Contractor Talk - Professional Construction and Remodeling Forum banner

1 - 20 of 44 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
403 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's just not worth it.

For the amount of time it takes to inspect the damage, assess the problem, create the solution, bid the work, create the invoice and get the job done, you have too much time into a "repair" for a home owner to justify the cost.

I value my work, I value my time. I'm not going to work for 8 hours to bring in $800 of revenue, I can't cover my cost, time, over head or aggravation for this.

I want to just tell them to call back the guy who messed up the roof in the first place. No, your chimney should not be leaking after 2 years, no, you are not suppose to just slap some tar around it on a replacement. No, I don't feel bad your single ply 3 tab shingle only lasted you 8 years in Michigan winters with no ventilation.

I get about 5 of these calls a week, and I quit even responding to them. They want you to go out, and fix these repairs for a $100. I'm not even driving over there for $100 cause in the time it takes to do that, I have a crew to over see and am going to loose way more than that due to no one over seeing the job sites.

You want a quick cheap repair? I'll send over a hillbilly with an old wooden ladder and a $8 gallon of tar. Then maybe I can justify a $100 repair.

And property investors/landlords? Don't even call me, go direct to the hillbilly. These people deserve the aggravation of a leaky roof and hack work because they think they know everything about a house, from foundation to the ridge vent and price is all that matters.

:censored:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,863 Posts
Funny...I just got a call about two minutes ago to go look at 11 leaky sky lights....:laughing:...I'm keeping my azz on the ground....:laughing:
 

·
Administrator
Maker of Fine Sawdust
Joined
·
50,678 Posts
The typical HO just doesn't get it. They work at their jobs making $15-$20 an hour and think that is what you should be charging them. The don't have a clue about the employers cost side. All they know is that they make their $20/hr. Oblivious to the fact that the benefits, insurance, the other half of the 7.15% of the taxes are payed by their employer. Of course, we all know this is just the start of the list.

These are usually jobs best suited by smaller companies with low overhead costs. You know, the guy who works out of his house, owns a bunch of tools and a truck and a phone but not much else.

I don't blame you one bit, you could always shoot them a quick estimate of costs over the phone and see how they react. Some people will actually pay what it is worth, not many. But some understand.
 

·
Sean
Joined
·
5,514 Posts
Simple reply - we will be glad to come over there & take care of those issues - our fee is X which includes up to Y (1 to 3 bundles of shingles which will probably not match your existing roof, 1 square of felt or I&W, etc....), anything additional will be documented and charged at Z rate which will be photographed for you. When would you like my roofing Technician to come over - we do require our fee to be paid in full before we start.

I won't step foot on a roof now, without charging a roofing inspection fee (Thanks Mike Finley & others)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
403 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The typical HO just doesn't get it. They work at their jobs making $15-$20 an hour and think that is what you should be charging them. The don't have a clue about the employers cost side. All they know is that they make their $20/hr. Oblivious to the fact that the benefits, insurance, the other half of the 7.15% of the taxes are payed by their employer. Of course, we all know this is just the start of the list.

These are usually jobs best suited by smaller companies with low overhead costs. You know, the guy who works out of his house, owns a bunch of tools and a truck and a phone but not much else.

I don't blame you one bit, you could always shoot them a quick estimate of costs over the phone and see how they react. Some people will actually pay what it is worth, not many. But some understand.
I recently had a guy gripe that I charge $42 to replace a sheet of 1/2" CDX plywood on his roof deck.

His argument?

That it only cost $18 to replace it, and it takes about 20 nails.

I still charged $42. I could have explained, if you want me to get out my framing nailer, run an extension cord to my skill saw, tear out and dispose of the old CDX, not to mention, run to the lumber yard and get some CDX cause I did not want to use the 1/2 OSB we had on site.

All in all, with driving time, and prep time, I have about an hour into it, and it's holding up progress.

You wonder why contractors skip the sheeting? I'll profit about $8 off this piece of CDX MAYBE and I would much rather skip it, roof over it, save the time, agrivation and inconvience of replacing it.

I don't replace the stuff to rip you off, to make money, I could just skip it and you'd never notice. But I like to leave the job, satisified, I like to sleep at night, and I give you a fair price on it so when I leave, you can do the same and feel the same.

Do you think this guy will really understand my justification? Or is he still going to gripe that his checking balance is short $42?

That $42 probably keeps him from reffering me to anyone. And that's okay, if people look at "el chepo" for refferals, I don't want to work for them.

