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Unread 11-02-2012, 09:12 AM   #16
PetrH
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Very well put Tom. Exactly what I meant with no B.S.
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Unread 11-02-2012, 09:26 AM   #17
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That works great for a competent builder who actually gives a crap Tom, not too many of them around though! I have got such a bad taste in my mouth for gcs, I offer no brake for them. I do have a couple gcs I still work with that tell me things like, be sure to charge enough, I can pay you or you can charge the client direct. Time will tell with them too, I agree with Paul too, don't put too many eggs in one basket!
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Unread 11-02-2012, 04:49 PM   #18
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Yes, I did have different rates for builders and consumers, but I didn't understand the question that way. I was thinking about the guys who want you to give them a break because of all the future work they'll have. No deal. I might never see that future work because the idiot is price shopping while I'm doing the first job at a discount.

I only worked for one builder, and he had to prove his worth to get me in the beginning. I did his tile work for years but bid each job based on how long I figured it would take me to complete it.

I never did work for a tile store -- not even once. I can thank Color Tile for that. They called me years ago and asked me to work for them. They were paying about a buck a foot at the time. I needed two bucks.
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Unread 11-02-2012, 05:14 PM   #19
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I think GC's that want a discounted rate are either missing the point of their service, or crooks.

If a homeowner/owner builder wants to hire all the subs themselves, they can; get multiple bids, call references, work out the details etc for each and ever trade being contracted. Hope the pick the right contractor for, drywall, tile concrete etc. Hope they show, up and know what theyre doing and so on and so forth. If the only want to do that once and save themself a LOT of headache, stress, and possible divorce, they hire a GC. If that GC wants a discount from the subs so he can charge at or near what they would pay contracting the sub directly, he is undevalueing the service he is providing them.

If the GC wants to get a discount from the subs AND charge a heavy markup on what that sub would charge the HO directly, He's a greedy crook and can go pound sand, IMO.

To those who say, do this job on the cheap and I'll give you more work in the future, my Dad always said "Pay me what Im asking now, and I'll give you a deal in the future."
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Unread 11-02-2012, 06:23 PM   #20
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That reminds me of a job I did many years ago in California, back when I was just getting started in tile work. A remodel contractor needed me to tear out a brand new marble entryway. He hired a guy to do it and it was ruff as a cob and the homeowner didn't like it. I gave him a price and I let him chisel my price down because he promised there was more work in the future. I did the entryway and the homeowners loved it. Sure enough, there was more work. I bidded the next job and he flipped out wanting to know why I was so expensive. I reminded him of the great deal before and that the entryway wasn't my usual price. He didn't call me back.

I've had builders tell me that they have had a hard time finding a good tileman, ... Like JB said, I have weeded thru builders and GC's till I find the ones that want to take care of me and be fair. I have had some good builders in the past, builders that I do all I can to take care of and they do the same for me, it's a two way street. I have one GC right now that I've done work for since 1985, 27 years. Two builders for 17 years each that have since retired. All builders and GC's aren't slime balls.
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Unread 11-02-2012, 08:45 PM   #21
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I agree with Davy and also with Tom. I have a GC who I've done work for for almost 10 years. In the beginning and for a long time I would give him really good deals to the point that I became resentful and eventually walked away from him, didn't end well. My fault for even going there. After a few years he realized he wanted me back and I realized that I wanted his consistent work but wasn't interested in being a door mat anymore. We made peace and came to a mutual understanding and respect for one anothers need for quality and to make a living. It's a give and take. I do well on his jobs and he gets a fair price for high end work. His jobs are very low stress for me despite being very custom work because he knows what I expect and vice versa.
So yes, he gets the same custom shower and master bath a bit cheaper than a homeowner would in their house, but I spend way less time at the showroom, tracking down things, calling and emailing, setting up, cleaning up etc.

It can be tricky though. I am his only tile guy and I'd like to keep it that way. He has 5 new homes in a row for me which will take me close to a year, in which time I will have to turn down other good remodel jobs, often for repeat customers, in order to do his work. While he is respectful of the client base I need to take care of and foster, he also has time frames which I have to meet. Right now in my current state of affairs it's a lot less stressful to do only his work for the next year and not be constantly chasing and bidding and stressing but I will undoubtedly miss out on other good opportunities.
Tough spot I guess but can't complain too much.
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Unread 11-02-2012, 09:05 PM   #22
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GC work is great, you just gotta seperate yourself from the types that you "dont" want to work for, or you'll get treated like sh*t. But when you do find a good one, its golden.

Same goes for direct client work. Im sure we've all had the "the homeowner form hell"

Hey Mark, if you buy me a couple of lift tickets i'll come help ya.
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Unread 11-03-2012, 12:58 AM   #23
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Mark: sounds like you need to find yourself a good helper. Also don't under estimate how long people are willing to wait to get quality tile work done. I've had people wait 6 to 8 months because they wanted me to do the work and not some hack.
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Unread 11-03-2012, 05:37 AM   #24
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I second the statement that Mark needs a helper!
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Unread 11-03-2012, 02:40 PM   #25
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Yes, a good helper can make you money and free up your time to look at more work, etc.
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Unread 11-03-2012, 07:53 PM   #26
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i loked at a job yesterday with a builder and the owner, the first thing the owner said was "i used to work for a tiler so i know a good job from a bad job, and i would do this myself but im too busy", immediately im thinking this guy is going to be a pain in the arse, then he starts on about how much he thinks the job is worth, the builder is standing behind him grinning at me, i will be adding another $10 a m2 on to my usual $100m2 for this job
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Unread 11-04-2012, 01:27 PM   #27
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I think GOOD GC's deserve a discount and here's why:

In addition to the time savings and organization that has already been commented on, GC's spend a lot of time and effort on marketing their services and developing a customer base. Then when these efforts pay off, what do they do? They call you.

You have ask yourself what that would have cost you to do the same thing. Salesman make commissions and marketers get paid for their services. Are you really unwilling to help out your fellow industry partners? What would you be willing to pay for a guaranteed sale?

If you are going to share in the spoils, I think it's prudent to share in the costs.
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Unread 11-04-2012, 02:48 PM   #28
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Jim my line of thinking is that the customer is the one who should cover those costs as they are benefiting from the convience of having a gc vs doing it on their own. Sure you'll spend less time getting the job, but 1000 sq ft of tile is still 1000 sf of tile no matter whos writing the check. I know you emphasize "good" GC's, and if some day I encounter one I'll be sure to discount the time he saves me. But GC's around here are charging around 50% more than tile shops, and wanting the work done for 50% less. so for a 2000$ job they're getting away with charging 3k cause its jumbled into a much larger contract, and paying the tile sub 1k. And since there are no good GCs around here, you walk into a fully painted floor, Shit all over from every other trade, People still working where your supposed to start, and a GC who wont pay extra for the prep and cleaning cause he don't know why you'd scrap latex paint off the floor when your using latex modified thinset. And that showers prepped just fine with bowed walls 1" out of plumb and corners taped with drywall mesh and gyp joint compound filling the 3/4" gaps.
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Unread 11-04-2012, 08:29 PM   #29
PetrH
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I guess rates vary by region. Here a typical builder walks away with around 10% of the construction price.
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Unread 11-04-2012, 08:34 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremy
Hey Mark, if you buy me a couple of lift tickets i'll come help ya
I seriously might consider that offer Jeremy, although you might be too distracted to work. All the houses are within 20 minutes of 5 different resorts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe
I second the statement that Mark needs a helper!
Ya,ya. He's been on my case about it for years. I'm considering it and I might even break down and do it here soon, or not. I just like working alone but could see it being beneficial some days.
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