Aspiring Contractor, Need Input - General Discussion - Contractor Talk

Aspiring Contractor, Need Input

 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 03-04-2018, 02:47 AM   #1
New Guy
 
BasinEMT's Avatar
 
Trade: Painting
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 29
Rewards Points: 58

Aspiring Contractor, Need Input


I am an apprentice painter/college student (business major) facing high amounts of pressure from family to quit construction altogether and focus entirely on school. I have a passion for construction, so I've mostly ignored them. But they and my friends who have worked construction made a point that I can't shake: the effect of construction on the body over time.

I have one friend who was a journeyman carpenter. In his 40's he went back to school because his body couldn't handle the work anymore. I have another friend who is 55 and in the trades, and is trying to land a shop job driving forklift due to the same thing. The latter seems to agree with my family, especially given my knack for academics and my aptitude toward accounting and finance.

My approach to construction is mostly entrepreneurial. I eventually want to stop field work and manage a company from a shop/office, delegating the actual painting to employees. I want to build a respectable and reputable remodeling company. Management is the long term goal. I'm 27, so I have plenty of time to make this happen. How feasible is this goal, and what is your take on this concern raised by my friends and family?
BasinEMT is offline  

Warning: The topics covered on this site include activities in which there exists the potential for serious injury or death. ContractorTalk.com DOES NOT guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information contained on this site. Always use proper safety precaution and reference reliable outside sources before attempting any construction or remodeling task!

   

Advertisement

 

Old 03-04-2018, 06:03 AM   #2
Pro
 
builditguy's Avatar
 
Trade: Carpentry
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Missouri
Posts: 1,801
Rewards Points: 428

Re: Aspiring Contractor, Need Input


They are right.

Stay in school. When you graduate, then go back to your painting/contracting dreams. You are in school for business. Don't you think it would be handy to have a business degree, if your plans are to start a business?

I see guys all the time, who can do the physical part of the work. Where they lack, is the business end.
It doesn't matter if you are the best painter around. If you can't run the business side, you will struggle.

Stay in school. Get your degree. It's alot easier now. Then, when you are 30 years old and decide you want a job that is a little easier on the body, you have something to fall back on.

Believe me. Going back to school at 30 is not easy.

Advertisement

builditguy is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to builditguy For This Useful Post:
fjn (03-04-2018), Rio (03-04-2018)
Old 03-04-2018, 07:47 AM   #3
This space for lease
 
RangoWA's Avatar
 
Trade: General
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: WA State
Posts: 5,309
Rewards Points: 4,628

Re: Aspiring Contractor, Need Input


You want others to put the wear and tear on their bodies making you money so you can sit behind a desk?

I'm going to guess that not many painting contractors make their living riding a desk. It could happen but small business doesn't normally work that way. Owners often put in more work and hours than the employees.
RangoWA is offline  
   
 
Old 03-04-2018, 08:47 AM   #4
Pro
 
kirkdc's Avatar
 
Trade: Remodeling (mostly kitch/bath)
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Cripple Creek. CO
Posts: 661
Rewards Points: 2,796

Re: Aspiring Contractor, Need Input


I have a few friends who have been painters all their lives. One guy is 75 and still going strong. He still puts in a honest 40 per week. He's living the good life with plenty of business and a winter and summer home. Three others are all over 50 and still in good shape. My only gripe about painting is the chemicals and fumes exposure but if done right it's a lucrative buisness for sure. FYI, There is a higher risk of bladder cancer amongst painters. I'm unsure about ladder accidents and the percentages.

OTOH, I see college as one big debt to take on these days. I think you can learn about business operations from some good books and attending a few seminars and put your money into start-up. My 2 cents.
kirkdc is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to kirkdc For This Useful Post:
fjn (03-04-2018)
Old 03-04-2018, 09:03 AM   #5
I own stock in FotoMat!
 
480sparky's Avatar
 
Trade: 132 on Bush, I've got him at gunpoint!
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Iowa
Posts: 11,660
Rewards Points: 10,854

Re: Aspiring Contractor, Need Input


There's no guarantee that working construction will ruin you physically. Yes, construction is hard work. But there's still people I work with who are in their 60s and even 70s and still going strong.

