Tip A contractor?

No experience with a contractor till this past weekend. Had my stoop done with limestone steps and bricks. He was the lowest bid of 3, and I was hesitant in hiring him and his crew..because he was from India. He claimed he was licensed and i did see his number. I asked him to show me work he had done and he did, and i was impressed. I decided to hire him, not only cause of the lowest bid, but I felt that he had to have a lower bid with all the American competition he had to face. One wanted almost double what he asked for. Well, he and his crew ( one guy who was experienced with bricks and the other and him with the lime stones, did an excellent job...no regrets. I gave him the final payment and either it was me, or him felt that a tip should be forthcoming. I did not know how much to tip him, so I did not. Its not too late yet, cause he is coming back tomorrow to pick up all his tools and left over cement. its not like 15% of a diner meal...I was thinking perhaps a hundred dollars? Or is that an insult? He charged me for the job $2800 railings are extra ( 2 sides ) $720 to another contractor. Am I suppose to tip both of them if at all?
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Frenchie wrote:

Hi, I always hire reputable proven contractor through word of mouth creating a good pool of reliable trades people. I always give them some thing after job is completed to our satisfaction. I buy them formal dinner, give them couple bottles of good stuff or gift cards so they can use it as they wish. When our roof was upgraded with ceramic coated metal tiles, I gave each of 3 men, two bottles of Scotch, two bottles of wine with a thank you card. I usually don't do to a sub- contractor.
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On 3/11/2012 6:59 PM, Tony Hwang wrote:

Great, now these drunks are going to fall off the next guy's roof
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On 3/11/2012 6:33 PM, Frenchie wrote:

I am a contractor. Typically I work time/material for the type of work I do. When I do give an estimate for a job, and I've done nothing beyond what I was expecting to do, I wouldn't expect or accept a tip, and I would make sure the customer was completely happy with the work. Having said that, I get the impression that this guy is working really cheap, to try and build up a customer base and as such, is leaving it to your good graces to compensate him fairly. I'm not really fond of that approach, but if you truly believe that his competition would have cost you a couple thousand dollars more, and their work wouldn't have been any better, I would give him a couple of hundred dollars. It's really not your responsibility to figure out his cost/profit ratio, but at the same time, the guy had enough integrity to complete the job, and do a good job, even though he might have under bid it.
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Am I the only one who noticed the bigotry in this post?
"I was hesitant in hiring him and his crew..because he was from India."
Are you serious?
Do you really think his bid was lower because he faced "American competition"? That means that you think that everyone else is as much of a bigot as you are.
Why didn't you tell us what nationality the railing contractor is? I'm going to guess it's because he's American.
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wrote:

In some areas, people from certain other countries, are developing a reputation for trying to get into a line of work without full knowledge and skills. We have such in our area, they often do not do work according to code and will not fix problems they have created. Now, this is also true of home grown citizens as well. But it creates caution with someone who may not be articulate in the English language and use the lack of it to bluff through. This is not bigotry, it is being cautious. On the converse, I would probably assume that someone from India may have excellent skills in brick and stonework, just as many Italian workers in this area had such skills in the 1960s.
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DerbyDad03 wrote:

Hi, I am not a racist or stereotyping people or prejudice but running a small specialized retail outlets since I retired in '96 from my career, I observed native born East Indians are difficult to deal with. They try to haggle the price, always they want to get some thing free in addition to what they buy, just even couple more brochure sheets. But I don't see this from foreign born Indians educated under British schooling. They are very nice.
My daughter is a rural family physician, delivering babies from now and then. Quote from her,"Native Indian and Middle Eastern Women are worst mother to be. When baby is coming out they are making all kinds of fuss yelling and screaming acting like they are dying from great pain. Other women are usually calm and very cooperative." unquote.
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DerbyDad03 wrote:

I was wondering if he fixed his computer while fixing the steps.
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On Sun, 11 Mar 2012 16:33:40 -0700 (PDT), DerbyDad03

Not necessarily. Sometimes I find Indians hard to understand or difficult to negotiate with.
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Sometimes I find Americans/Italians/Yugoslavians hard to understand or difficult to negotiate with. In other words, *people*, not nationalities.
Do you not hire people from India because they are from India or do you not hire a person because they are hard to understand or difficult to negotiate with?
The OP said "because he was from India".
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On Sun, 11 Mar 2012 20:52:21 -0700 (PDT), DerbyDad03

I'm going out on a limb here because I'm speaking for the OP but my "guess" is he really meant the same. Of course taking it literally is bigotry but isn't everyone <g>??? Remember Archie Bunker??? Hell I used to live in NYC and there was no racism because everyone hated everyone else.... no racism.
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I'm never totally sure if folks are India or Paki. But, they rate right up with Greeks, in the "difficult to do business with" category.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
Not necessarily. Sometimes I find Indians hard to understand or difficult to negotiate with.
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Frenchie it ok to Tip a 10% bid
But divide it by 1/2 Give 1/2 of the 10% to the Bidder and divide one 1/2 of the 10% the crew..
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On Sun, 11 Mar 2012 15:33:05 -0700 (PDT), Frenchie

Tips are not expected. It is a business deal. OTOH, if he did some extra work and did not charge, a gift of some sort would be appreciated. Bottle of good booze, gift certificate to a restaurant, etc. Same with the guys working for the contractor as they do the actual work in most cases.
I did give a cash tip to one a few years back. He quoted a price and gave me a bill for that, but it was a bit more involved than what he thought and took longer. It was a small job; I paid extra and thought it was quite fair to do so.
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Letters of recommendation for this type of work are very important, also offer to let him use your steps to demonstrate the quality of his work to other prospective customers. Good recommendations are like gold in the services field.
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On Sun, 11 Mar 2012 15:33:05 -0700 (PDT), Frenchie

I don't tip the contractor but I will throw some money to the workers if they do a good job and take care not to break something else.
Any extra work outside the scope of the contract should be compensated tho.
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wrote:

I don't tip contractors (others here have a good point with recommendations) but I do put stuff out to drink and buy lunch for them while they're working.
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On Sun, 11 Mar 2012 15:33:05 -0700 (PDT), Frenchie

I tip my general contractor so he keeps coming back. He charges me time and materials for the job. I also provide food & drinks when I can. Sometimes I'll just say "dinner is on me" with a cash tip - enough for all the guys working to split it up.
If your guy quoted a price and completed the job without complications - I doubt he's expecting a tip. It's really up to you. I like the other idea of doing a reference. Chances are he will not bring someone over, but you could take a picture and write up a nice recommendation and give that to him.
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