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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Avondale, AZ
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    Default Labor Pricing HELP

    OK fellas I need some input from you guys. From time to time I do fabrication work for my company, usually consisting of steel counter supports, legs, and sub frames for granite, with the occasional architectural piece here and there. So up until now I have been doin the hit or miss style of estimation for pricing material + mark-up + what ever seems right.

    Is there a going rate for labor, I'm sure it varies depending on the application but I have a good size project that I need to bid and am not sure where I need to be. The project is some free standing architectural canopies for a penthouse. They will be holding shades and they will be powder coated by others so everything needs to be finished quality.

    Thanks for the input ahead of time guys
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Anchorage AK
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    Default

    Are you licensed bonded and insured?

    Are you paying all the fees that your competitor is required to pay?

    Until I know this, I can't help, and I think all the other small business owners should answer the same. Sure as poo he lives near one of us and will be undercutting you by not playing on the same field but reaping the benefits + not paying the associated costs of business ownership.

    TJ

  3. #3
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    Sep 2008
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    Saskatoon, Sask, Canada
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    Default

    SinGear I don't care if your have your own big business and are licensed bonded and insured or if you are some guy who does the odd side job once in a while for some spare cash. Its none of my business.

    I've been working hard at starting my own business and have had the same question. This is what I do and in no way am I saying that this is the right way but I have had to figure it out on my own so I am open to better ways if someones got some

    I look at the whole job and break t down bit by bit.Ffigure out how much steel is needed for the job. then figure out how much steel you actualy have to buy i.e. if you need a total of 28' of square tubing but it comes in 20' lengths then you may have to buy 40'.

    Then I look at how much prep work there is like cutting and drilling and try to figure out how long a cut will take me to set up and cut then multiply that by how many cuts I need to do or holes or whatever. you get the idea.

    Then the same for fitting and then the same for welding and so on until every little detail is acounted for then add it all together for a total multiply buy your hourly rate add in a percentage for supplies (gass, rods, etc) and there you go.

    That works for me and if anyone knows a better way then let me know like I said I am new at the hole price quote thing.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    881

    Default

    If you were hoping I'd say "charge X dollars for this or that,"
    you're in for a disappointment.

    Preparing a good bid is a science and an art. And it will make or break you.

    The simple part is knowing that you should tally all costs associated with doing the job including the value of your time. Then include a healthy profit and an allowance for the unforseen.

    Major pitfalls:

    Not planning enough-The more time you spend thinking about how you are going to execute a job and planning every detail, the less unforseen things there could possibly be. But you can never eliminate the unforseen. Murphy is out there.

    Failing to include all costs associated with the job-Do you own a garage? How long will it be until the next job comes? 2 weeks? Are you including 2 weeks of your property taxes in the cost of the job? How many miles will you put on the truck going back and for to the job and to the supply store? If you get 100 jobs out of your welder, are you including 1% of the replacement cost of the welder?

    Failing get accurate costs for things you know you are going to need-Did you know there was a 10% surcharge added at the steel dealer last week? Did you know that it really costs around $1 per mile to operate a pickup truck?

    Failing to realize the time value of money-BIGGIE-Especially now in this time of high inflation and sliding value of the dollar, if you have to tie up a large amount of money in materials for say, 2 months, are you including interest on the money you will have tied up?

    Failing to plan for the expected-Expect to eat a job here or there for whatever reason... customer went bankrupt, you got shut down and couldn't finish, owner tries to redesign your job in progress, you got sick. Whatever the reason, we all know these things happen. If you are out there working, you may eat one job in 20 just 'cause you have to. Add 5% to total job to cover these situations. You can make a profit on 19 jobs and the one that went to heck can erase that right away.

    Lowballing-Don't try to compete with jacklegs by cutting your price. What are you going to cut out of your price? You costs should include everything that costs or is likely to cost you, and nothing else. If you lower it, you'll have to gamble that bad things never happen to you. Besides, they'll call you back to fix the jackleg's work when it becomes clear that he was using the customer as a welding school.

    Failing to figure the price of NOT getting the job!-Don't be cocky and highball just because you think you can milk it. You won't get it and you'll have to pay your bills without work.

    That said, only you can figure your price. Someone else's price is exactly that... someone elses price. Oh, and if you run around without being legit, it will catch up with you. Nothing in business is quite as embarassing as getting shut down by the building inspector because you thought you'd save a few bucks on this short job by not getting the permit. How do I know?

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Avondale, AZ
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    Default

    Bodybagger and MegaArc

    I really apprecaite your input and honestly that was about the response I figured I would get just looking for some additional input here and there never helps. I just applied for my bussiness license taking one more step to become a little more legit. Gotta start somewhere but also gotta feed the family first.

    Thanks guys for your input
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Anchorage AK
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    344

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SinGear View Post
    TJ well I can only assume that you must live near me seeing as how my town and state are shown and yours arenít.

    As far as your response ya know what in general I try to be polite and understanding to different views but ya know what f@ck you, did you start your business out of the box with full license and bonding? Who am I to ask because of your reaction Iím sure your were totally legit from the get go, never doing a under the table side job here and there for some extra cash until you could get a reputation and a clientele to maybe go out on your own. You went fully legit from the git go, and if you did more power to you, Iím proud of you. From your snap judgment Iím sure you also learned everything you know from books on your own and never had to humble yourself enough to ask someone for a tip, especially if they were a small business owner and heaven forbid you werenít paying all the overhead they were.

