Home Depot Wants $100 to Measure Kitchen

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cabinet boxes to mount in their kitchen or a well designed thought-out new kichen? 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/ specification. Adapt. 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 matching panelling!. Decide whether to reuse existing appliances and whether any wiring/ plumbing alterations will be needed. Do those alterations or contract them out. 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 panel. 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 now! 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?
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On Fri, 22 Jun 2007 22:58:51 -0400, "Scott"

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 it.
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 estimate. ------------------------------------
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.
Ken
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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

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Since a decent stainless steel cap cost almost that much, it is a good deal. You did get stainless didn't you? I found out abut rusting caps the hard way with the first one.
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I wanted them to reuse the existing one. Had a little bend on the cap that I fixed. Cap looked fine and was on for who knows how long and no rust.

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On Jun 23, 11:13 am, snipped-for-privacy@backpacker.com 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?
R
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Your price would likely be ridiculous and hear thanks but no thanks with that attitude

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On Jun 24, 8:13 am, snipped-for-privacy@backpacker.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 attitude?
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 it.
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 everybody's time.
R
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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.

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snipped-for-privacy@backpacker.com says...

What?
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.
Banty
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snipped-for-privacy@backpacker.com wrote:

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.
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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!!!!

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snipped-for-privacy@backpacker.com wrote:

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?
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snipped-for-privacy@backpacker.com wrote:

You really don't have any concept of overhead, thank you for verifying that.
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snipped-for-privacy@backpacker.com wrote:

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 doing business?
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On Jun 24, 10:24 am, snipped-for-privacy@backpacker.com 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.
R
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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.

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snipped-for-privacy@backpacker.com wrote:

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.
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On Jun 24, 4:08 pm, snipped-for-privacy@backpacker.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 behavior.

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 about it.

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.
R
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snipped-for-privacy@backpacker.com wrote:

Your argument is totally flawed and the exaggeration just makes it look sillier.
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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