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From Sub To Contractor

 
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Old 06-07-2019, 12:44 AM   #1
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From Sub To Contractor


since my fathers passing I inherited his tools an began subbing finishing work, im making a rate between $6 an $9 a board. sanding pays an extra $1 per board. Im wanting to get into full contracting an possibly commercial contracting down the road.

2 questions,

#1, am I getting paid a fair price? ive only done work for this one builder as hes the only one i knew, an would give me work. is he taking advantage of someone new on the scene? I do good work in good time.

#2 as Just a finisher, how do i go about pricing an entire drywall job?? the only formula i know is a rate at about .36 per sf of the board.

house with 240 4x8, (.36x32x240)

is this accurate? cheap? too high? am i even doing the math right?
also that rate is based in rural south ga
im starting in atlanta.

Last edited by SawyerJonez; 06-07-2019 at 12:50 AM. Reason: forgot one big factor, in that price, the rock is not included, the buider supplies rock only.
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Old 06-07-2019, 02:17 AM   #2
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Re: From Sub To Contractor


You need to know what you want. KAP should be along soon enough with great info about what you're charging.

Some lite reading
https://www.contractortalk.com/f16/p...uccess-122452/

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Old 06-07-2019, 06:19 AM   #3
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Re: From Sub To Contractor


Who sands if you don’t do it?

$9 /32 is only $0.28 sq ft. $6 is obviously less.

Finishers around here get between $0.50 and $1.00 /sq. ft. of board, so between $16 and $32 for a 4x8 sheet. If a hanger used all 8’ boards no finisher would take the job for any money.
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Old 06-07-2019, 06:43 AM   #4
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Re: From Sub To Contractor


Hey Big,

You know, the sh!t of that is, my d/w guy, clear back in 2007 damned near quit because I had to tell him go from .86/ft to .83/ft or goodbye.

And that was the year the bottom fell out. And here we are, all these years later....
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Old 06-07-2019, 06:54 AM   #5
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Hey Big,

You know, the sh!t of that is, my d/w guy, clear back in 2007 damned near quit because I had to tell him go from .86/ft to .83/ft or goodbye.

And that was the year the bottom fell out. And here we are, all these years later....
I think I was paying low $0.20’s (maybe even high teens) for finish at the market bottom and getting better quality. I don’t mind paying the higher prices but the quality has gone to ****. I hear the guys subbing for the big builders haven’t gotten a raise, some have even taken cuts. They are all afraid of the bottom falling out again and not having any work.
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Old 06-07-2019, 08:06 AM   #6
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Re: From Sub To Contractor


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I think I was paying low $0.20’s (maybe even high teens) for finish at the market bottom and getting better quality. I don’t mind paying the higher prices but the quality has gone to ****. I hear the guys subbing for the big builders haven’t gotten a raise, some have even taken cuts. They are all afraid of the bottom falling out again and not having any work.
That's exactly it, imo.

The ones I just finished in Rochester Hills - after we hit a logger head - they hired a 3rd party sub to come in and do all the spotting.

Whatever, got thu it, and done is done.
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Old 06-07-2019, 08:32 AM   #7
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Re: From Sub To Contractor


the last house I did was a 170 board with 1 12ft vaulted ceiling. i did it for $9 per board, took 4 days . did not sand. paid 1530.
seems like good money to me but everyone seems to say its too cheap.
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Old 06-07-2019, 08:34 AM   #8
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Re: From Sub To Contractor


Quote:
Originally Posted by SawyerJonez View Post
since my fathers passing I inherited his tools an began subbing finishing work, im making a rate between $6 an $9 a board. sanding pays an extra $1 per board. Im wanting to get into full contracting an possibly commercial contracting down the road.

2 questions,

#1, am I getting paid a fair price? ive only done work for this one builder as hes the only one i knew, an would give me work. is he taking advantage of someone new on the scene? I do good work in good time.

#2 as Just a finisher, how do i go about pricing an entire drywall job?? the only formula i know is a rate at about .36 per sf of the board.

house with 240 4x8, (.36x32x240)

is this accurate? cheap? too high? am i even doing the math right?
also that rate is based in rural south ga
im starting in atlanta.
sorry to hear about your father...


Click on this link titled "What's the big secret" started by a member coming from a similar place as you... https://www.contractortalk.com/f52/w...secret-143988/

It was a great discussion on pricing that really focused on different contributors perspectives... below was one of my posts from the thread that covers a lot of what you're looking for... as you'll see with the above thread, feel free to ask questions... you'll get a lot of good answers from multiple posters on the subject...
Quote:
Originally Posted by KAP View Post
Carr, the first "secret" is not basing your price off of someone elses price...

