Costs of install only, help

kirkhallMarch 29, 2013

Hi all,
Generally, I am not a fan of the "cost of this or that" on these forums because they are always variable.

But, in this case, my tile guy is asking me to.

I had 2 small baths, new construction (so no demo) done. Before the beginning, he gave me a price and said, they are small when I was surprised how low it was.

Then, before he started, he raised the price... With the full scope, and after all the walls were in, the price went up about 30%.

Now, at the end of the project, he keeps saying I got a really good deal, etc, and is hinting he should get a big tip (I hadn't planned on tipping). And, he really wanted another point of reference for the cost to do this work and had hoped I would have gotten multiple bids (I didn't. He is our neighbor, and I knew his work, and his price was good).

So, I need help on the "tip" part of it.

2 bathrooms. in floor heat, tile on floor, not complicated (6x24 and 12x24 tiles, running bond). Bathroom sizes were 5x8 for each.
In one bathroom he did a mud pan shower, tiled.
The other bathroom he did tiled shower surround over a tub (installed by the plumbers).

I am asking for ideas on Labor only, as I paid for all materials myself (tile, backerboard, grout, saw blades, caulk, etc).

BillV and Mongoct, help me out? Do you receive tips? How would you price this job for labor only as a point of reference for me.

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Pay him what you agreed to pay him and be done with it. If you agreed to the increased price before he started, then that's what you owe him.

How many days did it take him to do the work? How much are you paying him by the hour when you look at it like that?

If it's around than $40 per hour (i.e. about $350 or so per day) then that's probably fair, especially if, as I'm guessing, you're paying him in cash.

I have never, EVER in my life 'tipped' a trade. I think that's utter rubbish. If I'm paying someone $40-$80 per hour to do work, bloody hell if I'm tipping on top of that. I tip the struggling servers getting paid minimum wage or less.

The best thing to do considering he is your neighbor is stick to the deal you made. Buy him a nice bottle of wine and a thank-you card if he did an outstanding job or gave you an outstanding deal.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 10:06PM
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What TT said. I have never tipped a trade either. But, I do provide coffee and goodies, and from the response I get, it seems like even this is more than they expect.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 1:14PM
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First he bid the job, then gave you a 30% increase, and now he's asking you to help him figure out how to bid?

My numbers really won't help him, numbers can be all over the place. Example, I've worked in areas where drywall crews get $10 an hour and do excellent work. Here in my locale it can be $30-$40 per board.

A "tip" should not be asked for, because then it's not a gratuity. It's a demand.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 2:31PM
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