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Old 09-27-2010, 03:24 PM   #1
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Handymen: How long should these tasks take to finish?


Question... I have some work that needs to be done in my home that I called a handyman for. I have been doing alot of DIY in my home here in MD and in FL so I am pretty familiar with the process for alot of these tasks. I took 2 months off this summer and did straight DIY and renovations in and outside and threw my back out something fierce so I am ready to hire these last few tasks out to give my body a rest. I called the handyman service and told them EVERYTHING I needed done over the phone, down to a list I have. They scheduled an appt which was today at 2pm and handyman came by and was supposed to do the actual work, originally a 3 hour call. But after coming to my home he is telling me the office told him 3 things (electrical, plumbing and exhaust fan) and after being at my home he claims that this is at least a 5 hour job.

The tasks are as follows:
* Swap out 2 OLD style bathroom lights (I already have 2 new fixtures)
* Add 2 outlets from above lights (the lights in the 2 baths have always-on outlets embedded IN them and I want the wires routed to separate outlets in the wall.)
* Replace the bathroom exhaust fan in one bath (I bought a new one similar sized to the old one)
* Install a new vanity sink top in one bath (cultured marble type all-in-one sink/counter)

And if he had time:
Hang a new slab door in existing bathroom

Also he said he couldnt do the lights today, cause he didnt have any outlet boxes on the truck. Seems a handyman should at least have outlet boxes on hand. So he left and said we have to reschedule for a 5 hour job which I am not sure I want to do. Doesnt seem like it should take more then 3 hours do do these things, should it?

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Old 09-27-2010, 03:31 PM   #2
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Handymen: How long should these tasks take to finish?


5 hours about right depending on new wiring needs to be fished . i see 4 tasks on your list

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Old 09-27-2010, 06:09 PM   #3
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Handymen: How long should these tasks take to finish?


I'd go 4 hours if the fan and bath wall, ceiling is accessible from the attic. Extra to wrap insulation and v.b. on the fan ducting. Remember GFCI outlets and a timer on the fan.

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Old 09-27-2010, 06:36 PM   #4
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Handymen: How long should these tasks take to finish?


Cut hinges drill for lockset,install door and lockset-1 hour

new exhaust fan--45 to 60 minutes

lights--15 each=30

Install outlets-45 minutes each=1 1/2 hours


Remove old top and install new top,faucet,drain set and caulk--45-60 minutes

Looks like 4 to 5 hours--The outlets are the big unknown--along with the exhaust fan ,if dry wall gets damaged or the old duct for the fan needs updating could be longer.--Mike--
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Old 09-27-2010, 06:56 PM   #5
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Handymen: How long should these tasks take to finish?


I find it hard to project time frames without an on site inspection of the conditions.
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Old 09-27-2010, 07:09 PM   #6
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Handymen: How long should these tasks take to finish?


Don’t forget to add in for h/o in your face time.
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Old 09-27-2010, 07:53 PM   #7
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Handymen: How long should these tasks take to finish?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron6519 View Post
I find it hard to project time frames without an on site inspection of the conditions.
Ron
I agree with Ron. Just with the vague description given, I could easily see this becoming a full days job.

What type of walls and ceiling, old plaster on plasterboard, old plaster on lath, or sheetrock.
The description of the existing lights with the built in outlet, immediately clues me in to "old"; may very well not even contain a ground.
As for adding new receptacles, I'd be concerned about the old wiring handling the new fixture wattage, plus the new receptacle, which you know will be used for blow dryers and curling irons. Also, most likely will have to somehow feed wire through a stud to locate the receptacle. Are the outlets truly "always on", or only when the light is on.
Older bath fans mostly had very wide flanges under the ceiling finish, and often were nailed in place with the massive old time wire staples, big crack potential if plaster ceiling.
Big potential for more trouble if the plumbing is old.

Just a few of the unknowns that make me wonder.

Last edited by troubleseeker; 09-27-2010 at 08:01 PM.
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Old 09-27-2010, 09:35 PM   #8
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Handymen: How long should these tasks take to finish?


"What type of walls and ceiling, old plaster on plasterboard, old plaster on lath, or sheetrock." ------ a handyman should have a multi-purpose tool so plaster and lath isn't a problem.

"The description of the existing lights with the built in outlet, immediately clues me in to "old"; may very well not even contain a ground." ----- isn't a GFCI a substitute for no ground?

"2 baths have always-on outlets embedded IN them " ----- I thought that meant always live outlets with the switch leg run off that to switch then fixture?

