1,000 sf floor space. Basically living room, bedroom, bathroom. Price
agreed upon to furnish materials and labor ...... $3800. New construction.
Nothing fancy. No mazes. Bull nose. All cubical, no angles. Am I
unrealistic in my expectation for someone to come in and do a decent job for
that pre agreed price? My contractor said he wasn't making any money when I
complained about shoddy workmanship ......... cut wires ..............
router marks ........... gaps ........... broken joints ..............
I know I've asked this question before in another way, but from the price
angle, am I expecting too much for the price I agreed to pay?
Just a reality check to see who's out of line.
If it's not been painted he should still fix the gaps, joints, router
marks etc... before you accept the job.
I would also send him the bill from the electrician to repair the
excessive damage to the wiring.
To answer the question though, he's out of line. I'm sure when you
were negotiating the deal there was no mention of "We are cheap
because we're not very good at this!"
It's impossible to say from here whether 3800 is a fair price. How
many sheets? About 50 bucks a 4x12 sheet for stocking, hanging, and
taping will get you a rough ballpark where I live. Prices vary around
the country, though.
Hitting wires in boxes shouldn't happen, but I regard it as the
electricians responsibility to keep them out of the way. He knows
that a rotozip will be run in the box. On the other hand, a good
hanger would notice wires and take some action to not hit them.
What do you mean by "gaps" and "broken joints"? Is it taped? The
taper can fix most anything. Again, from here, I can't tell whether
they are butchering it or you just don't know what to look for. Post
A lot of people treat shopping for a contractor like buying a used
car. They shop for the lowest price, they haggle. In construction,
profit margins are slim and time is money. Generally you get what you
pay for. True, noone should ever have to settle for less than a
workmanlike job, but there is the way things should be, and the way
Contractors price for twelve foot sheets is $12.22. Delivery and stocking
extra. There were 23 sheets. That comes to 280 and change. Plus mud.
Plus nails. So, guessing 500 tops. That leaves 3300. Six Mexicans can do
it in two days, so 6 x 8 x 2 is 96 man hours. At ten dollars an hour ( I
suspect they are getting paid by the sheet, but not equivalent to $10 an
hour) that is $960. $200 for delivery and stocking. Doing the math, that
leaves 2,140 clear profit for two days work and the man didn't even drive a
Profit margins are slim?
So you knowingly hired a contractor with no insurance, tools, workers
compensation, and other expenses? If that's not bad enough, why would you
hire someone that doesn't pay their help well?
Sorry to say, you should've hired a consultant. They could've saved you big
headaches, and you most likely would've had a professional job.
You really have no idea what it costs to run a business. Even in the
slipshod way this contractor appears to be doing. $2140 in clear profit?
What about insurance, workerscomp, soc sec for the employees and 40%
taxes on this so called profit? What about gas, and office space? What
about what he has to pay his accountant to keep the books straight?
Wait a minute. The OP said 1000 sq. ft. of floor area. You mean they
hung walls and ceiling with 23 sheets, which figures out at 23X4604
sq. feet of rock? If it was a 25x40 box with no partitions and 8 foot
ceilings, it would take at least 2040 square feet. Every lineal foot
of partition would add another 16 square feet. Then you would need to
add in a waste factor. Sheetrockers charge per sheet, so you pay for
the waste. 3800 bucks doesn't really sound out of line. However, if
you indeed agreed to pay 3800 for 23 sheets, then you are getting bent
over a log. Plus what about taping? 2 days?
Made a mistake. 70 sheets were stocked. They hung all but 23, and tore up
quite a few. Left four out in the rain. It was raining all day before they
got there, and they rocked the ceiling with water coming in as they rocked.
That has to come down. Maybe 3800 ain't out of line, but when you're paying
Mexicans $6 an hour or $ .XX per sheet or foot, there's still a comfortable
amount left over. And, since you're paying "under the table, there's no
withholding, industrial insurance, or unemployment insurance to muddle the
situation. You're just committing state and federal crimes, but, hey, a
man's gotta make a living, right? Even on the backs of others.
So they rocked the ceiling while the roof leaked? Who's
responsibility is it to see that the roof is dried in before the
rockers start? The general contractor. Back to the wires, if the
electrician left them in such a way that a rocker hits it with his
rotozip, it is really the general contractor's ultimate
responsibility. Who is the general here? If I was the drywaller you
hired, after getting calls about "gaps between sheets" (LOL!), having
them start before the roof is done, leaving wires in harms way....I
know what I'd be thinking...get out of this job any way I can and GOOD
Well, when you do business with no written contracts, pay your help in cash,
when you don't send in 7.5% of their gross pay to Uncle Sam, don't pay your
industrial insurance on illegals because THAT's based on payroll, don't pay
any unemployment insurance on illegals because THAT's another thing that is
based on payroll, and do a lot of business in cash, there aren't a lot of
books to be kept, are there? And it's cheap to find someone who'll cook
So when the job is profitable for him he does it better? He knew ahead of
time what his costs were. He did not have to take the job if he didn't
expect to make some money. Like I said before, hold back a small percentage
until all the issues are resolved.
He called and said that we owed nothing. We had no written contract. He
said he would send a truck and two guys to pick up the board. I left a
telephone message for him to just send me a bill for the sheetrock and not
lose any more to transport it. Haven't heard from him yet, and this is
He's out of line. He gave you a price and it is now incumbent upon him
to deliver a competent, professional job. If he under priced it, that
is his problem and he should treat it as a learning experience in the
art of estimating. BTDT, especially in the beginning.
I see guys like him all the time in my business. He's lousy and
careless at his trade and claims his poor workmanship is the result of
underestimating the job. In reality it is unlikely he could produce a
quality job regardless of the money involved.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.