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New To US Need Some Advice.

 
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Old 06-28-2009, 07:46 PM   #1
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New To US Need Some Advice.


Hello guys/gals, Have been browsing this forum for the last few months when i have needed advice and everytime i have found what i have been looking for. but this time i need to ask a question my self so i signed up. Great forum by the way. Also i know price threads ain't the popular threads here but you seem like you know your stuff here so you could be a great help.

Well anyway i have been browsing some of the pricing posts as i wanted some idea of what people are charging for specific work over here. I have moved to the US from the UK and have spent the last 2 years building my tool selection back up to the point where i now have what i need to start my business up and from what i can gather some pricing is more or less the same as the UK but here's my question.

I used to do high end bathrooms and kitchens in the UK for over 10 years and picked up a lot of skills along the way and wanted to branch out a little and i am doing remodeling on anything from kitchens, Bathrooms, Decks, Flooring, Home theaters, Drywall, Tiling, pool bars, Crown moldings, baseboard and so on. I do what i think is a quality job and i don't think I'm cheap and i don't think I'm expensive and some people are charging 2-3x what I'm charging for the same job and I'm wondering if I'm going too low on my day rate or if what I'm charging is i good rate. I know it's hard to put a price on a day rate when my work varies so much but i think at $250 8/hr day is a good price for even the basic stuff I'm doing. Do you guys/girls think that my price is too cheap? The reason i ask is because some of the company's with the high quotes are getting the work even when I'm 1/3rd the cost on the same jobs. I'm not used to the US pricing and what people think is Expensive, fair or too cheap.

Cheers for any advice.
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Old 06-28-2009, 07:54 PM   #2
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Re: New To US Need Some Advice.


If you have a license, insurance, workers comp and pay taxes legally, tool repair/replacement, etc....you might want to revisited your daily rate

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Old 06-28-2009, 08:15 PM   #3
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Re: New To US Need Some Advice.


Cheers Chris. It's hard when you move to a new area and the last thing i wanted to do was price my self out of some of my pricing quotes. I know it takes time and I'm lucky that my wife earns good money so for now i can get away with not getting some of the work. All my tools are paid for but i do have a truck and trailer payment. I have my license and I'm in process of sorting out insurance and couple of other things to do with the business but I'm getting there. Some people i have spoken to think I'm expensive when i have quoted but it's not like i ain't heard that before. Normally they always call me back after they get more quotes lol.
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Old 06-28-2009, 08:18 PM   #4
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Re: New To US Need Some Advice.


It would help to tell us where in the US you are (unless I missed it) and put it in your profile.
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Old 06-28-2009, 08:22 PM   #5
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Re: New To US Need Some Advice.


Generally you are going to want to at least double that figure. Even more in the cities.
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Old 06-28-2009, 08:31 PM   #6
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Re: New To US Need Some Advice.


Hey Dennis Im in Virginia.

Thanks LEO, The last thing i want to do is under price it even if im happy with the money im getting. Nothing worse than someone having a quote 2-3 times lower than yours, as it makes you look bad when you give a fair price and the customer thinks your having them over.
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Old 06-28-2009, 08:38 PM   #7
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Re: New To US Need Some Advice.


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If you have a license, insurance, workers comp and pay taxes legally, tool repair/replacement, etc....you might want to revisited your daily rate

^^^^this^^^^
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Old 06-28-2009, 08:38 PM   #8
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Re: New To US Need Some Advice.


Virginia, I would at least go 40-50/hr. and then when a client base is built up start upping it.
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Old 06-28-2009, 08:40 PM   #9
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Re: New To US Need Some Advice.


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Nothing worse than someone having a quote 2-3 times lower than yours, as it makes you look bad when you give a fair price and the customer thinks your having them over.

Worse is when you loose a job because the customer thinks your price is to cheap. G
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Old 06-28-2009, 09:19 PM   #10
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Re: New To US Need Some Advice.


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Worse is when you loose a job because the customer thinks your price is to cheap. G

True, True. Even worse is when the wife finds out you didnt get it because your too cheap lol. Lucky she loves me.
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Old 06-29-2009, 07:17 PM   #11
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Re: New To US Need Some Advice.


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UK for over 10 years and picked up a lot of skills along the way and wanted to branch out a little and i am doing remodeling on anything from kitchens, Bathrooms, Decks, Flooring, Home theaters, Drywall, Tiling, pool bars, Crown moldings, baseboard and so on.
Is this a new method to get prices on CT Why this question is so ridiculous especially coming from a guy who did this for 10 years.

UK or here it makes no difference, you get your material cost, your overhead cost and your profit.

Today, what is $250 per day? You cannot do a Deck, a Bathroom, a Home Theater, etc for $250 a day, you cannot do some of the jobs for $500 a day. I will tell you what you can get for $250 a day... You can get a managing position at McDonald's or making pizza at the busy lunch place, thats all.

Welcome to USA BC and to CT , enjoy your stay and you can obtain a construction calculator in any Box store near you

Good luck
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Old 06-29-2009, 08:29 PM   #12
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Re: New To US Need Some Advice.


