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Extra charges sound about right?

Posted by crthomson (My Page) on
Mon, Apr 16, 12 at 10:32

I am just completing the renovation of both upstairs bathrooms, which involved gutting the two originals plus one bedroom. We also added a laundry room upstairs in the newly configured space. I used the contractor who had done my kitchen to beautiful effect 5 years ago.

The contract we signed at the beginning specified "tile work to plan", but the plan for tile was not totally worked out at that time, just that there would be tile on all floors and walls.

We laid these floors over radiant heat, which was in the plan from the beginning.

As it turned out, we did a really cool floor in the kids bath that involved 12 X 12's laid on the diagonal with rows of glass tiles in the grout lines. Definitely more labor time than a straightforward laying of 8 X 8's or something. Also, the contractors felt the step of laying a wet layer of something (cement? mastic? whatever its called, I forget) over the heat mats was needed to achieve a level surface due to the small tiles, which would not have been required for an easier tile choice. Full disclosure-- the blue glass tiles I used had 25% each of 4 colors--one of them being a solid white marble, not glass, and I did not like that for this use so I popped all the whites out, and then they had to glue a glass one in its place. Very meticulous for sure.

In the master bath we did sheets of 12 X 12 white hex's with black flowers randomly placed, and a black hex border.
Also required in their opinion a "wet" layer over the radiant heat mats. Meticulous installation, again for sure.

The laundry room was a bit involved too--black hex all over with a white "area rug". No radiant heat though.

Sizes of rooms:
kids bath (white 12 X 12 with glass tiles)- 60 sq ft
laundry room (black hex with "white hex rug")- 35 sq ft
master bath (white hex with black flowers and border) 90 sq ft total.

I am looking for a sense of reasonableness in the extra charges. I am a super fair (overly generous?) homeowner in all my dealings with these folks, who as I said I have used in the past. I definitely agree the tile choices I made required more time (I see that now, I did not think of that when making my choices) and so agree I should pay more. BUT, I think in retrospect, part of it was that my guys were inexperienced with these types of installations. They did alot of on the job training at my house, adding weeks to projected time, and therefore money.

They charged me for an extra 54 hours over and above what it would have taken to do all this square footage in simpler installations. So, this is not what they charged me for all this tile, its the extra.

Does that seem about right?

See other recent question from me about a grout job of questionable quality to see more evidence that in retrospect I may not have had the right guys for this job.
See pix here, and thanks for any feedback!

share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=8QctW7Zuxcsgy


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Extra charges sound about right?

Your album is not set up to be viewed by the public.


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RE: Extra charges sound about right?

Sorry about that. Try this link

http://share.shutterfly.com/share/received/album.sfly?sid=8QctW7Zuxcsgy&startIndex=0&fid=7527168a2ef5411d


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RE: Extra charges sound about right?

Who pays by the hour for a job like this? Tile, and almost any actual construction work, is a by the job pricing. By the hour pricing encourages padding of those hours and slow work. I'd say that in my area, from your complex description and the result, you'd be looking at a $1200-$1500 extra labor charge for the increased difficulty. They did wonderful work! The charge could be as much as doubled in a high labor market though.


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RE: Extra charges sound about right?

The hourly rate only applied to this aspect of the job and it was to justify or explain the added expense. (The rate charged was $60 per hour so this amounted to an extra $3,240 on top of the original number in the contract!) The complex tile job was treated as a change or an add on might be. In the kids bath and the laundry room they did do a wonderful job, however as you can see from my post about the grout job and the "lines" visible between the sheets of hex's, I do not feel they did a wonderful job--but that is a separate issue. I guess what it comes down to is for these particular guys, tiling is not their "specialty". They did a huge kitchen reno for me and it was beautiful, but only the backsplash was tiled. It did not occur to me (stupid, I see now) to look into their work in bathrooms since baths are so tile-oriented.


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