Kitchen Contractor And Tattoo Artist Pricing

Picture Of Owner

Curtis Gorlich

Last Updated Feb 5, 2020

Husband, Father of Two, Kitchen & Bathroom Contractor.

Do tattoos cost more than remodeling a kitchen?  

Sailor Jerry (no not the rum, the world-famous tattoo artist) once said: “Good work ain’t cheap, and cheap work ain’t good.” At least that’s what the quote on the poster with a picture of Sailor Jerry tattooing a client hanging on the wall in Beauty Marks Tattoos in Beaufort, SC said as I waited anxiously to begin my 4-hour session 

To some, I may have a lot of ink (only two visible in short sleeve shirts), but in all reality, it’s only seven tattoos total, and this tattoo was a cover-up. However, this wasn’t just any cover-up, nor was this just any tattoo artist. 

This artist was Victor AKA “Piccasso” who didn’t get that nickname lightly, and his active waiting list proves it. His pricing is also double what everyone else charges. As I age, I don’t get inked on a whim. All my tattoos have deep personal meaning. This cover-up was fixing my first tattoo from 20 years ago.  

After following Picasso’s work for the last several years on Instagram and Facebook, Christmas was upon us, and we close for the month, so this would give me time to heal between jobs.  

While the person before me was getting the finishing touches of a six-hour session of a full arm sleeve tattoo, it hit me like a bus how all this relates to the remodeling industry. Which part do you ask? All of it. Everything from the quote on the wall, to this being my first “real” tattoo as far as quality differences from past tattoo experiences due to working with a true artisan.

If you haven’t gotten ink before, it’s hard to articulate what good pain feels like properly, but tattoos illicit a good pain, at least for me, they do. Regardless it’s still pain due to the fact a needle is entering your skin 1000’s of times per minute. So naturally, there were some butterflies as I patiently waited to be called next, still wondering if that quote was really from Sailor Jerry, ‘Curtis’ was called out, and I snapped back to present.

You are probably reading this thinking, what does all this have to do with kitchen or bathroom remodels? As I mentioned, everything. 

In the 100’s of remodels I have done over the last decade, I can nearly always tell when the person sitting in front of me has been burned by the previous contractor they hired. Whether it was a fly by night company or someone who just did shoddy work, body language gives quite a bit away. 

That said, it’s not just Homeowners that get burned, us contractors get burned as well, and more than you think. Even seasoned business owners get burned bad. Recently I was burned for a substantial amount of money that I would have won the case hands down had I gone the litigation route, which I was fully prepared to do if left no other option. The younger Curtis before children would not have batted an eye, but age, and having two kids under five years old, taught me some valuable life lessons in patience as well as seeing ‘the bigger picture.’

Had I of gone to litigation yes, I would have won, but in the same sense, I would have lost and lost dearly. Litigation takes lots of time, which I did not have. I was a slap in the middle of a company merger of CMG Remdoels, Inc. with Bluffton Kitchen And Bath, LLC. And this case/job was the only thing standing in the way of this merger happening, so I took the high road and walked from the money owed. What at the time was considered to be a substantial amount of money lost at the time has made itself back sevenfold within a month after the merger. 

For you, leery homeowners in the process of choosing your contractor, it’s good to be cautious. Just understand that you get what you are paying for, and there is a vast difference between cost and value. Make sure you are comparing apples to apples. 

I laugh seeing on the multiple Bluffton and Hilton Head ask and answer pages of people looking for a reliable, yet “affordable” contractor. All because the last two contractors hired to do the job did it for next to nothing, and they got burned each time. Then they expect you to fix it for “cheap.”

The kicker is if you add the total amount they paid by the other cheap contractors that messed up the project in the first place, it usually equals the price they thought was too expensive when first getting quotes. Had only they chosen the contractor that charged appropriately, they would buy once cry once.

When it comes to finding the “Picasso” of contractors, they typically are not sitting in front of their computer, jumping at every post for people looking to hire. That is because good contractors are booked up months in advance and too busy to be playing on the computer. In the rare unicorn occasion, they do personally respond, its because it’s a small job to fill in between two large jobs. 

Those that read to the end of the babbling of this Bluffton kitchen and bathroom contractor, here is the takeaway… It all comes full circle to that quote by Sailor Jerry, “Good work ain’t cheap, and cheap work ain’t good.”

So you want the following? Just do not expect #9:

  1. Be available and able to start yesterday
  2. Be incredibly fast and efficient.
  3. Be reliable, punctual, and rarely deviate from the schedule.  
  4. Provide great remodeling tips and design ideas to improve projects.
  5. Have forward-thinking immediate solutions to problems.
  6. Work with no oversight or input.
  7. Provide professional itemized invoices and quotes, have proper licensing, and provide insurance coverage.
  8. Give the highest quality artisan work.
  9. 1-8 for rock bottom pricing.  

I close this post with the particular tattoo artist that did my cover-up, known as Picasso. While others charge $40-$75/hr, his rates are $150/hr, and I would not blink an eye to pay more than his current pricing since I know the quality I will receive, especially since tattoos are permanent. 

Remember, you can choose only two:

  1. Good
  2. Fast 
  3. Cheap
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