I am currently framing a house as a subcontractor. I worked for the GC eleven years ago, when I initially got into construction. I worked with this GC for about 2 years, and then quit and started my own company. So for the last ten years, I've run a remodeling company that has specialized in kitchens, baths, and additions. Two months ago, I ran into my former boss at Home Depot and he informed me that his partner was retiring and that he had more work than he could handle and wanted to know whether I wanted to run a job for him. (He subs out all the work and uses a "cost-Plus" contract.) I am supposed to run a large addition for him starting next month, while he manages another project. This Other project is an entire house (from excavation to setting appliances et al.) project that started 2 months ago. The reason I'm writing this post is because I jumped into his current project as the framing sub., and think that I'm not getting a fair amount for my portion of the job. According to my boss, the original framing sub backed out because he was stuck on another job. I have framed master suite additions, and other minor jobs, but never an entire house. Luckily, my lead carpenter, Roberto, has----so I thought this would be a win-win. I would get the experience of framing an entire house, and my former boss wouldn't have to find another sub. The problem is, i don't think the amount of money flat bidded by the former sub, is adequate. Since I hadn't ever framed an entire house, I simply agreed to build the house for the amount the other guy bid. There are several problems with this:
1. The plans are incredibly vague: They are so lacking in detail, that the architect has had to clarify in person several times, including the last part of the roof. There is no way the sub could have accurately given a final bid if the entire process of building it, isn't apparent from the blue prints.
2. The bid sheet from the former sub stated that any extra work would be billed time and material at $45. My current boss seems to think that its a flat bid. Not to mention, he thinks I'm going to help him install windows too. The former framing sub stated on his sheet that window installation was NOT included. That alone means that more money is needed.
Another problem with this job is that it's financed by the bank. That means I don't get paid until certain portions of the job are completed. He did a minor draw that netted me $8000, but that doesn't cover what I've spent already. Payroll is costing me about $1500/wk. I've spent $10,000 and expect at least three more weeks. That means I'll have spent $14,500 and the total job cost is $21,800 for two months of work! That''s not enough money. This is not an easy to frame house; it has 8/12 pitched roofs with dormers, steel i beams and walls of windows.
I don't know what framers normally make, but it's got to be at least $1000 week! I make better money reglazing bath tile!
Now, my former boss does help us frame in the field, and I only have to pay for labor. Still, I don't want to piss him off, but I need more money. I"m killing myself framing in 100 degree heat from 8:30AM-5PM With labor burden, wear on tools, insurance, workers comp, and the headache of running a company. I need more money. How do I approach him about this? I was thinking that since he makes cost-plus and that the bid sheet stated that additional labor would be billed hourly, that there must be some provision for extra work. He gets paid on top of whatever the subs bid, so he shouldn't mind a change order, right?
How do I tactfully approach him? I want to get the experience of running big jobs, plus when he retires, I would get all of his clients/connections. Is it better to take a loss on this one in anticipation of future profits? Or is it fair to expect to be paid fairly for the job? I know it's my fault for blindly taking on a job I didn't research properly, but I wanted the chance to expand my experience with someone who is experienced.. Still, I'm tired of worrying about the money and having to use all of my money upfront and not have the expectation of being repaid fairly....
Any advice appreciated. Will clarify any portion that is too vague....thanks to all for reading.....
I need advice from other contractors regarding renegotiating the cost of for a portion of a project. I am currently framing a house for my former boss.