Rock, Hard Place - General Discussion - Contractor Talk

Rock, Hard Place

 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 09-09-2016, 07:02 PM   #1
Kowboy
 
Kowboy's Avatar
 
Trade: Countertops
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Sarasota, FL
Posts: 1,664
Rewards Points: 8,522

Rock, Hard Place


I got a call from a local GC to fix a solid surface raised threshold/sill that he or one of his guys had cracked. I told him my rates on the phone, he agreed, and we both believed it would be a minimum charge job.

I met the homeowner and her designer on the 9th floor of this gulf front condo after the concierge let me in. He later made me a key fob to open the servant's door on the lower level because he'd just been yelled at by a resident who didn't want to see lowlife tradespeople like me in her lobby. Oh, and servants park in the street, not in the "Guest Only" spaces either. I'll park on the other side of the gulf and walk if they please; this is why I charge by the hour.

After a short conversation, it's obvious that these very sophisticated customers are only going to settle for a nearly invisible repair or replacement. Who can blame them? They didn't break the damn thing.
Had I gotten a chance to fix this before they saw it, they may never have noticed, but his is like an animal cruelty video that you just can't "unsee"; their eyes will always go to the spot.

I pulled the 1/2" x 5" x 10' threshold, finishing the break in the process. Most solid surface breaks can be adhered and finished very inconspicuously, but this break has chips and it's a solid color. The color matched adhesive filling the chips will scream at these women, I promise. They will reject the minimum repair and I will have set that time and materials on fire.

The threshold is Staron Brite White, which is a fine acrylic solid surface, but I don't know if they have a strip program like my local Corian distributor does. I may have to buy a whole sheet to get an un-seamed rip. These women will certainly see any shade difference between the two, should I try a substitution.

I've got to steal color matched repair material from the back of this piece. It will be time consuming (9 hours) and I'll have to grease my shop owner a hundred bucks, but the repairs will only be visible to the cleaning lady when she's on her knees. There can be no shade variation; it's the same stuff.

I left the GC a voice mail to give him the bad news, loaded the sill, and took an hour drive to the shop. Later, he left a voice mail authorizing the repair. He knew my rates, but not the extent of the work. I'm breaking up another job to fix his; this has to happen today.

The lady and her designer are apparently delighted, the GC not so much when he got my bill. I made this guy look great to his customers for hiring a magician. He got screwed, but not by me. I had an untenable choice. Disappoint a sophisticated customer and set money on fire or do the job that needed to be done and have the guy who hired me pissed at me.

Gauging the sophistication level of your customer's customer is not on the Florida Building Contractor's licensing examination, but it should be. I'm happy with my choice whether or not he pays.
Attached Thumbnails
Rock, Hard Place-img_5435.jpg   Rock, Hard Place-img_5446.jpg  
Kowboy is offline  
The Following 12 Users Say Thank You to Kowboy For This Useful Post:
CharlieDelta (09-20-2016), Defenestrate (09-10-2016), gingerbeardhs (09-14-2016), griz (09-10-2016), hdavis (09-09-2016), Jaws (09-11-2016), jlhaslip (09-12-2016), KAP (09-09-2016), overanalyze (09-09-2016), Robie (09-09-2016), tgeb (09-20-2016), Xtrememtnbiker (09-11-2016)

Warning: The topics covered on this site include activities in which there exists the potential for serious injury or death. ContractorTalk.com DOES NOT guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information contained on this site. Always use proper safety precaution and reference reliable outside sources before attempting any construction or remodeling task!

   

Advertisement

 

Old 09-09-2016, 08:38 PM   #2
Pro
 
VinylHanger's Avatar
 
Trade: I'll do that for 500 bucks.
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Oregon
Posts: 10,125
Rewards Points: 11,662

Re: Rock, Hard Place


You made the right call. His guys screwed up. Not the customers fault. It would have been different if it had been a rental with 70's orange countertops.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

Advertisement

__________________
Your emergency does not constitute a problem with my Constitution.
VinylHanger is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to VinylHanger For This Useful Post:
Kowboy (09-09-2016)
Old 09-09-2016, 10:19 PM   #3
Pro
 
hdavis's Avatar
 
Trade: remodeling
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: CoastalME
Posts: 24,697
Rewards Points: 2,140

