Lead-time, FAQ, &
Again, awarded that year for my 25 years of dedication to my clients in my contractor & custom sheet metal shop business
Here was the official list of Finalists: http://trust-bbb.org/torch-awards/
What is Our Lead-time?
What is CBD's
lead-time for scheduling in new
CBD is currently booked up around 7 to 9 months with in shop work set in our queue, as shown below. Due to some postponed projects this time-line could fluctuate, so it depends on the timing of getting a project fitted in before the other clients are ready to proceed. I am also booked over a year out with on-site gutter replacement work under my other long-time dba of DMR-Gutters.
Sales have remained steady over the last decade from this extensive web site exposure. CBD is a small shop that is only able to take on a dozen major project each year. Because of this long wait time I wind up turning away more projects than I'm able to take on; in this fast pace world of instant gratification. I would be booked much further out if Clients were willing to wait much longer for their project (which will likely adorn their home for a century or more when built properly).
For small projects like a simple roof cap or roof flashing kit that would only take a few hours to process I can usually be squeezed them in between major projects within a week or so listed as a 'filler project'. Plus freight time if you are not local to the Portland, Oregon area. Small projects under $600 are not even listed in my jobs queue below.
Besides this custom copper fabrication work I am still very busy with on-site gutter replacement as a licensed Gutter Contractor. My schedule may change quickly, so feel free to contact me about our lead-time if I had not updated this page recently.
Much more detailed
I have gone to great effort to provide you with all this information to be able to anonymously window shop before contacting me, so you can avoid the risk of a sly high pressured sales pitch that is all too common. That way you can see if I am able to do what you are seeking at a reasonable price, w/o fearing anyone contacting you before you are ready, or be rushed to make a hasty decision.
My current schedule listed below is also much more information than you would get from most any other sheet metal shop, so that you can watch your name work up the list as we complete projects. I am also willing to spend the time to go over options with you in order to get the best possible end result for your long term saticefaction. I can even seem too chatty and picky about the small details, so be prepared to have me talk your ear off, in a effort to provide you with just what you need along with a fairly simple installation for little to no maintenance.
Our Current In-shop Schedule
(not including small projects under $600)
Acosta in CA -
downspouts, scuppers, a turret roof cap, 6 finials, &
3 chimney caps $115k 2/3 paid (in progress)
Carpenter in NE - chimney cap 'masterpiece' $10.5k, 1/3 paid
Isaacks in CO - chimney flue/cap $7.5k, 1/3 paid
Hendricks in IN - 3 chimney caps $14k, 1/3 paid
Bonner in RI - chimney cap $5k
Duplechan in CA - turret roof cap w/weathervant roof flashing, gutters $20k 1/4 paid (filler project)
Stanley in WA - 3 chimney caps with 7 chimney-pots $30k, 1/4 paid
Owen in OR - roof flashing and gutters $40k, 1/4 paid
Miller in MD - 30" turret roof cap $1.8k, 1/2 paid (filler project)
Alexandrou in NY - roof flashing, ridge vent, and chimney cap $8k - 2/3 paid (permit delays)
La Provence Bakery in OR - indoor fire-pit exhaust hood & counter tops $6k - 1/3 paid (cannot decide the direction they wants to go with this project)
What's your schedule reliability?
The 28 chimney cap Kensington Project
in Sunnyvale California (3-6/06)
about small simple projects?
or emergency service?
I'm sure you would not want me to push out your project in favor of another more lucrative project, so do not try to offer me a bribe to push your project ahead of the line. If you try to get me to fit in your project ahead of other Clients who came before you; that would be asking me to commit fraud against those Clients. If you were to suggest such an offer I may need to cancel your project all together to make room for more reasonable Clients.
if your schedule changes before we can work this out and can got my deposit in?
If you feel confident we will be able to work up a satisfactory arrangement and need to get your project in my cue ASAP you can mail in an approximated deposit amount for the project you need. I will adjust the price according to the arrangement we work out before I've started fabrication, so there is a firm ceiling cost set. This can take the pressure off to make a hasty decisions. Only half down payment for projects over $500, or a 1/3 deposit for larger projects over $2k.
If for any reason we are not able to work out a fair deal, or you just change your mind; that deposit is 90% refundable upon request. Leaving just a 10% reservation fee. No need for an explanation. I'm far to busy to hold our Clients to a contract, but this has rarely been an issue. That 10% fee is just enough to encourage you to work this out with CBD, yet not so much you feel stuck.
