Holiday gift for contractors?

CT_NewbieDecember 10, 2013

Is it customary to give a holiday gift or bonus to contractors? If so, what amount? I don't have time to bake
They're basically finished with the kitchen but our hood had to get sent back so we're waiting for that. They came in yesterday to tie up a few loose ends. I provided snacks and water when they were working here over the summer/fall. I've offered pizza, was going to give them beer once the cabinets and countertop went in but the head contractor said no. I've bought them Starbucks once or twice when I was going.

They might be back before Xmas if the hood arrives. The head guy said they're not that busy now. There are 2-3 guys, plus the electrician and his helper, plus the head guy. The painters are done but might come back for a touch up


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Yes, we did them last year and are doing them again this year. Asked our GC what would be best for them (cash/gift cards). Did smaller token things for the GC and his family.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2013 at 12:58AM
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I have always wished for a bottle of Armagnac or old Calvados. In vain, I might add.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2013 at 9:15AM
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Chivas and Drambouie, also to no avail.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2013 at 7:35PM
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About six months after I had my house foundation fixed, I was cleaning the cellar and found a near empty bottle of Jack Daniels hidden down inside an old wash tub. And the workers had been Amish! I wondered why I heard so much frivolity as the week continued. Not really thread related but since a couple here chimed in with their wishes I thought I'd share. lol

    Bookmark   December 13, 2013 at 10:40AM
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We have a local candy store that makes Chippers (chocolate covered potato chips). I bought 3 pounds, and brought them in to the cabinet maker's shop. I provided cookies and donuts every day the installers were at my house, but the guys in the shop who actually built my cabinets got nothing.

The shop owner didn't bring them out until after the installers had left for the day.

It wasn't a Christmas thing, since my project was finished in August. I may send my cabinet guy a card, but I wasn't planning on a gift for him. Maybe I should rethink...

    Bookmark   December 13, 2013 at 3:48PM
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Thank you everyone for your feedback!

So, Katy Lou, if I may ask, what were the amounts per person? And where did you end up giving the gift cards. My hood just arrived today and they plan on coming Monday so I really don't have a lot of time.

Sounds like liquor is a favorite, though I wasn't planning on spending $40+ per per person. It's also hard to know what people like. I have provided them simple snacks and bottled water when they were working.

Anyone else?

Thank you!

    Bookmark   December 13, 2013 at 11:44PM
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Also, you are saying the gift to the GC should be less than the gift to each worker? I was thinking the reverse for some reason. Like today, the GC came over just to check the hood and had some helpful tips on a washer pan which really wasn't part of his project.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2013 at 11:46PM
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Last year we had two guys who were here day in and day out, we did cash for each. For the GC we had offered Cirque tickets for the family, but they weren't going to be able to do the show times so we did a selection of nice beer and Barnes and noble gift cards for the kids. This year most of the work has been the cabinet maker and we'll do something for him as well as a gift for the GC and family. It felt weird to do cash for the GC since its his business, but we wanted to do something nice as a thank you. If we had more people here consistently we would have scaled the amounts down - say $25-50 per person? When we asked the GC for suggestions on what to do for the guys he has suggested gift cards at big box stores or cash so they could use it for kids. Guys were appreciative and we were appreciative of all the care they put into the work

This post was edited by katy-lou on Wed, Dec 25, 13 at 3:00

    Bookmark   December 15, 2013 at 1:17AM
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$100 gift card to Beverages and More would put a smile on my face.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2013 at 1:11PM
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Seriously? I just spent all this money on a major remodel and I'm supposed to gift them when it is all done? I don't want to sound ungrateful but that just doesn't sound right. Mind you, any time I encountered someone working in my home, I thanked them for their work. Is this the norm across the country now? To give thank you gifts when the work is finished?

    Bookmark   December 23, 2013 at 2:53PM
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I don't think it is expected / required. We did the gifts for the staff because we were appreciative of the care they had put into the work. It was a surprise to them. This year for the cabinet maker it was also a surprise for him. We have appreciated his willingness to collaborate with us, this has been a long process and we feel there is as much of him in the details as their is us. He was here nearly every day all day from April to just before thanksgiving. We have felt he has consistently tried to do the right thing for us. In the larger picture, it is just a small thank you, but was nice to do and seemed to be appreciated by them too. All up to you as to what you feel comfortable with.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2013 at 12:58AM
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We are having a total Reno done, they started in September and hopefully will be done by mid Febuary! It's my GC and he has 2 helpers. So for a Christmas bonus we gave my main guy 100.00 and his 2 helpers 50.00 in cash in a card! We did not give anything to the electricians or plumbers!

    Bookmark   December 29, 2013 at 1:48PM
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Nice gesture but it sounds backwards to me. Doesn't it make more sense for the business to be thanking the customer? I remember back when I worked for an HVAC shop I'd deliver gift baskets to our customers around the holidays and we'd receive gifts from our vendors. I haven't worked in a trade in years, but corporate gifts seem to flow in the same direction.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2013 at 8:39PM
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It depends--if people are especially kind and helpful, one wants to give a gift. There are tradespeople who earn triple my hourly rate. That's what they get--and not more.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2013 at 9:34PM
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Foodonastump, I agree with you, but in my business (professional services rendered) we often get gifts from clients just because they give Xmas gifts to everyone on their "list". Just the other day, a client gave me a thank-you gift because we went "above and beyond" to get something done. So, there are good reasons it might go the other way.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2013 at 11:08PM
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Gave $25 GCs to Target and a $5 loaf of cinnamon bread from a local baker to all electricians, plumbers, cabinet workers, carpenters, and perm employees of my contractor. It ended up being about 15 people. I also give a bday gift to my two head contractors who each get a $200 bday gift and at the end of the project, a $2,000 gift of some sort. Last house I gave a GC to the Four Seasons Hotels for $2,000. This is our third or fourth house together and they work HARD for me--including not saying one word when I move an outlet or ask for the heater vent to be moved to another location. To be honest I find it a bit embarrassing that I don't give the workers more--they really go out of their way every day to make me happy. But I remember their names, greet everyone with respect and try never to talk in a demanding way, and they know that I appreciate their time and talent. If I had the budget I would give each of them $100, but I don't have that in my ability. My token gift and my everyday respect is all I can offer and I hope that it will be well received. It is given with sincerity and all of the most respectful, appreciation and intent. I always build these gifts into my total budget, so that I have enough to do this.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2013 at 12:40AM
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I dunno but my dad was a commercial banker in a small town, at christmas we had to help him carry in the cases of booze he got from his customers as thank you gifts. Stocked the home bar for the whole year.
I have been given cards, expensive tools, and checks as thank you, end-of-job gratuities. Not always by any means. Some customers are just nicer than others, they all get the same intensity out of me.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2013 at 9:16AM
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I just got a $100.00 tip (about 5%) on a job I had to delay due to illness. The lady was delighted and promised me a 5-star online review too.

Nice way to start '14.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2013 at 8:05PM
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