cabinet boxes to mount in their kitchen or a well designed thought-out
So; to do it 'on the cheap':
Have your friend take measurements; get hold of all the brochures and
go out and buy the cabinets etc.
Have units delivered (or bring them home in the back of your pickup
truck), check for damage, unpack and dispose of packing materials;
promptly return/replace anything not up to par with an identical item.
Install them him/her self. Check the actual units against measurements/
Having or acquiring the right tools for the work; proper screws wall
fasteners, back splash etc. etc. etc. .
Design, draw up and have made any 'special' items, such as end or
corner cabinets. (Or make or modify themselves from a 'standard' unit.
Don't dispose of anything, yet; they may need that piece of leftover
Decide whether to reuse existing appliances and whether any wiring/
plumbing alterations will be needed. Do those alterations or contract
Cope with any of the inevitable small difficulties that will crop up
as installation proceeds. We had to slightly alter one wall; worked
out all right though, actually gave extra depth for an electrical
Not too hard to do, provided it is a dead simple job. We did just that
almost 40 years ago. Two opposing 8 foot counters, two upper and two
lower cabinets, plus appliances and a later added dishwasher (which
now needs replacement!).
Kitchen still works fine although after bringing up a family and doing
some catering through it for some 30+ years it's looking a bit worn
I'd tackle it again, using standard units as far as possible although
every building is a little different, now in my mid 70s! But being now
retired got lots of time; this time! And time worth money; eh?
No one is suggesting the consumer should not shop around. Like Rico,
I 'm a renovations contractor ... and I would urge consumers to shop
around. As much as they want, until they are confident they know
what they are getting. Three estimates, five, fifty ... doesn't
matter .. shop till you drop. Long as they are willing to pay for
Or as long as the sales people will put up with it. Me, I won't.
Ninety percent of my work comes from referrals. The conversation is
seldom about cost, it is about dreams and timing. At least half of
those jobs are on a cost plus basis.
Ten percent of my work comes from advertising. For those who call
from an ad, I used to get one job for every dozen queries. Now, I
get one job for every two estimates. I use the charge for estimates
to get rid of the time wasters.
I'll spend a few minutes on the phone and give them a ball park on
what similar projects have cost ... but beyond that, I tell them I
charge $250 for a firm price "Offer to Build. Refundable if the
project goes ahead.
Amazingly, ten of twelve vanish -- most self righteously singing
your song : " You are selling a service, and an estimate of part of
selling your service and you should not be charging for it, it should
be built in."
My response generally is that if all they want is a price, fax me
detailed drawings and specifications, including relevant engineering,
and I'll fax them back a price.
What they are really seeking is professional advice on how to
spend thirty or fifty or a hundred thousand dollars in the wisest way
possible. If it isn't worth 1% or less ....
Of the two who agree to pay, usually cheerfully, I get at least one
project -- and no, I never do get around to charging either for the
Each project is different and it takes a full day of my time to work
out a firm price offer to build.
There is no such thing as a FREE estimate. Someone pays
for that day of my time ---
either I pay for it in the form of reduced income or one fewer day
with my boy and my boat,
or a client pays for it in the form of higher advertising and admin
charges against his project ...
or the person who wants the estimate can pay for it.
Why should my clients pay for your curiousity?? Why should I??
Why should my son??
Guy called the other day. Said he wanted to reno
his kitchen and would I do free estimates.
I said "Sure, bring it in and let's have a look.".
Been wanting to do that for a long time.
It is foolish to think a homeowner shouldnt compare prices. Unless
the estimate is in the range I was thinking the job should cost then
I will get a couple estimates.
For instance the chimney cap blew off my chimney. On most houses I'd
have ladder up and deal with it. However my tudor type home has a
Very high chimney (cant reach top even from roof. Had a couple people
come out- #1 "You need new cap- starts at $175". I said I'll get back
to you. #2 Local Co. in town says that normally costs $40 or so but
never shows. #3 comes out says "$50 we can do it now" I said "Do
it!!" For a really large job estimates help determine a fair price.
If three guys are about the same money then its up to refenreces and
reputaion. Hi pricers are usually ripoffs and lowballers may be shady
On Jun 23, 11:13 am, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
I wrote, "Most people that get more than a couple or three bids are
simply price shopping. They think that all contractors are
interchangeable and will pick the lowest bid."
How do you construe that to mean, "Don't get bids?"
BTW, I wouldn't take a ladder off a truck for $40, much less go up on
a roof and install something. Maybe you're thinking about a handyman
working out of his 1987 Econoline or Town & Country?
On Jun 24, 8:13 am, email@example.com wrote:
I imagine you'd consider a "ridiculous" price to be any price that is
higher than what you want to pay.