The Trainor chimney cap being installed in Fairhope, Alabama (2/06)
2023: A New Year & another Year Older (as we all are)
We are now able to stock more copper sheets in, after a full year of no new stock. Here is my first custom copper project of the year for a client in Colorado:
2022: Struggling (as we all are)
Continuing difficulties getting supplies and rampant inflation that has doubled the cost of materials. We can only hope this levels off soon, if not drop back down to more reasonable cost levels. We have still been making chimney caps, fire-pit covers, mailboxes, and a set of these 4 fancy lanterns, while taking time to train out-of-state contractors to install better more functional gutters, as seen here in this photo:
I had tested positive for Covid on 7/7/22, but we got over it within a couple weeks unscathed. We had an unusually wet Spring and then suffering record heat-waves this Summer. My main copper sheet supplier still has empty shelves in August, and reports it may be late October before they are able to restock.
In early November I was finally able to pick up a dozen sheets of copper. It had been over a year since I was last able to get my hands on new copper sheets.
2021: Getting Back On Track
I have been struggling to get my schedule back on track after and even crazier year than last year of 20/20 with all those uprecidented upheavals. This year has not been quite as crazy, but has been fraught with the worst rapid inflation I have ever seen with the lack of supplies and never-ending pandemic precautions.
We continued to get projects done and had several out-of-state companies come here to learn the art of gutter replacement: Facebook album
In the Spring we built a unique set of raised garden beds with photos that have garnered a lot of attention: Facebook album
On November 5th I had to let Jon go, after having working with us for over a year. I had helped him get a new computer 9 months prior, that he promised to make payments on, but neglected to do. His attendance was getting sparatic and sparse, and he would bring his young child to work without advanced notice. On the last day he had allowed his 7 year old son to use my dangerous power saw without even close supervision, which was the last straw. I tried to work it out with him, but he got terribly defensive and belligerent. He has refused to return that computer, tools, and a camera he did not pay for. He was also paid for work not performed, so I am out about $5k and loads of stress. Those are just the chances we take when mentoring an apprentice and try to treat them like family.
After settling in for the first 9 months at our new location (and quarantine) I finally put out a listing for a new apprentice to replace Chris. Out of over 2 dozen applicants one rose to the surface: Johnathan Babb is a convicted fellon from Shreeport LA, but I decided to give him a chance. He was showing good promise, but could only work part-time due to childcare issues. Hoping this would help get me on track with my surmounting schedule of projects.
The end of 2019 was hugely stressful. After having been in the same spot for the last 10 years we were abruptly forced to relocate in November, to be out by the first of December. Beside moving our home, we also had to move our 3 home businesses, tear down a 20' X 32' workshop, along with 3 large awnings I had built. Then setting up our home and workshop at the new location. It then took me a couple month to get my new workshop situated and organized to start being able to get some projects worked on again. The workshop was like working a giant rubic cube/puzzel with several thousands of pieces to arrange all those parts and equipment stuffed within that new 30' X 30' space during those cold wet Winter months, in order to get back to work. Here is a link to see a few photos of that arjuous task on my CBD Facebook profile.
With the expensive process of moving I lost my main shop guy Chris Freedman. After having apprenticed with me the last 10.5 years, Chris went from a single guy to married with 2 kids. I just had no money to pay him to help get the new workshop set up, so he moved his family down to Southern Oregon to live with his Mother. I am now a solo act again, along with my adult Son helping out part time. You can see him in the middle of the background image from back in 2007, but he is now a little taller than I, and has a lot to learn in this craft.
As for CV-19 issue, so far it has not impacted my business nearly as much as many others. Hopefully goodness will prevail and we will weather this storm, and be stronger for it, but I fear the ecconomic impact of all the panic and shutdowns could be far worse than if everyone were to be infected. If there were a lot more people allowed to work from home where possible that would help eleviate a good amount of rush hour traffic, which our City streets and freeways cannot support. It would also save companies thousands on less required office space and maintenance.
I have continued to get projects done in my workshop and go out to job sites to install gutters while working alone or with my adult Son, as long as I can continue to get the parts and supplies needed. I have a good amount of projects I can do in my workshop without leaving my home.
2019: New Logo Plaque
2018: New Inovative Tools
I also got a 7.25" and a 10" cordless miter saws that run off a pair of 18V Makita batteries for 36V power. The smaller blade is not quite large enough to cut downspout pipes, so they came out with a full 10" blade version that I got, but it is a beast to manage. They both have the torc of a corded saw, which had not been available in the recent past. they are used primarily at job sites. I have a pair of 12" blade corded saws we use for shop work.
