Previous in Forum: Perfect Crime?   Next in Forum: Enough is Enough!!!!
Close
Close
Close
12 comments
Participant

Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 3

Contractor Pricing

10/20/2009 11:22 PM

Why should the State and or Federal Govt., force individual home owners to only accept bids from licensed contractors for repairs paid by government grants or government aid? Open bidding would include any qualified person capable of doing the job, including the homeowner, no?, provided local or state building codes were met. ( Inspections are always required).

As a "Scab laborerer", and I use that title loosely, I have provided electrical, plumbing, and carpenterial expertise to my clientele for many years at a price they could afford. $12.50 to $20.00 per hour, based more on their ability to pay, than my need for income.

Why should the homeowner be forced to pay three to five times as much for that labor, just so the general contractor, and the sub-contractors, can turn a profit in addition to paying the state their share?

Register to Reply
Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.

Comments rated to be Good Answers:

These comments received enough positive ratings to make them "good answers".

Comments rated to be "almost" Good Answers:

Check out these comments that don't yet have enough votes to be "official" good answers and, if you agree with them, rate them!
Power-User

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Knoxville, Tn
Posts: 141
Good Answers: 3
#1

Re: contractor pricing

10/20/2009 11:46 PM

Liability, plain and simple. For every honest and skilled person such as yourself there are a dozen thinking about their next six-pack. You will never find them when there are "problems".

__________________
Analogies are like something else.
Register to Reply
Participant

Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 3
#4
In reply to #1

Re: contractor pricing

10/21/2009 9:30 AM

Yes, liability is definitely a factor. The last large job I worked on under homeowner contractor, the homeowner took out a liability insurance policy on my self, and others who worked for him, through his Homeowners Policy. This of course as has been pointed out, would not cover him for shoddy work or unfinished work. Only word of mouth advertising can do that.

Register to Reply
Guru
Hobbies - RC Aircraft - New Member Hobbies - Automotive Performance - New Member Hobbies - DIY Welding - New Member

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Fort Lauderdale Florida
Posts: 5708
Good Answers: 123
#2

Re: contractor pricing

10/21/2009 12:07 AM

Because if the homeowner was allowed to hire anyone they wanted, every scumbag that can hammer a nail would be putting up sub standard roofing and taking big deposits from the homeowner, and then changing the company name again and finding the next sucker.

After Hurricane Andrew blue through here, There was not enough roofing contractors to repair the roofs that were damaged. There was no surplus of roofing materials available. The lowlifes would take a deposit and bring in a crew to rip off the old roof and cover it with sub standard tar paper and nail patterns that were too far apart. This guy had no intention of waiting around till roof shingles became available. He took all but 25% of the money and split.

And if the guy did manage to find some roof tiles and put them on the roof, what happens when the next storm comes through and rips the new shingles off? Do you remember the series of storms that followed one after another? The insurance adjuster comes out and finds the substandard work, and declines your claim. Or reduces your payment?

Well that will not happen, because the building inspectors will not allow this type of work, right. Guess what the legitimate roofing contractors need all of the experienced help they can get. So the building inspector that was earning $15 an hour is now offered a job running four or more crews, and earning 20% of the labor charge. $4,000 to 8,000 per roof, times 4 crews that is a minimum of $16,000 every 2 to 3 days. That is like $6,500 per week. How long would you be working for the city/county?

Are the electricians or plumbers or general contractors any better?

That is why. To assure quality work is done.

Please forgive me for ranting. I do not desire to imply that you would ever shortchange anyone. But there are some unethical people out there.

__________________
Bob
Register to Reply
Participant

Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 3
#3
In reply to #2

Re: contractor pricing

10/21/2009 9:19 AM

It's true, there are unethical people out there. For every one, there are people like me who can provide proof of stability, and a list of satisfied customers 20 years long, except that to name them puts both them and myself in jeopardy with the State Contractors Board. State Contractors board is made up of people just like the inspector you mentioned, raking in 16 to 40 thousand dollars a month off other peoples labor. Who's the unethical one in this case, The homeowner is paying twice what the job should cost, so the contractor can own three homes and vacation three months a year?

Register to Reply
Guru
Hobbies - RC Aircraft - New Member Hobbies - Automotive Performance - New Member Hobbies - DIY Welding - New Member

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Fort Lauderdale Florida
Posts: 5708
Good Answers: 123
#5
In reply to #3

Re: contractor pricing

10/21/2009 9:34 AM

I work in a "trade" and often do work for other people on my non work hours. I still have the same knowledge after 4pm as I did before 4. I still have the same tools. I know many people that also work independently, both with licence and without licences. All have the same concerns with meeting the constantly changing South Florida building codes. I do not envy you trying to stay current in the building trade mess.

__________________
Bob
Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Eastern Kansas USA
Posts: 1428
Good Answers: 121
#6

Re: Contractor Pricing

10/21/2009 11:26 PM

Friend,

There is no sure-fire way to be positive that the work will be done on time, within the terms of the bid, and within the requirements of the building codes. Hiring licensed contractors helps by setting minimum requirements that must be met in terms of insurance, education or training, and experience. These all matter when you get to the details of a job or problems that can occur on a job. These also matter if something were to go wrong in the future--insurance claims can be denied, errors in workmanship can result in serious damage or injury.

