If you want them to remain "friends", decline the work at any price.
You're already emotionally primed to have a conflict with them and
it'll only get worse if you take on the bathroom.
My advice only, and worth every penny you paid for it.
Please remove the spamtrap to email me.
"I always wanted to be somebody...I should have been more specific..." - Lily
A few of bits of advice I got when I went into business:
1. Re: trading work with no money involved. Full retail for full retail.
Charge what you would charge if you were putting a price on the job. Set
the value you are trading for at what it would sell for.
2. Never do work on the if/come "if you'll give me a good price on this
job, I have a lot more work." Do each piece of work as a separate job and
as if you will never see this human again. They'll keep asking for the
3. A friend does not ask you to do things for free or cheaply. If they do,
they are not your friend in that regard, and a diplomatic way to decline the
work must be found. If a diplomatic way cannot be found, then bluntness
always works, but it may cost you a "friend". Now you may have, as I do,
friends that I do free work for, but they also return the favor, and over
the years, I can say the scales are even. Whenever the scales get REALLY
uneven, it's time to reassess the relationship.
Friends is friends, and business is business.
Here's another look at this old problem. Many will take your labor and
efforts for granted, and accept all the "help" they can get. Tell them
you are doing this FOR MONEY, because if you weren't, you would be
working on your own house. Educate them on what your time is worth to
you, and how you don't want to spend every weekend at their house
unless there is $$ involved.
With one of my friends, we trade out work at each other's full retail.
Once he thought he got the short end of the stick, so he had someone
else do the work he wanted. Fine with me. Sadly, he got screwed.
(OK, I did enjoy that just a little...) Now we are back on the rail
and everything works smoothly.
I work for my family, too. I charge them $40 an hour for labor only,
including picking up material they can't get delivered. I also require
lunch. Since we had the ground rules set out up front, they don't
complain. They listen to all their friends whine about how they are
getting pissed off at their remodeling contractor and they feel like
they are getting a pretty good deal with me.
They are happier paying me than any other arrangement. We kept hours
of who did what and built a bank of hours, and they decided that it was
OK to pay me for working in their house. When it came to my turn to
cash in the hours, I got a load of top soil to spread and we worked on
trimming my huge ash trees. Strangely... they preferred the cash
> I'd like to just charge a flat fee of what it's
> worth to me to even bother doing it...they want me to give them an
> hourly rate and an estimate of how much time it will take. What do you
> think? Thanks for any input.
Pretty straight forward.
$1,500/4-8 hour day for anything that is legal.
$800/Anything less than 4 hours.
If the complain, tell them your rates are less than a lawyer.
On Mon, 28 Aug 2006 13:42:55 +0100, woodpassion wrote:
You are a much nicerr man than I am.
I would tell them "Nope ... I busted my tail for you and you made me pay
for my own sandwich. I expect better from my friends and until you are
willing to show me more consideration I can't consider you my friends."
If you don't tell them what's wrong, they'll never guess. As it is they
will likely express something along the line of "Well, we're sorry you
took it that way."
Speak. Use the exit. Let them either find another chump or reach for their
I do discount my prices to friends ... unless they ask for a discount
based on their friendship. Then it's "full retail plus 20%".
If it were me, I would run (not walk) away from that job.
If you've been around doing that kind of work, you surely know someone
who you can trust to do them a good job. Recommend someone else and
remain friends if you care to.
Unless you REALLY need the money, find a way to pass...
They walked on you once, they'll stomp you this time, because when you pay for
something, you buy the right to bitch...
Something they told us in the Army... "The 1st drop of rain that hits you is
God's fault, after that, it's yours"...
There's a lot of wisdom been given here. Placing them at the top of
your "ex-friend" list is a good approach. Because I'm the type of
person I am I would be tempted to take another tack. Agree a
reasonable price, get them to pay out for all the materials, start the
job, create a big mess, and as soon as they start niggling at you just
pack your tools up, say "Finito, Benito!" and walk away. Let them try
to find a jobber who will take over someone else's incomplete project.
"Long story short~ Remodeled basement for longtime friends,"
I would ask this longtime freind to help you with some painting or yard
work. If they give you labor in return i dont think you need to equate
the labor rates of skilled VS unskilled. Hauling brush at your house is
just as valuable as your skilled carpentry even if the real world has
different rates for the two jobs (amonst friends.)
You have a really evil mind, Foggy..
I LIKE that in a person.. *g*
An evil mind is a terrible thing to waste???
I still do work for free for (actually with) my friends. Friends helping
friends is a great thing in my opinion. I would never charge my friends
for anything. But, I do not think I have any "friends" that would treat
me as you have described so I cant really comment on your situation. I'm
slowly finishing my basement and I asked a friend to help. He did, We
worked together. He got a beer or two, some food and we had a good time
working together. He even bought a new tool belt on his way over. I
expect I will help finish his basement or deck in the future. I will do
so gladly. I even did a drive by of his house while he was on vacation
to see if his lawn needed mowed. No, he didn't ask me. Its just what
I have very old cottage in a campground with other very old cottages.