    We all learn in different ways, some by book some by experience and some even have to ask a question of others more experienced then them once in a while. So hey sorry if I happen to steal work from you, because Iím sure youíve never underbid a competitor because his overhead was higher than yours. We all have to pay the same F@uckin taxes, and if the client doesnít care if your licensed and bonded then itís their issue, I guarantee my work no matter what, not because of a paper but because I take pride in what I do.

    As you can see I fixed the issue of where in the world I am, thanks for pointing it out.

    Underbid all you want, just play on the same field as the people you are competing with. If the people you are taking work from are not licensed bonded and insured then more power to you.

    Clearly that is not the case, or you would have humbled your self.


    I did start out day one with a bond liability insurance, work comp insurance, followed two weeks later with the two licenses I need. Total spent $1900.00.

    Bye.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    22

    Default pricing?

    How to price your work is often the biggest challenge for a new shop. Since I deal exclusively in ornamental ironwork and work exclusively for a high-end designer on multi-mil$$ homes, pricing is more of an art than a science.

    Sometimes I charge by the hour, that is pretty simple, hours * rate plus materials plus a markup of about 25 to 50 percent on materials.

    Sometimes it is by the job, some custom who-knows-what design based on 17th century French ironwork, whatever. If I am making 100 of them, I will get better as time goes by. Otherwise, I'm always doing "onsies" or prototypes and those kill you, time-wise. You can't always charge for that.

    So, I "ball-park" it based on how long I think it will take. I look at how much I'll gross minus materials and make a decision to bid the job or not. If I get the job, I do the absolutely best job possible... design, construction, finish. If I think it will take 250 hours and it takes 400. Tough on my part.

    I don't want all the business, I couldn't do it all anyway. I have no competition other than the big companies that farm their work out to Mexico. My work is my signature and my customers are always satisfied.
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Saskatoon, Sask, Canada
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FATFAB View Post
    As you can see I fixed the issue of where in the world I am, thanks for pointing it out.

    Underbid all you want, just play on the same field as the people you are competing with. If the people you are taking work from are not licensed bonded and insured then more power to you.

    Clearly that is not the case, or you would have humbled your self.


    I did start out day one with a bond liability insurance, work comp insurance, followed two weeks later with the two licenses I need. Total spent $1900.00.

    Bye.
    Thats great. Do you mind if I ask where you got the $1900 from. I know you probably worked real hard for it and saved. But not all of us an do that. Some people have a wife (or husband for all the ladies out there) and kids and sometimes money is tight. Not everyone can save that kind of money then dicide it would be a good idea to gable it on a new business that you haven't tried frst (I am not saying that you did it this way this is just a statement to prove a point for all I know you went to the bathroom one day and sh*t money out your *ss). I personaly had to do a few side jobs and work my *ss off to get my business started.

    If someone has the guts to ask for help then either give some helpful advice or simply say you disagree. You don't need to try to get everyone else to not help. You trying to make it harder for SinGear to build his business enough to do it by the book is worse than steeling customers. Wich I do beleive you were saying he was taking customs from legit busness people like you.

    It's hard enough to start a business without you trying to make it F**KING harder by telling people not to help him.

    Now I would like to say I am very sorry to everyone (other than fatfab) who I offended.
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Anchorage AK
    Posts
    344

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mega Arc 5040DD View Post
    Thats great. Do you mind if I ask where you got the $1900 from. I know you probably worked real hard for it and saved. But not all of us an do that. Some people have a wife (or husband for all the ladies out there) and kids and sometimes money is tight. Not everyone can save that kind of money then dicide it would be a good idea to gable it on a new business that you haven't tried frst (I am not saying that you did it this way this is just a statement to prove a point for all I know you went to the bathroom one day and sh*t money out your *ss). I personaly had to do a few side jobs and work my *ss off to get my business started.

    If someone has the guts to ask for help then either give some helpful advice or simply say you disagree. You don't need to try to get everyone else to not help. You trying to make it harder for SinGear to build his business enough to do it by the book is worse than steeling customers. Wich I do beleive you were saying he was taking customs from legit busness people like you.

    It's hard enough to start a business without you trying to make it F**KING harder by telling people not to help him.

    Now I would like to say I am very sorry to everyone (other than fatfab) who I offended.
    No all I am saying is right is right. If you dont play by the rules then why should anyone?

    I'll bet you are the first one to rile against the cheats that started the mortgage bust. Or the Enron (sp) pension theft.

    Its ok to steal as long as you have a good enough excuse great lesson for them kids you are feeding.

    This is one of them black and white issues, you know I am right and you know you are wrong.


    Once he plays by the same rules I'll be first in line to help competition is good for business, the consumer and in general the economy. Till then no way, he is stealing work from some one who is trying to do it right.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    2,864

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FATFAB View Post
    Are you licensed bonded and insured?

    Are you paying all the fees that your competitor is required to pay?

    Until I know this, I can't help, and I think all the other small business owners should answer the same. Sure as poo he lives near one of us and will be undercutting you by not playing on the same field but reaping the benefits + not paying the associated costs of business ownership.

    TJ
    Do you need to be bonded and insured by law?
    Last edited by Broccoli1; 09-21-2008 at 01:40 PM.
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