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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I pretty much have no clue at all about Masonry. I've been playing Internet Poker for a living for the past 4 years and I've done very well in doing so and my dad who has been in the Masonry Business for 30 years asked me last week if I would consider going into business with him 50/50 partners. The agreement is I front the money to get started and just take care of the finances and if he needs any help in any other areas I would help if needed. Here's where the problem is for me, as i stated before he has been in the business for 30 years but has struggled majority of the time when working for himself. I believe one reason is because he doesn't have much of a clue as to how the estimating process works. When he figures a job he figures the job per block or per 1,000 brick that's it no additional charges for overhead or profit. Example: there's a commercial job that a GC contacted him asking him to bid it's 15,000 sf i asked him what he was going to price it his reply either 450-500 a K with no markup which seems very low to me on commercial and if this is how he is going to bid once we go into business we will never be successful. My ? should we still calculate the jobs the way he has been doing for years and add markup or should I calculate the job by total # of man hours, unusual labor productivity, overhead and profit? What % can you get for overhead and profit atm?
 

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Cost of materials+labor+POH=price. And don't forget to read the plans and specifications carefully, it will only take one SS wire job that you missed to put you out of business.
 

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You can double and triple check your numbers by looking at a laborer and lets say you need to bill him out at $30 an hour, your masons you need to bill out at $60, I dont know where you are located, but talking about 450 per `1000 sounds like you are down south somewhere.

So lets look at billing guys at per hour, after 8 hours and you have a daily rate. If your masons can do 400 brick per day now you can figure out how much per brick to charge just to cover your billed out as payroll. Quoins, arches, detail are all extra.

Builders wont let you markup materials really, you can try. If you need to front him money he should maybe provide labor only prices. Give them the material list as a perk, even that is of value.

I never got into adding overhead and profit and whatnot. I calculate stuff like an attorney would, billable hours. they seem to do ok.

I also do it in reverse starting at what I would like to make for the year. Lets say 100k. How much is that a month, a week? How much is that a day, now figure out how much to bill out your help to achieve that goal, and ask if it is realistic or not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Cost of materials+labor+POH=price. And don't forget to read the plans and specifications carefully, it will only take one SS wire job that you missed to put you out of business.
Right now my dad said we can't afford to charge for materials I'm not sure how buying the materials for a job works. Do you have to have credit to purchase the materials if so I would be the one having to do that part. I do realize when purchasing material that you make quite a bit more money when you charge for overhead and profit. What % of overhead and profit should we be charging. I've seen where the standard is somewhere around 10% oh and 10% profit but also read that them times are long gone.
 

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Right now my dad said we can't afford to charge for materials I'm not sure how buying the materials for a job works. Do you have to have credit to purchase the materials if so I would be the one having to do that part. I do realize when purchasing material that you make quite a bit more money when you charge for overhead and profit. What % of overhead and profit should we be charging. I've seen where the standard is somewhere around 10% oh and 10% profit but also read that them times are long gone.
To buy materials you need cash or credit, same as buying anything.
Your overhead isn't some target number or industry standard - it's whatever your actual overhead is. 10% would be low - lots of contractors hurt themselves by pretending it's a negotiable item. Profit is whatever you can get, starting with whatever you need to make it a business.
 

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if your dad has been doing masonry for 30 yrs he's doing something right

calculating material is easy.
If it costs you "1" to get what you need at the site, add on your mark-up, 1%,20%, 100%, what ever pleasures you
I usually consider all expenses in labor, for me its easier. and i do mostly labor.

so, when i do actually have to get the materials, all i consider is the margin i am looking to get.

usually around 25%, but, sometimes 5%, and sometimes 100%.
depends on the quantity.

I have no usual mark-up,
If i like you or need to impress, I may do at cost.
If I have no competition, 20-50% i might add on.
If all i need to do is make a call to have on the job $25k in materials, i may do only 3%.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
What does that mean? Do you plan to give them away?
He told me that he couldn't pay for it because of lack of funds and couldn't get material on credit because of his credit so he said he just gives labor price and lets the GC purchase the materials.
 

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So GC's will not hire a sub that can't afford to pay for materials, some prefer to pay for materials. A guy in a truck is maybe 10% overhead, but anything more (like some money to pay you) would add greatly to that.
 

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So GC's will not hire a sub that can't afford to pay for materials, some prefer to pay for materials. A guy in a truck is maybe 10% overhead, but anything more (like some money to pay you) would add greatly to that.
Excuse me, but because someone isn't good at the office management part of the trade, doesn't mean he is a lame mason, oh contrar
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So GC's will not hire a sub that can't afford to pay for materials, some prefer to pay for materials. A guy in a truck is maybe 10% overhead, but anything more (like some money to pay you) would add greatly to that.
I'm not following, is that a ? or a statement about GC not hiring a a sub who can't afford to pay for materials?
 

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Agreed, he is a damn good mason just never had anyone teach him the business side.


I do not want to sound unaccommodating or condescending however,there is no particular mystique to the business end. It really and truly does not entail much more than seventh grade math.

My suggestion,(as previously pointed out) get really familiar with prints,specs.,scaffolding erection times,local production norms etc. before you jump in. As was pointed out miss one ss wire spec.and it will be the kiss of death for your operation.

There is an old saying......"if you do not what you are doing,do not try doing it here." Do not rely on luck to carry the day.
 

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My great grandfather was a mason and put it this way. Don't open a restaurant if ya can't cook because if the chef walks away you close the restaurant.

Any sub who can't purchase materials for a job is gonna be looked upon negatively. It says a lot to the charextar of a business as well as the man if he can't sustain a credit or cash flow to do so. It's unfortunate but true. Same goes for a company which from time to time doesn't pay it's employees or makes them wait a few days extra for paychecks. Good lck getting that employee to hustle
 

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My great grandfather was a mason and put it this way. Don't open a restaurant if ya can't cook because if the chef walks away you close the restaurant.

Any sub who can't purchase materials for a job is gonna be looked upon negatively. It says a lot to the charextar of a business as well as the man if he can't sustain a credit or cash flow to do so. It's unfortunate but true. Same goes for a company which from time to time doesn't pay it's employees or makes them wait a few days extra for paychecks. Good lck getting that employee to hustle
I dont really agree with that. I understand that we should be able to make things happen, but in general anything that would require me to be on a job longer then a couple weeks requires pay as you go money.

I just priced a thin stone job that would be 12-18k of thin stone. You think im paying for that without some $$ up front? Hell frickin no.

Its not my job to finance someone elses project.

If we are talking about a valued account, a company, builder or whatever that provides a volume of repeat work and has a good track record of paying his bills, yeah, dont bullsht with the frequent payments.

If its someone cold calling you, it doesnt matter how big the job is, pay as you go. who the hell wouldnt?
 

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I had a scientific method to calculate how much to charge per day for a mason and his tender 15 or so years ago. It appears to be accurate to this day as well.

Go to your local sub shop and order a large steak and cheese sub with onions and green peppers. How much is it? Add 2 zeros, thats your rate.

Never fails.

If you have to sharpen your pencil simply omit the onions and peppers.

Your welcome :)
 
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