Re: Rock, Hard Place


Quote:
Originally Posted by VinylHanger View Post
It would have been different if it had been a rental with 70's orange countertops.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
Those are some of the worst-you can never match, only redo all of them.
hdavis is online now  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 09-09-2016, 10:28 PM   #4
LRG WoodCrafting

 
Leo G's Avatar
 
Trade: Maker of Fine Sawdust
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Windsor Locks, Connecticut
Posts: 41,707
Rewards Points: 1,039

Re: Rock, Hard Place


That's what insurance is for.
__________________
Sawdust Follows Me Everywhere
I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.
Sanding is the bane of my existence
WWG1WGA

Quote:
Originally Posted by HusqyPro View Post
Carpenter by day.
Mad scientist by night.
http://lrgwood.com
Custom Cabinets in Hartford County Connecticut
Leo G is online now  
Old 09-09-2016, 10:47 PM   #5
G.C.
 
T.Overbey's Avatar
 
Trade: Carpentry
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Central Texas
Posts: 36
Rewards Points: 18

Re: Rock, Hard Place


'The lady and her designer are apparently delighted,' ... Gotta let that linger for a minute, mmmmm...
'I made this guy look great to his customers for hiring a magician.' and this..

even better...

i know that if i'm pissed and i'm in the right , it stays with me for a long time , which is what i feel a decent homeowner can do. But if i'm pissed over something like what this GC may be feeling, chances are it smoothes out and the fact that the customer was satisfied and everyone walked away whistling Dixie is what stays with me longer.
The GC or his guys caused the damage, and i've also been that guy before. It sucked for me to have to call someone else in to put out a fire i know i started and i probably was an ars to the guy i had to bring in to help me out of the situation. But in the end, i knew the guy was solid and i used him when i could afterward.
Good thread,
You did a fine job.
T.Overbey is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to T.Overbey For This Useful Post:
Kowboy (09-10-2016)
Old 09-10-2016, 10:04 AM   #6
Contractor
 
AustinDB's Avatar
 
Trade: Remodeling & Home Additions
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 4,470
Rewards Points: 1,426

Re: Rock, Hard Place


When's your first novel? I enjoyed reading the tale


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
AustinDB is online now  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to AustinDB For This Useful Post:
Kowboy (09-10-2016), NJGC (09-20-2016)
Old 09-10-2016, 12:07 PM   #7
Pro
 
VinylHanger's Avatar
 
Trade: I'll do that for 500 bucks.
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Oregon
Posts: 10,125
Rewards Points: 11,662

Re: Rock, Hard Place


Quote:
Originally Posted by hdavis View Post
Those are some of the worst-you can never match, only redo all of them.
Yeah, but usually you just clean it up and they don't fix it anyway.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
__________________
Your emergency does not constitute a problem with my Constitution.
VinylHanger is offline  
Old 09-10-2016, 02:08 PM   #8
Pro
 
natural1's Avatar
 
Trade: Landscape contractor
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 277
Rewards Points: 428

Re: Rock, Hard Place


Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo G View Post
That's what insurance is for.
Not sure insurance covers work related mistakes like that.

Very nice repair! I think you handled it right.
__________________
Mike

http://www.natural-designs.com

Last edited by natural1; 09-10-2016 at 02:10 PM.
natural1 is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to natural1 For This Useful Post:
Metro M & L (09-10-2016)
Old 09-10-2016, 02:52 PM   #9
LRG WoodCrafting

 
Leo G's Avatar
 
Trade: Maker of Fine Sawdust
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Windsor Locks, Connecticut
Posts: 41,707
Rewards Points: 1,039

Re: Rock, Hard Place


I was at a job. Leaned a ladder against my truck and a gust of wind blew it against the Cadillac scratching the paint and denting the mirror.

Called my insurance company and they took care of it.

