Insane Contractor Quotes

Discussion in 'DIY' started by Dustin B, Sep 19, 2019.

  1. Dustin B

    Dustin B Well-Known Member

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    Why do some contractors think it is a good idea to give a ridiculous quote if they have lots of other work. Whatever they might gain from the person or two who don't know any better or aren't willing to keep looking they'll lose from making people never consider them again.

    Brother in law of wife's friend did a water heater for me at a reasonable price 5ish years ago. Since then he has grown his company to 6 people and apparently has lots of new construction work. Had him come quote me on the supply and drain lines for my new bathroom. He quoted $6500 for it. $4700 for the drain and $1800 for the supply. My rough math on the drain supplies at the prices I could get at home depot and the permit and how long it would take me to do it put him asking $450-500 an hour.

    After a bunch of looking I have a new quote with some good guys of $2700 for the same thing and all the HVAC metal work I need done.

    Really annoying that in my neck of the woods you can't get a home owners plumbing permit. But at the new quote I'm not furious about it any more. In fact the quote is reasonable enough that even if I was allowed to diy it, I might not.
     
  2. DustinDavis

    DustinDavis Well-Known Member

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    Where I live we get "special rates" based on the zip code. Lots of wealth around here (I am the riff-raff), such that many I suspect are just not very price-sensitive. Amazing the rates you will get for services e.g. plumbers, painters, lawn work. Somebody around here actually did some informal test and found that, sure enough, same provider same service different zip gets far better pricing.
     
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  3. Mike B

    Mike B Well-Known Member Donor Top Poster

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    If they don't need the work, they will bid high. If you want to "get on the list" and wait 6 weeks...

    Hey, you got it done eh?
     
  4. Dustin B

    Dustin B Well-Known Member

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    My point being few years from now he might need the work. Now he just guaranteed he won't be getting any more from me in the future. If he'd just said he doesn't have the time right now, I would have tried him again on my next project.
     
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  5. Mike B

    Mike B Well-Known Member Donor Top Poster

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    Common problem. I called an electrical contractor to do 6 new circuits in my home and he didn't have time for small jobs like mine. Lotta new construction going on.
     
  6. Chris Slade

    Chris Slade Well-Known Member Top Poster

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    I generally don't do residential work for basically the reasons mentioned here (which are not wrong). And I am not defending the contractor. We either bid fair or we don't bid. In my world sometimes general contractors get very upset when I don't bid. Problem is you are a once in five years small job customer. If he has nothing for his guys to do he might be happy to take on the job. But if he is busy with a couple of home builders that keep him going and he has to keep happy than he is just not wanting your job (and that is not a personal thing). HE should have just declined, but many people are of the mind that you have to bid everything (I don't agree).

    I have a rare residential project on the go right now, the ventilation is worth about 300K. I have bid residential ventilation jobs up to 1.2m. For me to send someone to a house for a day, maybe with an apprentice with him I need at least $1200 for that trip without supplying any equipment etc.
     
  7. DYohn

    DYohn Bronze Member Donor Top Poster

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    I just paid a contractor nearly $20K to "upgrade" a shower in our corporate HQ for ADA compliance. The upgrade consisted mostly of ripping out an old fiberglass shower stall and putting in a new one. The work was finished in one day.
     
  8. Jason P

    Jason P Member

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    Dustin, who did you go with? I am going to be putting a basement bathroom in, and from your renovation thread I see you are also in Saskatoon.
     
  9. Dustin B

    Dustin B Well-Known Member

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    Acme Mechanical
     
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  10. Mike B

    Mike B Well-Known Member Donor Top Poster

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    Do they use a coyote as a mascot?
     
  11. pillatier

    pillatier Well-Known Member

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    There is plumbing company John C. Flood. I wonder who hires them? :smiley:

    Same thing has happened to me outrageous quotes to replace 12 wood deck boards - finally found a company through Home Advisor who did it at a reasonable price using specifically the wood deck board I wanted, Yellawood with stress relieving grove in the bottom. I gave them several other jobs too afterwards. I'd rather have contractor tell me this is too small job for me or I am too busy now but can take it on off season when I am less busy.
     
  12. Dustin B

    Dustin B Well-Known Member

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    I sure hope those residential jobs are for multi-unit buildings or multiple house. If not, damn.

    $1200 is $75 an hour each for 8 hours. That's not insane.
     
  13. Dustin B

    Dustin B Well-Known Member

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    Sadly no.
     
  14. Dustin B

    Dustin B Well-Known Member

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    I've been told my office paid $30k to have 10' of duct, two grates and an inline fan hardwired to a switch installed in a meeting room.
     
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  15. Phil A

    Phil A Well-Known Member Top Poster

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    When I worked for the DoD and was based at a Govt. contractor, the building maintenance people bypassed a contractor (basically didn't tell the boss) who wanted $20k to bolt a communications dish to the roof of the building. They told me everything was already in place and it took 3 people a couple of hours.

    There's also sites that have some similar stories such as - Outrageous quotes from contractors: $4-$5k to frame/drywall over old door!?! (convert, master bedroom) - House -remodeling, decorating, construction, energy use, kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, building, rooms - Page 3 - City-Data Forum
     
  16. Chris Slade

    Chris Slade Well-Known Member Top Poster

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    Those are single family homes....

    I have done 125 room hotels new construction for less than top tier homes.
     

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