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Recycled

Bellingham Gig - Construction/Handyperson

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I'm looking for someone with skills to do some construction projects at some rental houses. Work includes installing windows, vinyl flooring, bathroom/kitchen remodels, reposting a garage and house and a lot of other small projects. I probably have a couple months of full-time work. I'd like someone who can do fairly good quality work efficiently, but this isn't Bill Gate's house, so you don't have to be perfect at everything.

 

The good news is that I'm fine with someone disappearing to the hills during good weather breaks - I'm very flexible with that as long as I know what's going on. I'd like to hire someone on a contractor - not employee basis - for about $3500/month.

 

If needed, I might be able to provide a studio apartment as part of the deal while the work is happening.

 

I wouldn't normally post this here, but I figured it might work out for the right person who wants to be in B'ham for Spring climbing. I need someone immediately.

 

If you've got a lot of maintenance and construction experience, send me a PM outlining your experience, interest and timeline.

 

Thanks - Jeff

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I'd like to hire someone on a contractor - not employee basis - for about $3500/month

 

You're not going to find a full fledged and properly insured contractor for $21.75/ hr all inclusive. Closer to double that if you wish knowledge, access to sub contractors where needed and want to indemnify your self by having a properly insured worker. Otherwise in case of an accident you can be easily named in a suit.

 

I think your best bet would be go to Home Depot and find someone who'll do everything you want, tell you everything you want to hear and charge you $15/hr.

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Gee, thanks for the advice

Everything I told you was the truth

 

The position's filled.

One less guy in the Home Depot parking lot.

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Normally I wouldn't bother replying, but just for kicks, here goes.

 

First, I do hire regular contractors for certain work. Plumbing, electrical, framing, roofing, etc. They are all licensed and bonded. I know the drill.

 

I also have a couple handymen on call. They respond quickly to quick fix-it jobs that last a couple hours or half a day. I gladly pay the $40-50/hr because I realize that it is a spot job and their whole day is not booked with work at that rate. They have access to renters' living space, so I'm very careful about screening and pay well. As a matter of fact, I'm a contractor (though not in construction trades) and I know how it works.

 

I was advertising for something else entirely. It's a lot of odds and ends that I can make in to a temporary gig for someone. Some painting, fixing doors and windows, replacing locks, replacing counters, laying vinyl and odd jobs. It's not the sort of thing that involves GCs and subs.

 

You scoff at paying "only' $21/hr for this sort of work, and all I can say is you're out of touch with the labor market in Bellingham.

 

As far as licensing and bonding - well, mostly I care that they have medical insurance, report their income (I'll file a 1099 on it) and they can deal with the rest. I'm not asking for any work that is a licensed trade.

 

That's all I have to say on it. I put myself through school doing this kind of work (and climbing on the side), and I was very glad to get it. It beat the hell out of working at McDonald's. Sorry for providing such a sub-par opportunity.

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Please excuse me if I don't become overwhelmed with emotion after reading your stirring account of pulling yourself up by your boot straps. The fact that the labor market is depressed in Bellingham does not give one the right to miss categorize employees as contractors for your own book keeping convenience and budgetary measures.

 

The Washington State L&I Board has a publication which neatly lays out the differences between an employee and a contractor ( www.Lni.wa.gov/ipub/101-063-000.pdf ). As a contractor, you know the difference, but your statements belie someone who is only interested in indemnifying themselves against the IRS and lawsuits. But you should also be aware that if the employee (which I will refer to him as of now, because that is what he is) becomes hurt, both his insurance company and L&I will come looking for you for monetary satisfaction.

 

First, I do hire regular contractors for certain work. Plumbing, electrical, framing, roofing, etc. They are all licensed and bonded. I know the drill......

 

As far as licensing and bonding - well, mostly I care that they have medical insurance, report their income (I'll file a 1099 on it) and they can deal with the rest. I'm not asking for any work that is a licensed trade.

 

Right there you give yourself away. You have contractors available, but you don't want to pay their rate. So you want to hire an employee, but you don't want to pay the burden and do the paper work. So you want a contractor who really isn't a contractor. Just cheap

 

But you're covering your ass. They better have health insurance. And you're filing a 1099 on him.

 

But it's OK, cause you're doing him a favor

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Quite the contrary. I was pointing out that the OP was looking for employee, but was using the age old "independent contractor" ploy to falsely hold down his costs and paperwork.

 

And he admitted as much.

 

To use the "I'm doing someone a favor/giving someone a job" shtick when it is truly a property manager looking after his bottom line, and removing the employee from the protection of SS, UI and L&I is BS, and should be pointed out in the forum.

 

So lets not erect any pagan statues to Recycled just yet

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Ya know, your probably right. And I appreciate all the benefits I get from my employer. Just sounded like a funny subject. Think I'll go back to the climbing forum.

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num1mc, are you a contractor also? The guy-with-a-truck competition is pretty fierce out there for anyone who plays by the rules, pays their employees a living wage, and includes benefits. Recycled may be looking to save a little money on this bit of work by taking advantage of his locally depressed labor market, but it doesn't make him a hero.

 

Welcome to the WalMart world, where nothing but cheap shit needs to be available at the deepest discount because the working class is paid so little they can't afford anything else. It's a self-perpetuating race to second world status, go USA.

