AVS Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,280 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have assisted a couple neighbors with set up of thier..ahhem...Yamaha Theater In A Box units. EEcchh! One neighbor "tipped" me a bottle of Crown Royal, the other gave me a generous Thank You!


Well, by word of mouth one of the neighbor's friend wanted me to install his Yamaha HTIB! They are finishing off their basement and have reserved a 13 x 14 ft. room for the HT. The contractor is recessing the new Sony 57" HDTV into a false wall..as well as making recessed speaker cubby holes and recessed shelving for the electronics. Currently the stud work is complete and they are awaiting the electrician.


I could not stand the idea of a cheapy HTIB for such a project...especially with a new HDTV! I convinced him and his wife to return the $1000 system tomorrow...and I selected a much better system within his budget.


QUESTION: What do you...or what SHOULD I charge for my service? He told me the company that sold him the TV and HTIB would do the setup for a minimum of $300 plus accessories (cables,etc..) They said $50.00 per hour per man. That is with 2 men for about 3 hours.


I told him I would do it for $200.00. I figured that was "fair", for all I really have to do is run speaker wire behind the stud work and mount two wall speakers...the rest is just connecting cables and programming the universal remote...all of which he will have prepaid for.


I have a feeling that this will lead to other "jobs" and would really like to know what a fair hourly or combined rate should be. I really wouldn't mind doing this on the side. I kinda like spending other folks money on electronic goodies!:D
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,403 Posts
My brother in law charges 3 times what the materials cost him as a contract price.

You can do the same or take some advice from someone more qualified. My in law has been a independent carpenter for about 35 years. Makes a good living, enough to buy a bi-level house build his own add on to his house. He is raising 2 children and is a good husband to my sister. I hope this gives you an idea what a professional carpenter and electrician charges.:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,007 Posts
When poeple pay you for a service your relationship will change from a friend who is helping them out to an "installer".

Thus, when something goes wrong, or is not to their satisfaction..... Watch out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,538 Posts
I would say you should not charge. You had them return and upgrade their system before mentioning anything about price.


In the future you should go one of two routes.


1) Consultant/Installer

Charge per hour of advice/install time.


2) Contractor

They tell you what they want and budget. You give them an extimate, buy equipment and instal it. You also service all the equipment.


But in all honesty, the hassle may not be worth it. It's sometime better just to have neighbors that are as interesten in this stuff as you are. It's always good to have people that like you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
599 Posts
From someone that freelances a lot:


1/3 of anything you make goes to taxes(FED)

You are subject to state taxes.

You are subject to local taxes.

If you don't report this income and they do....

You are screwed.

If your going to work under the table

Never give out your social security number.

Deal in cash only


If you are using your private auto

Chances are your insurance is void

(if they find out)


You are liable while on their property

and you must have your own (workers comp) insurance.


If you break any of their equipment

Or they think you broke something....

You are liable.


(hint)

You can do the work for free then be given a gift by the thankful homeowners.


Freelance work can be rewarding($$$) and lucrative

Don't be discouraged

Just make sure that you know the rules
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,280 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Actually, My "consultation" time was free of charge. I simply inspected the proposed area for the HT and discussed some ideas for speaker and electronics placement.


They explained they bought the HDTV for $3000.00 and then told the saleman to set them up with a HT audio system for $1000.00.....hence the Yamaha HTIB. I then took the time to ask their taste of music and TV entertainment. Hubby says he wants music loud and real bass from the movies. Wife concurred. I suggested that perhaps the HTIB was not an ideal option for them.


I told them I would install the HTIB for the $200, but I would work up an estimate on some suggested pieces keeping the price near the $1000.00 budget.


Basically, since I was working with minimal dollars and wanted the shopping to be easy for them I picked items from the local BestBuy...not my ideal place to shop, however....Joe6Pack seems to luv it.


Pioneer DTS 500 watt 5.1 Receiver with Component Video Switching.


Toshiba Multidisc DVD player


Yamaha 3 way speakers (front and rear)


Yamaha 2 way center channel


Yamaha dual 8" 200 watt subwoofer


Plus RS Gold Series cables, surge protector, and accessories.


Now I know this is not the top of the line set up...but for about $140 more than the HTIB..it will blow the Box Set away!


They would buy all the electronics themselves, as so the warranties would not be an issue.


As for the issue of "insurance libilities" that is a good point!


Thank you!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,034 Posts
I have been in the same boat. (still am actually).


I have set up systems for friends, neighbors, etc. and they have all offered to pay me for my time/knowledge. Most of these take an hour, maybe 2. I usually do stuff like that for $20 or $25 an hour (cash). It's no different than offering advice and them buying you dinner or something similiar.


I also work with a custom homebuilder installing media rooms/systems. This is usually a bid and I get what's left over! :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
366 Posts
Do it for free :) That way they wont expect you to be over adjusting or figuring out why something wont work. They'll think you are a good guy and you might save yourself some serious headaches :) Depending on what business your neighbor is in, it could also work to your advantage down the road when you may need his help :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,280 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well, I just finished the speaker wiring for the couple I had mentioned earlier. I am glad I decided to charge, as nothing is ever as easy as it seems! Right? I show up to start the wire install and am greeted by the husband who says I need to call his wife at work and to read her note she left.


He calls her as I read the note explaining how she wants the system wired for 2 locations! Depending on whether they install the electronics in a false wall with the rear projection or put them on a small entertainment rack at the back of the room! I had to run a total of 260 feet of speaker wire and terminate the ends in to separate locations. As I had said the stud work in complete, but they are using sheet metal studs which can give you nasty little gashes in your hands as you feed wire through around them! Trust me I know!


So with that said they were happy to increase my labor to $250, plus additional materials. They are getting a great deal.


NOW, I just installed another system yesterday. Some of you will be proud as I did it for FREE! Yup, just a dinner for my wife and I. This was an old neighbor who I did owe a favor to. He gave me a budget of about $1500.00 for a reciever and 5.1 speaker set up. We did good as I merely aided him in his choices. We spent the entire day shopping. We selected a Yamaha 100wt 6.1 capable DTS reciever and the Klipsch Synergy F2 main speakers, Klipsch Synergy Center, matching Klipsch tri-pole surrounds and a Klipsch 12" subwoofer..we tossed in a Toshiba Progressive scan DVD player to match his brand new Sony 54" 4:3 HDTV ready television. I KNOW! I wasn't there to educate him on the 4:3 vs. 16:9...the SEARS salesboy really had him confused! His total for the speakers and reciever and DVD player was just under $2000...right in line with his expectations.


This was a fun install as he actually helped with fishing wire through walls and removing baseboard trim while I connected components.:D Tonight I will go back and condense his remotes so they are more user friendly, and also do sound level checks and set the video levels.


Just as a quick demo I played him one of my favorite CDs from Tangerine Dream....he was in extasy! Then we demo'd Final Fantasy and Waterworld DTS before I had to call it a night!:cool:
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top