunderstandings and mistakes.
So, why is everyone jumping on me to leave the poor guy alone and pay him? This is the contractor that the rental property manager uses.
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Old 05-10-2008, 03:45 PM   #18
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Contractor price fair or not?


Because you didn't do due diligence, so you are in reality at his mercy.
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Old 05-10-2008, 03:49 PM   #19
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Contractor price fair or not?


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Because you didn't do due diligence, so you are in reality at his mercy.
Okay, but why am I getting so much grief about me ripping him off? I stated all these facts in my first post, and everyone jumped all over me. I stated that I asked him twice for an estimate, and he refused.

So, I'm stupid for trusting the guy. And I'm the bad guy for ripping him off.

Can I win?
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Old 05-10-2008, 03:54 PM   #20
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Contractor price fair or not?


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So, why is everyone jumping on me to leave the poor guy alone and pay him? This is the contractor that the rental property manager uses.
Because he can work however he wants. It sounds like he's perfectly comfortable working that way. I can understand why you're not, and now you know that. In the future you can cater your contractual agreements to your level of comfort. We're telling you to leave the guy alone and pay him, because he did nothing wrong as far as I can tell. The only problem here, as it appears to me, is that after the fact you decided you were not comfortable with the way you set up the deal. You got no price ahead of time, and now you wish you had.

Feel lucky that you learned this with an easy lesson. You could have learned it by having all this work done, and then being given a $5000 bill, and then you would have had a real fight on your hands.

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Okay, but why am I getting so much grief about me ripping him off? I stated all these facts in my first post, and everyone jumped all over me. I stated that I asked him twice for an estimate, and he refused.

So, I'm stupid for trusting the guy. And I'm the bad guy for ripping him off.

Can I win?
I don't think you ripped him off. You haggled with him about his price, and it's up to you and him to decide whether that's how you want to do business. I DO think it's unwise of you to let a stranger do work for you, AND THEN tell you how much it will cost. Different matter perhaps if it's someone you've got a long-standing relationship with, but on a first job, I would never do that. You can't blame him for that.

I'd take it easy. You asked for advice about this stuff, people are giving it, and it seems like you're getting kinda defensive.
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Old 05-10-2008, 04:00 PM   #21
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Contractor price fair or not?


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Because he can work however he wants. It sounds like he's perfectly comfortable working that way. I can understand why you're not, and now you know that. In the future you can cater your contractual agreements to your level of comfort. We're telling you to leave the guy alone and pay him, because he did nothing wrong as far as I can tell. The only problem here, as it appears to me, is that after the fact you decided you were not comfortable with the way you set up the deal. You got no price ahead of time, and now you wish you had.

Feel lucky that you learned this with an easy lesson. You could have learned it by having all this work done, and then being given a $5000 bill, and then you would have had a real fight on your hands.
Well, you haven't addressed the fact that we had a verbal agreement on the window as part of the same job. How should he handle that?

You can't have it both ways. Either the man's wrong for not giving me anything in writing and no estimate, or he's not. You guys seem to want to blame me regardless of what happens. He refuses to give an estimate or written contract. My fault. I question his price. My fault. What about the window? My fault.

Sorry, too much blame coming my way for this. How about focusing on what he did wrong as well?

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I'd take it easy. You asked for advice about this stuff, people are giving it, and it seems like you're getting kinda defensive.

How about some advice on how to deal with him now? The situation isn't over. I still have work that he should be doing.
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Old 05-10-2008, 04:12 PM   #22
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Contractor price fair or not?


I doubt he will do any more work for you, which may be a good thing for both of you.

It is your fault. You accepted his terms, then renigged. His terms are not industry standard or even reasonable, but you agreed to them, so....
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Old 05-10-2008, 04:20 PM   #23
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I doubt he will do any more work for you, which may be a good thing for both of you.

Sigh. Instead of looking at it from my perspective. Look at it from his perspective. We still have a verbal agreement for a window. How should an upstanding contractor handle it.

When we agreed to lower the price, he seemed eager to do more work for me. He said he didn't want to lose business over a few hundred.

