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Old 07-19-2011, 07:15 AM   #1
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Another daddy's girl


Hello all!

I'm another lucky woman whose dad could fix anything! I was his little shadow, handing him tools and riding to the hardware store. That's probably why I never learned to deal with 'repair men'...how to find good ones, how to tell if the price was reasonable etc.

Finally, when a so called plumber told me I needed to replace the faucet in my kitchen at a cost of almost $400, without even touching it or asking what kind of replacement I wanted, I decided I needed to find another way! I thanked him for his 'free estimate' then sent him on his way. (Turns out, the water company had been working on the lines and there was silt in the little filter.)

I can't believe some of the stuff I've been tackling lately with the help of information and advice from sites like this on the internet. It's been an adventure and it's pretty rewarding when my projects are completed!

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Old 07-19-2011, 07:43 AM   #2
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Successfully completing a project really builds up confidence.

Logic and common sense are the two best tools in the tool box.

Welcome and join right in---Mike----

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Old 07-19-2011, 05:24 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by CassLemon View Post
Congradulations! Its crazy the amount people charge for something so small. Like replacing a faucet.

Let's not forget, there is a difference between DIY and a professional tradesman.

A professional has expenses and overhead that a DIY jobber does not.

An example and very real scenario is a guy who runs an S-Corp, who carries business liability insurance, has one or more company vehicles with full coverage insurance and a rider to cover several thousand dollars worth of tools and supplies, carries workers compensation on himself and any employees, pays for a group health insurance plan, may or may not pay employees for a week or more vacation time per year, spends many hours a week looking at and bidding jobs, many more hours doing payroll and basic book-keeping, legal fees for keeping legally binding contracts in order, accounting costs and possibly financing costs to keep a positive cash-flow due to slow paying customers who think the local contractor just made 300 bucks for two hours under the sink.

It's not hard for a small business to incur many thousands of dollars in payroll taxes and insurances alone.

Workers Compensation in and of itself can easily run 15% of every dollar paid in payroll. Fuel in a service vehicle can amount to thousands of dollars a year as well. That 400 bucks to install a faucet is nowhere near all money in the bank.

I'm not bashing the DIY crowd, but I think a little consideration should be given to the guys who feed their families day in and day out by literally handling other peoples poo.
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Old 07-19-2011, 05:26 PM   #4
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BTW ladies, welcome to the forum.

Advice and information here is free.
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Old 07-19-2011, 05:38 PM   #5
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$400 hundred to replace a good faucet without even looking for a problem. i hear these stories from women all of the time.
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Old 07-19-2011, 05:47 PM   #6
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$400 hundred to replace a good faucet without even looking for a problem. i hear these stories from women all of the time.
When someone calls me and says "My faucet is broken, how much is a new one?" Well........
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Old 07-19-2011, 05:47 PM   #7
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$400 hundred to replace a good faucet without even looking for a problem. i hear these stories from women all of the time.
I hear that from men more often!
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Old 07-19-2011, 06:05 PM   #8
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I hear that from men more often!
what kind of bar are you hanging out in
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Old 07-19-2011, 07:04 PM   #9
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Don't worry loneframer, I have a lot of respect for good tradesmen. I went through a renovation about 10 years ago. It was after the divorce so I was on my own at that point, but I had a fabulous contractor. He priced out all parts, labor rates, hours, admin %'s etc for the work he and his crew did as well as the subs that he hired (which he appropriately added his % to for managing them etc.). I'll still call him when I have something big, or important to get done, but he's in high demand so I don't bother him with the small stuff.

The guy who came out to look at the faucet honestly ONLY LOOKED AT IT!! I knew enough from picking out fixtures during the renovation to know that depending on what it was replaced with, the OTC cost could easily vary by $150 or more...and the one installed (in a mother in law apt downstairs) was a $50 cheapy. If he had even tried to look like he was giving me an honest estimate I would have been happy to have him do it.

For the most part though, I now try to do the small stuff that I can or at least trouble shoot what I can so that when I call the pros in I have an idea of what the problem is.

The renovation took almost 9 months to finish. The house had been vacant for 5 years and needed a new roof, exterior paint, all new electrical and mostly new plumbing. The fact both my contractor and I got through it, with all the little surprises we found, without going into bankruptcy and still on very good speaking terms is something I will always be proud of. He gave me good estimates, good information as we went along and I made sure he got paid on time.

So, here's to good tradesmen!!
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Old 07-19-2011, 07:24 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Nola_Gal View Post
Don't worry loneframer, I have a lot of respect for good tradesmen. I went through a renovation about 10 years ago. It was after the divorce so I was on my own at that point, but I had a fabulous contractor. He priced out all parts, labor rates, hours, admin %'s etc for the work he and his crew did as well as the subs that he hired (which he appropriately added his % to for managing them etc.). I'll still call him when I have something big, or important to get done, but he's in high demand so I don't bother him with the small stuff.

The guy who came out to look at the faucet honestly ONLY LOOKED AT IT!! I knew enough from picking out fixtures during the renovation to know that depending on what it was replaced with, the OTC cost could easily vary by $150 or more...and the one installed (in a mother in law apt downstairs) was a $50 cheapy. If he had even tried to look like he was giving me an honest estimate I would have been happy to have him do it.

For the most part though, I now try to do the small stuff that I can or at least trouble shoot what I can so that when I call the pros in I have an idea of what the problem is.

The renovation took almost 9 months to finish. The house had been vacant for 5 years and needed a new roof, exterior paint, all new electrical and mostly new plumbing. The fact both my contractor and I got through it, with all the little surprises we found, without going into bankruptcy and still on very good speaking terms is something I will always be proud of. He gave me good estimates, good information as we went along and I made sure he got paid on time.

So, here's to good tradesmen!!
Atta girl!

Sorry about the rant. These economic times take their toll on even the mildest of the mild guys.

Anywho, I agree with you in that a reasonable estimate requires a peek under the hood, so to speak. Without knowing what's under there, he easily could have been under-estimating the job.
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Old 07-21-2011, 10:50 PM   #11
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Welcome to the Site !
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Old 07-22-2011, 12:45 AM   #12
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thanks everyone for the welcome! Loneranger, don't worry about the rant, I know it must be frustrating when people balk at the prices. It's not nearly as easy as you guys sometimes make it look!

Unfortunately, I think when we consumers are looking to get small jobs done (silt in the filter), it's hard to sort the wheat from the chafe...you never know if you're getting someone who is invested in doing good work or someone who left his last job thinking his boss was making a killing without knowing what's all involved and how to price jobs...Fortunately, those sorts don't usually get passed the vetting one would do when planning on a major repair or installation.

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