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Durant Mike

Hourly rate for restoration shops

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When the HR rate is $50.00 an hour, a 2nd worker's rate will be an additional $50 prorated in 10 or 15 increments.  A local shop works in 15 minute increments even if the additional person just holds a fender for 2 minutes or consults on a question. 

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Most interesting I ever saw was GM's Shoptrack in which an hour had 50 minutes.

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I was getting a quote on my 28 Durant body. I wanted them to do the body, doors and hood only right now then the fenders etc. The shop said they would not do it that way, but would only do the body if I gave them a complete rolling chassis. said it wouldn't line up right. I don't agree that I can't line up the parts right. I've taken her apart, bagged and tagged her and restored many parts so far. I wanted to assemble her myself. I have been doing most of the restoration work myself and farming out what I can't do. Frame and running gear just about done, just can't do the body work since I live in a HOA community and only have a two car garage. The body wood has been replaced by me, all the chrome etc removed as well as windows etc. Just the shell.  I am aware of paint costs as I just bought a quart of PPG paint to match the engine color at $200 a quart. And I know that certain colors are expensive, especially reds etc.  Thanks for all you replies and thoughts, it helps me make a decision.  a very hard one to make since like someone said, you can pay a shop a large amount and get bad work or you can have it done in a one or two man shop and get a great job.  Food for thought. Thanks!

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Mike, I believe you could have a top-quality paint job

performed for well under $18,000.  As you know, the

price depends on the amount of preparation needed.,

and the quality of that work can vary widely.

 

The good restoration shop which I have used will never

quote a price on painting or restoration.  They never know

what they are getting into until they get the car taken apart.

But I'll bet you can find a good shop that will work with your plan.

 

Good to hear that you're restoring a Durant!

I've seen Stars and Flints, but I don't recall ever seeing

a Durant, even at Hershey.

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Coincidentally we recently painted a Durant Sedan, 3 tone. Painted everything, body, doors, fenders, hood, wire wheels, splash aprons, etc. Show quality work for a fussy owner. We would not paint a body only either, especially if the body is wood framed. Proper way to paint such a car, in our opinion, is to paint the firewall and underneath of the body off the frame. Then mount the body to the chassis, hang and align doors then remove doors and paint the body and doors separately with the body mounted to the chassis. We can then hang the doors knowing they will fit and be in alignment.

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Here in Colorado it goes from $50/hr to $125/hr. I charged $90/hr for my Concourse level Amphicar restorations. The biggest expenditure was easily the paint/body. $18k, doesn't even make me pause for a second (of course having no details of the initial condition nor the quality expected). However it needs to be top shelf. Out finishes were glass-like (final color sand was using 3000 grit paper). I could take a photo of the reflection of my drivers licence from 3' away and it was legible. This is the highest level of finish you can expect.

 

Always inspect the previous jobs and even more important, inspect jobs in-process as well. I've seen plenty of smooth and shiny finishes over 4" of Bondo. Speak with customers too. If they will not attempt to provide you with this info, I would question why. Sometimes the customer may not want that info shared, but not all will be that way.

 

Do not allow the shop rate to dictate where you go, let the quality of the job do that.

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2 hours ago, Amphicar BUYER said:

Do not allow the shop rate to dictate where you go, let the quality of the job do that.

 

^^^THIS!  Ben Franklin said it best:

f022ce2d49b54300776b9c3cac36dc78.jpg

 

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Figure $100/hr. Either one expensive shop that knows what they are doing or two cheap ones that don't.

 

What amazes me is the number of people who will allow a cheap shop to throw parts at a problem rather than performing a proper diagnosis.

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Padgett, there are plenty of places in the country

that charge far less than $100 per hour.  It's $50 per 

hour around me, for TOP QUALITY shops producing

national award winners in the heart of antique-car territory.

It's just as some high-cost regions have ranch houses

costing $500,000, while other areas have the same thing for $150,000.

 

The original poster might consider having his work done in a

less expensive area if shops in his region charge $100.

Competition is a part of free enterprise, and it's grand!

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I can usually tell with just a few questions which I am dealing with but sounded like the original poster needed some help. 100/50 are easy numbers. Around here (Florida has one of the lowest COLAs in the country because we soak the tourists) it could as easily be $75/$37.50 but doubt you'd find that in The City.

 

However what I said about parts throwers stands.

 

ps guess I am the only mechanic I really trust.

Edited by padgett (see edit history)

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I agree that, for paint and any upholstery work (particularly tops on an open car), the car body should be bolted to the frame and everything aligned.  Attempting to align and fit doors on a car that's finish painted would be a nightmare in some instances.

 

A good friend always tells me, put it together in primer and make sure everything fits, that way you don't have to paint it twice!

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We always put them together in primer at least once before we paint. Also important, especially on post war cars, to test fit the chrome while the car is in final primer.

