PeterO

Who do you pick?

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I need to replace a 25 year old driveway and contacted 3 companies- got bids of (for exact same description of work) of $3,500, $4,500 and $7,000.  In another job I’ve been trying to fill I want wallpaper installed in kitchen and adjacent mud room  (old paper removed and walls primed) and got proposals of 12 rolls/$480, 14 rolls/$750 and 16 rolls/$1,000 - for the same job.  Makes you crazy.  The range of bids for the EXACT same job description are all over the place.

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Description of work and materials used could differ.   How much gravel is going in driveway as base and how many inches of asphalt on top.   I had a guy give me a quote and I told him I wanted three inches of gravel and 3 asphalt.  and his partner workers brought two of gravel to fill 4 inches thinking I wouldnt notice.  When they had to lay the asphalt the guy was bitching he had to use more asphalt  and I got a great job out of the deal. All because he tried to do it cheaper for himself by skimping on another few yards of gravel.  

Had a roofer quote me a roof price and I contracted for plywood.  He tried to use osb board when he thought I wasnt home.  

Contractors are slick tricksters..not all.   But know your materials and ask them what they are using.  It could make the difference in the disparities.  Also for wallpaper ask how much waste they account for. You should be able to estimate your square footage and figure who is off by so much.

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Lay all the bids related to each specific job out in front of you and compare each to the others. Make copies if they are not originally sent by email. Highlight each step, what’s included with each. What’s not included. Check reviews and ask for references, yes you’ll only get the best ones of course, but you can check up. Call them and ask too what’s not included and what is.

 

Once you’ve made your mind up which to use, get certificate of ins from them and call the ins company to verify its active. The contractor can not just hand you a copy it has to come from the ins themselves. If it expires prior to work completion date you have to get a new updated version. Once work is complete and at the each phase of payment time, do not give them payment until you have them sign a release of Lien. This goes for their supplier too, they can come after you for materials not paid for. Suppliers all the time ask for job names on their end for record. Your name and address will be on those material sheets. A personal attorney if you have one can get you those papers. 

 

There is nothing that says you can’t get additional bid or two to see the narrow range start to show up of pricing. 

 

Once you've signed that contract don’t go back and ask for cheaper from them. You will get screwed by doing so. All the price negotiated is done prior to signing. 

Edited by saltfisherman

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6 hours ago, saltfisherman said:

Lay all the bids related to each specific job out in front of you and compare each to the others. Make copies if they are not originally sent by email. Highlight each step, what’s included with each. What’s not included. Check reviews and ask for references, yes you’ll only get the best ones of course, but you can check up. Call them and ask too what’s not included and what is.

 

Once you’ve made your mind up which to use, get certificate of ins from them and call the ins company to verify its active. The contractor can not just hand you a copy it has to come from the ins themselves. If it expires prior to work completion date you have to get a new updated version. Once work is complete and at the each phase of payment time, do not give them payment until you have them sign a release of Lien. This goes for their supplier too, they can come after you for materials not paid for. Suppliers all the time ask for job names on their end for record. Your name and address will be on those material sheets. A personal attorney if you have one can get you those papers. 

 

There is nothing that says you can’t get additional bid or two to see the narrow range start to show up of pricing. 

 

Once you've signed that contract don’t go back and ask for cheaper from them. You will get screwed by doing so. All the price negotiated is done prior to signing. 

Are you all right? Seriously? A release of lien? Good luck to you...….

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5 hours ago, nightfighter said:

Are you all right? Seriously? A release of lien? Good luck to you...….

Yes a release of lien. Any company you do business with can put a lien on you and you’d never know until you go for a loan or sell the home. 

 

Good luck getting it cleared up a multitude of years later. You’ll pay for that job twice. 

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I'm impressed you were able to find 3 paperhangers to show up.

First point of order, measure for yourself and calculate how much paper you will need. There are on-line calculators that make it easy.

Next I would check references.

