How Many Of You Sub Out All Of The Work? - General Discussion - Contractor Talk

How Many Of You Sub Out All Of The Work?

 
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Old 01-03-2017, 12:19 AM   #1
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How Many Of You Sub Out All Of The Work?


I have had my own remodel business for two years now and want to switch to kitchens and baths. I am a GC but really only take small jobs and do most of the labor myself. My goal is to market myself as a kitchen and bath remodeler and sub out most of the work. I would like to do all of the management, coordinating subs, getting subs what they need to do their jobs, some design, communicating with clients, and overall just making sure the job is done well and the client is happy. I definitely don't mind doing some of the physical work to get the job done. A contractor I met the other day told me he subs out everything, and still makes a decent living. Can this be done?
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Old 01-03-2017, 12:24 AM   #2
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Re: How Many Of You Sub Out All Of The Work?


it can be done but not quite as easy as it sounds....

read here...pay attention to what JAWS says....

http://www.contractortalk.com/f16/em...l-subs-317257/

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Old 01-03-2017, 01:17 AM   #3
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Re: How Many Of You Sub Out All Of The Work?


What kind of small jobs do you currently do?

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Old 01-03-2017, 07:46 AM   #4
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Re: How Many Of You Sub Out All Of The Work?


I sub most of what is done on the bigger jobs but there is always a need for in house carpentry so I do it and sometimes other parts of the job since I have to be there.
Trim, doors, non custom cabinet work and punch list repairs are always on me.
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Old 01-03-2017, 09:05 AM   #5
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Re: How Many Of You Sub Out All Of The Work?


Right now my smaller jobs consist of small fixes for real estate agents in order to sell a house, porches, small fences, a lot of trim work, sheetrock repair. I just took a 900 sq ft house down to the studs and put it all back together. I spent about 3 weeks on the sheetrock by myself. Pretty sure i'll sub that out next time.
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Old 01-03-2017, 09:11 AM   #6
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Re: How Many Of You Sub Out All Of The Work?


Quote:
Originally Posted by kmerr98277 View Post
Right now my smaller jobs consist of small fixes for real estate agents in order to sell a house, porches, small fences, a lot of trim work, sheetrock repair. I just took a 900 sq ft house down to the studs and put it all back together. I spent about 3 weeks on the sheetrock by myself. Pretty sure i'll sub that out next time.
So do you have any experience doing kitchens and baths? Why would a homeowner hire you over an established company who has hundreds of kitchens in his portfolio?

Are you going to rely on the experience of your subs to navigate through the job?

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Old 01-03-2017, 09:31 AM   #7
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Re: How Many Of You Sub Out All Of The Work?


employees

thats the only way to go if your going to take on small jobs such as kitchen and baths

so many small parts, so many loose ends, sure you can surround yourself by good subs, but really really good subs are hard to come by, are they going to come back and caulk some small three inch caulk line that got missed or are you going to do that?

Sure they will, but by the time you ask them to come back, supervise them to recaulk, call them a couple times etc etc it's just easier to give your employee a list and tell him to take care of it

It's romantic to think your going to run a business and get on your hands and knees to finish up projects.

BTW I have a couple employees and sub out work as needed depending on the size of the job and how busy we are. drywall, painting, trim, plumbing, elec, tile, concrete, excavation are all things i'll sub. But I've also done all of them in house.
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Old 01-03-2017, 09:34 AM   #8
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Re: How Many Of You Sub Out All Of The Work?


Yeah, I worked for a remodeler for about 12 years and we did a lot of kitchens and baths, but we also did a lot of other types of jobs too. Just seeing if anyone does only kitchens and baths.
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Old 01-03-2017, 12:04 PM   #9
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Re: How Many Of You Sub Out All Of The Work?


The problem with using subs on the small jobs, is getting them to actually do it. They are usually busy on bigger jobs. Who wants to come in and throw 6 sheets up in a bathroom or 10 in a kitchen. Then keep coming back to tape, finish and texture and paint.

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Old 01-03-2017, 05:53 PM   #10
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Re: How Many Of You Sub Out All Of The Work?


I would find it hard to make money on subbing everything out for a kitchen. Unless I had multiple on the go.

For our bigger projects we sub everything out. Holding everyone's hand, scheduling paper work, ordering materials takes up a lot of time. If we were to do the work ourselves we would take a lot longer

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Old 01-05-2017, 06:59 PM   #11
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Re: How Many Of You Sub Out All Of The Work?


Quote:
Originally Posted by fast fred View Post
employees

thats the only way to go if your going to take on small jobs such as kitchen and baths

so many small parts, so many loose ends, sure you can surround yourself by good subs, but really really good subs are hard to come by, are they going to come back and caulk some small three inch caulk line that got missed or are you going to do that?

Sure they will, but by the time you ask them to come back, supervise them to recaulk, call them a couple times etc etc it's just easier to give your employee a list and tell him to take care of it

It's romantic to think your going to run a business and get on your hands and knees to finish up projects.