And it's october 25th today, quit calling me to replace your roof "this year before snow". It's going to snow in about 15 days, lookin the yellow pages under "hack" if you can't plan ahead.

I'm sorry about this rant, but are people just really this niave? This is not walmart, you can't go out today, and buy a new roof, and get a new one because you found it cheaper at Best Buy on sale tomorrow. Cut corners and cost on your tires for your car, your lawn mower, on your groceries buy the off brand, but don't expect local companies to jump when you say jump, because you don't want to pay crap, and want your roof replaced in the next week. And if it's leaking, call a handyman with a ford ranger, with a ladder rack, trowel and bucket of tar.

I'm ready for vacation, I'm not going to patch your roof, then fix your gutter "while I'm up there" or inspect your chimney "while I'm up there" or help you move your picnic table. Have a son, hope that he grows up fast, hope that he's strong and order him around to do "one more thing". I need to quit playing nice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
125 Posts
I had a retail maintenance company call last week. They wanted me to go to 4 different Office Depot stores once a month. Spend 4 hours at each doing minor repairs. The stores were located within a 100 mile radius of us. The best part was they would pay $20 an hour for our time.
It was a hard one to pass up.
Some people are just clueless.
 

·
Administrator
Maker of Fine Sawdust
Joined
·
50,678 Posts
The best part was they would pay $20 an hour for our time.
It was a hard one to pass up.
Some people are just clueless.
And of course they expect you to be licensed, insured, bonded and drive around in a truck with their advertisements all over it.
 

·
Pompass Ass
Joined
·
2,090 Posts
I had a retail maintenance company call last week. They wanted me to go to 4 different Office Depot stores once a month. Spend 4 hours at each doing minor repairs. The stores were located within a 100 mile radius of us. The best part was they would pay $20 an hour for our time.
It was a hard one to pass up.
Some people are just clueless.
And of course they expect you to be licensed, insured, bonded and drive around in a truck with their advertisements all over it.
According to the state licensing board his company isn't licensed, so maybe $20 an hour is reasonable.;)
 

·
Administrator
Maker of Fine Sawdust
Joined
·
50,678 Posts
Neither is mine, but I am registered with the state. That is what is required in CT for a home improvement contractor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
125 Posts
According to the state licensing board his company isn't licensed, so maybe $20 an hour is reasonable.;)
Licensed in Leon county to do repair work.
I didn't claim to be a general contractor or do work that I am not licensed to do. I have read many posts where you seem to be full of yourself. Apparently you have more time than sense.
 

·
Pompass Ass
Joined
·
2,090 Posts
Licensed in Leon county to do repair work.
I didn't claim to be a general contractor or do work that I am not licensed to do. I have read many posts where you seem to be full of yourself. Apparently you have more time than sense.
You claim to do remodeling and drywall, they require a license and according to myfloridalicense.com you are not licensed.

I have enough sense and time to get licensed for the work I do.
 

·
Administrator
Maker of Fine Sawdust
Joined
·
50,678 Posts
And Rell just doubled downed our HIC fee...just got mine this week...220.00
Me too. $220. Use to be $164. Thanks Gov.


Biatch.:whistling
 

·
Pompass Ass
Joined
·
2,090 Posts
Neither is mine, but I am registered with the state. That is what is required in CT for a home improvement contractor.
He is in Florida not CT, we have different licensing laws here.

For Santas Little Helpers LLC to do remodeling work he needs either a Registered or Certified division 1 license, he has neither.

His LLC company is inactive according to sunbiz.org
 

·
Roofing Sage
Joined
·
3,409 Posts
It's just not worth it.

For the amount of time it takes to inspect the damage, assess the problem, create the solution, bid the work, create the invoice and get the job done, you have too much time into a "repair" for a home owner to justify the cost.

I value my work, I value my time. I'm not going to work for 8 hours to bring in $800 of revenue, I can't cover my cost, time, over head or aggravation for this.

I want to just tell them to call back the guy who messed up the roof in the first place. No, your chimney should not be leaking after 2 years, no, you are not suppose to just slap some tar around it on a replacement. No, I don't feel bad your single ply 3 tab shingle only lasted you 8 years in Michigan winters with no ventilation.

I get about 5 of these calls a week, and I quit even responding to them. They want you to go out, and fix these repairs for a $100. I'm not even driving over there for $100 cause in the time it takes to do that, I have a crew to over see and am going to loose way more than that due to no one over seeing the job sites.

