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Thread: Am I an idiot and lose a job for “greed”?

  1. #26
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    Re: Am I an idiot and lose a job for “greed”?

    Quote Originally Posted by J93Welder View Post
    Materials in my area are more than that unfortunately. It was gonna come in around 500, but he wanted more finer details to it, travel and painting, etc. it didn’t seem too far off for what I was doing in my head at the time. I live in an expensive area.
    I wanna see the sketch. Where do you live that 7 sticks of 1" square costs $500?
    Who is John Galt?

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    Re: Am I an idiot and lose a job for “greed”?

    Yes, please tell us where you live and what your design for the bike racks is. It sounds like installing it is included too? Give the complete details and you'll get better responses. You can't charge more just because it's high end neighborhood.

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    Re: Am I an idiot and lose a job for “greed”?

    but I generally found that people go as high as $100 a foot for some material. I figured my price was much lower than that, like $30 a foot for material.
    I think I see where this went awry. Most people talking about charging 100/ft are talking about about fencing or rails, and are charging 100 linear ft of finished railings, not a total of the raw materials that constitute it...

    I still want to see the design.
    Who is John Galt?

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    Re: Am I an idiot and lose a job for “greed”?

    Quote Originally Posted by bassboy1 View Post
    I wanna see the sketch. Where do you live that 7 sticks of 1" square costs $500?
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    Heres the rough design, and he wanted 2 of these let me remind you. It was going to be a lot of material, time, finishing, yes included everything, travel, delivery, everything. I didn’t think charging around $2k was the worst possible price I could’ve charged but the concensus here is I’m an idiot.

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    Re: Am I an idiot and lose a job for “greed”?

    Quote Originally Posted by Welder Dave View Post
    Yes, please tell us where you live and what your design for the bike racks is. It sounds like installing it is included too? Give the complete details and you'll get better responses. You can't charge more just because it's high end neighborhood.
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    Heres the rough design, May have been longer or less, but it was going to be big to fit 6 bikes. No, it couldn’t be a dual sided rack, he didn’t want that, so it had to be this long. He also wanted decorative number plates on each stall, mounting and installation, and he wanted 2 of these. I didn’t think charging $2k each was that out there of a price but apparently it is. And I wasn’t charging higher because it was a high end neighborhood, it’s the cost of living around here.

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    Re: Am I an idiot and lose a job for “greed”?

    Quote Originally Posted by J93Welder View Post
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    Heres the rough design, May have been longer or less, but it was going to be big to fit 6 bikes. No, it couldn’t be a dual sided rack, he didn’t want that, so it had to be this long. He also wanted decorative number plates on each stall, mounting and installation, and he wanted 2 of these. I didn’t think charging $2k each was that out there of a price but apparently it is. And I wasn’t charging higher because it was a high end neighborhood, it’s the cost of living around here.
    Some questions:

    How many hours did you calculate this taking?

    What did you calculate as your hourly rate?

    What is your exact material cost?
    Who is John Galt?

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  8. #32
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    Re: Am I an idiot and lose a job for “greed”?

    Quote Originally Posted by bassboy1 View Post
    Some questions:

    How many hours did you calculate this taking?

    What did you calculate as your hourly rate?

    What is your exact material cost?
    It would probably take me close to 8 hours on each. Including cleaning up all the joints, prime and paint it good. Hourly rate $75/hr. Again, I didn’t think $2k for each was going to be such a backlash here.

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    Re: Am I an idiot and lose a job for “greed”?

    Quote Originally Posted by J93Welder View Post
    It would probably take me close to 8 hours on each. Including cleaning up all the joints, prime and paint it good. Hourly rate $75/hr. Again, I didn’t think $2k for each was going to be such a backlash here.
    16 hours at $75 comes out to $1200, plus $500 in material = um, $4200?

    I'm not going to say anything on the 16 hours. You know your equipment's capabilities. I will say that you should be able to get the material cheaper than that, no matter where you live, but that doesn't even sound like the crux of the problem here.

    I will give you some credit. For most of us starting out, the natural inclination is to undervalue our time, and charge too little. You've definitely avoided that.
    Who is John Galt?

  10. #34
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    Re: Am I an idiot and lose a job for “greed”?

