Working Alone

 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 03-26-2011, 05:43 PM   #1
Pro
 
gillisonconstru's Avatar
 
Trade: General Contractor/ Carpentry
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Champaign,IL
Posts: 333
Rewards Points: 344

Working Alone


Hello guys I own a remodeling company and cover all sizes of projects getting tired of all the bs that goes with employees looking for advice from guys can I succeed as a one man outfit and just hire temp or subs when i need bigger crew?...All advice appreciated
gillisonconstru 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 03-26-2011, 06:00 PM   #2
Member
 
CSL's Avatar
 
Trade: Construction Supervisor/General Contractor
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 31
Rewards Points: 25

Re: Working Alone


hello "gillisonconstru" I live and work in Massachusetts. To answer your question I will tell you how I work. I am a one man show, I sub out all of the work. I am a General Contractor/Construction Supervisor and that Is all I do. The reason why is because I believe it to be very difficult to do all of your office work and the project development. I make sure the project is completed on time and within budget. I wouldn't be able to run everything if I had to work eight hours on the job site and four hours of office work as well . I'm guessing maybe if it were small jobs you might be able to do it without compromise but I usually take on jobs in the 5-10 digit range.
So to sum it up . yes you can run a one man show but how much are you willing to compromise in order to get it done, thats the real question. Remember that hiring subs and temps are a gamble because they may not always be readily available. In my opinion focusing on the project parameters and keeping all subtrades working at a smooth pace pays off in the end.

Advertisement

__________________
If You Can't Nail Then Go Screw Yourself

Last edited by CSL; 03-26-2011 at 06:02 PM.
CSL is offline  
Old 03-26-2011, 06:02 PM   #3
New Quirky Carpenter
 
William James's Avatar
 
Trade: Trim Carpentry and Remodeling
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 1,341
Rewards Points: 538

Re: Working Alone


Quote:
Originally Posted by gillisonconstru
Hello guys I own a remodeling company and cover all sizes of projects getting tired of all the bs that goes with employees looking for advice from guys can I succeed as a one man outfit and just hire temp or subs when i need bigger crew?...All advice appreciated
I would answer your question, but it would be kind of contradictory. Unless you meant, you are looking for advice from us guys. ?
Can't tell, one sentence just converges with another.
__________________
Guilford, CT Remodeler and Carpenter Web-site Twitter@CraftsmanJay
Facebook
The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.
William James is offline  
   
 
Old 03-26-2011, 06:07 PM   #4
Pro
 
gillisonconstru's Avatar
 
Trade: General Contractor/ Carpentry
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Champaign,IL
Posts: 333
Rewards Points: 344

Re: Working Alone


Yes thats what I meant. I am looking for advice from the forum members. Was typing in frusterated haste. I apologize for the run on sentence.
gillisonconstru is offline  
Old 03-26-2011, 06:24 PM   #5
New Quirky Carpenter
 
William James's Avatar
 
Trade: Trim Carpentry and Remodeling
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 1,341
Rewards Points: 538

Re: Working Alone


If most of your projects are small enough for you to tackle yourself then definitely. Depends on the laws in your state.

You'll just need to find good subs.
__________________
Guilford, CT Remodeler and Carpenter Web-site Twitter@CraftsmanJay
Facebook
The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.
William James is offline  
Old 03-26-2011, 06:34 PM   #6
Pro
 
Chris G's Avatar
 
Trade: Porch and Deck Builder
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Toronto
Posts: 2,096
Rewards Points: 1,210

Re: Working Alone


Quote:
Originally Posted by CSL View Post
I usually take on jobs in the 5-10 digit range.
Holy cow man. I can't imagine the stress level of having to manage and account for something like 5 Billion dollars.
__________________
I can not emphasize how stupid I really am

http://www.vicporch.ca
Deck Fence Porch Builder Toronto
Chris G is offline  
The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to Chris G For This Useful Post:
BC Carpenter (04-22-2011), Cole82 (03-26-2011), MikeGC (03-27-2011), superseal (06-14-2011), thomasjmarino (05-28-2011)
Old 03-26-2011, 07:16 PM   #7
Member
 
CSL's Avatar
 
Trade: Construction Supervisor/General Contractor
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 31
Rewards Points: 25

Re: Working Alone


I have never taken on a job that big as the sole general contractor only as one of the construction supervisors. I do not have the liability or bond requirements for a job that big. But again the point I wanted to bring across is that I am supervising the job and not actually constructing. It's not that I lack the experience in the trade because I started off as the gopher just like any one else but there comes a point when you have to make a decision , you either get your hands dirty or your a full time G.C. and make projected decisions pertaining to all subtrades on a project. ( 5 Billion Dollars as a sole General , I wish)
__________________
If You Can't Nail Then Go Screw Yourself

