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Fine Handcrafted Opinions
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So we did a nice light commercial project over in the arts district where everything is expensive a few months back. Met one of the big real estate players who owns half the neighborhood when he dropped in to look at the bar we were working on, and he liked our work. Took our contact info, said he always has stuff going and would give us a call.

So last week his guy emails over plans to cut 4 10x10 openings in a block wall on the side of one of his buildings along an alley. Plans are drawn, but not engineered. Lintels over openings are not spec'd out, etc.

It'd be a pretty easy job, so we go look at it, make up a list of some questions we have. I have some concerns about the wall sections between the openings holding up the roof once we take out 4 ten foot sections, and some questions about the trim and finish. I call the guy, and we start discussing.

He says the owner has a new tenant coming in July 1st. Needs this done by then. I ask him if plans have been approved by the city, and he says uh, well, it would take 6-7 weeks to get these approved through the conservation district, and we don't have that kind of time. What if we just did it, kind of a "better to beg forgiveness than ask permission" approach? Can we and our mason spec the lintels? Also, when I ask about how they pay, everything is net 30. They don't pay anything until 30 days after completion, but "they might be able to get us a material draw at the start if we really beg".

One thought is, I believe we could make a lot of money on this job, although I'm pretty neg on getting paid 30 days after we finish. And, make this guy happy and we could get much more work from this guy, although he hasn't mentioned it.

My next thought is, we could also get totally screwed on this job. The more I think about it, the more I don't want to mess with it. My gut is saying run from it, we have more work than we need anyway doing residential. Perhaps, at the very most, give them a high estimate, and insist on going through the proper process before we do anything or no deal.

Questions:
How ridiculous is it in the real world to try to slam something in without a permit? I know people do it, heck we even do it occasionally in residential. Is it more common in commercial? Just the cost of doing business if you get caught?

Why is commercial net 30 or whatever? I'm not a bank. In residential we don't front the money for anything. And we're very busy, even though we get money when we show up to start, or we leave.

Does this sound fishy for commercial, or is this pretty standard? I know there are tight windows of time with tenants moving in and out quickly, or needing to have business shut down for the least amount of time possible.
 

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Butcher of wood and metal
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What happens when you are into the job and the city puts a stop work order on the job?
Don't know things work there , but I would be careful about doing a job that way, no permit, hanging you neck . 30 days after job done to get paid , that is a pain if you are a small guy. I would work to get money up front and have a good contract.
 

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My experience has been.......Real Estate "Players" are manipulators big time.....they'll have you screwing the pooch while collecting money for him to be groomed.....It's your business.....you call the shots........If he can't agree to your terms.....move on
 

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Questions:
How ridiculous is it in the real world to try to slam something in without a permit? I know people do it, heck we even do it occasionally in residential. Is it more common in commercial? Just the cost of doing business if you get caught?

Why is commercial net 30 or whatever? I'm not a bank. In residential we don't front the money for anything. And we're very busy, even though we get money when we show up to start, or we leave.

Does this sound fishy for commercial, or is this pretty standard? I know there are tight windows of time with tenants moving in and out quickly, or needing to have business shut down for the least amount of time possible.
No permit - happens all to often. New partitions and such for lease spaces. Typically fire inspectors catch the life safety errors if not done to code. Exterior structural, you'd be in plain sight. Code enforcement guy having a bad day ..... :censored: It is not the cost of doing business, no permits. It's the cost of making money from not so high quality clients. Now even if the client will accept all responsibility for permits ect - your net 30 day, getting caught, now turns into who da F### knows. This is a money/time driven deal for your client not you, imho.


Net 30 - typically comes from managing a higher volume and systems of accounting duties. Well that and of course the payee covers cash flow.

Go with your gut, too much to risk.
 

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Why would you put yourself on the line to save a couple of bucks for some guy you don't even know? I've had a couple of jobs where it sure would be nice to not have the hassle of dealing with permits, but the couple of times I've pushed things through without a permit, I've spent more time stressing about if a stop work order would show up on the door one day. Not worth it.

Maybe he'll call you next time when he has his ducks in a row...
 

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John the Builder
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I ask him if plans have been approved by the city, and he says uh, well, it would take 6-7 weeks to get these approved through the conservation district, and we don't have that kind of time. What if we just did it, kind of a "better to beg forgiveness than ask permission" approach? Can we and our mason spec the lintels? Also, when I ask about how they pay, everything is net 30.
A player - known by every trade already - and outta the blue he chooses YOU?

Seriously - you are either smarter than this, or deserve what happens next...
 

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I never thought the hassle was worth the money cutting out openings. You might need needle beams if there is much weight above. Meh. Only if I'm slow and starving to death.

That said tell him you will submit an invoice and do the job in 30 days when he has a check for you.
 

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Particulate Filter
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Youre going to cut out forty feet of masonry wall without any idea if the roof structure will fail? What if it faild?! What if it doesnt fail immediately but it fails in a minor eartquake during business hours and you kill 30 people?
 

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Accidental Painter
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Net30 is how things are done outside residential. Heck, all my work is net45 (yes, it sucks anus).

Its weeds out the wannabes.

Last week i did a residential deck repaint, & it felt weird getting paid same day.
 

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Fine Handcrafted Opinions
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Driftweed said:
Net30 is how things are done outside residential. Heck, all my work is net45 (yes, it sucks anus). Its weeds out the wannabes. Last week i did a residential deck repaint, & it felt weird getting paid same day.
Would consider the net 30 if there were no other red flags or issues. Not real crazy about it though.
 

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Net 30 is typical, from a real good commercial customer you can sometimes get money ahead but not very often. It does tend to stretch to 35-45 days depending on when you get invoices turned in and approved. Lots of people have a cutoff toward the end of the month to get them in. If you miss it you could look at 60 days. Lots of our customers pay at a certain time of the month, you can expect checks in the mail between the 15th and 20th like clockwork.

I did once have a small parking lot for a small local customer try to pay me ahead of time but made him wait til we got done. Wasn't real sure when we were going to be there we fit him in when we had a few days to prep then pave. Got done in the afternoon and went to make sure he was happy and he said sit down so I can write you a check. Real nice feeling that we don't get too often.
 

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Master of none.
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I ask him if plans have been approved by the city, and he says uh, well, it would take 6-7 weeks to get these approved through the conservation district, and we don't have that kind of time. What if we just did it, kind of a "better to beg forgiveness than ask permission" approach?
That will work great, if you want to get hit with a Stop work order, possibly a fine and ya know, your reputation possibly taking a hit... However you may be able to get forgiveness no problem from an inspector after you get hit with the stop work. but once you can return and finish the job, the inspector will remember and of course, pick apart EVERYTHING they can to make your pass or fail hell.
 

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No flipping way wold I even entertain this joker. You are taking the risks, he is making the money. Like was aid above, if the roof fails, you will be so screwed your dog will feel it. Small things might not get the inspector ticked, especially if he knows you, but this would be a never get a pass again type gig.

Then on top of that, you get to fund the project for 30 days. If it all goes to sh!t and you have funded the thing, it gets red tagged and he can't get his tenant in, you honestly think he will give a hoot about paying you?

Run awaayyyyyy, run awaayyyyyy!!!!!!
 
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