How much to pay a neighbor for electrical help

   #1  

Travelover

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I mentioned to a neighbor that I needed to replace my service panel (breaker box) and because he is a retired electrician he said he'd be glad to help me. So the day came and we hit it for about 7 solid hours. There was no discussion of compensation, though of course I planned to do something in return. Once done, I thanked him and asked what I owed him. He generously said, I won't give you a figure, just pay me what you think it was worth.

Now I'm in a bit of a quandary as what to do. I certainly don't want to pay too little and insult him and alternatively I don't want to insult him by paying too much and implying he is just another service provider and not a friend and neighbor. Anyone had a similar dilemma? How much is too little or too much?
 
   #2  

bunyip

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I hate that, puts you on a spot, 50% seems like an insult, I have gone 70% on mechanical work for labour costs plus parts and they seemed happy unless you have a service to offer in return.
 
   #4  

kenmac

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I mentioned to a neighbor that I needed to replace my service panel (breaker box) and because he is a retired electrician he said he'd be glad to help me. So the day came and we hit it for about 7 solid hours. There was no discussion of compensation, though of course I planned to do something in return. Once done, I thanked him and asked what I owed him. He generously said, I won't give you a figure, just pay me what you think it was worth.

Now I'm in a bit of a quandary as what to do. I certainly don't want to pay too little and insult him and alternatively I don't want to insult him by paying too much and implying he is just another service provider and not a friend and neighbor. Anyone had a similar dilemma? How much is too little or too much?

Here's what I did for a guy that did some survey work for me on the side. When I asked what I owed, he said he didn't really have a figure in mind. I asked him what he made per hr. at his job. I doubled that figure and paid him for the time he was here. He was pleased
 
   #5  

CalG

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It's not really what an electrician makes that is the cost comparison, It's what you get charged.

Try to get any tradesman in for less than $50 an hour. Not here in the North East.
Appliance guys bill at over $100, so do the gas guys and the plumbers. (As well as the electricians)

Be generous!
 
   #6  

Jstpssng

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^^^^
Then we wonder why there's a shortage of doctors. :confused:
 
   #7  

RNeumann

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Well it’s clear he didn’t say don’t pay him. If it’s too much he will decline all or part of it. The $25/hr figure seems low- maybe what an employee is paid (no tools and a supervisor to oversee them) I’d be insulted by $150 for 7hrs of work. Electricians are billed between $60-$80/hr in most parts of the country. More in expensive areas (typically big cities).
I’d have $500-$600 in $100 bills and hand that to him. If he takes it all you paid what his time is worth. If hands back more than $200 take his family to dinner or something with the difference.
I’m betting the minimum a licensed contractor would charge is $1500 plus full pop for parts and they won’t let you help!
Bottom line- you got a deal.....even at $600!!!
 
   #8  

Steppenwolfe

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Well it’s clear he didn’t say don’t pay him. If it’s too much he will decline all or part of it. The $25/hr figure seems low- maybe what an employee is paid (no tools and a supervisor to oversee them) I’d be insulted by $150 for 7hrs of work. Electricians are billed between $60-$80/hr in most parts of the country. More in expensive areas (typically big cities).
I’d have $500-$600 in $100 bills and hand that to him. If he takes it all you paid what his time is worth. If hands back more than $200 take his family to dinner or something with the difference.
I’m betting the minimum a licensed contractor would charge is $1500 plus full pop for parts and they won’t let you help!
Bottom line- you got a deal.....even at $600!!!

According to the IRS any payment over $600.00 is taxable, and the party needs to be 1099'd...
 
   #9  

atsah

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He offered to give you hand, he is well aware of what it costs to do the job and wanted to help you out, I would offer him $500 in cash if you have it, if not, offer whatever you can..
 
   #10  

kf4uda

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He offered to give you hand, he is well aware of what it costs to do the job and wanted to help you out, I would offer him $500 in cash if you have it, if not, offer whatever you can..

I will 2nd this idea.
 
 
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