I was looking at having some work done on some houses. Gererally
speaking, what's the ratio of parts -vs- labor in the building trades?
Typical inprovements I'm looking at include electrical, plumbing and
There is no relationship between parts and labor. It depends entirely on
how much work is involved and how much the parts cost. Keep in mind that
the pro is going to sell you the parts at a profit, so their earnings are
not just from labor.
One job might be 90% parts, 10% labor, and another job might be 10% parts,
Where we are in New England, plumbers and electricians run $65 to $80. The
carpenter we used was only $40 but that was exceptional, most are $50.
As for ratio of parts versus labor, that is so dependent on the work it is
impossible to give a ratio. I recently paid 200 hours of electrical labor
with NO material cost at all Last week I paid 2 hours of labor but had
$3500 in material.
Here are 2 time-proven methods for calculating the ratio of parts -vs-
- To estimate the ratio of parts -vs- labor:
Get an estimate for the job, broken down by parts and labor, and then
estimate the ratio of parts -vs- labor.
- To get the exact ratio of parts -vs- labor:
Get the final bill for the job, broken down by parts and labor, and
then determine the ratio of parts -vs- labor.
Hope that helps.
Totally dependant on the job as the others have said, but here's what I've
found is not too far off.
Electrical, parts usually a minor portion of the cost. A switch that costs
1.50$ can cost 40$ to have installed (or more).
Plumbing, part vs labor tends to be a bit closer even if installing a
sink/tub/toilet but all bets are off on that if replacing or fixing pipes.
Carpentry tends to the other way with parts often being more than the labor
but again, depends on the job type.
How about try listing some samples of what you are getting done for a better
True on quite a few items! I got back stateside in OCT2007 and wood was
more than it is now for simple reason of season. I have another load due in
next week for about 1/3 the price. Chimney cleaning also dropped in price
(who thinks to have it done in AUG?).
One job entails removing the skin from a doublewide modular home and
replacing it with 5/8" T111 (46 sheets).
Another job -- building new 8' x 14' deck.
Another job -- installing new 20A, 220V circuit breaker and running
10/2 w/ground in flexible conduit for 25 feet and install a 20A, 220V
A/C plug. Conduit must go thru a concrete wall and then under the
kitchen cabinet (requires tearing out floor of kitchen cabinet and
Is this not why you get quotes take the one you like whats your ratio
for work done versus sitting at you job . But some of these others are
right depends on the job . Always makes me laugh when some one ask me
to justify what I charge can you do it , then you pay me to do it .
When I need you to do whatever I pay you .
Labor definately but the initial job when it's not going to have to have old
paint scraped off, isnt too bad. Just do not get cheap and try to go with a
paint that is also a primer at the same time. You'll be paying to have it
redone in 3 years if you go that route. Ask the guys here about that if you
do not believe me. Some folks in my area got rooked that way with a cheap
company. They said 'oh it's a new product and it works great'. Yeah,
right... They dont have leaves, they have paint flakes blowing about the
First painting is normally package dealed with the install and the same team
usually does both. It's usually cheaper to do it that way but it doesnt
hurt to price shop a bit.
Labor and haulage of the old material will be higher than price of the
goods. Significant reduction in price if you can take down at least the
easily reached portions. We did that when we had old wood shingles taken
off and vinyl put up.
Rental unit? T1-11 has it's up and down sides. Bad in termite country (why
we resided in vinyl here, shingles got infested). You can try to force a
renter to keep up a termite policy but it's better to add it to the unit
cost if you are in a high hazard area. Has to be scraped, primed, and
painted every 7-10 years (climate dependant). It's also hard to damage it
if kept up with a good moisture seal paint and primer. Vinyl gets damaged
along the base by lawnmowers when it's a rental unit. Not as easy to
pressure wash as they say either but easier by far to just wash down with a
big sponge than to scrape and repaint. Having a professional scrape and
repaint is fairly pricey but not too hideous. About break even in the long
run between both with more initial outlay for vinyl and less follow-up costs
later. Rentals normally go with T1-11.
