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chasineyes

Work/Charge for Friend?

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I kind of decided to help my neighbor build a 95" wide built in with 3 seperate cabinets with custom built doors. It's made of maple and about 30 tall. What kind of "charge" would be acceptable? I'm thinking to have someone come in a do this is probably about $2500???? I was planning on having him do the staining and varnishing then I would help him re-assemble and finish it off.

Any thoughts.

P.S. my craftmanship is ok but definitly not a Bob Villa grin

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When you say, "kind of decided" it sounds like you offered to help him. Did you discuss any monetary compensation at the time of the offer? If not, it seems to me that you offered it without strings and were I in your shoes that's what it would be. At the same time if I were in his shoes I would at least offer you compensation for helping me out.

No offense intended but if you offered and didn't discuss any expectation for compensation along with your offer, it didn't sound like a business exchange and therefore I could see it a bit rude to ask for it later. At the same time it would also be a bit rude or presumptuous on his part not to offer something either.

You're neighbors and based on your story, it sounds like you're probably friendly neighbors. Chances are there will be other times in the future when the opportunity will come for him to return the favor. In the end it all comes out in the wash. Do it out of the goodness of your heart, don't keep tabs, and just be glad to have a good neighbor with the knowledge that you can share experience/expertise on occasion.

I've helped neighbors design their electrical systems when they remodelled, gave advise, etc. They have borrowed my equipment from time to time. I have helped them install water heaters and replace roofs, install drywall, etc.

They helped me dig under my home and install a basement including the use of their backhoes and skid loaders, pouring footings, laying block, etc. They have helped me install drywall, replace windows, etc. I learned a lot from my neighbors. When I tore muscles in my back while laying my basement block, they finished the project for me. When I stopped to visit the emergency room once due to chest pressure that turned out to be nothing more than a severe heartburn, I came home to find my neighbor finishing my fall tillage.

We do things for each other all the time. Nobody keeps tabs and nobody is concerned about whether they did more for me or vise versa. We just see it as part of being neighbors.

Bob

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Thats pretty cool Bob, I moved into a new neighborhood 6 months ago and hope to find a neighbor that is good like that too. As for the original poster, if you havent done any work yet, set up a trade or borrow his fishhouse or something. That way you are getting something of value back versus just money that the wife will spend anyways. grin

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I am a little confused, but I guess that is nothing new smile

When you say help, does that mean you are doing it all, is he doing some of it, helping out, or how much of this are you responsible for?

As a GC I would expect to pay about $200-300 per lineal foot of cabinet. Cost for that is $2,400 and included all materials, finishes, etc. This is for a dedicated cabinet shop that will give any profile, drawers, doors etc. Normally drawers are slightly more as they take more time to fabricate and install.

I personally enjoy woodworking, and would do it for the enjoyment I get out of it, but you need to decide for yourself how to handle it. If you feel compensation is in order, I normally charge $25 per hour for friends, and if they need a cost, figure how much time I think it would take and go with it. This is much less then skilled tradesmen normally go for with insurance, benefits, etc. I bill my guys between $45 and 65 depending on skill sets, and I think this may be low for your area.

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I am with BobT 100% on this. If we had to pay neighbor mechanic John for all the help, neighbor gas guy Mike for all the help, neighbor Bobcat owner Mike for all the work, or even neighbor computer geek "me" for all fixes, money would be flying all around our neighborhood like crazy smile

But whatever works. Just make sure that either way if you are friends to start, you want to keep it that way. Good luck whatever you do.

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Its a tough situation. I would stop where you're at and talk about it. If your friend honestly planned on paying you something, he will say he did. If you want to be paid for your work, you should mention that.

I wouldn't go any further without making sure you understand each other.

I do tree work on the side and have charged family, friends and neighbors, but its always decided upfront. Some times they pass you some money and sometimes they buy you beer or a gift card. The important thing is to clear that up in the beginning.

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Help......or do the entire job. I take it this is a side job of some kind, and it wouldn't be during working hours.

If you don't do it for a living, you must do it for free....legally.

If someone is being paid, now you are a contractor and responsible for yourself, taxes and insurance wise.

If you are a contractor and are helping a friend out, you should just figure what your time is worth with no overhead or profit. It's up to you to decide what you are worth.

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When I lived on the farm, our neighbor used our tractor, we used his log splitter, it all worked out in the wash.

If your neighbor is a friend.. maybe drink a 12 pak with him once in a while. Don't expect to get paid....

I know a guy who had a friend help him stake out a garage, and do some setup for footings and pour some Crete.. well after the guy got a bill from his "friend" they quit talking, and well are not friends anymore... Think about it before you Do IT>>>>

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Work it out upfront! When I do something for the buddies or friends/family, I ussually charge for misc supplies/ shop heat and such, those things all add up, As far as actual labor charge, I ussually end up being owed some favors, those go alot further than cash, in y book!! Nothing better than being able to call in favors!

My time is always worth something!!

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I've never charged a neighbor or friend for doing anything. That has kind of chaged though. Have done work for folks and never asked for anything. Ask them to do my breaks or look at my lawn mower and I get charged the same as anyone else. SO I quit doing things for free for those folks. Others that do favors for me, I still work on their PC's or go over and help move or whatever they need. If you charge me, then I charge you if you want help.

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I am truly fortunate to live in the neighborhood and have the neighbors that I have.

Bob

Sounds like it. We have neighbors up here that are pretty darn good too. More than a couple have chipped in on my projects and vice versa.

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friends dont charge

Agreed. When I do something for friend I don't keep tabs and I expect nothing in return. It's as simple as that.

Bob

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Well, the project is done and really wasn't too bad. If we would have had a little warmer Dec/jan would have helped though.

He did give me a $50 Homer Card and a $50 Applebees card. It felt good to get it done and I think I impressed him with some of my "garage logic" knowledge. I'll post pics of the project soon.

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Good Job!!

I've never charged a friend for any help I've done for them. True friends are hard to come by, & if they really are a true friend they'll be there when you need the help also.

And if they aren't, guess what! Lesson learned..........:)

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