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Old Oct 06, 2012, 02:14 PM
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UlteriorModem's Avatar
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Help!
Working for the family

I will try to make this brief.

As some of you know I managed to loose my job in this thriving economy. It is what it is. Please leave politics out of this.

My sister has a house that she is trying to close on. It needs work. Mostly demolition and clearing/disposal of 'things' in the back yard. Two large wooden sheds, lawn furniture, other debrie. The sheds are comming down to the ground. Lots of toil with a sawsall and dragging debrie to the curb and burning what I can. There is some minor interior work as well as lawn mowing and general trim the hedges, clean off the roof/gutters etc.

She is going to pay me for this work of course but I dont want to 'cheat' her as she has her own financial troubles after fighting cancer in her throat. But then again I dont want to work for next to nothing even if it is family.

She just got home from the hospital and is not really 'lucid' as yet so I cant really sit down and negotiate but I need some starting point.

My first pass at an estimate ended up with somewhere around 80-120 hours at @ 12.00 per hour + expenses.

Oh I will be the only one working thats why it will take so long.

Any thoughts or suggestions are welcome.

Remember ... please... lets keep politics out of this... thanks.
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Old Oct 06, 2012, 02:21 PM
All under control, Grommit!
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United Kingdom, Aberdeen
Joined Sep 2000
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If you're not working, and as it's close family, would you not consider doing it for just your expenses? Especially considering the situation that you've described? Or is she doing this to help you out of a hole?

What is minimum wage in the area? That might be a starting point.
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Old Oct 06, 2012, 02:27 PM
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Minimum wage here is $7.67 I guess thats fair.

Oh she said she would rather pay her brother than someone else is all. That and to help me out of our financial jam.

The job loss was kind of sudden and of course.. all my fault.. we are unprepared for it.

Well this is a good start keep up the suggestions.
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Old Oct 06, 2012, 02:31 PM
All under control, Grommit!
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I wish you all the very best and hope that the few weeks work is of maximum benefit to all concerned, plus that you get back to full time working ASAP.
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Old Oct 06, 2012, 02:42 PM
Expo is built into my thumbs
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Working for family/friends can be difficult. I think your $12 sounds reasonable. You can't work for free.
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Old Oct 06, 2012, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Hance View Post
Working for family/friends can be difficult. I think your $12 sounds reasonable. You can't work for free.
Agreed.

I almost never bill by the hour when I can avoid it. Billing by the hour generally results in one side losing.

The person working by the hour is not really super motivated to work faster and this makes the person paying generally the loser.

I like to bid by the job. This motivates me to work at the fastest possible rate and lets the person paying the bill know in advance what the cost will be.

If you finish faster than you thought you would , you could always giver her some of the money back.

I would avoid the "by the hour" pay scale since you are in essence a private contractor on this. It will lead to tensions and difficult definitions as to what "productive" time is.

Good luck.
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Old Oct 06, 2012, 02:53 PM
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Well the hours were just an estimate. It would probably be a single fee but I am just trying to nail down a reasonable fee that doesent screw either one of us.
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Old Oct 06, 2012, 02:56 PM
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United States, OK, Moore
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hance View Post
Working for family/friends can be difficult. I think your $12 sounds reasonable. You can't work for free.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gooroo View Post
Agreed.

I almost never bill by the hour when I can avoid it. Billing by the hour generally results in one side losing.

The person working by the hour is not really super motivated to work faster and this makes the person paying generally the loser.

I like to bid by the job. This motivates me to work at the fastest possible rate and lets the person paying the bill know in advance what the cost will be.

If you finish faster than you thought you would , you could always giver her some of the money back.

I would avoid the "by the hour" pay scale since you are in essence a private contractor on this. It will lead to tensions and difficult definitions as to what "productive" time is.

Good luck.

Agreed on both counts. $12/hr is very reasonable for such labor, and Gooroo has a good point about doing it for an hourly wage. bidding the job gives the customer peace of mind knowing exactly what the cost will be. Just don't underbid and sell yourself short.
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Old Oct 06, 2012, 03:06 PM
Expo is built into my thumbs
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I am partners in a business and everything we do is a flat rate. We like that because it keeps billing simple for one and the people that hire us know exactly what it is going to cost before hand.
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Old Oct 06, 2012, 03:17 PM
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There is absolutely no reason for you to be concerned if you establish the boundary rules up front. Try to break up the work into “parts” with estimated hours, and concerns / thoughts for each part. For example, “Open this wall up”… well that might mean moving electric, might stumble upon water lines, etc… The goal is to have each “part” clear for “Both” of you to understand and agree upon.

If you do the work, try not to start to many “parts”, keep the work contained, measured, and trackable.

If you don’t have experience in some of the work “part” be sure to mention this up front, for example, I never put up crown molding…. Well that means I may be slower than expected, or might wastes a bit more material than expected.

No way should you work based on min wage… 10-12 an hour seems very fair, the truth is you’ll spend more hours then you will charge.
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Old Oct 06, 2012, 04:06 PM
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Houston Ellington, Texas, United States
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I would suggest a flat rate for the entire job. Then ask if she knows any other realtors that have some cleaning and demolition they'd like done.
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Old Oct 06, 2012, 05:16 PM
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Ugh... I dont want to make a carreer out of it... LOL

If it wasent family Id charge double.... heh
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Old Oct 06, 2012, 05:55 PM
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Houston Ellington, Texas, United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UlteriorModem View Post
Ugh... I dont want to make a carreer out of it... LOL

If it wasent family Id charge double.... heh
you'd be surprised ... if there's a niche and you provide the product or service that fills it, you could become very successful, it's the American way.
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Old Oct 06, 2012, 06:16 PM
LcJ
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$7.67 for some folks is way to little and for some it is way too much. It has always been fun to watch how much faster someone works when they work by the job. Having done this for my Mother years ago, there is no way she could have paid what it was worth and she knew that. Decision, decisions, decision.
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Old Oct 06, 2012, 06:20 PM
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Des Moines IA
Joined Dec 2005
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What would it cost your sister if someone else did the job?
That would tell both of you if its fair.
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