Contractor Talk - Professional Construction and Remodeling Forum banner
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Administrator
Maker of Fine Sawdust
Joined
·
55,736 Posts
Sure is better than paying out $6/hr to work at someones house.

Glad I never paid to work for someone, but I know people who have underbid so bad they ended up loosing a lot of money. The school of hard knocks has many students.
 

·
The Remodeler
Joined
·
1,536 Posts
I dont even want to think what my hourly rate works out to on the current project... Leo mentioned in another thread about getting bored while working alone in the cabinet shop, and making mistakes (which waste time). It's so true... I'm doing a project which is a design-on-the-fly type job, and I waste more time staring at the pieces to determine what the best size/shape/style is... Plus, when it's warm out, I keep the overhead door up and tend to watch the cars drive by.
 

·
Administrator
Maker of Fine Sawdust
Joined
·
55,736 Posts
I don't count that as billable hours in my head. But it still counts as the day count for how long a job gets done. If you do 30 hours of actual work in a 40 hour period all it does is limit how much money you can make in one week. You have lost 1 day of possible production.

When I was younger and enjoyed my work more I would get about 38 hours of work for every 40 hours in the shop. But at that time my shop was 30 miles away and when I was there business had to be done. Now that my shop is 2 miles away I can go there any time and any wasted time just limits they total amount of jobs I can do in a years time.

I'm just getting old, and I have been working wood for 20 years now. I'd like to change, but to what I don't know. I enjoy working with my hands and when I finish something it is a great feeling. Especially when you can go there 10 years later and say "I made that" I could probably make it as a photographer, but the change is hard.
 

·
Contractor of the Month
Joined
·
26,075 Posts
I think if we all added up the hours we spent dealing with people, dictating, accounting, researching, schooling, buying materials, buying tools, talking to others, waking up in the middle of the night and thinking about a job, and all other things related to the job....I think alot of us regularly make about 6 bucks an hour!

4 Bucks an hour sucks, but it could be ALOT worse.

Leo mentioned in another thread about getting bored while working alone in the cabinet shop
Working alone on a tedious project is the worst, I can recall throwing out about 20' of pipe bending parallel kicks out of a pannel when I was just having one of thoes days. The only thing worse then being in a shop alone is sitting infront of a computer scripting drivers or code mapping all day long (whice I've been doing alot of lately). You think cars are distracting try having internet access at all times! Contractor talk has destroyed some serious productivity.
 

·
Crash Test Dummy
Joined
·
2,210 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
CC - Ouch, what happened? Materials, Time Required, Both?

Time, mostly. And gas.

Failure to properly analyze the task at hand.

Overgrown landscape cleanup for a wedding Saturday.

They wanted it weed free, and done without chemicals. Upon clearing the initial overgrowth, there manymanymanymanymanymanymany woody stemmed weeds growing through the centerpiece garden bed. Desirable plants placed too tightly to use weedwhacker/brushcutter. had to be hand weeded.

I underestimated the volume of green waste I was removing, and forgot the close landfill (16mi r/t) was closed, and ending up making two extra trips to the farther landfill (40mi r/t).

To top it all off, I only remembered the close landfill was closed as i turned down the access road with 1/4 mi. to go.And it was in the opposite direction of the one I needed to go to.

I'm not real thrilled with look of the ground in the beds after the cleanup, so I'm going to mulch it Friday to cover the hideous bare ground.

I might try to get the HO to kick down something for that, but honestly, I feel it's something I should have covered in the initial bed. So I don't know yet. may just eat it. It's only another $50 and an hour of my time, so I'll at least break even or maybe enough for a 40. Good thing I quit smoking.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
846 Posts
That happens in landscaping Charlie. An overgrown area is tough to bid if they want to keep some of the existing.

I talked to a HO just 4 miles up the road their garden was massively overgrown. They had a bunch of stuff they wanted to keep. I told em I could bring in a skidsteer and strip it bare w/ haul off for $4,000. If they wanted it hand weeded they were looking at closer to $9,000. They declined both, still looks like ass.

Hand weeding an area always takes much, much longer than you think it will. Add in a few unexpected hurdles and pretty soon you're in that same boat. Happens to all of us.
 

·
Crash Test Dummy
Joined
·
2,210 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I can't think of too many things I've underbid in the last five or six years aside from cleanups in existing overgrown 'scapes.

It's the one thing I consistently underbid. I should know by now.

But it all balances out when I do "everything goes lot clearing". I always walk away feeling I overbid.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
846 Posts
I have the same problem w/ my clean ups. I think it'll take about 40 hours, winds up taking 70.

The everything must go clean ups are downright fun. I rent a dump truck, a skid steer and tear it out. Good times. :D

Tree work can be fun too, there's just something gratifying about throwing big hunks of wood in a chipper.
 

·
Crash Test Dummy
Joined
·
2,210 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Tree work is my favorite. CHAINSAW!!

I do a lot of steep clearing here. Jobs most folk don't want to do-probably becuase they can't get equipment in. Just me my brushcutter. 90% of my clearing jobs is compost on site or burn. Nothing to haul away.

Some noob just moved here and seen me clearing the steep hillside next to his. These were rim lots. He asked for a price and about sh!t when i gave it to him. He was from Tuscon. No mexis here. He asked what I was going to use to haul the debris away, as I didn't have my trailer with me that day. "Hauling? That's going to at least triple the cost". He thought I was trying to scam him. Said he was going to call around.

Three years later-the hillside behind his house is still an overgrown mess.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top