If the funding comes via grants or aid from "the government", I would expect them to require that all contractors be licensed. Depending on the type of trade, this can be simple or quite difficult. When you are licensed, this means that you have an intent to work within the rules set out in the laws and that you are known to the city officials. If you create a mess then the city knows how to reach you and has some clout in dealing with you.

I do have a problem with the requirement that the workers all have a completely clear criminal background check. That is because in the urban core areas, a significant number of competent and willing workers are kept out of the labor force because of one or more incidents in their history; even when these are no longer part of their lifestyle or former level of immaturity. Instead of this, I would suggest that any worker with a troubled background be required to have two or even three letters of reference from ministers, probation or parole officers, licensed contractors, or other appropriate people and also pass a records check with the local police department (to check for unresolved tickets, etc.).

The short answer to your question is that those who have the money usually write the rules.

--JMM

Register to Reply
Commentator

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Strongsville, Ohio USA
Posts: 62
#7

Re: Contractor Pricing

10/22/2009 5:07 AM

I work for a HVAC service and temperature control company. They are licensed, insured, have a place of business etc. Vehicles, laptops, software, equipment are supplied to field personnel. They pay union wages to their employees. Overhead prevents doing any business for the rate you mentioned. These are full time positions, not part time moonlight type garbage. Hospitalization is paid, retirement packages etc. Sure, if your retired or unemployed or simply a so called jack of all trades not really qualified by any standard and not paying taxes on the income from these jobs that you do for substandard wages then you can surely under price all of the professionals. But many times after your done and gone and collected your 12.50/hr people ultimately call a professional, bite the bullet and have it done right. People like you ultimately do provide work for professionals.

Register to Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
2
Power-User

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: US - TEXAS
Posts: 196
Good Answers: 18
#8

Re: Contractor Pricing

10/22/2009 6:43 AM

Believe it or not the reason contractors have licensing, liability insurance, workman's comp, registration, etc. is because it is what the general public wants. Its not for the job that goes right, its for the job that goes wrong. We are a country of laws and when things go wrong someone needs to be held legally accountable for it. Which is why if you are charging, say $20.00 for an electrical repair and that repair causes a fire. Is that $20.00 going to protect you in court or pay for the cost of recovery? Remember no good deed goes unpunished.

You might think "I'll take my chances" unfortunately, the government (the people) enact laws that does not allow you that option.

I know a little about business law, bookkeeping, and first aid, but I don't recommend anyone use me as there lawyer, doctor or accountant.

Register to Reply Good Answer (Score 2)
Power-User

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: USA MD
Posts: 372
Good Answers: 9
#9

Re: Contractor Pricing

10/22/2009 2:52 PM

Sure, government agencies understand and don't want the risk and possible hassles of dealing with unlicensed businesses or professionals. They have easy recourse and access to licensed entities, and they also avoid the difficult task of determining who is qualified and who is not

Promotion of licensing serves their desire to organize and control as much as possible in society. The lobbyists for unions and trade associations also have a large influence.

__________________
What is right is not always popular. - What is popular is not always right.
Register to Reply
Anonymous Poster
#10

Re: Contractor Pricing

10/22/2009 6:25 PM

If you are as competent as you claim, go sit for a board exam of the trade of your choice.
You may be surprised how much you don't know.If you have passed the exam, and get your license, you will see just why contractors have to charge as they do.There is more overhead and worry than you can imagine, and will never know till you walk a mile in their shoes.

The sword of Damacles is always over their head.

Register to Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Power-User

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: S. California, USA
Posts: 279
Good Answers: 12
#11

Re: Contractor Pricing

10/22/2009 6:59 PM

When you take money from the state or federal Govt. they own you. It is their money and you need to spend it their way. Unfortunately, that takes away some of your freedom of choice. The solution is for the State and Federal Govt. not to hand out money to help individuals rebuild their homes. It is up to individuals to take care of themselves and should buy insurance if there is a risk. If insurance companies won't sell insurance because there is too much risk, why should I as a tax payer step in and provide money to help the risk taker live in a high risk area.

I am not cold hearted. I have given to charities and have worked with my church to help rebuild damaged homes. I just don't believe that the the government should try to solve all the bad that can happen by using the resources provided by others.

Register to Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Power-User

Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 186
Good Answers: 22
#12

Re: Contractor Pricing

10/23/2009 3:07 PM

This OP is not worthy of any detailed response.

Register to Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Register to Reply 12 comments
Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.

Comments rated to be Good Answers:

These comments received enough positive ratings to make them "good answers".

Comments rated to be "almost" Good Answers:

Check out these comments that don't yet have enough votes to be "official" good answers and, if you agree with them, rate them!
Copy to Clipboard

Users who posted comments:

Anonymous Poster (1); bob c (2); ckartson (1); Doogleass (1); GRAY HAIRED OLD GOAT (1); jmueller (1); palinurus (1); scablabor (2); Snave (1); U NO WHO (1)

Previous in Forum: Perfect Crime?   Next in Forum: Enough is Enough!!!!

Advertisement