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I wanted to add, the wage Recycled is offering is quite fair, but the "contractor, not employee" dodge he's pursuing is quite illegal. If this person is working for you full time under your direction, they are an employee, not a contractor, and you should be liable for social security, medicare, unemployment, and L&I insurance. Look up the IRS definitions if you doubt me.

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I wanted to add, the wage Recycled is offering is quite fair, but the "contractor, not employee" dodge he's pursuing is quite illegal

 

That's my point also.

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Wow...$21.75 and hr plus I'd get 1099'd on it. Sounds like a super good deal (for you). I'm assuming I'd have to bring all my own tools and provide a truck. Do I get to pay for nails and debris disposal too?

 

I love how remodel work has now become the domain of the "handyman".

 

Fast and cheap. Just like walmart.

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As far as licensing and bonding - well, mostly I care that they have medical insurance, report their income (I'll file a 1099 on it) and they can deal with the rest. I'm not asking for any work that is a licensed trade.

 

 

This is an interesting comment.

 

Let's say they do have health insurance like you want, and you providing them a string of checks for their work. Then one day they suffer an injure while working and loose the ability to work for an extended period. Since they now have no income they may catch on that they are an employee. Work related injuries often come across the L&I desk and hospital automatically send information on work related accidents to L&I.

 

L&I is going to look at their financial info, bank records, and agree they are an employee. Once that happens expect L&I to send a large bill with fine and or want to talk to you about the situation in court.

 

Maybe you hit the jackpot last time you went to Vegas due to your advanced dice rolling skills, and you figure you'll make out fine. :wave:

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So maybe it's just me, but it doesn't sound like he's really in the wrong for his request. What are the areas that "big brother" looks at to determine whether someone is an independent contractor versus an employee?

 

When he says "about $3500/month", sounds like he's open to some negotiation, as opposed to dictating this is what you'll get and no more!

 

When it comes to setting a schedule, that also looks like there's quite a bit of flexibility. Allowing someone to "disappear to the hills" doesn't really look like you're in it for a 9-5 gig Monday through Friday until the job is complete. All he asks is that you give him a heads up as to what's going on.

 

Looks to me like this could be a decent gig if that pay range is in your realm!

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I didn't really see anything there that would lead me to believe Retired is blatantly trying to dodge this bullet by skirting around this law. I still think that if a contractor, and I'm envisioning a sole proprietor here for simplicity sake, is able to cover their licensing, bonding, insurance and any other necessary overhead while still bringing in a profit that they can live with, this still seems to be a decent gig.

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The litmus test I'd always understood was that if you direct how the work is done, pay by the hour, and the person makes over 60% of their annual income from you, they're an employee. But lets take a moment to examine the numbers in the decent gig:

 

netwage.jpg

 

Net wage does not include income tax, tools, time spent with paperwork, or other business expenses. There's no unemployment tax involved because as a sole proprietor you can't get unemployment when you're out of work.

 

So, yeah, if you can live on $14 an hour and have the skills to keep track of your own paperwork and you can actually get liability insurance in the current market its a decent gig.

 

My beef is that calling an employee a subcontractor is a long standing scam in the construction world, and it persists because it saves the employer money at the expense of the workers. I'm a general contractor and I take care of my employees because its the way I believe the world ought to be run, though I could certainly improve my personal income significantly if I wanted to work this dodge to cut my overhead. My savings would be even greater since I provide health insurance, dental insurance, sick pay, and vacation pay.

 

Recycled doesn't want to hire a real company to do the work, he wants an employee he can direct without the expenses associated with it. The nudge-nudge-wink-wink bit of the faux subcontractor equation is that he'll get the usual in the exchange - an uninsured guy-with-a-truck, quite possibly a reasonable craftsman, who will gamble that he won't get hurt in exchange for making enough money to live on. Recycled will give him a 1099 to cover himself for not paying taxes, but odds are the "subcontractor" won't have been paying estimated taxes and will face some issues come April 15th. It's win-win for Recycled unless his "subcontractor" gets seriously injured and sues him for everything he's worth.The down economy in the building trades guarantees that he's already found a taker. I don't think its legal or ethical, but its not uncommon.

 

 

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Got it. Thanks Off, I appreciate seeing the breakdown of numbers from someone in the business. It's a real eye opener seeing the net hourly wage.

 

I guess I didn't read into it that Recycled was looking to dictate how the work was done, just that he had some projects he wanted completed. And at 2 months full time you're most likely not approaching that 60% annual income number.

 

So I will retract my "decent gig" statement as I don't think I would be able to work with that $14 amount, but there may be some who can and are willing to take that.

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That's an hourly charge for workers compensation insurance, covers both medical costs, payments for time lost due to injury, and ultimately retraining if one is disabled. The category is a catch-all for remodel construction and the figure given is the base rate. The base rate can be adjusted up or down depending on a company's claims history, but if you were starting out that is what you would charge.

 

There is a loophole for a sole proprietor, in that you can not pay workers comp on yourself if you choose. In the particular scenario we're looking at its entirely likely the person who filled Recycled's job would skip the payment for the sake of a higher wage. Of course, you're not covered if you're injured at work, except by any personal health insurance you may have. Unlike personal health insurance, L&I covers ALL medical & rehab costs, as well as payments for lost work due to injuries.

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