    Quote Originally Posted by bassboy1 View Post
    16 hours at $75 comes out to $1200, plus $500 in material = um, $4200?

    I'm not going to say anything on the 16 hours. You know your equipment's capabilities. I will say that you should be able to get the material cheaper than that, no matter where you live, but that doesn't even sound like the crux of the problem here.

    I will give you some credit. For most of us starting out, the natural inclination is to undervalue our time, and charge too little. You've definitely avoided that.
    Sorry, let me break it down into simpler and more literal terms for you. I need to travel to the address which is a half hour away, so you figure an hour round trip twice in a perfect world? I’m not going to be there for 30 seconds, so I will have to discuss the install and whatever else the customer has needs for with this project.

    Then I need to go to the metal supplier and and get those “sticks” you talked about, and plates, and then drive it home, another hour round trip. And yes, maybe less than 8 hours per. But I’m not that stupid to charge the low end of what it’ll take hourly, and hit snags, so yes, I charged accordingly more on the hours aspect. Then, oh, another trip to the store to drive, get hardware for the job. Then the machine and gas, and the tools that I have to do this and may need to get. Oh, then markup that everyone does here. Seen it out there for 150% markup. I thought I was right in doing at least a little markup on the materials to counter the tank and a half of gas I’d be losing on this job.

    Also knowing that a bigger fab shop that he’s going to go to is going to charge the same amount. I also told him it will probably not go past $4k but it may be depending on where the second one was going to, which later came out that it was in another state, after I already posted it. That would’ve been 2 hour round trip drive that I’m willing to do, but charged accordingly. It’s called an estimate, which wasn’t what the final price would’ve been.

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    Re: Am I an idiot and lose a job for “greed”?

    You still haven't said where you live? How do you know a bigger fab shop would charge the same? Most of the pieces for your rack are the same length. Set up your saw or chop saw with a stop and it will save a significant amount of time. If the racks are the same or the only difference is length, tack the longer one together and use it as a jig to tack the other one. This would save a lot of time as well. It seems like while justifying the price you're also making excuses. Don't recall one rack was for another state. I can't see it taking a full 2 days for a properly equipped fab shop to build. Why not make a list and pick up everything you need in 1 trip? You make it sound like you need to make a separate trip for everything. I also think by how you named the thread you may have already answered your own question. Curious how much fabrication experience you have? Not be negative but estimating can be very difficult when you're just starting out.

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    Re: Am I an idiot and lose a job for “greed”?

    Quote Originally Posted by Welder Dave View Post
    You still haven't said where you live? How do you know a bigger fab shop would charge the same? Most of the pieces for your rack are the same length. Set up your saw or chop saw with a stop and it will save a significant amount of time. If the racks are the same or the only difference is length, tack the longer one together and use it as a jig to tack the other one. This would save a lot of time as well. It seems like while justifying the price you're also making excuses. Don't recall one rack was for another state. I can't see it taking a full 2 days for a properly equipped fab shop to build. Why not make a list and pick up everything you need in 1 trip? You make it sound like you need to make a separate trip for everything. I also think by how you named the thread you may have already answered your own question. Curious how much fabrication experience you have? Not be negative but estimating can be very difficult when you're just starting out.
    I have over a decade of fabrication experience, now work in aviation and aerospace welding but looking to get back into doing one off jobs and something different while actually making decent money for my extra time. No offense, but fab shops don’t pay ****. I’ve worked in them, and know what they charge. I also know places that charge near $4k for a set of generic stair railings too.

    I simply asked a question, the more input I give, the more **** I’m getting for no reason. I’m not defending my price. I’m saying it’s high but I’m saying what I was thinking in the time of why I bid high, I get it. It was high. I don’t know why I’m answering the same question, I can’t go back to the guy and say oh hey here’s a a grand off the price because I’m an idiot. I’m not saying it would take 16 hours it would probably take me 8, but things happen that could make it take longer and wanted to give a buffer, plus material mark up, plus travel. And the reason why I didn’t put that the other bike rack was going to another state is because I didn’t know till after I posted this, but was skeptical when he initially messaged me.

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    Re: Am I an idiot and lose a job for “greed”?

