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  #31  
Old 10-11-2013
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Re: Hiring Contractors - Are component/part prices typically higher than online?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Of course contractors can be negotiable, like everyone else. the question is not what he's charging you for a gizmo, but what his overall cost to you will be. The guy who charges you $100 an hour may be cheaper than they guy who charges $75, but bills for 50% more hours.
If I run into a client who is beating me up on my rate I have been known to tell them I would be happy to work for $50 an hour instead of $100 if it would be OK if I just made a tiny little change.
They said sure what do you have it mind. I say the hour is going to be 30 minutes long.
I think it is a very clever solution, somehow they don't agree.
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  #32  
Old 10-15-2013
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Re: Hiring Contractors - Are component/part prices typically higher than online?

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Originally Posted by deniseO30 View Post
Possibly you don't realize the architect is the one that designed the building, house et. While something like Formica or granite may seem silly the larger picture. It is how the person makes their living. example; A couple; "We want a beautiful home located on the land we have, and needs to be .... and.... with.... but should also have... "

The architect is usually selling a dream or a design taken from a concept. Those plans, with all those stamps of approvals for zoning, design, soil and water table testing...stress, span, durability, much of this, is work that needs to be done long before a build is started. Often .. the architect is passed over .. just like the artist... Unless there's a failure or bad design then it's WHERE'S THE ARCHITECT!

I've worked with many over the years. many are highly qualified and know their field of endeavor. They actually do know if that house the couple "dreams" of will still be standing after the first hurricane.. not always but most of the time. In my book, architects are the artists of building and building design. Many times someone tries to circumvent them and not pay them for "just a set of plans"

Your boat floats and handles well because someone designed it and was paid to make that happen.

"mark up" = lay person's term for something they are clueless about and try to give it a name.

10% to a contractor for materials.. they might just as well not even do business with the tightwads. out to beat them even before they meet!
I know all about what architects do. I have built two custom houses utilizing architects. My point is if one thinks trades people are out to get your money, then watch out for the professional architect. I interviewed many architects prior to choosing the one that designed my existing house. Most wanted a fee that was a percentage of the "ESTIMATED" construction cost. This estimate was an estimate the architect would be making. I see know reason why the architect should make a higher fee because I choose a 50 year shingle as opposed to a 20 year shingle. Same for counter tops, the architect spends no more time or skill to spec granite as compared to formica.

I finally found an architect that would design my house for a flat fee, one not based on construction costs. This was good as I acted as owner/builder and no general contractor was involved. Much of the work I sub contracted to licensed trades people. Although I would not recommend it, I never had a written contract with the trades people, only a hand shake. I ended up building the custom house for 1/2 the price a general contractor would have charged. For materials, I purchased these all myself, and arrange delivery, this helped with the cash flow for the trades people and this method is what they preferred.

I have no problem paying people what they are worth, and in many cases, I even give them a little extra for their efforts. In the end I ended up with a house I could never have afforded otherwise.

Your quote:
"The architect is usually selling a dream"
Yea, I agree, they are selling a dream...

Last edited by casey1999; 10-15-2013 at 02:24 PM.
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  #33  
Old 10-15-2013
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Re: Hiring Contractors - Are component/part prices typically higher than online?

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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
That may be exactly right. Maybe not the entire northeast, but many parts of it. I suspect Maine has more reliable yards. The Bay and nearby coast has some of the most outstanding sailing anywhere and countless destinations. The marina staff can be very friendly, including ours!! Its just the quality and organization of the tradesman that are awful. Maybe the best of the best are all building custom one-use boats for the next Bermuda race. I may not be too far off on that one.
I purchased my boat in Marion MA and had some work done in preparation to move the boat up to Boothbay Harbor, ME. This was in 2005. If I'm remembering correctly the labor rates in Maine were less than 1/2 the Mass rates. If I were anywhere from the mid-Atlantic region and north and contemplating a major refit I would consider having the work done in Maine. There is nowhere I can think of that ever comes close to the number of qualified yards with reasonable rates and skilled craftsmen to work on anything from destroyers to cedar planked canoes.

Keep in mind that yards like Hinkley and Morris yachts may be the exception to the rule and will likely have rates equivalent to anything on the east coast but it will be unlikely that you would be unhappy with quality of the work.
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  #34  
Old 10-16-2013
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Re: Hiring Contractors - Are component/part prices typically higher than online?

