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  • Sub Contractor Current Rate

    Hello all. Have a quick question and its probably one of those that nobody wants to answer for competitor purposes but I am trying to expand into the commercial sector and keep getting asked for Rate sheets and I dont want to cut my throat here. I also dont need exact numbers but what is the average going rate for a rig welder to charge. My thinking is 100 to 115hr. 100 a day for rig onsite and a one time set up charge with of course per diem for anything over a certain mileage. Any help with this would be very much appreciated as I have been up nights not being able to sleep trying to calculate all this. I cant charge my regular residential rate of 65 and hour because I am going to need to pay guys get larger material orders and so on. This is something I have worked up towards for the last 4 years starting small but I have had to learn all this on my own never really had a mentor or a friend with an established business to kinda walk me thru all this. So anyone willing to just give me some general figures would be very much appreciated. Again sorry if this is one of those dont ask questions but this is to important to me to not try. Oh also I am from Pa. Dont know if that matters or not.

    Thanks Again

  • #3
    Thank you very much for the reply. I dont know why I uave had such a hard time finding a starting point to even go off of. The only thing I found that was somewhat helpful is a 2019 range of $65 to $125hr but that is a pretty wide range and alot of money lost if you go to low. I have done this thing right from the very beginning starting with small side jobs out of my Garage and when I made enough I bought a welder/gen in cash. Then took on alittle bigger jobs and when I made enough I bought a trailer for it then took on bigger jobs and all the way up to me know having an F250 Super Duty with a 20' trailer set up with a Miller 301D and a Bobcat250, plus gang box, tool boxes, drill press, outfitters with a small manual crane for line work, drill press, miller dynasty tig, 2 spool guns, 2 suitcase migs, and metal rack. This is the next step in my business model but its a vital and a make or break me one.

    Comment


    • #4
      I’d suggest seeking the council of a couple of contractors in your area, probably even ones you’ve worked for if you trust them, and ask that honest question.

      Comment


      • #5
        I am not following your reasoning from jumping up from $65 to $100-115 just because you need to pay guys and buy more material? Residential vs. commercial? Your rate should be your rate for either. If you have a helper with you then you charge extra for him. For instance $90 for you and your rig and then $45 for your helper. I would say helper amount depends on what you pay him. If you just get someone for 15 hr cash for the day or is he a regular employee with all the expenses that go along with it. How skilled is he, etc. #2--If you buy more material for bigger jobs then you actually make money off of that since you should be marking it up from what you pay so that actually makes you money.

        Around here (north west NJ) I think most guys are 85-100. I work a little cheaper as I have very little overhead. As far as mileage goes for me it is subjective. I try to only work local, within 1/2 hour, but when I go maybe an hour I just charge my rate for one way travel time. It also depends on the customer and the job. Will I be there all day or just a few hours? I try to treat everyone the same.
        Last edited by MMW; 12-19-2019, 07:14 PM.
        MM250
        Trailblazer 250g
        22a feeder
        Lincoln ac/dc 225
        Victor O/A
        MM200 black face
        Whitney 30 ton hydraulic punch
        Lown 1/8x 36" power roller
        Arco roto-phase model M
        Vectrax 7x12 band saw
        Miller spectrum 875
        30a spoolgun w/wc-24
        Syncrowave 250
        RCCS-14

        Comment


        • #6
          Its going to depend a lot on your location. If you can get 100-115 I think your doing pretty good. 100 / day for rig onsite sounds pretty far fetched tho. What would be the reason behind that? I've never heard of such thing.

          I think around here its around 100 - 120 / hr for mobile as well but that's canadian pesos.
          www.silvercreekwelding.com

          Miller Trailblazer 325 efi
          Miller extreme 12vs
          Thermal arc 186 ac/dc
          Lincoln power wave 455m/stt with 10m dual feeder

          Comment


          • #7
            "100 a day for rig onsite and a one time set up charge"

            I too do not understand this?

