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Old 11-28-2017, 06:58 PM   #1
Joe-Tile
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Labor rates in Florida

Hello guys, been a long time lurking member here, have officially joined to ask a question about the labor rates here in Florida. We just moved from Connecticut over the summer and I'm trying to get back to business down here now. I know what we got in CT and i know there is a significant rate difference here but not sure how different. I was offered work by a cabinet company a few counties over to install as a sub for $2 a ft and to rip out for $1 ft. For most average jobs that's hardly a profit after expenses. Just curious if that sounds about right here. Thanks for the info.
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Old 11-28-2017, 07:09 PM   #2
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Joe,

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Old 11-28-2017, 09:29 PM   #3
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Where in Florida are you located?
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Old 11-29-2017, 01:22 AM   #4
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I've read that Houston, the problem isn't in finding what I'm in need of making for money, it's what i can be making for money. Coming from one of the highest cost of living states in ct to Florida where is much cheaper is the part that is screwing me up. I'm not exactly sure where i need to be. If the true rates are as low as that guy was offering, this business is not a profession for me here, 200 dollars profit on labor isn't going to cut it. I don't need to be a millionaire off if this trade but a thousandaire Every builder i talked to and even the cabinet guy offering 2 dollars a foot all told me they can't find any decent tile guys and that the ones they had really were the options no matter. The one i was dealing with yesterday had never heard of tile levelers or schluter systems for waterproofing. When i asked him if his current guys used them he shrugged, and when I stated it was a requirement by most manufacturers as of late on most of the wood tiles he had no clue. I was planning on about a 50% reduction in my rates from ct, the cost to do business here isn't much different when you consider the license fee which if required goes by county biannually, the insurance is comparable to ct, but i also need to carry a bond here which is an added expense, plus a tax license for each county you work in. I'm currently going through the ludicrous process for a license here in the county. It's been 3 months of bank and forth with the building division trying to get my experience and workmanship to meet their crazy standards from my ct references, finally emailed the county commissioners to ask them to step in and help and finally someone convinced them to allow my letters to be enough.

I'm in Hernando county, west coast 35 minutes north of Tampa.
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Old 11-29-2017, 07:23 AM   #5
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Joe, good luck. When my step son and family moved to Naples a few years ago I thought I might move and enjoy the sun and finish my tile career there. I started to look at tile work around and noticed the quality of installs were horrible. Never saw one lettered vehicle with "Tile" on the side. Many granite companies but no tile installers. Looked at a few houses and then noticed everyone doing tile spoke no English, and were working out of old beat up cars. Guys cutting tile with small hand grinders using rags as dust masks. I then knew the deal and realized Florida builders were, shall we say bottom feeders. There was no way I was going to make anywhere near the money I make up here. The actual cost of doing business legally and living are not too different between our states. I have learned to love the cold!!!
There is a reason why the few members on our board from Florida are successful. They put in the time and cultivated the good builders and clients who appreciate what they do. They are skilled craftsmen not hacks. They are rare in Florida from what I saw down there. It would take you years to even get into that arena. If you are young go for it. It was career culture shock for me!
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Old 11-29-2017, 08:14 AM   #6
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Joe, time to look for a new career in Florida.
My parents live in The Villages which is not that far from you. 30-40 new builds a month going up. I entertained the idea of setting tile down there in the winter months. I checked out pricing . Decided that snow wasn't so bad.
Florida is where setting rates go to die.
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Old 11-29-2017, 09:14 AM   #7
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I was in FL recently and saw a $.99 sale on tile labor. Florida has always been like that, and they always lead the country in tile failures as well. You might get lucky but I think you will be challenged to make any money there. The guys I know that do make money in FL have been there for years and service a very select set of clients. When I do jobs down there it is always "we can't afford to do that".
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Old 11-29-2017, 11:29 AM   #8
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We can't afford that = We don't want to pay for that
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Old 11-29-2017, 03:18 PM   #9
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Working for a contractor I get $3.25 to 5.50 for thin set installation on floors supplying all setting materials. Mud set I get anywhere from $7 to $12 per foot supplying all setting materials. Walls install is pretty much double that.
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Old 11-29-2017, 06:36 PM   #10
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Isn't it funny that a lot of builders are out looking for a better installer than the one he has but he expects to pay the same price. I've told a bunch of them that they can't have a Cadillac for the price of a Chevrolet.
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Old 11-29-2017, 06:42 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davy
I've told a bunch of them that they can't have a Cadillac for the price of a Chevrolet.
A used Chevrolet with a blown head gasket...
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Old 11-29-2017, 07:19 PM   #12
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A little twist on this thread and a mod can move it if deemed necessary.....
Why are the rates so low in Florida to set tile and are rates low for all the construction trades?
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Old 11-29-2017, 08:07 PM   #13
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This is my opinion as a home owner in Florida. The rules are designed to protect the developer or contractor over the home owner. There is very little recourse for the home owner for a bad job. I had a pool built by a seemingly reputable builder. He took the payments and didn't pay the subcontractors or suppliers. He didn't finish the job. The subcontractors are then allowed to place liens on my property for payment rather than the person who hired them and didn't pay them.

My only recourse was civil court. And then if I managed to win a judgement, I had to find their assets myself and then call police to see if they would come and confiscate.

They had built an expensive home with lots of extras but had designated a 10 ft by 30 corner of the lot as the business property. So all of their assets were protected by Florida laws.

So a person can do crappy work with little concern about having to fix it and the home owner is stuck.
So the prices are low and the quality is low.
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Old 11-30-2017, 04:56 AM   #14
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Thanks for the info guys, thankfully my wife's business is still up and running in ct so I'm going to finish the process of getting licensed and see if we can get something going. Not looking forward to the rates but not much i can do about it. It seems from what i can get it of the supply stores that walls and showers are close to what i was getting, backslashes are almost the same. It's funny because the contractors all ask if we do backsplash work like nobody here did it.

Tilemanct, it's funny you mention that about the work here, I've been gathering quite the photo array of the shoddy tile work that is done here to show the license board because of the hard time they have been giving me. Unbelievable how poor the work is.
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Old 11-30-2017, 05:44 AM   #15
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Maybe the backsplash work is something you might want to check out. Lots of niche work(no pun intended) in tile installations and that might be one of them. They are fast in and outs and you can bang a few out a week. Maybe go to granite companies and drop off cards. Usually when a new countertop goes in, a new backsplash follows.
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