This plaster delivery is a perfect example of the subcontract system. These young blokes are going to set the world on fire through hard work and long hours. They get paid by the amount they get done not just by the time they put in.
On one of my current projects, which we call the 170dayHouse, we recently had a plaster delivery. Plasterboard comes on the back of a truck and this load weighed seven metric tonnes. That is a lot of weight in anybody’s book. The two young blokes who delivered it ran from the truck into the job and back again. They are clearly being paid by the metre and they are the perfect example of the sub contract system.
How much would you expect to pay to get someone to move seven tonnes of plasterboard? The answer to that question is quite simple it’s around 50 cents a square metre. And seven tonnes of plaster is over 1000 m². Basically they will move that truckload of plaster for about $500. If they get their skates on they can do 3 or 4 loads, on a good day….
As a builder this is a good deal for me because plaster delivered anywhere in the metropolitan area costs the same amount. As long as I know the meterage I can calculate the cost. I will pay a little for a second storey pass up but mostly the cost is static. The cost to hang and stop that material is also based on a squre metre rate.
My plastering contractor knows the cost of his material, the cost of his delivery, and the cost to hang and stop. he will pay about $6 a metre to buy the board including the delivery that we’ve talked about above. He’ll then pay about $14 a metre to have the board hung, stopped and sanded ready to paint. It is a nearly perfect sub contracting system.
The only hidden cost in all this is the cost on the backs of the two young blokes doing the delivery. You can’t do this sort of work forever. Realistically you can expect your back to be ruined by lifting these sorts of weights every day in about ten years. When it gets ruined, it stays ruined.
I’m always amazed by what people will sacrifice to earn their living.