BTW I have a couple employees and sub out work as needed depending on the size of the job and how busy we are. drywall, painting, trim, plumbing, elec, tile, concrete, excavation are all things i'll sub. But I've also done all of them in house.
we do a littloe of everything , home repairs , baths , kitchens .
I have to agree with this reponse.
I have 2 guys , we do the demo, and framing .
sub out the plumbing , and electric ,- if electric is minimal , we can do it .
but to have a guy come in and demo for a day .
then have a guy come in and frame for a day
and drywall ,
then maybe a different guy skim it
different guy to tile it .
different guy to prime and paint .
home much can you really charge?
if you make 20% on everyone , your lucky
and you`ll still have to run there every day , and make sure work was done right
make sure its clean every day .
make sure clients are getting what they want.
2 many people , and too many changes on things going wrong.
plumber will say you didn`t demo enough,
tile guy will say the framer didn`t make everything plumb and square.
painter will say finisher didn``t leave it smooth enough.

and if you get one guy who does all that , there's a risk he will be slipping his card to , and stealing clients , he`s basically wanting the same future you want ,
etc..

man!! I sound negative !!
but its a true reality.

I`m thinking you need bigger projects for what you want .
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Old 01-05-2017, 10:15 PM   #12
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Re: How Many Of You Sub Out All Of The Work?


Quote:
Originally Posted by heavy_d View Post
Why would a homeowner hire you over an established company who has hundreds of kitchens in his portfolio?
A homeowner would hire him because he sold them the job.
Quote:
Originally Posted by heavy_d View Post
Are you going to rely on the experience of your subs to navigate through the job?
Believe it or not there are people out there that know what they are doing.
I know for a few paper contractors and they make a lot of money. They sell jobs and have crews do the work.
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Old 01-05-2017, 11:15 PM   #13
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Re: How Many Of You Sub Out All Of The Work?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirtywhiteboy View Post
A homeowner would hire him because he sold them the job.

Believe it or not there are people out there that know what they are doing.
I know for a few paper contractors and they make a lot of money. They sell jobs and have crews do the work.
Believe it or not, I know that.

The OP said he had only been doing small jobs. And now wants to start a bath and kitchen business. Does that sound like he knows what he's doing? Whether he does or not, I was posing a question to see if is capable of handling it or will cave when things go south.

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Old 01-06-2017, 07:27 AM   #14
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Re: How Many Of You Sub Out All Of The Work?


All good points made by others. Personally, I have employees who handle all of the carpentry, insulation, tile and electrical tasks on a project. I sub out the demo, plumbing, HVAC, painting and floor refinishing. Working with various subcontractors is like herding cats. Then when/if you do higher end work, there is also a designer and an architect in the mix. It definitely makes sense to have a lead carpenter on site to mange the job site, subs, as well as perform most of the labor.
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Old 01-06-2017, 07:53 PM   #15
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Re: How Many Of You Sub Out All Of The Work?


Thanks for the responses. I agree it would take several kitchens/baths in progress at the same time to make a decent profit with all those subs. Also, trying to keep all subs scheduled one after another nonstop is not very realistic. I once worked for a guy who would go to McDonalds just to track down his subs and see why they weren't on the job yet when they said they'd be there a week ago.
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Old 01-07-2017, 01:40 PM   #16
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Re: How Many Of You Sub Out All Of The Work?


From observations in around 50 companies that I worked for world wide strongest ones are that sub least amount of work.
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Old 01-07-2017, 01:45 PM   #17
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Re: How Many Of You Sub Out All Of The Work?


Quote:
Originally Posted by tipitop View Post
From observations in around 50 companies that I worked for world wide strongest ones are that sub least amount of work.
The largest construction companies in this country sub a ton of work out.
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Old 01-07-2017, 01:49 PM   #18
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Re: How Many Of You Sub Out All Of The Work?


Quote:
Originally Posted by tipitop View Post
From observations in around 50 companies that I worked for world wide strongest ones are that sub least amount of work.
Something wrong with your sample there tipi.
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Old 01-07-2017, 04:27 PM   #19
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Re: How Many Of You Sub Out All Of The Work?


Quote:
Originally Posted by kmerr98277 View Post
I have had my own remodel business for two years now and want to switch to kitchens and baths. I am a GC but really only take small jobs and do most of the labor myself. My goal is to market myself as a kitchen and bath remodeler and sub out most of the work. I would like to do all of the management, coordinating subs, getting subs what they need to do their jobs, some design, communicating with clients, and overall just making sure the job is done well and the client is happy. I definitely don't mind doing some of the physical work to get the job done. A contractor I met the other day told me he subs out everything, and still makes a decent living. Can this be done?
If you hire cheap cheap cheap subs ! You can make a decent living without getting out of the truck !
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Old 01-07-2017, 05:32 PM   #20
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Re: How Many Of You Sub Out All Of The Work?


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Originally Posted by blacktop View Post
If you hire cheap cheap cheap subs ! You can make a decent living without getting out of the truck !
You said same what I did. To much between hands lower profit margin. Ideal would be home builder with good junk of job in house.

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