How to get your contractor to finish a project faster

13 Replies

My quick tip of the day is something I heard Today in Show 41.

https://open.spotify.com/episode/1Kcy4WvY7FA5uxAwVfAtnp?si=UW4veHJ8QgOr-eoxlEi1BQ

If you are in a tight schedule and you want your contractor to not go and take a lunch break that can last 2 hours or more, Then you can call the contractor and let him know that you got for them some pizza or hamburgers for lunch so they can stay on site and finish the job faster.

Originally posted by @Meir Greenblatt :

My quick tip of the day is something I heard Today in Show 41.

https://open.spotify.com/episo... you are in a tight schedule and you want your contractor to not go and take a lunch break that can last 2 hours or more, Then you can call the contractor and let him know that you got for them some pizza or hamburgers for lunch so they can stay on site and finish the job faster.

What if you should happen to find a contractor who recognizes this as an underhanded trick to get more work per day out of him and make him jump according to your schedule? How would you feel at your job if the boss showed up at lunchtime, threw you a chocolate bar, and told you to eat it and get back to work?

@Jim K.

I get your point.

Ofcourse it. Needs to be a good Satisfying meal.

And not just a Chocolate bar.

I do recommend listening to how they said it in the podcast minutes 64, it sounded much better than how I said it...

I personally prefer a free meal :)

Originally posted by @Meir Greenblatt :

My quick tip of the day is something I heard Today in Show 41.

https://open.spotify.com/episo... you are in a tight schedule and you want your contractor to not go and take a lunch break that can last 2 hours or more, Then you can call the contractor and let him know that you got for them some pizza or hamburgers for lunch so they can stay on site and finish the job faster.

How about trying to show up on Friday at lunch time with pizza and telling them you appreciate their efforts this week. Let’s go fishing after we eat. 

I can honestly say, from being in construction pretty much my whole life that construction guys are undervalued and underpayed most of the time. I good pat on the back and an extra $100 would go further than trying to force them to be more productive. Most of these guys are from the school of hard knocks. They will not take a bunch of crap And stupid games not where I’m from anyway  

Originally posted by @Meir Greenblatt :

@Jim K.

I get your point.

Ofcourse it. Needs to be a good Satisfying meal.

And not just a Chocolate bar.

I do recommend listening to how they said it in the podcast minutes 64, it sounded much better than how I said it...

I personally prefer a free meal :)

You really do not get my point. This is a trick to get more work out of your workers by giving them "a free meal" at the jobsite which you expect them to compensate you for by shortening their meal break. You are putting pressure on them not to leave the jobsite for a rest period away from their workplace in order to finish the job you paid them to do faster.

The residential renovation jobsite is typically noisy, smelly, dusty, hot or cold depending on the season, by definition in a state of ruin, and overall an ugly, stressful place to make a living. 

You cannot show up with pizza, fried chicken, or a catered gourmet meal served by professional waitstaff and somehow mask what you are doing and your motives for doing it.

This kind of obviously manipulative behavior blatantly insults your workers' intelligence. In addition, as has been pointed out in this thread, contractors often feed their own subs and construction leads feed their own team members. As a handyman investor myself, I tend to take my own guys when I have a team working for me to the best sushi buffet in my immediate area, which is actually a lunchtime hot spot for a lot of local teams. I've talked about this place before here on Bigger Pockets. What I'm getting at is that it's not wise to monkey around in a team's well-established internal dynamic.

But hey, I haven't done a podcast. What do I know? If it makes you happy, have pizzas delivered to a crew sitting around on five gallon buckets, choking on sawdust and paint fumes in hundred-degree August heat. Make sure they get back to work quickly. They'll be grateful like the subservient, ignorant, menial-minded trash that you obviously think everyone who works with their hands has to be.

@Meir Greenblatt you need to incentivize the result you’re trying to get. A good free meal is great to show you appreciate their current work and effort, but do not expect it to completely change how much they’re getting done in a day.

Setup a milestone payment schedule with clear bonuses that they can achieve if they beat those schedule milestones at the same level of quality. Sit down with them, make a plan (not all contractors are great planners in my experience), and pay them as much of those bonuses in cold hard cash.

I have subs that come in and say they are only working half a day on Friday. I get all excited and thank them for the extra hours they will put in on Friday. Confused they ask what I mean? I tell them there are 24 hours in a day so 12 hours on Friday is just fine with me.

What works for me if there is a conflict between my job and someone else's job is I ask them what they need for both jobs labor wise. I help them work out something that works for both jobs and helps them too. Too often GC's demand:

"My job is the only job that's important."

But since I am the one that actually cares about them and their business, who do you think actually gets first cut when the chips are down?

I do think it's nice to offer lunch though. I would ask first if they want it delivered and if not slide them 100 or so to go get what they want. 

Originally posted by @Meir Greenblatt :

My quick tip of the day is something I heard Today in Show 41.

https://open.spotify.com/episo... you are in a tight schedule and you want your contractor to not go and take a lunch break that can last 2 hours or more, Then you can call the contractor and let him know that you got for them some pizza or hamburgers for lunch so they can stay on site and finish the job faster.

Financial motive reigns supreme my brother. Offer an incentive if they do a quick and great job.

@Jim K.

I'm not what you said I am!

I'm a hard worker my self, I work 6 days a week 14 hours a day in 100° whether in Houston.

I tow cars for AAA for living, and I personally eat only a subway sandwich all day long.

I think that hard working people are great, and hard work is the way to go!

I just shared a good idea that I heard today, and I also loved the idea of giving a cash bonus if the job is done on a timely manner.

I apologize if something I said was not in place.

Originally posted by @Meir Greenblatt :

@Jim K.

I'm not what you said I am!

I'm a hard worker my self, I work 6 days a week 14 hours a day in 100° whether in Houston.

I tow cars for AAA for living, and I personally eat only a subway sandwich all day long.

I think that hard working people are great, and hard work is the way to go!

I just shared a good idea that I heard today, and I also loved the idea of giving a cash bonus if the job is done on a timely manner.

I apologize if something I said was not in place.

I think it's me who needs to apologize. Sorry, Meir, I flew off the handle.