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Finishing Carpenter
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
by selling them stuff that is crap!!!! case in point: out to do an estimate on Monday- install a handrail, and put up some crown. ok, I can do that.

I get there, and he's already got the stuff- oak newel posts, and some sort of metal "ballluster" ?? looks for all the world like a paddle, only ornamental iron (pot metal?) and the top of these has a flat spot angled.. ?? well on checking its not the same slope as the slope of the stairs! ok, I can work around that- then he wants the bottom newel post installed ON TOP of the bottom step!!! sigh....... he says "couple nails here, couple there - done! I splain that it'd be weak, very weak, he says no problem, we use screws!

so then the crown- easy install, 8' ceilings, only one stair well to deal with- but wait! there's more! he's already got the crown!!!! and its FREAKIN FOAM!!!!! geez I was hopin that this crap dissappeared, I've never actually seen it (except for when I worked in the film industry)

he thinks no prob. we can get his wife to hold it up, and we(????) just shoot it in with a few nails. It comes with pre-made inside/outside corners!!! I'm thinkin that the nails will go through this stuff, or almost- and that it won't have enough holding power! so it'd be a glue type of install.

I didn't want this- so $600 for the handrail, (4 stairs and a bunch of trim around the stairs to hide his work) and $4/ft for crown, $3/ft for baseboard. (he didn't have the baseboards yet)

he's gonna think about it LOL

Bad HD!!!!!
 

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This is the reason why if you are going to work retail you don't let customers supply the material. They save a few bucks and you end up paying for it. Not worth it.

Control is your friend. :thumbsup:
 

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General Contractor
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8,192 Posts
You should split down the middle between $3 and $4 Just charge Tree Fitty for everything... this way he don't have to think about it :laughing::thumbsup:

I didn't want this- so $600 for the handrail, (4 stairs and a bunch of trim around the stairs to hide his work) and $4/ft for crown, $3/ft for baseboard. (he didn't have the baseboards yet)

he's gonna think about it LOL
 

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If the guy knows how to do it then why is he calling you?

Sometimes I run into a situation where the HO founds something they really like the style of and ask me to put it up.

For example earlier this year I had a swingset/playset that a daycare wanted me to put up. They got it from HD. I showed them some vinyl and fiberglass products that looked the same but are higher quality. I explained the benefits like durability, fade resistance, rot resistance, lack of splinters, etc. Then I showed them how I would install it and I'd put an 8 year no questions asked warranty on it. Got em hooked up with financing and they signed. What would have been maybe a $1,400 install I turned into a $22,000 sale.

It could have been an opportunity for you to pimp your high quality stuff. Do you keep catalogs, samples, promos, etc. with you?
 

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ampman
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This is the reason why if you are going to work retail you don't let customers supply the material. They save a few bucks and you end up paying for it. Not worth it.

Control is your friend. :thumbsup:
man ain't that the truth working with crap mat. cost more because it takes longer
 

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he's already got the crown!!!! and its FREAKIN FOAM!!!!!
I had a similar situation recently. HO (who is a neighbor and friend) asked me to put up some crown for her. Only 1 room so I figured in and out in half a day. I get there and she's got that foam crap, a bunch of 8' lengths of it. That stuff is almost impossible to cope cleanly, it just crumbles. Needless to say, a lotta caulk in them joints. :laughing: Came out looking OK though and she's happy.
 

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Finishing Carpenter
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1,332 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
If the guy knows how to do it then why is he calling you?

Sometimes I run into a situation where the HO founds something they really like the style of and ask me to put it up.

For example earlier this year I had a swingset/playset that a daycare wanted me to put up. They got it from HD. I showed them some vinyl and fiberglass products that looked the same but are higher quality. I explained the benefits like durability, fade resistance, rot resistance, lack of splinters, etc. Then I showed them how I would install it and I'd put an 8 year no questions asked warranty on it. Got em hooked up with financing and they signed. What would have been maybe a $1,400 install I turned into a $22,000 sale.

It could have been an opportunity for you to pimp your high quality stuff. Do you keep catalogs, samples, promos, etc. with you?
well I'm not sure, I did refer them to my web site- I don't have a catalog or samples, but now that you mention it, sound like a good idea. I would prefer to supply the material, but when you show up and its already there ?? and he thinks its good stuff???? wow. Ultiimately though, the customer is right- if he likes that stuff, well then who am I to argue? (I didn't) I had a nightmare about using liquid nails to install this, and having it run down the walls LOL

lauriescustomfinishing.ca
 

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At least in landscaping most suppliers will send you a sample case and brochure free of charge if you ask. For the popular stuff I order a few extra catalogs/brochures. I bought 100 brochures from Tile Tech for $20 or so. I hand em out, show the sample tiles. I also deal with EP Henry and Belgard quite a bit. It definetely helps to have this stuff with you. I can set different color pavers in place and show how they will look with the house. The backseat of my truck is filled with catalogs and brochures for all kinds of landscaping and hardscaping products. Sales is part of contracting, I think. Having products that you like to install and the means to sell them is a good strategy for success.
 
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solar guy
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I had a HO recently ask for a freebee of crown in a powder room. Room is 5x8 square 8' ceilings right near front door and he had the material. No problem I was already there doing a master bath and had to set up for crown in there so I thought no big deal I gave away an hour and a half and got an 18K job. Comes time to put the crown up and he has the foam junk from homies. Paid a fortune for it and has 3 8' pieces and he has already wasted one tring to do it himself so we are down to 2. I tell them that I would not install that stuff return it and get MDF crown. After telling them twice what lengths to get it took 2 tries to get it right. Good thing they take back cut lengths.
 

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You can also make your own sample cases. If you have left over molding or material from a job use that. You can get a briefcase from Office Depot to mount them in if you want. A nice piece of finish ply would work too. I'd recommend having at least 3 variations of each style. Leave one unfinished, finish one in a darker shade, and one in a lighter shade. A 4 inch length should do the trick nicely, you don't want your display to be too large and unwieldy. If you make your own it's also a good opportunity to show off your craftsmanship to a potential client.
 
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