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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i just bid on a new home....he spec'd out garbage........i refuse to use most of it....i did my own specs with my minimums and wrote him a letter explaining why his choices are very poor....i probably offended the hell out of him

from piping materials to waterheaters to fixtures....he was pinching everything.....$50 more on a water heater gets you a top grade water heater.........he wanted multipiece modules on a new home...who does that?....i cant sleep at night if i didnt put 1 piece units in....the cost was almost a wash on that item......he was using cheap brand sinks to save $25 a sink.....just foolish in every way...

do you have minimum standards?

i wont put my name on a job unless its done right.....i also find working with garbage = more call backs, more returned product for defects

GC's...ever have a sub tell you your building crap?
 

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I own stock in FotoMat!
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As a general rule, I refuse to use a customer's material. Mostly because they always get the wrong stuff. And they get the wrong stuff because they both don't know any better and are wanting to go cheap.

Case in point: Recessed lights. I can get a new-construction 6" kit for $8. Joe Sixpack sees one for $4, and thinks he's got a gold mine. OK, but it's just the can. No hanger bars, no j-box, no whip. Then he tells me to supply the rest. Sure... it'll cost you $35 per now.

Plain old 1-gang nail-on boxes. Pretty easy, huh? Sure, just buy the cheapest, right? Yeah, they may work on a handful of instances, but your 14¢ 12-in³ isn't big enough for 80% of the rest. I use 18-in³ minimum, and know by heart where I need deeper ones.

And my favorite is NM. I had a guy offer to buy 'all' the wire I needed. He shows up with a 100' coil of 14-2. I tell him it's gonna take at least 2000'. He says, "But, the house is only 60 feet long!................." (And how much are you saving when you have 500' left over? Where are you going to use it? Me, I just toss it on the truck and use it next week at another job. You are going to store it for another 15 years until you finally finish your basement or sell it at a garage sale.)


And finally, there's the little matter of warranty. If Joe Sixpack buys material, I can't provide a warranty. At all. Period. Because as soon as something goes wrong with his crap, sure as rain it'll be my fault no matter what.

Been there, done that. If they wanna supply stuff, let 'em find some schmuck off Craigslist. Two total cheap-azzes..... They were meant for each other.
 

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The Ultimate Wire Hider
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I think that when your sub doesn't completely understand your client but he THINKS he does, then you get into issues like this. You have a personal relationship with your customer in that you are building their home.. so you want the best that you can possibly give him.

Your sub on the other hand thinks in terms of "builder grade" stuff for everything because this is just some crappy new house that we're throwing up for some schmuck who otherwise doesn't know the difference.

I had to fire a sub over this issue because the HO was an engineer and wanted Monster Cable for everything in his home theater. The sub wouldn't do it citing that "most people" wouldn't even care and that regular 18/2 security wire from home depot would be sufficient. Then he had the nerve to say, "Don't let idiots like that push you around. I know how we can save money on this job!":blink::blink:
 

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As a general rule, I refuse to use a customer's material. Mostly because they always get the wrong stuff. And they get the wrong stuff because they both don't know any better and are wanting to go cheap.

Case in point: Recessed lights. I can get a new-construction 6" kit for $8. Joe Sixpack sees one for $4, and thinks he's got a gold mine. OK, but it's just the can. No hanger bars, no j-box, no whip. Then he tells me to supply the rest. Sure... it'll cost you $35 per now.

Plain old 1-gang nail-on boxes. Pretty easy, huh? Sure, just buy the cheapest, right? Yeah, they may work on a handful of instances, but your 14¢ 12-in³ isn't big enough for 80% of the rest. I use 18-in³ minimum, and know by heart where I need deeper ones.

And my favorite is NM. I had a guy offer to buy 'all' the wire I needed. He shows up with a 100' coil of 14-2. I tell him it's gonna take at least 2000'. He says, "But, the house is only 60 feet long!................." (And how much are you saving when you have 500' left over? Where are you going to use it? Me, I just toss it on the truck and use it next week at another job. You are going to store it for another 15 years until you finally finish your basement or sell it at a garage sale.)