    A customer doesn't care what a fab shop pays workers, they care what a fab shop charges. Twice as much time because things could happen? I think it's just a case where you started seeing $$$$ signs without spending enough time to thoroughly work out an estimate. I'm still guessing you haven't done a lot of custom work. Why is it such a big secret where you live?

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    Re: Am I an idiot and lose a job for “greed”?

    Quote Originally Posted by Welder Dave View Post
    A customer doesn't care what a fab shop pays workers, they care what a fab shop charges. Twice as much time because things could happen? I think it's just a case where you started seeing $$$$ signs without spending enough time to thoroughly work out an estimate. I'm still guessing you haven't done a lot of custom work. Why is it such a big secret where you live?
    I live in Massachusetts. And I also wish I was born as perfect as you when beginning on my own. Let me rephrase, I am not DEFENDING what my bid was, I am EXPLAINING what I was thinking when I sent the bid. I can't believe how hard at reading this is for you. "Twice as much time?" I don't know what it would take, I didn't get the job so I guess I won't know. Good thing it's pretty much a hobby shop and my day job pays my mortgage, huh? No one likes a hero under cutter that does jobs for scab labor, I've clearly submerged myself with people like that. Still don't think I've done a lot of custom work? What do you want? A dick showing contest? I personally think around $3k was a fair price for 2 hand crafted fabricated 6 bike stall rack. Guess I get my "sticks" too expensive around here
    Last edited by J93Welder; 04-17-2020 at 08:42 PM.

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    Re: Am I an idiot and lose a job for “greed”?

    Why are you so defensive? Everything you posted pointed to a lack of experience in estimating a job. That's neither a good thing nor a bad thing. It is what it is and you can learn from it for the future. You titled this thread so you must have had some inkling you might have been high on the price.

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    Re: Am I an idiot and lose a job for “greed”?

    Quote Originally Posted by bassboy1 View Post
    I think I see where this went awry. Most people talking about charging 100/ft are talking about about fencing or rails, and are charging 100 linear ft of finished railings, not a total of the raw materials that constitute it...

    I still want to see the design.
    That is the ballpark, but for fabricated, painted, and installed

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    Re: Am I an idiot and lose a job for “greed”?

    Quote Originally Posted by Welder Dave View Post
    Why are you so defensive? Everything you posted pointed to a lack of experience in estimating a job. That's neither a good thing nor a bad thing. It is what it is and you can learn from it for the future. You titled this thread so you must have had some inkling you might have been high on the price.
    I’m being defensive? You are yet to tell me what you would have done? What you’d mark up, what you’d charge hourly, what you’d charge for mileage, for mobile, anything. I was explaining what my rationale was when I bid the job so others could say “oh well you don’t do that, don’t charge this, just charge this and that” instead I’m told I don’t have experience in doing what I’m doing, told my material is too high, and that because I bid high I have never done custom work. I have, but I’m not doing this so I can be a $20 special-hobbyist shop, or for a case of beer. I’m doing this because it’s clearly needed around my parts, and I’m not doing it for free. But I also want to be fair, all while not under cutting other business owners too. But I’m still yet to hear any constructive criticism, only attacks on what I know.

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    Re: Am I an idiot and lose a job for “greed”?

    I can fabricate 35ft of railings for $500 of materials, and that's with solid posts, and pickets, I'm in CT, not that far away....

    And no you're not submerged in people who undercut everyone just to get the job, we fabricate for a living.

    Idk what else to say, you did ask for feedback...

    I'd charge $850 each plus materials, which I guess would cost around $200-$250

    For a small job like this, I've found that you can't nit pick the customer and charge for every little trip to the hardware or the jobsite, the job simply isn't big enough to soak up all those costs.

    Sometimes you have to drive for an hour to do a 4ft handrail, that's how it works sometimes unfortunately.

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  20. #43
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    Re: Am I an idiot and lose a job for “greed”?

    Yeah you're being defensive. If you felt justified in your estimate you wouldn't have started a thread titled Am I an idiot and lose a job for "greed?" Nobody says you have to do it for free. I think a lot of people the first question to the customer would be, Do you have a budget in mind? Then you go from there. If the customer says under $1000 you say you can't do it for that or maybe you could build one rack if he wanted to paint it and install it himself. I just asked if you did much custom work. I think most people would take a bunch of notes and spend a day or so coming up with a workable plan before offering a price. Paint extra, install extra, etc. Then the customer could decide what works best for them. It's no different than someone buying a new car, you try to find something that suit their needs. You don't just head over to the Cadillacs.