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It is your fault. You accepted his terms, then renigged. His terms are not industry standard or even reasonable, but you agreed to them, so....
What did I renig on? Let me answer that. Nothing. I paid him. Since we had no agreement on price, I guess I didn't even have to pay him at all.

It would be helpful if you assumed he were here now. Tell him how he should handle this situation.
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Old 05-10-2008, 04:29 PM   #24
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Contractor price fair or not?


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Well, you haven't addressed the fact that we had a verbal agreement on the window as part of the same job. How should he handle that?

You can't have it both ways. Either the man's wrong for not giving me anything in writing and no estimate, or he's not. You guys seem to want to blame me regardless of what happens. He refuses to give an estimate or written contract. My fault. I question his price. My fault. What about the window? My fault.

Sorry, too much blame coming my way for this. How about focusing on what he did wrong as well?
You're really getting riled up here. I'm not trying to have it both ways. He gave you no written contract and no estimate. At that point you agreed to have him begin work anyways. That was entirely up to you. He did not force you to hire him. He refused to give you an estimate, and you hired him. I don't see where I am to find fault with him. You questioning his price is not really wrong, but I think you should have thought of it before he started working, that you were probably going to have questions about the price at the end, because you had no idea what to expect.

If there's too much blame coming your way, then maybe you shouldn't ask for advice. People seem to be offering it nicely enough, and you're freaking out.

If the contractor came on here and complained that he did this work with no contract or estimate, and then the customer gave him a hard time about his price, he'd get the same advice you're getting - "It's your fault for not putting stuff in writing." Since he's not having a problem with the way things work, you're being given advice on how to conduct yourself in the future.

I'm sorry that you came here wanting people to rag on the contractor and tell you that you have no responsibility, as it seems that is what you wanted. Instead people are just giving you honest advice. Which isn't so bad really.

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What did I renig on? Let me answer that. Nothing. I paid him. Since we had no agreement on price, I guess I didn't even have to pay him at all.

It would be helpful if you assumed he were here now. Tell him how he should handle this situation.
He should be more professional and give you a written quote or describe his terms for estimating, but if he doesn't like to work that way there's nothing wrong with that, assuming he can find customers who are okay with that deal. But you can't control how he behaves. All you can control is when you hire someone and when you don't. You want people here to tell your contractor how to do business, but that isn't going to help you, since he doesn't sound like he's looking for advice. They've told you how you can work with contractors to avoid the problems you're having. Isn't that exactly the kind of useful advice you need? Anything else is really just smearing some guy you did work with, and I suppose making you feel better.
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Old 05-10-2008, 04:37 PM   #25
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You're really getting riled up here. I'm not trying to have it both ways. He gave you no written contract and no estimate. At that point you agreed to have him begin work anyways. That was entirely up to you. He did not force you to hire him. He refused to give you an estimate, and you hired him. I don't see where I am to find fault with him. You questioning his price is not really wrong, but I think you should have thought of it before he started working, that you were probably going to have questions about the price at the end, because you had no idea what to expect.

If there's too much blame coming your way, then maybe you shouldn't ask for advice. People seem to be offering it nicely enough, and you're freaking out.

If the contractor came on here and complained that he did this work with no contract or estimate, and then the customer gave him a hard time about his price, he'd get the same advice you're getting - "It's your fault for not putting stuff in writing." Since he's not having a problem with the way things work, you're being given advice on how to conduct yourself in the future.

I'm sorry that you came here wanting people to rag on the contractor and tell you that you have no responsibility, as it seems that is what you wanted. Instead people are just giving you honest advice. Which isn't so bad really.
Wrong. I'm not asking you to rag on the contractor.

Part of giving useful advice is looking at it from every perspective. If you pretend the man is here now, and give him some advice, that helps me. That helps me to understand what I should expect from a good contractor. Some of this useful advice has bordered on name calling.

By telling me I should have done this. Should have done that. It doesn't help so much now. I got all that.

And keep in mind that I don't live in Indiana (where the property is). And I don't plan on visiting. They're going to be doing work on their own. How should I handle that?