You want a quick cheap repair? I'll send over a hillbilly with an old wooden ladder and a $8 gallon of tar. Then maybe I can justify a $100 repair.

And property investors/landlords? Don't even call me, go direct to the hillbilly. These people deserve the aggravation of a leaky roof and hack work because they think they know everything about a house, from foundation to the ridge vent and price is all that matters.

:censored:
Holy crap!

Send them all to me!

I'll give you 10% just for the referral!

:D

I'd love to do nothing BUT repair work if I had it my way!

Best money you can make!

Easy in, easy out, less liability and potential for accidents!

Super low operation costs (1 truck, 1 guy, hand tools, no permit hassles, no dumpster needed, minimum equipment needs, could probably carry all your stock for the week in the back of a pick up...HEAVEN!).

If you're getting 5 calls per week, schedule them all for Friday or the following Monday. Plus, I'd charge $125. just to set up a ladder and that's if I can get in and out in less than 1/2 an hour to do the job.

No, seriously, send me the leads!

I'll snatch them right up!

:lol:



Let me see, "if" you managed to schedule a full day of work and clear $800. (using leftover tar from other jobs and material scraps that you'd usually have to PAY to dump anyway...), what would 1 good worker cost you? $200. for the day, gas, truck, insurance, another $100. for the say...can't see why you can't clear $500. for that day. If you could do that all week for one season, that's an extra $80K a year (maybe, $50K after taxes). Of course, that's generally speaking (you might do less or you could do significantly more).



Yeah, send it allllll my way!

LOL!

Give me a truck and I'll be there tools in hand!

LOL!

I'll split the profits with cha'!

:lol:

I'll estimate them, sell them and do them.
All you'll have to do is to give me the leads.

:thumbsup:
 

·
Roofing Sage
Joined
·
3,409 Posts
I recently had a guy gripe that I charge $42 to replace a sheet of 1/2" CDX plywood on his roof deck.

His argument?

That it only cost $18 to replace it, and it takes about 20 nails.

I still charged $42. I could have explained, if you want me to get out my framing nailer, run an extension cord to my skill saw, tear out and dispose of the old CDX, not to mention, run to the lumber yard and get some CDX cause I did not want to use the 1/2 OSB we had on site.

All in all, with driving time, and prep time, I have about an hour into it, and it's holding up progress.

You wonder why contractors skip the sheeting? I'll profit about $8 off this piece of CDX MAYBE and I would much rather skip it, roof over it, save the time, agrivation and inconvience of replacing it.

I don't replace the stuff to rip you off, to make money, I could just skip it and you'd never notice. But I like to leave the job, satisified, I like to sleep at night, and I give you a fair price on it so when I leave, you can do the same and feel the same.

Do you think this guy will really understand my justification? Or is he still going to gripe that his checking balance is short $42?

That $42 probably keeps him from reffering me to anyone. And that's okay, if people look at "el chepo" for refferals, I don't want to work for them.

And it's october 25th today, quit calling me to replace your roof "this year before snow". It's going to snow in about 15 days, lookin the yellow pages under "hack" if you can't plan ahead.

I'm sorry about this rant, but are people just really this niave? This is not walmart, you can't go out today, and buy a new roof, and get a new one because you found it cheaper at Best Buy on sale tomorrow. Cut corners and cost on your tires for your car, your lawn mower, on your groceries buy the off brand, but don't expect local companies to jump when you say jump, because you don't want to pay crap, and want your roof replaced in the next week. And if it's leaking, call a handyman with a ford ranger, with a ladder rack, trowel and bucket of tar.

I'm ready for vacation, I'm not going to patch your roof, then fix your gutter "while I'm up there" or inspect your chimney "while I'm up there" or help you move your picnic table. Have a son, hope that he grows up fast, hope that he's strong and order him around to do "one more thing". I need to quit playing nice.


I once had this filthy rich customer living in a million dollar home complain to me about a price I gave them. They said they thought it was too much for a roof repair.

I asked them how much would it cost later to fix the roof AND the ceiling AND the walls AND the framing if we didn't stop the water from coming in right now?

How much was my time worth (including every moment I put into doing the repair from initial estimate to picking up materials to sitting down and doing the paperwork at my home office too having to have my phone on the times he called me to putting gas in my truck to...well, you get it).

Then they said $20. should be good (for a 1 hour repair)!

