IMG_2245.jpgThe drywall guys came today and in just 3 hours had the drywall up. It’s starting to look like an office again.

Yesterday we found out that the electrician is trying to charge $1200 to install the ethernet jacks. One jack install costs $300, but a phone jack costs $75 (still too high, but much more reasonable). And because we want four jacks, the cost is four times as high! It’s no more work to run one cable than 4 or 8 or 16 cables. There’s a slight amount of work per ethernet port, but even that is maybe a minute of work. Charging 25% or even 50% above the cost of installing one jack is reasonable, but 100% more per jack is outrageous. So there’s likely to be a bit of disagreement on that bill. :)

They can get away with this because people think computer stuff is so complex that it must be harder to install an ethernet jack. But even an idiot like me can wire an ethernet jack, it’s no more difficult than a phone jack.

The other scam we discovered about construction is that even on a Time & Materials basis, they charge a premium on materials! So when they buy a 2x4, we are charged for the 2x4 plus 16%. The windows were even worse; we paid for the windows themselves, some unknown amount to the sales rep and then another 16% to the contractor, and the contractor didn’t do anything other than tell the rep the dimensions!

I was a software consultant for years and everything was T&M and we never charged a dime for materials (software, hardware, etc.) – we charged cost. And we weren’t different, it was unheard of to charge extra for materials. The only money we made was on man-hours. When/if we do any more construction work, we’re going to be our own project manager and we’ll buy stuff directly from the distributor and cut out the middlemen.