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 03-24-2013, 09:02 AM   #31
Cruising into the sunset
 
JulieMor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Chicago area
Posts: 473
Rewards Points: 0
Share |
Default

What's funny about the Homeowners' naivete?


My computer was acting up so I called an IT pro and asked for a ballpark figure what it would cost to fix my computer. He told me his hourly rate, to which I balked, and then said he'd have to look inside my computer to find out what's wrong before he had any idea how much it will cost to fix it. I told him I'd fix it myself.

I needed some legal work done so I called a lawyer and asked for a ballpark figure what it would cost. She said she'd need to know more details and that I could set up a consultation with her and she could give me a ballpark figure after that. The consultation fee was $300. I told her I'd take care of it myself.

I wasn't feeling too good so I called my doctor and asked him for a ballpark figure what it would cost to make me feel better. He told me to make an appointment and if needed he would have to run some tests and told me the cost of the office visit and some test costs. I told him I'll just let my body heal itself.

My computer is still acting up. I got a raw deal in court. And I'm feeling worse everyday. But I didn't fall for those hacks who were only trying to make a buck off me!

JulieMor is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to JulieMor For This Useful Post:
beenthere (03-24-2013), halfamp (03-24-2013), jbfan (03-26-2013), oh'mike (03-25-2013), TheEplumber (03-24-2013)
Old 03-24-2013, 09:04 AM   #32
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 66
Rewards Points: 0
Default

What's funny about the Homeowners' naivete?


for the closet, it would be very reasonable to pay the guy installing $40 an hour. So find a guy to do that off the books, on the side, cash, or do it for yourself. You have to remember, there are other moving parts to running a business then what you see happening in your home, and they need to be funded. There are bills to pay, taxes to pay, unseen time. If my job were as easy as saying "K, materials cost this much, times $35 per hour I want to make, price is this", life would be much, much easier. That time you see the contractor at your home, getting his hands dirty, is only half the battle of running business.
asinsulation is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to asinsulation For This Useful Post:
Sean'o ATHS (03-25-2013)
Old 03-25-2013, 08:29 PM   #33
Concrete & Masonry
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 2,720
Rewards Points: 0
Default

What's funny about the Homeowners' naivete?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorado View Post
In the forum post that I linked to, pros are saying building a closet is a handyman's job and not worth their time. I see now that people are saying $40/hr is in the handyman range. That seems high for a handyman, but I guess that's the price and that's who to go to for a job like this. If it takes 8 hours instead of my initial guess of four, that's $720 for the total cost to a home owner to get a closet built (by my estimation). A "real" contractor would give a $2000 estimate based on the posts in the other forum. That's a crazy difference for construction of a simple closet and I wouldn't want to be surprised with a bill that's more than double what I estimated (even with twice the hours I originally figured!). If the "real" contractor (I don't really know the difference between a handyman and whatever those people on the other forum consider themselves...I think both are contractors) is charging that much, he's either charging more than $100/hr or he's charging $100/hr and multiplying the cost of supplies by something. I read on this forum that some contractors double the cost of materials. I can see charging for gas but doubling the price of materials is deceptive. If you look at the net income per hour of someone who does that, it would be higher than most home owners would consider fair, and probably more than $100/hr in some cases. I'd like to have an idea of the costs ahead of time so I'd know to head for the handymen.
I read that entire thread (notice it's 10 years old too) and I have no idea where you're coming up with 4-8 hours to do the job?? It seems most, if not all, of the experienced contractors estimated 16-18 hours for a skilled tradesman to complete the job. Do you think the handyman could do a job on par with the skilled tradesman in half the time? There's a reason the skilled guys charge more, their generally far more efficient.
jomama45 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2013, 10:27 PM   #34
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: New York City
Posts: 477
Rewards Points: 0
Default

What's funny about the Homeowners' naivete?


