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Old 11-13-2012, 01:33 PM   #1
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fair pricing


got a friend who is out of work. very good handy man. want to pay him to re mud and paint a closet and want to pay him a fair price. closet is about 6ft wide, 4 ft deep. live in the washington, dc area. any suggestions -

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Old 11-13-2012, 02:04 PM   #2
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Well, if you spend any time here at DIY chatroom you will come to find that asking prices for services rendered is impossible to answer. In fact, there is a "sticky" at the top letting everyone know. You are in DC so I would assume a handyman makes pretty decent money there. On the other hand, a handyman in my area of Appalachia is lucky to squeak out $10 - $12 an hour. If he is good at what he does, I would have to say paying anything less than $20 an hour is going to be a bit of an insult. I would just talk it over with HIM and come to an agreement that satisfies you both. Ask around to see what the going rate is and adjust your pricing from there. Remember, he probably is not insured should anything crazy happen like nicking some wiring or plumbing while nailing/drilling into a wall.

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Old 11-13-2012, 09:38 PM   #3
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Most legitimate folks around here would charge you about $75-$100 per hour plus materials. You can find day laborers standing outside Home Depot that will do it for $10 per hour plus materials, lunch and a ride.
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Old 11-14-2012, 04:10 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by spotco2 View Post
Most legitimate folks around here would charge you about $75-$100 per hour plus materials. You can find day laborers standing outside Home Depot that will do it for $10 per hour plus materials, lunch and a ride.

I want to move to where ever you are
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Old 11-14-2012, 06:37 AM   #5
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We are in a high priced area too. Gymshu is right----$20 hour or more---
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Old 11-14-2012, 07:47 AM   #6
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Funny story about hiring someone to do your painting for you.
Years ago my girlfriend asked me to paint a bedroom. I told her if she helped me move the furniture out of the room and help clean the walls I would paint it.
The room was only about 12 X 11 or less.
She refused to help me (it was her house)
Instead behind my back she hired her girlfriends husband to paint the room.
I knew she had already bought 2, gal. of paint.
When I came home from work there's some strange truck in the yard and someone I had never met before sitting in the room drinking my beer.
He said she had gone to get more paint
He had patch an old hole in the wall where a door knob had punched a hole by stuffing news paper in the hole and just used mud with no tape to cover the hole.
Never cleaned the walls or did any presanding to get the old runs out.
He had paint all over the stained moulding.
Never covered the floor so there was also paint all over the 2 year old carpet.
He had the wall paint all over the ceiling.
She had only payed him $75.00.
She then had to go back and hire a real painter to clean up his mess and do the whole thing over again. Plus restain the trim.
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Old 11-14-2012, 08:21 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
Funny story about hiring someone to do your painting for you.
Years ago my girlfriend asked me to paint a bedroom. I told her if she helped me move the furniture out of the room and help clean the walls I would paint it.
The room was only about 12 X 11 or less.
She refused to help me (it was her house)
Instead behind my back she hired her girlfriends husband to paint the room.
I knew she had already bought 2, gal. of paint.
When I came home from work there's some strange truck in the yard and someone I had never met before sitting in the room drinking my beer.
He said she had gone to get more paint
He had patch an old hole in the wall where a door knob had punched a hole by stuffing news paper in the hole and just used mud with no tape to cover the hole.
Never cleaned the walls or did any presanding to get the old runs out.
He had paint all over the stained moulding.
Never covered the floor so there was also paint all over the 2 year old carpet.
He had the wall paint all over the ceiling.
She had only payed him $75.00.
She then had to go back and hire a real painter to clean up his mess and do the whole thing over again. Plus restain the trim.
You mean you didn't do it the second time. Or were you looking for another girl friend.
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Old 11-14-2012, 08:34 AM   #8
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I was looking long before this happened.
I had been living on my boat for many years alone and it sunk in a hurricane so I had to have a place to stay.
She would not go into a store until she found a coin on the ground in the parking lot.
She would not eat in a local resteraunt because she did not want anyone to know her business.
She would throw out the newspaper without reading it if I read it first.

And you guys think I'm strange.
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Old 11-14-2012, 12:22 PM   #9
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I will see your $100 an hour and raise you a chunk! Of course it is, to a point, all relative.

It is not that bad I guess but is increasingly hard for others to compete with all the scabs and frankly the low quality work some do. I am more or less out of the race though and just helping others with bids. It is hard to walk away, even on their behalf, from nice work that I know is being priced by someone that does not have to factor in licenses, insurance and silly things like inspections and in some cases abatement activities.

Anyhow, my first question to the OP is that if this is a DC property are you asking the handyman to mud/skim coat over failing plaster? Is plaster the material that should be used? This will not end well if so.

Even with friends and helping someone out? I think it is important for both sides to spell out the expectations---ahead of time not midstream or after---and job scope to make sure everybody is on the same page. How many surfaces of the closet are being redone here? What level of appearance is expected when finished? How many coats of primer and paint are to be applied? What type of paint products will be used.

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Last edited by user1007; 11-14-2012 at 12:24 PM.
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