Last edited by CSL; 03-26-2011 at 07:20 PM. Reason: na
CSL is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to CSL For This Useful Post:
Willie T (03-26-2011)
Old 03-26-2011, 07:20 PM   #8
New Quirky Carpenter
 
William James's Avatar
 
Trade: Trim Carpentry and Remodeling
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 1,341
Rewards Points: 538

Re: Working Alone


Quote:
Originally Posted by CSL
I have never taken on a job that big as a general contractor only as one of the construction supervisors. I do not have the liability or bond requirements for a job that big. But again the point I wanted to bring across is that I am supervising the job and not actually constructing. It's not that I lack the experience in the trade because I started off as the gopher just like any one else but there comes a point when you have to make a decision , you either get your hands dirty or your a full time G.C. and make projected decisions pertaining to all subtrades on a project. ( 5 Billion Dollars as a sole General , I wish)
That's well said.
__________________
Guilford, CT Remodeler and Carpenter Web-site Twitter@CraftsmanJay
Facebook
The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.
William James is offline  
Old 03-26-2011, 10:38 PM   #9
Pro
 
Hmrepairs's Avatar
 
Trade: Remodeling contractor
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: mitchell south dakota
Posts: 485
Rewards Points: 250

Re: Working Alone


I am back to working by myself, effective the end of last year. I am happier now than I have been for some time. At the most I had 5 guys under me a few years ago. I do only remodel work, no more new construction. I sub out alll electrical and plumbing issues. I have a few jobs coming up this summer that I will hire some day labor for, but nobody permanent anymore. It's just easier for me, and I'm not really aggressive and gung-ho anymore. Yes, it can surely be done, where I live anyway. I think most things addressed on this forum have geographical limitations.
Hmrepairs is offline  
Old 03-26-2011, 10:47 PM   #10
Chief Reporter of Spam
 
Tech Dawg's Avatar
 
Trade: Kitchen and Bathroom Remodeling
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Posts: 6,586
Rewards Points: 1,280

Re: Working Alone


Quote:
Originally Posted by Hmrepairs
I am back to working by myself, effective the end of last year. I am happier now than I have been for some time. At the most I had 5 guys under me a few years ago. I do only remodel work, no more new construction. I sub out alll electrical and plumbing issues. I have a few jobs coming up this summer that I will hire some day labor for, but nobody permanent anymore. It's just easier for me, and I'm not really aggressive and gung-ho anymore. Yes, it can surely be done, where I live anyway. I think most things addressed on this forum have geographical limitations.
I'm about the same.... I sub out electrical(cuz I don't like sparks). Major plumbing situations are subbed as well as countertops, heavy glass... I have a really good drywall finisher and he also does general labor with me for 10 bux an hr. I also have some other buddies that have their own operation and we all help each other out when needed. I refuse to pay workers comp and unemployment out to lazy people that don't posess the work ethic that I have...
__________________
Todd
Alone Eagle Remodeling, LLC
Tech Dawg is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Tech Dawg For This Useful Post:
Big Shoe (04-11-2011), dprimc (04-10-2011), maxfederle89 (01-23-2018)
Old 04-03-2011, 08:53 AM   #11
Member
 
whatsacubbard?'s Avatar
 
Trade: cabinetry design, installation.
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Fort Wayne, Indiana
Posts: 62
Rewards Points: 75

Re: Working Alone


You know how in grade school your report card might say "does not get along well with others"? Well, that's why I work alone.
whatsacubbard? is offline  
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to whatsacubbard? For This Useful Post:
maxfederle89 (01-23-2018), Ragebhardt (04-03-2011), txgencon (04-26-2011), Willie T (04-03-2011)
Old 04-06-2011, 09:33 PM   #12
Pro
 
BradingCon's Avatar
 
Trade: Remodeling Contractor
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Toledo, IL
Posts: 491
Rewards Points: 740

Re: Working Alone


In David Gerstel's Book "Running a Successful Construction Business" he states that this is the artisan type of company. A contractor works alone most or all of the time. He suggests that you work alone as much as possible and then use a carpenter labor pool for the times when you need a little help. Also, I sub out electrical and plumbing when I can too.
BradingCon is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to BradingCon For This Useful Post:
maxfederle89 (01-23-2018)
Old 04-06-2011, 10:45 PM   #13
Pro
 
naturalwood's Avatar
 
Trade: decking
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: British Columbia, Cda
Posts: 142
Rewards Points: 87

Re: Working Alone


I am getting way too old for the grief of employees. Stopped doing that 4 years ago. sometimes the wife helps out or i get subs. Have to say, I am having more fun than I have in 30 years doing what I do. Money is not as good, but stress and lifestyle is way way better.