The 4 hours didn't come from that thread, but I remember at least one person saying it could be done in a day. I just tried to picture how long it would take while looking at my closet. I can't picture more than 8 hours, but I'm not very experienced at framing or mudding. I was thinking something like:

One side of the closet: measure and cut two 2 studs and 2 tracks (10 minutes), hammer plates to floor and ceiling (10 minutes), hammer studs (10 minutes), total: 30 minutes

Opposite side of closet: same as above (30 minutes)

Back of closet: multiply by 3 (1 hr 30 min)

Cut and install two shelves: 30 minutes

Install hardware to ceiling and floor for door: 30 minutes

So far the total is 3-1/2 hours. Trim, hanging doors, and hanging drywall would bring it to between 4 and 4-1/2 hours. Mudding is hard to say because I've never done it, but a total of over 8 hours is hard to believe unless it's man hours that include an assistant who stands around half the time, or travel and setup time for a second trip.
Dorado is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2013, 04:36 AM   #35
An old Tradesmen
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: PA
Posts: 25,080
Rewards Points: 54
Default

What's funny about the Homeowners' naivete?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorado View Post
The 4 hours didn't come from that thread, but I remember at least one person saying it could be done in a day. I just tried to picture how long it would take while looking at my closet. I can't picture more than 8 hours, but I'm not very experienced at framing or mudding. I was thinking something like:

One side of the closet: measure and cut two 2 studs and 2 tracks (10 minutes), hammer plates to floor and ceiling (10 minutes), hammer studs (10 minutes), total: 30 minutes

Opposite side of closet: same as above (30 minutes)

Back of closet: multiply by 3 (1 hr 30 min)

Cut and install two shelves: 30 minutes

Install hardware to ceiling and floor for door: 30 minutes

So far the total is 3-1/2 hours. Trim, hanging doors, and hanging drywall would bring it to between 4 and 4-1/2 hours. Mudding is hard to say because I've never done it, but a total of over 8 hours is hard to believe unless it's man hours that include an assistant who stands around half the time, or travel and setup time for a second trip.
You should build a 3 sided close in your house, and see how long it takes you. Track everything. how long it takes you to drive to Lowes or HD. How long your in one of them. How long it takes you to walk in and out of your house(your not actually gonna cut those 2X4's in your house are ya?).

Do the actual work yourself, and see how long it takes. That way you won't be guessing so much.
__________________
When posting in certain forums, knowing your location will help others give better feedback/advice/solutions to your questions.
beenthere is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2013, 05:56 AM   #36
Lord of Slums
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Detroit Mi
Posts: 737
Rewards Points: 0
Default

What's funny about the Homeowners' naivete?


Nothing burns me up than a homeowner trying to tell me how long something is going to take me. They have this cartoon like understanding of what is involved. It is like that in many trades across the board. Or they think, hey here is 50 dollars it is only going to take you and your 40 foot ladder like ten minutes tops to fix this. AS Mama mentioned an experienced contractor is much more efficient than some handyman. I generally pay around 50 dollars an hour here in depressed Detroit for a legitimate handyman. Key word being legitimate.
mj12 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2013, 08:23 AM   #37
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 309
Rewards Points: 0
Default

What's funny about the Homeowners' naivete?


The closet mudding takes someone like me a long time. It's basically a tiny room, except it has the same number of edges and corners as a 40x40 room, and you get to work in a tiny confined space making it even harder.
oldhouseguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2013, 08:29 AM   #38
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: New York City
Posts: 477
Rewards Points: 0
Default

What's funny about the Homeowners' naivete?


It would take me a week. All I could do is guess about how long it would take a pro. I'm on my second day of just trying to move my desk.
Dorado is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2013, 09:02 AM   #39
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Chicago suburbs
Posts: 214
Rewards Points: 0
Default

What's funny about the Homeowners' naivete?


Quote:
Originally Posted by mj12 View Post
Nothing burns me up than a homeowner trying to tell me how long something is going to take me. They have this cartoon like understanding of what is involved.
Sometimes the HO expectation is not cartoon-like. Here's an example.

We had a thin crack on our foundation wall along a preformed fault line. I didn't want to deal w it so we called a company that looked reputable online and had local presence. They couldn't quote me on the phone (no surprise) so fine have them out. He gives my wife a quote. $500. (!)