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    Re: Am I an idiot and lose a job for “greed”?

    Quote Originally Posted by Welder Dave View Post
    Yeah you're being defensive. If you felt justified in your estimate you wouldn't have started a thread titled Am I an idiot and lose a job for "greed?" Nobody says you have to do it for free. I think a lot of people the first question to the customer would be, Do you have a budget in mind? Then you go from there. If the customer says under $1000 you say you can't do it for that or maybe you could build one rack if he wanted to paint it and install it himself. I just asked if you did much custom work. I think most people would take a bunch of notes and spend a day or so coming up with a workable plan before offering a price. Paint extra, install extra, etc. Then the customer could decide what works best for them. It's no different than someone buying a new car, you try to find something that suit their needs. You don't just head over to the Cadillacs.
    No I'm with that, I agree! I just felt like I was explaining I was wrong, you were saying I was wrong, but I just wanted to know how to correct this. I don't want to make enemies here, I just want to learn from my mistakes and understand what I did wrong. I also like the idea of asking what they think it'll cost too. Thanks.

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    Re: Am I an idiot and lose a job for “greed”?

    Quote Originally Posted by J93Welder View Post
    I’m being defensive? You are yet to tell me what you would have done? What you’d mark up, what you’d charge hourly, what you’d charge for mileage, for mobile, anything.
    I have no dog in this fight, but I have seen a couple people telling you how they would calculate it. You do seem to get defensive over the fact that people didn't seem to give you the answer you wanted to hear.

    From your response it seems you wanted people to confirm that you weren't out of you mind on how you were quoting.

    I don't run a welding shop for my hobby, I only weld for myself, so I don't bid projects. I will say that there's an art to being able to bid a job, just as there is in being able to do it. I have seen Jody Collier (Welding Tips And Tricks) mention the way he will calculate a job is to calculate the welding by the inch, but I can't remember if that was $1/inch or how he calculated it and can't find the video online at the moment. That might be a good place to start though, at $1/inch for the welding. I would calculate marking up your materials about 30%, that's what a contractor would do for any type of construction, where 20%-30% is not uncommon.

    If you calculate your welding per time, and materials per cost + markup, that should work out to a project unless you miscalculate. Any yahoo can calculate +-50% of the real time spent, but being able to accurately calculate is where the art comes into play. Also, I understand your concern with travel time and time spent with the customer, but you need to be as efficient as you can. The customer shouldn't have to pay the same rate for you driving, although gas is also a concern. This is a grey area, and some people will do what they need to do in order to get the job, so they may discount that time some that they spend traveling. Forklift repair is the worst with this, they do charge the same rate for travel which is typically $125/hr in my area, but some places are willing to charge a flat rate for the travel which is more fair, IMO.

    If you want to calculate your plans accurately, figure how long it takes you to weld an inch, calculate the amount of inches per your plans, add the cost of materials and then the markup and it should get you into the ballpark.

    Just saying you need to make money and you're not doing it for fun, blah-blah-blah doesn't help anyone and it certainly won't allow anyone to help you.

    I will say this. I often work by the hour. I have no materials, it's purely consulting. Sometimes I have to do extra work to please the customer, that's just the way it is. I will sometimes figure that I'm not being 100% productive and add a tad of extra time to make up for that. We all have our own way of doing this, but your customers are going to expect you to be working productively for the money they pay you. Calculate appropriately. I've also worked with people that start/stop the clock on the minute, they feel the customer should pay them even for the time they go sit on the $#!TTer for 20 minutes looking at their cell phone. I don't do that.

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    Re: Am I an idiot and lose a job for “greed”?

    Quote Originally Posted by TraditionalToolworks View Post
    I have no dog in this fight, but I have seen a couple people telling you how they would calculate it. You do seem to get defensive over the fact that people didn't seem to give you the answer you wanted to hear.

    From your response it seems you wanted people to confirm that you weren't out of you mind on how you were quoting.

