Day rate anybody?

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by tthomass, Sep 9, 2007.

  1. tthomass

    tthomass LawnSite Gold Member
    from N. VA
    Messages: 3,497

    I was wondering if anybody on here pays their 'guys' a day rate. Not an hourly rate or a salary but a day rate.

    I know a drainage contractor that pays this way. Says if he doesn't really care for the person or no experience/new he was $90 per day and up to $125 per day is what his top guy makes.

    I for one pay a salary. Guy I just lost (school) was an hourly rate of $10. I like the day rate idea I guess because its more like salary only perhaps no real up keep on the hours??

    I believe this contractors days vary 8-10hrs a day start to finish. I am attracked to such a way of wage due to simplicity. Not needing to figure taxes every week and better budgeting really.

    He's also got something worked out with rain days but I don't recall how that went. He does however very much like the way he does it, employees don't seem to mind and has found it to be the best thing for him. Ease I suppose?

    So, any insight anybody care to share?
  2. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    $125 a day is rather low for your top guy.

    Maybe I'm just used to the northwest, but out here, skilled guys make $20-$40 an hour.

    So a daily salary would probably be at least $250.
  3. tthomass

    tthomass LawnSite Gold Member
    from N. VA
    Messages: 3,497

    Its not my guy, its the drainage guys guy. I'm just seeing if anyone structures their wages on a day rate scale.

    In my area, a good forman is worth about $40,000-$50,000 salary. Others are hourly from $7.25 (H2B) up to $18hr.

    Again though, trying to get insight on day rate wages as it is new to me.
  4. P.Services

    P.Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,319

    i know a bunch of people that do tree work getting paid like this. the reason for it is , one day they are working there a$$ of ready to die at the end of the day and other days they pick up twigs with one hand and the bottle of pop never leaves the other. it just makes them feel like they are getting payed good for the hard work they do and payed good for the easy work also.
  5. Adam's Lawn and Garden

    Adam's Lawn and Garden LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 306

    There is a post on here about an article on a guy who does maintenace. Although maintenance and installation are different ball games, the same concepts can be used. When people get paid a flat rate per day, they will want to work quicker to increase how much they want to make. That makes them develop ways to increase poductivity and efficiency to get jobs done quicker. But what makes this hard for installation, is making sure your guys continue to keep their quality up. And if they don't care about that, get rid of them.

  6. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,260

    I think it makes sense to pay your top guy salary. Anyone under that should be hourly.
  7. cleancutccl

    cleancutccl LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 698

    I pay a day rate, if we start working that morning they get paid for the day, regardless of when we stop working or get rained out. I still have my guys clock in every morning to keep track of hours, and if we go way over normal working hours of 40-45 hrs week I will pay out a bonus. To handle the quality issue I pay out bonuses based on hours to complete vs estimated hours only after I check the work done each day. If there are major mistakes that have happened its fixed on their own time. I think doing a day rate makes things very simple and actually makes bidding easier as you can think of jobs by the day instead of by the hours, giving you a little extra room for things that were not planned for.
  8. gammon landscaping

    gammon landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 550

    i am a almost solo installer, i got a guy that helps me from time to time, he gets a 100 a day, it makes my life alot simpler. i don't work by the hour so why should i pay like this. i figure jobs by the day so it just makes it better for me. and i hate all the clocking out for lunch...when did we quit when we left the job or got back to the job stuff. i would rather give 12 an hour than 10 and then pay for windshield time. i know it is the same but it seems that i feel better about it
  9. Picture Perfect Pavers

    Picture Perfect Pavers LawnSite Member
    Messages: 58

    Dont squabble about pay by the day or hour. Be able to dictate what gets done in a day and that is when the day ends. Give the workers what they want but get production for what you give. Its all about getting done what you wanted to in a day. I pay minimum of $150.00 a day and up to $300.00 per day but I dictate what a day is which is most important. With a crew of 5 guys I put down 3 to 4 hundred square feet of pavers a day. I have a salary of $950.00 per day. I can usually start by 7 and we are done by 7 it boils down to 60 hours at $950.00 which is an average of approximately $16 an hour. I buy coffee in the morning get lunch delivered in the afternoon and a trip to 7 eleven in the evening. overall I am good for spending about $1100.00 a day fuel included. Always set a goal for the day and when its accomplished the day is over. Treat the help good and they will treat you good.
    Any mistakes on the job I penalize them by taking money away. If i have to send them back I take a minimum of $100.00 divided by the 5 of them. I dont care if it is 1 piece of paper they learned the first time.
  10. PatriotLandscape

    PatriotLandscape LawnSite Bronze Member
    from MA
    Messages: 1,209

    it is illegal to pay by the day here in Massachusetts. Check with your local state secretaries office before you start such a venture you can get yourself in a lot of trouble.

    Salary is different because a salary does not change from week to week.

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