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Posted: 4/22/2015 9:51:07 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/29/2015 6:48:46 PM EDT by stutzcattle]
As some of you know, we are building a winery/microbrewery. My electrician gave me a bid for $15000. He's not quite finished yet and I have paid him $13k and just received a bill for $14.5k.

This guy is a very good friend of mine and I am fucking pissed. He's partnered in with 2 other guys and I think that's part of the problem. They'll all come down to work and a lot of the time one guy is standing around waiting to bend conduit or something else a flunky can do. I'm sure I'm paying all three of them $60/hr to stand there as they're all electricians.

How would you handle this and what should I expect from them?

I understand that bids always run over, but this seems a bit excessive.
Link Posted: 4/22/2015 9:52:00 PM EDT
Why did he give it to you? There must be an itemized bill, no?
Link Posted: 4/22/2015 9:53:39 PM EDT
Welcome to the world of cost overrun
Link Posted: 4/22/2015 9:54:48 PM EDT
Was it a firm bid or an "estimate"? What's your contract with the electrician say? If you don't have a contract, why the fuck not?

Link Posted: 4/22/2015 9:55:28 PM EDT
A hard bid project with a legal contract is all he is due. Changes in the scope of work require changes in the contract amount, whether they are additive or deductive...

...did he provide a scope letter that you agreed to? Do you have a contract that incorporates that scope letter?
Link Posted: 4/22/2015 9:55:49 PM EDT
Estimate or bid?
Link Posted: 4/22/2015 9:58:09 PM EDT
Labor is a huge portion of the bid.

if you need someone to help pull wire, they will just stand around the rest of the time.

Thats the way it is.
Link Posted: 4/22/2015 9:58:25 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By nvroundman:
Estimate or bid?
View Quote


And to take it further, was the bid amount written into a contract amount?

Unless he can show that extra work beyond the plans and specs he bid on, then there should not be in increase in his contract amount.
Link Posted: 4/22/2015 9:58:44 PM EDT
Have you requested any changes or veered off the path that was laid out on the original bid? I make the most money on change orders... Generally if I know something is needed but not in the drawings I will quote it as drawn then take care of it in CO's. I.E. I am up to 16k in change orders on a current 7k job. Shitty drawings and added a bunch of Instrumentation.
Link Posted: 4/22/2015 10:03:36 PM EDT
Hard bid or time and materials?
Link Posted: 4/22/2015 10:03:56 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/22/2015 10:04:08 PM EDT
It was a verbal cost estimate. No contract.

Why? Because no one does them here....Yet.
Link Posted: 4/22/2015 10:04:29 PM EDT
He either didnt have a clue what he was bidding, the plans have changed, or he purposely underbid to get the job....knowing that he could use the relationship to stay on the job and/or ask for CO money knowing he was way under. Im a contractor......these are usually how i see things play out.
Link Posted: 4/22/2015 10:05:07 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/22/2015 10:05:28 PM EDT by rebel_rifle]
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Originally Posted By stutzcattle:
It was a verbal cost estimate. No contract.

Why? Because no one does them here....Yet.
View Quote



Pepper your angus then............
Link Posted: 4/22/2015 10:08:14 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/22/2015 10:08:31 PM EDT
You need to check the laws in your state. For over a certain amt, he might have needed a written contract. Either way, hes either an idiot, or hes trying to screw you.
Link Posted: 4/22/2015 10:09:25 PM EDT
Bids do not always run over. Period.

Your friend is not your friend so stop acting as though he is.
Link Posted: 4/22/2015 10:09:48 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By sanman28:
He either didnt have a clue what he was bidding, the plans have changed, or he purposely underbid to get the job....knowing that he could use the relationship to stay on the job and/or ask for CO money knowing he was way under. Im a contractor......these are usually how i see things play out.
View Quote


He ran a large crew in Nebraska's second largest city prior to starting his own gig. I don't think there was anything dishonest about the deal. My guess is that all three licensed electricians are paid full amt wherever they go. I trust the guy not to just blatantly fuck me. His bills are not itemized and the billing is done by one of the other two partners. The plans changed very little. The only real changes were locations of outlets and lights. Nothing major. It's a 400 amp service on a 50x120 building, with 40x50 being the tasting room and the rest being divided between a kitchen, bathrooms and ancillary rooms.

The disappointing part is that I hung all the lights and installed all the lights and outlets to help save some money.

I have my apprentice license through him.
Link Posted: 4/22/2015 10:10:39 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/22/2015 10:10:50 PM EDT by beardog30]
Don't most states have laws that only allow bids to exceed a specific percentage when it comes time for the final bill?
Link Posted: 4/22/2015 10:10:40 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By itstock:
Bids do not always run over. Period.

