Contractor rates

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Topic: Contractor rates

Announcements September 26, 2013 at 10:47 am

Contractor rates

I have a contractor that does decent work. He charges by the hour not by the job. $100 an hour. He does do plumbing, electrical, demolition, renovations. Works by himself and at times does take too long to finish a job. I’ve used and trusted him for several years but lately I feel I’m overpaying. What is the average hourly rate here in DC? Should I be paying by the job and not by the hour?

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I’ve always found that I want the total price of the job upfront. That way if it takes longer because they are dragging out the time, it doesn’t effect the cost of the job. I think that if you are going to pay by the hour, then you need to agree to an estimatation of time up front and then there needs to be an explanation if it goes over that amount of time and a new agreed upon timeframe needs to be set. I think that you are probably getting jerked around a little, but probably not more than an hour or two…

Who says he’s a contractor? You or he? He doesn’t sound like a contractor. Depending on the situation, there is nothing wrong with paying a tradesman or handyman by the hour, but you should ask for an estimate of time to complete upfront. As a general rule, you might pay for a small project by the hour; larger projects should be agreed by cost. Always be sure if the cost includes the materials. Be flexible too, remember that many projects have hidden issues which will not be known until work starts. But make sure s/he knows you don’t want to hear about any surprises at the end. Make sure you tell the person to speak with you about them as they appear and not when you are making the final payment.

An average “Handyman Rate” is $85/hr (what I pay) + any materials used. A “contractor” who does larger projects should give a detailed written estimate or flat cost for all jobs. I feel $100/hr is a high price, and handymen who charge hourly do tend to work slower, than a contractor who charges a flat fee.

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