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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last night I had to take my proposal to a customer for a plaster repair, Her living room ceiling is coming down, theres a section that is 25'x 28' that has to come down and there is also 26' of Crown Cornice Moulding that has to be recast, I took my bid to her and we went over it. she tells me that my price $9,275.00 was on the high side, she tells me she had two other contractors bid the job. she says their price was way less. Now I figure this job to take around three weeks and this house was built in 1917 it's in a part of Detroit called Indian Village very large Historical Mansions, Now this is what I love about these so called plaster contractors, which are really drywall guys doing plaster:laughing: they tell her that the Crown can be patched:w00t: there was so much water coming through this ceiling and crown it has all delaminated and the paint is holding some of it together. I was going to remove 26' of crown and then cast new 6' pieces. she even said from what I was saying made more sence to her, then she asks me if I will be there doing the work. I told her yes, where the other two guys wanted to send their crews in:whistling. So I sat down and rewrote the bid to $6,500 so I hope this is more to her liking. But in this market everyone is bidding on anything and everything. I'm just glad I stick to what I know. That's the problem with some of these Jack of all Trades or is that Jackoffs of all Trades.

www.frankawitz.net
 

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So you dropped your price by almost 1/3 without a reduction is scope? Now she's going to think you were trying to rape her with the first price. I know the economy sucks, but that's a bad idea. If you could do the job for $6,500, you should have bid $6,500 in the first place- maybe bid it at $7,000 and be able to knock $500 off, but now you look like you were being a pig. Sorry to be so blunt, but that only reinforces the image of being con artists that contractors have.
 

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He had no choice he is Detroit
I agree. Things are tough in this part of the country. I am doing some work for a HO restoring an old victorian. Each phase of the job they get a s***load of bids. Rather than one contractor to handle it all.

I recently gave them a bid for a three car garage. Their eyes just about bulged out of their head when they saw my price. They said it was the highest bid yet. I know for a fact I was 2k lower than the bid before me.

He is a realtor/flipper she is a professor that thinks she is better than everyone. If I came down 4k on the garage (which I won't do). They would look at it like they were getting something for nothing rather than somebody was trying to rip them off.

The crew will be finishing up the roof on Monday and we all can't wait to get away from there. I have done a few phases of the job after being beat down. Cause they want our quality (int. trim ect.). Other stuff they give to hacks and lowballers. They suck out loud..............
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Bob,
I rewrote the scope of work, I talked with her yesterday, she told me the bids for the other two companys, now get this, what I originaly bid as the work that needs to be done these CLOWNS are going to do all this work in 3 days, I had figured it for three weeks, cause you have to let the plaster Crown cure and the Cornice also has to cure. one of the CLOWNS said he can patch the Crown and Cornice. I am going down there this morning to demo the ceiling that is hanging down off the lath. I'll post some pictures later on today if I get a chance. now here's what these guys bid Remove and replace a section of ceiling 24'x 25' and 20' of Crown Cornice Moulding patched $3,705.00 the other one 24'x 28' and 24' of the Crown his price $3,600.00:w00t: Now my material cost would be around $1875.00 also they said three days, it will take two full days to set up and demo and remove all the tear out. So I think what shes doing is trying to get me to do the job for less. cause when she said they could do the job in 3 days:w00t: WTF!! Theres no way just cause of the dry time on the plaster mouldings, the only way they could pull this off is if they had the mouldings sitting on a shelf.
So I took and subtracted things like covering the whole living room floor 40'x 30' with OSB, covering all the walls with plastic drops, installing 5/8 sheetrock instead of putting up wood lath and metal lath. So I have changed a few things. But after today we shall see how this goes,

www.frankawitz.net
 

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I agree with Bob, even in Detroit and especially in a 1917 home. If the historic society gets involved (which is very possible if not likely) they could easily cost you the 3k you dropped. Maybe changing the scope to drywall will help but you will still have to cast the crown molding. The floor still has to be covered. Plaster vs drywall would be some savings but I'm not sure it would be that much or if the ho is aware that it will look different.

Did those prices include painting the plaster?

Plaster isn't cured enough to paint in 3 days and 3 weeks would still be questionable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Ok well heres how it's going to work out, I started it yesterday I took out all the water damaged plaster. With the HomeOwner she said they save up money for repairs that need to be done, so I charged her for just taking out the ceiling, then we talked and after I told her that I can take out the wood lath and furing strips, then install new furing and then 5/8s board then two coats plaster, so this I'm going to charge her $1,800 this way the ceiling is done. Then they are going on vacation for a week, then when they come back I will work on crown and run that in place, then I will cast the cornice then once it drys I will install the cornice to the crown, after the repairs get one coat of primer. then if she wants me to paint I will. I have some pictures check them out.


