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Old 07-27-2013, 10:35 AM   #1
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Contractor overstating square footages


I have a fairly extensive tile installation underway. Several bathrooms - including floors, bath walls, and the entry area to our home. I'm familiar with expected loss on the installation, so we've purchased at least 10% overage. I noticed in the detailed contractor bid that he exaggerated his install labor square footages by on average 25%. (for example, I measure a 100 sq. foot space and his bid has it at 125 sq feet) I performed my own measurements and was surprised at how far off they were. I spoke to the contractor and he indicated that his measurements were rounded up and that the loss factor was also built into the labor installation. This really doesn't sit right with me. This is a reputable contactor who does good work and definitely is not the cheapest in town. I have no issue in paying for good quality, but adding 25% to actual square footages seem to be a bit out of line. I'd really like some opinions on if this is standard practice. We are already underway with the install which makes this a difficult issue. THANKS!

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Old 07-27-2013, 12:38 PM   #2
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Contractor overstating square footages


If 100 sf includes a 10% overage, then adding 25% on top of that is simply a ripoff. No, it's not standard practice. Ripoff alert = find another contractor regardless of his reputation.

Think about it - why would he bother stating 125 sf, when he could simply state 100 sf and charge the same amount for the total job anyway? If he doesn't make any sense in this regard, what other things is he going to do? You don't like it, you don't trust him, go get another contractor.

However you're already underway, so it sounds like you didn't catch it soon enough.

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Old 07-27-2013, 01:08 PM   #3
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Contractor overstating square footages


Whether this is a problem, or even an issue, is entirely dependent on the terms and conditions of the contract. If your contractor bid lump sum (sometimes called firm fixed price), then it is really irrelevant whether he bids based on 100 square feet or 1000 square feet, you are going to pay the same price.

On the other hand, if his bid is unit price (so many dollars per square foot in place), then the only issue is exactly how you plan to measure the square feet in place. For a tile job, it should not be too difficult to agree on the actual number of square feet placed, to within one or two percent.

If his bid is based on a unit price per HIS takeoff, then of course it makes a huge difference if he is padding the total number of square feet by 25%, since you are going to end up paying by the contractor's estimated quantity, NOT by the actual number of square feet in place.

So the details of your agreement are crucial. Perhaps if you discuss your contract terms and conditions, it would be possible to discuss whether the difference in square footage you describe is significant.
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Old 07-27-2013, 04:21 PM   #4
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Contractor overstating square footages


Quote:
Originally Posted by MTL View Post
I have a fairly extensive tile installation underway. Several bathrooms - including floors, bath walls, and the entry area to our home. I'm familiar with expected loss on the installation, so we've purchased at least 10% overage. I noticed in the detailed contractor bid that he exaggerated his install labor square footages by on average 25%. (for example, I measure a 100 sq. foot space and his bid has it at 125 sq feet) I performed my own measurements and was surprised at how far off they were. I spoke to the contractor and he indicated that his measurements were rounded up and that the loss factor was also built into the labor installation. This really doesn't sit right with me. This is a reputable contactor who does good work and definitely is not the cheapest in town. I have no issue in paying for good quality, but adding 25% to actual square footages seem to be a bit out of line. I'd really like some opinions on if this is standard practice. We are already underway with the install which makes this a difficult issue. THANKS!

Good chance this is one of the reasons he has a good reputation a a tiler. He doesn't have to say to himself, I bid it too tight, so I have to cut a corner. Instead he can take the time to do the job right, and still make a few bucks for himself/his company.
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Old 07-27-2013, 05:05 PM   #5
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Contractor overstating square footages


Get additional bids for the job. Then decide.
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