how much will you put down on a job? - Posted by CHRIS

Posted by chris on April 18, 2007 at 13:14:44:

thanks to all for the advice. I won’t be fronting any money now. thanks again.

how much will you put down on a job? - Posted by CHRIS

Posted by CHRIS on April 17, 2007 at 12:20:36:

2 rooms drywalled…how much money will you give to a new contractor to get materials/ job finished?

Re: Make them bid on the job…then decide - Posted by Katheryn

Posted by Katheryn on April 17, 2007 at 22:52:14:

Chris, I have been through it all. Paying them first, paying then during, paying them after, it don’t matter what I did. Everytime I turned around, there was always a problem. These guys are pros with new investors. They will do or say anything to get the job and then they will take you for a ride. All I know is do not pay hourly. They will bleed you dry and then not finish by “holding you hostage” for more hours. And to top it off, they all demand $25 to $30 an hour and most of these guys are not good at all. My best workers were the ones that came in at $15 to $18 and hour and a few “diamonds” actually were happy with $8.00 an hour. Now, since I am a seasoned rehabber, I have the guys “bid” on each job. Most of the guys come in around the same price within a few hundred dollars. That way you weed out the guys that will overcharge tremendously. (I had one tell me he gets $1k for one small wall of new drywall) or they will be too cheap. (I had a drywall guy say he wanted $50 to put a few sheets of drywall and paint it). In both cases, these guys were totally off base. So by having them bid on the jobs, you can knock out the guys who are too high or too low. You will find the ones that charge a reasonable price and do the job. I do not pay them up front ever and I purchase all the materials. If they demand the money up front, then tell them your partner will not allow that. (blame someone else). You could "float"them no more than $200 if they are in a good $500 into the job but only the ones you have known awhile, but you should never pay up front and do split the payments up even at the end of the job. Since some still leave alot of punch out to be done. I just tell them I have to pay someone to cleanup/finishup/ their job and deduct a few hundred dollars from their pay. You would be amazed how many guys suddenly finish what they started. Now I have 2 good crews and 1 crew of misfits, but they do the job and I pay them well. But it took forever to find these guys. Actually they all worked for me independently and then hooked up to make a crew. Keep the faith and stay in control. Do not let them dictate how, when, and how much to pay them. I wish someone had given me this kind of advice when I started. Good Luck!

NEVER, NEVER, NEVER - Posted by dealmaker

Posted by dealmaker on April 17, 2007 at 17:15:47:

Never give a contractor any money up front! I never let anyone get ahead of me.

If they are working so thin that they can’t pre-pay the materials/don’t have trade credit, then they probably don’t have insurance/workers comp. etc.

Tell them once the drywall is hung you’ll give them 40% of the total, once it’s taped and floated another 20%, balance when the punchlist is done.

Or get the material yourself, put a couple of braceros in your truck with you and let them rock.


Re: how much will you put down on a job? - Posted by Robert

Posted by Robert on April 17, 2007 at 13:45:40:

Why not just pay them by the hour. I find it’s less expensive that way. I am in the Bay Area in I pay handy people approximately $25-$30/hour. And I pick up the materials.

Re: Make them bid on the job…then decide - Posted by Katheryn

Posted by Katheryn on April 17, 2007 at 23:05:00:

Chris, I also wanted to add what I do to cut down on endless trips to the nearest home improvement store.
I purchase gift cards in increments of $100. I give these out to the best guys on the crew who have earned my trust. So if anyone of them needs something, they can run out and get what they need. If they break a blade, need a tool, or whatever that they own and need to replace it, they can use the gift card. Since it is like money, they have to keep the receipts and hand them over with the card on payday. I call the number on the back of the card and find out how much is left on the card, add on the receipts they gave me and it should equal $100. If it is short, they know they just threw out money. They must keep the receipt. If they bought something for themselves, as in a broken blade, they know they could square it on payday with them and they are very happy. They all like this and want the card replinished all the time. My lead dog on each crew gets $300 each in gift cards so I never have to run and buy constantly like I used to. I make a big purchase & only have call in for deliveries, so the crews run themselves while I am out doing deals. Try it/it works!

Re: how much will you put down on a job? - Posted by Tim

Posted by Tim on April 17, 2007 at 14:07:01:

This will only work if you are there supervising them the whole time. I have had a bad experience with paying by the hour but I was not on the job site the whole time and they took longer than they should have. I would purchase the materials and have them delivered if the load is that big and just pay the workers when the job is done.

Tim - VA

Re: Make them bid on the job…then decide - Posted by ski

Posted by ski on April 18, 2007 at 19:35:59:

I hire only licensed and insured people. I get a copy of their insurance (liability and workmens comp.) and their license. A good drywaller (here in sunny swfla) gets about $18/board, finished w/o paint. I will not pay up front for ANYTHING I feel if they are a licensed business they will carry the cost until payday. If they ask for upfront money I look elsewhere 'cause these guys will probably screw yoiu in the end. I am, a state certified a/c contractor and will not ask for funds in advance. I wil carry the total cost until the job is done and inspected. I also have a ironclad contract which allows for an attachment for nonpayment.