Time/Materials Contract

We are considering hiring a contractor to demo, install kitchen cabinets, do electrical work (possible additional 220 line for separate cooktop), and plumbing for a small kitchen remodel. He subcontracts the elect. and plumbing, and states all are licensed. We are buying the cabinets and countertop/sink, appliances ourselves. He works on a T and M basis, time and materials. Time cost is $115 an hour for 3 men working. He estimates the job at about $6000-7000 total, but his contract provides for no max for the job. His references are good. Small kitchen about 13 feet by 7 feet, galley style. Floors and painting we are doing ourselves also.
What should one consider with signing a T and M contract?
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Can't think of any reason to sign it. I haven't and won't.
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Sounds too complicated, why is he subcontracting at all if you are paying for T&M? I got a union guy to do my bath for $30/hour (from scratch in basement where a plmg/elec rough in existed, no demo). He charged me for 120 hours (in 3 weeks he was done), I bought all materials as we went. No contract, just good references and he knew what I wanted done. Bathroom was 18 x 7 feet, whirlpool, shower, sink, toilet, ej pump, tiled 6 feet up the walls, drop ceiling, etc. I did painting, hung and trimmed the doors, and hung lights, he did all the rest. He brought a helper the day he had to set the tub and I paid $60/hour that day. It comes down to trusing the guys reliability, I question needing 3 guys on site AND subbing the plmg/ elec for such a small kitchen.
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If he has good references, and you like the work he's done for others, I think you give him your trust. If you try to micro manage, and pin him down to strict numbers, you'll wind up with an adversarial relationship, and the job will go poorly. If he is in fact a cheat, it won't matter what's written on a contract.

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Personally I wouldn't use a T&M agreement. He is supposed to be the expert; he ought to be able to determine how much it will cost him. Naturally he is entitled to do business anyway he wants and you shouldn't argue about it, but should find someone else.
Possible additional 220 line? He doesn't know if he needs a circuit or not?! Lose the flake now.
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There is always sucker around the corner and you are it

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If he estimates 6000 have him do it for 6000 or it will probably cost you 9000. He is a pro , he knows what it will cost. You can probably get it done for 4000.
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LittleF wrote:

First, a real contractor isn't going to install customer supplied materials. There's way too many pitfalls. From faulty material, to wrong material, and everything in between. Who bites the bullet?
Second, exactly at what cost are the "subs" going to charge?
Third, $115 an hour for skilled labor for 3 people? Are you kidding me? No company can charge that little including all tools, overhead, etc.
Sounds as if you've found a handyman & a couple of winos, ready to have a bottle of MD-20/20 on you.
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Mike Flar wrote:

You are so right!!!!!!!
--
Moe Jones
HVAC Service Technician
  Click to see the full signature.
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With proper care, a T&M contract is a perfectly reasonable approach. The problem is, most folks don't know what to what out for (hence your question!)
There's an article in the latest Journal of Light Construction about T&M contracts. There's some good information in there about what to what out for in these types of contracts. it's written for the contractor audience, but the info still applies.
HTH,
Paul
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On Mon, 13 Aug 2007 18:59:56 -0400, Paul Franklin

I would like to read this, but it appears membership is needed.
Can you possibly copy/paste it here, from online access?
Thanks
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You need to have a cut off point. A maximum price. I suggest that you get a few other prices before committing. A kitchen remodel is not an unusual project that a contractor cannot give a firm price. A recent customer of mine got a price of $27,000.00 from a contractor to remodel a kitchen in a two bedroom condo. She wound up sub- contracting everything herself for less than half of that.
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