Couple days later he calls to ask if he can do the work. I said no you're charging too much. He pressed for what I would pay... citing it was structural (scare tactics) and just layin on the schmooze. I said ok, $200. He said nobody would do it for that price and -- got annoyed! Presumably cuz I had an idea what he should make. I told him no thank you then.

Moving on. Got the mtls at Menards for $60. Paste, 2-part poly, tubes. Took me all of an hour to fix, split in two 30-min sessions by the paste dry time. All up, if you really stretch, you could say it was two hours of time invested to do this, counting the drive time for the 2nd trip to make up that 2nd hour.

So net? I offered him $200-$60=$140. That's $70/hour. And he said no! (his call). He wanted $500-$60=$440. $220/hour. Was I "wrong" to basically assert that I didn't feel right paying $220 /hour? He did get annoyed at the thought of me suggesting that price. Even tho he asked! I said "no" plainly, first.

Anyways, it took me easily 6 hours of time between the actual work plus reading and researching for hours. But it was of course time well spent. Point is, I did not have a cartoon-like idea of what to pay him. I had a ballpark in mind that this was a couple hours work, no more. A ballpark that turned out to be right on. I made a lucrative offer of $70/hour to him.

I think he simply expected the gruff exterior and scare tactics to push a certain % of ppl to just buy in and say "fine do it" cuz they don't want to deal w it further or be intimidated calling yet another company out. Heck if you get even a 20% hit rate at $220/hr you're raking in the dough.

People SHOULD have a ballpark in mind before getting quotes. People should form an idea of what they expect to pay. Otherwise you can have absolutely ridiculous charges like this and end up just saying ok.

If I'm gonna buy a pair of jeans, I might set a ballpark of $15-$40. If I go to a store and see they're $150 that day, I'm going to pass because that is outside of my almost 3:1 (very wide) range. I would not just go to the store and pay whatever someone says. For anything.

Homeowners should always always always research to get an understanding and form an opinion. First. Then if quotes come back a lot higher, figure out why or find another way.
SquishyBall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2013, 09:17 AM   #40
custom user
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Pacific NW
Posts: 239
Rewards Points: 0
Default

What's funny about the Homeowners' naivete?


Quote:
Originally Posted by SquishyBall View Post
Sometimes the HO expectation is not cartoon-like. Here's an example.

We had a thin crack on our foundation wall along a preformed fault line. I didn't want to deal w it so we called a company that looked reputable online and had local presence. They couldn't quote me on the phone (no surprise) so fine have them out. He gives my wife a quote. $500. (!)
Is that what he was going to do? II don't know what a preformed fault line is but the foundation cracked for a reason and you made it look cosmetically better but the crack is still there. Maybe he was going to dig into it and fill it? You left that part out so it's hard to say if he was unreasonable. It does sound reasonable to need to see it to give a quote since many people tend to understate their end and expect you to hold to the estimate.
JasperST is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2013, 09:37 AM   #41
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Chicago suburbs
Posts: 214
Rewards Points: 0
Default

What's funny about the Homeowners' naivete?


Quote:
Originally Posted by JasperST View Post
I don't know what a preformed fault line is
When our foundation was poured, it had deliberate indentations every 8' or so. (like a sidewalk) This way if a crack is going to form, it will crack straight, and not take a meandering path. This method seems to be liked because it controls cracks but disliked because it almost ensures that it will crack.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JasperST View Post
But the foundation cracked for a reason
Of course. But there was no settling, out of level, or lateral displacement so it is not structural. It is purely a moisture blocking thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JasperST View Post
and you made it look cosmetically better but the crack is still there.
It didn't really affect the cosmetics. It was behind a wall, and will once again be behind a wall. So cosmetics were irrelevant. The goal was just preventative maintenance to keep moisture and bugs from using that as a path.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JasperST View Post
Maybe he was going to dig into it and fill it?
He was going to injection fill it with a 2-part poly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JasperST View Post
It does sound reasonable to need to see it to give a quote since many people tend to understate their end and expect you to hold to the estimate.
Understood. I didn't fault them for this. Perfectly reasonable to want to see it.
SquishyBall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2013, 10:13 AM   #42
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Pacific North west
Posts: 1,248
Rewards Points: 8
Default

What's funny about the Homeowners' naivete?