Fun conversation. Boat estimates on large jobs, what a mess. None of the other contractors in the yard we work in will touch large projects because of the hassles and exposure to issues involved. No matter how sharp you think you are, there's always a fine line to walk with regards to estimation. I've lost jobs because I used historical data on like jobs and quoted what I thought the job would really cost only to have the customer go with a lowballer and end up paying as much or more for inferior work elsewhere. With large projects there are always hidden issues and delays, ALWAYS. It's a boat. As for materials markup, I go with a flat cost plus 10%, which usually comes out cheaper than what the customer could buy it for. Is that too cheap? Likely so.
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  #35  
Old 10-16-2013
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Re: Hiring Contractors - Are component/part prices typically higher than online?

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Originally Posted by casey1999 View Post
I know all about what architects do. I have built two custom houses utilizing architects. My point is if one thinks trades people are out to get your money, then watch out for the professional architect. I interviewed many architects prior to choosing the one that designed my existing house. Most wanted a fee that was a percentage of the "ESTIMATED" construction cost. This estimate was an estimate the architect would be making. I see know reason why the architect should make a higher fee because I choose a 50 year shingle as opposed to a 20 year shingle. Same for counter tops, the architect spends no more time or skill to spec granite as compared to formica.

I finally found an architect that would design my house for a flat fee, one not based on construction costs. This was good as I acted as owner/builder and no general contractor was involved. Much of the work I sub contracted to licensed trades people. Although I would not recommend it, I never had a written contract with the trades people, only a hand shake. I ended up building the custom house for 1/2 the price a general contractor would have charged. For materials, I purchased these all myself, and arrange delivery, this helped with the cash flow for the trades people and this method is what they preferred.

I have no problem paying people what they are worth, and in many cases, I even give them a little extra for their efforts. In the end I ended up with a house I could never have afforded otherwise.

Your quote:
"The architect is usually selling a dream"
Yea, I agree, they are selling a dream...
Wow.... "what they are worth"... according to you Casey? I'm done with this discussion!
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  #36  
Old 10-16-2013
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Re: Hiring Contractors - Are component/part prices typically higher than online?

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Originally Posted by deniseO30 View Post
Wow.... "what they are worth"... according to you Casey? I'm done with this discussion!
Well, when people give me a quote for a job, I assume that is what they think there labor is worth. That is what I pay and as I said, I normally give them a little extra for their efforts.

Got a problem with that?
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  #37  
Old 10-17-2013
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Re: Hiring Contractors - Are component/part prices typically higher than online?

There are basically two diesel guys at our yard. One is highly experienced and highly knowledgeable. The other may be experienced, buy it seems mostly with routine things like commissioning, oil, filters, etc.

If you have a more complicated issue, the second guy is going to take substantially longer to do the job than the first. I have a problem paying more, just because the tech is less experienced or knowledgeable. I get billed the same hourly rate for both.

Let's face it, we all have employees that need to be managed to keep them moving along. How does that happen, when they are in the bilge of my boat alone for an afternoon? If it takes them an extra hour or two, I just get billed for it. I was once billed literally for a trainee. The yard even tried to look me in the eye and suggested that made sense that I pay substantially more than they estimated, because there guy was new.

While I completely understand that things can and do go wrong, causing jobs to cost more than they might have, I don't often get any indication to that affect. They just say it took longer and I learn it was the "other" guy.
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  #38  
Old 10-17-2013
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Re: Hiring Contractors - Are component/part prices typically higher than online?

"I get billed the same hourly rate for both."
Sounds like the two of them went out for a few beers and quite literally formed an illegal price fixing conspiracy.
Usually, whether it is doctors, plumbers, or painters, the guys who have more experience and a wider reputation charge more per hour, and the new guys charge less. Partly to attract business and partly because they know they're just not as good at it. Yet.
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Re: Hiring Contractors - Are component/part prices typically higher than online?

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
"I get billed the same hourly rate for both."
Sounds like the two of them went out for a few beers and quite literally formed an illegal price fixing conspiracy.
Usually, whether it is doctors, plumbers, or painters, the guys who have more experience and a wider reputation charge more per hour, and the new guys charge less. Partly to attract business and partly because they know they're just not as good at it. Yet.
They both work for the marina where I keep my boat. It just occurred to me that there is no way these two guys are paid the same by the marina, but they only bill us captives one standard rate.
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