You Don’t Have To Burn Through Your Wallet To Buy A Great Bottle of Wine!
The other day I was invited to a culinary holiday party, the only requirement is to bring a bottle of wine that cost no less than $75. To quote John McEnroe talking to the umpire in a tennis match, “You can’t be serious”.
Recently, the amount that people have told me their home improvement projects are costing them, from changing a faucet, to replacing a sewer pipe to renovating a kitchen or bathroom or even constructing an addition evoked the same reaction. You can’t be serious.
Here is a simple way to do your own approximate estimate for most construction projects. This will show the contractor that you have some knowledge of how the game is played and reduce your chances of being taken advantage of.
Ask the contractor how many days and how many people it will take to complete the work. Based on a current daily rate of $300 per worker, multiply $300 times the number of workers and the number of days needed to complete the work.
For example, if it will take two people three days to complete your project, multiply two people times three days which accounts for six-man days, multiplied times $300. This number approximates the labor costs. Now double the number of your labor cost. This number will be your combined costs for labor and material. The cost of labor and material is approximately the same although material costs have been running higher because of inflation.
Multiply the total number by 10%-20% to account for the contractors overhead and profit. Small companies will have a smaller overhead and profit and larger companies have higher numbers. The result will be approximately the cost of your project. Special equipment that is needed for your specific project could increase the costs.
One other secret to keep in mind. Contractors charge according to your zip code. Medford, Voorhees, Cherry Hill, Haddonfield, Moorestown, Princeton and townships like West Windsor will see higher construction prices than areas like Berlin, Stratford, Glassboro, Ewing, and East Windsor.
Material and labor costs throughout the area are generally constant. The only variable cost is the number assigned for profit. As a contractor once said to me when asked why he charges different numbers for different townships, the reply was “If people in more affluent communities think it costs more money to do a better job than I am more than happy to accommodate them.”
So, the next time you think about buying that $75 bottle of wine remember the same grape that produces the $30 bottle of wine could come from the vineyard down the road.
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