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In the business world and especially the construction industry the business model of “good, fast and cheap” is consistent with the south Florida construction market. The theory is to pick any two of the three qualities and you won’t get the third. The typical south Florida model of most home owners is they want it “fast” and they want it “cheap”, with an emphasis on “cheap”. Unfortunately they think “quality” is automatic in the trilogy.

Over the last eighteen years our company has seen the fluctuation of construction cost’s due to the outbreak of war, natural disasters both home and abroad, shortage of natural resources for material fabrication purposes and corporate greed. An example of the latter is the proposed increase of 35% for drywall cost in January of 2012. One may ask how this can be since construction in south Florida is at its lowest production since December of 2007. The drywall manufacturers must think that someone has found a new use for drywall. The manufacturers forget the period from 2003 to 2006 when drywall cost rose exponentially and they had to import Chinese drywall to help fill the building demand. Many south Florida home owners and of course the attorneys will attest to the ramifications of that choice. When we received notice of this increase everyone in the office had a good laugh. We thought the drywall executives were snorting their own gypsum. What we found out was that since they are selling so little product and their inventory is at an all-time low, the top brass decided to raise the cost of drywall just to be able to meet their overhead cost. Because of the rise in the cost of oil, fabrication and transportation cost have both contributed to significant cost increases in lumber, steel, copper, aluminum and any other petroleum based products. This takes me back to the end user, the home owner.

Since this is a down market, most home owners believe they are doing us a favor by having us bid on their potential job. They believe that labor and material cost are at an all-time low and that they are getting more bang for their buck. We are finding that most home owners are not realistic with their budgets because their cousins, uncles, unlicensed and uninsured handyman can do it for cost. I recently did a site visit to see an example of such a scenario. When the home owner asked me for my opinion of the construction, I explained “you might as well tear it down because not one element of it meets the building code”. As expected I got the tight lip frown and the rolling eyes.

What home owners forget is that in order to run our business (like theirs), one has to pay rent, insurance, electric, gas and numerous overhead costs. We constantly hear how it should cost less than half of what it did less than five years ago. So I digress, do you want it good, fast or cheap? You get to pick which two.
 

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Ink Slinger
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Welcome, and well put.

I thought it was just me. Maybe I'm just getting old and bitter.
If so, I'd rather get out.

But, there exists somewhere a part of the market that appreciates good and does not focus on cheap. The successful businessman figures out where that is and finds a way to insert himself into the equation.

Some of us never do figure that out or else we don't have the energy or smarts to make it work for us. That is not the markets fault, that is our fault. And maybe we that don't find a fit need to quit. Not everybody gets to sit at the head table. But it sure was nice while it lasted.
 

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I don't think you can get quality and cheap even if it is slow.
 

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kevjob said:
Never understood that saying.

What if they pick good and cheap?:blink:
Yeah me neither. I even posted about it before.

I'll take good and cheap. I don't care how long it takes you, just means you're making less money.

Kev- did you get my pm?
 

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Not sure how big projects you guys are into, but I know one thing. At some point it makes sense to look further for a product than your own home state or even a country. If anyone would like to compare some prices for materials or even houses to what we pay here in Europe or especially Poland, let me know. Im open to your questions.
 

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General Contractor
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Welcome to CT :thumbsup: As the fast and cheap goes... I can see a HO would use, or professional contractor would use to make a comment on the work he came across that some hacker did...
The Good shouldn't be part of the two and as the wording in the Construction Industry goes, it can only be said one way and that is "Done Right" now to this we can attach Good and Right.
 

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Life Apprentice
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But, there exists somewhere a part of the market that appreciates good and does not focus on cheap. The successful businessman figures out where that is and finds a way to insert himself into the equation.
The customers that appreciate these things obviously appreciate the good craftmanship and knowledge of our trades. The money they pay for the time they give us is one reflection of that. One thing that have appreciated from CT is the art of weeding out the cheapskates in favor of the appreciative ones.
 

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the analogy makes perfect sense.

im sure there are pleny of guys on here that work as one 1 or 2 men.

I am also sure these 2 men ca build a beautifully , well costructed home.

but lets say a HO has sights of moving in 6 months..1 year..(dependant on size of project)

can these 2 men fulfill it?

they were good, they were cheap......but?

