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How Should I Approach This Issue With My Worker?

 
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Old 07-05-2012, 07:54 AM   #1
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How Should I Approach This Issue With My Worker?


i have a guy i use for roofing , he also does some siding as well. he is very good and i am happy with his work except one thing; he nickel and dimes me for everything.
example, the other day i payed him and he tells me he had to use a roll of his own ridge vent and a box of his nails.. now, i have other crews who wouldnt even mention this to me. i give this guy so much work and feel if he uses some of his own material ( within reason) why even bring it up to me. believe me, its not the money, its the nickel and diming.
if he gets a 30 sq siding job and has to replace a sheet of plywood he wants to be paid. if he changes a small amount of rotted window trim, he asks for 25 bucks.. i pay thks guy well and give him alot of work as i said so i feel little extra things should be par for the course. now i have a built up animosity towards the guy. i want to talk to him and tell him if he intends to be part of my crew, i dont want to hear about him using his own nails or having to use some of his own felt paper. remember, im not talking about alot of material.
am i wrong here?

Last edited by welterweight; 07-05-2012 at 07:57 AM.
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Old 07-05-2012, 08:02 AM   #2
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Re: How Should I Approach This Issue With My Worker?


If you hired me for siding, I would expect to do siding. Taking the time to do a plywood or window sill repair takes my time away from siding. I would bill you for it. It's not so much nickel and dime as it is business on a smaller scale.


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Old 07-05-2012, 08:05 AM   #3
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Re: How Should I Approach This Issue With My Worker?


I am not following on many different levels....

Is he a sub contractor or employee? Sounds like if he is an employee he does piece work. Just curious on this part really.

I guess it just depends on how you look at it. It sounds to me like he just wants to be paid for what he put puts in. Can't really blame him there.

It's always more annoying when it's happening to you. Lol. A lot of times it is the little things and the context that drive people crazy. I deal with some people that just annoy the chit out of me,
Over little things like that and many other things.
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Old 07-05-2012, 08:06 AM   #4
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Re: How Should I Approach This Issue With My Worker?


Just wondering...Do the other guys on your crew do free work for you with their own materials? Even if they are hourly, you have to pay for the materials they use.
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Old 07-05-2012, 08:13 AM   #5
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Re: How Should I Approach This Issue With My Worker?


if my guys run short on lets say nails, and they have extra in their truck, they use it and never mention it. this guy charges for it.
if it 2 boxes of nails or something, i can understand but the constant nickel and diming. trust me, he is making alot of money with me.
if a customer needs one or 2 sheets of plywood replaced, i dont even mention it to them.i am already making nice money off the job, why annoy them. if the customer is a complete prick then they get charged..an no, i am not a prick to any of my subs. this way everyones happy and i get recommendations. now, if there is some more work that needs to be done like 5 or 6 sheets of plywood i have that in my contract and i do mention it..i feel as a businessman, you need to be flexible and not so rigid. this guy gets on my nerves with nickel and diming me.
he takes time to change some window trim? gee, 15 minutes when he is making a few grand a week with me..give me a break.

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Old 07-05-2012, 08:17 AM   #6
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Re: How Should I Approach This Issue With My Worker?


I would say if he is doing more then he was contacted for would be billable. The conversation I would have would with him would be contract based. I would either offer him the option of contracting and include a rider that unless the additional time and materials amounts to x% it should be included in the price. Or you can charge me T&M and I will pay it but his contract price should reflect this change and I should be given a discount on every job. Also I would not allow him to mark up any of the extras. I would avoid telling him you are annoyed and keep the personal feelings out of it. Our policy with subs is as follows........ Your contract price has an upper limit of 2.5% the total contract price. On a $10,000 contact the sub has to exceed $250.00 in additional non marked up cost before we will approve a change order. Most of our subs work well with this policy because we keep them working and we don't nickel and dime them on their contracts to us. We allow everyone to mark up work a fair amount and treat everyone well. If he does good work and is reliable then do what you can to work with him
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Old 07-05-2012, 08:21 AM   #7
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Re: How Should I Approach This Issue With My Worker?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Robs660 View Post
I would say if he is doing more then he was contacted for would be billable. The conversation I would have would with him would be contract based. I would either offer him the option of contracting and include a rider that unless the additional time and materials amounts to x% it should be included in the price. Or you can charge me T&M and I will pay it but his contract price should reflect this change and I should be given a discount on every job. Also I would not allow him to mark up any of the extras. I would avoid telling him you are annoyed and keep the personal feelings out of it. Our policy with subs is as follows........ Your contract price has an upper limit of 2.5% the total contract price. On a $10,000 contact the sub has to exceed $250.00 in additional non marked up cost before we will approve a change order. Most of our subs work well with this policy because we keep them working and we don't nickel and dime them on their contracts to us. We allow everyone to mark up work a fair amount and treat everyone well. If he does good work and is reliable then do what you can to work with him

