How Would You Charge In This Situation? - Business - Contractor Talk

How Would You Charge In This Situation?

 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 03-05-2015, 04:09 PM   #1
Livin the dream...
 
Spencer's Avatar
 
Trade: Finish Carpentry
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 6,624
Rewards Points: 5,514

How Would You Charge In This Situation?


Task for today was to grout a 3' x 5' shower, walls only.

Started day at 7:30. Made a trip into lowes for supplies. Arrived on jobsite at about 8:30.

Prepped shower. Cleaned off excess thinset in areas. Masked walls and base for protections.

Start grouting with epoxy grout at about 10:00.

HO walked in the bathroom. The color she picked out is a no go. She hates it. Way lighter than she thought. (It was way lighter than the swatch on the package.)

I said now is the time if you don't want it. She says no go. I had only done about 4 sq ft so no big deal.

I removed grout and cleaned up.

She runs into the city, about 45 minutes away to get more grout.

I figure I'll suck it up and work late to make sure it gets done today, that way they see progress for time billed.

Well, the color she wanted was special order. So I wasted a whole day on nothing.

Job was T&M. I went back to clean and load up tools for next job tomorrow. I legitimately worked 4.5 hrs but wasted the whole rest of the day because she didn't end up liking the grout. Wasted day was not my fault.

How do you bill?
Spencer is offline  

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 03-05-2015, 04:18 PM   #2
Pro
 
Agility's Avatar
 
Trade: Carpentry; Kitchen & Bath Reno
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Southern Maine
Posts: 1,308
Rewards Points: 1,016

Re: How Would You Charge In This Situation?


I would bill her for the whole day but that's part of my T&M spiel - you cause me to lose a day due to site access or changing decisions, you pay for the day.

Advertisement

Agility is offline  
Old 03-05-2015, 04:20 PM   #3
Pro
 
TxElectrician's Avatar
 
Trade: Electrical
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Central Texas
Posts: 7,563
Rewards Points: 986

Re: How Would You Charge In This Situation?


You are screwed
TxElectrician is online now  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to TxElectrician For This Useful Post:
Chris Johnson (03-05-2015), dkillianjr (03-05-2015), mikeswoods (03-06-2015)
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 03-05-2015, 04:24 PM   #4
David Festa
 
festerized's Avatar
 
Trade: Framing Contractor
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Ocean County NJ
Posts: 2,561
Rewards Points: 2,030

Re: How Would You Charge In This Situation?


You don’t have a minimum daily charge to cover short days?
festerized is offline  
Old 03-05-2015, 04:26 PM   #5
Pro
 
schaefercs's Avatar
 
Trade: Remodeling
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Rochester NY
Posts: 593
Rewards Points: 520

Re: How Would You Charge In This Situation?


I would only bill for the time you actually spent. It sucks but it's the right thing to do.

1) it's time & materials, not days & materials

2) if the client is upset about being billed a full day when you didn't perform a full day of work, is it worth losing a happy client and good referral?
schaefercs is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to schaefercs For This Useful Post:
Anderson (03-05-2015), Creter (03-05-2015)
Old 03-05-2015, 04:31 PM   #6
Pro
 
TaylorMadeAB's Avatar
 
Trade: Renovations
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Alberta
Posts: 794
Rewards Points: 1,686

Re: How Would You Charge In This Situation?


Quote:
Originally Posted by schaefercs View Post
I would only bill for the time you actually spent. It sucks but it's the right thing to do.

1) it's time & materials, not days & materials

2) if the client is upset about being billed a full day when you didn't perform a full day of work, is it worth losing a happy client and good referral?

I would agree with you normally, but the client decided to change their mind last minute. A contractor shouldn't suffer because of a client's error.
There is no other service in the world that wouldn't charge for time spent on your job.
TaylorMadeAB is offline  
Old 03-05-2015, 04:40 PM   #7
David Festa
 
festerized's Avatar
 
Trade: Framing Contractor
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Ocean County NJ
Posts: 2,561
Rewards Points: 2,030

Re: How Would You Charge In This Situation?


