Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > DIY Repair > General DIY Discussions

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 05-31-2012, 03:48 PM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Tacoma, WA
Posts: 279
Share |
Default

First Time Dealing With A Contractor


Can you all please give me some insight here.

My father in law has a flat roof on his 22x22 garage and he has been talking about adding a pitch to it to help with pooling water. Typically I would help him out but a project such as this would require more free time than I have. So he called up a friend of his that is a contractor and has worked with in the past. Now personally I have worked for an engineer for 7 years, went to school for engineering, working on becoming licensed, and know the construction process and how how it all works.. So he came out to meet with us, and I told him what I did for a living and he asked me if I wanted to engineer a design, and I didnt think it would be necessary for such a small job. He then said he would come up with a quote and design and email it over to my father in law for review, who then responded saying he wanted me to look at it.

I looked at the design and it didnt make since to me, so I wrote back and asked why he is doing what he is doing, also his quote was $13,500 not including taxes or permits so I asked if he could simply break it down more to get an idea on what the materials cost is vs the labor cost (thats it, nothing more nothing less, and I was very professional about the whole thing)

He responded saying he asked me up front if I wanted to be involved with the design and I turned down the offer, so I have no reason to involve myself now, he has been doing construction for 40 years and knows what he is doing therefore I have no reason to question his ideas. As for the price he told me I am inexperienced and have no general construction knowledge or knows what it takes to run a business so I have no reason to scrutinize his quote and he does not feel obligated to break it down any further. Then went onto saying he was called in to design and manage the project not me, so until it is said that I am managing the project, not him, nothing else needs to be said.

Did I break some forbidden rule when it comes to quotes? Is it wrong try to understand a builder on their design or to asked to be filled in on how they got their numbers for the quote? I have never worked from this standpoint with a contractor before it is always them coming to me for a job, not the other way around..

cbzdel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2012, 04:08 PM   #2
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Illinois, Chicago area
Posts: 305
Default

First Time Dealing With A Contractor


Not sure about from the design side, but if you told him what you wanted done, and he gave you a price, that;s all he really needs to supply. You should both agree on the scope of work involved, that all the work will pass inspection, and the standard of quality. I don;t think the contractor needs to give you a break down. He probably should have been a little more polite, but you'll get that with contractors.

packer_rich is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2012, 04:21 PM   #3
Newbie
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: NEW YORK
Posts: 6
Default

First Time Dealing With A Contractor


Listen i will tell you this i am not a handy person and have been dealing with contractors a long time with many different jobs in m y home including bathrooms,roofs, sheetrock, pavers kithchens etc...the best advise i can give you is...get as many estimates as you can some people say three i say at least 5 or more...keep your mouth shut and listen you will learn...by the 6th estimate you know more then them...and you make them listen to what you want...good luck....
GEORGEJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2012, 04:35 PM   #4
Old School
 
Willie T's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: St. Petersburg, FL Minds of moderate caliber ordinarily condemn everything which is beyond them.
Posts: 3,634
Default

First Time Dealing With A Contractor


You obviously can't work with this guy, so no point in going into that. Try someone else.

But..... when was the last time you bought a pair of shoes, a gallon of milk, or even a car, and asked how much the cobbler got, how much the leather cost him... how much feed was spent on the cow, what the farmer got per gallon, how much the processor or the trucker got, or the store... or what percentage of the car's price was material versus manpower, or even profit?

You name a job to be done... you hold them to that contracted statement, and you pick the price you want to pay among the contractors you polled. Period.

