Last year my parents hired a higher end painting company to repaint their
entire interior. They got a good price but it was still a bit expensive.
I managed the job and let the workers in every day. The lead guy in the
crew would call me every morning to let them in.
I recently called the lead guy and asked him if he would help me paint my
exterior. He came by and we discussed the work.
He would do the job on the side on weekends.
He said he gets $22/ hr and the others in the crew get $13/hr. He said he
would want 1-3 additional people at $13 per hr each.
So am wondering what is the best way to go forward. Should I settle on a
total price for the job and I pay for the paint and let him figure out and
manage how many guys he uses? \\
OR pay him man-hours. I am afraid if I go this route the job will take
longer and end up paying more.
In the sf bay area people are hurting for work, I want to be fair, however
there are lots of people hungry for work.
On Thu 24 Jul 2008 09:40:52p, Tube Audio told us...
I learned the hard way about paying by the hour for a "total job". I would
definitely recommend asking for a total job price, whether you or they
provide the paint. This way, no matter how long it takes, it's still one
Agreed - pay a "deposit" to start the job, one in the middle at a fixed
interval (say 1/2 completion) and then the balance upon completion. Any
contractor who finds this insulting or won't agree to it is trouble.
Reputable contractors work this way all the time.
Think about it - if the guy doesn't have enough liquidity to carry himself
for a few days/weeks - he, and you, are in trouble.
I think what he's telling you here is he knows how many total manhours he
needs, but may not be sure how many crew he will have each day. For
example, weekend #1 he might have him and 2 helpers, weekend 2 he may have
him and 3, then touchup weekend he may have him and 1 plus a fellow who can
only work 4 hours on saturday afternoon.
$13/hr is not at all bad. Special detail painting at $22/hr isnt bad
Things I'd discuss. Insurance. All workers insured by him? (Have this
written in the contract!!!). While there will be some variation in how long
it takes, a total price should be something he can work out. Very likely he
already has but your arrangments might be to pay at the end of each day for
that day's work (I've seen this, it is not a terrible thing as long as you
understand it in advance and would well explain how he presented the costs
if so). There might be a little variation but he can write a contract that
says '22 for him, 13 for the others, and total will not exceed x'. If the
does that, he may add a rider that it will not be 'under x' (fair in this
case) which means if he finishes faster, you owe more than the pure 22/13
Case in point, our brick BBQ being looked over. The fellow came out to
estimate it early (was here in the area and came to the door). Turns out
until he gets into the job, he cant tell if he can fix it. So, he's writing
up 3 options.
1- Turns out can fix it, hourly rate used, estimates 3-10 hours (can not
tell til he starts and very probably will have to come back after one part
sets to work the next part so looking at multiple trips). He won't get less
than 3 hours wages even if it takes him 1 hour, nor will he charge more than
10 hours if it takes him 14.
2- Can not fix it, this may be discovered when trying to fix it (still owe
time for factor 1). Cost stable on how much demolishing the existing
structure will be plus removal of bricks etc. Fully insured guy does it but
no set 'how long' (warned he's not super fast but it's hot sweaty work and
doesnt matter pricewise to us if it takes him 2 days if it's hot and he
needs to cool down every 30 mins or so).
3- Rebuild structure. Comes with 2 costs, both static totals. 3A is just
to lay a proper cement slab and we roll a grill out there when we want to
use it (have to look into ones that wont rust too fast). 3B is to lay the
cement slab (it doesnt seem to have one? That or the bricks were layed out a
little bigger than it is) then build a new brick unit over that. If we go
3B, he adds no charge to remove any underslab that might be there.
Point here is the work can have flavors to it. If we try 1 and it doesnt
work, we owe 2 plus 3A or 3B. If we opt right away for 3A or 3B, we owe #2.
I'd say ask the fellow what the details are. If you do not ask, you wont
have the level of detail we have here on this simple brick BBQ job.
Are you going to paint also, a contractor can get a big discount on
paint you cant get. I see what could end up is inferior work, failing
in a few years, at a higher price from what you are looking at if you
just contract out. If doing the best for cheapest is the objective
then get bids to know where to start. If an owner of a home proposed
that to me, to do work with me I would turn him down because he would
not have the experiance to be paid what he likely felt he was worth,
also he would waste my time nitpicking and teaching him. I envision
an argument. Hire guys T&M with you not knowing everything about
painting sounds like a recipe for big problems you cant forsee. If you
contracted the job and the paint co owner hired you as a tryout at min
wage, it might work. You need a pro, to guarantee his work and be
lisenced and insured, you are not, and I have had claims that would
break you, like ruining an AC, a fire, injuries, ruining 20000.00 in
carpet. You want to be the general in charge, and get paid to learn,
but you are not ready for this. It takes years of experiance to be
able to walk up to a job a know a slacker from from 50 ft away, and
know what is not quality and know how how to not take bs from them.
T&M could double your cost. A common joke is a painter says he needs a
1/4" exterior brush, the salesperson at the paintstore says, I see you
are working T&M again.
I had the exterior of my house painted and it took two guys to do so. They
painted a neighbors house and I liked the looks, therefore, requested a
quote, which they provided right there. Then I asked when they can do it. It
was all done by spraying in a day and a half. Therefore, my point is, unless
your house is huge, why would he need so many men?
Consider having it sprayed and settle for a bottom line price, as others
have stated. If he's experienced, then he knows how much it'll cost.
I surmise these guys did no surface prep to your house before spraying
and also didn't backroll the paint after spraying. Proper surface
preparation takes a lot of labor and time, which adds to the price of
a quote for a more durable paint job. Our paint job cost a couple
thousand $ more than the neighbors', but our painters scraped and
primed thoroughly, and they backrolled all the paint. The house still
looks good (had to scrape, prime, and paint some spots on the southern
and western sides of the house this summer, not unusual because of the
extreme weather), but the neighbors' paint job started peeling by the
fall after the spring painting. You get what you pay for, pretty
Is this guy a licensed contractor? Or are you just hiring these people
as your employees? Are you planning to make social security tax payments
for them? If they injure themselves, do you have insurance to cover it?
Or will they sue you for your home?
If he claims he is a contractor, you can check it here:
Useful reading here:
"In California, there must be a written contract for all home improvement
projects over $500 in labor and materials."
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