I personally think that most in the building trades who don't last long is due to their own undoing. They think they're invincible, take unnecessary risks, do stupid shít, and drink like fish, smoke like a factory and party all night.

Sitting behind a desk all your life is no guarantee of health in old age either. Just look at how many people fall over dead from heart disease caused by lack of exercise.
__________________
Due to circumstances beyond my control, I am here.

Last edited by 480sparky; 03-04-2018 at 09:06 AM.
480sparky is online now  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to 480sparky For This Useful Post:
heavy_d (03-04-2018), kirkdc (03-04-2018)
Old 03-04-2018, 09:30 AM   #6
This space for lease
 
RangoWA's Avatar
 
Trade: General
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: WA State
Posts: 5,309
Rewards Points: 4,628

Re: Aspiring Contractor, Need Input


Quote:
Originally Posted by 480sparky View Post
Sitting behind a desk all your life is no guarantee of health in old age either. Just look at how many people fall over dead from heart disease caused by lack of exercise.
There is that too. Repetitive tasks can mess you up physically but sitting on the duff all day isn't healthy either.
RangoWA is offline  
Old 03-04-2018, 09:59 AM   #7
Pro
 
hdavis's Avatar
 
Trade: remodeling
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: CoastalME
Posts: 20,659
Rewards Points: 2,973

Re: Aspiring Contractor, Need Input


I know a farrier who is .maybe 80 yo. It's possible to do physical labor without beating yourself up, but you have to be smart about it.

Painting doesn't beat you up that much, but it helps if you spray everything.
hdavis is online now  
The Following User Says Thank You to hdavis For This Useful Post:
fjn (03-04-2018)
Old 03-04-2018, 12:19 PM   #8
Pro
 
Lettusbee's Avatar
 
Trade: General Contractor
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Ft Collins, CO
Posts: 2,117
Rewards Points: 2,848

Re: Aspiring Contractor, Need Input


Quote:
Originally Posted by RangoWA View Post
You want others to put the wear and tear on their bodies making you money so you can sit behind a desk?

I'm going to guess that not many painting contractors make their living riding a desk. It could happen but small business doesn't normally work that way. Owners often put in more work and hours than the employees.
I think what he wants is to provide others with an opportunity to make a living through craft. But then, I'm an optimist.
Lettusbee is online now  
Old 03-04-2018, 12:24 PM   #9
Pro
 
Lettusbee's Avatar
 
Trade: General Contractor
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Ft Collins, CO
Posts: 2,117
Rewards Points: 2,848

Re: Aspiring Contractor, Need Input


Everybody's body is different. I know a 73 y.o. Drywaller who is still going strong.

I know a 61 y.o. drywaller who had to hang it up because of the arthritis in his hands and wrists.

A friend of mine was an electrician for 40 years, and his ankles and neck are all buggered up from standing on ladders and working over his head.

You can build a good business as a painter, without ever standing on a ladder or holding a brush. That will require business skills and salesmanship.

Your potential education will leave you with a lot more options when and if you need to transition out of the field. Personally, sitting at a desk makes me achy and lethargic. Couldn't imagine doing it every day.
Lettusbee is online now  
The Following User Says Thank You to Lettusbee For This Useful Post:
Jaws (03-04-2018)
Old 03-04-2018, 12:35 PM   #10
This space for lease
 
RangoWA's Avatar
 
Trade: General
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: WA State
Posts: 5,309
Rewards Points: 4,628

Re: Aspiring Contractor, Need Input


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lettusbee View Post
I think what he wants is to provide others with an opportunity to make a living through craft. But then, I'm an optimist.
Yep, but his reasoning was contracting is too hard on the body so lemme hire someone else to do it. I was using his logic.
RangoWA is offline  
Old 03-04-2018, 01:04 PM   #11
The Sheriff

 
Jaws's Avatar
 
Trade: GC
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Texas
Posts: 21,358
Rewards Points: 8,356

Re: Aspiring Contractor, Need Input


OP,

There is not enough information for me to advise you, but depending on how close you are to a degree and how much debt is being taken on, id finish it.

