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Old 03-15-2007, 10:43 PM   #1
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what to charge a friend

hey all, I hope that you can help me.
I need to know how much you think you would charge to do labor only on a 25 x 50 ranch with 4-12 pitch gable ends that needs new vinyl siding, 11 windows, 3 doors, and soffit and facia. (making the exterior maint. free) I have been looking all over to try to get an idea on labor for this job and can't seem to find anything. I am going to do this for a relative and If I know how much somethign like this would be full price, I can give him a deal. The materials have all been purchased, I just need a labor price. I'd really appreciate any help you all can give me.


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Old 03-16-2007, 05:13 AM   #2
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Don't do it. You'll regret it.

I'm not saying don't do the job...I'm saying don't give a deal. Why is it that friends and family expect a "better deal" than anyone else would get?

"Heyyyy...buddyyyyyy...we're friends right??..So you can do a little something with that price, right?...buddy"

I say "Well of course I can...since we're friends...and since I know, that you know that business is kinda slow right now...I know you'll understand when I raise the price...just a little, ya know...just to get me through 'til the spring rush.....'preciate it...BUDDY "

By their logic, you should give them a deal because you're friends. Well, by the same logic, they should be willing to pay you MORE for the same reason.

My "friends" policy is I either work for full price...or for free (and you help...and you wait until scheduling allows me time to do it). If you want to be at the front of the line...here's your contract, sign there and I'll be back tomorrow. I'll waive the deposit (maybe), but I have to charge you if you're taking away from paying work I could be doing.

"Family" policy is I work for free, and they wait. They all know this, and are fine with it.


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Old 03-16-2007, 07:11 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by jproffer View Post
"Family" policy is I work for free, and they wait. They all know this, and are fine with it.
I agree with this......That's the way to do a family Policy....
- Build Well -
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Old 03-16-2007, 08:11 AM   #4
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I'm just not willing to get into a big family fued over a few bucks.....or over a lot of bucks for that matter. Just not worth it. But like I said, in return...they have to wait until I have time to do it. When I do, they get the materials (or WE get the materials...with their money) and then WE do the work. Drinks and lunch are usually included in the deal...not expected, but nice.
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Old 03-16-2007, 08:18 AM   #5
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Dong work for friends and family often turns out badly
Either they think you are still ripping them off even when you've cut your price in half, or they won't actually pay you, or a ton of other combinations and in-betweens

It's possible it might work out, but the chances it will end badly are high

The best policy I have heard is to have another contractor to refer all F&F to, and they do the same

For me, most F&F projects aren't too big (mostly under a grand)
For those I'll generally do it at no charge, they buy the materials
But it will have to be at my convenience
Usually they insist on paying me something after it's done, and here's the thing:

I didn't expect any payment, so if they don't offer, I'm not pissed
If they do offer, and it's way low, I'm still not pissed
If they don't pay anything, they are happy (they're obviously that type)
If they pay what they felt was fair, or what they could afford, they are happy
I get anything then I'm happy...

If they bring up price before I start, I tell them it's just I need before, during, and after photos for my portfolio
And I do take lots of them and use them
So at least I walk away with those

If the project is more than I can afford to loose, and I can't hand it off, I'll have to give pretty close to full price
My overhead, ins, liability, etc. doesn't lower because it's a friend or family
I could shave a little off, but not a lot
Some F&F are fine with that, however, most are appalled

If you insist on giving them a discount price, and you have priced it out full price, then you know your production rate (man hours) for the job
If they are buying materials (and that makes me nervous, they always mess that up), then it's pretty simple

Man Hours X Discount Labor Rate = Discount Price

Hopefully you won't have any (knock on wood), but expect problems
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Old 03-16-2007, 08:43 AM   #6
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For family, it is most likely free, but they paid you back in some other form such as baby sitting your child for you two to get away for a weekend...etc...


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