Your friend is not your friend so stop acting as though he is.
View Quote


Wrong. He is my friend. I suspect that his partners are not.
Link Posted: 4/22/2015 10:11:48 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By stutzcattle:


Wrong. He is my friend. I suspect that his partners are not.
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Originally Posted By stutzcattle:
Originally Posted By itstock:
Bids do not always run over. Period.

Your friend is not your friend so stop acting as though he is.


Wrong. He is my friend. I suspect that his partners are not.


Well good luck.
Link Posted: 4/22/2015 10:13:50 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By itstock:


Well good luck.
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Originally Posted By itstock:
Originally Posted By stutzcattle:
Originally Posted By itstock:
Bids do not always run over. Period.

Your friend is not your friend so stop acting as though he is.


Wrong. He is my friend. I suspect that his partners are not.


Well good luck.


Luck has nothing to do with it, but thanks for your input.
Link Posted: 4/22/2015 10:14:41 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By beardog30:
Don't most states have laws that only allow bids to exceed a specific percentage when it comes time for the final bill?
View Quote
Usually 10 to 15 %. I believe Sd has a law on this.
Link Posted: 4/22/2015 10:14:49 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By rebel_rifle:



Pepper your angus then............
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Originally Posted By rebel_rifle:
Originally Posted By stutzcattle:
It was a verbal cost estimate. No contract.

Why? Because no one does them here....Yet.



Pepper your angus then............


That cuts both ways, going to file a lien or file a lawsuit based on a verbal estimate the contractor can get screwed worse than the homeowner.

Written contracts can protect both parties.
Link Posted: 4/22/2015 10:15:30 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By stutzcattle:


Wrong. He is my friend. I suspect that his partners are not.
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Originally Posted By stutzcattle:
Originally Posted By itstock:
Bids do not always run over. Period.

Your friend is not your friend so stop acting as though he is.


Wrong. He is my friend. I suspect that his partners are not.


Take it up with your "friend" and let him deal with the others.
Link Posted: 4/22/2015 10:17:12 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By FreeFloater:


Take it up with your "friend" and let him deal with the others.
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Originally Posted By FreeFloater:
Originally Posted By stutzcattle:
Originally Posted By itstock:
Bids do not always run over. Period.

Your friend is not your friend so stop acting as though he is.


Wrong. He is my friend. I suspect that his partners are not.


Take it up with your "friend" and let him deal with the others.


First thing on tomorrows agenda.
Link Posted: 4/22/2015 10:17:41 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By sanman28:
He either didnt have a clue what he was bidding, the plans have changed, or he purposely underbid to get the job....knowing that he could use the relationship to stay on the job and/or ask for CO money knowing he was way under. Im a contractor......these are usually how i see things play out.
View Quote


Sounds about right, and most likely he lowballed it and just hoped to get away with it. I would want to see an itemized bill if he's almost double his estimate. Don't let him tell you that it's too much work to itemize it. I've been asked for itemized bills on much bigger jobs than that, and on non-contract work it's usually expected. Hell, I have customers that want a scanned copy of every time sheet my employees turn in from their site.
Link Posted: 4/22/2015 10:18:20 PM EDT
Ask for itemized bill and go from there
Link Posted: 4/22/2015 10:19:23 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By nickdcj7:


Sounds about right, and most likely he lowballed it and just hoped to get away with it. I would want to see an itemized bill if he's almost double his estimate. Don't let him tell you that it's too much work to itemize it. I've been asked for itemized bills on much bigger jobs than that, and on non-contract work it's usually expected. Hell, I have customers that want a scanned copy of every time sheet my employees turn in from their site.
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Originally Posted By nickdcj7:
Originally Posted By sanman28:
He either didnt have a clue what he was bidding, the plans have changed, or he purposely underbid to get the job....knowing that he could use the relationship to stay on the job and/or ask for CO money knowing he was way under. Im a contractor......these are usually how i see things play out.


Sounds about right, and most likely he lowballed it and just hoped to get away with it. I would want to see an itemized bill if he's almost double his estimate. Don't let him tell you that it's too much work to itemize it. I've been asked for itemized bills on much bigger jobs than that, and on non-contract work it's usually expected. Hell, I have customers that want a scanned copy of every time sheet my employees turn in from their site.
Who doesn't turn in a bill that's itemized anyways
Link Posted: 4/22/2015 10:19:26 PM EDT
I would definitely not be OK with that.

When I built my hospital and we made changes I expected it to get a little more expensive and when we
ran into some code issues. You are double what your estimate was.
Link Posted: 4/22/2015 10:20:11 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By stutzcattle:


First thing on tomorrows agenda.
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Originally Posted By stutzcattle:
Originally Posted By FreeFloater:
Originally Posted By stutzcattle:
Originally Posted By itstock:
Bids do not always run over. Period.