Quote:
Originally Posted by redman88 View Post
i feel a ballpark estimate should be free. a detailed estimate with a line by line brake down, and more time spent on it should have a reasonable cost. you say you have X amount of years doing this job you should be able to say $to$$$ based on the what you have said about the project, but if you want a detailed estimate, i will need to come and see, and that will cost, but it will be more detailed. That's just how i feel about this whole issue. And when i start making calls for estimates i hope i can convey this to the people i talk to, and if they understand and agree i think it will point out who is a better contractor.
I will tell you this I never charge for a estimate. why? because it is just that. break open a wall and find that it has been a all you can eat buffet for termites and stuff then the cost change. I always give a fair price and if I get the work or not it is no big deal to me. I live by the three s's Some will Some won't So what.
Nailbags is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2013, 03:30 PM   #43
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 66
Rewards Points: 0
Default

What's funny about the Homeowners' naivete?


most homeowners will never understand unless they are on the other side of the fence. Likewise, most contractors are not going to understand the pricing of another contractor. I do have my hourly rate that is priced into all my projects, but also there are fixed bills that need to happen, and the $ amount varies drastically from company to company, and even year to year for each of those companies. I always use this formula.

I bank on doing 150 jobs throughout the year. I NEED to hit this goal, minimum, to cover all costs of my overhead. I price out my work comp, utilities, gen lia, medical, auto for the course of the year. I divide by 150 and add that number to my hourly rate. Now, my insurance costs the same to carry whether your job is $200 or $20,000, so that number applies to EVERYBODY, no matter the circumstances.

Now, maybe that's not fair to the customers after I hit my 150 job benchmark, but guess what, if I do 225 jobs that year, my insurances are going UP. So its simply paying the premium that is going to increase.

Now, take that $200 bucks, minus $60 on material, minus his overhead(which he may have a very different system then myself, but its still there), minus the fuel, and pay the taxes on the income. He makes FAR less then $70 an hour that you are assuming. Now, you are in Chicago. It gets extremely cold, then warms up, everything contracts and expands, and he's back out again doing a patch on the job. Well, now he would certainly be losing money on the job.

My opinion, he's not a rip-off. He is simply a BUSINESS man, which you need to be to have any success contracting, and protecting his own investment. If I dropped a price on a customer and they offered me less then 50%, I would get annoyed too. As I said before, having your hands dirty is only half a contractors battle, and you need to respect the other half of it as well, or go on craigslist and find the other guy to do the job.
asinsulation is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2013, 07:55 PM   #44
Newbie
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 4
Rewards Points: 0
Question

What's funny about the Homeowners' naivete?


First of all, to those few of you who described my posting and then not returning for a few days as "pooping on your living room floor" , etc., and as very rude behavior, I'm guessing you are self-employed.

I'm not. I work 45 hours a week, and commute for 8, and I have 3 little dogs that have to be walked very late at night...and then I am in school, and then there's the aforementioned "money pit" to clean and prepare for the Good-Guy (I pray) electricians coming next week.

You also sound unnecessarily hostile, Julie and one other. Just a little. Did I not present a balanced view, meant to help both sides comprehend the other's feelings and perspective? I think so. I even ran it by a 3rd party before posting, to make sure.

I can give another example from medical work, to show I understand the "variables" aspect:

A guy needs a bandage on his hip changed. It's removal of old dressing, irrigation, application of fresh medicine, and cover again. Pretty straightforward, right?

But maybe he is in bed, weighs 600 lbs (oh yes, they certainly do sometimes), can't turn himself or hold himself over where you can get to the wound, and his bed is soggy from sweat or Lord knows what, and he has a "Super Bug" infection in the wound that requires Haz-Mat gear before going in and touching him...and then it's going to hurt, deep as it turns out to be, once uncovered, so you know he needs a pain shot first..

