Customers purchacing their own material (long)

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I would ask the installer for the correct quantity/quality before purchaseing. Why should I be stuck selecting the limited choices from what the installer's brother in law sells? If I talk to a professionaland he say "12x12 will be fine and gives me a quantity, why shouldnt I go to several tile places HD lowes etc and find one I really like and buy it. I am not one to buy the cheapest nor the most costly as one gets screwed either way. Then I get what I want at a good price and just pay for labor. I had a front door put in. I had my guy come out measure and let me know exactly what size door was needed. Wife and I went to HD picked a nice one out and brought it home. What do you really think the installer would do but jack up the price of the same door he bought at HD? He came installed it I gladly paid himfor his labor. I plan on doing the same thing with the same installer for a back door. Expert can give me specifics and I'm smart enough to get the right thing.
wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@backpacker.com wrote:

If the door was damaged, in the installation, who pays? If he calls you over and says "hey the window glass is cracked" you'll claim he cracked it trying to install it. All kinds of problems can arise, and I'll tell you from experience, when a customer thinks they're going to lose money, suddenly they're quick to throw out blame.
I don't know how your "door installer" pays taxes, insurance licensing fees, corporation fees, accountant fees, etc etc just charging for an installation. It is fair and common to mark up materials at least 30% to cover the cost of above items.
The "labor" part is simply like a "wage" to an employee. An ordinary employee gets his "wage", but doesn't have all the other multitude of expenses.
Plus the contractor has a lot of running around, consulting, estimating, running his business etc time involved that he isn't getting paid for.
thetiler
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Of course if HE damaged the door I would expect him to pay. If he said door is damged prior to start I'd take it back to HD. Not a big issue. Why should I pay 30% more for materials anyway? I'm paying for skilled labor that I cant/wont do.
thetiler wrote:

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Spoken like a true professional. Keep up the good work Mr. Tiler
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clipped

All the points you make are important. Most of my experience with contractors has been over the past 10 years, both privately and in regard to projects our condo association undertook. I believe the most common reasons for problems boil down to two: customers who do not research projects/products in advance so they understand what is at stake, and customers who focus only on lowest cost. Cheap does not equal economical. A customer can't begin to communicate effectively with a contractor until the customer knows the important issues. Neither a customer nor a contractor will know "everything", regardless of experience.
For a DIYer, a tile job can be a huge mistake, done wrong. Ripping down bad drywall would be easier and much less costly than tearing up a failed tile job.
If I buy a car, I don't buy what the salesman thinks is best for me, although he knows the product better than I. I don't buy any big-ticket item, sight unseen. I don't believe I would order a shipment of any product from a distant source if it cannot be returned with relative ease, especially if breakage or defects are likely AND the product is available locally. I will pay a bit for peace of mind.
We had a really bad re-roof job done on our condo, before I lived here. Partly bad installation, partly very poor choice of product. Nobody here did their homework, either before or after. They bought the cheapest job they could find and have paid dearly.
Hubby and I interviewed contractors when our condo assn. was ready to paint the building. A couple of owners - the very least talented - had already volunteered to do it themselves. Arghhh..... The contractor we ultimately hired was "no nonsense". His VP and assistant reminded me of Erin Bracovich :o) I had a gut feeling, after about two minutes, that he was "the one". When he came in with the low bid, it got really scary. He got hired, did a fantastic job, was great to deal with. He accepted a bid with less than his ideal rec's for the job, but I think he would have turned it down if he thought it would turn out bad. Customers who let contractors/sellers do their thinking for them will get the shaft. An intelligent plan and a good product make for a good deal, regardless of who sells what.
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