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What are some questions to consider before selecting a shop to work on your ride?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Flynn's_57, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. Flynn's_57
    Joined: May 10, 2002
    Posts: 930

    from Nor*Cal

    Okay, it's been like 9 years since I've had my "love" on the road-
    Rather than wait til (forever), I've decided that employing professionals to finish the job that's already been started may be the only way the project sees completion.

    So what are some questions I should ask?
    Should I have one shop do all the work, or consider towing it to several different places (glass place, hydraulic place, upholstery place, paint shop, etc) instead?

    I'm just extremely saddened that I will now never get to take my HERO (and the one who gifted me the car) for a ride in what is my dream car the way I wanted-

    I'm sick of GREEDY "PROFESSIONALS" and asshats unwilling to see the vision.
    This is a "one-of-a-kind" vehicle, using at least a trick or two that hasn't yet been employed.
    So it's easy to say I'm jaded and conflicted when it comes to paying someone else to wrench on my ride.

    My project's pretty TITS so if any up and comer's want some GOOD BUSINESS hit me up,

    Sorry to be a DICK but I'm PISSY about this crap.
    When you pay "professionals" "X" amount of money and agree that the project will be finished in a certain timeframe and to a certain degree, IT SHOULD BE FUCKING FINISHED.

    Attached Files:

  2. Diavolo
    Joined: Apr 1, 2009
    Posts: 815


    Uhm, if I can't take a tour of their shop with the owner and he/she is not proud to let me see all the work they are doing, I guess they don't need my money. Don't bring up liability because they are with me and I am just looking, not crawling around the work area.

    Have had 2 shops proud to show me their work... I would have been embarrassed. I do my own now.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2013
  3. if you walked into my shop with this exact same spiel, i would recommend you find another shop.

    most guys have no idea what i takes to complete a project of great magnitude or the finances it takes to do so.

    a business' man's time and effort is worth far more than the average person is willing to pay for something 'i could do myself'. if you want something done in a timely fashion, be willing to pay a shop for every minute they spend to get your 'tits' project on the road. if its so 'tits' it wont be an expensive proposition.

    i had a customer who didn't wanna pay what it was gonna cost to get the job done right. he took it else where and they completely wrecked his truck. now he has to bring it back to me to have it done right at double what he's already paid.

    there are very few shops who can 'do it all', but any quality shop has a network of trusted, quality vendors who they can sublet your work out to with excellent results. mind you, you WILL pay a premium for the sublet work, but it will save you the headaches. its up to you.

    good luck on your project.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2013
  4. ^^^^

    Spot on. I would use this guy.

  5. Diavolo
    Joined: Apr 1, 2009
    Posts: 815


    On the other hand and to echo Alteredpilot, I have done enough work for others to know many people want silver platter service for paper plate cost. The fact you used the words "up and comer" tell me you might have unrealistic expectations about getting what you want for what it should really cost.

    Buyer beware, but re-reading the OP, I think I would pass on your project as well.
  6. tudorkeith
    Joined: May 10, 2009
    Posts: 454


    How's the saying go? Good, Fast and Cheap...pick any 2" I find this to be one of the truest statements ever.
  7. patrick english
    Joined: Feb 15, 2008
    Posts: 806

    patrick english
    from La puente

    I wouldn't pay anyone to work on my car..I'm more of a do it you're self kinda guy.
  8. jreeder41
    Joined: Jul 23, 2009
    Posts: 477


    Amen... I think with the attitude you have now you are in for a long hard road. There are so many things that go into having a car done in x amount of time. Believe me one of the biggest is you the customer having the money. Don't think because every show you see on TV has guys working all hours to finish a car that is gonna happen for you.
  9. It would be painful to have everything done by another but sadly circumstances often dictate our actions.

    I have seen this a few times, make sure you have the $$ you agree on. If you cant pay you loose your car! No one wants that!

  10. paintcan54
    Joined: Oct 27, 2007
    Posts: 1,100


    If you walk into a shop with that attitude, I think any good shop my just pass on working on your ride, I know the shop owners I know would. Hope you find a shop to do your ride.
  11. There it is:

  12. wagoon78
    Joined: Nov 13, 2008
    Posts: 359


    Find someone that you really like their work. Ask them their hourly rates and best guess at getting it done. Total amount of $$ and timeframe. TRIPLE the estimate and see if you can afford it and wait. Their estimate is a guess and they will find unexpected things to deal with.

    Projects are supposed to be fun. If you can't do it all yourself and you run out of money, the project just has to sit for a little bit while you save up some more money. Mine's been sitting for over 6 months, but I almost have the cash to get back on it.
  13. thunderbirdesq
    Joined: Feb 15, 2006
    Posts: 6,984


    No matter how nice or "tits" a car is, we ALWAYS find unexpected problems... always. Poor previous repairs, undetected damage, wrong parts, rotten wiring, missing/ill-fitting trim, supposedly "bolt-on" aftermarket parts that require modification or total reworking just to fit, etc... always. And that takes time. That's why an estimate is just that... an estimate. It's a guideline assuming everything goes smoothly... which rarely happens. That doesn't mean the shop is out to fuck you, it's just part of the business and you shouldn't take it as a personal affront.

    This is ESPECIALLY true, as seen in your case in the pic above, if the car has been disassembled or is incomplete prior to arriving at the shop.

