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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm an acoustical ceiling contractor in central Florida. I've been having trouble getting work lately. I assumed it was the economic downturn that was responsible. Turns out the term "dog eat dog" is in full swing. I just talked to one of my competitors. He wanted to know if I would sub-sub a job for him. At first, I was surprised that he had so much work, that he needed me to do this for him. Long story short, turns out he's bidding jobs at an avg. price of 0.25-0.35 per sq. ft. for grid and tile (labor only). No wonder he's overwhelmed with work! He's going broke, but he's working. My point is this- at these prices, I can't make a living. Insurance, overhead, taxes...etc. In 2008, the national avg. was 0.73 (2x4), and 0.90 (2x2). I dropped my prices 20%, but he's off by more than 50%. Is this what it's come to here in Florida? No wonder I can't land a job. Can anyone out there confirm this? I just can't believe it. After all, he is a competitor.
 

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Maker of fine kindling
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I don't know jack about your line of work or what's going on for your competitor.

That being said I do know this. I have missed on a couple jobs recently because my competitors are buying jobs at crazy low prices. Similar to the numbers you are talking.

I hesitate to even put this out there because I think there are HO's that cruise sites like this and get the idea that they can score a super deal right now. Truth is we still need to clear the bar at the end of the month just like any other time. More so really.

It's very frustrating right now for a lot of guys. We all would like to know where this is headed.

Some days chicken other days feathers.
 

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I'm an acoustical ceiling contractor in central Florida. I've been having trouble getting work lately. I assumed it was the economic downturn that was responsible. Turns out the term "dog eat dog" is in full swing. I just talked to one of my competitors. He wanted to know if I would sub-sub a job for him. At first, I was surprised that he had so much work, that he needed me to do this for him. Long story short, turns out he's bidding jobs at an avg. price of 0.25-0.35 per sq. ft. for grid and tile (labor only). No wonder he's overwhelmed with work! He's going broke, but he's working. My point is this- at these prices, I can't make a living. Insurance, overhead, taxes...etc. In 2008, the national avg. was 0.73 (2x4), and 0.90 (2x2). I dropped my prices 20%, but he's off by more than 50%. Is this what it's come to here in Florida? No wonder I can't land a job. Can anyone out there confirm this? I just can't believe it. After all, he is a competitor.


 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
He just needed me to grid the job, and wanted to pay me .15 psf. (2x2 fineline 9/16 grid w/ perlin clips!!) I laughed at him. Thats when he told me what he was bidding. He does get a 6% mark-up on material, but yea, he's bidding .25-.35 psf. I charge at least .45 for the easiest of jobs, say 10 ft or less, 2x4 flat tile, wide open area with very few obstructions. But he's busy and I'm not. It reminds me of how all the illegal aliens came in and drove the labor rates into the ground. This kind of under bidding is only benefitting the GC. I guarentee you the savings are not being passed on to the owners. Guys like him are doing damage that could take years to fix.
 

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He just needed me to grid the job, and wanted to pay me .15 psf. (2x2 fineline 9/16 grid w/ perlin clips!!) I laughed at him. Thats when he told me what he was bidding. He does get a 6% mark-up on material, but yea, he's bidding .25-.35 psf. I charge at least .45 for the easiest of jobs, say 10 ft or less, 2x4 flat tile, wide open area with very few obstructions. But he's busy and I'm not. It reminds me of how all the illegal aliens came in and drove the labor rates into the ground. This kind of under bidding is only benefitting the GC. I guarentee you the savings are not being passed on to the owners. Guys like him are doing damage that could take years to fix.
I know what you mean. Before I started my own business we had a huge hailstorm. A good friends dad had some storm chasers with illegals do his roof. I ask him about it and said he wanted that cheap labor. I ask him if he thought that company was cutting him any break because their employees work for peanuts. Hell no they pocket it all themselves!
 

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Grand Rapids Remodeling
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I don't mean to steal this thread (SOT) but Gus's comment about where this is going made me think of a PBS program on Sunday I think. It was Ron Paul speaking at some function. He had some good arguments that the economic system of today not backed by real gold (just printed) is unsustainable and is not going to get better. Now I don't follow Ron P or any other politician for that matter but it really made me think.

Hmmm, I think the topic was ceiling tile. Sorry fever64, hold on to your prices, your competitor can't pay to work for forever.

www.phbconstruction.com
 

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What does it matter if the system isn't backed by 'real gold'. What the hell is gold good for? You can't eat it, or sleep in it, or get out of the rain under it. It's only another symbol of wealth anyway. It's true it's rare and it doesn't rot. But at the bottom of it all is that complex societies with highly skilled workers need a symbolic form of valuation to use to exchange goods and services.

Have you ever tried to barter for services or goods? Those deals are super hard to put together because the indeterminate relative value of the goods makes the parties distrustful of one another. Tell someone you'll pay them cash they offer you a number and the deal is done. Tell someone you'll pay them with 4200 hundred chickens they say I don't need that many chickens, what if some of the chickens are dead, I can't pay the rent with chickens, have you seen how much crap chickens produce?
 

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I'll tell you what the system is backed by. It's backed by oil. We wash in it, eat it, drive with it, move mountains with it, build with it, live in it, build computers out of it. Everything that sustains our massive population is dependent on oil. Dollars are the denominating currency of oil because our guns (nukes) maintain the power balance that keeps the russians and chinese and europeans from rolling over the saudi's like there's nothing there. No nukes = war over oil = cluster f. It works the other way around too. No oil = war with nukes = cluster f.
 

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I'm an acoustical ceiling contractor in central Florida. I've been having trouble getting work lately. I assumed it was the economic downturn that was responsible. Turns out the term "dog eat dog" is in full swing. I just talked to one of my competitors. He wanted to know if I would sub-sub a job for him. At first, I was surprised that he had so much work, that he needed me to do this for him. Long story short, turns out he's bidding jobs at an avg. price of 0.25-0.35 per sq. ft. for grid and tile (labor only). No wonder he's overwhelmed with work! He's going broke, but he's working. My point is this- at these prices, I can't make a living. Insurance, overhead, taxes...etc. In 2008, the national avg. was 0.73 (2x4), and 0.90 (2x2). I dropped my prices 20%, but he's off by more than 50%. Is this what it's come to here in Florida? No wonder I can't land a job. Can anyone out there confirm this? I just can't believe it. After all, he is a competitor.
i wouldn't do any work for him. he will most likely not pay you. same thing is happening in San Diego.
 

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What does it matter if the system isn't backed by 'real gold'. What the hell is gold good for? You can't eat it, or sleep in it, or get out of the rain under it. It's only another symbol of wealth anyway. It's true it's rare and it doesn't rot. But at the bottom of it all is that complex societies with highly skilled workers need a symbolic form of valuation to use to exchange goods and services.

Have you ever tried to barter for services or goods? Those deals are super hard to put together because the indeterminate relative value of the goods makes the parties distrustful of one another. Tell someone you'll pay them cash they offer you a number and the deal is done. Tell someone you'll pay them with 4200 hundred chickens they say I don't need that many chickens, what if some of the chickens are dead, I can't pay the rent with chickens, have you seen how much crap chickens produce?
The most basic answer I could provide is this,

Gold is one thing that is universally wanted and considered valuable.

A countries paper bills are literally only paper.
 
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