If I was a sub and you told me I couldn't mark up a change order I'd tell you to get


I bet you mark up your change orders.

As far as the discount, not happening either. I bid this scope, anything beyond that is extra. Simple as that.
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Old 07-05-2012, 08:28 AM   #8
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Re: How Should I Approach This Issue With My Worker?


As a business you should be charging customers when you have to replace things not originally figured in the estimate.

Does a mechanic go to change your brakes and throw in new tie rods for free just because you give him a lot of work?

I honestly dont think hes nickel and dime'ing you. Hes running a business, and the idea of running a business is not to do work for free.
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Old 07-05-2012, 08:36 AM   #9
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Re: How Should I Approach This Issue With My Worker?


Quote:
Originally Posted by welterweight View Post
i feel as a businessman, you need to be flexible and not so rigid.
Oversimplified of course, but you feel it's good business to give materials away for free?

While you may think you're paying him well, from his POV you're paying him what he's worth and those materials come right out of his bottom line. Though I give small stuff away like that all of the time, I don't have a problem with someone who doesn't. Different strokes and all that.
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Old 07-05-2012, 08:53 AM   #10
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Re: How Should I Approach This Issue With My Worker?


Quote:
Originally Posted by welterweight View Post
i have a guy i use for roofing , he also does some siding as well. he is very good and i am happy with his work except one thing; he nickel and dimes me for everything.
example, the other day i payed him and he tells me he had to use a roll of his own ridge vent and a box of his nails.. now, i have other crews who wouldnt even mention this to me. i give this guy so much work and feel if he uses some of his own material ( within reason) why even bring it up to me. believe me, its not the money, its the nickel and diming.
if he gets a 30 sq siding job and has to replace a sheet of plywood he wants to be paid. if he changes a small amount of rotted window trim, he asks for 25 bucks.. i pay thks guy well and give him alot of work as i said so i feel little extra things should be par for the course. now i have a built up animosity towards the guy. i want to talk to him and tell him if he intends to be part of my crew, i dont want to hear about him using his own nails or having to use some of his own felt paper. remember, im not talking about alot of material.
am i wrong here?
The short answer is Yes you are wrong. From your post he is part of your "crew". I take that to mean hourly. So you want him supply your job will 1 roll of ridge vent, 1 box of nails, 1 sheet of plywood, 1 stick of brickmold, and a "small amount" of felt paper. For free. I'm not sure what a roll of vent costs so I'll say 50.00, box of nails 25.00, sheet of plywood 15.00, trim 10.00. I'd say it's not nickels and dimes anymore..That's 100 bucks. Maybe you make so much off of all the free materials you seem to get that 100.00 is nothing to you. To me 100.00 is alot more than nickels and dimes.
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Old 07-05-2012, 09:00 AM   #11
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Re: How Should I Approach This Issue With My Worker?


Well there is the option of looking at it from a different perspective. When he runs into a scenario where he is short on materials, even as simple as nials, he could just stop the job and call you, then wait for them to show or worse pull of the job and get involved in another delaying yours even further. So from that view he is actually saving YOU money. By looking at it that way maybe the charges won't be so irritating or expensive to you.
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Old 07-05-2012, 09:32 AM   #12
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Re: How Should I Approach This Issue With My Worker?


