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Thom
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4,137 Posts
Fair is as much as you can get. As a practical matter, the question is wrong and represents wrong-headed thinking. Is it fair that you lose money when you underbid? Of course it is because fair is not about the level of profit. Fair is about giving the customer what they bought for the price you and they agreed on.

You have no responsibility to save them money, they have no responsibility to make you rich. Free enterprise is predicated on the freedoms of both parties. You have the freedom to price the job as high as you want to, the customer has the freedom to say yes, or no.
 

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DavidC
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2,550 Posts
By definition a fair deal is when all parties concerned feel they got a good deal.

I am assuming what your really asking is how to properly price your jobs. For that I recommend a book. "Markup & Profit, A Contractors Guide by Michael Stone. For less than $40 you can own the book and buy a great cup of coffee to get you started. You'll learn how to calculate the proper percentage for your business.

Good Luck
Dave
 

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Registered
Joined
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2,633 Posts
As stated above, whatever keeps you both happy. Fair to me is whatever amount the customer and I agree with. If I make a penny but it makes me feel good, then so be it. If I make thousands and the customer feels happy with the work, then so be it.
 

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Registered
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17 Posts
I guess it depends on the amount of work to be done? You should show an honest estimate to your client and explain the costs so the both of you will agree on a reasonable price.
 

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paper hanger,painter
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916 Posts
By definition a fair deal is when all parties concerned feel they got a good deal.

I am assuming what your really asking is how to properly price your jobs. For that I recommend a book. "Markup & Profit, A Contractors Guide by Michael Stone. For less than $40 you can own the book and buy a great cup of coffee to get you started. You'll learn how to calculate the proper percentage for your business.

Good Luck
Dave
Well said, for a goathead!:laughing:
 

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DPDT, Momentarily on
Joined
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718 Posts
I've heard one person say that if a deal is truly fair all parties involved will feel like they didn't quite get what they wanted, like they took just a little hit.

The HO will feel like they got their money's worth, but would like to have paid less.
The contractor will have made a profit, but would have liked a little more.
Neither would feel like it got broke off in their a**.

Me, I think it's about value.

My work isn't cheap, but you get what you paid for, a quality product that will last, with good service during the job.
If you want cheap, get your steel from China, and your labor from Mexico.
Never mind about quality, that never comes cheap.

From what I've read 'round here I'm not alone in thinking this way.

Whatever you do, do well
-Brian-
 

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Premium Member
Retired deck builder
Joined
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6,386 Posts
What's fair in construction? You bid what you think is right & hopefully your are.
 

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GC/carpenter
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43,951 Posts
Fair is as much as you can get. As a practical matter, the question is wrong and represents wrong-headed thinking. Is it fair that you lose money when you underbid? Of course it is because fair is not about the level of profit. Fair is about giving the customer what they bought for the price you and they agreed on.

You have no responsibility to save them money, they have no responsibility to make you rich. Free enterprise is predicated on the freedoms of both parties. You have the freedom to price the job as high as you want to, the customer has the freedom to say yes, or no.
Looking through some old threads, I have to say this might be one of the best posts I've read on here, even as simple as it is. This question gets asked a lot on here, this about sums it up.
 

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This space for lease
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5,323 Posts
It's a meaningless question. When you go to buy something do you ask if their price is fair? Or if you're willing to pay the price?
 
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