The core of any sucessful business is it's people. I lost 2 part time workers that were not proving to be responsible and pulling their weight, so I had to let them go. I had since brought on another 2 part time workers and started training them, but one had only lasted a couple weeks with my rather high standards. The other one is my 18 year old Son Torrin, who is finally old enough to handle power tools, but he is not looking to do this as a carreer, so I am lucky to get his help for a few hours a week.
2017: Improved Quality Standards
I also upgraded my PC with the new Ryzen 7 chip along with a larger 55" 4k monitor to work with. I use a 4T and 6T mini RAID hard drives for storage now. Although, I have had a bit of trouble with this new system and cannot seem to find a reliable tech who can solve those issues. It seems I should have stayed with the Intel chip after all. Live and learn.
Better Logo Imprint
I decided to bite the bullet and upgraded my SawStop table saw to run with a stronger 220 volt 3 horse power electric motor. It has been a great saw since then, once I upgraded the motor. The 120V motor was a bit gutless and converting it to 220V did not make enough difference, but they were very helpful to make the switch at a minimal cost. I was lucky that they are located within driving distance from me. I had activated the safety break just once in the last 5 years. It was while cutting up some old damp particle board to burn. I figure there must have been some slug residue on it that tripped the safety break. They offered to replace the cartrige for free that one time. I was just reporting how it had worked, but might be a tad sensitive. I was not complaining. I just figured they would benefit from that feedback. I have since been a lot more careful about the scrap wood I cut, and keep a spare cartrige handy to swap out next time it activates.
For the first time since before 2005 I was able to place an order for 20oz copper gutter coil at $3.35 a pound ordered in bulk, where it had cost over $4.50#, or as much as $7.81# in smaller quantities over the last decade. The 48" wide coil was still 17% higher cost for some reason. These fluctuation do not change the cost of our work by much, since most of what you are paying for is labor and freight, but it helps me not have to raise my prices to cover increases in the cost of living. This material cost fluctuation would affect a medium size $5k chimney cap w/freight by only $150 or so. That is only a 3% difference.
It is very rare I do any on-site work outside Oregon. We had built a set of 3 chimney caps for a client in Gillette Wyoming and drove out to deliver them, along with over 800 ln' of copper gutter to install on a new construction house, along with enough 48" wide copper to clad a dozen columns, which took us a couple weeks there to install all this. That was quite an adventure. It was just before the election, and being coal country I had to be very careful to not get into any political discussions.
2015: Copper Prices
I also got a full frame Nikon D810 DSLR camera shown here, and some studio lighting to help better document our work. I also opened up to more Social Media sources to share what we do with more people on-line. I have been posting most of our latest work on my Facebook business pages within numerous photo albums for easier smoother navagation.
2013: New Better
2012: New Ride
I finally investin a decent digital camera: a Nikon D7000 DSLR camera to better document our work for this web site and to send daily reports to our out-of-State Clients to show the progress we are making on their projects.
2011: Copper Prices
We have a new logo shown here engraved
2009: Moved Across Town & New Apprentice
I've finally found a dedicated apprentice named Chris Freedman, who I've known since he was small, and he seems to have a passion for quality and ethics such as I do. He's the Step-Son of a High School chum of mine I had met in art class, and we had remained friends through out the decades. I hope for great things to come from this young man. Heck, he's willing to put up with my intolerance for incompetence. He's not the smartest guy around, but his hearts in the right place, which money can't buy. I'm still having to do all the design and the more complex work myself, but he shows good promise. Since that time he has remained with CBD, and has been able to tackle whole complex chimney cap projects with minimal supervision.
How Do We Arrange for a Quote?
I will answer my cell phone personally (if possible) and I'm happy answer your questions. I love to help brainstorm tricky situations. Although, I am not likely to be able to provide you with a price on the spot. Once I've a chance to sit at my computer and calculator to wrap my mind around your needs I'll need to put it in writing for both our sake. This process may take several hours to make a diagram and calculations, as long as I have the right measurements with photos and diagrams that you provide through e-mail. This way we both will have written documentation of what was agreed. I deal with a lot of clients, so I cannot be expected to rely on my memory about each detail, so I do not quote projects over the phone for these reasons, but that why I show the prices my clients had paid at that time to help give you an idea of what these projects would run. This way you are able to do some anonymous comparison shopping while pursuing this web site, which seems to be quite rare from what I've heard.