    One more piece of advice if I may, and please don't take it the wrong way(don't you love it when people say that?)... While this board definitely leans toward the do-it-yourselfer, there are lots of us that make part or all of our living working on others cars. Your attitude comes off a bit smug, combative, and suspicious toward "professionals". Not a good tact to take if you want this to be a positive experience!
  14. Hotrod 35
    Joined: May 26, 2007
    Posts: 52

    Hotrod 35

    I started not to post a reply to this thread, but I can tell from your post you really want your car done precisely the way you want it and "using at least a trick or two that hasn't yet been employed." I hope you don't think that a shop will allow you to stand there and tell them how to do every step. I wish you the best of luck.
  15. chopolds
    Joined: Oct 22, 2001
    Posts: 5,953

    from howell, nj
    1. Kustom Painters

    I'm sick of GREEDY "PROFESSIONALS" and asshats unwilling to see the vision.
    This is a "one-of-a-kind" vehicle, using at least a trick or two that hasn't yet been employed.

    This scares me when a customer tells me this!
    Either the "vision" is so time consuming to accomplish that no one could pay for it, or it is so ugly, no shop would want their name attached to it (and yes I've done several fo these....gotta pay the bills!)
  16. ryno
    Joined: Oct 6, 2005
    Posts: 3,471


    where exactly is paradise?
  17. I think you should change your attitude before you look for some "asshat" to make you happy,,There is not a man walking that will make "YOU" happy with your attitude...better yet DO IT YOUSELF !!!!!
  18. Embers has hit it right. I find that you would be very hard to please, and it's sure hard to see another's vision and do it perfectly. Have someone do just one item and judge them from that small job rather than trusting them to see the big vision.
  19. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 16,991


    Greaseball, I couldn't help but chuckle at all the responses you got from these guys. I agree with them. You have a whole lot of attitude, and I can't see any "PROFESSIONALS" (or "asshats", your word) wanting to work for you when you show them your attitude before you even get to discussing your project. Looks like you will either pay a premium for a pro to put up with you, or you'll have to build it yourself.
  20. You find the guy that does quality work, tell him what you want and pay him. Asking around in the hobby or on here should very rapidly narrow your choices down. Don't ask people with crap rides either. If you have some speed shops in the area, take the time to walk in and say what type of project you have and ask for some names. after a couple of shops you will start hearing the same name or two surface. If he is good, you will have to wait your turn to get him to work on your project. This isn't Overhauling where people take a piece of crap and push it out in 5 or 6 days.
  21. A car that disassembled, most wouldn't even give an estimate.
  22. GassersGarage
    Joined: Jul 1, 2007
    Posts: 4,728


    One of the top shops in my area had a customer come in demanding that his car be finished in 4 months (except for the motor and trans). He was a contractor and he said he could build a house in 3 months, They should be able to build his car is 4 months. The shop owner told the customer he would have to put every worker on his car to make that time frame. The customer said, "I don't see a problem! How much?" and pulled out a stack of money. The took the job on and finished it with a couple of days to spare.

    In the meantime, the customer had gone to a big time engine builder and tried the same stunt. The customer was told he would have to go to the back of the line. They were so busy, they didn't need his work. It took a few years to finish the car.

    During that time, my car sat in the shop waiting for paint. 6 months later, my car was done.
  23. I've been looking for that same Guy or Shop for 40 plus years. Once you find him tell Him (or Her) to stop hiding so well and pass the name around here. But seriously there should be someone and I'm sure there is. I think the problem is money ain't worth Shit anymore so what should cost $200.oo is really $600. to $800. Those in the Buisness need to make a living. I don't think anyone is out just to Screw customers. To an Open Door Shop it's more about money than you might think. We may really like your project but it's most likely just a Job to most. That's what it takes to pay overhead and buy groceries. I have yet to have an unhappy customer but also I have yet to have a Job be cut and dried just what you ask for, as you asked for it done. Small parts of a project are a different story. Maybe something to think about is to divide it up into smaller jobs. Most paint shops aren't going to wire or upholster your car in house. Neither will most good mechanic shops. Bottom line doing a complete project is a BITCH.
    The Wizzard
  24. You need to mention exactly where you are.

    To find a respected shop, sometimes they just come to you.

    I bought my car from a guy who now has a shop. He has done cars that stand out, but aren't necessarily good-driving. He did work on my car, and on my brother's car. His work speaks for itself in the long term.

    I ended up bringing my car to another shop based on their reputation. They did great work on my car. The owner has a back ground in race car fabrication. He builds traditional hotrods that drive right.

    I now work there.

    P.S. Real shops aren't like they are on TV. The estimate is just that - an estimate. Good work takes time and money. You get what you pay for.
  25. texasred
    Joined: Dec 3, 2008
    Posts: 1,103

    from Houston

    Having worked as a bodyman/custom painter/shop foreman back in the 70's, I think you are going to have a hard time trying to avoid the "asshat" you will find him in every mirror you walk by..
  26. Larry W
    Joined: Oct 12, 2009
    Posts: 735

    Larry W
    from kansas

    Talk to people in the hobby. you'll find who is the professional,and who is the "asshat". Know what you want and let the shop know this. Ask questions,how long,how much,ect. Look at their work. Yes there is going to be unknowns,but if they are professionals they will have seen it before. Know your budget and be ready to pay a little more. The shop owner doesn't want any surprises and you don't either. Good luck on your project
  27. chaos10meter
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 2,191

    from PA.

    I think most customers have a clear vision of what they want until you give them the cost .
  28. Overtime
    Joined: Oct 22, 2012
    Posts: 47


    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 8,221


    It's entirely possible that you're hanging on horror stories instead of being truly experienced with professional relationships. Anyone who's had a full project done by a "greedy professional" knows that it's as much about the relationship as it is the car. Forget the shiney paint, the bitchin chrome, the sexy tuck n roll. Customers and professionals know that every long term project is like a friendship, maybe even a marriage. If you don't know that going in, dump it all and cut your losses now.
  30. choptvan
    Joined: Mar 19, 2010
    Posts: 2,161


    Exactly. Perfect explanation. Spoken like a true shop owner. Thank you.

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