Your friend is not your friend so stop acting as though he is.


Wrong. He is my friend. I suspect that his partners are not.


Take it up with your "friend" and let him deal with the others.


First thing on tomorrows agenda.
Are you sure what you paid was deducted from the total. I've seen that happen.
Link Posted: 4/22/2015 10:23:15 PM EDT
OP I have a rule: never do business with family or friends.
Link Posted: 4/22/2015 10:23:45 PM EDT
I would have a heart to heart talk with him. ask him directly what the differences are and why the estimate doubled when you hung the lights. see what he says, remind him that you already paid him 13K. ask if there was an oversight.
Link Posted: 4/22/2015 10:25:05 PM EDT
First thing I suggest is an itemized bill. Without that it is your opinion against theirs. This would be the start of a very serious discussion.
Link Posted: 4/22/2015 10:25:19 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/22/2015 10:27:41 PM EDT by sanman28]
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Originally Posted By stutzcattle:


He ran a large crew in Nebraska's second largest city prior to starting his own gig. I don't think there was anything dishonest about the deal. My guess is that all three licensed electricians are paid full amt wherever they go. I trust the guy not to just blatantly fuck me. His bills are not itemized and the billing is done by one of the other two partners. The plans changed very little. The only real changes were locations of outlets and lights. Nothing major. It's a 400 amp service on a 50x120 building, with 40x50 being the tasting room and the rest being divided between a kitchen, bathrooms and ancillary rooms.

The disappointing part is that I hung all the lights and installed all the lights and outlets to help save some money.

I have my apprentice license through him.
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Originally Posted By stutzcattle:
Originally Posted By sanman28:
He either didnt have a clue what he was bidding, the plans have changed, or he purposely underbid to get the job....knowing that he could use the relationship to stay on the job and/or ask for CO money knowing he was way under. Im a contractor......these are usually how i see things play out.


He ran a large crew in Nebraska's second largest city prior to starting his own gig. I don't think there was anything dishonest about the deal. My guess is that all three licensed electricians are paid full amt wherever they go. I trust the guy not to just blatantly fuck me. His bills are not itemized and the billing is done by one of the other two partners. The plans changed very little. The only real changes were locations of outlets and lights. Nothing major. It's a 400 amp service on a 50x120 building, with 40x50 being the tasting room and the rest being divided between a kitchen, bathrooms and ancillary rooms.

The disappointing part is that I hung all the lights and installed all the lights and outlets to help save some money.

I have my apprentice license through him.


If you trust him not to fuck you, than how do you explain being charged 2x the original bid? There is no secret art to quoting a job. Your costs are what they are and blue sky is what it is. He didnt notice or inform you that costs were going way over(besides handing you a bill?)
Link Posted: 4/22/2015 10:25:45 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By stutzcattle:


He ran a large crew in Nebraska's second largest city prior to starting his own gig. I don't think there was anything dishonest about the deal. My guess is that all three licensed electricians are paid full amt wherever they go. I trust the guy not to just blatantly fuck me. His bills are not itemized and the billing is done by one of the other two partners. The plans changed very little. The only real changes were locations of outlets and lights. Nothing major. It's a 400 amp service on a 50x120 building, with 40x50 being the tasting room and the rest being divided between a kitchen, bathrooms and ancillary rooms.

The disappointing part is that I hung all the lights and installed all the lights and outlets to help save some money.

I have my apprentice license through him.
View Quote View All Quotes
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By stutzcattle:
Originally Posted By sanman28:
He either didnt have a clue what he was bidding, the plans have changed, or he purposely underbid to get the job....knowing that he could use the relationship to stay on the job and/or ask for CO money knowing he was way under. Im a contractor......these are usually how i see things play out.


He ran a large crew in Nebraska's second largest city prior to starting his own gig. I don't think there was anything dishonest about the deal. My guess is that all three licensed electricians are paid full amt wherever they go. I trust the guy not to just blatantly fuck me. His bills are not itemized and the billing is done by one of the other two partners. The plans changed very little. The only real changes were locations of outlets and lights. Nothing major. It's a 400 amp service on a 50x120 building, with 40x50 being the tasting room and the rest being divided between a kitchen, bathrooms and ancillary rooms.

The disappointing part is that I hung all the lights and installed all the lights and outlets to help save some money.

I have my apprentice license through him.


Ask for itemized billing.