Looks like you are on the right path - learning the trade from the ground up and having the business skills to put them in place as an owner. Especially think about and pay attention to deploying labor and respurces and constantly be thinking about making them more effecient and simpler all the time. Even if your just a laborer on a crew. Someday youll have your own crew hopefully and this will be where you will make your money.
__________________
"The sound of the saftey clicking off is the only warning your gonna get......., so cover your ears" Northeast Wyoming 2016

John
Jaws is online now  
Old 03-04-2018, 01:10 PM   #12
The Sheriff

 
Jaws's Avatar
 
Trade: GC
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Texas
Posts: 21,358
Rewards Points: 8,356

Re: Aspiring Contractor, Need Input


Quote:
Originally Posted by RangoWA View Post
Yep, but his reasoning was contracting is too hard on the body so lemme hire someone else to do it. I was using his logic.
Well the world isnt all sunshine and roses.

If they dont like the work they should move on or move up. Some guys will become tradesmen/craftsman and some will be ditch diggers/laborers all their lives. The ditch diggers will be busted up in the end but doesnt mean you shouldnt hire them, you need ditches dug and they need to eat

They have every opportunity to do well (unless disabled ect) and many wont take advantage. Others will learn their craft and how to manage the big picture and will make more money and have less toil. Its the way it works for both lead men/foreman and owners.

A lot of tradesman dont want a business they want a job, sounds like the OP wants to give them one

Your first post was correct in my experience, most contractors dont make their living behind desks. Generally have office personnel if necessary and the contractor is in the field 70- 90% of the time even if they arent using tools anymore or ever
__________________
"The sound of the saftey clicking off is the only warning your gonna get......., so cover your ears" Northeast Wyoming 2016

John

Last edited by Jaws; 03-04-2018 at 01:18 PM.
Jaws is online now  
Old 03-04-2018, 01:19 PM   #13
This space for lease
 
RangoWA's Avatar
 
Trade: General
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: WA State
Posts: 5,309
Rewards Points: 4,628

Re: Aspiring Contractor, Need Input


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaws View Post
Well the world isnt all sunshine and roses.

If they dont like the work they should move on or move up. Some guys will become tradesmen/craftsman and some will be ditch diggers/laborers all their lives. The ditch diggers will be busted up in the end but doesnt mean you shouldnt hire them, you need ditches dug and they need to eat

They have every opportunity to do well (unless disabled ect) and many wont take advantage. Others will learn their craft and how to manage the big picture and will make more money and have less toil. Its the way it works for both lead men/foreman and owners.

A lot of tradesman dont want a business they want a job, sounds like the OP wants to give them one
Each to their own. I wouldn't have someone do a job I wasn't willing to do.

But again, I didn't say the trades are harmful, they can be if you let it. My point was that the rational for construction was too hard on the body so I'll have someone else do it. Sure, people need to eat and can be taken advantage of. History is filled with it.
RangoWA is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to RangoWA For This Useful Post:
Jaws (03-04-2018)
Old 03-04-2018, 01:23 PM   #14
Radical Basement Dweller
 
Robie's Avatar
 
Trade: Whatever needs to be made or repaired
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 13,128
Rewards Points: 3,860

Re: Aspiring Contractor, Need Input


Quote:
I wouldn't have someone do a job I wasn't willing to do.
I agree but with the wording....I wouldn't have someone do a job I wasn't willing to do at one point in time.

Since I've gotten older, there are quite a few jobs I've done but don't wish to do any longer.
__________________
Democrats are doing more to undermine our country than Russians could ever hope to.
Robie is online now  
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Robie For This Useful Post:
fjn (03-04-2018), Jaws (03-04-2018), Rio (03-04-2018), Xtrememtnbiker (03-04-2018)
Old 03-04-2018, 01:35 PM   #15
This space for lease
 
RangoWA's Avatar
 
Trade: General
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: WA State
Posts: 5,309
Rewards Points: 4,628

Re: Aspiring Contractor, Need Input


Quote:
Originally Posted by Robie View Post
I agree but with the wording....I wouldn't have someone do a job I wasn't willing to do at one point in time.