Lorne
naturalwood is offline  
Old 04-07-2011, 06:33 PM   #14
Member
 
Just-In-Time's Avatar
 
Trade: Home Improvement
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Baltimore
Posts: 50
Rewards Points: 25

Re: Working Alone


I do smaller jobs and work almost exclusively alone. I am focusing on repair jobs, small remodels etc... I am currently working another job as well because I do not have enough work to keep me completely busy but I do not attribute this to my working alone.
Just-In-Time is offline  
Old 04-08-2011, 12:04 PM   #15
Fine Handcrafted Opinions
 
Bearded Wonder's Avatar
 
Trade: General
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Fort Worth Tx
Posts: 937
Rewards Points: 1,250

Re: Working Alone


I've been a one man operation for almost two years and I'm quite happy with it. When I first went out on my own I did much of the work myself, especially smaller jobs. As I've gotten busier, and bigger jobs, I'm doing less and less work in the field and more of the managing of subcontractors. I'm now to the point where I sub almost 100% of my jobs. I do everything from small repairs to remodels to new construction. I've worked hard to brand myself not as a handyman but as a home construction professional, and run my business accordingly. I'm able to charge enough to pay for good subs and my overhead and still make a good salary and profit. It's a full time job working with owners, managing subs and vendors and I enjoy it as much or more as putting on my bags and working in the field. There's my two cents. Good luck.
Bearded Wonder is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Bearded Wonder For This Useful Post:
maxfederle89 (01-23-2018), NHA (02-11-2018)
Old 04-08-2011, 12:26 PM   #16
TRADE CRAFTSMAN.
 
SAW.co's Avatar
 
Trade: general contractor
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Angels Camp CA
Posts: 1,230
Rewards Points: 500

Re: Working Alone


I've been working alone for 3 yr. now & the biggest down side for me is that i've started talkin to myself. So now I want to hire someone simply cause I'm tired of listing to my own S all day long.

It wasn't so bad until I started loosing arguments with myself & realized that I can't even fire ME!
SAW.co is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to SAW.co For This Useful Post:
Artworks (01-24-2018), maxfederle89 (01-23-2018)
Old 04-08-2011, 01:45 PM   #17
Pro
 
detroit687's Avatar
 
Trade: carpenter
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 662
Rewards Points: 500

Re: Working Alone


I think if I couldnt have employees I would go work for someone else. I dont think of my company as me anymore I think of it as a seperate entity and I work for it. And my employees are my friends. And if im in the field I can go about a week and then it starts to feel like solitary confinement. I will wear my headphones and get my work done but after a week I need some one to bull**** with at break or lunch.
And yes I have taken the its not personal out of business and it does stop me from getting any bigger and hiring guys i dont trust. But I dont care I am really close to making the amount I want and everyone gets allong. They all make a union wage and I make just a little more.
detroit687 is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to detroit687 For This Useful Post:
maxfederle89 (01-23-2018)
Old 04-08-2011, 01:57 PM   #18
Chief Reporter of Spam
 
Tech Dawg's Avatar
 
Trade: Kitchen and Bathroom Remodeling
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Posts: 6,586
Rewards Points: 1,280

Re: Working Alone


Quote:
Originally Posted by SAW.co
I've been working alone for 3 yr. now & the biggest down side for me is that i've started talkin to myself. So now I want to hire someone simply cause I'm tired of listing to my own S all day long.

It wasn't so bad until I started loosing arguments with myself & realized that I can't even fire ME!
That is my problem in a nutshell... my previous workplace had workers to bs with in the shop in the am and some afternoons, secretaries to flirt with etc...
It hit me hard when I started my own company but CT definately helps
__________________
Todd
Alone Eagle Remodeling, LLC
Tech Dawg is offline  
Old 04-09-2011, 11:56 PM   #19
Pro
 
bbgcarpentry's Avatar
 
Trade: carpenter
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Toronto
Posts: 543
Rewards Points: 500

Re: Working Alone


Getting lonely is the hardest thing, I hire guys now and again just for a bit of company otherwise I would. Go crazy.
bbgcarpentry is offline  
Old 04-10-2011, 12:12 AM   #20
Pro
 
Bweikel's Avatar
 
Trade: Carpenter/gc
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 497
Rewards Points: 250

Re: Working Alone


Can't control the the the Voices in my head..

Advertisement

Bweikel is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Bweikel For This Useful Post:
Artworks (01-24-2018)


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
Butt Splices,,,,are working great AARC Drywall Drywall 102 10-02-2011 07:59 PM
POLL: It's Labor Day, Are You Working? Nathan General Discussion 38 09-08-2009 09:29 PM
Working with Structural Engineer Question Gitrdone Framing 6 08-10-2009 12:47 PM
Working with Azek or KOMA bert0168 Carpentry 2 07-31-2009 05:03 PM
Working for a Commercial GC ToniDanette Introductions 3 09-11-2008 06:58 PM

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?