I have a good friend at work who's a GC for the company that I work for. He
gets hired to build walls, paint, install ceilings, that sort of thing.
He's as good as any GC I've had to work with. (I just escort them and make
sure they don't run off with company secrets).
Anyway he approached me and said that if I needed to have some work done
he'd be willing to work out a price for small jobs on the side. I'm
willing, but I get the impression the conversation's gonna go like this
"So, I'm wondering if you could help me replace a damaged support post in my
"Sure, what do you think it's worth to you?"
"Uhh uhhh I uhhhh, ummmmm <fumbling around because I don't have a clue what
these guys make on the sly> 500 bucks???"
"Yeah sure whatever asshole. Call me back when you're serious."
I know what he makes, I know what the materials cost, but for on the sly
jobs he isn't making union wages (or is he?).
So I'm wondering if it should go like this
He makes 100 bucks an hour (roughly) so maybe go for 70 bucks an hour for
the job and estimate 2 hours to do the work - call it 300 bucks and start
from there. For someone who doesn't do it for a living you're really at a
disadvantage when working with these guys because you really don't know how
much this stuff costs. You either end up ending a good relationship or
getting fleeced like a lamb.
it is always better to work for free for a friend or family.
this way no one is insulted and you still end up friends in the end.
or as "hallerb" said pay him what he estimates...do not make an
or maybe barter for some work.
If your idea is he normally charges $100 an hour and because you know
him he's going to give you a great deal of $70 an hour, you must have $
$$ to burn, as those rates seem over the top to me here in NJ for
someone that paints and installs ceilings.
If you want to engage him, I would expect him to come over, give a
price for the job, not by the hour and write a contract, just like
any contractor would. As suggested, I'd start with something small.
If it's a larger job, then surely get multiple estimates to compare
On 24 Mar 2007 06:44:49 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
It's more important to have a contract with friends than with
strangers, with all the terms given.
If you fight with a non-friend, you just lose a contractor.
If you fight with a friend, you lose a contractor and a friend.
As suggested, I'd start with something small.
Hmm, I didn't realize that was done between friends and small side jobs.
If that's the case then I'd just as soon as hire him as a professional and
have him compete for the work like any other GC out there. The money isn't
important to me, I have enough.
I didn't really follow your first post. In fact I couldn't tell if
you were going to work for him or vice versa, or how big the job is.
But I enjoy wathching the People's Court a lot, and there is a big
variety of cases, so no one kind is more than 10 or 20 percent, and
this is even less than 10 percent, but there are fairly often cases of
friends dealing with each other financially, lending money, selling a
car, bartering work for things, etc. And if they end up in court it
often hurts the friendship. Of course, the number that ends up in
court is small compared to the number that don't, but that would be
true regarding contracts between strangers too. Most contractors would
still do what they are supposed to and most customers would still be
I can see why one might not want to have a contract with friends --
it's sort of like asking for a prenup with someone you are supposedly
in love with -- but one should then be able to suck it up if things
don't go well. Of course even while sucking it up, one can still feel
angry at the other guy, regardless of how he told himself he would
feel before there was a problem.
The biggest source of avoidable problems seems to be that there isn't
agreement on what is actually to be done, and I guess that includes
what materials will be used. Even writing all that down might prevent
a good chunk of the problems.
They fight about all the things that non-friends fight about,
sometimes they fight about not getting done in time. The friend
things it will be done during his off hours on no particular schedule,
and the other one wants it before the inlaws come for Thanksgiving.
I have to work with this guy, so it's probably a better idea to keep him
separate from my personal business. But He's not the only fish in the
ocean, so really I was more interested in what a typical GC makes on the
sly. From the sounds of it, that's wildly variable and probably not a game
for a newbie.
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