Contractor Talk - Professional Construction and Remodeling Forum banner
1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello fellow Contractors! I have just recently took the jump and formed my own LLC. I have been building restaurants for roughly 5 years. My previous employer mainly built Chic-Fil-A’s and Bojangles however we have built all sorts. Most of our work was done in the Eastern US. As I have just started out I was wondering if anyone could help me with reasonable rates I can charge General Contractors for the items I install per square footage.

Square Footage Charging Rates for:

FRP
Sheetrock (1/2” and 5/8”)
Acoustic Ceiling Grid
Plywood (5/8”)
Wainscot/Trim Packages
Insulation
Durock (5/8”)

Also if anyone knows what I can charge for Bathroom Partitions, Doors/Hardware.
 

·
Goin' Down in Flames....
Highwayman
Joined
·
6,856 Posts
Go read this.

 

·
Registered
Custom
Joined
·
13,962 Posts
Hello fellow Contractors! I have just recently took the jump and formed my own LLC. I have been building restaurants for roughly 5 years. My previous employer mainly built Chic-Fil-A’s and Bojangles however we have built all sorts. Most of our work was done in the Eastern US. As I have just started out I was wondering if anyone could help me with reasonable rates I can charge General Contractors for the items I install per square footage.

Square Footage Charging Rates for:

FRP
Sheetrock (1/2” and 5/8”)
Acoustic Ceiling Grid
Plywood (5/8”)
Wainscot/Trim Packages
Insulation
Durock (5/8”)

Also if anyone knows what I can charge for Bathroom Partitions, Doors/Hardware.
THINK about what you're asking... one metric ALONE will negate what you're asking someone else in some other market (or even then same market) to provide as a "reasonable rate" for your company... if you want to personally make $75-$100K/year and the next guy is happy with $50-$75K/year, then by definition what you need to charge to be in business is going to be different (and what the second guy might consider "unreasonable rate") than the other guy... and that's ONE metric... doesn't take into account your experience, production output capability in each of those areas... there are a MULTITUDE of metrics that can be unique in nature to your company...

What you're really saying is you don't know how to price things accurately yet... it's all part of the learning process (and an ongoing one being in business) although it would have been better if you knew how or had some experience with it before you started out on your own...

Fortunately, how to price to charge what YOU need to charge to be in business has been covered MANY times on this site... do a search for LOMP on the site and you'll get lots of results...

From one of the threads... New to bidding


Are you looking to make wages or develop pricing for running a business? Many confuse the two (BTDT)... if it's developing pricing for running a business, you can use the following to get you going...
LOMP (with a brief descriptor of each)...

Labor - includes all aspects of labor (your pay, an employees pay, loaded costs like taxes/insurance, benefits, etc.)

Overhead - These are your annualized and variable costs... W/C, Business Insurance, Cell Phone, Truck payment if you have one, vehicle insurance, gas, repairs, the list goes on and is different from company to company...

Materials - self-explanatory but don't forget to include a mark-up to include handling, delivery, etc.

Profit - This is what you pay your company. It is NOT what you pay yourself as a wage. This is to used to develop your company and put together (ideally) 3-6 months of Capital Reserves (what it takes to run your company for 3-6 months in Labor and Overhead), Emergency Fund (self-explanatory - unexpected tool or vehicle repairs, customer doesn't pay, etc.), Marketing and Equipment Fund... it is usually a percentage based on the total of the Labor, Overhead and Material (total the three up and multiply by the percentage you need to make over a year to develop the above).

To make sure YOU get paid, your Labor and Overhead are covered in your Hourly Rate... Your pay is NOT what's left over after everyone else is paid but part of your Labor costs... This is how much you need to make per hour to cover yourself, any employees and/or business expenses. It is usually based off a 2080 hour yearly total (i.e. - 40 hours/week) so adding the two together (Labor and Overhead) and dividing by 2080 will give you your Hourly Rate. You can choose to work more or less than 40 hours but keep in mind the hourly rate will need to be adjusted accordingly. For example...
1. If you want to make $75K/year, but only want to work 35 hours/week, you're going to have to charge more than you would have per hour than if you worked 40 hours.