$20.? I told them that I wanted to live in a home like their's too!
How was I going to do that with $20.! Why should I be worth any less than them especially when I was doing work that was actually protecting not only their belongings from the elements, but their loved ones who resided there?

I told THEM to climb up that ladder with 20lbs of tools strapped around their waste and 10lbs of materials in hand and physically work on their own house. He nervously laughed it off. I was so insulted that I totally lost my "customer is always right" cool.

I told them I'd do it for $20. "if" they paid all my expenses, paid off my daughter's tuition, payed up my insurance in case I fell from the roof by accident, put away some money for my retirement, and payed my mortgage.

Then I said, "You know what? You're not worth me risking my life for."

And I walked back to my truck.

They called out to me "Ok, ok."

I told them "Nope, now you're going to have to pay someone else to come and do it and they're not going to charge what I was charging you. Good luck."



Sure enough, they got other quotes and offered to pay me what I initially wanted, but I never responded to their calls.

"F" them.



I happen to drive back by their place and sure enough, they got some hack to butcher their roof. So, pay more and get less?

That's like letting go of a dollar in your hand to run and pick up a penny.

Some people will never learn.

So be it.

C'est la vie.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JumboJack

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,181 Posts
You have to charge them before you even head out there. I say yep, 130 and I will be at your door to discuss your problem with you and take it from there. You get rid of a lot of people that way. The ones that still tell you to comeover are the ones you want around. Ive gotten more than a few jobs from someone thinking they just need a repair. Repaid work is usually quick, easy and a good way to make a profit if you charge right.

J-Peffer, you also gotta realize most homeowners dont have the common sense to realize that the roof that cost 10,000 and is still too much money is protecting the 30,000 dollar kitchen that is under it. That is why they find the guy off craigslist that says ALL ROOFS 3995 OR LESS! Or maybe that guy is just in my area.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
403 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Holy crap!

Send them all to me!

I'll give you 10% just for the referral!

:D

I'd love to do nothing BUT repair work if I had it my way!

Best money you can make!

Easy in, easy out, less liability and potential for accidents!

Super low operation costs (1 truck, 1 guy, hand tools, no permit hassles, no dumpster needed, minimum equipment needs, could probably carry all your stock for the week in the back of a pick up...HEAVEN!).

If you're getting 5 calls per week, schedule them all for Friday or the following Monday. Plus, I'd charge $125. just to set up a ladder and that's if I can get in and out in less than 1/2 an hour to do the job.

No, seriously, send me the leads!

I'll snatch them right up!

:lol:



Let me see, "if" you managed to schedule a full day of work and clear $800. (using leftover tar from other jobs and material scraps that you'd usually have to PAY to dump anyway...), what would 1 good worker cost you? $200. for the day, gas, truck, insurance, another $100. for the say...can't see why you can't clear $500. for that day. If you could do that all week for one season, that's an extra $80K a year (maybe, $50K after taxes). Of course, that's generally speaking (you might do less or you could do significantly more).



Yeah, send it allllll my way!

LOL!

Give me a truck and I'll be there tools in hand!

LOL!

I'll split the profits with cha'!

:lol:

I'll estimate them, sell them and do them.
All you'll have to do is to give me the leads.

:thumbsup:

Can I make money doing this? Or sending another guy out there to repair this work for 5 jobs bringing in about $800? Sure I can.

I'd have about $200 in materials, figure some flashing, tar, probably some tubes of NPC900, nails, a few bundles of shingles. I could set them all up in a truck, pre-buy all the repair materials.

Guess what? Still NOT worth it at all for me. I'm still involved at some point, I'm still taking the phone call, I'm still setting up the appointment to inspect the work. IF it were possible to find a real good working roofer, sure, he could go out and do all this work for $200? I would much rather have this GOOD worker working with me on larger scale projects.

Everyone thinks it's that easy. "Just hire someone", if it were that easy, everyone would do it. If there were good, reliable, quality workers outside home depot, everyone would do it.

To properly run a company, the owner has to be involved with almost every step. Unless you are lucky enough to find a really good crew foreman, but even then....you are still involved. Have someone manage your whole company? They will start their own if they are that good, and/or steal from you.

Repair work is for handy men who can work for $20 an hour and don't have the equipment and man power. I can't justify it, because I already have the equipment and man power, so I have to utilize that on every job to cover the cost of it.
 
1 - 20 of 44 Posts
Top