Do Many Of You Work Out Of State? - General Discussion - Contractor Talk

Do Many Of You Work Out Of State?

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Old 01-02-2010, 07:07 AM   #1
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Do Many Of You Work Out Of State?

Over the years I have had a number of my customers ask if I would work on their out of state properties.

It's very flattering to get a request like that.

Most I have turned down--However I have worked in Wisconsin-Michigan and Indiana.

This years requests--Rehab a beach house in Cape Cod-
Put an addition on a house in San Diego,,Cal.
Tile-trim and paint a big house in Florida

These are nice but not to practical. The California job I will pass on to one of you guys. The Cape Cod and Florida ones do seem interesting---

I doubt if I will do any of them-But it sure is nice that I was asked.-

How would I, as an out of stater, handle licensing and permits?
I think that the hassles out weigh the benefits-

Still--nice to be asked----------------MIKE----------
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Old 01-02-2010, 09:35 AM   #2
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Re: Do Many Of You Work Out Of State?

Im with you Mike, i have always avoided it. The hassles are one reason, but the main reason has been the inability to service my reg customers if i where out of state for a couple of months. GMOD. One more thing, in my town, i can get my subs to respond on a moments notice, out of state i would be the new guy, not looking to build a team again.



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Old 01-02-2010, 09:44 AM   #3
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Re: Do Many Of You Work Out Of State?

You are right on with that--I'm always calling on people for future work.

We are always 'LOOKING FOR A JOB' ---I hate to be out of circulation for to long!

I've had a lot of requests to work in California--I have a lot of Chinese customers--Good customers-

Seems like the all have some California connection. I lived in Cal. Back in the 70's--Not going there.
A few weeks in the sun sounds pretty appealing today.however--It's 3 degrees today.

EDIT--Unknown subs can be a nightmare--I needed a roofer and floor finisher in Indiana this summer--That was an experience!

I know that there are some good ones there--But I sure didn't know where to look!

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Old 01-02-2010, 10:18 AM   #4
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Re: Do Many Of You Work Out Of State?

I try to look at both sides of the situation.
I think of the hassle if the customer doesn't pay. Then the legal process of filing in another state and attending hearings or giving depositions.
Licensing and insurance would be a hurdle also. And then if there is a call-back or minor to-do list who gets to take care of that?
Setting up accounts for material suppliers would take some time. Would you have a or a permanent address for them to use?
Would you need to hire subs? Where do you get good ones?
Are you able to take off for as long it takes to get the job done? Who will handle things back at home if one of your regular customers calls and needs something? Will you travel back and forth occasionally or stay till the job is done? Who pays for the travel expenses?
Bottom line, is it worth it? By the time an out-of-town customer/job factors in all the expenses...why can't they just find someone locally?
Perhaps you have a unique talent that someone is willing to pay extra for and that sets you apart? These are just some thoughts that would come to mind if I was facing this same scenario.
For me, right now, out-of-state would be a big, "No thank you!". I would drive an hour or so to get to a job and charge extra for it but out-of-state probably wouldn't work for me.
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Old 01-02-2010, 10:35 AM   #5
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Re: Do Many Of You Work Out Of State?

All good points--I've never had a customer stiff me. (Yet!) So that is not a big concern.

I pay as I go-no accounts anywhere-so that's not a worry.

The customers seldom look for a cheaper bid--I've gone into some rather expensive jobs with little more than a rough discussion of price.

Fortunately many of my regulars biggest concerns is that the job be done right-not cheap.

I just don't think is to practical to haul a contractor across the country when there are so many skilled and trustworthy guys out there.

I do understand that a person would be glad to pay extra to use someone that they know will deliver the kind of work that they expect.

I sure am not perfect,far from it, But my word is my bond--I think that is why I've kept the same customers all these years.---MIKE--
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Old 01-02-2010, 12:09 PM   #6
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Re: Do Many Of You Work Out Of State?

I have worked out of state a few times. Once out in Long Island off the LIE at exit 68, and another time out in the Poconos. No licenses or permits so I will not be doing that again especially now that I'm licensed.
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Old 01-02-2010, 07:44 PM   #7
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Re: Do Many Of You Work Out Of State?

i worked out of state for 3 years, as a super on a subdivision in RI. I work for a large GC & they bought a project in RI so we hired a local GC who delt with the town on legal issues & such plus we hired local subs & even brought a couple from LI that were willing to make it work. For the first 14 months we stayed there from Mon - Fri, a core crew of 8-10 guys & all in all it worked out real well. the biggest issue was getting an equipment license from the state, RI is kinda like it's own union, the State seems to run everything. Me & 2 other guys got our licenses & after that no one bothered us, we just did our thing, in fact the guys liked the fact we were working 10 - 12 hrs a day so everyone got to make some extra $. I guess it's alittle different with a large company as the up front money isn't much of an issue. The best part was after 14 months the co. bought a plane & flew us back & forth daily from MacArthur, Ny- Smith field, RI we felt like rock stars of the construction world. So overall it was a great experience I had alot of responsibility both getting the job done & keeping 8 grown men from getting in trouble, but it was worth it & I would do it again if the opportunity presents itself.
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Old 01-02-2010, 08:10 PM   #8
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Re: Do Many Of You Work Out Of State?

I have traveled up and down the east cost , mostly for friends or family.
NC , MD NY NJ CT PA VT I live 3 Min's from NY NJ border Pa is 20 mints and CT is 40 minutes Licenses are a pain . I'm starting a nice addition in NJ (1 hour from home) Monday . Most of my subs are driving out with me .
Its better to work around home . John
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Old 01-02-2010, 08:21 PM   #9
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Re: Do Many Of You Work Out Of State?

We did a job in MI once for a past customer that relocated.

We basically handled as a consultant. We did the design ($290k), interviewed local GC's, managed project via email and flew-out before every inspection.

Got paid large T&M! Worked well. I don't know what we would have done if we had gotten a bad GC? Could have been a nightmare.
I love what I do and I'm very good at it!

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Old 01-02-2010, 09:22 PM   #10
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Re: Do Many Of You Work Out Of State?

I drove 6 hours for an out of state job for a good existing client. I stayed at the job a week for rough and went back a weekend for final. I wouldn't hesitate to do it again.
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Old 01-02-2010, 09:25 PM   #11
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Re: Do Many Of You Work Out Of State?

Only did one project, but it wasnt just out of state... it was out of country... I flew to Paris to rehab an apartment there. This was pre 9/11 and I actually carried the DeWalt 18v cordless 4 pack right onto the airplane. Batteries and blades still in the sawzall and circ saw.
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Old 01-02-2010, 10:09 PM   #12
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Re: Do Many Of You Work Out Of State?

Every time that I have worked away from home it was in an unoccupied house.

That gave me free lodging -in a nicer place than mine. Nicest was a summer cottage on Lake Michigan,
a local contractor put on an addition and re drywalled the existing part. All I did was trim it out.

I even took my dog along. Sort of like a holiday with pay.

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Old 01-03-2010, 05:58 PM   #13
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Re: Do Many Of You Work Out Of State?

I usually suggest an installer I know from that region. However, I did go to Arkansas this past summer because the customer demanded I do the work.
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Old 01-03-2010, 06:49 PM   #14
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Re: Do Many Of You Work Out Of State?

In special circumstances I have worked out of state 4 or 5 times on new signle family residences with no license.


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