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He should be more professional and give you a written quote or describe his terms for estimating, but if he doesn't like to work that way there's nothing wrong with that, assuming he can find customers who are okay with that deal. But you can't control how he behaves. All you can control is when you hire someone and when you don't. You want people here to tell your contractor how to do business, but that isn't going to help you, since he doesn't sound like he's looking for advice. They've told you how you can work with contractors to avoid the problems you're having. Isn't that exactly the kind of useful advice you need? Anything else is really just smearing some guy you did work with, and I suppose making you feel better.
Not really. I'm asking what I should expect from a reasonable contractor. He has a verbal agreement for additional work. How should he handle it if he were an upstanding guy.

Not really all that complex what I'm asking.
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Old 05-10-2008, 04:58 PM   #26
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Contractor price fair or not?


You renigged by not paying the price he asked for. You had no estimate on final price, he gave you a total, and you paid less than the total. That is renigging on the deal, crappy as the deal may have been. Go look at this thread for an example from the other perspective:

http://www.contractortalk.com/showthread.php?t=39111

It is your responsabilty to do due diligence on any contract you make, verbal or written, no matter how crappy that contract is. In a court of law, you would lose, period, end of story.
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Old 05-10-2008, 05:53 PM   #27
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You renigged by not paying the price he asked for. You had no estimate on final price, he gave you a total, and you paid less than the total. That is renigging on the deal, crappy as the deal may have been. Go look at this thread for an example from the other perspective:

http://www.contractortalk.com/showthread.php?t=39111

It is your responsabilty to do due diligence on any contract you make, verbal or written, no matter how crappy that contract is. In a court of law, you would lose, period, end of story.
That logic is extremely dubious. I'm almost certain he couldn't charge a million dollars after the fact. There has to be some limit. And I had no contract. And if you're talking about our verbal agreement, the deal is incomplete. I doubt you're a lawyer. Neither am I. But I'm doubtful he can charge any price he wants unless we have some written agreement on the work done.

I'm a little confused. Are you saying I got a crappy deal or are you saying even if I had gotten a crappy deal. My impression was that I had gotten a good deal.

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You renigged by not paying the price he asked for. You had no estimate on final price, he gave you a total, and you paid less than the total. That is renigging on the deal, crappy as the deal may have been. Go look at this thread for an example from the other perspective:

http://www.contractortalk.com/showthread.php?t=39111

It is your responsabilty to do due diligence on any contract you make, verbal or written, no matter how crappy that contract is. In a court of law, you would lose, period, end of story.
Actually, by any definition of the word renig, I didn't do it. I paid his initial amount then called him back and asked to lower the price.

But your link has nothing supporting your definition of renig. Not sure if we're reading the same thing. There was no signed estimate, contract, or verbal agreement on price. I'm sure legally I owe something, but not whatever he states. Your link doesn't support what you say.
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Old 05-10-2008, 06:09 PM   #28
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Contractor price fair or not?


The link shows what a reputable contractor thinks of not having a written contract.

I am not a lawyer, but I do know contruction contracts in my little part of the industry and Austin Texas. Of course a court is not going to hold you liable for unreasonable costs, but anything within reason, which your contractor certainly was, is going to end in a judgement against you.
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Old 05-10-2008, 06:20 PM   #29
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The link shows what a reputable contractor thinks of not having a written contract.

I am not a lawyer, but I do know contruction contracts in my little part of the industry and Austin Texas. Of course a court is not going to hold you liable for unreasonable costs, but anything within reason, which your contractor certainly was, is going to end in a judgement against you.
I doubt it. What if I come up with a lower price that's also reasonable? I doubt any court would reward a dumbass who did the work without agreeing on the price. If I were dishonest, all I would have to do is take a reasonable price and subtract a price less than his potential court costs. He would have no choice but to take it.

Sorry. Logic prevails. Without a contract, I could have given him $500 and he would have had no choice but to take it (for a $1200 job). But I'm an honest guy.
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Old 05-10-2008, 07:02 PM   #30
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I wish you well in your future endeavors.

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