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How much would you charge? New to the industry

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  • How much would you charge? New to the industry

    Looking for some advice on what I should charge somebody for a job they have asked me to do. First off, I am not certified and have minimal professional experience welding, however I weld A LOT at home, doing ornamental iron and steel projects. A friend of mine saw my work and was very impressed. He contacted me and he is flipping a house right now, and there is some welding work that needs to be done to the staircase inside. The railings of the staircase are not up to code and needs me to fabricate and install some cross supports and some ornamental work. The house is extremely nice, 4000 sqft, and I have about 80 feet of railing to work on. In case it matters, I will be using a crappy little Chicago Electric 90amp flux cord welder. I will also be painting the railing for him once completed. I don't know exactly how long the job will take me as I have always had the luxury of taking my time. I'm not sure if I should be paying by the hour or by the job... when I went and looked at the railing in person, it seems like a simple enough job, however there is a lot of it to do and I'm not sure how long it will take to complete. He is a friend of mine, and he is aware of me being new into the welding industry. I have complete confidence that I can do the job, I just have no clue what to charge him. I live in the state of California and have tried to research what welders in the area make but have not come up with much. Any guidance or tips on how to figure this out would be much appreciated. Super stoked on this job, just struggling on this part of it. Thanks!

  • #2
    If it's a good friend, and if your work were to fail and somebody wouldn't get hurt or die, I would do it. Nobody can tell you what to charge. Somebody might work for their friend for a beer and a burger or for $100/hr + burgers and beer. What I do with friends with any kind of work is charge a cost that I do not feel like I am working for too little. This has kept my friends and my relationships is good tact cause I never feel like I'm now stuck working for free or wasting my time, but they are still getting work done cheaper than it would cost to hire a contractor. If I were to do work for my friends I'm somewhere in the $25-45/ hr range for and side work I do.

    One thing to consider about this job is it sounds like you may need to be careful with not damaging the structure with your welding and fringing sparks. This takes quite a bit more time so make sure to factor in your bidding. Especially with a long rail where you will have to move the protection many times most likely.


    • #3
      Ho Boy...

      Under trained.. Ill equipped and probably uninsured...

      Sounds like a recipe for DISASTER...

      The more you know, The better you know, How little you know

      “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten”

      Buy the best tools you can afford.. Learn to use them to the best of your ability.. and take care of them...

      My Blue Stuff:
      Dynasty 350DX Tigrunner
      Dynasty 200DX
      Millermatic 350P w/25ft Alumapro & 30A
      Millermatic 200

      TONS of Non-Blue Equip, plus CNC Mill, Lathes & a Plasmacam w/ PowerMax-1000


      • #4
        Welcome to the forum.
        In Cal I'm told you must be licensed and insured.
        Lincoln A/C 225
        Everlast PA200


        • #5
          I have also read in Cal. you need to be licensed to work on a residential property. If your friend is a contractor he would know about that.

          This is not a favor for a friend. He is going to do a flip so why should he profit from your generosity? A favor would be helping him fix a railing on his own house.

          What do you feel comfortable making per hour? Take your material/supply cost & give him that plus an hourly rate. You can ballpark your labor by telling him "I think it will take between xx & xx hours."

          Don't forget you are supposed to report this as other income & pay tax on it. If it goes above a certain amount he will probably have to give you a 1099. So add in any taxes you think you might pay.
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