Cost of labour

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Posted by: from Sundre
10/30/2015 at 9:53:17 PM

I hired a contractor to build me a garage. He gave us a quote that I agreed to and all was well. Now that the project is finished he has informed me that he has a 10% fee, first I've heard of this. There were already extras that were added and now with this fee we are way over budget. I don't want to leave this project on bad terms but I don't want to be taken advantage of either.

My question is... what is the going cost of labour in the Calgary area to have a 30/34/12 high garage built with 2 over hangs, metal roof 1920sqf, 2 garage doors, 2 ref doors, 2 windows. No siding, no finishing.

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Date/Time10/30/2015 at 11:05:27 PM

Hi Megan,

It sounds to me more of a markup, than a labour rate. As you may know, a markup is a way of doing business to cover off expenses of doing business. Although, he should have clarified this in his price at the beginning, or at least made it part of his quote.


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Date/Time10/31/2015 at 10:31:50 AM

If there was an agreed upon price in the beginning then what this contractor is doing is illegal. However, if this job was a "cost plus" 10% then he or she is well within their rights to ask for this upon completion. They could have been asking for it on invoices throughout but that fact that they waited until the end sounds like they did you a favor. It really depends on the agreement made in the beginning. Can you tell us what the original arrangement was and what changes were made to that agreement during the course of the project. As well, is this fee for change orders, or is the 10% based on the whole project?

Kindest Regards,

Don Engler

Greylu Construction

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Megan in Sundre
Date/Time10/31/2015 at 1:05:54 PM

He gave us two quotes, one for a finished product the other for the product we got, neither had mention of a 10% fee. We broke ground in Aug. and the finishing touches were fin this week. The first we heard of this fee was three weeks ago when the garage was 99% done. We choose this guy based on his quote.

The reason I'm asking for a ruff price on labour is because I do want to be fair with this guy. If he doesn't know how to do a proper quote he should still be payed for his work, I'm not trying to be a jerk. But I don't want to feel ripped off paying an additional 8000$ more than what we budgeted for.

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Date/Time10/31/2015 at 5:36:04 PM

Unless there was a formal understanding of this at the time of beginning of contract, verbal or written, it is not enforceable. Surely not $8,000.00. What is his reasoning to tell you that 10% is due AFTER final payment?

There are none.

A tip maybe?

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Date/Time11/8/2015 at 6:28:49 PM

Hi Megan.

As you may see that most contractors are not providing you with the costs simply because it takes lots of time to re bid this job for you. My suggestion to you is to call in another couple contractors and pay them to re do a take off with detail and get a handle on it this way. Another option is to sit down with this guy and ask him to be transparent with you and these numbers are easily verified. His actual charge rate may be around 35.00 to 55.00 per hour depending on the area and should be double what he pays his people. Also his licensed electrician may be around 55.00 to 85.00 per hour. Then comes the materials. He should have documentation for that too.

Really. The bottom line is, if he didn't state the 10% to be charges, he shouldn't be asking for it. If he states that his price is cost plus 10% that is more than fair. So you have many variables here. If you need someone to mediate and assist you, let me know and I can have someone connect to assist you in this matter to make it fair for all. :)


Master Trades Group Kitchener ON.

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