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Unread 06-11-2009, 11:11 PM   #1
HammerMill88
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Have him do the bed, and I will do the tile.

Hey guys,

Been working with this gal on doing some work. Not much tile; the shower will be 5 x 5 with stepped bulkhead, niches, foot rest, etc., and then tiling over existing mosaic floor. Of course I have been dreaming along about how I was going to dress things up for her.

Well, come to find out, her girl friend has recommended a "tile layer." Get this, he wants me to get everything ready for him up to the point of putting Duroc on the walls. He wants me to do the bed, and he will do the tile. My plumbing buddy who is going to do the job with me (he grew up installing the old lead pans) had a stroke. We both thought that was kinda crappy. She could tell I was a little ticked to say the least.

Can't wait to meet the guy. I wonder how he is going to secure his Duroc in place at the bottom if he wants me to finish the bedding and pan beforehand...nail into my water-tested pan?

Well, the brunt of the work will be tearing out stuff, moving walls, building transoms, reinforcing the floor, patching hardwood flooring, etc. I guess My buddy and I will know who did the hard stuff. If his plan is flawed, I will darn sure call him out on it!

Just venting!
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Unread 06-11-2009, 11:48 PM   #2
Tool Guy - Kg
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Sorry to hear, Joey. But...

I couldn't go through with a plan like this that would put me on the hook for someone else's mistakes. This situation is ripe for finger pointing if problems arise later on. And with the plan being flawed from the beginning with him hanging the Durock after the pan is in, I'd reel the customer back in. Show her you understand all aspects of the shower being installed to boost her confidence in you. You need to avoid going "over the falls" on this one by only doing half the work.

Can I ask if you already have an agreement with this customer? I ask because these type of whacky situations are occuring with more frequency lately with some of the other pros here who aren't getting contracts signed up-front. I'll have a detailed contract signed before I'll even put a customer on the schedule. I find that it's easy to get a contract signed if you follow-through with a contract soon after coming to an agreement...and well before any work is performed. But w/o a contract, the "second guessing" of the customer's friends can throw more than a few kinks into the ring. It throws your work schedule in the trash and leaves you scrambling to find work.

By the way, this is a perfect topic for other Pros, so I'm moving it the Pro's Hangout.
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Unread 06-12-2009, 06:55 AM   #3
tilelayer
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walk... or

I know times are tough but do you keep an album of your work? Explain that if you do the shower you'll water proof the walls with hydroban or similar. Sell your install, ask if hes going to use a membrane. Ask if he uses thinset on the walls? or does he use mastic? Ask how he builds a curb. And if you have to do these things of the bat, what does that say about his work? And if you don't use thinset or a membrane for water proofing read up about them and start using them now!

I look at it like all or nothing, I know I wouldn't do that for someone neither would the shop I work out of. You got battle of the tile setters, Kurt summed it all up.
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Unread 06-12-2009, 09:05 AM   #4
ceramictec
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I would just put in the contract your not liable or warranty anything since you cant do the tile to the finished product or not responsible since he isn't a sub of yours.
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Unread 06-12-2009, 09:57 AM   #5
cx
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Charge appropriately for the work you contract to do, Joey, and don't worry about what others are hired to do. You're not likely to do the roofing, either, eh?

If your pricing for doing mud work is based upon also laying the tile, increase the price appropriately because you're not getting the gravy part of the project. Try to keep it reasonable, of course, but it's pretty easy to 'splain the customer why it's costing more if you phrase it correctly.

And, as suggested above, be very clear about your area of responsibility and that you'll not be in any way responsible for any tile installation failures of any type at all. Her tile man will prolly have a similar disclaimer since he's not doing the prep work. Perhaps you customer will catch on.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 06-12-2009, 12:36 PM   #6
MudGuy
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If the homeowner wants to hire another tile guy, said tile guy should be placing his own mud pan. It says loads about this installers experience/ability, if he’s willing to install on anything other than his own pan. As already mentioned, educate your customer on proper shower construction and that if the “new guy” was up to speed on this, he would insist on building the shower from the pan up.
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Unread 06-12-2009, 01:28 PM   #7
java
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I had a similar request a couple of years ago. The customer just wanted me to gut the old shower and build shower floor, curb and cbu the walls. Her tile setter was real good she told me, except he didn't do shower floors. Sure thing I says.

