How You Ending The Year? - General Discussion - Contractor Talk

How You Ending The Year?

 
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Old 11-15-2008, 08:24 AM   #1
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How You Ending The Year?


Hey everyone,

How we are all weathering this crappy economy. The South Florida market is really tough and then come sudden spikes. Our swings down here are just like the stock market. Some weeks are next to dead, then there is a sudden spike. We get a lot snowbirds heading from up north this time of year. Its very common for projects to remain on hold and then the owner has a sudden urge to commit before coming back down ... and of course we then work overtime to do the job. Hoping you all are doing OK across the country during the holiday season.

Anyone care to share decent news to share hope or just let off some steam for difficult times?

Phil
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Old 11-15-2008, 11:31 AM   #2
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Re: How You Ending The Year?


Quote:
Originally Posted by PMI View Post
Hey everyone,

How we are all weathering this crappy economy. The South Florida market is really tough and then come sudden spikes. Our swings down here are just like the stock market. Some weeks are next to dead, then there is a sudden spike. We get a lot snowbirds heading from up north this time of year. Its very common for projects to remain on hold and then the owner has a sudden urge to commit before coming back down ... and of course we then work overtime to do the job. Hoping you all are doing OK across the country during the holiday season.

Anyone care to share decent news to share hope or just let off some steam for difficult times?

Phil
The project I am currently working on started in April of 2007 and right now it looks like our projected completion date is January '09. It's a 3000 square foot custom steel and glass monstrosity with clients and an architect that can't decide if they like something until it's built and they can see it.
I have several remodel projects that I have set prices to that are "on hold". I'm not sure if that's because financing fell through or the HO just wants to wait to see if the economy melts down even further. But as far as it looks right now, in January I'm going to be idled and relying on my savings and line of credit to pay the bills, which is a scary thought.
California is reeling from foreclosures, in some areas 90% of all properties are upside down, loan worth more than the house.
So it's wait and see.

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Old 11-15-2008, 12:49 PM   #3
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Re: How You Ending The Year?


I've been biding a few jobs but generals keep going for the low bid, I even cut my price by 7% month's ago but still losing out, my profit was not high so I guess company's are taking some work just to keep their guys busy for awhile, going to stick to my price for a while see what happens with the market, just me on the payroll so I'll be fine for awhile, maybe it will start to turn around come spring, but I got a feeling it's going to be a cold winter for some folks. save your money !
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Old 11-15-2008, 04:27 PM   #4
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Re: How You Ending The Year?


This will be our best year ever. Our volume has gone way down on replacement jobs but overall our profit has increased. So less jobs for more money, I think I am on to something.

If I didn't have such tremendous losses from last winter I'd be really rolling in the dough, however the prifit we are making is covering our winter, and previous year's losses. I honestly intend to break even cummulatively by the end of this year, although winter is coming and no doubt that'll put us back in debt.
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Old 11-15-2008, 04:36 PM   #5
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Re: How You Ending The Year?


Started out great last jan.Lost out 3 bids resently. Looks like kids lunch money will take a hit.Good jan. feb. if winter is mild.
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Old 11-15-2008, 05:36 PM   #6
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Re: How You Ending The Year?


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Originally Posted by shake up!!! View Post
Started out great last jan.Lost out 3 bids resently. Looks like kids lunch money will take a hit.Good jan. feb. if winter is mild.
I'm considering trying to drum up sub-contract business as a finish carpenter, the outlook for the GC end of things isn't looking so good. Hell, I'd be willing to do handyman work if it comes to that, anything is better than sitting around.
I just took delivery of a Sub-Zero reefer yesterday and I saved the carton. Might have to fix it up and live in that for a while, who knows. I could start my own show on one of the DIY networks..."This Old Box"...
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Old 11-15-2008, 08:40 PM   #7
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Re: How You Ending The Year?


Things a a little slow for me now , I finishing a job in the next few weeks and cant really start any thing till next year . I have two first floor remodels to do for Jan/Feb and they will take me into the middle of march. I think i will get some more kitchen & bath work But i don't really make good money doing them . I mainly build additions and no one want to spend that kind of money now. I think I'm going to put my heavy equipment, trailers etc in deep storage and cut my insurance .I'm getting the same amount of calls 2 a week but no one is buying ? I am dropping my price on every other job trying to land a job for march but there isnt much sense in working cheep . This year my # are off about 14% I think this is because i didnt raise my price this year and every thing but lumber went up. Fuel was killing me . I had a call a minute ago from a customer ,I think this job could be a go but its on the cheep side. If i don't land some thing for march soon i will have to let a guy go , No use trying to keep them on thru the winter. The guy i worked for when i was a kid would just work every one till Christmas eve day and then let them go. I really hated telling them . I could really use some laughs and few days off .
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Old 11-15-2008, 08:42 PM   #8
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Re: How You Ending The Year?