 

IMO, 480 sounds low. $40/roll is a good price, but kitchens have a lot of items to cut around. I would be afraid that they would rush the job to stay on budget.

 

On the other hand,  $1,000 sounds high. $62.50 a roll is a bit pricey. 

 

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My experience is the guy that is a lot higher has more work than he can handle but will make time if your willing to over pay. I hire sub contractors in various fields and see it a lot when the economy is rolling and they are in high demand.  I could be wrong just a guess. Good luck with your projects

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Depends on the paper you pick   The more money the paper , the more the cost.   I haven done it in a while but it was  double the cost of the roll at one time.  Also the footage in the roll ( about 4 drops is average ) 

and extra for more  detail   

Taking the old paper of depends also. Wall Tex vinyl is easy . Pulls off in a hole sheet , paper vinyl coated is a bitch to take off. ( have to scratch it ) More money.  Wall prep ? Depends on how much prep  Commercial paper { 48”). More money    

Grass cloth  more money

Double cuts more money

One time I had a lady , wanted me to lay out a Muriel on a wall  the Muriel cost $1800.00  4 sheets  Double cut and trimmed down on four sides.  

She said I will give you a Hundred dollars?   One mistake and I would own it

no thank you 

Get the size  and the height of the room deduct for windows and doors  Get an extra role Incase,  so you don’t run short . That way you have the same dye. Lot  and you can return it if not used Sometimes they deduce 10%. But worth it .  

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22 hours ago, PeterO said:

I need to replace a 25 year old driveway and contacted 3 companies- got bids of (for exact same description of work) of $3,500, $4,500 and $7,000...............

 

There was a thread recently about someone else getting quotes for an asphalt driveway, and he had a similar issue as you, followed up by a nightmare after the work was done.

 

It may be worth searching for it.  I looked, but can't find it.  Maybe someone else remembers.

 

Guy had multiple bids, was advised to ask specifics about materials, went with who he gave a deposit to (I think), and then had massive problems with the quality of the work.  Posted pics.  Anyone remember?

Edited by JoeyZac

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7 mins ago, JoeyZac said:

 

There was a thread recently about someone else getting quotes for an asphalt driveway, and he had a similar issue as you, followed up by a nightmare after the work was done.

 

It may be worth searching for it.  I looked, but can't find it.  Maybe someone else remembers.

 

Guy had multiple bids, was advised to ask specifics about materials, went with who he gave a deposit to (I think), and then had massive problems with the quality of the work.  Posted pics.  Anyone remember?

Yup, rang a bell. 

 

 

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8 mins ago, PlumFishing said:

Yup, rang a bell. 

 

 

 

I looked at that one too, but I don't think that's it.  The thread I'm thinking of had pics showing several trouble spots where you could see the thickness of the asphalt was totally insufficient, and there was shoddy work done on the edges.  Driving me nuts that I can't find it.

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6 mins ago, JoeyZac said:

 

I looked at that one too, but I don't think that's it.  The thread I'm thinking of had pics showing several trouble spots where you could see the thickness of the asphalt was totally insufficient, and there was shoddy work done on the edges.  Driving me nuts that I can't find it.

Found part 2

 

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You are dwelling to much on other people's nightmares.   If you are comfortable with your contractor and have every detail laid out you should be fine.   Dont leave them alone when they do the work, be there so you can verify it's done to your contract and standards.  You will be fine.   Trust your gut.   Cheaper prices are not always best.   Middle guy probably best bet with references.    Dont pay too much  up front...you will be fine.    All contractors try to cut corners if they can when your not looking.   Always be on top of them but not a royal pain and they will respect you more.    Guy who did my kitchen used some crappy 2 x 4s and tried to tell me they were fine.  All he had to do was return them for better quality ones.    I called him on them and even had inspector point them out to get him to change them.  If I didnt stay on top of him alot of things would have been issues.  In the end it came out nice but I learned alot hiring this jerk....   be your own inspector and spell out every detail In  your contract...down to nails or screws I  sheetrock..know what your getting for your money....you will be fine.

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