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Unread 09-11-2013, 09:26 PM   #16
Tool Guy - Kg
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...or trying to intimidate someone into fixing a problem that was caused by someone else.

I'd really like to know what happened with those wires. They don't go bad just sitting there.
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Unread 09-11-2013, 11:16 PM   #17
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Sometimes they do. My kitchen heat failed after the cable end shorted. Worked for a year at least before that.
Found the short with infrared camera, took up two tiles and repaired it. Working good over a year now.
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Unread 09-12-2013, 04:59 AM   #18
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I think you are better off without him Sounds like this is the new norm with builders and G/C's. I once had 12 or so buiders I subbed for. I cut that to three. Hated working for McDonalds wages when all was said and done. Your actions on the heated floor show that you are way above the standard for that builder anyway. His obsession with the bottom line will surely be his demise. Go find that homeowner or builder who appreciates what you do. They are out there.

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Unread 09-12-2013, 05:59 AM   #19
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I agree with everyone else that you certainly didn't lose a "good" customer. To be honest, I'm not sure I would've been so willing to eat that floor given the circumstances either...

Just another reason I'm glad I don't work for builders.
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Unread 09-12-2013, 07:46 AM   #20
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All of our customers are general contractors. A couple are remodel specialists, the rest build new or complete gut/rebuild. All either only call us or show us competitor's bids. Sometimes my brother will drop his price, but usually won't.

I've always considered a bid to be take-it-or-leave-it. When I was solo, if a guy tried to get me to drop my price, I would consider why he was asking. If he was just trying to "barter", the return offer would be $100 more than the original price. After the look of confusion, I would tell him I wasn't interested in him wasting my time, so he was going to pay to do so. Then I would say the price is the price, if you want lower, let's look at cheaper tile or less area. I usually got the job, if I didn't I felt like I avoided a problem.
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Unread 09-12-2013, 07:58 PM   #21
Dan Kramer
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As we say in the surfing community,"beat it, kook". That's what I'd tell the builder when he comes back around. Sorry to hear of your misfortune. You didn't do anything wrong. Just being honest and trustworthy and that's not wrong.
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Unread 09-12-2013, 10:41 PM   #22
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It's always tough when dealing with a super just for this reason. They make the decisions and when the decisions are bad they want to save their own butt.

I don't run into this a lot anymore but I've been trying to establish written confirmations of decisions. Like with everything it's easier said than done.
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Unread 09-12-2013, 10:50 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by blue_can

Don't you have a formal sign off procedure when the job is done - it looks like not but it is something you should think about. Not just photos but have a check sheet and walk the client through and check each item that is complete and have them sign the sheet. In the case of the heating issue, turn it on have them check it is working and sign off on it. This is evidence in case of future disputes.
That's a good idea. I know a few reno companies that do this. I've never had to, as most of my GC clients all have good working relationships with me.
I might have to start implementing that, especially with new or "questionable" contractors.
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Unread 09-13-2013, 12:15 AM   #24
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You knew before you posted it was the customer who lost. He is starting a new company and will face what we all did. I agree that he will be calling you again, but i would like to give my method of "blue sky and sunshine" contractors.,.,..if you uave 15 houses for me if i give you a break on this one, that is great, but let me help you estimate these by charging you my rate, and i'll cut you a break on number 15...in the most simplest terms, go pound sand.....things happen for a reason, good luck Dave.
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Unread 09-13-2013, 08:49 AM   #25
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That is a great point Don. I'll have to use that. In fact I'd tell them: My rates are fair and non negotiable, but I'll do the 15th house for free.
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Unread 09-13-2013, 12:07 PM   #26
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Where you 'may' have screwed up is you really had "no commitment" from them. The commitment doesn't even have to be binding. What you had was something said in passing of conversation so to speak.

In doing this before we would get contracts on at least a few of those 15 houses coming up. At least it was a deterrent to them from using another contractor for what we could at least expect and an intention of their genuine interest or seriousness on their part for a continued relationship.

I don't think we could of ever held them to it unless we wanted to spend money to do so (lawyer up). At the same time why would you or us at the time in that situation want to work with someone that didnt want to for whatever reason.

If you ran a car dealership and someone came in wanting a deal on a dozen cars but only wanted to buy one first, you don't give them volume pricing. Try going to a dealership and doing that. They are going to want something in writing and a deposit if they are even willing to do so. My family just did this with 3 brand new Mazdas and things didnt get serious with price until we committed to buying 3 new cars in one day.

And my take on losing out on something is "you can't lose something you never had". One of my mentors taught me that after hearing me complain on a couple of occasions on a personal experience (not business related). You could easily apply this to business though and one should.

I was supposed to help another setter a few months ago on a big job. He calls me two days before we are supposed to start and tells me he lost the job. Come to find out he had no contract, no deposit. Did he lose the job? In my opinion he could not because he never really 'had it' to begin with.

Similar to one of those "don't count your chickens before they hatch" sorta deals.

Rule number one in life: You go with what you got, imperfections and all.
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Unread 09-15-2013, 01:58 PM   #27
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Have to agree with the other posts on the discount for bulk buys. Of course it common to get a discount for buying in bulk but when was the last time someone sold you a product at bulk prices when you just buy one and verbally commit to buying more.

Ways out that that are to

a) Give a discount on the current with contractual obligations on the bulk order if not fulfilled within a certain timeframe, full pricing on the job will kick in and the balance will be due.

b) Full price on the first and progressive discount on the others as the jobs come in.

c) Buy 14 at full price and get the 15th free.

Without a written commitment this kind of thing is meaningless especially from people with questionable ethics.

Last edited by blue_can; 09-15-2013 at 08:38 PM. Reason: spelling
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Unread 09-15-2013, 04:47 PM   #28
Todd Stull
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Sounds like a pretty standard story nowadays with these builders. One thing I took notice to is your responsibility for the floor heat. On a new build, you should specifify that their electrician must be present during all phases of floor heat install and testing. It will cost more but if the electrical company has to supply the feed and make all the final connections then they should be there for every step. Most times it will serve no purpose but in the event of a problem they have to come as well. If everyones notes match then you and the electrician have to source the problem like if some finish carpenter put a baseboard nail through a wire.
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Unread 09-15-2013, 06:05 PM   #29
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Just goes to show nobody's perfect and everybody makes mistakes. Even the residential guys and especially us commercial hacks.
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Unread 09-16-2013, 10:43 AM   #30
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You said you did "4 or 5" previous projects with this builder while he partnered with another builder. Maybe you can get some info from the other partner as to why they split, and why the guy is jacking you up. Maybe a commonality in that the guy is a "Richard" perhaps? And maybe the other partner will want to continue to use you.

If I was to do more work for "Richard", the discount on the 1st house would get added to the 2nd. Burn me once, shame on you. No way to start a business relationship, and since the other partner isn't involved it is for GP the 1st. The partner may have been keeping this guy in check.

As far as 15 future projects go, if they aren't a 16 house project, each will be bid separately and priced accordingly. Any "discount" comes with signing on the project as a whole, if a discount is to be given. The "pie in the sky" future projects are nice and all, but dealing with a project at a time is the way to look at it.
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