Let's see if I've got this straight. You misread my post, attempt to
say that I advised not getting bids, then when I say that it's not
worth my time to take a ladder off of a truck for $40, it's an
There are at least a couple of attitudes here. My attitude is that my
time is money - that I do fine work and expect to get paid
accordingly. Your attitude seems to be that getting several bids and
picking a low average somehow enables you to determine the value of my
work. That's just nonsense.
I pay my plumber $100 an hour and my electrician $90. These are my
subs. I understand the value of good work and I'm willing to pay for
it. Not thrilled about the bill sometimes, but I've never regretted
Isn't the system great? I get to choose who I work with and so do
you. You and I would never get past the initial phone call. Saves
The guys who came out spent no more than 1/2 hour replacing chimney
cap. They got $50. That's $100/hour labor. So they made what you so
generously pay your
plumber. They also have a satisfied customer (fair price, good work)
who will call again if needed for chimney work and who will tell
everyone abut them. The jokers who show up and say "I wont take a
ladder off a truck for $40" arent likely to get repeat business and
certainly not recommendations. Neighbors are quick to tell others how
much a contractor is a ripoff artist.
How many "guys"? Assuming it's two (the most optimistic assumption for your
case), that's only $50.00 an hour. And you're not willing to pay them for the
travel time, and the wear and tear on their equipment. Let alone the chance
they took that there was some complication on your job that would mean a delay
or the need for more "guys" or equipment.
See, this is the problem with this kind of reasoning. You only consider what
happens in front of your face, and don't think about their business as a whole.
You hired a couple of handy people. They probably go dumpster diving
when not attempting to "do anything for a buck".
I'm amazed how you figure up worker's labor. No travel time, no
overhead, just pure profit. Ignorance never ceases to amaze me.
I wouldn't let bums do work on my property, let alone step on my roof,
for the simple fact of liability issues.
They were an actual chimney company. I guess the so-called
"legitimate" contractors like to bad mouth others to feel they are
worth more. Hey I' am a professional with a good salary but anytime
I can make $50 for 30 minutes work I'll take it!!!!
For a professional you seem to be totally unaware of the concept of
overhead and expenses.
Lets say your professional billing rate is $100/hour. Do you make $100
for an hours work? Or does the $100 also cover stuff like office
expense, education, staff etc?
Actually they didn't. Aside from the fact there were multiple workers
if you count in travel time and general overhead they made a lot less
than that. That is one of the biggest things people don't understand
about business and the main reason why so many startups fail.
So a business shouldn't even charge enough to cover their actual cost of
On Jun 24, 10:24 am, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
You're not paying attention. Guys is plural, my plumber works alone.
If the guys sleep in your garage, they split that $50 for a half
hour's work. Otherwise they probably spent another fifteen or twenty
minutes traveling, and possiblly a fair bit more. Other things you
conveniently ignore are overhead, liabilty (the _risk_, not the
insurance cost), and certainly not the least important, the PIA
factor. Your PIA factor is astoundingly high.
You're not paying attention. I would have screened you out in the
initial phone call. Frankly, you wouldn't even know about me since I
don't advertise and you obviously don't run in the circles I do. You
consider using Home Depot for installations. 'Nuff said.
I'm glad I wouldnt find you. As soon as I said what I needed and you
replied" I dont even take a ladder off my truck for $40" I'd probably
hang up. That is a piss poor attitude and I bet you work for someone
only once! The advantage to Home Depot is that if the contractor
screws up you just have to sue Home Depot and they arent going
anywhere. If an independent contractor screws up they usually
disappear, change names go bankrupt etc and homeowners are out of
luck. It's sad that you feel a plumber deserves $100/hr. Find out
how much your kids' teachers make and then decide which job is more
difficult and worthy of that ridiculous rate.
Very poor analogy, to say the least.
You have no concept what it costs to run a school. I've never heard of a
school with the only overhead, being a teacher's salary. That's as
absurd as you believing a plumbers only overhead is their hourly rate.
Please do share your experience, where a school operates with no
administrative costs, utility costs, upkeep, etc.
This should be good.
On Jun 24, 4:08 pm, email@example.com wrote:
Well, you'd lose the bet. I am polite and respectful to people as a
rule. I give people the benefit of the doubt. You've shown yourself
to have little knowledge and a strong opinion. I don't respect such
You base your selection of contractor on whether you can sue them?
How come this doesn't surprise me?
I'd think that basing the choice on there being an extremely remote
chance of having to sue the contractor would make more sense. Think
My buddy was a HS teacher - when he retired five years ago he was
making northwards of $80K a year. Homes average about $700K. In case
you haven't figured it out yet, Sparky, I live in an expensive area.
Anyway, you have nothing more to offer, so have fun, do well, bye.
Your argument is totally flawed and the exaggeration just makes it look
There is a tremendous difference between the billing rate of a plumber
which covers business expenses and overhead and the salary of a teacher.
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