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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 9:11 am 

Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2014 8:24 am
Posts: 2
I am an audio engineer with a background in construction and acoustics but have never done freelance construction work regarding acoustic treatment. I have been hired to install acoustic panels (703) on a back wall in a theater approx 20' x 40' (6m x 12m). It comes out to be 416 sq ft (38.6 sq meters) of insulation that I am installing. I attached a crude mockup of the wall itself. (Green are the panels, each panel is 2' x 4' 703.

I am being paid to
(1) wrap every panel individually with burlap
(2) installing them onto a wall that is double layer thick Sheetrock with Rotofast fasteners.
Rotofast Link. ... ofast.html

I have an invoice worked out but I wanted to see if anyone with experience could tell me if this looks about right. All materials and a hotel are provided for, I am just charging labor, travel, food, and overnight fee??

(Money is in US Dollars.)
(1) Measuring, Preparation, Testing RT60: $50
(2) Installation of 416 sq Ft of Corning 703: $1.25 per sq ft: $520

Things I have questions about.
(3) Cutting/ Gluing burlap on panels/ Mounting/ Preparation of Rotofast clips for 54 Panels total:
Do not know that figure yet. Should I charge per panel? Or how many panels I can complete in an hour?

I am installing some of these 20 ft (6m) in the air off a ladder. Should I charge extra for that?

They are paying for a hotel, but it's 2 1/2 hours away, do I charge for staying overnight? Food?

I am by no means trying to bleed this venue dry. However I do want to make this worth my time, and produce a reasonable quote for how much work this is going to be.

If any of you have any input on this topic, complaints, comments, or guidance or sarcasm to offer it would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers, Jason

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 2:03 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 10:17 am
Posts: 11938
Location: Santiago, Chile
Hi. Please read the forum rules for posting (click here). You seem to be missing a couple of things! :)

I really can't give you much idea on actual prices, since I have no idea what the going rate is where you live, but installing acoustic treatment is basically a building contractor's job, pretty much like a carpenter, so you should be charging whatever carpenters charge in your area for labor (hourly rate), plus any materials you use or special tools/equipment that you need to rent.

I am installing some of these 20 ft (6m) in the air off a ladder. Should I charge extra for that?
If that is classified as a high-risk or dangerous task in your area, then yes. Charge whatever higher rate a roofer might charge, or a carpenter that has to work at-height. And do take care! Use all the OHSA required safety equipment while you work: gloves, safety shoes, hard-hat, protective eyewear, hearing protection if necessary, harness, etc.. No exceptions! And make sure you have insurance that covers everything: if you fall and hurt yourself, that's one thing (medical coverage) but if you damage their equipment, room, materials or hurt other people, you are responsible for all those expenses too. For example, if you drop a hammer and it smashes a window, loud speaker, the console, and the floor, then you will have to pay for fixing all that, including loss of profits, down-time, etc. Make sure you have good insurance... If your electric drill catches fire and the building burns down, you might be in for quite a bill...

They are paying for a hotel, but it's 2 1/2 hours away, do I charge for staying overnight? Food?
When I travel on a job, I charge for travel expenses (plane-ticket, train, bus, taxi, fuel, tolls, etc), as well as meals, and also travel time, but not for the overnight time or out-of-hours time. So if you spend 5 hours traveling, I would charge for 5 hours extra labor, plus expenses. You have to sleep anyway, regardless of where you are, so you can't charge for that! Nor for time spent eating, dressing, showering, recreation, etc. Just charge for your actual time spent working, and your travel time. If the travel is at night on a plane, train or bus, I charge half-rate for that. If it is during the day, or if I am driving myself, then I charge full-rate.

It's also fine to charge for reasonable meal expenses, but not for alcohol, and not for the mini-bar fridge at the hotel, nor pay-per-view movies, laundry, gym, room service, or suchlike. Those are all on your own tab. And make it just an ordinary restaurant, ordinary meal: They won't complain if you ask for reimbursement for a Grand Slam breakfast with coffee at Denny's, but I'm pretty sure they won't be too happy if you bill them for lobster and caviar with Dom Perignon in the VIP club at the Ritz! :)

In my experience, if you do a good job and keep the client happy, and let them know in advance what you will be charging them for, then there shouldn't be any problems. Reasonable expenses are normally not an issue.

- Stuart -

I want this studio to amaze people. "That'll do" doesn't amaze people.

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