|Posted on Monday, March 15, 2004 - 03:48 pm: ||
I have done some minor repairs thanks to the "Slate Roof Bible" (1st ed). However, I don't like to go to high (yea, a little chicken) but anyway, what is a good hourly wage to pay an experienced slater in the midwest (Indiana). I agree that the hourly wage should include fringe benefits. Not matching apples & apples, but for example, I researched the wage rates for the brick union here in Indiana and the union stated that the hourly rate was $23.25 w/o benefits; with benefits, the rate was $33.19. I agree that the wage rate should include fringe benefits. I just get tired of various trades (electricians, plumbers) charging by the job when their actual wage rate ends up being $80 or higher. Figuring a 10-12 pitch roof with easy access, what are good hourly rates should I expect to pay for a experienced slater to replace a few broken 16x9 slates? I do understand about set-up, drive time, etc should also be factored in. Any thoughts.
|Posted on Monday, March 15, 2004 - 10:45 pm: ||
You have to pay the worker, but you also have to pay for the business - truck, secretary (if there is one), insurances, including unemployment insurance, equipment, phones, contracting, bidding, etc., etc., - it's called overhead. If you're lucky enough to find a roofer with no overhead (a guy who works alone without employees or insurance and has all his equipment paid for and doesn't want to buy any more, etc.), you will pay him at least union level wages plus a factor allowing for the risk level of a climbing job. When I sent my step-son out to do subcontract work for me a few years ago, I paid him $50/hour (he used his truck and provided his own liability insurance). I charged the owner more than that for the work because I personally had to look at the job, bid it, contract it, provide my own insurance, provide materials, etc. But I *never* bid a job by the hour.
A lady once asked me what I would charge to repair her slate roof. This was about 20 years ago. I had a minumum charge at that time of only $40. I told her I would charge her $40. She exclaimed "Forty dollars an HOUR!!! NO way am I going to pay THAT!!!" I said, "No ma'am, $40 for the ENTIRE JOB!." She calmed down and said, "OK, that's better. Go ahead and do it." I did the job. It took an hour. She happily paid me the $40.
Hourly wages are a mistake for any self-employed skilled worker. The better you get at what your'e doing, the quicker and better you get the job done and therefore the less money you would make if charging by the hour. If you're judging your costs only by the hourly rate, you're fooling yourself. Why pay three guys $20 an hour, all day, for example, to do what one guy who knows what he's doing can do alone in half a day for $50 an hour and do the job right? Three guys at $20/hour for 8 hours is $480 for a job that will probably not be done correctly. One skilled guy at $50/hour for 4 hours is $200. If it's only the hourly rate that is being considered, you would lose quite a bit of money in this case (which is not too terribly unrealistic when it comes to slate roofs). This is why contractors who are good at what they do don't bid jobs by the hour. They bid them by the job.
I hope this all makes sense.
|Posted on Friday, May 21, 2004 - 12:35 am: ||
A good slater should be able to make a good living and that is good. When I figure a job, I try to estimate how many days the job should take, and then multiply that by the going rate for auto repairs in my town, and then I add or subtract money depending on many factors, including whether I think this potential customer is a friend, or someone who might end up trying to screw me over.