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Is this a new method to get prices on CT Why this question is so ridiculous especially coming from a guy who did this for 10 years.

UK or here it makes no difference, you get your material cost, your overhead cost and your profit.

Today, what is $250 per day? You cannot do a Deck, a Bathroom, a Home Theater, etc for $250 a day, you cannot do some of the jobs for $500 a day. I will tell you what you can get for $250 a day... You can get a managing position at McDonald's or making pizza at the busy lunch place, thats all.

Welcome to USA BC and to CT , enjoy your stay and you can obtain a construction calculator in any Box store near you

Good luck


Ridiculous why? First of all read my first post! I didn't say I have done this for 10 years to start of with. I said I was a bathroom and kitchen installer for 10 years! I am starting up a new business doing stuff i have never done in my previous business, on a totally different continent and it's nice to come on to a forum and have advice from people i would call experts more than i am because I'm not from here. Everyone but you has been helpful and gave back some valid feedback and your post was zero help to me. If you don't want be be helpful then don't bother posting. Also i don't see how a construction calculator is going to help me out. I don't want to calculate materials. I Just needed an idea of what someone in my trade would be charging for smilier work so that when i give prices i know that I'm not low balling it or high balling it. Today i have called over 5 different company's doing the same thing as me and they have given me price's from $300-$800 a day doing the same exact stuff as i do. So clearly I'm to cheap as people have already said and some are very expensive. I want to be working the whole week and not sitting around waiting for the one job a month that pays me well for 5 days. Also as you should know being in the construction game that your work is only worth what the customer is willing to pay. It has nothing to do with your overheads or your profit. You may have higher over heads than me so does that mean you can charge more than me? Or you may want higher profit so does that mean you can charge more than me. It all comes down to whats a fair price for you and a customer and there's a limit to being fair and being a rip off. I have never had to advertise in the UK for over 8 years because i was always fair with my prices and i was happy with what i was earning.

Now thanks guys for the helpful responses so far as i have now decided that I'm going to keep my rates in the $40-50hr range when I'm up to full steam with work. I have some current work lined up that is in the $30-35 range and after that up they go.
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Old 06-29-2009, 09:08 PM   #13
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Re: New To US Need Some Advice.


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Ridiculous why? First of all read my first post! I didn't say I have done this for 10 years to start of with. I said I was a bathroom and kitchen installer for 10 years! I am starting up a new business doing stuff i have never done in my previous business, on a totally different continent and it's nice to come on to a forum and have advice from people i would call experts more than i am because I'm not from here. Everyone but you has been helpful and gave back some valid feedback and your post was zero help to me. If you don't want be be helpful then don't bother posting. Also i don't see how a construction calculator is going to help me out. I don't want to calculate materials. I Just needed an idea of what someone in my trade would be charging for smilier work so that when i give prices i know that I'm not low balling it or high balling it. Today i have called over 5 different company's doing the same thing as me and they have given me price's from $300-$800 a day doing the same exact stuff as i do. So clearly I'm to cheap as people have already said and some are very expensive. I want to be working the whole week and not sitting around waiting for the one job a month that pays me well for 5 days. Also as you should know being in the construction game that your work is only worth what the customer is willing to pay. It has nothing to do with your overheads or your profit. You may have higher over heads than me so does that mean you can charge more than me? Or you may want higher profit so does that mean you can charge more than me. It all comes down to whats a fair price for you and a customer and there's a limit to being fair and being a rip off. I have never had to advertise in the UK for over 8 years because i was always fair with my prices and i was happy with what i was earning.

Now thanks guys for the helpful responses so far as i have now decided that I'm going to keep my rates in the $40-50hr range when I'm up to full steam with work. I have some current work lined up that is in the $30-35 range and after that up they go.
If you can do quality work and keep the same attitude that you have,you will get a ton of repeat biz. There's no stopping a guy that is cheap and good. Thats how I started out. Now I'm just expensive and have a bad attitude, but I give a quality result. So 1 out of 3 aint bad.
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Old 06-29-2009, 09:27 PM   #14
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Re: New To US Need Some Advice.


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Ridiculous why?
First put your location in, because the guys telling you $500 a day, you could be in the area of Tree Fitty a day.

Secondly, I gave you a very good advise and I am usually not that nice to people who sound ridiculous and I will tell you why:

Reason #1
"Also i don't see how a construction calculator is going to help me out. I don't want to calculate materials. I Just needed an idea of what someone in my trade would be charging for smilier work so that when i give prices i know that I'm not low balling it or high balling it"
Price for what similar work are you talking about?

Reason#2
"Today i have called over 5 different company's doing the same thing as me and they have given me price's from $300-$800 a day doing the same exact stuff as i do."
No comments

Reason#3
"Also as you should know being in the construction game that your work is only worth what the customer is willing to pay. It has nothing to do with your overheads or your profit"
Please don't confuse CT with Craigslist... only a hack can make such statement

Reason#4
"You may have higher over heads than me so does that mean you can charge more than me?"
Do you really want me to answer that?

Read the advise I gave you in my previous tread...If you take your head out of your A$$ for a few minutes, you will appreciate my advise and maybe, just maybe next time you will not sound so ridiculous
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Old 06-30-2009, 07:58 AM   #15
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Re: New To US Need Some Advice.


