Question For Contractors General And Subs.

 
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Old 04-22-2010, 11:13 PM   #1
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Question For Contractors General And Subs.


What up guys new to your site. Take it easy on me.
Im a finish carpentry contracter and just wondering how some of u subs go about getting in with general contractors. How do u go about offering ur services and so on.
And for general contractors, what do u look for in a sub.

Im a great finish carpenter, but the business part is just kicking my ass.
Im in with a supplier, but would like more steady work from a couple of contractors, and not just homeowners who occasionally need a door replace or a couple rooms of crown if u know what i mean.
Thanks alot guy, any input would help alot......
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Old 04-22-2010, 11:21 PM   #2
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Re: Question For Contractors General And Subs.


Don't take this as offensive. But you want to know how? Read.

This site is filled with some great info from some very talented and successful folks.

Look at it this way, if you're not willing to do some work to search out some free advice, are you really ready to do what it takes to get more business?

Take a few days and use the search feature. After a week or so of pillaging through the tons of info, see if you have a few more specific questions then.

You might be glad you did.

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Old 04-22-2010, 11:23 PM   #3
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Re: Question For Contractors General And Subs.


It certainly doesn't happen overnight. It is a slow process. Tell other subs you work with you are looking for GCs, talk talk talk.
GCs are looking for a couple key things, clean jobsites, quality work and low prices... oh and can you come today?
Over-deliver, every time. Give them the best.
Homeowners aren't always that bad, I find them much nicer to deal with than GCs!
Real Estate Agents are also good contacts.
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Old 04-22-2010, 11:24 PM   #4
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Re: Question For Contractors General And Subs.


I hope your spelling and grammar are not an indication of the quality of your work. I would also hope that when you speak to an individual that this is not how you come across.

Clean your sh## up. Speak and write correctly. Try creating, no have some one , create a PROFESSIONAL looking flier for you indicating the services you provide.

If you showed up on my job speaking like you write you would get about 1.3 seconds of my time, then Guido or Tony would escort you out.
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Old 04-23-2010, 07:33 AM   #5
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Re: Question For Contractors General And Subs.


Quote:
Originally Posted by griz View Post
I hope your spelling and grammar are not an indication of the quality of your work. I would also hope that when you speak to an individual that this is not how you come across.

Clean your sh## up. Speak and write correctly. Try creating, no have some one , create a PROFESSIONAL looking flier for you indicating the services you provide.

If you showed up on my job speaking like you write you would get about 1.3 seconds of my time, then Guido or Tony would escort you out.

Yet another victim of too much Texting. How sad it is these days that this is becoming the norm. Appears to be a member of the TIG (Total Instant Gratification) generation.
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Old 04-23-2010, 07:57 AM   #6
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Re: Question For Contractors General And Subs.


This is a very valid view these guys are commenting on. Thank God you're not hearing my full thoughts on the matter. I originally quit school in the 8th grade, went back to make it into college.... and I detest adults writing like third graders. (But you really need not be concerned with what I think.)

Seriously, if you are too lazy, too careless, or wanting so badly to cut time off what you're doing to be able to extend a decent greeting.... what should anyone expect your general attitude about quality work to be?

AND................... If you can't bounce back after a minor taste of logical criticism such as you have experienced here...... you might have a difficult time surviving here. The jobsite would beat you up a lot more.
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Old 04-23-2010, 10:32 AM   #7
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Re: Question For Contractors General And Subs.


It appears by these posts, that there are a lot of people like myself that are tired of people taking short-cuts, even in grammar, this usually reflects into all aspects of contracting as well, I would compare this to one of the yo-yo's who comes bouncing into my office in shorts and flip-flops, looking for a job in contruction.

So, Mr. Finish Carpenter, I hope you take this constructive criticism as a useful tip, as all of us are selling our wares where-ever we are, in everything we do.
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Old 04-23-2010, 10:35 AM   #8
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Re: Question For Contractors General And Subs.


At least I have a hammer loop on my shorts and I just got a new pair of steel toed flip flops.
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Old 04-23-2010, 11:14 AM   #9
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Re: Question For Contractors General And Subs.


