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What should I charge??

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  • What should I charge??

    I'm being criticized by friends, family members and even the owners of the apartment complex that I manage. They all say I don't charge enough. And, when you get that kind of feedback from the very person who pays you for the work, that's something.

    I just don't know what to charge for the work I perform in the 26 apartments. I do everything except a/c and carpet install. I handle all the plumbing work (even replaced a tub and surround), all the carpentry, all the electrical, appliance repairs and cleanup of vacancies. I just started doing odd jobs around here and when I got hired as Property Manager, I just do whatever job comes up. And, since these apartments were all in very bad shape, I've had lots of work.

    As an old retired grandma, I can choose what to do and when to do it. Boy, what a sweet job.

    The owners are in their 80's and this property generates their only income. And, I know for sure that if pros had done the work I've done, the property would have been in a deficit. Instead, the owners have had a nice tidy income, and I've got extra coins in my pocket.

    But, I'm getting tired of being criticized. By the way, I only do work here, so I'm not taking business away from the pros anywhere else. And, I will say this - my work has the respect of the pros I do occasionally call.

    So, is there a method for figuring out how to bill my work? I'm disabled and can't stay at a task for more than an hour at a time, then I need to rest before I go back to it, so it's tough to time myself.

    Any help would be very much appreciated.
    If it ain't broke, I haven't seen it.

  • #2
    Re: What should I charge??

    $500/hour should be plenty to get them to stop complaining that you are too cheap.
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    • #3
      Re: What should I charge??

      i say 1 million dollars plus parts. parts are always extra, you know. you might offer a 10% discount on parts, if you think it will complete the sell

      steve
      In the never ending struggle to keep the water flowing.... The Poo Poo Cowboy rides again!!!

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      • #4
        Re: What should I charge??

        Is this a joke ?

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        • #5
          Re: What should I charge??

          Originally posted by rombo View Post
          Is this a joke ?
          Thank you for asking. No, it's not a joke.
          I'm just not really aware of what I should charge for my labor.

          My daughter's boyfriend is a drywall specialist and he says I should charge $50.00 per hour. But, like I said, I'm disabled and can't work at long stretches at a time. When I stop working, I am terrible at remembering how long I worked because I'm distracted by nerve pain from a neck injury (doctors can't operate because it's too high up in the neck and I just keep on going - workaholic type A person).

          And, I usually charge by what job I do, not by the hour. Makes it easier. For example, to install a disposal, I charge $35.00, a kitchen faucet $25 (parts extra). I don't think that's unreasonable on either side. I'm happy, but sometimes I feel the job should pay more, however, that means I'd have to readjust my pricing scale.

          Sorry for the question. Didn't mean to sound like an idiot, but I guess sometimes I am.
          If it ain't broke, I haven't seen it.

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          • #6
            Re: What should I charge??

            Originally posted by OnTheJob View Post
            Thank you for asking. No, it's not a joke.
            I'm just not really aware of what I should charge for my labor.

            My daughter's boyfriend is a drywall specialist and he says I should charge $50.00 per hour. But, like I said, I'm disabled and can't work at long stretches at a time. When I stop working, I am terrible at remembering how long I worked because I'm distracted by nerve pain from a neck injury (doctors can't operate because it's too high up in the neck and I just keep on going - workaholic type A person).

            And, I usually charge by what job I do, not by the hour. Makes it easier. For example, to install a disposal, I charge $35.00, a kitchen faucet $25 (parts extra). I don't think that's unreasonable on either side. I'm happy, but sometimes I feel the job should pay more, however, that means I'd have to readjust my pricing scale.

            Sorry for the question. Didn't mean to sound like an idiot, but I guess sometimes I am.
            You should charge what you believe you are worth and not worry about what others say. Just remember in California you are limited by law to $500 total per client regardless of how many jobs you do for them over any period of time.

