DIY Home Improvement Forum banner

1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,297 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm getting ready to have a 1000 sq ft, 3br, 2bth apartment taped.

I've gotten quotes from 3 people for a level 4 finish. The quotes are all over the place.

My understanding of level 4 is :
Thin layer of compound, followed by tape. Allow to dry. Then 3 layers of compound over the joint and screw holes. Knife knock down of each layer. Sand down the final layer.

I'm providing compound, ladders and scaffolding.

Here are the quotes:
#1 $1800. 4 man crew. 6 days. Using a Bazooka tape gun. Competent guy.
#2 $5000. 4 man crew. 6-7 days.
#3 $7000. 2 man crew. 14 days. Using stilts.

I'm eliminating #2. The guy showed up with his sick toddler and was dropping F-bombs left and right about not getting paid or something. His english wasn't great. I don't really care about the F-bombs but if this is his attitude when he's trying to get a contract, what's his attitude going to be like when we have a disagreement on his work.

How does #1 even make enough to pay his guys?

At 24 man days, the guys are making $75 a day???
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,080 Posts
$5,200 is a big difference between quotes. You say number 1 is competent. If he checks out and has the necessary business license and insurance, I would give him a shot.

Watch him like a hawk for the first few hours. You will know if they have the skills to do the job.

Just because he says it takes six days does not necessarily be at the site the full day.
 

·
retired painter
Joined
·
10,985 Posts
Have you checked their references?
I agree that they may not be at the job site all day, once the mud is applied there is no need to stick around and wait for it to dry - they'll go to another job.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
266 Posts
I have heard that some guys may consider it a small job considering they didn’t get the hanging portion. They may have priced it high hoping you would bite.


Retired guy from Southern Manitoba, Canada.
 

·
JUSTA MEMBER
Joined
·
16,420 Posts
Homeadvisor.com & Angie's list, advertise that they will tell you what to pay for similar jobs, in your area.

They might know better than anyone far away, what the rate is for NYC.

At $7,000, you could get someone from far away, to come in, and spend a few hours a day doing the actual work, then visit the city, for two weeks, and just sleep on the floor overnight.

and have a paid vacation.

ED
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,880 Posts
In upstate NY that would be a 4 day job. A crew of 4 can do a house twice that size in 4 days. A tape coat and one coat then orange peel or knock down, a tape coat and two coats followed by sanding for a smooth finish. I never heard of tape followed by three coats.
All professionals around here use a banjo device to apply tape. It is easy and fast, not better or worse. And they all use stilts.
I would toss out 2 and 3, and get one more quote to compare to 1. Or depending on your comfort level just hire #1 and look at each day’s work. As long as you don’t pay until it is done, you can protect yourself. Check his insurance, maybe there is a reason he costs less.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,017 Posts
My understanding if for joints, mud first, bed the tape, and hit the thing with thin layer of mud overall (coat 1). Then two more coats over that, three total coats on nail holes, and that adds to level 4. As to pricing, it is also affected by the skill (or lack thereof) Of the hangers. Crap corners, excessive joints, slips with the rotozip, nails not set below surface, all add to the time and cost.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,372 Posts
I think you need to get another quote.

The number 2 bid you said you are throwing away. And I think the #3 bid is like Catman said - he doesn't want the job, for whatever reason.
 

·
I have gas!
Joined
·
2,339 Posts
My guess is that the crew won't be there for more than an hour and a 1/2 a day. Guys that know what their doing will run through the house and then drive to the next job.
What's going to hold them up is waiting for the mud to dry between coats.
I'm guessing they won't be finishing a staircase area... $1800 is a bit on the low side but $5k is way over the top.
Level 4 is standard paint ready and is fine as long as there isn't any harsh lighting.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,297 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'm hiring the $1800 guy.

The catch is he's not really doing a level 4 finish.

Day 1: lay down the tape & cover screw holes
Day 2: layer of compound on the seams & cover screw holes again
Day 3: last layer of blue compound on the seams & cover the screw holes (3rd time).
Day 4: sand

Is the 3 layers of compound adequate or should I request pricing for a 4th layer?
 

·
JUSTA MEMBER
Joined
·
16,420 Posts
After the second layer, you will be able to judge his work adequately to know if you want the fourth later or not.

Then you negotiate for it or not.

My guess is not needed, but that is a guess.


ED
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
214 Posts

·
retired painter
Joined
·
10,985 Posts
Most slick finish jobs I've painted just had 3 coats of mud, that seems to be standard at least here in the southeast. I have painted a few jobs that were just 2 coats and texture - takes a l good finisher to pull that off.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,297 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
One guy started yesterday. He’s got the tape coat on and now he’s doing the second layer.

It’s seems like he’s doing a good job.

My only concern is he wants more compound. Wondering if he’s laying too much on there?

4-5 buckets of green. (All purpose)
9 buckets of blue lid. (Lightweight USG Plus 3)

The job is 170 sheets of 4x8 equivalents = =5440 sq ft. (Mix of 12s, 10s and 8s)

Does that sound like too much mud??

I found some calculator online that calls for square footage x 0.053 = pounds of compound.

5440 x 0.053 = 288lbs.

9 blue = 9 x 45lbs = 405lbs
4 green = 4 x 61.8lbs = 247lbs.

Thats a whopping 652lbs of mud!!!!

Is it the number of coats he's apply. 3 layers??

Of course the worker doesn’t speak a lick of English so it’s hard to ask questions.

Thanks
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,202 Posts
When he isn't there put a 4' level or other straight edge across some of the seams. I can see the tape so he still will be covering that and if there is excess now it is under the tape. But it looks good from here. Uniform width and not too wide as yet. Key is to fan it out without building it up a lot.

I'd say it is fine. If he wants more mud, get it.

Bud
 
  • Like
Reactions: jaketrades

·
I have gas!
Joined
·
2,339 Posts
Looks to me like he's doing a decent job. Why do you say he's not doing a level 4 finish?
I wish I were that good but where I lack in talent, I make up for with sanding.
Agreed, at $16 bucket, if he want's more mud, why not.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,297 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I got no problem buying the mud. (already made the run). I was just concerned that it's too much mud. Like when I mud, I use too much mud and then sand it all down.

Good tip on using a level. And thanks for allaying my worries!!
 

·
retired painter
Joined
·
10,985 Posts
I don't know how much mud it should take [I only do small jobs] but the price of a bucket of mud is small compared to the labor. Unless you suspect he's hauling it off to use on another job I wouldn't hesitate to buy more j/c.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
215 Posts
I always allowed a bucket of mud for every 12ft sheet & then add more depending on the amount of cornerbead.
Hopefully he needs more because he's throwing the blue lid mud away. jk
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top