As an example, assuming a 40-hour work week, you have 2080 hours per year you can work... if one guy thinks making $35K/year is cool painting houses, his hourly rate just to make his salary is just shy of $17/hour. For ease of example, this does not include taxes, WC, bene's, retirement, etc... which would ADD to the hourly cost...

2nd guy wants to make $50K/year doing the same thing... He needs to make in excess of $24/hour... assuming they both can paint at the same rate of speed and quality, the first guy needs to charge $136 for an 8-hour day, but the 2nd guy needs to charge $192 for an 8-hour day, or 41% more just to make their base pay...

Now one guy might have a shop, and the other guy doesn't... one guy might be legit and be insured and the other guy not... one guy may be paying off a vehicle the other guy not... etc...

So, if the 2nd guy based his pricing off the first guy, he would be at a NET negative EVERY DAY of $56 just on what they wanted to make as their base pay. Add in all the other variables costs in running a company, which is different from company to company, and you can see the folly in basing your pricing off of another company's pricing...

L - Labor
O - Overhead
M - Materials
P - Profit

First, you calculate your Labor.... this includes what you want to make GROSS every year for you and anyone you employ, PLUS taxes, Insurance, bene's, retirement, etc....

Overhead - Shop, cell, advertising, WC, electric, heat, vehicle insurance, any vehicle payments, accountant, equipment maintenance, office supplies, etc...

(These two figures (Labor and Overhead) are added together and divided by 2080 hours (40-hour week) and this is the MINIMUM you can charge per hour as they are a CONSTANT. So if you expect a job to take a day and a half, you better assume TWO days unless you are somehow able to fit another job in that half day (unlikely)... so you would take the hourly cost from this calculation and multiply it by 16 (two 8-hour days).) If you have a day where you had no business, it NEEDS to be accounted for in your upcoming jobs if you do not have capital reserved or an emergency fund to absorb it.


Materials - these are what your materials will cost for the project. Everything. Then you add a percentage for handling, delivery, etc... I should also mention, we've taken to adding gas to materials because of it's variable nature. We record how many miles it takes to get to a prospects house for the estimate, and calculate our average gas price for the month and build it into materials. Because we ad a percentage on top for handling/delivery, it helps cover any variance... Because you will know what they charge, subs can be included in this category...

Profit - this is what you pay your company, (NOT your pay left over after a job) which is based on all of the above... so add up Labor, Overhead, Materials and then multiply x whatever profit margin % you have determined you need. This goes towards things like a capital reserve account, emergency fund and equipment purchases...

If you do not have PROFIT built into your pricing, there is only ONE place it can come from.... YOUR pocket...

Your challenge is when you add up the numbers for the above (the only variable should be materials and the Profit percentage will take care of itself as it is based on the other three) is you will be surprised at how much it indeed costs you to be in business...

Then you will have to go after the business that can support what you need to make... and then you will come to realize that not everyone is your customer... If you drop your pants on a job to "buy it", if you have not accrued any capital reserves or emergency fund, it comes DIRECTLY out of your pocket...

There's no secret involved... just getting to know your prices and what YOU need to charge, not what the other guy charges...

Best of luck... 8^)


P.S. - BTW... almost done with those flyers... should have them to you by the weekend... in the meantime, work on your website and FB page...


Also, here are some other threads on pricing you might find interesting... https://www.contractortalk.com/searc...rchid=43946655

Last edited by KAP; 06-07-2019 at 08:38 AM.
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Old 06-07-2019, 08:52 AM   #9
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Re: From Sub To Contractor


Quote:
Originally Posted by SawyerJonez View Post
the last house I did was a 170 board with 1 12ft vaulted ceiling. i did it for $9 per board, took 4 days . did not sand. paid 1530.
seems like good money to me but everyone seems to say its too cheap.
That's probably because you're looking at it as a number that you "paid" yourself as straight labor... and from that perspective, just shy of $48/hour doesn't suck (if you maintain it, that's $100K gross/year), but it doesn't take into account all your costs of being in business... when you do that, yes, you can't come to any other conclusion that it's way too cheap...

