by Guest Author
A challenge with hourly work is that there is not a reason for the worker to be efficient with their time. For this reason, unless I have a history with a fair person, I prefer project-based agreements, as this is a better way for more fair project bidding and quoting. Here are some ideas that will help neighbors West of the Winds trade value with each other with the ability to part ways as friends. As with any exchange between free humans, both parties ought to walk away thinking they got the better side of the deal.
Let’s use an example as we look at how things might work. I might want to have the guest bedroom in my mobile home painted. I estimate the the time it would take to go to Pinedale Lumber, get the paint, and paint the room would total 8 hours. I estimate that competent painters West of the Winds earn between $20 and $75 per hour, so the bid I receive should be between $160 and $600. As I ask for bids, I should also consider whether or not my ladders, paint brushes, buckets, drop cloth etc are being used.
Keep in mind that most people who are good at a trade are NOT good at efficient supervising duties. Will all workers be productive during all minutes of their worktime? Does it really take three men to go on the 2-hour roundtrip to get another paint brush from the store?
Both parties should make sure that the contract is thorough!
A smart contractor should build in some padding. If the painter thinks it will really take 10 hours rather than 8, and they value their time at $40/hr, they might bid $400.
Both parties should be very clear with details IN WRITING. Does the homeowner expect the painter to remove trim and sand it and paint it a different color? If a piece of trim breaks, who is responsible for driving to the lumber store for a new piece, paying for it, cutting is and sanding it?
Contractors should think ahead and include in the contract all possible things that could go wrong or change. Homeowners should understand that if they make changes, the price and timeline will also change.
“All constructions project run over by 30% or more in price and completion time.”
Because the area West of the Winds chiefly runs on manana time, it is wise for both parties to include time promises and penalties in the contract. Sometimes a bonus can be a good idea, perhaps the contractor quotes $400 for the job, and the homeowner counters with $350, and a $100 bonus if the job is completed by April 23rd.
Sample contract that you can copy and paste and edit
I ______________ (Homeowner) agree to hire _________________________ (Contractor) on February 16, 1984 to provide certain services (Services).
- Homeowner will pay $350 for Services. $100 will be paid upon signing of this agreement. $250 will be paid upon 100% completion of Services. A $100 bonus will be paid if the project is 100 complete by April 23, 1984.
- The payment will be made based on USD value at the time of contract signing and will be paid in DASH cryptocurrency.
- Moving heavy dresser away from the wall and replacing it when completed.
- Taping all trim, and placing efficient drop cloths. Contractor will not damage any part of the property with paint or in any other manner.
- Contractor will paint all walls and the ceiling in the guest room with one coat on all surface areas.
- After the first coat has dried for a least 24 hours, Contractor will paint a second coat on all surface areas.
- Homeowner will inspect the work within 12 hours of Contractor texting that the painting is complete.
- After a satisfactory inspection, Contractor will remove the drop cloth, painter’s tape and all gear.
- Contractor will clean all of the buckets borrowed from the Homeowner.
- Quality of the work completed will be judged by …???…
- Homeowner and Contractor will communicate all details via text message or email. “If there isn’t documented communication: it didn’t happen.”
- If the Homeowner provides lunch to the painter, it is a gift and is not to be deducted from the price of Services.
- Homeowner will allow work to be done all days of the week between 8am and 6pm.
- Homeowner hates new country music, Contractor will not play that swill on the premises.
- The project will be 100% completed by April 27th, 1984.
- If the project is not completed by April 27th, 1984, Contractor will not be paid unless otherwise negotiated with Homeowner.
- It snows around here, transmissions can blow up, kids get sick etc. Contractor has taken “unknowns” into account and has added buffer times, and will have the project completed in the timeline agreed upon.
I agree to the above. If either party is not satisfied, I agree to a video conference hearing by Arbitrator Brad (AB). I will pay $50 toward AB’s hour as will the other party. If either party is not satisfied by the outcome, that party may turn to government courts and the loser will pay all costs including attorney’s fees for both parties, the time spent in court and in preparation at the rate of $50/hr.
Contractor: _____________________________ Date: ____________________
Homeowner: ____________________________ Date: ____________________
I hope the above ideas are of use and that you can build upon them as you work toward Fair Project Bidding and Quoting in our wonderful community West of the Winds!