Quote:
Originally Posted by FinishTrade473 View Post
And for general contractors, what do u look for in a sub.
azzholes and elbows.
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Old 04-23-2010, 06:50 PM   #10
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Re: Question For Contractors General And Subs.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Willie T View Post
Seriously, if you are too lazy, too careless, or wanting so badly to cut time off what you're doing to be able to extend a decent greeting.... what should anyone expect your general attitude about quality work to be?

AND................... If you can't bounce back after a minor taste of logical criticism such as you have experienced here...... you might have a difficult time surviving here. The jobsite would beat you up a lot more.

Preach on!!!!
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Old 04-23-2010, 07:08 PM   #11
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Re: Question For Contractors General And Subs.


Whatever happened to the guys here that could photoShop a picture of a Walmart sign to say "Fill-out your profile - complete with location - and a Freaking Intro would be nice!"

Now in text lingo: "Wha Hap 2 da dudes cud shop a pic 2 says..."

Talk to you guys later.
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Old 04-23-2010, 11:43 PM   #12
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Re: Question For Contractors General And Subs.


Believe it or not I do appreciate the feedback/replies. I apologize for my “text post” and will be more professional with any future post or comments. I did take it a little lightly when I posted, and now that it was brought to my intention I feel like a moron. This is a site for professionals and I will treat it as such. Thanks a lot to all.
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Old 04-23-2010, 11:52 PM   #13
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Re: Question For Contractors General And Subs.


Well, maybe there is hope for you after all. You had the balls to see the error in your ways then actually wrote a decent reply. Don't ever forget the power of the first impression.
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Old 04-24-2010, 12:40 AM   #14
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Re: Question For Contractors General And Subs.


Maybe I'm getting used to the texting era too. I didn't even notice his texting grammar until you guys brought it up

But realistically, replacing "u" with "you" isn't going to get you business. You need a plan, read some books, "Guerrilla Marketing" is a good start. Start implementing some advertising tactics; Craigslist, Angieslist, website, business cards. Join the Master Builders Association, you may be able to find some builders there, pass out business cards to them. Drive around to job sites and look for houses in the framing or siding stage. They are going to need a finish carpenter, talk to their superintendent, hand him your card.

One problem with doing strictly finish work though, is that your main target is new construction. Which in this economy there isn't a whole lot of, maybe it's different in your area, I don't know. As a remodeler, I do all the finish work myself, as do most remodelers. I would never have a need to hire a finish carpentry sub.

I have a lot of advertising strategies in mind for myself to get more work. My problem is I haven't had the time to take care of it.
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Old 04-24-2010, 05:11 AM   #15
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Re: Question For Contractors General And Subs.


I'm with kennmac on this one. As a remodeler we pretty much do it all. If I were you, I would learn multiple skills. What happens when that "customer who just wants a door hung" asks you if you know anything about tiling? You just missed an opportunity.

But don't say you know how to lay tile when you have only done it twice. You must be an expert at it.

I believe one the main reasons that my company is successful is because I hand selected my guys skills. I went out and hired guys who used to do nothing but specialty trades (ie Sheetrock,tile setters, painters, etc) and who were willing to try something new. Mix all those trades with a dang good lead who has the heart of a teacher and we have some knowledge on the job site!

Obviously we rotated the skills with the jobs. It didn't take long for the sheetrocker to learn the tricks of the tile trade. Each specialty guy has taught us about his trade and he just learned 3 other trades. And what's funny is my leads learned 10x more by working with these guys.

My point is I think in order to succeed when you are just starting out, you have to be versitile.
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Old 04-24-2010, 06:09 AM   #16
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Re: Question For Contractors General And Subs.


I agree with being versatile. Especially in this economy. If we only installed & refinished hardwood floors, we'd have starved this winter. Yes, floors are our primary business, but while I'm there, I can run their crown, build them a new custom stairway or a new Kitchen. The more you know & can do, the more doors will open for you.

