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Old 06-01-2012, 03:00 PM   #16
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First Time Dealing With A Contractor


I would think the reason that his response to you seemed rude is because he asked you if you wanted to design it and you said no, but now you are questioning his way. I imagine he asked you if you wanted to design it because he was worried about this exact scenario. It can often be bothersome when you are a professional who has done something many times and the person you are doing the work for(or someone they know) questions how and why you are doing things. The fact that you told him you are an engineer probably scared him from the start and that is why he asked you to design it. This may sound harsh, but from his point of view, he has done and knows how to do the work, you are someone who doesn't do the work(or you would do it yourself from his point of view) and you are trying to question his method. I don't do roofing nor have I seen this project, but I would bet his price is higher because he anticipates some frustration from you trying to inspect and critique his work. You may not be like that at all, but many engineers and such are when dealing with a contractor, so he may just be stereotyping you in an attempt to protect himself. I hope this hasn't come across to harsh, but as a contractor who has dealt with people like I have described, it can be a very annoying experience.

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Willie T (06-06-2012)
Old 06-02-2012, 07:15 AM   #17
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First Time Dealing With A Contractor


I bet part of his response is due to not wanting to critiqued and questioned by an engineering person. Probably get the same reaction if you were in an architects office.

Lots of GCs, and the guys actually working on a project(the guys doing the work), have bad experiences with architects and engineers. There is a sort of conflict between the guys that can drive a nail and know from expierence what works well on site vs the guys that sit at a desk and draw pretty renderings or dictate structural issues.

That said, if you have a drawing of the design and are in a related field it shouldn't be too difficult to cipher out at least a close approximation of the materials cost.
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Old 06-03-2012, 03:00 AM   #18
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He is probably seeing you might be a bit of a PITA in that you said you didn't want to be involved in the design, and are now questioning his methods, you may come across as a bit too much of a headache in a relatively straitforward smaller job.

He has his right to not break down material and labour costs, there are other costs involved in running a business that may not be as transparent, so you may interpret his profit as being different from what it actually is. He may be getting a sense that you are price shopping and are wanting to haggle with price, and so doesn't want to waste his time.

If you aren't happy with the price don't waste his time, just get other quotes.
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Old 06-04-2012, 09:18 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by chrisBC View Post
...If you aren't happy with the price don't waste his time, just get other quotes.
^This is the best advice given^
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Old 06-06-2012, 04:45 AM   #20
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The OP most definitly has the right to ask for that, anybody does when spending hard earned money on goods, service's,work performed, And he had the right to walk away from the job and not take the little bit of time to break it down, if he run's a company and by your post has a computer, he could have spit out a spread sheet just that quick. But sounds like he was about to take you for a spin, And I'm sorry it's not classified top secret that material's and what not get marked up, that's business. And you saying upfront you didn't want to design the job, doesn't strip you of your right to ask question's.I get it, that maybe he didn't want to do the job with someone standing over his shoulder but "Get over it", He is working in or on people's home's, So best thing to do is shake it off and be glad the "Prick" in him showed it self and he left.Good luck with you project
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Old 06-06-2012, 07:45 AM   #21
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Bottom line......... Would your boss let you show his company's financial breakdown to a potential customer you were planning work for? You KNOW he wouldn't. The customer will get a price for work requested. Nothing more, nothing less.
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Old 06-06-2012, 07:52 AM   #22
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Bottom line......... Would your boss let you show his company's financial breakdown to a potential customer you were planning work for? You KNOW he wouldn't. The customer will get a price for work requested. Nothing more, nothing less.
Not only that, but the OP here isn't even the customer.

This exact scenario is why I rarely work for condo assocs. Anytime there's more than one "boss" involved it get's frustrating, and I'm confident that's what the contractor is feeling at this point........
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Old 06-06-2012, 08:37 AM   #23
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Willie T, Your right on the money with that, I just know how slow work has been around here,and although it has picked up somewhat in my area , I would'nt have let that kinda money or work get by me like that.
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Old 06-06-2012, 11:14 AM   #24
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Two bids I could give under these circumstances........

Bid #1: $13,500...... $6,000 materials.... $7,500 labor.

Bid #2: $13,500...... $7,500 materials.... $6,000 labor.

Now the HO knows about as much as they did before they asked. Personally, I'd just jack up the materials high so they felt they were getting top quality. And I'd put the labor real low so they felt I was really giving them a deal.

I'd still get the same money.

This is the same as the dumb GC who insists on Sq ft pricing from subs. You give him sf prices PER HOUSE..... Never across the board. Or...... AVERAGE all his various model sq footages so that you get what you need.
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Old 06-06-2012, 11:52 AM   #25
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Perfect Willie....exactly the way I'd go.

Oh...and welcome back. Hope all is well.
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Old 06-06-2012, 09:59 PM   #26
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Bottom line......... Would your boss let you show his company's financial breakdown to a potential customer you were planning work for? You KNOW he wouldn't. The customer will get a price for work requested. Nothing more, nothing less.

Exactly, the price is the price. Where it comes from is irelevant to those purchasing the services, as it is a business transaction of x will be done for y price. What would breaking the price down achieve? if one thinks his labour is too high, how would he know much the contractor has to pay per man for workers compensation, tax, office overhead, tool upkeep and replacement, vehicles, insurance, etc.

I'd say hire someone you trust to do it for a price you are happy with and let them do their job.

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