As i said in my last reply perhaps you would like to read through the thread as you clearly have not read a thing i have writen. I have already explained where i live and im not even gonna bother trying to argue with someone who is clearly just a troll. Now jog on fella.
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Old 06-30-2009, 08:11 AM   #16
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Re: New To US Need Some Advice.


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If you can do quality work and keep the same attitude that you have,you will get a ton of repeat biz. There's no stopping a guy that is cheap and good. Thats how I started out. Now I'm just expensive and have a bad attitude, but I give a quality result. So 1 out of 3 aint bad.

Thanks Crock. I was earning hardly nothing in the UK until i got used to the priceing and getting advice from other contrators and being a little cheap to start which did help me and and all my work ended up being recomendations. You have to start somewhere. It's all new to me here and even priceing is a mission here, when materials all have different names. I think of my self to be good and have not had a complaint about my work for over 4-5 years. Im not the best at what i do i admit but im anal and i like things to be perfect. It's paid off in the UK and hopefully it pays of here.
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Old 06-30-2009, 10:48 AM   #17
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Re: New To US Need Some Advice.


Somewhere in there you said your work is only worth what the customer is willing to pay. I would venture to say that your target customers are willing to pay what your work is worth. First you have to sell it to them and then prove it was good value.

When I wasn't charging enough to make ends meet I still found plenty of customers that thought it was too expensive. Today we sell at a much higher rate and many clients think its good value even when it's the highest quote. It's a relative to presentation and perception more than what anyone else might be charging.

Good Luck
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Old 06-30-2009, 11:53 AM   #18
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Somewhere in there you said your work is only worth what the customer is willing to pay. I would venture to say that your target customers are willing to pay what your work is worth. First you have to sell it to them and then prove it was good value.

When I wasn't charging enough to make ends meet I still found plenty of customers that thought it was too expensive. Today we sell at a much higher rate and many clients think its good value even when it's the highest quote. It's a relative to presentation and perception more than what anyone else might be charging.

Good Luck
Dave
Hello Dave, Your right in what you say and I'm almost certain my quality of work is worth what I'm charging but with most of the quotes i have done so far over here the customers have a cost in their head what they are expecting these things to cost and i want to be in that top range of what they are thinking. I quoted a double boat dock today and i was surprised to find out i was 1/3rd the cost of other quotes and i was of course well within what the customer was thinking. Sadly i quoted this on $33hr and from what i now know i could have gone higher but once i get my foot in the door and start to get some more recommendations then i will increase my prices. I got my self my first full rate job just a hour ago for a family friend i had already done work for. $10k for doing his bathroom. That price includes the materials and i should be looking at about $5k profit for 3 weeks work thanks to you guys . The only good thing about being too cheap is your sure do get a lot of quote requests lol
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Old 06-30-2009, 12:24 PM   #19
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Re: New To US Need Some Advice.


Case in point. We have a client we did several jobs for. We also quoted the neighbors roof. The neighbor found us to be about 1/3 more than the quote he accepted. (we were too expensive)

While working on the roof the competitor noticed that our client had no flashing on their chimney and offered a quote while they were there. Our client called us and we quoted substantially higher than them. Our salesman brought in the scheduling deposit check moments ago. (we are recognized as good value)

You can't win them all but you can make the ones you do win count.

Good Luck
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Old 06-30-2009, 01:38 PM   #20
 
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Re: New To US Need Some Advice.


I think maybe you should consider taking a basic business class. If you are in Virginia both Germana and NOVA offer business classes. Why in the world would you start pricing jobs without learning how to do so. There are a lot of factors that go into determining billing rates and methods. The way your company is structured, class of license, type of work you will be doing, risk factor involved (your investment in the job vs. your return- not whether or not you'll fall off the roof), taxes, insurance, workman's comp, mic fees (licensing, bpol, corporate commission, etc.), advertising, office overhead (fixed), maintenance and upkeep of tools and equipment, etc. How much do you need to make vs, how much do you want to make? What percentage of proffit can your company surviv on vs. thrive on (affected by market somewhat)? Then you need to know what are the standardized prices and how do I stack up to that? This is by no means a complete list of factors. If you are incapable of figuring this out on your own you need to do one of the following: 1. Close the business 2. Hire an accountant or book keeper to assist you (this can still be risky if you don't have the basics down as they can embezzle money from you if they have to much access ) 3. Take the time to educate yourself either through classes or reading.
Surely if you are indeed licensed you took the 8 hour mandatory class and learned something right? How did you even pass the exams without knowing how to do this? My advice to you is quit bidding jobs until you learn how to do so properly. There is a lot more involved then simply asking someone what should I charge for this (If you called me and asked "what should I charge to build a garage for someone?" I would tell you something ridiculous like $7500.00 and laugh myself silly when I hung up at the thought of you bidding it at that.) and there are alot of resourses available to you (if you bother to look and/or invest for/in them) to aid you in bidding jobs that you are/may be unfamilure with or have no past history doing. Now quit trying to figure out what we are all charging and figure out what you need to be charging.

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