Since I've gotten older, there are quite a few jobs I've done but don't wish to do any longer.
Believe me I know. I can still do what I've done but not on a daily basis. But to me that's the natural order of things. You build the business, get helpers, do it right and grow. That's the best way to learn a business in my mind, from the ground up.
RangoWA is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to RangoWA For This Useful Post:
Jaws (03-04-2018), Xtrememtnbiker (03-04-2018)
Old 03-04-2018, 01:38 PM   #16
The Sheriff

 
Jaws's Avatar
 
Trade: GC
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Texas
Posts: 21,358
Rewards Points: 8,356

Re: Aspiring Contractor, Need Input


Quote:
Originally Posted by RangoWA View Post
Each to their own. I wouldn't have someone do a job I wasn't willing to do.

But again, I didn't say the trades are harmful, they can be if you let it. My point was that the rational for construction was too hard on the body so I'll have someone else do it. Sure, people need to eat and can be taken advantage of. History is filled with it.
I agree that a good man will not ask someone to do something he is not willing to do himself.

On the other hand, natural progression will take its course. It has always been my goal to grow a company to the point that I was not needed on a hands on level on a day-to-day basis, primarily because the more successful contractors that I worked for as a Tradesman had this model. I work for both paper contractors who had no experience and what you one would call a truck ass who has the skill set but no longer is banging Nails all day on a day-to-day basis.

I did not want to move up because I don't like the work or i was scared of ruining my body, i did it because I make more money and work Less hours now and have a company that allows me to leave on vacation or pursue something I need to do and will still operate. That was always a goal to me. To me that is freedom, to others it would be a prison LOL

After more than 12 years full-time wearing bags and a few more wearing them part of the time I do not need to carry my bags with me anymore even though I do... When I jump in on something it is generally because it really needs to get done or I am impatient or I just want to build something.

I still do a lot of work in the field and spend 90% of my time in the field, if I need to weld some cross-sections up or cut some rafters or stringers or layout plates or carry a bunk of plywood to the second floor I have no problem doing that, but generally if I am doing that I am not doing my job or it really needs to be done. Generally i have a bunch of other things i need to do, my task app is never empty.

Look at it this way, if there were not companies like mine people who wanted to be employees but still wanted to move into a leadership or management roles like a foreman or a superintendent or a PM would not have that opportunity. There would just be hands and owners working on crews.

I was at a building conference last year and a speaker (prior military) used the example that a colonel is not likely to be in a position where he is carrying a hundred and sixty pound pack around all the time or taking down defended positions himself with a rifle team... But it is also likely that he has done both or trained to do both for many years and was GOOD at it to get to where he is at.

I would also add to that I would think that most of them would be willing to do those jobs still themselves if they were put any position where it was needed. I don't have a real world example with a military leader other than books and a few clients that I have spoken to, but many good Business Leaders that I have worked for certainly have a let's get it done attitude

Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk
__________________
"The sound of the saftey clicking off is the only warning your gonna get......., so cover your ears" Northeast Wyoming 2016

John
Jaws is online now  
Old 03-04-2018, 01:39 PM   #17
The Sheriff

 
Jaws's Avatar
 
Trade: GC
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Texas
Posts: 21,358
Rewards Points: 8,356

Re: Aspiring Contractor, Need Input


Quote:
Originally Posted by RangoWA View Post
Believe me I know. I can still do what I've done but not on a daily basis. But to me that's the natural order of things. You build the business, get helpers, do it right and grow. That's the best way to learn a business in my mind, from the ground up.
Isn't that what he is saying that he wants to do? Build a business from the ground up? It doesn't sound to me like he is trying to skip the trade work at all

Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk
__________________
"The sound of the saftey clicking off is the only warning your gonna get......., so cover your ears" Northeast Wyoming 2016

John
Jaws is online now  
Old 03-04-2018, 02:00 PM   #18
Pro
 
avenge's Avatar
 
Trade: Remodeling
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Not here
Posts: 2,708
Rewards Points: 3,130

Re: Aspiring Contractor, Need Input


After about 25 years of daily painting my body couldn't take the repetitive motions any longer but that was 6-7 days a week working my ass off. I started more remodeling and it's the smartest move I've made for my body no more daily repetitive motions.