            If it is a local job my clock starts when I pull onto the job and ends when I am done packing up. As far as a minimum charge it depends on the customer and the job. I usually go easy on people because one thing I hate is when a tradesman shows up to do something that takes 1/2 hour and bills it out like it is a few hours. People like that I don't use again or recommend. Usually those type of jobs are for homeowners and I put myself in their shoes. I understand that I still need to make money and be profitable but it does not hurt to be reasonable. Now I am digressing as the question was about commercial work. What kind of work are you going after?
            Last edited by MMW; 12-20-2019, 06:51 AM.
            MM250
            Trailblazer 250g
            22a feeder
            Lincoln ac/dc 225
            Victor O/A
            MM200 black face
            Whitney 30 ton hydraulic punch
            Lown 1/8x 36" power roller
            Arco roto-phase model M
            Vectrax 7x12 band saw
            Miller spectrum 875
            30a spoolgun w/wc-24
            Syncrowave 250
            RCCS-14

            Comment


            • #8
              Usually those type of jobs are for homeowners and I put myself in their shoes. I understand that I still need to make money and be profitable but it does not hurt to be reasonable.
              This goes back to something ChuckE said, It's a business, not a charity. If you're normally busy, some jobs aren't worth enough money to bother doing. ChuckE recommended not even bothering with nickle and dime jobs. I imagine if you're real new and need to build up some reputation, it might be worth losing some money to buy some jobs but that's not really sustainable. Eventually, you'll have to charge enough per job to make it worth doing them.

              You have to figure how much you need to earn per day to be a viable business and then stick to it. If you drive to a site, do a 1 hour job, pack up and leave, you've probably killed most of your day. If you earned $100-150 for that day, Was the job even worth doing?

              Comment


              • #9
                No one other than you and your potential customer can properly ascertain what your worth?...........Simply from the standpoint of not knowing your abilities , qualifications , permits or available equipment.

                Self-employment is not for everyone and the first thing I would recommend would be to take a deep dive into your costs first , which should include every cost item that makes the wheels go around in your life & business........... that should also include present and future expenditures for equipment replacement & up-dating...notwithstanding a deep dive into your business needs like, Liability Insurance ,Licenses , permits and other things you need to survive in the business world............and finally after all the bills are paid what do you think your worth is as an hourly employee?

                Perhaps a call to your Bookkeeper, tax preparer and even attorney would be prudent as no for hire business comes without risk.

                Keeping in mind the dude that commands the $125 / hour rate probably brings more to the party than others.

                Been self employed most of my life........in a different business other than were talking about here.....but they all have the same basic's ...........Good Luck!

                Comment


                • #10
                  I'm self employed too. My biggest expense is health insurance. It's about $20K a year and it's not even particularly good insurance.

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    MasterKwan wrote "You have to figure how much you need to earn per day to be a viable business and then stick to it. If you drive to a site, do a 1 hour job, pack up and leave, you've probably killed most of your day. If you earned $100-150 for that day, Was the job even worth doing?"

                    The above is something think about carefully. This goes back to what kind of business you are running or want to have or what work you can get. I have made a lot of money over the years on the little jobs and also made many people happy by doing things other people won't bother doing. Do five or six of the one hour jobs a day and you can do pretty well. I am not saying that you have to do that but unless you have customers lined up to pay for 8-10 hour days every day you might as well do little jobs also instead of limiting yourself. I try to do both so I am what I call diversified, not dependent on any one type of work or customer. When I just started out on my own I had a large customer who basically wanted me there everyday so I turned a lot of work away to do that. Then one day they said ok that is enough and just stopped fixing stuff so I had nothing lined up. Took a while to get back working steady. Lesson learned, do not rely to much on one customer.

                    Something else that will come into play is your location. I know you said Pa. but that is a big place with many different economic areas. Closer to big cities usually commands more money than if you are closer to a very rural area. This also affects how far you will need to drive to your jobs or how much traffic you will sit in.

                    Next question, Are you legit business at the moment or just working on the side? Taxes take a big chunk if you are legit. I am in NJ so for me it is about 4.5% state, 19% fed and then another 15% self employment tax. So that amounts to about 40% of your profits gone.
                    Last edited by MMW; 12-20-2019, 04:47 PM.
                    MM250
                    Trailblazer 250g
                    22a feeder
                    Lincoln ac/dc 225
                    Victor O/A
                    MM200 black face
                    Whitney 30 ton hydraulic punch
                    Lown 1/8x 36" power roller
                    Arco roto-phase model M
                    Vectrax 7x12 band saw
                    Miller spectrum 875
                    30a spoolgun w/wc-24
                    Syncrowave 250
                    RCCS-14

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      I operate with very low overhead as well, so I’m a bit cheaper than other people like has already been mentioned. The other guys, well some of the other guys, around here do bring more to the table than me, like availability, more equipment, more experience....I have a handful of excellent clients that I’ll generally drop what I’m doing to get them going again.