I disagree, T&M should be to provide a fair labor rate when unknown circumstances prevent a firm price, design as you go and indecisive customers. By having a minimum daily cost clause it prevents HO’s from wasting your time with one hour days and HO caused mistakes. Time is moneys in ours business, loss time, gas etc
festerized is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to festerized For This Useful Post:
hdavis (03-05-2015), Jeff G (03-05-2015)
Old 03-05-2015, 04:45 PM   #8
Radical Basement Dweller
 
Robie's Avatar
 
Trade: Whatever needs to be made or repaired
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 17,115
Rewards Points: 4,826

Re: How Would You Charge In This Situation?


For me...

New customer...all day.

Reliable repeat customer...time spent.
__________________
“Now is no time to think of what you do not have.
Think of what you can do with what there is”

― Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea
Robie is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Robie For This Useful Post:
Agility (03-05-2015), dkillianjr (03-05-2015), rrk (03-06-2015)
Old 03-05-2015, 04:49 PM   #9
Pro
 
BamBamm5144's Avatar
 
Trade: Everything Exterior, Mostly Roofing.
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 7,181
Rewards Points: 2,786

Re: How Would You Charge In This Situation?


This is why I bid jobs on fixed prices and have all the details determined weeks before we show up.

What a mess.
BamBamm5144 is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to BamBamm5144 For This Useful Post:
pinwheel (03-05-2015)
Old 03-05-2015, 04:51 PM   #10
Pro
 
hdavis's Avatar
 
Trade: remodeling
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: CoastalME
Posts: 25,488
Rewards Points: 1,940

Re: How Would You Charge In This Situation?


This really does depend. Short jobs like this you really need to spell out how you charge, and charge accordingly. If it's t&m with no other u.derstanding, it's 4.5 hours.
hdavis is offline  
Old 03-05-2015, 05:00 PM   #11
Pro
 
mako1's Avatar
 
Trade: remodeling
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Illinois
Posts: 2,517
Rewards Points: 1,094

Re: How Would You Charge In This Situation?


I would and do charge for the day in a case like this.Not your problem she changed her mind .You spent a day charge for it unless she is a good customer or friend you feel like giving a break to.
mako1 is offline  
Old 03-05-2015, 05:22 PM   #12
Livin the dream...
 
Spencer's Avatar
 
Trade: Finish Carpentry
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 6,624
Rewards Points: 5,514

Re: How Would You Charge In This Situation?


Its one of those complicated deals.

I pretty much lived at these peoples house on weekends from 16-21. Mom and dad to my best friend since high school.

That being said they are a royal PIA to work for. Not my target clientel but what can you do sometimes.

This job has been in the pipeline for a year. I gave multiple fixed quotes but it kept changing. Love the woman to death but she is a tight wad with no bearing on reality as to what things cost. Finally I got tired of giving prices and said, "T&M, it is what it is. $xx/hr." She is also the most indecisive customer I have ever had.

I feel that as the contractor I have a responsibility to make sure all materials are on site to complete the project in an efficient manner. I did. It wasn't my fault she didn't like the grout she picked out.

I think I'm going to meet them in the middle and chart 6.5 or 7 hrs. They won't know unless they ask. I am already charging them at the very bottom of the scale in terms of my hourly rate and not making anything on material markup so my mercy bucket is empty. I've been more that good to them so I don't feel I'm asking to much for them to meet me in the middle.
Spencer is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Spencer For This Useful Post:
mikeswoods (03-06-2015), Robie (03-05-2015)
Old 03-05-2015, 05:30 PM   #13
Member
 
klintala's Avatar
 
Trade: General Contracting/Concrete
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Michigan
Posts: 60
Rewards Points: 136

Re: How Would You Charge In This Situation?