Wood costs will equal or exceed labor. Be really sure they use the right
wood. Many hack jobs out there that look great when first built but look
awful in 2-3 years and require extensive repair at the base within 5. A
no-name starter company willing to use the best wood (you eat the difference
in cost) is fine here. If you have a truck and they are willing, you can
significantly reduce the cost by going with them and picking up the wood.
One of my favorite handymen works for cheap, does a great job, but doesnt
drive. I either have to add delivery costs, or drive him over and help get
the materials. 100$ a day and well able to make a deck. 8' x 14' would
take him about 3 days. His 'day' is about 6 hours and no, you cant have him
(grin). Quality work at a good price.
Until you hit the cabinet tear out it was all gonna be labor. If you have
to replace the kitchen cabinets to do this, parts will have a play. I dont
know enough to even estimate this one but it will not be cheap. It's gonna
probably be a multi-people job there.
Putting in a new electric stove perchance where there was a gas or propane
Ah ok, was just curious. I'm not very electrically savvy. I just know you
need a bigger 'doohicky' for an electric stove than my gas one (ok, laugh!).
You are right, window AC's need that too (most of them unless a little
Guess you do not have central AC? Or you need an assist in that one area? I
have an assist unit in my sunroom but it's a portable sort as that suits
best in this particular instance. Floor space was expendable and not nearly
the cost of the sort of 'embedeed in the sunroom wall' sort that has to be
used there. My little 250$ unit is doing just fine. We can later adapt if
we decide the almost 3,000$ 'proper heat and AC' wall unit is needed but we
actually lose out on furniture placement as that whole section has to be
open. The small portable just sits there innocently before the patio door
area (which one wouldnt block anyway) and when it's nice enough to use that
patio door, rolls way nicely. In winter, we plan to stow that portable in
*If* you are just augmenting a cooling (IE not like it's the only spot for a
big unit to seriously cool the house) and would prefer to not have the
window blocked 'forever' (often kitchen windows are the only one and over
the sink) you may want to at least look over such units.
I'll be a little longwinded if you do not mind on them? Skip if not
applicable of course!
The downside of them is they have a little vent at the bottom normally where
condensate water (or dehumidifier if it does both) comes out. You can cap
this off but it beeps and stops if the inside 'basket' fills. Apparently
this can be a pain. In our case, we cut a block of wood and put the exaust
vent up about 3ft in the wood, and cut a smaller hole for the drain which
just leads to the backyard. Similar to how a window unit will just leave
it's little dripping outside. Because it's on a longer patio door, the
included plastic window fitting didnt work (not long enough) so we just cut
a bit of wood to fit and used that. The door closes nicely on it and a
block of leftover wood makes for reasonable security at the other part of
the patio door so you can't open it from outside (though normally we remove
the wood bit at night and just lock the patio door then put that wood down
to deter beasties in the night).
Some units have the vet for the condensate *quite* low such as ours is. We
raised the unit on a little box of wood Don made in about 5 mins. This was
because the patio door frame is just high enough, the little drain pipe was
'up'. Means we actually have to lift the unit out of the box then roll away
if we need to move it. It weighs about 25 lbs (guessing, did not look it up
but I have degenerative disc disease in my back with 3 herniated discs and
*I* can do it. Often though 'just in case it makes me squick my back which
can happen with just a good sneeze' I have my 14YO daughter do that and she
aint a big 14YO).
If there is anything useful here you want to ask about (or anyone else of
course!) just ask! I'm not good with all home DIY things, but I like to
help when I can.
Oh I forgot to add one thing. You may want to invest in a quality sofa.
See, if the window is over the sink or stove and you put a window unit it
it, SWMBO is gonna start making you sleep on the sofa once that cold blast
of air hits her right at eye level everytime she uses the sink or it puts
out the gas stove burners or .... (grin).
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