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Question DetailsAsked on 9/22/2014

LCD this is exterior remodeler. What part of the country do you call home?

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3 Answers


Currently Northwest - previously southwest, southern midwest, upper midwest, northern tier, east coast, Alaska, northeast, rocky mountains, then northwest - have worked on projects locted in something like 45 states plus pretty much worldwide - why ? Do you find my pricing info out of whack for your part of the country (wherever that is) or something ?

Answered 5 years ago by LCD


LCD, I asked because I have been in the home improvement business for 25 years and I have a fairly high IQ. But, of what I have read, you may be the most knowledgeable person I know in the remodeling/construction business. And so you know, I am not writing that with any sort of negative connotation. I mean it with the utmost respect.

You asked if I was curious because of a pricing answer.

Occasionally I see posts with pricing in them from many of the contributors. This is very difficult if initially the person who asked the question did not mention a geographical location. I have traveled around the US and have a pretty good idea of pricing and it does fluctuate drastically from one part of the country to another. For example in the Chicago/Milwaukee market we have experienced a 10-20% labor spike recently from all of our crews because we are experiencing a labor shortage due to (storm chasers) coming into the market and hijacking a bunch of crews. So, I am very careful when I post how I answer pricing questions. I have a feeling that when you answer them, it really is to help the individual who asked the question and feel that is very admirable. If there was more of it, our industry would not have the black eye it does. BUT, EVERYTHING IS A PROCESS, AND WE ARE TRYING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE. So, there you have it.

Answered 5 years ago by ExteriorUpgrader


ExteriorUpgrader - thank you - I try.

My experience comes from a wide variety of types of work over the last half century or so - my father was a contractor and as a kid I also worked (from about age 11) for him and also for a general contractor friend of his as a fixit man and handyman under his company so saw a wide variety of types of jobs including LOTS of repairs and cleaning up of botched jobs done by other contractors, and back then of course a licensed GC could do any type of work so I have done plumbing, electrical, HVAC, concrete, roofing, framing, all types of interior finishes, etc.

After college (engineering) I worked everything from multi-billion $ natural resources and mega structural jobs like large dams, new rail lines, World Trade Center buildings, petrochemical plants, mines, major military/government construction, bridges, roads, tunnels, etc - as well as consulting work on more normal sized commercial and residential developments, and also served (as a consultant under contract) in municipal building official/engineer/inspection work in two different cities - one on each coast, have done a lot of remote sites work from Antarctica to the Arctic Ocean, and also have consulted independently on a significant number of jobs gone wrong and as an expert in arbitration/dispute resolution/lawsuit scenarios within the building trade, so between that and a LOT of courses/certifications/licenses along the way and teaching building science/energy efficiency/insulation courses and technical courses for contractors, I have had the benefit of having seen a LOT of different types of construction pretty much all around the country - and unfortunately have seen a LOT of wrong ways things are done too, as well as a lot of rehabs of deteriorated or damaged buildings.

I try to use this experience to help people with questions on this forum, and I agree with you on the pricing issue. Several other contributors have taken the position that it is not possible to give a price range not knowing where the job is located or its exact details, and it would be VERY nice if AL would tag questions with a general location or put that in as a separate line in the question page. However, I feel giving at least a ballpark cost range is a lot more meaningful than saying "it all depends" in every case, and I don't recall that I have ever had a questioner (or responder) come back and say my price ranges were just all wet - though I think one or two times BayAreaAC and maybe Contractor Don or Todd Shell (what happened to him, anyway - haven't seen any responses from him in a long time) have said I was a bit on the low side. I may have that tendency because I tend to think how long it would take me to do a job, not necessarily how long it would take the average joe out there taking into account the worst of the lot too. I did just see a 17 square asphalt shingle reroof job (no sheathing replacement) take 2 weeks with a 4 man crew for $20,000 where it should have been one long day for about $5000 around here - so there are times my estimates will be WAYYY lower than what people might get as a bid.

I respect your comments and am sure they have helped poor lost homeowner souls on this site at lot - carry on the good work. I just wish we could get more building trades people and maybe another architect or structural engineer or two on this site to provide answers, and another electrician and another plumber and maybe a flooring guy and we really need a painter many times ... I would like to see 3-5 answers to all but the simplest questions, but in many cases I let questions go unanswered for a couple of days hoping someone will respond, then finally jump in so the questioner is not left totally out there in the dark with not answer at all.

Of course,it would be nice if the questioners responded back after the fact about how useful the suggestions were, and how meaningful or accurate the cost ranges provided were.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD

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