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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
"while you're here,could you guys just remove our antenna?"
"while you're here,could you guys just fix our closet door"
while you're here,could you guys fix our cabinet"
while you're here,could you guys put together this book case"
while you're here,could you replace some of that moulding"
while you're here,could you guys sand and paint that small area in our bedroom"
while you're here,could you guys just install that ceiling fan"

how many of you get this bs? i say we would like too but we can't due to insurance,one of my guys got hurt removing a ceiling fan that was'nt in the contract.
homeowners methodically do this at the end when they know its getting time to make that final payment. they think you are vulnerable and thats when they strike. you need to stand strong and look them straight in the eye. in the beginning when i go over the contract after its signed i now say final payment is due when we complete the job and then i make a joke that we can olny do work listed in the contract which means we can't put together an enertainment center or start replacing light bulbs ...remember,i do it in a joking matter and it does get into the heads of the homeowner and i rarely get these requests anymore..
 

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"while you're here,could you guys just remove our antenna?"
"while you're here,could you guys just fix our closet door"
while you're here,could you guys fix our cabinet"
while you're here,could you guys put together this book case"
while you're here,could you replace some of that moulding"
while you're here,could you guys sand and paint that small area in our bedroom"
while you're here,could you guys just install that ceiling fan"

how many of you get this bs? i say we would like too but we can't due to insurance,one of my guys got hurt removing a ceiling fan that was'nt in the contract.
homeowners methodically do this at the end when they know its getting time to make that final payment. they think you are vulnerable and thats when they strike. you need to stand strong and look them straight in the eye. in the beginning when i go over the contract after its signed i now say final payment is due when we complete the job and then i make a joke that we can olny do work listed in the contract which means we can't put together an enertainment center or start replacing light bulbs ...remember,i do it in a joking matter and it does get into the heads of the homeowner and i rarely get these requests anymore..
The correct answer to any and all of the above is, yes maam I sure will, but first sign this change order with the price on it!

Dave
 

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Everyone is saying you can view this two ways:

1. A pain in the ass
2. A way to add 10-25% gross revenue through these little add-ons.

Do you have you're own company or are you selling for a company?

Regardless, I'd tell your installers UNDER NO CONDITIONS are you to do anything outside the scope of the contract. If the HO has a problem or a question, have the installer ring your cell and hand it to the customer. Then tell them your guys are certified window installers. If they want a ceiling fan hung they need to contact a local electrician or general contracting company.

Same thing if you do the installation yourself. "I install windows and siding. I wouldn't know anything more about XXX than you would Joe. I'd call a XXX so it's done correctly."

If you're willing to do it. CHANGE ORDER! Cha-ching! However, then you're accepting more liability and have moved into the general contracting realm and out of an exteriors only realm.

You pretty much answered your own post and sounds like you're venting a little.

As I look at past posts it seems like this is an issue that pops up at times.

I would question why the people seem to get sketchy at the end.

Maybe I wouldn't mention not replacing lightbulbs and junk. I noticed when I really went over the 3 Day Recission I got more cancellations. It wasn't anything outside of the industry average but noticable. When I began to just point to the sections and say, "Your total investment is $12,498, here's today's date, your recission information, and okay everything right there" my cancellation went to practically nothing.

As I've posted before most HO's, in fact most everyone, wants something for nothing. If they are given a suggestion they didn't think of (hanging a ceiling fan) they"ll jump all over it.

I've sold a little under 600 window and siding jobs in the past 36 months and I haven't really had many folks balk over final payment so I'm just trying to figure out why they seem to have a problem.

See if you can identify anything and let me know.
 

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When it comes to add-ons or changes in scope, most of the issues, come from not knowing how to answer the question " while you're here....or can you do this?"

We try to use a REQUEST FOR CHANGE verbiage.

It goes like this.

Customer: Can you replace that ceiling fan for me?
Contractor: I can get that done for you. Would you like to sign a request for Change Order?
Customer: Can't you just do it while you're here?
Contractor: I can but I'm sure you'll want to know what it will cost. Correct?
Customer: Of course
Contractor: Then let's do a request for change and I will work up a price for you.

This helps the Contractor with a couple of things:
1.) a chance to gather his/her thoughts and put a real price to it.
2.) makes time to call a sub that does the things that you don't do.

Now you can come back with a change order that gives the cost, time frame, and a real scope the the additional work.

You have done several things here
1.) You have made it possible for you to make more money
2.) You have given the HO a chance to look at the real cost.
3.) If they balk at the price, you can just move on.
4.) You are in control of your time & business.
5.) The HO's question is answered and you have given them the feeling that you care about helping them get their requests addressed.

I find this to be a professional way of controlling the tendency of customers to get as much out of you ( good or bad )as they can while you're there.

Hope this helps

Any comments welcome.......
 