My preference is installing new floors in new homes. But they don't come along every day. Current job I'm on, the painter wasn't comfortable staining & finishing all the oak doors in the house. I've been looking to expand into that market for local builders, so I went to the general & had a conversation & got the job. After investing in a new sprayer & adjusting to the learning curve, it's not going to be overly profitable, but I won't go backwards on the deal & I stand a good chance of getting his future finish work & will have this job & builder to reference to other builders & the local lumber yards.

Living in a rural area, I focus heavily on word of mouth & reputation & not so much on social media or even local advertising. All my vehicles are lettered boldly & whenever possible, I park them on the job, in the most visible spots. I want their friends & neighbors to know who done their work, so when they see it first hand, they know who to call.
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Old 04-24-2010, 07:20 AM   #17
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Re: Question For Contractors General And Subs.


Give the guy a break, he is a carpenter not a secretary...and on the general note I will hire a guy with a street slang faster then I hire someone with a perfect grammar that I can't understand a "f" word he is saying. From past experiences most guys I met who couldn't put 2 words together did superb work
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Old 04-24-2010, 08:00 AM   #18
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Re: Question For Contractors General And Subs.


Work well with other subs
Cleanup after yourself
No excuses for anything
Even if you have one I do not want to hear about it
Good with customers
Have your ins and everything up to date and easily accessible ( the last couple of years I have had to change a few good subs because of this)
If you get a chance to do some nicer stuff get pictures of all of it


I don't care if you can read or write
I just need a estimate, and a bill when the job is complete
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Old 04-24-2010, 08:53 AM   #19
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Re: Question For Contractors General And Subs.


Quote:
Originally Posted by FinishTrade473 View Post
Believe it or not I do appreciate the feedback/replies. I apologize for my “text post” and will be more professional with any future post or comments. I did take it a little lightly when I posted, and now that it was brought to my intention I feel like a moron. This is a site for professionals and I will treat it as such. Thanks a lot to all.
It has been written over and over again, countless times, that the first step in almost any remediation is recognition and elimination of denial. You can't improve upon what you insist doesn't exist.

Congratulations, Sir, on that very impressive first step. And, "Welcome"!
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Last edited by Willie T; 04-24-2010 at 08:56 AM.
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Old 04-24-2010, 09:58 AM   #20
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Re: Question For Contractors General And Subs.


I find the resistance to striving for perfection in our written communication both interesting and paradoxical. It is a solid fact that you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

Will demonstrating a basic command of the English language necessarily get you work? Perhaps not.
But will exhibiting the opposite cost you a chance at work? Very often.

Remember that you cannot get your foot in the door if it is shut tight and locked.

I will be very frank with you........... I stringently 'qualify' any and all applicants almost immediately. If they smell of liquor or BO... if their clothes are dirty... if they appear not to own a comb... if they cannot look me in the eye... if they mumble the language they have practiced for 25 or thirty years... then they already have two strikes against them.

Their practical job qualifications will follow this initial evaluation of what kind of a person they appear to be. I'll hire an ex-con (and have many times) who impresses me as having learned to be a man who cares about how the world sees him. I will not even consider someone who comes to ask for employment TOTALLY unprepared to show me why it will be to my benefit to hire him.

If you work for me, you are, like it or not, a representative of me and my professional values. If you look and act like some reject from skid row, or an illiterate, then you reflect upon me and my company. I don't want any customers saying to other prospects "Yeah, they do pretty good work, but what a bunch of low-life, trash mouth bums that guy has working for him."

Almost everyone here has expressed the belief that a big, shiny, new, fancy 45,000 + work truck is a necessary requisite for making a good impression when pulling up in front of a customer's residence. And we laugh and scoff at anyone hauling out tools that run less than $500 apiece. We push fliers and online advertising. A website seems to be one of the most important things in business to many people here.

Yet we sit here typing that poor spelling and lousy grammar mean nothing.

They are every bit as important as all the other 'first impressions' we seem to value so highly... maybe more so. How impressive would that sharp truck be if a misspelled sign on the side screamed out "DUMB GUY INSIDE"?

No matter if it is a job interview, a job estimate visit, the presentation of a business card, a website someone clicks on, or almost anything that we put in front of strangers to show who we are, mistakes and carelessness will become a part of who they will always remember us as being.

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