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Old 02-13-2012, 12:05 PM   #46
mountain eagle
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Yup, being an electrician is just knowing three wires....

Took 8000 hours of OJT and a stupid amount of classes to learn those three wires............ just to qualify to take the state license test.

A view from the other side.

The key is not to put down the other trades but to elevate yours. I see membership in the NTCA and the development of national standards, much like the NEC, as a means to educate other workers as well as educate the consumer. It's not so much the need for permits as the box store PR that says anyone can do your trade. How do you go about educating the masses? Most of the work anyone might run into is mediocre at best, and that's just the aesthetics of it. Almost anyone I talk to about it hardly gives any thought to the structural details......... since tile and grout are water proof, right?

One of the keys to being seen by municipal authorities as needing oversight and licensing is the tie in to public health. If it were better understood that bad tiling practices lead to real property damage and potential health issues there might be a move towards change. Not that there aren't codes involved, but really it's not seen as dangerous..... Like that stuff those overpaid turd herders and sparkies do

(Of course that might mean regulation and and the dreaded liberal agenda, that's like the boogieman around here....... better to let the hacks have it all)
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Old 02-13-2012, 03:03 PM   #47
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Good posting mountain! aside from a training and technical aspect though people need to know this: we're dedicated professionals. If you want someone that is good at what he/she does, to show up and finish on time, remember things that protect your home like plastic, tape plywood drop cloths etc(we all know the time and thought we put into every thing that doesn't even include the actual work) as well as have the proper tools that usually need maintenance that gets done on weekends in most cases. In short you need a person dedicated to their trade full time.

So regardless of how much skill is involved, a full time anybody need s to not just pay his bills, he needs health care, needs to cover unseen expenses (licensing, insurance, advertising, software, occasional legal expenses, etc) it would cost me over a thousand dollars to put a new blade on ever tool I own! Aside from that no one is perfect, so some fday you might get the dreaded call from someone who's floor or shower is failing. I'll admit later this month I've got to go replace a shower that's leaking at my expense and lucky me the tile is discontinued.(job from 6 years ago) would I have the time, means or motivation to do that if I worked for 15$ per hr? No
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Old 02-13-2012, 07:24 PM   #48
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I had electrician helpers laughing at me the other day because they thought my job was so easy, but there are more bad tile setters out there than there is good ones and I know good tile setters who agree with me. How many have heard stories of a customer or employer who hired a "tile setter" that was recommended by a friend or family only to find out they screwed up the job and it had to be fixed or replaced? Dime a dozen.

Unfortunately, we trades people are fighting an uphill battle in a world of fast and cheap goods and services. After all, construction is really the last manufacturing sector left in N. America that's actually pays decent wages. It's one industry that can't be shipped overseas. All those working age males who got laid off from a factory job, where do you think they will look to for work? And then you have cheap labour migrating from S. America to compete with.
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Old 02-13-2012, 09:21 PM   #49
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Most of the bathroom/kitchen/home reno's I've been a part of, the plumbers/electricians are in and out quickly. They can get away with higher rates because they are in and out and gone.
The homeowner doesnt like paying the higher rates they charge but "whatever its only a few hours"

Carpenters and tile setters are on the job for the majority of the time it takes to get it done. A higher rate per hour (or added to the price on the job) makes a huge difference on a 40-80hr project. A plumber or electrician charging another 30%(or whatever) for an 8hr day really doesnt make that much difference, or at least shock value to the customer.

Meanwhile the plumber electrician is in and out in a day and onto the next one the next day, and so on. Charging a higher rate all the way.
Has really nothing to do with whether one trade or another takes more skill, its more to do with what they can get away with.

Thats my 2cents anyhow, based on how things are around here.
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Old 02-13-2012, 09:34 PM   #50
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Very true john, a guy could make himself some killer dough charging 5 trip charges a day.
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Old 02-13-2012, 11:12 PM   #51
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Get away with higher rates?

I think you missed the point.

Ask yourself, why aren't you getting paid what you feel you are worth? As some of the wisdom here has said, find out what it cost you to be in business and add what ever profit you feel you need/deserve and charge that. You'll never loose money on a job you don't take.

Me? I earn what I'm worth thank you very much. Why don't you?
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Old 02-14-2012, 06:32 AM   #52
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Quote:
posted by Jeremy:
I had electrician helpers laughing at me the other day because they thought my job was so easy,
Doing tile is easy and funny until you are someone who never did it and you take on a project with no training cause it is so easy. You're in over your head and frustrated, afraid to tell anyone cause you're too embarrassed. The laughing stops and the real fun begins

Look at many of the DIY projects here on the forum with hundreds of posts. Yes such threads the person is in their home so no hurry. Look how involved these projects are they take months sometimes years. Yet they want us in and out in a week...........lolololol
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Old 02-14-2012, 06:46 AM   #53
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I usually say "it's all fun till you try to make a living at it". That's where the rubber hits the road.
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Old 02-14-2012, 07:27 AM   #54
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It's all fun til you wake up one morning with a knee full of fluid and a thousand ft of tile to do. Then you realize you don't charge enough because it dawns you that your days are numbered. Someone thinks you make too much? F em, maybe I could make less of I sat in a chair all day. How long do people think a guy can use his knees as feet?
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Old 02-14-2012, 07:39 AM   #55
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Some might say use your brains and not your knees, I say use both. I agree when someone says I am the high bid, I am always thinking "my knees don't think it's too high"

Why do people tell you if you are the high bid, we know normally they are just looking for the low bid and you're not getting a courtesy call. If they actually call you and say you are the high bid or email you does it really mean.... you are the best one for the job, but too high for me, will you come down in price......lol

Hank, knees as feet..... neva thoughta it that way but how true it is. We put comforable cushioned stuff on our feet and pads on our knees.
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Old 02-14-2012, 08:52 AM   #56
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Hi Guys

That's why I like using a Rac a Tac for floor work. All I have to worry about is calluses on my chest.
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Old 02-14-2012, 09:06 AM   #57
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Tiling ain't fun no more. Not after 19 years. It's just work. Hard, body destroying work.

NONE OF US get paid what it's really worth.
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Old 02-14-2012, 09:17 AM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mountain eagle
I think you missed the point.

Ask yourself, why aren't you getting paid what you feel you are worth? As some of the wisdom here has said, find out what it cost you to be in business and add what ever profit you feel you need/deserve and charge that. You'll never loose money on a job you don't take.
Who said I didnt earn what I'm worth?
I lose jobs once in a while literaly because I "charge too much". Somehow I still work full time.
Plumbers and electricians in this town (I'm not saying everywhere) are "getting away with" a lot. Its common knowledge here, however there are only a couple of them you can go with if you need that work done. So take it, or leave it.
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Old 02-14-2012, 10:18 AM   #59
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Wonder what the % w2 to 1099 workers there are in our industry? Other than the union not to many "hourly" installers anymore.
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Old 02-14-2012, 11:11 AM   #60
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That's what I'd mentioned kevin, probably only a handful of employees on this site, the median income and number of workers in that statistic seemed low. On the bright side reports like that would seem to discourage more people from getting into tile. If it were made common knowledge that tile setters could make as tile guys and be their own boss qep and rigid would sell a record breaking number of wet saws.
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