Link Posted: 4/22/2015 10:29:08 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ilikeporkchops:
Who doesn't turn in a bill that's itemized anyways
View Quote


This.
I was a contractor for 20 years and every bill I ever submitted was itemized.
It didn't matter if it was for $50.00 or $65,000.00.
Link Posted: 4/22/2015 10:29:22 PM EDT
If the bid is $15k & you already gave him $13k (which is too much to pay before the job is complete), then he only gets another $2k once the job is 100% complete.
Changes should have been discussed at the beginning of the project.
Link Posted: 4/22/2015 10:29:33 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/22/2015 10:34:56 PM EDT by Hatemachine]
When dealing with that much money always get a contract with a clearly defined scope of work, warranty, billing progress and maybe even a schedule of values. By schedule of values I mean a spreadsheet that shows work progress and how much it will cost like a "dates xxxx - xxxx work on room x to be at 90% completion=$xxxx"

You mentioned changes....is this something where permits and drawings have to be submitted to the AHJ? If so your changes could have ate up hours of autoCAD redesign and he could have had to submit multiple sets of hard copies for review to the city. I have seen some cities that require as many as 7 sets be submitted for approval.

I work in a different section of the construction industry than electrical work so I am speaking from that experience...take it for what it is and isn't. However, a verbal thing is an estimate not a hard bid generally.

Yeah, you are probably paying $60.00 an hour for those guys but not every moment can be productive for all parties on a construction project. Besides, somewhere around 25% of that is to cover his overhead. If he is doing good he factored 10% profit into his labor and 10% in to his material costs.
Link Posted: 4/22/2015 10:30:21 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/22/2015 10:33:04 PM EDT
I learned how not to get fucked in contracts 351 for my construction management degree.

Cost me about $900 to learn how to never agree upon work in construction without a contract.

Looks like it's going to cost you 15 grand to learn that lesson.
Link Posted: 4/22/2015 10:33:12 PM EDT
Originally Posted By stutzcattle:
As some of you know, we are building a winery/microbrewery. My electrician gave me a bid for $15000. He's not quite finished yet and I have paid him $13k and just received a bill for $14.5k.

This guy is a very good friend of mine and I am fucking pissed. He's partnered in with 2 other guys and I think that's part of the problem. They'll all come down to work and a lot of the time one guy is standing around waiting to bend conduit or something else a flunky can do. I'm sure I'm paying all three of them $60/hr to stand there as they're all electricians.

How would you handle this and what should I expect from them?

I understand that bids always run over, but this seems a bit excessive.
View Quote


looks to me like the final bill showing he's coming in $500 UNDER budget..........
Link Posted: 4/22/2015 10:35:09 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By VA-gunnut:
I'm assuming the final bill listed the 13k you already paid, and it was stating you owe another 14.5K? Not that the total was 14.5k and they forgot to show the 13k already paid?
View Quote

I was wondering this as well...
Link Posted: 4/22/2015 10:38:27 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By happycamp78:


looks to me like the final bill showing he's coming in $500 UNDER budget..........
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Originally Posted By happycamp78:
Originally Posted By stutzcattle:
As some of you know, we are building a winery/microbrewery. My electrician gave me a bid for $15000. He's not quite finished yet and I have paid him $13k and just received a bill for $14.5k.

This guy is a very good friend of mine and I am fucking pissed. He's partnered in with 2 other guys and I think that's part of the problem. They'll all come down to work and a lot of the time one guy is standing around waiting to bend conduit or something else a flunky can do. I'm sure I'm paying all three of them $60/hr to stand there as they're all electricians.

How would you handle this and what should I expect from them?

I understand that bids always run over, but this seems a bit excessive.


looks to me like the final bill showing he's coming in $500 UNDER budget..........


That's how I read it. Any professional isn't going to under bid by 50%
Link Posted: 4/22/2015 10:39:37 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/22/2015 11:12:10 PM EDT by WildApple]

Link Posted: 4/22/2015 10:40:19 PM EDT
I own an electrical contracting business. I always give peopel written estimates with what's included and what's not included. If the customer adds something we do change orders, if I missed something then I eat it. It's pretty simple that you always get it in writing, especially from "friends".
Link Posted: 4/22/2015 10:40:34 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By NEASGNoMercy:
I learned how not to get fucked in contracts 351 for my construction management degree.

Cost me about $900 to learn how to never agree upon work in construction without a contract.

Looks like it's going to cost you 15 grand to learn that lesson.
View Quote


Link Posted: 4/22/2015 10:40:56 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By beardog30:
Don't most states have laws that only allow bids to exceed a specific percentage when it comes time for the final bill?
View Quote


For car repairs, yes. I've not heard of it in commercial construction.
Link Posted: 4/22/2015 10:40:59 PM EDT
You did business with a friend?
Link Posted: 4/22/2015 10:41:05 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By VA-gunnut:
I'm assuming the final bill listed the 13k you already paid, and it was stating you owe another 14.5K? Not that the total was 14.5k and they forgot to show the 13k already paid?
View Quote



OP has been drinking too much of his wine. Lock it down
Link Posted: 4/22/2015 10:43:42 PM EDT
so he's 500 dollars under the bid............
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