Up. Looks good for next spring too. But things can change.
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Old 11-15-2008, 08:54 PM   #9
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Re: How You Ending The Year?


Have we , as a country , hit the bottom yet ?

Where is the upward trend?
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Old 11-15-2008, 09:11 PM   #10
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Re: How You Ending The Year?


I'm up 15% ,but far from where I had hoped to be.Slow growth is better than no growth.
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Old 11-15-2008, 09:24 PM   #11
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Re: How You Ending The Year?


I'm lean and mean, cut my overhead and am doing networking and calling. Those of you that know me know I put my marketing dollars into a kitchen display truck. Its unique, and its paid for. I am putting all I got into just selling kitchens, cabinets (to HO's and contractors) and I'm not dropping my prices.
No leads at this time.
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Old 11-15-2008, 10:29 PM   #12
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Re: How You Ending The Year?


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Originally Posted by silvertree View Post
I'm lean and mean, cut my overhead and am doing networking and calling. Those of you that know me know I put my marketing dollars into a kitchen display truck. Its unique, and its paid for. I am putting all I got into just selling kitchens, cabinets (to HO's and contractors) and I'm not dropping my prices.
No leads at this time.
Did you ever post pix of the
truck?
If you did I missed them,
sounded like a good idea.
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Old 11-15-2008, 11:46 PM   #13
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Re: How You Ending The Year?


Quote:
Originally Posted by neolitic View Post
Did you ever post pix of the
truck?
If you did I missed them,
sounded like a good idea.
http://www.contractortalk.com/showthread.php?t=47527
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Old 11-16-2008, 12:39 AM   #14
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Re: How You Ending The Year?


I'm doing fairly well right now. I finally have some employees, and that lets me bid a lot more and larger jobs.
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Old 11-16-2008, 06:15 AM   #15
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Re: How You Ending The Year?


The last month or so was pretty damn lean. I was mainly doing a lot of minor repairs and handyman type work but it was paying the bills. When the stock market started its dance several larger jobs got put on hold. One client just informed us this week that they were ready to move ahead immediately with a 1250 sf basement build out, master bath renovation and deck renovation/addition. It made for a happy week.

We also have a bathroom renovation starting Dec 2, an out living space for mid Jan and a 1550 sf basement to start in early March so we at least have work on the schedule.
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Old 11-16-2008, 01:45 PM   #16
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Re: How You Ending The Year?


After this job, I am raising a house, clearing out the crawlspace, excavating and making a basement out of ICF , then finishing a very nice 1500-ish sq.ft basement.

With some small jobs in between.

Very good year!
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Old 11-16-2008, 02:43 PM   #17
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Re: How You Ending The Year?


Work for me seems pretty normal. No slow periods, but not a lot of jobs to bid on. All my prospects are from before a big job I had that took half a year to complete. People were on hold, and now I hope that they are still in need of my services so I have work throughout the winter. But for now, things are steady.
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Old 11-16-2008, 09:48 PM   #18
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Re: How You Ending The Year?


WOW! It` so nice to hear that atleast some folks are busy. I`m so slow this year, like never before, and I just hope that winter will be short. I barely get 1 phone call a month!
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Old 11-17-2008, 09:58 AM   #19
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Re: How You Ending The Year?


Starting to wonder of I can keep up the 7 day weeks for another month to finish an interior remodel that has exploded beyond my means at this point...I guess the homeowners will have to wait longer the more stuff they add to the work order.



Otherwise doing very well!

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Old 11-17-2008, 10:32 AM   #20
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Re: How You Ending The Year?


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Starting to wonder of I can keep up the 7 day weeks for another month to finish an interior remodel that has exploded beyond my means at this point...I guess the homeowners will have to wait longer the more stuff they add to the work order.



Otherwise doing very well!

Let me guess: They're adding on to the scope of the job but still want to be completely finished by the second week of December.
I've never said it to a client, but have thought it many times:
"Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part."

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