You are wasting his time for him to break anything down for you....... AND he knows you are just shopping price.
__________________
"True eloquence consists in saying all that is necessary, and only that which is."
François Duc de La Rochefoucauld
Willie T
Willie T is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Willie T For This Useful Post:
kwikfishron (05-31-2012), sixeightten (05-31-2012)
Old 05-31-2012, 04:53 PM   #5
Member
 
Ravenworks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: NE Ohio
Posts: 598
Default

First Time Dealing With A Contractor


OP has every right to have a break down on labor and materials,for $13,500 you could build a "new" garage.
__________________
U.S.M.C. "80-84" E.O.D. 1369
Ravenworks is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Ravenworks For This Useful Post:
1910NE (06-04-2012), jpc (06-06-2012), Thurman (05-31-2012)
Old 05-31-2012, 05:12 PM   #6
Banned Electrician
 
HARRY304E's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: MA, Master Electrician
Posts: 203
Default

First Time Dealing With A Contractor


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravenworks View Post
OP has every right to have a break down on labor and materials,for $13,500 you could build a "new" garage.
Why?

When you go to the dentist do you ask for break down on labor and materials?
__________________
"Government is not the solution to our problem; Government is the problem."
HARRY304E is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2012, 05:20 PM   #7
Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Tacoma, WA
Posts: 279
Default

First Time Dealing With A Contractor


An auto repair shop quote gives you a break down on labor and materials, so why is it wrong to ask the same to a person is repairing your garage roof?

I am not trying to argue its right or wrong, just trying to figure out why is it wrong to ask??

I was not asking for a HUGE massive breakdown, just a simple, its going to be $6500 in materials and $7000 in labor would of made me more than happy.. (just throwing out random numbers)

Last edited by cbzdel; 05-31-2012 at 05:24 PM. Reason: spelling
cbzdel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2012, 05:30 PM   #8
Mod
 
kwikfishron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Kansas (NCK)
Posts: 7,332
Default

First Time Dealing With A Contractor


Quote:
Originally Posted by cbzdel View Post
An auto repair shop quote gives you a break down on labor and materials
Because it's the law in many if not all states for the auto shop to provide a parts and labor breakdown.
__________________
A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words
Especially In The DIY Chatroom
kwikfishron is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2012, 05:45 PM   #9
Lic. Builder/GC/Remodeler
 
AtlanticWBConst.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: New England
Posts: 7,556
Default

First Time Dealing With A Contractor


Quote:
Originally Posted by cbzdel View Post
An auto repair shop quote gives you a break down on labor and materials, so why is it wrong to ask the same to a person is repairing your garage roof?

I am not trying to argue its right or wrong, just trying to figure out why is it wrong to ask??

I was not asking for a HUGE massive breakdown, just a simple, its going to be $6500 in materials and $7000 in labor would of made me more than happy.. (just throwing out random numbers)
Price breakdowns and separation of labor and materials - is not generally done in the construction and renovation industry. Its like that in many other industries as well.

I had a request for that on a $130K project coming up in the next few months. "My" renovation & construction related work is broken down in Labor & Estimated materials, but my Electrician, HVAC Co. and Plumber (all with 35 + years in the industry), will not provide labor & material pricing.
I had to explain that to the Home Owner. I (my company) does it for my work (from demo to painting), but you will not see that with the Electrician, HVAC, and Plumber's pricing.

I am one of the few GC/Contractors, that does it. I break each phase down in Labor & Estimated materials, including the estimated permit fees (separate from the project costs).

I know of only one other contractor that does this in my area (although, I am sure there are likely some others - But, not many).

I am used to it now, but fought it in the beginning, like the MAJORITY of contractors do.

Its just how things are done in the business when it comes to pricing.
I am not supporting it, I am just telling it like it is.

I prefer to separate and breakdown pricing now. There are many, many benefits. The Home Owners see how the overall larger number is made up of a lot of smaller numbers. Changes can be easily accounted for (added, or deleted). Material upgrade costs are easy to make. Credits can be easily issued when less materials are needed, etc, etc...
AtlanticWBConst. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2012, 05:52 PM   #10
Member
 
Ravenworks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: NE Ohio
Posts: 598
Default

First Time Dealing With A Contractor


Quote:
Originally Posted by HARRY304E View Post
Why?