2. If you want to make $75K/year, but want to work 50 hours/week, you're going to have to charge more than you would have per hour than if you worked 40 hours to take into account overtime.
Your 40 hours/week (2080/year) is your baseline.

So a quick example of your hourly rate...
Labor - $75K yearly income (or $36.05/hour based on 2080 hours per year)

Overhead - Different for every company, but let's just say $25K (or $12.02/hour based on 2080 hours per year) for a one man show.
So you would need to charge a minimum of $48.07 per hour to cover those base costs (they do not take into account everything for YOUR company - you have to do that, and are only for illustration purposes on how to get to an Hourly Rate - fill-in all applicable numbers).

Now comes the part that tricks up a lot of guys starting out... Figuring out how many hours a job will take... that's going to be a combination of experience and tracking over time. There's no escaping it, but ways to minimize potential issues. Hang enough doors/windows and you'll get an idea of how much time it takes (that will also change over time with experience). But until you have a handle on that (only you know how long it takes YOU to do something), you're going to start out with a guesstimate. In the beginning, whatever amount of hours you come up with, it'll be in your best interest to multiply it by a factor of 1.25 to get the hours you need to charge for...

Now, if you're like most every other guy out there, when you add everything up, you're going to look at the number(s) and think there's no way you can cover all that.... you ABSOLUTELY can... get that thought right out of your head, because there are hundreds of thousands out there doing it...

Those numbers are the COST of being in business... EVERYONE ELSE will expect to be paid (your suppliers, your subs, the government, the permit department, the cell phone company, the gas station, etc.) from your project. The ONLY place that has any flexibility in your numbers are what you pay yourself personally as part of the Labor costs or the Profit you pay your company.

Do NOT make the mistake of thinking everyone is your customer (i.e. - retail mindset), they're not... You should be looking for customers that can support what you and your business needs to make. Once you find them, do an EXCELLENT job of under-promising and over-delivering and you'll find yourself with access to their referral base who is usually people within the same demographic (i.e. - income stratosphere).

Does that mean that from time to time you're going to take on a schedule filler or a customer you just want to help out, making a little less, sure, but that is the exception, not the rule, if you want to be able to support your family/income and companies income.

Feel free to ask any questions...

Best of luck... 8^)
 

·
The Dude
Untangler of blue spaghetti
Joined
·
3,335 Posts
if you want to personally make $75-$100K/year and the next guy is happy with $50-$75K/year, then by definition what you need to charge to be in business is going to be different
Or you can do more jobs in the same time. Company running 10 crews is probably making more than a 1 man show.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
126 Posts
A couple of years ago, I could do a fairly decent BUDGET based on square footage. Then COVID! As we all know, things went crazy and still are. Today's budget is maybe valid for today, but not tomorrow!
 

·
The Dude
Untangler of blue spaghetti
Joined
·
3,335 Posts
Gotta' crawl before you walk, walk before you run...
For sure! I'm just saying there are other ways to make more money than "charge more". Doesn't have to be doing more jobs at once, it could be streamlined procedures and systems. Being able to get in and out of them faster so you can do more in a year. Being more efficient with labor so your labor costs are effectively lower (even if you're paying more "per guy" to get better workers).
 

·
The Dude
Untangler of blue spaghetti
Joined
·
3,335 Posts
A couple of years ago, I could do a fairly decent BUDGET based on square footage. Then COVID! As we all know, things went crazy and still are. Today's budget is maybe valid for today, but not tomorrow!
I used to have relatively simple unit pricing for a lot of things, but I just can't anymore, there's no way. I do break down individual jobs into chunks so its easier for a customer to add / remove things and have it be easy for them to figure out the new price, but ... sometimes I can't get the wire I normally use, and have to go with an alternative that's less, or more than what I'd normally pay. Sometimes I can't even get what I'd normally use, and have to entirely change how I go about doing someting. It's ridiculous. Monoprice gel filled direct burial pure copper? Haven't been able to find it in 6 months. I can get the non-gel filled version sometimes though? Or maybe I have to bury conduit instead which drastically changes the price for that run. Not that I bury much - but it has happened.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
500 Posts
Hello fellow Contractors! I have just recently took the jump and formed my own LLC. I have been building restaurants for roughly 5 years. My previous employer mainly built Chic-Fil-A’s and Bojangles however we have built all sorts. Most of our work was done in the Eastern US. As I have just started out I was wondering if anyone could help me with reasonable rates I can charge General Contractors for the items I install per square footage.

