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.
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.
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.
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
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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