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I agree with Bob, even in Detroit and especially in a 1917 home. If the historic society gets involved (which is very possible if not likely) they could easily cost you the 3k you dropped. Maybe changing the scope to drywall will help but you will still have to cast the crown molding.

Around here if the historical society was involved you would never get away with putting up drywall.:no:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well the Homeowner has no problem with sheetrock then plaster over it. The Homeowner has already had other rooms repaired by other guys this way. But anyways I have the job so I will post pictures as the job moves on.

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Well I took out 2/3s of the ceiling down, wood lath and furing strips, lost a lot of the top edge of the crown moulding, I also cut out the water damage crown and cornice moulding. As for the Historical Soceity there are houses on this street that are sitting empty with the grass 3' deep. Yeah Detroit aint worried about History, when Kwame was Mayor he had ordered over 176 Historical buildings and houses be leveled. the Book Hotel sits at the end of the block, nothing being done, just boarded up, to try and keep the scrapers out of the buildings:sad:


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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well Monday I get to go back in and start putting this ceiling back together, I went last Saturday and did the last of the clean up.
In these pictures you can see how the furing was pulling out of the ceiling joist, so I removed all the plaster and rock lath off the wood lath, then took the wood lath off the furing then took the furing down. Now I will refur the ceiling so I can hang my 5/8s.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Heres a better picture of the Crown Cornice Moulding, these guys said they could fix this without removing any of it:whistling Now I know there are a couple other guys on here that work with this type of Plaster everyday, Do any of you guys think this could have been patched or should it be removed and all new put back?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Here's what the ceiling looked like close up, water damage was going on for years, Plumbers replaced values and wax ring with flange, this helped some but the tub shower was the problem. if they would have opened up the ceiling back(1950' or 60's) when they took the plaster off the wood lath and put up rock lath. they wouldn't have had all this damage. This kinda reminds me of when you hear some tell people "Oh just cover it up with drywall:w00t:"
But I would say that the bathroom above this Living room doesn't get fixed correctly they will do this at some time again.:blink:
 

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Nice

Please keep the pictures coming.

Why didn't the gut and replace the plumbing above the ceiling while the plaster was down? Did I miss something?
 

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Frank,
I really like the abundance of pics.

Were the others seriously considering patching the area you mentioned? From the looks of it, I wouldn't even consider anything but removing that area clean.
I know you used gypsum lath to save the customer money, but it is a shame since it is inferior; wood lath remains the best with metal lath a strong second, IMO.


Roger
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Roger,
The way this job is going it was all about the costs, I bid the job at first to replace all the wood lath with metal ribbed lath, but I was 3 times higher then the other two contractors, so I ended up going with 5/8s board then I'll basecoat and skim coat, but my costs are still going to be up there cause of all the damage to the Crowns top steps. when I pulled the ceiling down the last time this ceiling was repaired they pulled all the plaster off the lath and then installed rock lath over the wood then two coated it, As for the water leak they thought that it was fixed well I told them that we still had water dripping, she told me they had taken showers before I got there, well I took out the sub floor that hold the mortar back from the ceiling, then I took out the old mortar and there it was a section of pipe rusted and dripping, so now I have to wait and see how much of the plumbing is going to be removed, this same pipe is leaking in the next rooms ceiling, the pipes are all galvinized rusted pipes, been there since 1917:w00t: I have some more pictures of how much I got done.
 

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So you dropped your price by almost 1/3 without a reduction is scope? Now she's going to think you were trying to rape her with the first price. I know the economy sucks, but that's a bad idea. If you could do the job for $6,500, you should have bid $6,500 in the first place- maybe bid it at $7,000 and be able to knock $500 off, but now you look like you were being a pig. Sorry to be so blunt, but that only reinforces the image of being con artists that contractors have.
:clap:That is one of the most intelligent postings I have ever seen. It is also the reason the $3.50 a sheet drywall hanging exists, because it reinforces the idea that most contractors are ripoffs, and price cheap work at premium prices.

The bottom line is just as Bob Kovacs said above: If you could do the job for $6,500, you should have bid $6,500 in the first place. If you didn't, the bottom line is that you are pricing according to what you think you can get, rather than what the job takes to do. Bad, bad business in the long term. Any time you cut your price, you look like a cheat, whether you are reacting to lowballers or just sharpening your pencil.
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:clap:That is one of the most intelligent postings I have ever seen. It is also the reason the $3.50 a sheet drywall hanging exists, because it reinforces the idea that most contractors are ripoffs, and price cheap work at premium prices.

The bottom line is just as Bob Kovacs said above: If you could do the job for $6,500, you should have bid $6,500 in the first place. If you didn't, the bottom line is that you are pricing according to what you think you can get, rather than what the job takes to do. Bad, bad business in the long term. Any time you cut your price, you look like a cheat, whether you are reacting to lowballers or just sharpening your pencil.
Thanks
Dude, he changed the scope of his work. You need to listen to the conversation before voicing an opinion.
 
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