Square Footage Charging Rates for:

FRP
Sheetrock (1/2” and 5/8”)
Acoustic Ceiling Grid
Plywood (5/8”)
Wainscot/Trim Packages
Insulation
Durock (5/8”)

Also if anyone knows what I can charge for Bathroom Partitions, Doors/Hardware.
Well your a competitor so I'm not sharing my unit costs,information that took me years to figure out. That being said, as a sub forget EVERYTHING you learned working as a GC. Forget what the general contractor estimators (bean counters) budgets show you, most have no clue how LONG something takes to install and job site conditions, they use unit costs to justify the numbers.

What happens when they call you to install 1 sheet of FRP at a mop sink at say $2.00 sq ft. That trip just paid you $64.00. You bid a job of 100 sheets you aren't getting the job at $6400. Those doors your installing for $100? Show up on the job and you learn the super lied and the elevator isn't working and wants you to carry the doors up 5 flights of stairs. How do you factor in not getting paid a cent for 30, 60, 90 days and that includes materials. The smart GC's want turn key service, you need to provide materials.

Can your crew install 8-10 partition stalls a day? How about 40 office doors and hardware a day? The people that are doing specialty work are very good, very efficient. Framing & drywall is where the money is but you need to be connected to the south american labor cartel.

We were once GC's and have shifted some to "contractor support" Working with commercial GC's is all about how cheap we can get it done with the least amount of head aces. I would look at the big framing & drywall contractors that seem to be doing a lot of division 8 & 10 work along with the carpentry stuff.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
500 Posts
A couple of years ago, I could do a fairly decent BUDGET based on square footage. Then COVID! As we all know, things went crazy and still are. Today's budget is maybe valid for today, but not tomorrow!
Not to mention that currently the jobs are so poorly managed that we find we are spending a lot of time making trips where the work isn't ready or trades are working on top of each other.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
112 Posts
there are other ways to make more money than "charge more".
UHMM. How can I say this? NOPE. IF you are above average and plan well then you are about on par with any other company that does the same. Paying more to get more? YUP that is part of the equation, however if you don't have "That" crew yet, you are going to pay whatever to LOSE money. Then...you have the issue of needing to keep jobs scheduled and not overlapped the wrong way, or too far apart (you will lose ALL your men if you give them even a couple days off).
Believe it or not, it is more about finding and building relationships, and working with HONEST numbers over time. When I say honest I do not mean low profit necessarily. This is about LONG TERM. Building a business takes money.

Do not bite off more than you can LOSE. Protect yourself from SLOW PAY/NO PAY. DO NOT TAKE GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS that require you to bond and then allow them to hold back pay at all (I know a few contractors who bankrupted making money at government jobs).
Lastly, go meet some attorneys that specialize in construction. Talk to them, let them know you are beginning and will need some help making sure things stay on track. Listen to them. RUN from an attorney that is about suing and writing letters and being angry and talking about the "slime balls" and "*&^%suckers" this and that. You want an arbiter. Someone that can RESOLVE conflict, not conflate it. Find an attorney that thinks that way and outside the box. Then ask him to be ready to help you help your client figure it out when the time comes. I know attorneys that do not practice law any more because it is better to make money than fight over money. Be ready either way.
Right now I have 2 liens I am trying to collect, and I was only an employee! It happens.
 

·
Registered
Custom
Joined
·
13,962 Posts
UHMM. How can I say this? NOPE. IF you are above average and plan well then you are about on par with any other company that does the same.
Uhm... average is generally considered par... putting aside multiple factors (company structure, assets, employees, experience, pay rates, productivity, project management, etc.) how can you be ABOVE average and still find yourself on par with any other company that does the same?
 

