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Old 05-21-2014, 10:28 PM   #1
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How common is it for a contractor to ask for more money at the end of a job?


Neighbor had a deck built by the neighborhood handyman guy. He was working alone, took him about 3 weeks. I know he hit an underground drain pipe, so that took some extra time. I believe the initial labor quote was $2,000 (which seems pretty cheap to me). About the time the deck was wrapping up, he said it took longer than he planned and ran into some things, and wanted another $3K. I think they said they were going to split the difference with him, but I haven't had a chance to talk to them yet to get the rest of the story.

What is the right way to handle this, on both sides? Should the contractor let the homeowner know at the point when he 'runs out of hours for the money' or what?

Just took me by surprise. Wondered how common that was.

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Old 05-21-2014, 10:54 PM   #2
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How common is it for a contractor to ask for more money at the end of a job?


Was it a fixed price agreement or T and M.????

What was the agreement/contract... written or oral.,,,doesn't matter.

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Old 05-21-2014, 10:55 PM   #3
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How common is it for a contractor to ask for more money at the end of a job?


What is T&M? I'll have to ask about that and the agreement.
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Old 05-21-2014, 10:55 PM   #4
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How common is it for a contractor to ask for more money at the end of a job?


This is why a contract is always a good idea. This sort of situation should be covered by the contract so that the client knows what to expect.
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Old 05-21-2014, 10:57 PM   #5
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How common is it for a contractor to ask for more money at the end of a job?


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What is T&M? I'll have to ask about that and the agreement.
Time and Materials, i.e. the handyman charges for the purchase cost of the materials necessary to complete the job (usually with a markup), plus an hourly rate.
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Old 05-21-2014, 11:08 PM   #6
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How common is it for a contractor to ask for more money at the end of a job?


Oh. The neighbor said that he purchased the materials. I assume they were based on what he was told to order...this guy wouldn't know what to order.
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Old 05-21-2014, 11:08 PM   #7
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How common is it for a contractor to ask for more money at the end of a job?


So...are you saying the "handyman" is a numb-nuts and missed it by 150%? Depending on what he may have run into a few dollars more than the original quote could be in order, but, a quote is a quote. Were there a lot of changes (during the job) on the part of the owner?

Decks are usually fairly straight-forward jobs. You can see the open work area, you can easily recognize and list the material needs, you can see what exactly is to be done.

What else is there to know I wonder. Do we have all of the facts?
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Old 05-21-2014, 11:25 PM   #8
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How common is it for a contractor to ask for more money at the end of a job?


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this guy wouldn't know what to order.
How do you know how to build a deck if you don't know what parts you need to build a deck? No wonder it took him longer than he thought. I guess he had to try putting it together a few different ways before all the stuff fit together.
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Old 05-21-2014, 11:41 PM   #9
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How common is it for a contractor to ask for more money at the end of a job?


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So...are you saying the "handyman" is a numb-nuts and missed it by 150%? Depending on what he may have run into a few dollars more than the original quote could be in order, but, a quote is a quote. Were there a lot of changes (during the job) on the part of the owner?

Decks are usually fairly straight-forward jobs. You can see the open work area, you can easily recognize and list the material needs, you can see what exactly is to be done.

What else is there to know I wonder. Do we have all of the facts?
Well, I'm not in any position to call anyone a numbnuts. I will need to find out the rest of the facts to find out which person is the numbnuts. I don't believe there were any changes on the part of the owner. Everything was in the yard before the job began.

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How do you know how to build a deck if you don't know what parts you need to build a deck? No wonder it took him longer than he thought. I guess he had to try putting it together a few different ways before all the stuff fit together.
I meant to say the homeowner wouldn't know what to order. I believe the way it went down was that the homeowner was given a material list, ordered it, and had it delivered.

I was there helping him put together some Ikea patio furniture while the deck guy was finishing up, when I got a text that my daughter threw up everywhere...I'll have to get the rest of the story to find out I suppose.
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Old 05-21-2014, 11:57 PM   #10
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How common is it for a contractor to ask for more money at the end of a job?


It isn't unusual to have changes that result in cost escalation but an upstanding builder/contractor will STOP at the time a new need is recognized and apprise the owner of the necessary changes and costs thereof. To not do so and wait until a job is complete and then surprise the owner with a huge invoice for "extras" after the fact is kind of dirty pool.

Technically when a change that results in a cost increase is recognized a formal (or informal) "change-order" is written including additional costs and signed by both parties IF they are in agreement.

There is something wrong with a tradesman type guy that misses (even an estimate) by 150% when there are no significant changes or mid-job escalations to speak of.

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Old 05-22-2014, 09:53 AM   #11
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How common is it for a contractor to ask for more money at the end of a job?


Got a picture of this deck? It would be interesting to see why it would have cost so much.
Only time I've had to stop work and redo the price was the lady had worked on the deck design for over a year (no joke) she changed where she wanted the hot tub twice while were building the deck.
The hot tub was to be sitting on a concrete slab and we had already formed it up.
Had 1/2 the decking on and decided to change it to composite.
Wanted railings, decided to go with stairs instead, then changed again to seating.
Made her sign change orders with prices on each one but she refuse to pay, her excuse was her husband had bought her daughter a new car and spent the money.
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Old 05-22-2014, 09:56 AM   #12
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How common is it for a contractor to ask for more money at the end of a job?


Unless you are superman with x-ray vision, there may be hidden problems. As soon as the hidden pipe was found, there should have been a conference between the contractor and the project owner. Some exploratory work may have been needed to determine what the pipe may have done to the project. Could the pipe still be in use or not in use? Does the pipe need to be buried deeper, if so would a pump be needed? All this should have decided before the project continues. If the pipe impacted the time and material on the job, an increase in cost is legtitimate and the homeowner needs to pay up. But, both parties should have talked about the increased cost. What rate does the "handyman" charge. Who pays to have a real plumber look at the pipe and deterimine what needs to be done? Who pays the plumber for his time and knowledge?
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Old 05-22-2014, 10:57 AM   #13
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How common is it for a contractor to ask for more money at the end of a job?


Pipe was a drainage pipe from the gutters that heads out to a little water gathering area in the back of the property, I could have been more clear on that. So, no leakage or anything.


Here is the deck.






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Old 05-22-2014, 12:37 PM   #14
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How common is it for a contractor to ask for more money at the end of a job?


Asking for a little extra is pretty common but asking for more than double because you hit a few small issues? Tell him to go pound sand.
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Old 05-22-2014, 12:40 PM   #15
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How common is it for a contractor to ask for more money at the end of a job?


Quote:
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I meant to say the homeowner wouldn't know what to order.
You did say that. I was exhibiting poor reading comprehension skills.

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