The sound of a power tool brings all the men together to help out. If I
was working on something on my cottage I would not even need to ask, I
would have help quick enough. If I was free and I head someone working
on their cottage I would be over with tools in hand, no questions asked.
There is a flip side of course. If the guy was not friendly, not willing
to help out on other peoples projects, or didn't contribute to the good
of the campground I would be a little reluctant to just jump in without
being asked. If asked I would probably help anyone, friends or not, if
they were in need.
Just some thoughts
I need some guidance on how much to charge...anyone here do
BTDT. I *usually* say, "If you pay me what *you* think I'm worth, I'll be
insulted; If you pay me what *I* think I'm worth, You'll be insulted".
"Just pay me enough to ensure that I won't turn you down next time."
Wow, that is a mamoth job to do, especially if they just sat on their
asses the whole time and did not help. They could've at least helped
you hang the drywall or haul away the debris.
I'm sure you did a great job. But now these friends are thinking "How
can we get this sucker to do more, and Cheap?"
Tell them you don't have time to do this job. Even if you need the
money badly, there's easier ways to make money. This job will destroy
what's left of your friendship. They treated you like a slave when you
were working for free. Can you imagine how miserable you'll be doing
this when they're paying you. Oh yeah, they will screw you over on the
fees. That's why they are asking for an hourly rate and a max hours.
I'm sure they'll add a lot of extra tasks on, and still expect you to
only charge the max hour rate.
I've got a friend for whom I have done things. He's also a guy to
whom I have loaned tools. He's never expected me to work for free and
he's taken good care of my tools if he's done the work himself.
He recently asked me to make something for him. I worked up how much
I would charge for that, told him and didn't hear back. I guess his
situation can't fit that into his budget at this time. The work
hasn't been done by me, him or anyone else.
In the end, we're still friends.
The good part is the he recognizes that by asking me to make something
he's taking up my time and putting wear on my stuff and compensates
accordingly. Probably not as well as if I'd be doing this for a
stranger, but it still works out.
It sounds like your friends don't recognize the value of your time to
you. They think you're their servant. I wouldn't do much of anything
for them. If it were me, I'd be busy into the forseeable future and
let them find someone else to do the work. No, I wouldn't have a rude
confrontation, I'd simply be unavailable. Maybe they'll figure it
out, maybe they won't.
Doesn't a lot of this depend on the friend you have, who the person is and
how close a friend they are? I've got a best friend that I'd do anything for
if it was within my capability and on the outset, appears to not going to
cost me something exorbitant. He's rarely asked me for anything and when
I've been in need and asked him to go out of his way for me, he's done it
without question. I know what when I have an emergency, he will be there to
help me and he knows the reverse is true. It may be that we don't even think
of taking advantage of each other because we both know that if it comes down
to something really important, we're both willing to go the extra distance
for each other. I call this person my best friend and I wouldn't have it any
When I have a project beyond my skills and I have a friend, neighbor, inlaw,
aquaintance that I know will do a good job, I insist on them NOT to give me
a discount. I want a job well done and am willing to pay for it. It's not
fair to them. Though they usually insist. I also help any way I can
without getting in the way.
I have a neighbor in the Home improve biz and asked his advice on patching
my roof after a large limb fell on it and created some minor leaks. He went
to his house 3 doors down, cut some coil stock, slid it under the damaged
shingles and nailed it down. 15-20 minutes max. Done. He would not accept a
penny. He did get a gift cert in the mail for the restaurant of his choice
along with a sincere thank you.
wrote in message
The OP painted a picture of friends that used him for free labor and
knowledge on a major project and couldn't even go so far as to think
of him when carry out food was ordered.
It's that kind of situation I was addressing.
The kind of friend you mention is a whole different ballgame. I don't
think the OP has that kind of relationship with them. Of course you
go the extra mile, heck, the extra hundred miles for a friend that's
like a brother.
This is a troll, right? Not to say this hasn't been a great thread to read, but
this is the only
post this person has made on usenet that I could find. Hasn't even chimed in on
his own thread.
Curious minds wonder, and in my case, sometimes wander.
Troll or not, dropkick those bastids through the goal posts of life, and get on
with your own.
You'll be better off without that baggage.
On Mon, 28 Aug 2006 13:42:55 +0100, woodpassion
Funny, I was thinking that a little earlier today. Seems to me we had
a similar troll a couple of weeks ago.
(If Locutus or TBM (that's a GM built Avenger, right?) feel put upon
not being able to read all that led up to your post and my response,
then they're just being obtuse about an out of date and much abused
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