Contractor Talk - Professional Construction and Remodeling Forum banner

1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
378 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
hi been lurking for a few weeks im a remodeling contractor in nj ny area. iwanted to get input on recent event. gave customer rough est on large remodeling project 100k+ we are still months from closing deal. to the point customer wants to visit current job site/s and wants references names and addresses of like our last 50 jobs .customer also seems to think he going handle key parts of job ie. supply subs materials. im leaning torwards walking . we normally give 1 to3 ref if cust is ready to sign .
 

·
DGR,IABD
Joined
·
9,683 Posts
If you have other work, this guy send up gigantic red flags for me. I personally don't have the temperament to deal with micro-managers. Maybe you've figured out a way to deal with such folks? They generally tend to slow everything and everybody way down.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
just my opinion but looks like to me this new customer is going to be a pain in the @ss
going to make the job a living hell
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,573 Posts
I invite customers to visit my job sites but I ask them not to get in the way of the workers or ask questions or bother the home owners. They can park and watch all day for all I care.

As far as supplying materials etc... That's an instant red flag for me. Do they really think they can get it cheaper? If their reason is so we don't bring in seconds or something, I understand however there are better ways around that.

On the other hand this might be a great opportunity for yout o make some great profit. Probably nobody else will want him either. Jack up that rough estimate through the roof, enough to pay for the headaches... and make sure there is plenty of slack in the schedule.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
378 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
i think the key point is that this was our first meeting. if it was the 3rd and i though cust was on fence i might offer to show current job. hard to convey quality from a photo.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,265 Posts
bergenbldr said:
i think the key point is that this was our first meeting. if it was the 3rd and i though cust was on fence i might offer to show current job. hard to convey quality from a photo.
If it walks like a duck...

The flip side is you might be able to get the job at a really high price and make better than typical money. Charge him good money for estimates and humor him through the bid process.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
269 Posts
I would run nt walk away personally, life is just too short to deal with PIAs like that, especially if this is the first meeting. I give them a current reference list with 5 past clients, various types of work and the jobs go back from 3-6 months to 5-6 yrs, if that's not enough reference for them, find somebody else to annoy. Good luck!
 

·
General Contractor
Joined
·
1,035 Posts
Here's something to tell them when they want to purchase and supply the material.. "If you supply material my warranty will not cover the material - labor only." If they supply the material - you don't have control of it and don't know what is or could be happening to it... therefore your warranty should not cover it. It usually shuts them down pretty quick.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
199 Posts
Where is the material coming from? Too many red flags, he'll be nickleing and dimeing you on labor costs, whine when someone takes a break... Something tells me he'll be wanting you to pay when an "antique" get's broke. He'll just happen to have a bunch of "valuations" from various dealers... The guy smells ... can't put my finger on it, but run like h3ll.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
378 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
i have a no orange box policy, thinking about adding a no expo policy.diff being my suppliers are not competing with me on installation.
 

·
Custom Builder
Joined
·
4,406 Posts
Grump, your a hell of a smart guy, but every once in awhile your age shows, too eager to do some gravy mopping. I agree with the run factor here. Back in my younger days I might have jumped, however many penny pinchers later I'm a little more cautious about sword fighting over a dollar.

Bob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
83 Posts
I'm currently working on two seperate projects. A remodeling job (exterior and interior) and getting paid as the client gets the cash from the bank. Almost everything we are doing on this cabin is done in a step-by-step process with the owner.

On another job we are doing a very large residential landscaping project (approx. 25k into it and is looking at another 35k). The client on this project has always wanted to be a landscaper and is very excited about the prospect of ordering materials, doing planting, etc. We are primarly doing the dirt and walls.

On the cabin job, we go with the client to do the ordering of materials, charge for labor via particular job, etc. The nice thing is the client sees where the money goes and simply can't complain. We charge for all our time educating the customer on materials and picking them out with the customer. Sometimes she micromanages a bit to much, but over a 3 month period things are smooth now and our boundries are very set.

On the landscaping project, its can be a nightmare at times. Shes orders materials not needed, over orders, and has them placed in all the wrong spots.

The Moral: I will never allow a customer to order materials and manage the deliveries. If it was a project that was to good to pass up, I would tell them I have to be there for all the ordering of materials and need to be apart of all deliveries (if they want to be in charge of that aspect) and will be paid for that time. If you layout the plan for your situation with timelines, budgets, and the above moral - you could pull this off with a lot less headaches. But be upfront now, or expect to be misrable.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
14,078 Posts
Bergen - Do you have the job set up at the proper rates? If you have not added in all the extra costs to complete this job based on the PITA factor that is present and you should be aware of then you are quoting the job too low. If you have the job quoted at the proper rate taking this customers extra costs into account then go for it. But please also realize that you need to have the proper expectations at the end of this job. There is probably a 50/50 chance that by the time you finally put this one to bed that you and the customer won't be friendly with each other and you probably won't be walking anybody through his project to show your skills!

I had a similar customer on a $10,000 job, he wanted me to set him up with some of my previous customers so that he could tour the quality of my work first hand. At the start of the quote presentation I explained to him that:

"I don't infringe on my past customers privacy by asking them to allow complete strangers into their homes, nor would I ever ask him after his project is completed to infringe upon his privacy by doing the same. That is why I supply you with a sheet of references and we have a portfolio of pictures and a website that shows in detail past projects. If from all that I supply you with and from talking to me you still aren't confident in the abilities of my company to complete your project as discussed, then it is my failure in lack of ability to project this confidence and I apologize for, and that we should just part company at this point if that is going to be the case."

Customers reponse was to stutter and stammer and offer up all kinds of lame excuses as to why he wanted to look first hand and assure me that it wasn't a problem.

With that out of the way the customer now has completely changed his attitude and is on your side and the project will go about as it should. If he still doesn't 'get it' then he has just pre-qualified himself for you and done you a favor, it's time to walk away.
 

·
Back from the dead...
Joined
·
6,646 Posts
"I don't infringe on my past customers privacy by asking them to allow complete strangers into their homes, nor would I ever ask him after his project is completed to infringe upon his privacy by doing the same. That is why I supply you with a sheet of references and we have a portfolio of pictures and a website that shows in detail past projects. If from all that I supply you with and from talking to me you still aren't confident in the abilities of my company to complete your project as discussed, then it is my failure in lack of ability to project this confidence and I apologize for, and that we should just part company at this point if that is going to be the case."
I liked that one.
Thanks Mike, I'm stealing that. :Thumbs:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,573 Posts
Bob, I like that... "sword fighting over a dollar". My problem is I am greedy and ahve a very hard time walking away even when I know I should. Keep in mind I have walked away from quite a few jobs, but not ebough. I am dealing with one right now where I'd have been happy to break even. As it is I will be happy to not lose more than 10% of the job cost.

The thing is... I saw it coming and I knew I should have walked. I even talked to a few guys about walking. Now that it's all said and done; I should have walked.

I guess you should always listen to your gut instincts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
269 Posts
Glasshousebltr said:
Yea that gut instinct thing got me a trailer park full of kids.........oh.....wait a minute....that wasn't the gut.

Bob

:cheesygri :cheesygri :cheesygri Good Comeback!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
14,078 Posts
Glasshousebltr said:
Yea that gut instinct thing got me a trailer park full of kids.........oh.....wait a minute....that wasn't the gut.

Bob
LOL!

I think you two are talking about 2 different things. Gut instinct and experience. The two are completely different. Experience keeps you from repeating your mistakes, and gut instinct keeps your from making mistakes you have no experience in. :cheesygri
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top