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Hot Rods Denver CO builder who takes $ but doesn't build

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by sluggo1936, Nov 29, 2015.

  1. David Gersic
    Joined: Feb 15, 2015
    Posts: 2,303

    David Gersic
    Member
    from DeKalb, IL

    If it's more money than you are willing to walk away from, you need a lawyer, after you get your car (and parts? supplies?) out of there.
     
  2. 5window
    Joined: Jan 29, 2005
    Posts: 7,787

    5window
    Member

    Can't find the shop on Google. Not a good sign at all. Who's not listed on the 'net?
     
    -Brent- likes this.
  3. So the OP is a HAMBer for about four years.

    He starts a thread at the beginning of the year seeking advice about engine selection on a build:
    @ http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/36-5-window-engine-recommendations.962769/#post-10837935

    I am assuming at that point he was looking for or had decided already upon a builder
    for the car in the thread which I am assuming is the car which is the subject of this thread.

    I don't see any posts from him asking for a builder recommendation.

    It appears the OP is a commercial airline pilot for Frontier.

    Without knowing what actually transpired between the shop & the OP
    there is only one side of the story being told here.

    Jim
     
  4. 55willys
    Joined: Dec 7, 2012
    Posts: 1,615

    55willys
    Member

    Our shop will take your car in and you will not pay anything up front because it makes you not want to work on a car with no financial incentive. We have a job sheet for each car and when we get close to filling a page then we bill the customer for work and materials. The only time we would take money up front is for a large parts purchase like a frame or an engine. Generally large purchases are done by the customer and brought to us.
     
  5. Just a question-
    What's your average billing invoice run? If a frame ( 2500.00) is large how deep do you let a customer go before billing them?
     
  6. dirt t
    Joined: Mar 20, 2007
    Posts: 4,699

    dirt t
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Kingman,AZ
    1. HAMB Old Farts' Club

    Good question^^^^^
     
  7. krylon32
    Joined: Jan 29, 2006
    Posts: 6,819

    krylon32
    Alliance Vendor
    from Nebraska

    I seem to be getting a little flak about getting a down stroke for doing a job. I'm been primarily a chassis builder for 35 years and started out with a very minimal down payment but after getting stuck with a couple chassis and trying to sell someone else's vision there had to be some changes. I pride myself on delivering in a timely manner and have never had any customer complaints about a down payment as a commitment on a chassis. I guess in the eyes of some on here I'm a dinosaur but in today's tough economy you can't build a 8-10 thousand dollar chassis with only a verbal commitment from the customer. To many people change directions on a whim and this business I wouldn't have lasted very long. I know many other chassis shops that require a down payment for their services.
     
  8. I agree with you 100%


    Jim
     
    da34guy likes this.
  9. slo-dat
    Joined: Mar 5, 2010
    Posts: 89

    slo-dat
    Member
    from Coulee, WA
    1. Upholstery

    I require a payment to get on my schedule. Of course it is applied to the project invoice later on. I won't start a project until a significant majority of the material costs are paid in advance. Then a milestone payment and final upon delivery. Never had a complaint about any of it.
     
  10. I'm not but that is because I am not doing anything for anyone who I either don't like or have someone who I like bring them by. LOL

    You are correct literally everyone has a facebook or instagrahm or something any more.
     
    31Vicky with a hemi likes this.
  11. 911 steve
    Joined: Nov 29, 2012
    Posts: 603

    911 steve
    Member
    from nebraska

    I think the main thing is dealing with reputable people, ie recommendations, references, personal experiences from friends. I just finished the build on my 40 Ford sedan. paint & body estimate was $11,500 line item by line. body had been media blasted, needed patch panels on both doors, both quarters, lower tail pan, & rocker panels. fenders were very rough but original steel(worth saving in my mind). shop came recommended from a friend, he asked for half up front, $1000 when ready for paint, balance due upon completion, which he estimated at 3-4 months. I checked on it twice weekly & took pictures all along. it was painted, flamed, & re-assembled with everything from bumpers to lights. no interior or glass. I took it in on July 12th & got it back Oct 30 looking great. he was calling me every week saying, well I need to buy this or that small item. finally I said don't call unless you're spending over $200. final bill was just over $12K. great experience overall, but he has since gone out of business.
     
  12. 55willys
    Joined: Dec 7, 2012
    Posts: 1,615

    55willys
    Member

    $5000-$10,000 average bill. Small jobs just pay when they pick up the car like like a regular auto shop. We have also done fixed monthly payments but it is a total PITA because it causes starts and stops on the vehicle. Trying to figure out where you were on a project a month or two ago is no fun.
     