A year and half later, she calls me up. Nothing has been done to shower since you left it and can you come finish it she says. Sure thing I says.
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Unread 06-12-2009, 04:30 PM   #8
HammerMill88
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Yeah, thanks guys!

My conversation with the client(s) - whom are supposed to be "friends" of mine - went very much like you guys are supposing, and my thoughts are yours exactly.

No, there is no written contract. Before the new hitch, I was going to document (and always do) my work photographically. I was personally intending a kerdi membrane (something nobody else around here does) shower.

I almost told her to take a hike, but I told her I would hear this guys methodology out first and tell her what I thought about it. Once I hear what he is offering, I will tell her what I will do and what I will warranty. If he is not doing a membrane of any sort (liquid or fabric), I don't think I will warranty the pan. I'm kinda like John on this one...the shower floor last; and also like John, I don't get close to mastic.

Funny though, her husband hired me b/c he knows I do my work to perfection - words right of his mouth. That is how I stay busy I guess. Cost a little more - sometimes me, sometimes the client.

You know, it would have to be very special circumstances before I considered putting tile on another's bed.

Right now though, it is the weekend.


Ya'll have a good one!
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Unread 06-12-2009, 08:13 PM   #9
Jhereg
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Got a call from a guy who was referred to me, he wanted a mudset shower floor. Seems he's a handyman type, does a little tile himself, but has always talked his clients into a fiberglass pan. So sure... I'll do it. inspected and passed of course. He wanted me to do the final slope and floor tile while I was at it. Before he did any wonderboarding on walls. Hmmmm. ok. sure.
Was watching him grout bathroom floor next to me, and he did the grout in 3 small batches (floor was only 30sf or so) and instead of a sponge, used a towel. His lines were a bit rough, so I mentioned I find it easier to use a big sponge, have a bunch if you want one. nah, he's always used a towel. I'm pretty sure I saw him rinsing out his towel in kitchen sink.
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Unread 06-12-2009, 08:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
I'm pretty sure I saw him rinsing out his towel in kitchen sink.
Tell her I got a great Plumber sub who can fix that problem. Hammy
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Unread 06-13-2009, 11:13 AM   #11
tilemanct
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In these weird economic times I have started a side business in which I give the DIY'er or contractor a turn key prep job, and they do the tileing. I sat down and looked at over 5 years worth of business and saw my greatest profit margins came from prep. Right now guys are cutting each others throats with sq/ft pricing, so I figured go where the money is. I do prep now for two tilesetters who hated prep. The word is spreading. I'll do mud, Schluter Shower prep(the most popular...hook up with local plumbers..they hate CPE or PVC liner installs) Dittra, SLC, Electric Heat Mats or cables(another biggie....talk to electricians, they love to hook em up but hate to install) CBU work, and Layout consutation. 2 builders who I lost work to because they became tilemen, have come onboard. They didnt understand prep and usually did it wrong. I think we have to think outside the box right now. I'm starting to enjoy the biz again, and the cashflow isn't bad either!
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Unread 06-13-2009, 11:35 AM   #12
Tiletim
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Dave, I have been looking at that angle also -

how does your contract read with regards to warranty and leakage - some setters are NOT the sharpest tool in the shed and can mess up boiling water if ya know what I mean.


CYA, I could see down the road - you prepped it - he tiled it and it leaks. Who gets to fix it?

Document your pan water test and pics , pics, pics.
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Unread 06-13-2009, 12:35 PM   #13
tilelayer
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Ya what if you build a kerdi shower and the guy starts at the celing tiling and uses finish nails to hold the tiles up and punctures the membrane everywhere. I have seen pictures of this at Schluter school. Then what?

Dave,

I love prep work its my favorite part of this trade. I don't know how to spread the word though.
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Unread 06-13-2009, 12:45 PM   #14
ceramictec
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Quote:
I love prep work its my favorite part of this trade. I don't know how to spread the word though.
you just did...........
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Unread 06-13-2009, 12:51 PM   #15
tilelayer
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so i can land some prep work jobs, i wouldnt mind hanging hardi flashing w/thinset and redgarding or hydrobanning a shower and niche and mudding a curb in a day for another setter. Even mudding the shower pan too.

I live in Pa Pennsylvania, Delaware county. hehe PM me for more info
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