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Home Builders/Contractors
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Priced out a 12 x 19 standard PT deck last week and lost it to a hack that under priced me by $1000 (I saw the estimate). I usually charge between $10.00-$15.00 per sq ft. I went in @ $10.00 on this one because the guy was a 2 tour vet, senior citizen and from NY. Old man was cool as hell (no problem with the HO).

Plus the whole area we'd be working was coverered with shade trees, we could use a GFCI, plug in the tunes and use the head in the garage which was 10 paces away. Just a real nice job for once.

Anyway, $2,300.00 - $1000.00 (materials) = $1,300.00 (decent days pay)

If this guy low balled less 1000 dollars, this means he's building the deck for 300 bucks. Are you F'n kidding me?

Why cant these idiots see the big picture? They are re-setting our prices. Once things clear up we will be screwed. You guys wouldn't believe how many low ballers we have running around here in Moore County, NC.

Does anybody else have this cancer growing in there immediate area? Are you doing anything to combat this without having to build the deck for $200.00?

Open for suggestions....
 

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Maker of fine kindling
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6,199 Posts
We have established shops doing the same thing. Not good.

I think we have shops that are willing to lose a little bit on a job just because they are tired of losing a lot with no work. F'ed up way of thinking if ya ask me.
 

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Starving Tile Artist
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Does anybody else have this cancer growing in there immediate area?
Open for suggestions....
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Lots of repair work will be coming and lots of I told you so's.

I have looked at 2 botched steam showers in the last 2 weeks.

1 was done by somebody the homeowner said had a book on site during the build to learn from. Both are out of business. Bottom line is the homeowners in both cases were seduced by a cheap price and it bit them in the ass. Nothing they can do now, other than live with the defects and the continuing deteriorations or spend more money now to re-do it. Those 2 re-dos will total almost $15,000.
 

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Home Builders/Contractors
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Lots of repair work will be coming and lots of I told you so's.

I have looked at 2 botched steam showers in the last 2 weeks.

1 was done by somebody the homeowner said had a book on site during the build to learn from. Both are out of business. Bottom line is the homeowners in both cases were seduced by a cheap price and it bit them in the ass. Nothing they can do now, other than live with the defects and the continuing deteriorations or spend more money now to re-do it. Those 2 re-dos will total almost $15,000.
Mike,
Thats all I've really been doing (60%) is service work. I've even changed my Yellow page ad for 2010 to express that to customers. Hell, it's nothing short of a Handyman ad (no offense Handy dudes). I've done $40,000 in paint this year. Crazy...
 

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Priced out a 12 x 19 standard PT deck last week and lost it to a hack that under priced me by $1000 (I saw the estimate). I usually charge between $10.00-$15.00 per sq ft. I went in @ $10.00 on this one because the guy was a 2 tour vet, senior citizen and from NY. Old man was cool as hell (no problem with the HO).

Plus the whole area we'd be working was coverered with shade trees, we could use a GFCI, plug in the tunes and use the head in the garage which was 10 paces away. Just a real nice job for once.

Anyway, $2,300.00 - $1000.00 (materials) = $1,300.00 (decent days pay)

If this guy low balled less 1000 dollars, this means he's building the deck for 300 bucks. Are you F'n kidding me?

Why cant these idiots see the big picture? They are re-setting our prices. Once things clear up we will be screwed. You guys wouldn't believe how many low ballers we have running around here in Moore County, NC.

Does anybody else have this cancer growing in there immediate area? Are you doing anything to combat this without having to build the deck for $200.00?

Open for suggestions....
Just gotta ask... Did you do any "sales" presentation before you gave your price? Did you give them any info on your company, the insurance you carry to protect the homeowner, years experience, warranty you provide,
etc?

Any product or design specifications like joist spacing, size of joists, number of beams, post depth, anchoring methods, moisture barriers, etc?
 

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Lack Of All Trades
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1,232 Posts
Re-setting our prices? Maybe your's but not mine! I will continue to offer fair prices and, as long as in my mind I am fair, I won't get upset! I'll just find new clients who appreciate a fair price, a contractor with all ducks in a row, and their project completed correctly the first time.







Just wait a while... When the dust settles, the $300-build-a-deck-guy will be long gone..
 

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J F; [QUOTE said:
Ya gotta find a way to sell yourself (and your price)
.

Exactly! The hacks have nothing to sell. If you sell yourself, your company, your product and your price... you're doing yourself and the customer a huge favor.
 

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Home Builders/Contractors
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Just gotta ask... Did you do any "sales" presentation before you gave your price? Did you give them any info on your company, the insurance you carry to protect the homeowner, years experience, warranty you provide,
etc?

Any product or design specifications like joist spacing, size of joists, number of beams, post depth, anchoring methods, moisture barriers, etc?
Bill,
Ya know, now that I think about it, a little better of a presentation may have been in order. I always provide references (w/contact info) when I send the estimate. WC and liability info upon request.

As far as the specs for decks, I dont usually get HO's that interested. Mostly want to know the price and how long it will be before they can fire up the grill.

All in all, getting jacked 1000 dollars for such a small job is nuts. I refuse to spend 3 hours digging and pouring piers on Monday, dump load and framing out all day Tuesday for 300 bucks.