...Of course, that means wasted lost time, waiting for it to take effect....and the more you do for him, the more hours of write-up you do immediately afterward, to legally show it was done. Of course, while you're there, his wife will want you to "take a quick look" at some other problem he (or she!) has, and he needs to use the urinal, so...etc, etc. It's 15 minutes--or 4 hours...quick and simple--or a grueling mess that leaves you needing a shower, or at least a clothing change, yourself, and gritting your teeth over the add-ons, some of which do not even fall under your practice laws.

Not to mention your own neighbors and relatives who are always asking for free advice, and just as often then ignoring it.

Okay, Julie, and others who misunderstood?

I could mention that, no, I'm "just" a nurse, and as such, unlike the doctor, I can't raise my hourly fee to cover the 600-lb surprise. What I see is what I get. I'm guessing you (good-hearted) contractors find that shocking , and will now make sure when you have a professional nurse care for you she or he drops by for a preview first and then bills you accordingly. Yes? Or at least think about it at such moments.

As for the handmade car--yup, totally get it...but the car was used as an example, because it IS possible to say, "Well, a bandage isn't back surgery, so if the patient can walk by himself, is clean and dry, and able to expose the wound for me, has no major infection, will let me walk away when I've finished that expected task, and no one else in the house wants free medical advice, I can say it will run you about x to y..understanding that any surprises (named or not named) mean all bets may be off."

So, 160 ft of 4 foot picket fence, low-end aluminum, standard spacing on the pickets, 2 3-foot gates with standard latch, flat soft ground, warm Spring day, city lot, "U-shaped" stretch, no cutting into the 6 or 8 ft manufactured lengths, all permits already paid and posted...underground utilities marked..Perhaps such a thing permits a "ballpark"?

The understanding homeowners could be told, "If you can answer all these things ACCURATELY, we can tell you if you have a prayer of affording it." Those like me would "get it". (One did that for me today, and all I could think was OMG, that's over $43.00 a foot! Saved us both some time...will be doing it myself, or do without.)

As for rip-offs, I have had a licensed contractor take me for a very expensive ride. He allegedly hired a Master Plumber to do work on my home, at a reduced rate for "volume discount"...and also because he admitted his crew was hit very hard by the housing-development crash, and "really needed" the work. I believed him. I gave him half up front on an amount that seemed scarily huge to me....only to have him take the money and run. The he "Master plumber" dropped by the next day, only to tell me the contractor knew such a job required a backhoe, and a prior agreement from the plumber, who was an independent subcontractor, and had not been asked beforehand. He said it had happened before. But that didn't stop him from working with this guy.

Did I check the BBB? A couple of references? Was it a contract on letterhead paper? Was he licensed? Yes, yes, and yes. Did it clean me out of a few grand I couldn't afford in the first place? Damage my home? Did I hear later (from the "no ballpark" checks I did before, and had to hire anyway later), that I should have known the job would cost a few MORE grand ordinarily, and that a low-ball offer was a red flag? Did that Master Plumber shake his head and say, "4 or 5 grand at least" (the "post-mortem ballpark, I call it now)?

Yes, yes, and yes. and yes. Oh, I've learned plenty. Some contractors might be thinking I got the proper financial spanking for trying to get it at half-price. Actually, no...it was a must-do repair while I was in a very tight spot, and this was a licensed relative of a coworker.

I've also had a (diabetic) handyman leave halfway through an outdoor job when it started to snow (with my blessing),and got paid over half for the day, but never come back to finish nor contact me again. His wife called for free medical advice a month later, from his bedside, because he'd just then had a heart attack!

Naturally she promised that when he was well she'd make sure he finished the job, and claimed he had "a little problem these days with his memory" before. LOL. But did he ask for some diabetic advice while he worked? Yup. It's not free expertise--it's just information from someone who knows, right?

