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Unread 12-01-2015, 11:11 PM   #1
Exceed Flooring And Tile
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Bidding simple floors?

Just wondering how some of you seasoned professionals out there bid your very straightforward, 12x12 porcelain tile floors I have a feeling I've been selling myself short on these commercial fitness center projects. I've been doing the square footage bids I've been surviving, but killing myself to complete 800 square feet in 5 days. I work solo, and sub them through a GC. He's a good friend, but I must be losing something here, cuz I feel bent at $2.50 a sq foot
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Unread 12-01-2015, 11:23 PM   #2
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Oh sorry...... Missing info,
That's for installation labor only. All material is on the site when I start. He takes care of everything, I simply install. Plus it's WI. I'm surprised he doesn't just pay me in beer and cheese.
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Unread 12-01-2015, 11:37 PM   #3
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If you feel like you're killing yourself at that price, then you should charge more. I can tell you from experience that making more by doing more is much more difficult than making more by charging more.

Do you know any other setters in the area to see what they're getting? You don't want to price yourself out of the market, but you certainly want to get what you're worth.
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Unread 12-02-2015, 01:24 AM   #4
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I hear ya Kman, sound advice. Unfortunately I do not know how much the few outfits around here are charging. Used some online calculators with my zipcode to get some ideas when I started out. I put myself on the low end of those numbers just to be safe. Maybe this is just how it goes with a newer flooring biz. I was just reading on this forum and others what people are charging, and I'm way below that. Guess I'm afraid of loosing work if I charge more.
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Unread 12-02-2015, 08:06 AM   #5
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When your new you need to "buy" your way in. When you start consistently getting a backlog (everyone has busy streaks) then it is time to raise your prices. In WI for 2.50 and everything is on the job, it is on the low end but short of being a gift. That is more than twice what you could get in FL.
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Unread 12-02-2015, 12:09 PM   #6
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See! That's way I appreciate this forum! Makes perfect sense Dave, thank you. I've been" buying" my way in. Maybe I've just been feeling a tad greedy? Honestly though, if I can make $2000+ in 5 days working all by my lonesome, I have nothing to scoff at. Just wanted to check around and make sure I wasn't giving away my services in comparison. Looks like I'm doing what I should for now. Thanks guys!
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Unread 12-02-2015, 12:49 PM   #7
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One way to lighten the load a little is to start trying to provide materials on these. The profit you'd make can be worth about a day's work per week, a delivery day that's mostly just driving. You only have to drop the materials off the pallet in your van onto your hand truck.
Tile contractors buying at tile wholesalers, if they already have a relationship there, can usually beat the price of a general contractor. Make sure it's understood that your tile price includes delivery, which does cost the general extra $.
The other way is like Dave said, go get yourself more work! If you really have the ability to walk away from negotiations because of a nice backlog, you can almost always get more money.
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Unread 12-02-2015, 07:18 PM   #8
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Just be happy you have a GC that is ok with a five day duration for 800sf. Typically at $2.50/sf you are just working for wages but carrying all the liability. Get your name out there and raise your prices.
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Unread 12-02-2015, 09:05 PM   #9
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Lightbulb

Gotta agree with K_Tile on this one. Thank the tile God's for that kind of time.
Once you are done milking that commercial cow and go into resi work,don't price jobs per sq ft. It's the fastest way to go out of business. Only guys that need cigs,pizza and beer money price per sq ft anymore.
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Unread 12-02-2015, 09:33 PM   #10
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It's a good economy. Now's the time to go after the best gc's you can get and let the others go.
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Unread 12-03-2015, 02:04 AM   #11
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Yes it is nice having that much time to complete those commercial projects. This particular GC knows I run solo and likes my work so he's ok working around me. Residential is where I truly want to be exclusively. However, I'm still unfamiliar with how to price those projects correctly. The people I've done bathroom and kitchen projects for got seriously good deals. Evan is right for sure...... Bidding residential by the square foot is a sure way to live in my mom's basement. Time to learn how to bid those properly.
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Unread 12-03-2015, 09:09 AM   #12
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I bid residental new and remodel by the foot for about 25 years. It is a learning curve. When I first started we made money 75-80% of the time. When I finished my contracting career we were making money 95% of the time. Why do I know that? My Mother did the books part time and was a fulltime bookeeper for the county, they had software for everything even if it was on 5" floppy disc. Once a year we would track everything we did job related for two weeks and average it out with the previous year. Have to know your costs to make money. Going legit cost money, and with hourly employees, A LOT of money.
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Unread 12-03-2015, 12:44 PM   #13
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I don't know if anyone mentioned it but........ track your time/hours,in accordance with what you're doing,on a daily basis!

It's a journal/logbook of sorts,that you can refer to,which will give you an idea of how long it took to screw in a lightbulb,for a 20 ft ceiling,verses an 8 ft ceiling etc etc.

Then calculate what you think your time is worth an hour/minute etc....and generate a payscale that customers and contractors etc etc are willing to pay you for your services.

P.S. ... DOCUMENT/write down any and everything you do for a two year period(or longer if you so choose lol)sp you can compare apples to apples,bananas etc,and you'll have an idea of where good and bad money is generated.

Laterz.....heading out of the country for a week !
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Unread 12-03-2015, 06:26 PM   #14
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The older I get, the slower I get and the more standing around breaks I need. So I keep raising my prices to avoid taking a pay cut.
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Unread 12-03-2015, 10:09 PM   #15
Exceed Flooring And Tile
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Nice Davy!!
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