I strive to check and respond to e-mail at least a couple times each day; morning and night. I am prompt to respond to those e-mail within 24 hours even on weekends, unless we happen to be out of town, but that is pretty rare. So this process should go swiftly.
e-mail me about your needs I
try my best not to pressure
you in any way. It is very helpful to list these
details in your e-mail, so I have enough to work with:
The more info you send the more chance I can give you an accurate quote. I will try to be as flexible as possible, but you will want a ceiling cost, so your project does not get out of hand, like it tends to do working with other building contractors. My final cost may be a little lower than my quote, since on substantial projects I will re-price the final cost to reflect only the material actually in the custom fabrication based on the final weight. This way you only pay for what you get at the quoted cost per square foot of copper actually in these projects. This is an ethical detail you'll not likely find elsewhere, and one you can recheck once it has arrived.
If you happen to live in or near the Portland Oregon Metro Area and are interested in my high-end gutter replacement, I am required by the CCB to supply potential clients with free bids within a reasonable geographical area from my location. I can usually go out to your place to write up a free estimate within a business day or two, as long as you are local to us (within 20 miles or so). If my wait time to do the actual installation (http://dmr-gutters.com/news.htm) is not a problem, feel free to e-mail me with your address, contact info, and any details you think is relevant to your needs, so I can service you with a bid. If you feel you need to talk to me about your special needs, you can call David's mobile phone at 503 351-7082.
What are My Costs and What Sort of Deposit is Required?
For the custom design/fabrication work we do starts at $30#, depending on the complexity of your project. This covers most custom design work, unique math, geometry, tricky fabrication, and seams that require sealing water tight, which is not an issue for most roof flashing. This base rate translates to these costs per square foot plus the cost for building a custom shipping crate and freight charges:
Projects with curves, ornate detail, and other complexities add to this base rate.
of copper materials:
Thicker copper than my standard 20oz thickness is used in some project where needed, but it is harder to cut, drill, and bend, so thicker metal cost proportionally more to use in projects. That is one reason I find it more cost efficient to add more bracing inside the chimney cap roof sub structures, instead of just using a thicker copper sheet metal outer shell.
* For projects over $500 I work with you to set a ceiling cost on your project before I begin, and when I am finished I can weigh it to get the actual amount of copper used, so that your final cost does not include cut-off waste (which any other shop would charge you for). I then can adjust the final payment to reflect only what you will receive, so you are not paying for an inflated quote. A detail you are able to double check after it arrives to see how honest I was.
We all know it is a scary ugly world out there full of liars and cheats. Although, I believe my Business Integrity Award from the Better Business Bureau should give even the worst critics the confidence of my ethical responsibility and devotion to my clients. I have had less than 5% of my potential clients express discomfort with my payment policy. This has not been much of an issue, but if you do not trust me, you should simply not do business with me at all.
Note: The prices listed on this web site for custom copper work were the actual costs of those items at that time with freight charges included, but may not reflect accurately how much new projects will run now after all meals doubled in cost in early 2006.
Do You Accept Credit Card Payments?
Most clients have just paid with a personal check. I have yet to have any clients write me a bad check, so it has not been a problem.
I have a card reader to plug into my IPhone, but that does not help unless you are local. I can manually enter your card number, but that is not as secure as an on-line service like Paypal. I could tell you I am an honorable merchant, but any scoundrel would say the same thing of course.
I do have PayPal set-up on my contact Info web page under the e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org if you need, but it may be cheaper to just overnight a check through USPS, since they deduct 3.3% surcharge from each transaction, which I have to add that to your cost.
I have set up Venmo as well under: @David-Rich-101.
Toll-free Phone # ?
|I tend to do most of my correspondence through e-mail, so we will both have a written record of our agreements. I had a toll-free phone number for several years, but it seems pointless these days since long distance charges seem to be a thing of the past.
If you are searching for a reliable contractor; my web sites seem to be the most comprehensive and honest web sites on gutters and roofing standards in the world. You should find the information here very helpful to better know what questions to ask of your local contractors to better to weed out the less reputable. Take notes from that information, so that you have the questions to ask them during the bid. And in so doing you should save a lot of money and future head aches down the road (three or four sets of parts with the cost of installation will cost more than one good quality fabrication). Also check out Angie's list for good referrals:
Helpful Roofing Information
For some valuable advice with regards to roofing and rain management issues check out my:
web pages for answers and solutions that could save you thousands of $ and a great deal of anguish.
If you do find this information very helpful, feel free to send us a $ tip for the assistance we so freely have published on the web here for your benefit, like you might tip a waitress. Heck, send us a gift certificate for a candle lit dinner for two. <LOL>
Below is a
photo of my
I was also a 1997 finalist for this same award. See my referral web page to see how I managed to be honored with this special award
"Quality and service is not expensive, it's priceless!"
That's the Copper By Design way