I had another tell me his hourly rate for less than a full day's work was higher, because it is hard to find a matching half-day, plus with the commute it's costlier for him. And 4 hours is the minimum. Okay, I can see that. But when he came up with an hourly figure that made the half-day, including a 2-mile to trip to Lowe's, more expensive than a full day would have been...well. No, I'm not kidding.

Not to mention Home Health nurses commute from visit to visit all day, and they get gas mileage only.

And then there's the self-employed guy--but who had professional tools and could provide references-- who let me know he would charge 50.00 for every trip to the store, and NO, under no circumstances "do I need a helper" to be a go-fer, but NO, he would not look in ANY detail at the work in advance, so he could come prepared to make far fewer surprise trips to the store.

I could go on and on...most of these guys were small-time self-employed, semi-retired, etc., but with licensed experience...some who could have done quite well but lacked insurance, etc. Most I did not hire, of course, after some learning. That's sad for the honest ones among them, as it could have been a win-win for tradesman and homeowner.

The sides such as DIYorNot seem to underestimate my area's cost for most professional work considerably, even though it asks for my zip code. Or, is it just me, a single woman, who gets a higher price? Surely not. But again, no way to check.

So, now I get 3-4 written estimates from a star performer on Angie's list, at equally premium rates, of course...and no. they NEVER, EVER (so far, I grant you, it could still happen) come in one cent under budget--or at budget. EVER. So far.

One day one will, and I will marry him or her.

I try to be a good customer: I provide accurate details, I get up on 3 hours sleep at their convenience, not mine...I stay out well out of their way, pay up promptly, am flexible as to start and finish dates, allow them to squeeze my smaller job in when they have a break between bigger jobs (without a discount).

I offer water and soda, restroom and wash-ups, give them a good reference on web sites, don't complain about the noise or mess or additional time and steps to finish...and add a $$ thank you for a reasonably good job, when custom allows.

Am I being too nice? I have had people say, "Never let them use your bathroom; let them drive to the gas station; no wonder they lack respect" (!) I find that attitude disgusting...but guess which of us has had fewer rip-offs? Who gets yes, ma'am, no ma'am treatment? Not me.

It feels a lot, actually, like seeing a very highly regarded doctor--you do the same at-his-convenience scheduling, and even bend over backwards to keep him or her happy, forgetting sometimes who's the paying customer there, too. Interestingly, it's also how I've been advised to treat an auto-shop owner who specializes in older-car repair.

What do you suppose these things have in common, that is different from the nurse? It's a puzzle, no?
HowUthink is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2013, 07:58 PM   #45
Newbie
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 4
Rewards Points: 0
Default

What's funny about the Homeowners' naivete?


Part 2 of my reply (also quite long-winded)
That said about small-scale single contractors vs big-name A-list ones, there are bad big ones and fine small ones, too, of course. Very much so!
When a top-rated As List contractor came to look at a big job a few years back, and I expressed shock at the cost (making clear I did not think it was improper or totally beyond my means, although I admitted it would be a serious stretch), he mentioned he was in the business of buying houses in distress and flipping them, and that maybe it would be best for me to sell as his mother had. He also told me my desire to preserve the historic charm of my "money pit" was "not worth it" in my price range, so I should not bother. He said this very firmly, as though I had asked.

Maybe he meant well, and didn't realize how it sounded...but, he should have!...I hired another firm for a slightly higher price.

I wonder if he described my reaction as "wanting it for half price" though I never said any such thing? Actually, it was more the way you feel when you hear, "Sorry, ma'am...it's cancer, and you need chemo NOW."

So, again, it's both sides. I'm sure the house-flipper assumed I'd never call again, and was speaking out of pity...maybe meant well vs fishing to see if I would sell...but it was inappropriate, and embarrassing. I don't say anything now, even when they suggest an arm and a leg. I ask why, and then just decide. Sometimes the difference is HUGE among equally respectable companies doing on-site firm estimates and I'd like to know why...but again..essentially sealed bids.

I know the main site's a forum for coffee/beer chat among contractors, and letting off steam on the contractor side...no problem. I have a sense of humor, and there are enough parallels with nursing that I can totally empathize and laugh with them. And yes, medical break-room chats can get kinda salty and cynical, too.