I totally agree with everything said here. I NEVER quible with my guys (subs) over "nickle and dime" stuff. They know up front if they run into ANY issues that need to be done, that aren't covered in the scope of the work order, they are under strict instructions to go ahead and get them done using whatever is necessary to do the install correctly (their own stuff, run and get something etc.), and we will settle up later. I have never failed to pay them for ANY extras they run across. There is a trust built up with them knowing they will always be paid accordingly for the work they do for us.

That trust also allows me to occasionally ask them for "a little help" on a job that got sold a little short. Because I'm not constantly "nickle and diming" them to death on their other jobs, they always accommodate me. Makes for a great working relationship. I also know that because my guys are so good, they don't need me as much as I need them. They can get work anywhere. If your guy is that good, so could he.

So, IMHO.... pay the guy, for the materials he provides out of his own pocket to complete your jobs. If you continue to nickle and dime him and he's a great installer, you will quickly find you no longer have that worry. He'll be working for someone else.

Just my $0.02, IMHO, FWIW, YMMV and all that.
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Old 07-05-2012, 10:26 AM   #13
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Re: How Should I Approach This Issue With My Worker?


pay him.
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Old 07-05-2012, 10:35 AM   #14
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Re: How Should I Approach This Issue With My Worker?


not to be rude- but the only nickle and diming I see in this thread is by the original poster- I have a hard time even believing it's a real post

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Old 07-05-2012, 10:36 AM   #15
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Re: How Should I Approach This Issue With My Worker?


What does your contract say?
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Old 07-05-2012, 10:38 AM   #16
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Re: How Should I Approach This Issue With My Worker?


i always pay. never ever do i refrain from that. i just get pissed off when i am being nickeled and dimed. i have great relationships with all my workers and subs. i consider myself as being very successful and have a very good rep amongst workers.
as a successful businessman, if i am making a nice chunk of change off a siding job and a few small issues arise that may consume an hours worth of extra work, im not going to say anything..i might bring it up after final payment is submitted so the customer knows i took care of them..thats called good/ smart business. at the same time, my subs are making good money as well..to nickel and dime me for SMALL things is just stupid .. i know other owners of companies get pissed as well. most of my guys do some extra tasks and as i said, never even mention it because it wasnt very time consuming and they know they are earning nicely with me. .if it is time consuming then of course they should be paid and they always are. my guys and me should be working as a TEAM .
lets say a sub is making 3500 off a siding job then when i go and pay him, he says i owe him and extra 32 bucks for some nails.. that **** pisses me off especially when i am giving him so much work.. lets say he gives me a reciept for 120 bucks for various material, i totally understand.. its the small **** that bothers me.
lets change things around, you're a customer and you are charged 25 grand for some sort of home improvement and i give you a reciept for 30 bucks for something.. you are going to be pissed and rightly so. as a businessman, i would never do that. some contractors do and they seem to always be the ones that complain how slow things are and how tough it is out there.. no, its because they arent good businessmen. thats my thoughts..sorry if some dont agree but again, i am talking about small amounts here. all my other guys never ever mention small stuff, its this one guy.

Last edited by welterweight; 07-05-2012 at 10:42 AM.
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Old 07-05-2012, 10:44 AM   #17
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Re: How Should I Approach This Issue With My Worker?


I don't get it. Its 32$ ... if he didn't figure on using it, he didn't figure on using it. 32$ over a year adds up...

I will say that would be irritating, and I think its just getting under your skin. Lol.
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Old 07-05-2012, 10:47 AM   #18
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Re: How Should I Approach This Issue With My Worker?


Why not get him to supply all materials in the first place then bill you for everything?
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Old 07-05-2012, 10:49 AM   #19
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Re: How Should I Approach This Issue With My Worker?


Where did he get those nails, or extra little bit of tarpaper? If it was left over from the last job, I'd be pissed to if I was paying for it twice. Does he ever give you a thirty dollar credit for what he didn't have to use? Always depends on who's nickel it is.
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Old 07-05-2012, 10:51 AM   #20
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Re: How Should I Approach This Issue With My Worker?


In business, nobody does anything for free.
Pay up and loose the animosity.

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