  13. bchctybob
    Joined: Sep 18, 2011
    Posts: 2,655

    bchctybob
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I had a custom header/chassis fab shop in L.A. for many years. No advertising, just referrals. And a lot of them were licking their wounds from another shop that dropped the ball.
    I tried to stock the most common materials. If some one came in with special needs I got a deposit amounting to about 50% of the material cost. I logged the deposit and job requirements and gave them a completion date and cost. Sometimes, on bigger jobs there was a mid-payment based on work completed. On most chassis jobs, I helped them select components and suppliers then the customers brought me the stuff they wanted assembled. I never had any problems not getting paid or getting stiffed though I admit it was a small, low volume shop (one or two projects at a time - along side my own of course). I also bartered for stuff.
    I tried my damnedest to get jobs done on time and in budget. I always tried to do a little extra - some good will work. In 15 years I had mostly great customers and lots of fun. Eventually material costs rose to a point where it was hard to make enough money, I resisted raising my prices as long as I could then decided to pull the plug.
    Sluggo, I hope you get this resolved and I sure hope you didn't lose your car to these guys. Good luck...
     
  14. It's pretty easy to generate a 5 G payroll bill for yourself to pay once a week if you're rolling along on a bigger project - with good expedition and planning.
     
  15. pumpman
    Joined: Dec 6, 2010
    Posts: 2,674

    pumpman
    Member

    I'm on the other side of most of you guys. I needed some frame work on my 32, front cross member and rear cross member for a quick change rear end. I do most of my own work but was not comfortable with my skill set and available tools & equipment. The job was pretty straight forward, was referred to a guy here in Michigan by friends who had work done there. Met Mike and told him what I needed to get done he quoted $1500.00 and $500.00 start up cash, probably 2 to 3 weeks. He would call me on the progress and completed everything I wanted in 2 weeks, went to clear the bill and pick up the frame. More work was needed then we expected so I figured more cash. Wrong, Mike said everything went so smoothly that the total bill was $1200.00 minus the deposit. He will get more work from me and if anyone is looking a great builder PM me and I'll give you the contact info.
     
    Pops1532 and luckythirteenagogo like this.
  16. There's a good man, those "Mikes" aren't common.
     
  17. 48FLIP
    Joined: Feb 15, 2006
    Posts: 16

    48FLIP
    Member
    from DENVER CO

    Strange we have not heard anything from Slugo since he took his other builder to look at his project. Just saying!
     
  18. This is what I am accustomed to as far as business and getting stiffed by a customer is concerned.

    Maybe I am lucky in my dealings. I have lived by simple rules in my life and dealings with people, maybe they are not good rules but they are mine. I treat everyone well and expect the same, if I don't treat you well I fully expect you to treat me worse and vice versa. I do my absolute best to keep my word and expect the same from everyone else. And a couple of other things that probably don't really apply to the subject. Everyone who really knows me knows that and it keeps everyone on an even keel. Or like I said maybe I am just lucky. :)
     
  19. luckythirteenagogo
    Joined: Dec 28, 2012
    Posts: 1,263

    luckythirteenagogo
    Member

    Unfortunately I've known about more than a few shops that required upfront money to start the job, but end up using that money to continue the work on other jobs they've run out of money for and are under the gun to get finished. It's a vicious cycle a lot of them can't get out of. I knew one guy that did some of the nicest work I've seen, but had no idea how to run a business and insisted on doing everything himself. His pride got in his way and ended up costing him everything.
     
  20. Pops1532
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 544

    Pops1532
    Member
    from Illinois

    I understand what you're saying but there would be additional costs that the customer would have to pay for.

    First off, whoever handles the escrow account will charge a fee. There's often a base fee plus an additional charge for each payout.

    Any builder that has access to working capitol (bank line of credit, or deep pockets) will charge for the cost/use of the money.

    I wholeheartedly agree that a well written contract covering expected costs (with provisions for additional charges for hidden damage, extras,changes, etc), and expectations of both the shop and customer is an excellent idea.
     
  21. Deposit from job "D" finishes Job "A" . Final payment from job "A" progresses job "B" . If you're job "C" in that circle it's going to be a long road. Bright side is that since job "A" is leaving, there's room for job "E". The shop becomes a storage facility.
     
  22. luckythirteenagogo
    Joined: Dec 28, 2012
    Posts: 1,263

    luckythirteenagogo
    Member

    That's about the way it goes, and when it's a one man show nothing moves fast especially when he's bringing in job "S".
     