How is accidentally breaking a threshold different from this?
__________________
Sawdust Follows Me Everywhere
I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.
Sanding is the bane of my existence
WWG1WGA

Quote:
Originally Posted by HusqyPro View Post
Carpenter by day.
Mad scientist by night.
http://lrgwood.com
Custom Cabinets in Hartford County Connecticut
Leo G is online now  
Old 09-10-2016, 04:15 PM   #10
Pro
 
slowsol's Avatar
 
Trade: Estimator / Preconstruction Manager
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Toledo, OH
Posts: 2,572
Rewards Points: 2,248

Re: Rock, Hard Place


It's not. It's one of the main purposes of having liability insurance.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
__________________
-John
slowsol is offline  
Old 09-10-2016, 08:05 PM   #11
Kowboy
 
Kowboy's Avatar
 
Trade: Countertops
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Sarasota, FL
Posts: 1,664
Rewards Points: 8,522

Re: Rock, Hard Place


Quote:
Originally Posted by 72chevy4x4 View Post
When's your first novel? I enjoyed reading the tale
Thanks.

I am a professional columnist:

http://www.countertopiq.com/author/joecorlett/

But I write fiction for fun and occasionally win an online contest for my efforts. I murdered my brother-in-law, but I had a really good reason:

http://mywriterscircle.com/index.php?topic=54827.0

I got kicked out of college for turning in my English assignment in 2012.
Kowboy is offline  
Old 09-11-2016, 04:01 PM   #12
Contractor
 
AustinDB's Avatar
 
Trade: Remodeling & Home Additions
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 4,470
Rewards Points: 1,426

Re: Rock, Hard Place


I enjoyed the story, thx for sharing.

Not sure I want to meet you now lol


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
AustinDB is online now  
The Following User Says Thank You to AustinDB For This Useful Post:
Kowboy (09-11-2016)
Old 09-11-2016, 04:19 PM   #13
The Remodeler
 
Splinter's Avatar
 
Trade: Home Remodeler
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 1,535
Rewards Points: 240

Re: Rock, Hard Place


Splinter is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Splinter For This Useful Post:
asevereid (09-11-2016)
Old 09-11-2016, 06:20 PM   #14
Pro
 
Windycity's Avatar
 
Trade: Masonry
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: chicago
Posts: 2,108
Rewards Points: 8,432

Re: Rock, Hard Place


Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo G View Post
I was at a job. Leaned a ladder against my truck and a gust of wind blew it against the Cadillac scratching the paint and denting the mirror.

Called my insurance company and they took care of it.

How is accidentally breaking a threshold different from this?
I agree with leo...kinda the same thing IMO
Windycity is online now  
Old 09-19-2016, 03:50 PM   #15
Kowboy
 
Kowboy's Avatar
 
Trade: Countertops
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Sarasota, FL
Posts: 1,664
Rewards Points: 8,522

Re: Rock, Hard Place


This note went out in today's mail:

Dear GC:

I am returning your check for $600.00 towards my $950.00 invoice. It is enclosed.

I can’t do anything about the way you feel, but I can take away your ability to complain about me to your clients and on the internet, particularly to the “other repair companies” and “your own countertop company” that you “ran this by”. I do not allow the mediocre to set my rates.

My not accepting your payment also ruins your theory that you “believe you saw a high end client in a high end building and thought as long as the work was good you could charge whatever you wanted as I needed to get it fixed.”

The work is not “satisfactory”. It is spectacular, especially considering the technical difficulty of the repair, the next-day turnaround, and the sophistication level of your customers who loved it. No, I didn’t check. I don’t need to.

Call me the next time you’re in a similar situation as I do granite and engineered stone repairs too. I’ll bill you. If you don’t like the bill or the work, lucky you, you get another freebie. If you do like the work and pay the bill, you can send this check back to me and we’ll call it even.

Sincerely,

Joe
Kowboy is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Kowboy For This Useful Post:
Defenestrate (09-19-2016), Jonbuild (09-19-2016), NJGC (09-20-2016)
Old 09-19-2016, 04:19 PM   #16
Pro
 
sunkist's Avatar
 
Trade: builder fl cbc
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: bradenton fl
Posts: 3,063
Rewards Points: 890

Re: Rock, Hard Place


The note should have said next time your in the crap and need skilled help, call some one from south of the border, because not only do they crap in the new shower/bath tub they do skilled work, then throw what ever they use for t/p on the floor.
sunkist is online now  
The Following User Says Thank You to sunkist For This Useful Post:
Kowboy (09-19-2016)
Old 09-19-2016, 04:29 PM   #17
Pro
 
KAP's Avatar
 
Trade: Custom
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 11,673
Rewards Points: 36,938

Re: Rock, Hard Place


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kowboy View Post
This note went out in today's mail:

Dear GC:

I am returning your check for $600.00 towards my $950.00 invoice. It is enclosed.

