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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well guys I am finally sick of homeowners. If they aren't asking u to do free work they are trying not to pay u. They act as if there were no inflation during the 70's and u should be doing your job for 60's money. i have decided I am going to find out what it takes to do commercial siding. In commercial work they understand a change order, unlike joe homeowner. "say, since u are here could you..." I am truly sick of homeowners, so what does a person have to do to learn the bid process for commercial jobs? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

2b2s
 

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2b, I understand your pain. Many of the people that I work with are elderly, wealthy, but elderly. As they retrogress, they seem to think that bread is still 3 cents a loaf. I have had a few contests over a signed contract in which the signor disputed the costs later, all were on a serious downhill mental slide. I have learned to deal with the heirs. Most of them just want their parents comfortable in their waning years.
 

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Keep in mind GC's don't like to pay extras just like home owners don't like to pay extras. The standard response when I submit a change order (drum roll please): "We're trying to keep this under a certain budget."

In regards to working for the elderly. I have been in situations where the kids were spending alot of the parents money on home improvements that wern't really needed quite yet, BUT the kids knew they would be needed soon and also knew the parents wouldn't be lasting much longer and, here is the kicker, the kids were trying to minimize the death tax as much as possible by spending their parents money now.
 

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2b2s said:
i have decided I am going to find out what it takes to do commercial siding. In commercial work they understand a change order, unlike joe homeowner.
Hey Bro, I hate to rain on the parade but there aren't any commercial GC's that are waiting by the phone to process change orders.
If you ask me, Change Orders are a losing propsition for everyone but suppliers and the most sophisticated of contractors/subcontractors. I wish you all the best trying to successfully assert, defend and collect them. :Thumbs:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It seems like a no win situation. I have friends that are commercial roofers and they are the ones telling me commercial is about half the headache as residential. It just seems that if a customer is satisfied with the work, they should be willing to pay for it. 2 weeks ago I had to put a lien on a homeowners property. Turns out he was trying to say he was broke, but he ended up getting a loan from someplace to remove the lien. I hate having to go through this kind of crap. Now I have bad blood with this customer, ipso facto, no referal business. Frankly, referral is a huge portion of my business.

2b2s


PipeGuy said:
Hey Bro, I hate to rain on the parade but there aren't any commercial GC's that are waiting by the phone to proces change orders.
If you ask me, Change Orders are a losing propsition for everyone but suppliers and the most sophisticated of contractors/subcontractors. I wish you all the best trying to successfully assert, defend and collect them. :Thumbs:
 

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Grumpy said:
I don't figure referrals into my price. I consider referrals gravy. Honestly I do get referrals but they are a small part of my business. If I were to rely on referrals I'd be broke.

Agreed, being able to continually generate new viable leads is the key to a healthy home improvement business.
 

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Without referrals, I'd have to advertise. That could eat into my beer money.
 

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Teetor, the difference between you and I is most jobs I can eath through in a day or two, where as I speculate most of your jobs take several months to complete. As you are a smart man you can do the math to determine I need ALOT more leads to stay busy.
 

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Grumpy, you are somewhat right. My biggest project,to date, took a year and four months. One of the most spectacular kitchens that has ever been done.
The majority of what I do is pretty common stuff, reproducing what people see in mags. Ho hum.
 

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Teetor Not to "jack" the thread, but who's the best supplier for fluted colmums and geedunk stuff like that in cabinets. Price is about No. 7 in priority.
 

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2b2s if you are really looking to switch to commercial than so be it, but possibly all you need to do is switch customers instead?

If you work cheap you can afford to work for cheap customers. Do you understand that?

If you can't afford to work cheap then you simply can't afford to accept work from cheap customers.

We create a lot of our own problems. Sometimes we create our own problems by taking every job that comes along instead of just not even considering some of them.

In reality I'm sure you refuse some jobs, but maybe you just need to raise the bar or your minimum standards that you use to refuse those jobs and apply them to some of these cheap customers and spend your time working for better ones?
 

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I just had the same problem today as I wrapped up a siding job. The homeowner asked me to clean his gutters "while I was up there." I came down off my jacks, showed him the contract and showed him that I already gave him a deal by installing all new (7 total) outside lights while I was siding. He then asked me, as I was cleaning up, if he could throw his burn barrall, filled with garbage, in the truck "since I was going to the dump anyway. Basically, I have learned to just show them the contract each time they ask for something and offer to make a change order at an increased price with signatures. I have them pay me every 7-10 square, depending on the size of the job. Just be sure it states it in your contract.
 

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shopdust, I assume by the name that you are looking for wood columns? I have sources for aluminum, fiberglass, foam and concrete as well.
 
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