Read the above post, re-calculate that figure and show us what YOU actually made, and what you're company was paid (i.e. - Profit)...
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Old 06-07-2019, 09:11 AM   #10
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Re: From Sub To Contractor


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That's probably because you're looking at it as a number that you "paid" yourself as straight labor... and from that perspective, just shy of $48/hour doesn't suck (if you maintain it, that's $100K gross/year), but it doesn't take into account all your costs of being in business... when you do that, yes, you can't come to any other conclusion that it's way too cheap...

Read the above post, re-calculate that figure and show us what YOU actually made, and what you're company was paid (i.e. - Profit)...
yes at that price, its just labor. i dont pay for anything except the gas to get there.
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Old 06-07-2019, 09:19 AM   #11
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Re: From Sub To Contractor


also, im not really understanding the point in measuring by the sf. isnt it way easier to just charge by the board?? from my understanding youre charging the sf of the board, then calculate the number of board. But the board doesnt change.. why make it confusing? if a house has 150 board, whats the point in measuring the sf?

i think for me, its way more clear to charge by the board.
if my rate starts at $45 a board, (include hang, to ready to paint) an you have a flat 100 board house, well that price would be 4500. the sf is irrelevant.. right?
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Old 06-07-2019, 09:56 AM   #12
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Re: From Sub To Contractor


Quote:
Originally Posted by SawyerJonez View Post
also, im not really understanding the point in measuring by the sf. isnt it way easier to just charge by the board?? from my understanding youre charging the sf of the board, then calculate the number of board. But the board doesnt change.. why make it confusing? if a house has 150 board, whats the point in measuring the sf?

i think for me, its way more clear to charge by the board.
if my rate starts at $45 a board, (include hang, to ready to paint) an you have a flat 100 board house, well that price would be 4500. the sf is irrelevant.. right?

Because boards can be 8’, 9’, 10’, 12’, 14’ and 16’ long and they can all be 54” wide.
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Old 06-07-2019, 10:51 AM   #13
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Because boards can be 8’, 9’, 10’, 12’, 14’ and 16’ long and they can all be 54” wide.
right.. so just set your price based on the board..
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Old 06-07-2019, 12:47 PM   #14
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Re: From Sub To Contractor


must be a west coast thing, but i have never heard of charging by the board.

always been a sq ft price.
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Old 06-07-2019, 04:35 PM   #15
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Re: From Sub To Contractor


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must be a west coast thing, but i have never heard of charging by the board.

always been a sq ft price.
seems easier to me. its like trying to calculate somebodys weight by their height an muscles density.. or you can just step on a scale.

rule number one, dont overthink it.
maybe im doing the math wrong, but if im installing 50 board.. how is the sf relevant?? its 50 board.. charge for 50 board, an add from there, height, angles ect..

if its a square room, with 50 4x8... charge for 50 4x8
if its a vaulted ceiling with 50 4x12.. charge for 50 4x12 + pain in the ass fee.

i dont understand how the sf is relevent
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Old 06-07-2019, 05:29 PM   #16
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Re: From Sub To Contractor


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yes at that price, its just labor. i dont pay for anything except the gas to get there.
Nothing except the gas to get there? How are you covering your Overhead & Labor Costs, and consumables? Things like... Taxes? Insurance? Cell? Vehicle? Maintenance? Etc. - that's just a partial list of overhead...

You're making a common mistake in confusing that figure (gross profit) with what you pay yourself... your pay should already be calculated into your Labor or Overhead costs... your pay is not what you pay yourself after everyone else is paid... if you do that and something happens (over-run, mis-calculation of labor time, whatever) there's only ONE place it can come out of - YOUR pocket...

PROFIT is NOT what you pay yourself after everyone else is paid...

PROFIT is what you pay your company to develop things that are crucial to long-term success like (3-6 months) Capital Reserves & Emergency Fund, Equipment Fund, etc...



Quote:
Originally Posted by SawyerJonez View Post
also, im not really understanding the point in measuring by the sf. isnt it way easier to just charge by the board?? from my understanding youre charging the sf of the board, then calculate the number of board. But the board doesnt change.. why make it confusing? if a house has 150 board, whats the point in measuring the sf?

i think for me, its way more clear to charge by the board.
if my rate starts at $45 a board, (include hang, to ready to paint) an you have a flat 100 board house, well that price would be 4500. the sf is irrelevant.. right?
SF, LF, CF, etc. all are just units of measurement that align themselves differently to each trade... the important part is what the numbers say that translate into that unit of measurement... for example...

If you've determined it's going to cost $4500 for a hundred 8ft x 4" boards... it would be...

$45/board OR
$5.63 LF OR
$2.67 SF OR
ETC...