I guess I will have to drop my prices a bit to eat, but I wont drop so low as to be part of the problem.

Thanks guys....
 

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General Contractor
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3,444 Posts
Mike,
Thats all I've really been doing (60%) is service work. I've even changed my Yellow page ad for 2010 to express that to customers. Hell, it's nothing short of a Handyman ad (no offense Handy dudes). I've done $40,000 in paint this year. Crazy...
Me too. Shelved my business cards that emphasized me being a GC. And I am currently using cards that push Repairs/Remodeling/Storm Damage. Sad as it sounds to say out loud, I'm getting more business with that approach.
 

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Home Builders/Contractors
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Me too. Shelved my business cards that emphasized me being a GC. And I am currently using cards that push Repairs/Remodeling/Storm Damage. Sad as it sounds to say out loud, I'm getting more business with that approach.
Do you like it?

I'm diggin it right now. The big hit isn't there like building customs, but it's cool working on different projects in an eclectic kind of way. Also being able to stick and move is nice. Hangin in the trailer gets old sometimes.
 

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Guys are working cheep here , Ive only lost 3 jobs this year 1 was siding and windows . The other 2 where decks .
One guy was 3000 bucks cheaper then me on a 10000 dollar trex deck and used my plans ?
The building inspector closed the job down for lack of permit .
Then the HO asked me to stamp the plans so the inspector would release a permit .:eek: The other deck was 2000 dollars less on a 7500 dollar deck . I saw the guys digging the footing (8) with a post hole digger 48" deep . I don't even like digging with a skid steer and auger .Its mostly rock .
It will be a cold winter for me ill be building additions thru the winter this year lots of outside work .
 

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Bill,
Ya know, now that I think about it, a little better of a presentation may have been in order. I always provide references (w/contact info) when I send the estimate. WC and liability info upon request.

As far as the specs for decks, I dont usually get HO's that interested. Mostly want to know the price and how long it will be before they can fire up the grill.

All in all, getting jacked 1000 dollars for such a small job is nuts. I refuse to spend 3 hours digging and pouring piers on Monday, dump load and framing out all day Tuesday for 300 bucks.

I guess I will have to drop my prices a bit to eat, but I wont drop so low as to be part of the problem.

Thanks guys....
Metro,
Don't drop your prices, increase your sales ability. If the only factors your prospects have to compare are two, three or four numbers, they'll take the lower or middle number. Don't let it be a numbers game, sell yourself, it's not that hard.

Ask the right questions to help them understand the value you are providing. If you have workmen's Comp, referrals, pictures of your work you have a huge opportunity to show people how important it is to do business with you.

Spend 15 minutes in a face-to-face presentation and you'll get 5 times the business you do in dropping off "bids".

It's not about price unless YOU make it about price. Get price out of your head and your customers won't think about it either!

Bill
 

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General Contractor
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Do you like it?

I'm diggin it right now. The big hit isn't there like building customs, but it's cool working on different projects in an eclectic kind of way. Also being able to stick and move is nice. Hangin in the trailer gets old sometimes.
It's interesting. And a lot less headaches. A little less money, overall. But I have to admit I miss the ego boost of custom homes.
 

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Fentoozler
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5,623 Posts
Anyway, $2,300.00 - $1000.00 (materials) = $1,300.00 (decent days pay)

If this guy low balled less 1000 dollars, this means he's building the deck for 300 bucks. Are you F'n kidding me?
$300 is a pretty good days wages

Just wait a while... When the dust settles, the $300-build-a-deck-guy will be long gone..
He'll be looking to Metro Joe to hire him for $300/day
 

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Home Builders/Contractors
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262 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Metro,
Don't drop your prices, increase your sales ability. If the only factors your prospects have to compare are two, three or four numbers, they'll take the lower or middle number. Don't let it be a numbers game, sell yourself, it's not that hard.

Ask the right questions to help them understand the value you are providing. If you have workmen's Comp, referrals, pictures of your work you have a huge opportunity to show people how important it is to do business with you.

Spend 15 minutes in a face-to-face presentation and you'll get 5 times the business you do in dropping off "bids".

It's not about price unless YOU make it about price. Get price out of your head and your customers won't think about it either!

Bill
Man it's been so long since having to do that on a regular basis. I think you are right though. I have to go under the knife this Monday. I'll be down for a couple weeks. I think I might do some role playing with the wife during that time. Maybe some different types of role playing...:thumbsup: LOL LOL.

Thanks for the advice Bill.
 

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Home Builders/Contractors
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
$300 is a pretty good days wages



He'll be looking to Metro Joe to hire him for $300/day
Oh, I'll hire him all right.

I'll wait until he goes to the porta, grab the duct tape, have a guy hold one end as I circle that ***** about 8 times and flip him right over.

Then he can go apply for the blue man group. :clap::clap:
 

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On the verge of ridiculous . . .

One Licensed Contractor cannot find a decent project to bid on, and an Un-Licensed Contractor offering work with ridiculous prices has 3 major "back-to-back" projects and an assortment of minor projects waiting to fill the gaps.

I wouldn't have believed it true, but he contacted me to bid a project for his customer because he was too busy to do the job. I swear to god, just yesterday!

datajam
 
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