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Posted by: from Milton
3/1/2011 at 12:50:28 PM

I have been finishing basements for 8 years now and I am noticing jobs that I have quoted have been lost to other companies that are charging way to little to do the work, has anyone else noticed this in some cases I'm getting calls telling me my price was almost double. Needless to say this is hurting my business as I can't compete with this type of pricing. Anyone else have this problem?

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Ron from Jaykob Isaak Inc in London
Date/Time3/1/2011 at 11:58:17 PM

This is not a new thing, I have seen it for years we have been doing commercial drywall jobs for years $1 a square foot, last summer there was a crew going from jobsite to jobsite offering 16 cents a square foot, The contractors that took them up on the offer spent alot of money to fix what they left behind we took down 80 un-useable sheets in one house after the owner refused the work and demanded it be fixed.

I got called a crook because I quoted a labor only basement 2500 square floor space: to frame, insulate, VB, drywall 9' ceilings and build 2 coffered vaults, tape and finish for primer $7500 because someone quoted $2000 for the same job.

It is impossible to compete with guy's like this, and even if they don't last they take work from good contractors and make it very hard to do our job right it's about educating your customers and trust.

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Date/Time3/2/2011 at 8:20:37 AM

Nothing new here gentlemen. Regardless of what our faithful government would have us believe, I see the economy going for a nose dive, which in turn causes more layoffs, which spawns legions of "Weekend Warriors"- the new hacks that are calling themselves contractors. Not only do they undercut, they leave in their wake a whole world of misery for the homeowners who 'cheaped' out. I've been 33 years now in this business & this problem is only getting worse. Unless you are rich, rising prices on materials, gas, food, travel, schooling, clothes and now an added hst tax on home heating/cooling has depleted the average consumers disposable income- money that would be used for home fix-ups. When they absolutely need to get work done (bad roof, leaky tub) they look for the best price. Enter Joe Wanna-be-carpenter who will gladly do it on the cheap for them cause hell, we don't need no permit & I won't charge that 13% tax. That added 8% tax is what drives a lot of folks to these Fly-by-nights. From what I've seen, since it's arrival, the Hst has invigorated the underground economy as more & more 'contractors' are smelling the easy money. But to any consumers reading this thread, remember: Pay now or pay later.

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Date/Time3/27/2011 at 8:59:44 AM

I agree whole heartedly guys but also now the HST has come out everyone is looking for cash and a lot of companies don't have the overhead such as Liability, disability and WSIB insurance so their able to charge a lot less than us. Everything in life has doubled in price except my rates are the same as they were 10 years ago, doesn't sound fair does it.

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Date/Time3/27/2011 at 11:54:14 AM

you are right Adam- but all these taxes add up to a homeowner, renovations are costly enough without any more tax being added. This drives people with limited incomes to outfits that will work for cash. And don't kid yourself- a lot of larger upscale, legit companies are working for cash. At the end of the day, Canadians have very little money left after handing it out in taxes, so a savings here & there helps them out big time. This HST didn't crack the door on the underground economy, but blew it off it's hinges. Bottom line: everybody has mouths to feed & bills to pay. On a related note- with Hydro installing smart meters and Hst now added to my bills, I pay an additional $140.00 a month. Gas, food, clothes, you name it- it all costs more, so if a person can save a little by paying cash- desperate times call for desperate measures. Welcome to the new reality- as a middle income earner in this country- we have to pay everyone elses way, be they rich or poor. Cash is now king as people try to hold onto what they have.

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