                      If you go out and knock on doors and make some cold calls, just meet people that have needs you know how to fix, you’ll get plenty of work. If your honest and do good work they’ll call you back. For me, I got my start foxing restaurant stuff, by pure accident too.

                      Small jobs are good for me because I can knock several out and make some coin. Also, don’t be afraid to turn down work for the guy that wants you to do it for next to nothing. It’s not your fault he’s broke. And don’t under charge residential customers just because they’re residential, they have money too. Although I don’t do any residential work as a general rule. It’s been more hassle than it’s worth in my experience. I could charge them more, but it would be because I know the job is going to irritate the living daylights out of me. That’s all.

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        I want to thank all of you for all the information and feedback. I am sorry I am now just writing to express my thanks things have been really busy for me with a few things other then the business. I want to answer a few of the questions that were asked to help clear some things up and maybe allow for a better understanding of I have going on. The $100 on site charge was a one time charge basically it takes care of the expenses of getting to the site I.E. wear and tear on the trailer, fuel for the truck things like that I read some guys list it others just figure it into there rate. As far as legitimate or not I am now full go at it and have gone LLC. I am learning as I go here so bare with me on a few things because some of you guys who have been at it 20+ years will probably have your jaw hit the desk and everyone will be distracted around y oou u because you will be banging your head of your desk saying what the [email protected]# is this guy doing.LOL. Well hopefully not that bad or j made a really bad choice.

                        Alright so alittle more back ground about things. I started small as I have said and worked my way up being patient and following my business plan religiously. I was working full time when things first started out but then I was working on jobs after my full day of work so I decided to go all in. My two mistakes was one thinking I had enough capital and two thinking I had enough capital. It has seriously hand cuffed me in areas where if I had the funds to advertise or pick up this piece of equipment or set another trailer up I would be much much further along but you live and learn and I learned from it big time but it also made me appreciate the equipment I had that much more and the new equipment or used equipment I picked up along the way isn't taken for granted or treated poorly like I have seen some guys do with there equipment it just makes me shake my head. But I digress, I am at a stage of my company were I am getting Into waters I am not to familiar with and it isn't the work it's all the other stuff the office stuff the paperwork knowing what paperwork is required or the best way to go about obtaining bid bonds . If there is someone out there who has been running there own show for awhile and who has performed work in the commercial sector and even the governmental sector that wouldn't mind answering a few questions for me it would be very much appreciated. Just PM me. You will see that my questions are not ones that would be asked by someone who doesn't want to spend the time or do the work looking for the answers they are questions that I am not sure there is a right and wrong answer for it's more of a matter of opinion maybe.

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          Thank you for getting back into the discussion. I do not charge a "show up" rate. It is figured into my hourly rate. I try not to travel to far for work. I would suggest posting questions on here. You may get different answers but then you can pick what suits you best or even combine them for yourself. Sounds like you have a plan but do not be afraid to be flexible and go where the work takes you.
                          MM250
                          Trailblazer 250g
                          22a feeder
                          Lincoln ac/dc 225
                          Victor O/A
                          MM200 black face
                          Whitney 30 ton hydraulic punch
                          Lown 1/8x 36" power roller
                          Arco roto-phase model M
                          Vectrax 7x12 band saw
                          Miller spectrum 875
                          30a spoolgun w/wc-24
                          Syncrowave 250
                          RCCS-14

                          Comment


                          • #15
                            Build your credit. Get that fico as high as you can. In America a bad credit report will hurt you more than criminal history. Take my word for it. Never buy anything you don't have to in terms of ins or certs. I have set up half a dozen s corps and several single manager llc's. Make sure you pass every arguable deduction before you transfer to your 1040. Anyone paying 25% in taxes is doing something wrong. Buy the equipment you need for the job, every job. Read my thread on the failure of my 325 trailblazer while in the middle of a big job and see how important credit is.

                            I purchased a 325 welder in Oct 2019 and had it drop shipped to job site. Got 700 rebate but collected check in 2020. Got 50 ft ground. 50 ft with stinger and used points on ioc for 115 dollars worth of consumables. Plus 6k points on my credit card.

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