·
The Dude
Untangler of blue spaghetti
Joined
·
3,335 Posts
Uhm... average is generally considered par... putting aside multiple factors (company structure, assets, employees, experience, pay rates, productivity, project management, etc.) how can you be ABOVE average and still find yourself on par with any other company that does the same?
This might explain it:

Right now I have 2 liens I am trying to collect, and I was only an employee!
 

·
The Dude
Untangler of blue spaghetti
Joined
·
3,335 Posts
That doesn’t sound very good, does it!
"as an employee" - that sounds like nonsense. Something to take up with employer. Also ... 2 of them? I've never had to file a lien in my entire life. Thought about it once. Two at a time? More red flags than the chinese army.

I've never heard of an employee filing a lien though. I've heard of them suing an employer, or taking it to whoever deals with wage theft.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
112 Posts
I've never heard of an employee filing a lien though. I've heard of them suing an employer, or taking it to whoever deals with wage theft.
Virtually every state in the USA allows that unpaid employees that have worked to improve real estate properties, residential, commercial or industrial, have the RIGHT to lien the property for unpaid wages. This includes leased properties in general. When a property owner/lessee fails to pay, or pays and the contractor fails to pay, the employee has the right to lien. Incidentally, there is NO requirement for a NOC or permit when it comes to employees, otherwise they would be contractors or sub-contractors.
The law is based on common law dating back centuries and is biblical as well "A workman is worth his wages". Failure to pay employees creates unjust enrichment by the property owner.
The lien is very simple to create and comes with specific legal liabilities if you are not honest.
Yes, the last contractor I worked for seems to have gone belly up and moved on to create another entity and start again. The first property I liened, the owner failed to pay the contractor and I was unpaid. The second property I liened, the owner was late or non-payed the contractor. So I was unpaid for around 2 weeks work plus the week holdback. I had already filed if and when the contractor was paid, but I was not paid yet.
Not my concern, the wages are between me and the property owner now. The property owner can sue the contractor. I don't have to, I will be paid or foreclose the property. The property owner can not sell nor refinance without paying me. This is a workman's lien. All court and attorneys expenses are covered as well as direct expenses.
BTW I can still take it to the state for not paying wages, the lien makes it worse for the employer as his actions caused a claim against another's property by violation of employment law. Criminal investigations are moving forward as we speak.
Why sue when you can control the situation and escalate it more quickly and have all legal expenses covered by the property owner and the contractor both?
 

·
The Dude
Untangler of blue spaghetti
Joined
·
3,335 Posts
The things you don't have to know when you're not a ****bag ...

I've paid guys on a job I got burned on. So same contractor, 2 different properties? Both of them non-payers? Sounds like they got burned too. I'd have to be pretty desperate to turn on someone else that was also victimized by my employer. Or maybe it's 2 properties with the same ****bag owner. If I were somehow in a position where I was unable to pay my guys because a dingus refused to pay on multiple jobs - I'd encourage them to do just that now that I see it's a thing. Stick your lien in there right alongside mine - fookem.

Anyway - maybe the reason I don't have these issues is that I'm hypersensitive to any sign of red flags. Very quick to call BS, very quick to decline work. Sorry if I got you wrong. Nothing chaps my a$$ like a dude getting ripped off for his hard work.

But back to the NOPE - there are plenty of ways to make more money than just raise prices. You can do work differently, more efficiently, with better systems. You can reduce your costs in any number of ways - by reducing overhead, reducing direct job costs, etc. Sometimes (a lot of times) that means spending more money.

Sometime a few decades ago there was a painter, and every painter worth their salt used the same methods - brush and roll. But this painter saw a very expensive piece of equipment called an "airless sprayer", and he bought it - which reduced his labor costs far more than the machine cost. That painter made more money without raising prices and he lived happily ever after the end. Oh wait, that's not the end - he actually lowered prices, took on a much higher volume of work, bought another 5 machines, and hired all the painters that could no longer compete with his pricing as employees and made FAR more money than those guys ever made when they ran things. And he didn't raise prices to do it.

So "Umm NOPE" - is bull****. Thinking like an employee paid to do X labor for Y money.
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top