I'd charge for the time spent, not the full day. If you were going to charge for a full day I think the best thing to do would be to let her know up front or at least before she left to get a different color.

I'd be upset if I were in her shoes. She didn't change her mind, it was a different color than shown.. Not her fault, not your fault.

Unless this happens frequently I'm sure you could find something worth doing to finish the day: oil change, car wash, clean shop, catch up on bookwork, work on bids, plan out future jobs, etc.



Edit: just read your post above. I completely agree. That seems like a reasonable thing to do in that situation.

Last edited by klintala; 03-05-2015 at 05:33 PM.
klintala is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to klintala For This Useful Post:
Creter (03-05-2015)
Old 03-05-2015, 05:55 PM   #14
Contractor of the Month
 
Inner10's Avatar
 
Trade: Control Systems
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Ottawa, ON
Posts: 26,075
Rewards Points: 5,076

Re: How Would You Charge In This Situation?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Spencer View Post
Its one of those complicated deals.

I pretty much lived at these peoples house on weekends from 16-21. Mom and dad to my best friend since high school.

That being said they are a royal PIA to work for. Not my target clientel but what can you do sometimes.

This job has been in the pipeline for a year. I gave multiple fixed quotes but it kept changing. Love the woman to death but she is a tight wad with no bearing on reality as to what things cost. Finally I got tired of giving prices and said, "T&M, it is what it is. $xx/hr." She is also the most indecisive customer I have ever had.

I feel that as the contractor I have a responsibility to make sure all materials are on site to complete the project in an efficient manner. I did. It wasn't my fault she didn't like the grout she picked out.

I think I'm going to meet them in the middle and chart 6.5 or 7 hrs. They won't know unless they ask. I am already charging them at the very bottom of the scale in terms of my hourly rate and not making anything on material markup so my mercy bucket is empty. I've been more that good to them so I don't feel I'm asking to much for them to meet me in the middle.
Situations like this you split the burden between yourself and the client.

The swatch didn't match, you said it yourself. You agreed with her, you are the expert here.

You are still entitled to be paid for the actual time you worked, but I don't see how you can collect on the remainder of the day. I'm sure it wasn't a wasted day, you had another 3 hours, go do paperwork, pick up materials for another job etc.
__________________
The Following User Says Thank You to Inner10 For This Useful Post: Leo G
Inner10 is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Inner10 For This Useful Post:
Creter (03-05-2015)
Old 03-05-2015, 06:05 PM   #15
Pro
 
Creter's Avatar
 
Trade: Remodeling Contractor
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: St. Louis
Posts: 1,015
Rewards Points: 1,966

Re: How Would You Charge In This Situation?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Spencer View Post
Task for today was to grout a 3' x 5' shower, walls only.

Started day at 7:30. Made a trip into lowes for supplies. Arrived on jobsite at about 8:30.

Prepped shower. Cleaned off excess thinset in areas. Masked walls and base for protections.

Start grouting with epoxy grout at about 10:00.

HO walked in the bathroom. The color she picked out is a no go. She hates it. Way lighter than she thought. (It was way lighter than the swatch on the package.)

I said now is the time if you don't want it. She says no go. I had only done about 4 sq ft so no big deal.

I removed grout and cleaned up.

She runs into the city, about 45 minutes away to get more grout.

I figure I'll suck it up and work late to make sure it gets done today, that way they see progress for time billed.

Well, the color she wanted was special order. So I wasted a whole day on nothing.

Job was T&M. I went back to clean and load up tools for next job tomorrow. I legitimately worked 4.5 hrs but wasted the whole rest of the day because she didn't end up liking the grout. Wasted day was not my fault.

How do you bill?
T & M is what it is. 4.5 Hours is what I would bill. Understand there was a wasted deal but as long as the homeowner is willing to pay 4.5 hours and then whatever it takes to complete the next time.

