? How much to pay


Here in central Texas, we had 12+ inches of rain last Wednesday & Wednesday night. We needed it but it is too late to save my grass/weeds. Anyway, we had a leak around the fireplace chimney, and it soaked about four or five square feet of sheetrock. My son-in-law is an excellent carpenter and fix anything type of guy. He is fifty years old, and has a lot of experience. This is what he does for a living.
I know he does good work from seeing his home that he built, as well as other jobs. I trust his judgment, honesty, and ability. I have asked him if he would take the job of finding the leak, fixing it, and repairing the sheetrock. He came out today, and looked around the chimney, and found some problems (some flashing problems and some mortar problems). Of course, he doesn't know for sure but it is a good place to start and then test it.
Anyway, I have a concern that he will not charge me his regular going rate, which I can understand, but I am going to have to hire someone to do the work since I am just too old to be climbing ladders and doing that kind of work any more. So, if he doesn't do the work, I am going to have to hire an unknown person to do it, and I would prefer my son-in-law that I trust and admire his work ethic. So, I want to pay him what I'd have to pay someone else, but I don't know what that would be.
I know hourly rates would vary widely by location for a number of reasons. But could you guys maybe get me in the ballpark on what I should pay him. I am sure he will try to charge me a good deal less than normal. If someone from the central Texas area (North of Austin) has any input, that would be especially helpful
Thanks in advance. Bob-tx
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Bob-tx wrote the following:

He's your son in law. If he doesn't want to charge you the going rate, then don't push it. How would your daughter feel if he charged you like he would for any other person? If you feel he undercharged you, buy him a tool he may need.
--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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It is an unknown. I charge $85 an our with a 40 hour minimum.
You should be able to get a knowledgeable drywall guy in today's market for $25 an hour, and furnish everything. Drywall isn't rocket surgery, but an good drywall guy makes it look easy, and is in and out and GONE! And it looks good for a long time.
Ask around. Get referrals. Treat them nice, buy some lunch and beer, and the price per hour by the time the job ends usually goes down.
Watch out for the sharks, too. You want the type of guy who can be left alone.
Steve
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On Thu, 9 Sep 2010 14:39:39 -0500, "Bob-tx" <NOBSPAM

You can't find out without getting estimates, and even then you don't know what the final cost will be. If you trust him as you say, just add 25%-50% to what he says, depending on your wallet. You'll both be happy. He's family. Though he never asks, I pay my son for doing most of the work on my cars. I usually just add up the hours he worked and multiply them by 50 bucks. Sometimes he'll do a job faster than a shop would, because he's good. Then he might get $100 for an hour's work.
--Vic
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I know two people that do that type of work. One is a legit contractor with all the overhead of insurance, truck, etc. He charges $40 an hour. The other is a side line cash under the table guy. He charges $20 an hour.
This is you SIL though. He may just want to help and do it for little more than actual cost. If so, buy him a bottle of his favorite adult beverage or take the kids out to a nice dinner.
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You might consider soliciting at least three bids from local contractors then agree with your son-in-law on which bid is fair value. That provides objective value estimation while still allowing for subjective considerations.
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On 9/9/2010 10:48 PM, RosemontCrest wrote:

Understand the concept, and it is valid. However, I would feel a little guilty wasting the time of a tradesman that I KNEW I wasn't gonna use. That is sort of like using a local electronics or furniture store to 'test drive' something, then buying it online.
I think the next post, where somebody suggested 'pay him what he asks', and then conspire with daughter to get him a Really Nice bonus gift, is the way to go here. Or if they have kids, use your best guess of the difference between his bill and a SWAG of say, 50 bucks an hour, to put a donation in their college fund accounts. Justify it with 'I can afford it, and that is what I would have had to spend otherwise.'
But having grown up in the business- there is street price, and family price. I never saw a tradesman charge family anything beyond his expenses, and maybe free meals while he was there working. Of course, non-emergency family jobs had to be tucked in around the regular jobs, so the completion schedule was often a little iffy.
--
aem sends...

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aemeijers wrote:

I agree. My son-in-law just installed a wireless modem and memory in my computer. I cleaned his garage and helped paint new fascia for his garage. Give and take is comfy in our family, but if one did all the taking, then the traffic would stop. Let your son-in-law help as he is comfortable and feel good that he's done something nice for you. I don't normally like "business" between family members, but you seem to have a qualified worker and a respectful relationship.
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Wait until the job is finished, then ask him what you owe. If he says you owe nothing, or just a little for materials, pay him what he says. Then ask your daughter what he has been wanting or could use. She may have more insight than you.
Hank <~~~been there, done that
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Of the replies to date, for my part of the country the $40/20 reply was about the closest.
If your SIL is missing other work to do yours I think you should pay the going rate. If he does not accept that the gift concept is a really good one.
But you should not be upset if he wants to give some discount. I always helped out my father-in-law around his house for free or gifts but when I did work on his rental house he paid the going rate. We both understood that concept.
Colbyt
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Actually, he should test if the area _is_ the problem. I'm sure he does good work, but sounds like he's not much of a trouble shooter.
It's like a HVAC guy throwing parts at a furnace, or a mechanic replacing parts until it's fixed. You don't need a parts changer, you want somone who knows what they're doing.
Tell your SIL thanks for the offer, but no thanks.
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You have to be the judge of whether you've been generous or not with the daughter and SIL. If you've built up an account, so to speak, ask him what you owe and pay him a little more. Follow the other advice, and then ask the daughter whether he missed any other work or income because of your job, and possibly buy them or him something for their home, or his toolbox as an added thanks. OTOH, if your "account" is down: such as having asked and received more favors and help than you've given, the $20/$40 sounds about right for Round Rock, IMHO. It's a very difficult judgment call, so only you will know what is right.
Since this was a new leak, why not turn it in on your insurance? If it's under the deductible, then you might ask your agent to ask the adjustor what would be a fair price for the repair and use it as a guideline. If the flashing was blown loose by the storm, it'd be an insurable event, but it if was gradual, then it would probably not be.
Micajah
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My late father, bless his soul, never grasped the concept of just doing anything for the joy of giving. The ability of knowing how to do welding and welding something for him, a 5 minute job, and not sending him an itemized invoice.
There are such people in the world. Many, in fact.
The real model is this. Life is a balance. You give. You take. You should be a happy giver, and a silent taker.
It is when this gets out of balance that the stars alter in their orbits. If one takes too much, or gives too much, things go akilter.
Try to let your relations know that although you do not expect free work, you at least would appreciate it if they let you silently reciprocate in some manner. Most craftsmen undervalue their work, unless if on a hard card or T&M. So, it is morally difficult for them to charge a family member or friend $200 for a short amount of work, where, on the other hand, they have no compunction about handing in a ticket for the same or less work. AND bumping up the hours or amount.
Honesty, communication, and straight up eye to eye dealings are what does the trick here. After that, you will have to adjust for someone not being able to be a happy giver, or you will just have to be a silent taker.
Steve
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