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"while you're here,could you guys just remove our antenna?"
"while you're here,could you guys just fix our closet door"
while you're here,could you guys fix our cabinet"
while you're here,could you guys put together this book case"
while you're here,could you replace some of that moulding"
while you're here,could you guys sand and paint that small area in our bedroom"
while you're here,could you guys just install that ceiling fan"

how many of you get this bs? i say we would like too but we can't due to insurance,one of my guys got hurt removing a ceiling fan that was'nt in the contract.
homeowners methodically do this at the end when they know its getting time to make that final payment. they think you are vulnerable and thats when they strike. you need to stand strong and look them straight in the eye. in the beginning when i go over the contract after its signed i now say final payment is due when we complete the job and then i make a joke that we can olny do work listed in the contract which means we can't put together an enertainment center or start replacing light bulbs ...remember,i do it in a joking matter and it does get into the heads of the homeowner and i rarely get these requests anymore..
Your missing the opportunity for more work.
If the home owner asks you to do more it is because they are comfortable with your abilities and feel like they wont get ripped off.
Changing a light bulb or adjusting a door goes a long way in terms of customer relations.
Most people are looking for somebody they can turn to when they need work done.
I haven't found that people do not go out of their way just to take advantage of you, could it be that it is your attitudes that are fostering these situations where you feel you're being taken advantage of?
Of course you need to have a system in place for change orders.
I have been on jobs that started as a kitchen remodel and have turned into whole house remodels and many referrals, just because we did a few extra little things.
 

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i think enforcer is running a more specialized roofing/ siding type company that is really most efficient doing those types of jobs, and these types of request slow down that production to the point he really can't charge enough to make them financially feasible
 

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he really can't charge enough to make them financially feasible
I think that's my point, Tom. If he puts a profitable price on the items requested, he CAN make money. If it's too expensive for HO so-be-it.

But it does create an opportunity to make more money

Just my opinion..........
 

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I just finished a job for a friend with a "while you are here" job.

"While you are here" just cut these skirt boards for the basement steps. Ha! Just a couple of boards, right?

It seems the younger the customer the more prevalent the problem. I blame HGTV.
 

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I love add ons.. $125 per man hour plus materials :clap:
I feel you set yourself up for failure when you charge by the hour.

I try not to work for an hourly rate. I try to give a price. My contract will read that we estimate at $50/hr.

example: Let's say we're asked to look at 3 tasks. I allow 1 hr for each task. The price will be $150. HO signs CO for $150
We knock out all 3 tasks in 1/2 hr and we just made $300/hr.:clap:

example with the same tasks by the hour: You knock out all 3 tasks in 1/2 hr at $50/hr - you just made $25/hr:wallbash:

It's all how you sell it................
 

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I feel you set yourself up for failure when you charge by the hour.

I try not to work for an hourly rate. I try to give a price. My contract will read that we estimate at $50/hr.

example: Let's say we're asked to look at 3 tasks. I allow 1 hr for each task. The price will be $150. HO signs CO for $150
We knock out all 3 tasks in 1/2 hr and we just made $300/hr.:clap:

example with the same tasks by the hour: You knock out all 3 tasks in 1/2 hr at $50/hr - you just made $25/hr:wallbash:

It's all how you sell it................
We charge 1 hr per task minimum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
i have said in the past:' ok,we will do it,i will bring the change order'.

they then say,a change order,it will only take a few minutes to do the work,can't you just put in in real quick?
 

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i have said in the past:' ok,we will do it,i will bring the change order'.

they then say,a change order,it will only take a few minutes to do the work,can't you just put in in real quick?
That's when I smile and start loading up the tools. Gives them a few minutes to "think about it". ;)
 

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Enforcer, I understand where you are comming from.

I get a lot of the oh, can you clean out the gutters if we are doing the soffit and fascia. Or, can you replace the fascia in these spots while youre here doing the roof? Then you tell them you will get the change order ready and they say oh, I just thought since you were here it wouldnt make a difference.


Depending what it is, is when I decide to bring out a change order or not. If they just want something caulked somewhere, no big deal at all. If it is something like I need to buy something then of course I get a change order. If they dont agree to it, oh well. I wasnt planning on doing it anyways and I got another job to start at 7 am tomorrow.


You have to make an educated guess on what is worth doing while you are there and what you need to charge for. Charging to caulk something or do something small could really offend a homeowner who is giving you thousands of dollars, but if it something that will take awhile and you need to bring out different tools, then the homeowner should understand the need for a change order.

If you do exterior work and they ask you to install a ceiling fan or redo some inside trim then refer them to a contractor you know and trust who could get the job done since it is outside your scope of expertise.

If you do interior work and they ask you to re-pitch a gutter or redo their chimney flashing I assume they would refer them to an exteriors contractor they know and trust.

It is a great way to make extra money while already on the jobsite, you just have to decide if the task is even worth writing up a change order for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
if its a little bit of caulking or actually changing a light bulb or two,then by all means,i will definitely do it..however,when they want closet doors fixed,light fixtures installed,thats when they are taking advantage and as i said,they do it at the end when they can dangle that final payment as their carrot. its methodical and i believe they wait til the end for a reason.
 
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