3 years later

here is a saying that mes most sense to me,ad is below my signature line of my email..it is over 100 years old..some of you may have seen it before...


*“It is unwise to pay too much, but it is worse to pay too little.*

*When you pay too much, you lose a little money… that is all. When you pay
too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was
incapable of doing the job it was bought for.*

*The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a
lot. It cannot be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder it is well to
add something for the risk you run.*

*And if you do that, you will have enough to pay for something better.
There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot make a little
worse and sell it a little cheaper and the people who consider price only,
are this man’s lawful prey” John Ruskin 1819-1900
*
 

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jamestrd said:
the analogy makes perfect sense.

im sure there are pleny of guys on here that work as one 1 or 2 men.

I am also sure these 2 men ca build a beautifully , well costructed home.

but lets say a HO has sights of moving in 6 months..1 year..(dependant on size of project)

can these 2 men fulfill it?

they were good, they were cheap......but?

3 years later

here is a saying that mes most sense to me,ad is below my signature line of my email..it is over 100 years old..some of you may have seen it before...

*“It is unwise to pay too much, but it is worse to pay too little.*

*When you pay too much, you lose a little money… that is all. When you pay
too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was
incapable of doing the job it was bought for.*

*The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a
lot. It cannot be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder it is well to
add something for the risk you run.*

*And if you do that, you will have enough to pay for something better.
There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot make a little
worse and sell it a little cheaper and the people who consider price only,
are this man’s lawful prey” John Ruskin 1819-1900
*
It really doesn't make sense. I have never understood it.

You mean guys are going to want to take three years to build a 200k house? That means each guys will make a little over 30k a year and that is without ANY expenses. They'll be working for dollars.

On top of that, contracts need to have a completion date. As long as you good and cheap and done by the completion date, you won't have to worry about getting sued for breach of contract. :)
 

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No, that means they will work on your stuff when they can and work on the more profitable jobs ahead of the cheap but good job.

When I do cheap but good and they ask when it will be done the answer is I don't know, it'll be done when I finish it. They still think they are paying a lot of money for it until I tell them the price that it would be if it was good and fast. Then they don't mind waiting as much.
 

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Leo G said:
No, that means they will work on your stuff when they can and work on the more profitable jobs ahead of the cheap but good job.

When I do cheap but good and they ask when it will be done the answer is I don't know, it'll be done when I finish it. They still think they are paying a lot of money for it until I tell them the price that it would be if it was good and fast. Then they don't mind waiting as much.
I guess things are different here. Every customer should have completion dates written in their contract.

I had a situation where I hired a guy for my house to do some excavating. He dug the hole and wasn't seen of again for a month. Randomly shows up another day while I'm working and moves some more dirt. Gone for another month. I let him know he is no longer allowed on my property and I sent him the bill for the damage he caused, he tried to lien my house. His lien didn't work too well.
 

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sometimes i think guys just need to try and debate every point that stands..unreal..

forget all the technicals..life is life, biz is biz...and there are always an exception...what we are speaking of are the majority...

in most cases these will apply..

the point is...let say a bid is 400,000 by 1 guy who promises 6 months

these guys are 350,000 and promise same or 8 months..
11 months later...they took another job,lost days, blamed material deliveries,availability, weather,inspections...
there are many ways to void a completion date.

if you need every analogy or potential situation spelled out to grasp this concept, its best leave the topic alone.

most guys will cut a corner when not being compensated well enough..its the nature of the beast..

floor guys will use a lesser finish..."keep a coat"....sand one less time...
whatever it takes to make it up..this happens in every trade..
 

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Maker of Fine Sawdust
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I guess things are different here. Every customer should have completion dates written in their contract.

I had a situation where I hired a guy for my house to do some excavating. He dug the hole and wasn't seen of again for a month. Randomly shows up another day while I'm working and moves some more dirt. Gone for another month. I let him know he is no longer allowed on my property and I sent him the bill for the damage he caused, he tried to lien my house. His lien didn't work too well.
By law I need a completion date, But law doesn't determine a time scale. I could write in jan 5 2025
 
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