When you go to the dentist do you ask for break down on labor and materials?
Why what?
The money I quoted was a reference to what a new 22'x22' garage would cost,so I find a bid like his high.
__________________
U.S.M.C. "80-84" E.O.D. 1369
Ravenworks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2012, 06:59 PM   #11
Banned Electrician
 
HARRY304E's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: MA, Master Electrician
Posts: 203
Default

First Time Dealing With A Contractor


Quote:
Originally Posted by cbzdel View Post
An auto repair shop quote gives you a break down on labor and materials, so why is it wrong to ask the same to a person is repairing your garage roof?

I am not trying to argue its right or wrong, just trying to figure out why is it wrong to ask??

I was not asking for a HUGE massive breakdown, just a simple, its going to be $6500 in materials and $7000 in labor would of made me more than happy.. (just throwing out random numbers)
It still ads up to $13,500

My point is that it is time-consuming to have to break down all the numbers and reveal hourly rates and stock costs that include a mark up and submit it just to find out that the next guy has a lower hourly rate and under estimates the number of hours it will take just to get the job and do all that extra work for free.

An auto body shop must show their rates because most states regulate auto insurance rates and made it law that auto body shops can only charge so much for labor because it is all paid for by the insurance company's.
__________________
"Government is not the solution to our problem; Government is the problem."
HARRY304E is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2012, 07:02 PM   #12
Banned Electrician
 
HARRY304E's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: MA, Master Electrician
Posts: 203
Default

First Time Dealing With A Contractor


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravenworks View Post
Why what?
The money I quoted was a reference to what a new 22'x22' garage would cost,so I find a bid like his high.
Then he should get other prices .

A grand total price for the job is all that is needed.
__________________
"Government is not the solution to our problem; Government is the problem."
HARRY304E is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2012, 11:32 PM   #13
Too Old
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: South of North
Posts: 345
Default

First Time Dealing With A Contractor


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravenworks View Post
Why what?
The money I quoted was a reference to what a new 22'x22' garage would cost,so I find a bid like his high.
When can you start? I have a place for that size with that price I will hire you instead of me doing it, I can't even get the materials for that price.

As for the post you being an engineer and this your fathers place, I think you should have told the GC you would be involved from the start. You wanted no part of the design but you want to critique the GC price and plan? The design should be left to the GC and the city for the permit being you did not want any invovement. If you want to get other bids then do so. I have never given a breakdown for a job unless the items where special
__________________
"Yeah, it's a nice garage, but you have to keep it heated at all times so it doesn't mess up your roof line."
havalife is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2012, 07:43 AM   #14
Custom User Title
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 349
Default

First Time Dealing With A Contractor


He doesn't sound like anyone that I would want to do business with. Screw him, there are plenty of other contractors that could use work.
no1hustler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2012, 08:49 AM   #15
MarginallyQualified
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Winston-Salem NC
Posts: 3,656
Default

First Time Dealing With A Contractor


The operative term to describe this person is "contractor".
Any other term (like roofing or electrical or plumbing etc) is secondary.

This should serve to put you on notice that the contract, the terms, conditions, specifications, requirements and all the other legal ramifications involved must be understood by you at least as well as the person writing that contract. This is very rarely the case.

And depending on the size of the job the 'contractor" may be a "prime" or general" or a "sub". All of which can have differing meanings depending on context (scope), local or state law and licensing.

Then you get into the other services involved with a project beyond the actual on site demo and build and install and clean up work. Things like the design and especially if it is in any way out of the ordinary really should be handled separately.

W/R/T the diy'er or homeowner... the onus is on YOU to know all these things in advance or to engage the due diligence needed to learn them because if/when something goes wrong the responsibility is YOUR's.


Last edited by TarheelTerp; 06-01-2012 at 08:54 AM.
TarheelTerp is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to TarheelTerp For This Useful Post:
Ravenworks (06-01-2012)
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Choosing a contractor Grumpy Remodeling 7 04-28-2011 07:29 AM
Contractor installed HRV wrong I think crankcase HVAC 4 12-17-2010 02:43 PM
How to fire a Class A contractor purplecow Off Topic 5 03-08-2010 12:18 PM
Contractor payments - PLEASE HELP Aud Building & Construction 8 03-20-2009 03:52 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.