And finally, there's the little matter of warranty. If Joe Sixpack buys material, I can't provide a warranty. At all. Period. Because as soon as something goes wrong with his crap, sure as rain it'll be my fault no matter what.

Been there, done that. If they wanna supply stuff, let 'em find some schmuck off Craigslist. Two total cheap-azzes..... They were meant for each other.
Totally agree, That is why I suppy the material. Never fails if I don't , wrong stuff or they are short on material then I have to wait. :mad:
 

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I think that when your sub doesn't completely understand your client but he THINKS he does, then you get into issues like this. You have a personal relationship with your customer in that you are building their home.. so you want the best that you can possibly give him.

Your sub on the other hand thinks in terms of "builder grade" stuff for everything because this is just some crappy new house that we're throwing up for some schmuck who otherwise doesn't know the difference.

I had to fire a sub over this issue because the HO was an engineer and wanted Monster Cable for everything in his home theater. The sub wouldn't do it citing that "most people" wouldn't even care and that regular 18/2 security wire from home depot would be sufficient. Then he had the nerve to say, "Don't let idiots like that push you around. I know how we can save money on this job!":blink::blink:
If the homeowner specifically wanted monster cable, why wouldn't that be used? Thats a sure was to p/o a customer.

If the homeowner wants cheap, that's fine. It's our responsibility to install the materials in the most professional workmanlike manner possible. If we do our job, more times than not, the equipment will work just fine. If not, well, as long as we did our work up to snuff, we should make extra money on the equipment failure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
i always supply all the materials...thats not what the post is about

the post is about a builder wanting me to use/supply 4 piece modules on a new home to save $20 and me refusing and bidding anyways

i probably shouldnt have bothered biding
 

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I have a minimum standard for plumbing fixtures, tile, exterior paints, and various other finishes. As a general, I don't get the spec from another contractor but from the homeowner, and I often refuse to install their choices. I've never had an owner insist. I won't install some things because of my inability to warranty them or take the liability risk, and some things because that's not the quality ground I'm staking out.
 

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I dont mind if a HO wants to select color and style but beyond that I use what I know is GOOD. period
Its too easy to get stuck in the cheapness traps and can easily ruin a reputation. For me Id rather explain i can use product X and be done in 1/2 the time then their product Y which is chaeper (junk usualy) Im hard headed and sought after enuff tho I can walk out on a bid if I dont like the route or way they want to go
 

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The Ultimate Wire Hider
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If the homeowner specifically wanted monster cable, why wouldn't that be used? Thats a sure was to p/o a customer.
I don't get it either. When I hire a sub to give me a price for labor and materials according to what I specify, I expect that he is going to do exactly just that. I never expected that the guy would attempt to counsel me on what he should be installing instead.
 

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Bidding something different than the owner wants to use. I do it all the time. Homeowners rarely know what is a good product vs a crappy product. They only see the bottom line. I know what I like to work with. I also know what doesn't work very well.
I'm with you. I bid it with the materials I want. I also take the time to explain why I changed the materials. If they insist, my price starts going up or I walk away.
Maybe I'm just too picky, but I doubt I'm going to change.
 

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I treat interior design choices differently than other specs. Lighting fixtures and plumbing fixtures are high on the list of interior design choices. Spec a stainless double sink with disposal, and it it's thin stainless and poor deadening, and I'm not going to go along - the same look is available in an acceptably functional form. Same sink, no disposal, it's a go. 4 piece tub and shower surrounds are incredibly common if you want a certain look. They're harder to install with good looking seams and you have to be careful about physical integrity of the installation to prevent future problems, so that's more money to install.

Monster cable vs 18-2? I wouldn't use that sub again, I'd be worried he'd have other "good" ideas and not let me know.
 

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Huggy - I agree that better material equates to a better job but looking at it from a "builders" standpoint I can do the math. If he saves $500 on each house and has 100 houses going up in that development that's 50k more in his pocket.
Bill T
 
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