    I don't run a welding shop for my hobby, I only weld for myself, so I don't bid projects. I will say that there's an art to being able to bid a job, just as there is in being able to do it. I have seen Jody Collier (Welding Tips And Tricks) mention the way he will calculate a job is to calculate the welding by the inch, but I can't remember if that was $1/inch or how he calculated it and can't find the video online at the moment. That might be a good place to start though, at $1/inch for the welding. I would calculate marking up your materials about 30%, that's what a contractor would do for any type of construction, where 20%-30% is not uncommon.

    If you calculate your welding per time, and materials per cost + markup, that should work out to a project unless you miscalculate. Any yahoo can calculate +-50% of the real time spent, but being able to accurately calculate is where the art comes into play. Also, I understand your concern with travel time and time spent with the customer, but you need to be as efficient as you can. The customer shouldn't have to pay the same rate for you driving, although gas is also a concern. This is a grey area, and some people will do what they need to do in order to get the job, so they may discount that time some that they spend traveling. Forklift repair is the worst with this, they do charge the same rate for travel which is typically $125/hr in my area, but some places are willing to charge a flat rate for the travel which is more fair, IMO.

    If you want to calculate your plans accurately, figure how long it takes you to weld an inch, calculate the amount of inches per your plans, add the cost of materials and then the markup and it should get you into the ballpark.

    Just saying you need to make money and you're not doing it for fun, blah-blah-blah doesn't help anyone and it certainly won't allow anyone to help you.

    I will say this. I often work by the hour. I have no materials, it's purely consulting. Sometimes I have to do extra work to please the customer, that's just the way it is. I will sometimes figure that I'm not being 100% productive and add a tad of extra time to make up for that. We all have our own way of doing this, but your customers are going to expect you to be working productively for the money they pay you. Calculate appropriately. I've also worked with people that start/stop the clock on the minute, they feel the customer should pay them even for the time they go sit on the $#!TTer for 20 minutes looking at their cell phone. I don't do that.
    Thanks for the input. I know theres many different ways, other than the one I chose. I may have seen that video you referenced too, I might dig it up. I think in all honesty, I would charge by the hour, and every tenth of an hour. My normal day job I clock every 1/10. I don't think I would be that greedy to charge to take a ****, unless I'm at my normal day job of course. I'm just overwhelmed with screwing up again, I will look through the post and see what seems to be the best markup and go from there, start small.

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    Re: Am I an idiot and lose a job for “greed”?

    I would take your design to local fab shop and get a price from them.
    They might be able to do it for less and then you just install.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    Re: Am I an idiot and lose a job for “greed”?

    My dad used to say don't worry about the jobs you don't get, worry about the jobs you have. You won't get them all and in some cases it's a good thing.

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    Re: Am I an idiot and lose a job for “greed”?

    Quote Originally Posted by BD1 View Post
    I would take your design to local fab shop and get a price from them.
    They might be able to do it for less and then you just install.
    What's the fun in that?

    Quote Originally Posted by J93Welder View Post
    Thanks for the input. I know theres many different ways, other than the one I chose. I may have seen that video you referenced too, I might dig it up. I think in all honesty, I would charge by the hour, and every tenth of an hour. My normal day job I clock every 1/10. I don't think I would be that greedy to charge to take a ****, unless I'm at my normal day job of course. I'm just overwhelmed with screwing up again, I will look through the post and see what seems to be the best markup and go from there, start small.
    My current job I bill by the hour, and limited to 40 hours a week. However, I'm not at the bottom tier entry level pay, and on top of that the company let's me work from home currently and that will continue most likely until July, at which time they may ask us to go back in the office.

    I treat this like a full time job pretty much, given the circumstances, since my 40 hours are like clockwork.

    You seem to have a good handle on it, and don't worry, WeldingWeb can rattle people like few places on the web. I've had my share of misunderstandings with folks here.

    There's certainly some smart people here, and there's some rude ones also...

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    Re: Am I an idiot and lose a job for “greed”?

    wow.
    one thing i usually do on stuff like this, that eases/benefits me in about a dozen major ways, and is fair for both parties. i tell customer," i will put together an order of materials at my local steel dist on my acct. which gives a small discount, then you call in and pay for it w/ credit card"

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