Just going over some proposals from a recently completing project ......
Hang six interior doors
Install baseboard in a 1,000 sf addition
Install door knobs and locks
Install door trim
NO PAINT OR TOUCH UP
$1,524 LABOR ONLY
I did the work myself. First doors I ever hung. A couple of burps, but the
doors work fine. Locks I know. Bought a second hand DeWalt compound miter
saw for $50. Bought a used Porter Cable nailer, $40.
Total cost, less than $250. Whoops, forgot the paint, which is another $25.
And I own the saw and nailer, which are slick. I can use them for lots of
Why do some people think they're worth so much?
I can understand hvac and electric and plumbing and some of the specialty
trades. What's so hard about doors and trim?
More to the point, how long did it take him and what was his hourly wage
(exclusive, of course, of taxes including self-employment/FICA/workmans
comp, health and other benefits, etc., etc, etc., ...?
OK, but that's the other side of the coin. If I'm a neurosurgeon and my
time's worth (random guess) $1400 per hour, I'd have to be nuts to think I'd
be saving money by doing a $1500 home project myself if it means losing a
day of work.
I want to know how long the contractor said the work would take.
Fine, but I was answering the original question -- "why do people think
they're worth so much?" -- if the OP will calculate his time even
reduced by some factor for the contractor's experience, he'll discover
that time isn't worth nearly as much as he thought it was...
Or, another way to look at it -- not unreasonable for someone to want to
bring home, say, $50k/year. If on a 2-week vacation, 10-holidays,
1-week sick, 40-hr week, that equates to 1900 labor hours/year. To
bring home his $50k, that means must _net_ $26/hr. Now work up from
this minimum to get a gross rate.
I can see you are ignorant of contracting. In a contract, you say, "I will
build your spare bedroom for $6,789." Notice the period. There's usually a
deadline for completion, but no hourly rate is quoted. A total price for a
specified job is a contract. Other than that, it qualifies as hourly
handyman rate. Any time either of the two parties is dissatisfied, they can
part. In a contract, things are entirely different.
But you knew that, right?
Yeah, I'm an engineer ("I are an engineer") and I do count my time againt what I
pay, and it's usually a positive equation.
That said, I'd do my own locks, and doors and baseboards probably would be
folded into another bigger project I hire out. The carpentry skills are ones
that I just don't have the time or wherewithall to develop. Think, the first
time doing the baseboards - I'd be going through some trial and error or at
least proceeding very slowly, then never doing that again for a long time.
That said, the OP quote does sound like a lot - presumably he got more quotes.
Mebbe the contractor put on a PIA 'combat pay' bonus for himself... ;-)
Exactly. I got an estimate to paint my car, $3,750.00. I bought a couple
of gallons of SW, a brush & roller, total cost: $60.00
Another example is, a landscaper wanted $80 each time to cut my lawn. I
have grandma doing it for free. Reminds me, I'm going to have to go out
and see how she's coming along. Haven't seen her for a couple of days.
If you're satisfied with an unprofessional job, why pay a professional?
I've been dissatisfied with the quality and workmanship of everything
I've ever paid a "professional" to do. DIY quality should be *at
least* as good as professional.
Professionals just don't have the time to do a really nice job. A pro
tiler has to start and finish a bathroom remodel in two days. I have
two months of spare time if that's what it takes to make the results
Most DIYers are satisfied with their projects. But, they wouldn't know
where they messed up, unless their mistakes are pointed out by a
It's unfortunate, you do not know the meaning of a professional. A
professional always does the job correct, regardless the field or nature
If you don't know how to hire a professional, at least consult with
someone, which knows the industry and can hire a professional for you.
As you pointed out, you didn't know how to hire a professional, and the
work preformed can be very disappointing. Unfortunately, a large part of
the blame is on you. Thanks for sharing some of life's lessons.
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