  23. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 11,672

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    In the first paragraph, what the minor extra costs would be are "insurance". Or, customer can save that money and gamble the whole wad on the builder's performance.

    In the second paragraph, if the customer's money resides with the builder, the customer forgoes interest his money would earn remaining in the bank, and the builder saves interest on working capital by using customers money free of charge. There is really no excuse for a man to call himself a businessman, no matter his trade, if he doesn't have the needed ingredients before hanging his shingle.

    In the third paragraph, we are in concurrence.

    Ray
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2015
    da34guy likes this.
  24. Ok, lets just say that a shop takes no money till completion, or a contractor dealing with escrows and draws and both have 4 or 5 projects going. The contractor can very easily without even trying too hard have 3-500K on the streets or in billed receivables and waiting to get paid on. Generally its not his money bankrolling anything. He stays in the hole with sub contractors and suppliers. Some contractors have a "28 day" pay schedule for subs, some is 60 and some suppliers are gracious to have 90 day net on what the send out.

    Those 2 windows of time let the guy juggle the debt and take ulcer meds while he's waiting to get the escrow draws completed and dodging homeowners who wonder why the job isn't rolling and begging subs to get a little deeper to get the homeowners off his ass. The draw is spent before he gets it, remember its set up that way, to be spent and owed before he gets it.

    In the middle of this the customer needs to pay Substantially more than their fair share for this - with a Capitol and capital S. The owners of the projects have got to pay for the float and it ain't cheap. No, well Who's going to pay for it? It can't be paid for by charging less, it can't be paid for by paying peanut and potatoe wages, hiring illegals or kids. Contractors need to make 30 points or they go broke. How's points work, you ask- well I'll tell you.

    Lets just say a job cost $100.00 when its said and done. He needs 30 points so in order to get that he will not charge $130, no he needs to charge $143.00.
    Warning math ahead
    $130.00 minus 30 points is $91.00
    130x 0.70 = 91
    $143.00 minus 30 points is 100.1
    143x 0.70 = 100.1
    So if paying 43% more sounds yummy then that's the way it goes and there's no changing that because it comes with not having up front money and no pay as you go.


    If a guy has 500K of his own money to bankroll that mess, he'd also be smart enough to make 3 times what he's making sitting on his ass on a beech than spreading his money across the city hoping the cash flow comes in faster than it goes out.

    The same goes for the shops and custom builds. Ever notice how the bigger shops are also dealers for parts. How does stocking parts As dealer differ in actually buying parts? The dealer has inventory, supplied or on loan from the manufacturer to be sold. They build cars with borrowed parts and pay dealer cost after they charge retail plus.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2015
  25. Pops1532
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 544

    Pops1532
    Member
    from Illinois

    There ya go. Someone gets it.
     
    hipster likes this.
  26. 911 steve
    Joined: Nov 29, 2012
    Posts: 603

    911 steve
    Member
    from nebraska

    before & after
    6-15-12a.JPG 6-15-12b.JPG 6-15-12d.JPG 10-16-12c.JPG 10-16-12b.JPG 10-16-12j.JPG 10-30-12c.JPG
     
    55 Ford Gasser and David Gersic like this.
  27. 911 steve
    Joined: Nov 29, 2012
    Posts: 603

    911 steve
    Member
    from nebraska

  28. luckythirteenagogo
    Joined: Dec 28, 2012
    Posts: 1,263

    luckythirteenagogo
    Member

    That about sums it up.... It also sums up why I only do side jobs. but that's another whole set of problems for another thread.
     
  29. Just wanted to chime in on Krylon32 as far as dealing with him in the past. I took my original 32 frame to him to have it built. He was GREAT to work with and done outstanding workmanship. This is not my first hot rod build and have worked with other shops in the past. Gary gave me a price and came in right where he quoted and at the time he told me it would be done.
    So many of the shops will not give a guy a hard number they just want to give you a shop rate per hour, and it is what it is time wise they say.
    Now I can understand this as far as body repair as we all know you don't know just what you are getting into with these 80 year old cars until you open it up. But building a frame with the information the owner gives the builder as far as what style should be no big deal.
    I would have Cornhusker Hot Rod Shop build me another frame in a heart beat. GREAT SHOP, GREAT WORKMANSHIP, FAIR PRICES and a GREAT TRACK RECORD with customers.
     
    luckythirteenagogo likes this.
  30. Hey no fair logic applies to nothing on the HAMB. :eek:_O:eek::D

    Just to say that I like it when good solid math is applied to a simple problem. Good on ya friend. ;)
     

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