You get the idea... some use them because it sounds less expensive because some customers don't understand the difference and just look at the number... what's important though is are the underlying numbers sound... Do they cover what it costs you to be in business AND make a Profit for your company?

Unit measurement is useful for simplifying non-complex pricing such as trim as one example... but there are usually other factors that add cost, such as stacked trim or irregulars corners, finishing, etc. that would be added on top of it...
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Old 06-07-2019, 05:36 PM   #17
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Re: From Sub To Contractor


Way back in the day when I was hanging drywall , price was always discussed as per sq ft (.08 a ft to hang back then) , sq ft was always calculated by how many boards we used , no matter how much of it went on the scrap pile . IDK how the finishers came up with a sq ft number

First question to the builder was , how much a foot

Next question was how many boards , never how many feet

I guess it doesn’t matter how you figure it , as long as you get your money

If you feel the price you are getting is not fair , negotiate a new price or find customers willing to pay what you want
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Old 06-07-2019, 05:41 PM   #18
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Re: From Sub To Contractor


Quote:
Originally Posted by KAP View Post
Nothing except the gas to get there? How are you covering your Overhead & Labor Costs, and consumables? Things like... Taxes? Insurance? Cell? Vehicle? Maintenance? Etc. - that's just a partial list of overhead...

You're making a common mistake in confusing that figure (gross profit) with what you pay yourself... your pay should already be calculated into your Labor or Overhead costs... your pay is not what you pay yourself after everyone else is paid... if you do that and something happens (over-run, mis-calculation of labor time, whatever) there's only ONE place it can come out of - YOUR pocket...

PROFIT is NOT what you pay yourself after everyone else is paid...

PROFIT is what you pay your company to develop things that are crucial to long-term success like (3-6 months) Capital Reserves & Emergency Fund, Equipment Fund, etc...





SF, LF, CF, etc. all are just units of measurement that align themselves differently to each trade... the important part is what the numbers say that translate into that unit of measurement... for example...

If you've determined it's going to cost $4500 for a hundred 8ft x 4" boards... it would be...

$45/board OR
$5.63 LF OR
$2.67 SF OR
ETC...

You get the idea... some use them because it sounds less expensive because some customers don't understand the difference and just look at the number... what's important though is are the underlying numbers sound... Do they cover what it costs you to be in business AND make a Profit for your company?

Unit measurement is useful for simplifying non-complex pricing such as trim as one example... but there are usually other factors that add cost, such as stacked trim or irregulars corners, finishing, etc. that would be added on top of it...
my labor cost is me. i dont have help. i dont pay for material. tools are mine. if i had to calculate that.. well then i wouldnt be the sub. id be the contractor. thats the whole point of being a sub, you just show up an work. by the board lol
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Old 06-07-2019, 06:12 PM   #19
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Re: From Sub To Contractor


Quote:
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my labor cost is me. i dont have help. i dont pay for material. tools are mine. if i had to calculate that.. well then i wouldnt be the sub. id be the contractor. thats the whole point of being a sub, you just show up an work. by the board lol
Almost all of our subs provide all of their own materials, tools, vehicles, etc. What you are describing sounds more like a basic employee.

I have made A LOT of mistakes over the years. Remember when you say your labor is just you, it includes ALL of your time involved in the work, not just the part where you are slinging mud.

And you are going to hang by yourself? We have plenty of finishers that are a single guy for up too 2500 sf homes. But the hangers are 4-8 per crew.

Last edited by Dan_Watson; 06-07-2019 at 06:15 PM.
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Old 06-07-2019, 08:01 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Dan_Watson View Post
Almost all of our subs provide all of their own materials, tools, vehicles, etc. What you are describing sounds more like a basic employee.

I have made A LOT of mistakes over the years. Remember when you say your labor is just you, it includes ALL of your time involved in the work, not just the part where you are slinging mud.

And you are going to hang by yourself? We have plenty of finishers that are a single guy for up too 2500 sf homes. But the hangers are 4-8 per crew.
maybe its a lingo barrier. I sub for the drywall contractor. i have nothing to do with the hanging. or material. I get paid avg $8 to finish. only. thats it. point blank. nothing else. I dont even sand unless I choose to. im not an employee. I get paid cash, with a 1099 at the end of year. it seemd to me the biggest reason why contractors have issues, is because they make it too damn complicated an over think themselves out of the job. thank you for everyones reply. it further assured me to never take peoples advice as it only makes things complicated. charge by the board call it a day

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