Happy Home Owner = Vested Investment for You.
Creter is offline  
Old 03-05-2015, 06:14 PM   #16
Livin the dream...
 
Spencer's Avatar
 
Trade: Finish Carpentry
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 6,624
Rewards Points: 5,514

Re: How Would You Charge In This Situation?


I guess its going to get chalked up as one of those days.

It wasn't her fault. The color was much lighter. It may have dried darker but its wasn't worth the risk. It was going on as an off white and did look awful.

It wasn't my fault either. It is what it is.

I think billing for half a day is fair considering very little got done. Half a day still takes care of my paycheck and costs for the day.
Spencer is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Spencer For This Useful Post:
Inner10 (03-05-2015)
Old 03-05-2015, 06:16 PM   #17
Contractor of the Month
 
Inner10's Avatar
 
Trade: Control Systems
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Ottawa, ON
Posts: 26,075
Rewards Points: 5,076

Re: How Would You Charge In This Situation?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Spencer View Post
I guess its going to get chalked up as one of those days.

It wasn't her fault. The color was much lighter. It may have dried darker but its wasn't worth the risk. It was going on as an off white and did look awful.

It wasn't my fault either. It is what it is.

I think billing for half a day is fair considering very little got done. Half a day still takes care of my paycheck and costs for the day.
Think about it this way...if on your last day you finished 4 hours early would you still bill a client for 8 hours?
__________________
The Following User Says Thank You to Inner10 For This Useful Post: Leo G
Inner10 is offline  
Old 03-05-2015, 06:22 PM   #18
Livin the dream...
 
Spencer's Avatar
 
Trade: Finish Carpentry
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 6,624
Rewards Points: 5,514

Re: How Would You Charge In This Situation?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Inner10 View Post
Think about it this way...if on your last day you finished 4 hours early would you still bill a client for 8 hours?
Moral of the story is when doing bathrooms give a fixed price and get paid for full days even if you do finish early.

I hate T&M work. Those half days are a profit eater...but in this situation I still think it was the right call. She is just something else to deal with.

Example: After I had completely gutted, drywalled, mudded, and kerdied the shower she comes in and asks about adding a window in the shower... Many examples like this over the coarse of the last week.
Spencer is offline  
Old 03-05-2015, 06:24 PM   #19
Contractor of the Month
 
Inner10's Avatar
 
Trade: Control Systems
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Ottawa, ON
Posts: 26,075
Rewards Points: 5,076

Re: How Would You Charge In This Situation?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Spencer View Post
Moral of the story is when doing bathrooms give a fixed price and get paid for full days even if you do finish early.

I hate T&M work. Those half days are a profit eater...but in this situation I still think it was the right call. She is just something else to deal with.

Example: After I had completely gutted, drywalled, mudded, and kerdied the shower she comes in and asks about adding a window in the shower... Many examples like this over the coarse of the last week.
T&M jobs are a blessing with clients like that. Still I'm sure the remaining half of the day wasn't a complete waste.
__________________
The Following User Says Thank You to Inner10 For This Useful Post: Leo G
Inner10 is offline  
Old 03-05-2015, 06:25 PM   #20
Contractor of the Month
 
Inner10's Avatar
 
Trade: Control Systems
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Ottawa, ON
Posts: 26,075
Rewards Points: 5,076

Re: How Would You Charge In This Situation?


What color was it anyway?

Advertisement

__________________
The Following User Says Thank You to Inner10 For This Useful Post: Leo G
Inner10 is offline  



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
Up date: On my situation Crawl-Dog General Discussion 8 10-26-2011 07:44 AM
"Yes, but OUR policy is to charge for the initial consultation" Greg Di Marketing & Sales 51 05-28-2010 05:03 PM
What to charge? bryan78 Painting & Finish Work 3 02-02-2010 02:47 AM
how much to charge. concrete curb demo. tie new curd to 6" slab Evan03 Construction 12 11-28-2009 01:54 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?