I felt moved to comment only because so many posts over there discussed, "What should I charge?" and the results were enlightening. Many seemed to be practical and fair-minded calculations from experience, but some essentially said, "Whatever the market will bear! The cost is what you want to earn for the job, divided by square feet, hours in a day, whatever" (yuk, yuk).

And that was true even when the questioner admitted he had NO EXPERIENCE doing the work, but had also not TOLD the customer!

I guess that means if I'm having a bad day, and feel I need more per hour, or the boat payment's due, even the guy who can move himself and has no "Super Bug" will be paying more for that dressing change. Even if I've never changed a bandage.

And then when I got redirected here, there was this major disclaimer at the top of the first page saying (to paraphrase) we WILL NOT be asking for ball park estimates here! We KNOW that's a no-no! and we will be ejected...etc.

(Why not, if we are asking only each other, and we know no contractor will answer?) It had that toadying-up or religious sound to it. A lot like you see on "ask the doctor" forums, where liability is part, but not all, of the reason for the warning. Perhaps I misunderstood the mood, I thought, so I posted what I hoped was a balanced commentary.

In my view, you've got a few selfish pigs and idiots on both sides, and (much more common) honest ignorance on both sides...

Ignorance means including the apparent struggle (or lack of it) of some contractors to put themselves in the shoes of the homeowner who 100% DOES wants to do right, and be as fair and courteous toward the contractor as he wants be treated himself. (But also be reasonably cautious, spend wisely, and strike a good deal, as you would in most other professional-service-for-hire or large-purchase situations.)

He may jump the gun in labeling us due to the nutcase or abusive homeowners, just as he gets labeled, because those creeps such as I once hired are out there. Of course.

That's what I meant, and some of the background.

I do wonder, and always will: If someone who also does dirty, scary, dangerous, hard labor requiring physical stamina, extreme self-control, high expertise, and constant vigilance at all hours of the day or night, using their own hands and (sometimes dangerous) tools, at risk of physical injury, infection, sometimes getting shot at, kicked, or punched, while putting up with the everyday-type petty abusive customer behavior (on the grounds that they're sick and supposedly "not themselves") and sometimes much disrespect...someone with at least an undergraduate college degree (costing about $25-80,000, with annual upkeep, too) earns far less than 1/3 of what some contractors do....

Why is that? And yes, I am describing a Registered Nurse with a 3-7 year degree. I have wondered many times whether I should switch careers, so I could pay off my college loans before my body gives out.

You hear, "Well, let's see YOU get into a sewer with a heavy and dangerous power auger!" .

True, and yet: When's the last time you and 1 or 2 other persons, each under 120 lbs., moved a 600-lb naked, combative person by yourselves, off the floor where he tried to get out of bed, alone, for no good reason...out of a 3-foot wide pool of unspeakable (sewer) filth,
so he could be cleaned and moved to safety--even though the need for quick rescue action meant you couldn't put on most of your "Haz-Mat" type protective gear beforehand?

Of course, you have to keep all of his serious medical issues in mind, because moving him the wrong way, or upsetting him could cause harm only an expert would know might happen! His heart might stop, for example, though he can still curse and complain.

I hope these added observations don't sting the contractors and DIYers who were kind in their comments. I do believe even those blowing off steam, or perhaps a but too defensive are probably just that--Good Guys blowing off steam or a bit too defensive.

HowUthink is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to HowUthink For This Useful Post:
SquishyBall (03-28-2013)
Reply

Tags
ballpark price, contractor cost, dmub homeowners, estimates


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
Water tastes bad and looks funny bill74 Plumbing 11 08-09-2012 08:47 AM
Totally funny pics in an email - how to share here?? m1951mm Site Feedback and Suggestions 5 08-27-2011 06:58 AM
Homeowners And Safety. Roofmaster417 Roofing/Siding 0 05-03-2011 11:41 PM
Building Dept says homeowners can't do their own electric. WHAT??! skellies Electrical 17 01-30-2010 11:37 AM




Top of Page | View New Posts

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