View Full Version : Fixing an unfinished job
04-10-2002, 06:54 PM
Just went out to a builder's own house (never done work for him) to see a walkway and two small patios that someone else started but didn't have the knowledge to complete. I explained to the builder/owner that 8" stonedust base was really not the way to go but its already there and he doesn't want to change it. I really should take pictures of this "how not to do it" piece of work. So, all the materials are on-site. He just needs a pro to come in and finish the base correction, screed in the sand and lay the holland stone in a basket-weave pattern. He wants no cuts. I will have to excavate the sides of the walkway and patio, since there is no base under the edging. Less than 100 sq. ft is already laid, which I will likely take up. Whole project is 1440 sq ft. He is promising more work, of course, but I reminded him that I had to pay my guys now and not with promises.
So, how much is a fair price?
04-10-2002, 07:02 PM
I would price it like any other lockstone. Use your regular sqare foot price minus material costs. In cases like this I add an extra 20% fudge factor just to cover the little extras that show up. (not enough sweep in sand, not enough edgeing and things like that) Labour is one of the biggest costs of lockstone
04-10-2002, 07:08 PM
Thanks. Just a clarification: additional sand, etc. will be supplied by builder. The lion's share of the labor is also done---only a little excavation, maybe take out a little base material, re-compact and correct base grade. Put in base for edging, screed and lay pavers.
Im not one for telling anyone what to charge ... How many man/hours do you figure ?... possibly 60 ? .. maybe 70 ? Cost of edging?
The "ol " promise of more work routine ... price every job as if you will never get any more from him ... builders are famous for that saying ... he will tell the next guy the same.
My first question is,.......why did the first guy leave?
Next my price would be about $10K or about $7 per sq ft.
I hate builders, lowest form of ....................
One more thing, is there a lien filed against the house? If the first guy walked off and material suppliers have not gotten paid there might be, have fun getting paid then.
After all of the above questions where answered then I might do the work. (FAt chance):D
04-10-2002, 08:43 PM
As I was readinng the description, I was thinking my advice would be to run screaming, but it looks like Paul already thought of that. :D
Why does he want no cuts? Does he think the price will go way up with cuts? I usually get a little nervous when people tell me that...
He doesn't want to pay to have the job done right, he's not a good judge of people/quality, and...If he's been in business for awhile, shouldn't he already know of a few good outfits he should have hired first (instead of second)?.
04-10-2002, 09:33 PM
Everything about this job says 'walk away'.
The man already seems to want thing his way or no way......like most builders, and most likely wants it for free, so what ever price you give him he will squalk. Even worse, if you do give him a legitimate price, he will most likely hold it over your head the next time around (If that ever does happen) and he'll bring back the old, "well, can you cut me a break on this one, I mean, I gave you what you wanted at my house!'
Perhaps the drought is beginning to hit your area like it is mine and you are a little less picky about work in fear of not having any, but I would still pass this job up.
By the way, how does one install a herring bone with no cuts..........is that possible? I wouldn't do the job just for the threat that someone might come along and see the mess.
On the other hand.........(putting my foot in my mouth)......if the builder has a lot of work lined up for you...maybe worth the headahes......but I think most of us know builders are more glitter than gold.
04-13-2002, 12:01 AM
Good luck you'll need it. Does he have a credit card to preapprove it on? Like the other guys said check for leins on house, etc... call some people he has built houses for. If he is good (which there has to be at least one in the great US of A) LOL then he should have some good references for you to call. Just like you for him. P.S. Let us all know your decision. Tough call.
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