Gift for a contractor?
June 20, 2005 11:38 AM   Subscribe

We are having a fairly major renovation done on our house by a friend. Do we get him a gift at then end and if so, what could it be?

It is not his own company, he is "just" the onsite project manager making his regular salary. If we were paying him directly I would not think this necessary.
Based on past experience with renovations (and stories from friends), he is doing an amazing job by working quickly and efficiently, saving us money where he can and getting higher quality materials when possible. He has argued down the prices of subcontractors, done work on his own time to keep the job moving and even let me drive the bobcat around. Almost everything about the job (so far) has exceeded our expectations (with the exception of some overlooked items in the budgeting process but that was done by someone else in their company and he has worked diligently to make the extra costs go away).

The company is known for excellent work so maybe this is SOP for them and I am just assuming special treatment for what is normal for them (I find that hard to believe though).

We have run the gamut or gift ideas from dinner out somewhere nice for his family to some fairly over the top ideas that would just be too much. I don't want to seem cheap but I also don't want to weird him out by getting something expensive.
posted by GrumpyMonkey to Home & Garden (9 answers total)
I think a gift is definitely in order, but any more than $50 or so would be a little too much.
posted by Specklet at 11:49 AM on June 20, 2005

On my favourite contractor show (Holmes on Homes), Holmes the heroic contractor comes and saves people from the dastardly and disastorous actions of previous contractors. Almost everyone treats him and his team to a barbeque or dinner once the reno is complete. Also, letting him use you as a reference and allowing people to inspect the work he did on your home occationally is an excellent and useful thank-you.
posted by carmen at 11:55 AM on June 20, 2005

When it's all done, have them over for a house party (cook something nice) & get them a nice bottle of wine.
posted by devilsbrigade at 11:55 AM on June 20, 2005

If he's getting paid for it, you want a gift that says 'We appreciate that you've gone the extra mile for us' and not one that says 'Here's payment in non-cash form.' I agree with Specklet's $50 limit as being reasonable. Something he can share with he crew - a bottle of Scotch, a basket of cookies, a case of beer - would be appropriate in this situation.
posted by jacquilynne at 12:00 PM on June 20, 2005

Excellent ideas, thanks. We already get lunch or grill for them at least once a week and we plan on having them over for a nice dinner too. The kicker is that (and this is one of the reasons I am so appreciative of his keeping things moving) we have a baby due next month and the renovation - if everything falls into place - will be done 3 weeks before the due date. So if the baby comes early then having them over for dinner is going to be delayed by a few weeks...
posted by GrumpyMonkey at 12:08 PM on June 20, 2005

Definitely get him a gift.

If the work he's been doing for you has eaten into his family time, get a gift for the entire family. Something that they can all do together. A day out at a theme park, or a night out at the movies.

Otherwise, get something that you think he'll like and use, but would never buy for himself because it's sort of an extravagance. Maybe a fancy pen, or a cool calculator, that he can use at work.
posted by veedubya at 12:16 PM on June 20, 2005

Yeah, get him a gift. He's saved you money and aggravation, and the gift will be a small percentage of that. Maybe a gift cert. for a nice restaurant or something cool for his truck. Of course, nothing says thank you like an ipod. And if that's in your budget, please remember that my birthday is coming right up. Whatever you do, write a detailed personal note expressing your appreciation.
posted by theora55 at 12:38 PM on June 20, 2005

Well, he's in construction, and even though he's a project manager it sounds like he does some work too. Is there a tool that he would use fairly frequently, something he might not normally buy for himself, but would like to have? Maybe a tool he already has needs an upgrade or needs replaced? Listen for things he may say around the jobsite. It doesn't have to be a hammer/saw/wrench type tool, either; it could be a day planner/cell phone/pda type tool.
posted by attercoppe at 1:56 PM on June 20, 2005

Pizza and beer for the whole crew on the last day. What a great friend to have!
posted by LarryC at 2:36 PM on June 20, 2005

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