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Watch to see how they inventory parts. If they don't have a good system, it's almost certain they will loose the small rare $$$ parts. I have a big box of ziplock bags and a sharpie. Keep everything in that bag for that part (even if it is no good, so you have an example), say like left vent window hardware, or right door glass hardware etc.Then those bags go into a box pertaining to specific assemblies.(complete right door or dash etc) Sometimes there may be but a couple bolts in the bag, but I'll know where they came from. I took 1000s of photos during my restorations (digital film is cheap!). Before during and after. invaluable for reassembly and the customer as well. These details are why I could get the $100/hr for concourse quality.

 

Around here, you can't get your oil changed for $37/hr.

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I worked for a restoration shop here in Virginia, which had a great system for parts inventory.  Each category of car part was assigned a number (let's say engine-1 interior 2 and so forth).  Then, as parts were taken off, they were either tagged or bagged, air cleaner 1-1, carburetor 1-2, nuts to hold on carb 1-3, and so on.  There'd be a master list of these numbers with brief description, so it was very easy to find any part.  Takes a little more time, but a lot cheaper than having to buy expensive replacement parts!

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On 6/13/2016 at 0:48 PM, joe_padavano said:

 

^^^THIS!  Ben Franklin said it best:

f022ce2d49b54300776b9c3cac36dc78.jpg

 

 

That's an excellent quote, Joe.  I had never known where it came from,

and a little searching showed me that it evidently did come from Mr. Franklin.

 

Here's another quote from him, also applicable to the topic we're discussing:

 

"Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship."

 

 

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)

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Go to all the car shows and cruise nights you can get to. When you see a nicely done car that looks like the quality you want ask "Who did that and how long did it take?" And follow up.

 

Look to your own marketable skills and the possibility of a part time job to cover the cost. My nephew is a mechanic and bought an older home that was kind of a fixer upper. When he started working on the house I asked why he didn't hire a carpenter. There are $15 per hour carpenters all over the place. He can easily make $50 an hour on small repair jobs. Work one hour and hire a carpenter for 3 hours, that's good math. Use the same approach to hiring car work.

Some of the rates quoted seem like they would be from home shops that don't pay taxes, have insurance, or are compliant to any codes or regulations (see the recommendation to the nephew). They might not be a bargain in the end. One story I have heard over and over again is about the body shop guy who's wife got sick just after stripping someone's car. Always ask about the wife's health condition!

Bernie

 

 

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Don't forget to add into your equation the $300+ check we write every 8 weeks to Safty-Kleen to dispose of our hazardous paint waste.

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OTOH remember John Glenn's remark "I felt about as good as anybody would, sitting in a capsule on top of a rocket that were both built by the lowest bidder.". As I seaid, do my own mechanical work because I don't trust anyone else. Paint and body will go to a professional.

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I have to get a car painted, and I was given a price $75 an hour and that was today from a restoration shop in the NYC metro area, I felt was a pretty good price, After paying the skilled labor there really is not a lot of meat on the bone after you pay the rent and utilities. Most new car dealerships are between that I have seen on the east coast (from Fl to NY) have ranged form $80 to $110 per hour, 

While the cost per hour is important, the amount of hours estimated to perform the task is more important.

Remember long after the price is paid and forgotten the quality must remain

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Thanks for all your replies and great food for thought.  Just wanted an idea what everyone else was paying to judge where and who was giving me the best price. Quality of work at either shop is award winning. I've seen some of their work in person and looked over some restorations they've done.  As I said in my first and 2nd post I only want them to do the body work and paint not the full restoration. I want to get the parts painted and me install them myself. One shop will let me do that, the other said he would not take the job unless I gave him the running chassis and let him do the mounting. I just don't agree necessarily with him that I cannot install the parts and line them up myself.  I'll keep conducting my research and see who I get the best feeling with I guess.

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^^^^

33 minutes ago, Durant Mike said:

...... One shop will let me do that, the other said he would not take the job unless I gave him the running chassis and let him do the mounting. I just don't agree necessarily with him that I cannot install the parts and line them up myself.  I'll keep conducting my research and see who I get the best feeling with I guess.

 

That is his way of making sure his jobs pay the most. I don't feel it's his place to tell you what skills you have. If you scratch the paint during assy, he'll get the job of repairing it so it's a win for him. I did everything on my restos except upholstery and paint/body. That's not my expertise and I don't have the place for it so I pay those that can do the job to do it while I'm doing the rest.

 

I'd disassemble the car and get it into paint, take the upholstery to my other guy so they can be ready by the time I am ready for them. Then it all comes together nicely. 

 

Find a place that works with you, not against you. Don't let them tell you how to do the job. They should do as you ask and be thankful, not try to take over the job.

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10 minutes ago, Restorer32 said:

Some people don't take their doctor's advice either.

 

Thankfully, bodywork and restoration are more of an

exact science than medicine!

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That is why Doctors have a license to "Practice Medicine" and why I have a job burying their mistakes.  :-}  :-}

Edited by Tinindian
more info (see edit history)
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49 minutes ago, Tinindian said:

 

That is why Doctors have a license to "Practice Medicine" and why I have a job burying their mistakes.  :-}  :-}

 

So....you're the last guy to  "let them down" .:)

Edited by 31 Caddy (see edit history)

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