            Mark
            "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

            I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

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            • #7
              Re: What should I charge??

              you should triple your prices then

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              • #8
                Re: What should I charge??

                Start logging Your hrs worked and charge. A mim of $40.00 per hr. You probably have no lic. overhead ect, You sound like a good guy,and I'll probable take some Guff for this.
                Be Well Tool
                I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

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                • #9
                  Re: What should I charge??

                  Originally posted by toolaholic View Post
                  Start logging Your hrs worked and charge. A mim of $40.00 per hr. You probably have no lic. overhead ect, You sound like a good guy,and I'll probable take some Guff for this.
                  Be Well Tool
                  As she posted she is a retired grandmother I believe she sounds like a nice gal.

                  Mark
                  "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                  I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: What should I charge??

                    Originally posted by OnTheJob View Post
                    For example, to install a disposal, I charge $35.00, a kitchen faucet $25 (parts extra).
                    Honestly, even if you doubled those prices you'd still be cheaper than a pro. We have a lot of business overhead to cover. (Truck, fuel, stock, tools, advertising, phones, insurance, etc, etc.)
                    $70 for a disposal install and $50 for a faucet install would be fair imo. I charge by the job and if I was in your situation, that would be around what I would charge.
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                    • #11
                      Re: What should I charge??

                      Thanks so much for the ideas. It helped.

                      Based on your feedback, it seems that my price schedule needs to have some built-in costs for travel to get the materials, job difficulty, etc. Your feedback helped me to see what I need to do.

                      Like I said, I have a tough time tracking my hours, so I depend on my pricing schedule.

                      And, to you pros, don't worry about this DIY grandma taking jobs away from anyone. I'm on call for my tenants 24 hours a day. And, I do call in the pros when I either don't have time to do the job or when I'm faced with something I prefer a pro to do.

                      I also collect their business cards. Boy, do I hand them out - a lot!
                      I take care of the pros who do work for me. The nice thing about my relationship with the pros is that I have a working understanding of what a job really entails - and I tell them to charge me whatever they feel is right for what they do. I never dicker with them. And, their prices are always fair, IMHO. I make sure they get referral work from me.

                      My heart really hurts when I think of you pros getting squeezed by this economic mess. That's also one of the reasons I worry about how much I charge. I dread the idea that I might charge a very low price, then if a pro needs to come in for a similar job cuz I can't do it due to my health condition, the owners might be upset. I've found that good contractors always charge a fair price and do excellent work.

                      I love this forum. You guys are so wonderful to share your expertise - and your stories. Keep up the good work, guys!!
                      If it ain't broke, I haven't seen it.

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                      • #12
                        Re: What should I charge??

                        Originally posted by ToUtahNow View Post
                        As she posted she is a retired grandmother I believe she sounds like a nice gal.

                        Mark
                        Sorry about that! Thanks' Mark
                        I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

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                        • #13
                          Re: What should I charge??

                          Originally posted by toolaholic View Post
                          Sorry about that! Thanks' Mark
                          No 'sorry' needed. LOL
                          I refer to EVERYBODY as 'guy'. Easier that way.

                          Happy holidays to all.
                          Pat
                          If it ain't broke, I haven't seen it.

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                          • #14
                            Re: What should I charge??

                            God bless you.
                            If your employer thinks you are worth more, than up your rate somewhat. Perhaps 15 or 20 %. Charging by the job, rather than by the hour, if you are good at figuring out what each job will require. I am not so, time and materials works best for me. I wish otherwise. But after 35 plus years, I still can not figure out how long a job might take.... I digress.....
                            Take it from someone that just got his rate reduced by his "best" client, Do the very best job you can, for the very most you can charge.
                            Steve.

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                            • #15
                              Re: What should I charge??

                              Originally posted by ToUtahNow View Post
                              Just remember in California you are limited by law to $500 total per client regardless of how many jobs you do for them over any period of time.

                              Mark
                              What does this mean Mark???????????/

                              Tony

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