I'll be 60 this year, I'm the only one on my side and my wife's side of the family that does physical work for a living, they are all overweight, out of shape and dealing with health issues.

I just demoed a kitchen and 2 bathrooms by myself, filled a 20 yard dumpster....not by choice but I did it and my body isn't complaining. My body starts complaining when it's doing nothing.

It doesn't matter what someone else thinks, you need to do what makes you happy. I had the opportunity to go to law school completely paid for I turned it down I enjoy doing what I do am just smarter at it than I used to be.
avenge is online now  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to avenge For This Useful Post:
Jaws (03-04-2018), rustyjames (03-04-2018), Xtrememtnbiker (03-04-2018)
Old 03-04-2018, 02:21 PM   #19
New Guy
 
BasinEMT's Avatar
 
Trade: Painting
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 29
Rewards Points: 58

Re: Aspiring Contractor, Need Input


My apologies if my intentions came out wrong.

I am willing to do the grunt work, and enjoy doing the grunt work (nothing more satisfying than a hard day's labor), but eventually I want to focus more on the management side. Keyword: eventually. The first few years of operating a business, I will be in the trenches with my crew. I realize that it can't work any other way. Believe me, I'm doing plenty of labor now. I am putting my time and work in.
BasinEMT is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to BasinEMT For This Useful Post:
Jaws (03-04-2018)
Old 03-04-2018, 02:27 PM   #20
New Guy
 
BasinEMT's Avatar
 
Trade: Painting
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 29
Rewards Points: 58

Re: Aspiring Contractor, Need Input


Quote:
Originally Posted by avenge View Post
After about 25 years of daily painting my body couldn't take the repetitive motions any longer but that was 6-7 days a week working my ass off. I started more remodeling and it's the smartest move I've made for my body no more daily repetitive motions.

I'll be 60 this year, I'm the only one on my side and my wife's side of the family that does physical work for a living, they are all overweight, out of shape and dealing with health issues.

I just demoed a kitchen and 2 bathrooms by myself, filled a 20 yard dumpster....not by choice but I did it and my body isn't complaining. My body starts complaining when it's doing nothing.

It doesn't matter what someone else thinks, you need to do what makes you happy. I had the opportunity to go to law school completely paid for I turned it down I enjoy doing what I do am just smarter at it than I used to be.
Excellent point. I read an article once that said sedentary jobs (ass sitting) is also terrible for your health. In a different way, but still bad for you.

It seems laborers suffer from injuries related to excessive movement. Ads sitters suffer from heart disease.

Damned if we do, damned if we don't. In a sense, I think perpetually unemployed people may be on to something.

Thank you for your input. I have to do what makes me happy.

Advertisement

BasinEMT is offline  


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Steel frame deck need engineered input rotarex Decks & Fencing 18 05-26-2013 10:54 PM
Designing My Kitchen-Could Use Your Input Spencer Finish Carpentry 36 02-12-2013 08:03 PM
White wood on deck?? Jcstorm Decks & Fencing 6 01-30-2013 12:15 PM
Website Review Input tonyc56 Websites and SEO 12 01-02-2013 05:26 AM

Join Now... It's Fast and FREE!

I am a professional contractor
I am a DIY Homeowner
Drywall Talk is for
PROFESSIONAL CONTRACTORS ONLY!

At DrywallTalk.com we cater exlusivly to professional contractors who make their living as a contractor. Knowing that many homeowners and DIYers are looking for a community to call home, we've created www.DIYChatroom.com DIY Chatroom is full of helpful advices and perfect for DIY homeowners.

Redirecing in 10 seconds
No Thanks
terms of service

Already Have an Account?