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Old 06-24-2018, 08:05 AM   #16
tilemanct
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Bidding by the sq/ft today only leads to disaster!!
I have kept time studies of all my jobs over the last 15 years. With that and the cost of doing business, bids are easy. The most important thing is to make money. I will never fall prey to the ol GC line "give me a deal and I'll keep feeding you work". You only loose in that scenario

And yes Connecticut sucks when it comes to cost of living and expenses. My sister and her husband have moved to Florida and are putting about $50K back in their pocket!!
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Old 06-24-2018, 08:37 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tilemanct
the ol GC line "give me a deal and I'll keep feeding you work"
I love that one. How about " you keep feeding me work and I will think about giving you a deal". They aren't so quick with that one.
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Old 06-24-2018, 08:50 AM   #18
Davy
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I mentioned earlier about charging by the sq ft years ago. But haven't for about 10 years now.

I looked at a big patio a few weeks ago, about 1200 sq ft that had some steps involved, had to be torn out and mudded back up. It has expansion joints in the concrete that I'd have to deal with so a lot of soft joints and membranes. The patio hangs out over a small creek and golf course so there is no access around the house. All the debris and new mud would have to be hauled thru the house. A lot of covering up. My bid was over 25k.

Doing it correct runs the price up and most other installers aren't going to bid it or install it correctly. So the owners aren't comparing apples to apples. That's the biggest problem I have when bidding jobs. So the owners think I'm sticking it to them when I'm actually just trying to give them a long lasting patio.

It didn't help that the owner was in his 80's and didn't seem to care about the methods I was explaining to him. Even though this was a high dollar house, he seemed to only care that the patio out live him. I emailed him an estimate and he never even replied back.
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Old 06-24-2018, 09:08 AM   #19
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Oh, and falling for the "I'll feed you more work" trap is something we tend to do when we are young and just getting started. I did it a couple times years ago. A remodel contractor called me and said he needed an entryway torn out that his tileman installed. He had just installed it a week or so earlier but the homeowners weren't happy with it. It was rough, lippage, etc. He made it sound like I would be taking over his tile work, he had been thru enough with his installer. So I tore out the marble and mud bed and put it all back and everyone was happy. He gave me a sad story and so I told him I'd give him a deal on it.

A couple weeks later he called and wanted me to go measure another job. So I did and called him back with an estimate. I had figured my usual price on this one so he hit the ceiling, saying I was too high and that I was trying to make up for the last job. I explained again that I cut him a deal on the first job and that I went with a regular prices on the second job. Well, I didn't get that job or any others after that. My dad had warned me about this before but I didn't listen.
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Old 06-24-2018, 08:13 PM   #20
Raymond S
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Have you ever heard this one - ď Help me out on this one and Iíll make it up to you on the next oneĒ. Iíve never had it made up to me.
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Old 06-25-2018, 04:20 AM   #21
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We used to get promised a "steak dinner" from a shop owner, if you could "just make it work". All in all I am pretty sure I am owed a couple head of cattle
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Old 06-25-2018, 07:59 AM   #22
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Many years ago in So. Cal I knew a guy that was in the sealing business. All he did was strip and reseal and stain Saltillo, pavers, etc. He had been in business for years and I was just getting started doing jobs on my own without my dad's help. This guy would send me small jobs, mainly repairs that needed to be made before he could re-stain or seal.

He gave my number to a designer and she called me to replace some cracked tiles in her own house. She told me that she always needs a good tileman to work in her customer's homes and that she needed some of my business cards. She promised I would be hearing back from her. She said she always has back splashes and floors that needs to be tiled. She asked me to remember that when making out a bill for her repair. I spent about 6 hours on her repairs on a Saturday and only charged her about 75 bucks. I never heard back from her.

My sealer friend that recommended me asked the designer what I had charged and he gave me a call about a week later. He chewed me out pretty good. Told me to never give my work away just because someone promises you something. He said to let them give you a few jobs first, then you can cut them a deal on their own house if you want to. I learned a lesson.
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Old 06-25-2018, 08:13 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davy
Doing it correct runs the price up and most other installers aren't going to bid it or install it correctly. So the owners aren't comparing apples to apples. That's the biggest problem I have when bidding jobs. So the owners think I'm sticking it to them when I'm actually just trying to give them a long lasting patio.
This is why I work out my price right in front of them. I bring my laptop to each estimate (it also holds pictures) While measuring and typing, I ask questions about layout, sizes, finishes, options, and say aloud each different material that goes into the job. They "get" how detailed the estimate is, how much goes into their job, and how I got to the final number. I don't let them know my labor rate or individual material pricing, just one final number. Once they understand that I am the one guy who showed up and knew the finer details, cared about their job, and stand behind my work with a lifetime guarantee, we normally get the job.

And I'm realllly expensive.
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Old 06-25-2018, 01:35 PM   #24
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Yeah, every job is different. I was there over an hour talking to the guy, explaining each step in detail. I could tell he wasn't into it at all. He wasn't even interested in selecting a tile. He said to plan on using anything I wanted. It wouldn't have mattered having a lap top on this one. He just wanted it all to go away at the cheapest price possible.
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