"Also, most likely will have to somehow feed wire through a stud to locate the receptacle. " --- unless overhead access.

"Older bath fans mostly had very wide flanges under the ceiling finish, and often were nailed in place with the massive old time wire staples, big crack potential if plaster ceiling."---- good point---- wide trim or 5 minute quick set and paint plus $$. An extra for you, Princess!

Re-locating the recept's, not adding. Good point on the wire overload!


Did the Service ask any of the questions or points mentioned?


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Old 09-27-2010, 10:17 PM   #9
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Handymen: How long should these tasks take to finish?


I find most DIY jobs tend to take longer then expected, especially if you venture into areas that it's your first time. You want to take time to research everything beforehand, and be cautious while doing it. Now by handyman I assume you mean a contractor who does this stuff a lot, then it could be a few hours to a few days, depends on conditions. Ex: how easy it is to fish wire, and so on.
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Old 09-28-2010, 07:13 AM   #10
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Handymen: How long should these tasks take to finish?


Ceiling is drywall and both bathrooms are on a top floor with an attic access hatch literally less then 5 feet from each as both baths are back to back.

The outlets in the light fixtures are always on, cause I have tested them before, and he tested them when he was here as well. The guy didnt ask any additional questions, only pointed out that he doesnt have any outlet boxes on his truck.

What irked me is when I showed him the new slab door, he asked why didnt I buy a framed door. I know a slab door is not the easiest to install, I have done it before and its a pain in the bum, especially for me as a DIYer. But he, as a handyman he should know how to hang a door in an existing doorway without having to pull the whole existing frame which rubbed me the wrong way.

He came from a handyman service in the area that has very good reviews, but they have a team of handymen. I might have gotten someone new, cause I called before and this same guys schedule was pretty empty a few weeks ago when I called and this week as well.
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Old 09-29-2010, 03:43 PM   #11
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Handymen: How long should these tasks take to finish?


I've been a DIY all my life and I'd be willing to bet that your are looking at, at least 8 hours of work!
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Old 10-01-2010, 07:34 AM   #12
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Handymen: How long should these tasks take to finish?


Yup. I'd charge a day's work for that, 5-6 hours of actual work and the rest for bits n' pieces of non-productive stuff.

But then I always come back to this: what't the difference? We don't know what this handyman company charges, so unless it's completly orbital like $60/manhour, and we don't know if they're charging for exactly (total time or site-time), what the difference?

Say a handyman charges $40 an hour and charges 5 hours to do a list; the HO thinks it could be done in 3 (they all do), so at most the difference is $80. So what? is that a crime?

The point is there are more productive things to be concerned about than $80 - and many of them have already been brought up. If the handyman has gone to the trouble of discussing the various options and pitfalls of the job list, then that $80 is worth it, no?

Gotta get your priorities right and pick your battles; quit nickel-and-diming people to death.
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Old 10-01-2010, 07:50 AM   #13
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Handymen: How long should these tasks take to finish?


Yup. I'd charge a day's work for that, 5-6 hours of actual work and the rest for bits n' pieces of non-productive stuff.

But then I always come back to this: what't the difference? We don't know what this handyman company charges, so unless it's completly orbital like $60/manhour, and we don't know if they're charging for exactly (total time or site-time), what the difference?

Say a handyman charges $40 an hour and charges 5 hours to do a list; the HO thinks it could be done in 3 (they all do), so at most the difference is $80. So what? is that a crime?

The point is there are more productive things to be concerned about than $80 - and many of them have already been brought up. If the handyman has gone to the trouble of discussing the various options and pitfalls of the job list, then that $80 is worth it, no?

Gotta get your priorities right and pick your battles; quit nickel-and-diming people to death.
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Old 10-01-2010, 09:39 AM   #14
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Handymen: How long should these tasks take to finish?


I dont know how it is where you live, but here Handymen charge between $80 and $150 per hour. This service is specifically $110 per hour. Secondly I had other quotes for it at less per hour, but they would have to contract the electrical portion of it out which would extend the time therefore making it more expensive.

Since your telling me to quit being concerned about $80, how bout you send that to me and I will add it to the budget? I know what it takes to do the job, no nickel and diming here. Responses are welcome without getting sassy about it... Sheesh.
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Old 10-01-2010, 10:37 AM   #15
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Even with my bad back I would decide that hiring it done is just to much trouble after all you're going through. I would just take my time and do it myself. It would be done the correct way.

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