I can’t do anything about the way you feel, but I can take away your ability to complain about me to your clients and on the internet, particularly to the “other repair companies” and “your own countertop company” that you “ran this by”. I do not allow the mediocre to set my rates.

My not accepting your payment also ruins your theory that you “believe you saw a high end client in a high end building and thought as long as the work was good you could charge whatever you wanted as I needed to get it fixed.”

The work is not “satisfactory”. It is spectacular, especially considering the technical difficulty of the repair, the next-day turnaround, and the sophistication level of your customers who loved it. No, I didn’t check. I don’t need to.

Call me the next time you’re in a similar situation as I do granite and engineered stone repairs too. I’ll bill you. If you don’t like the bill or the work, lucky you, you get another freebie. If you do like the work and pay the bill, you can send this check back to me and we’ll call it even.

Sincerely,

Joe
Did you send a copy to the HO and designer?...
KAP is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to KAP For This Useful Post:
NJGC (09-20-2016)
Old 09-19-2016, 05:14 PM   #18
Pro
 
rselectric1's Avatar
 
Trade: Licensed Electrical Contractor and Remodeler
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Chicago Suburbs
Posts: 11,830
Rewards Points: 872

Re: Rock, Hard Place


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kowboy View Post
but I can take away your ability to complain about me to your clients and on the internet,
People like this will whine regardless, and since your letter is well written, he could take it as a jab to his mini IQ and do whatever he feels like on the internet and to clients.

A character like this will likely just tell everyone he MADE you give him the 6 bills back.
__________________
220...221...whatever it takes!
rselectric1 is offline  
Old 09-19-2016, 05:34 PM   #19
Easyfier of Complexitries
 
digiconsoo's Avatar
 
Trade: Framing Components
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Rising Sun, MD
Posts: 558
Rewards Points: 1,552

Re: Rock, Hard Place


There was only one right way to make that repair - you chose wisely.

There was only one right way for the GC to respond to your bill - he chose poorly.

It is difficult, however, to run a business with character, but no revenue.?
digiconsoo is offline  
Old 09-19-2016, 05:51 PM   #20
Geometrist

 
Warren's Avatar
 
Trade: framing/remodeling
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: NE Ohio
Posts: 10,166
Rewards Points: 52

Re: Rock, Hard Place


I want to have Kowboy make a difficult repair and stiff him for the check, just so I can get one of those truly original letters.

Advertisement

__________________
I'd love to replace all the dumbness in this room but the budget is tight and the stupidity is plentiful!

Easy Gibson
Warren is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Warren For This Useful Post:
digiconsoo (09-20-2016), SmallTownGuy (09-20-2016)


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Help Thinking outside the box here... CONCRETE HELL!! JeremyBCalnan Tools & Equipment 37 06-24-2014 10:33 PM
Fixing this rock shed topps Masonry 43 02-23-2013 10:56 PM
Traveling through space - HOW?! CarrPainting Off Topic (Non Trade) 98 01-16-2013 10:52 AM
Google Place Pages are No More - welcome to Google+ Local Pages y.painting Websites and SEO 19 01-07-2013 02:14 PM

Join Now... It's Fast and FREE!

I am a professional contractor
I am a DIY Homeowner
Drywall Talk is for
PROFESSIONAL CONTRACTORS ONLY!

At DrywallTalk.com we cater exlusivly to professional contractors who make their living as a contractor. Knowing that many homeowners and DIYers are looking for a community to call home, we've created www.DIYChatroom.com DIY Chatroom is full of helpful advices and perfect for DIY homeowners.

Redirecing in 10 seconds
No Thanks
terms of service

Already Have an Account?