Moving To Nashville - General Discussion - Contractor Talk

Moving To Nashville

 
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Old 06-12-2018, 05:35 PM   #1
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Moving To Nashville


I'm not sure if I'll be able to start over or not. I do 1 major renovation a year, usually a top to bottom makeover. I spend the rest of the time with bathrooms and kitchens mostly. I am a one man show that works with the same plumber, roofer, framer, mason, sparky, on every job. I pay them fairly and on time and we all have a good time and they all do great work. I oversee the job and end up doing most of the leftover small stuff that needs doing.

Very lucky in that I am always booked a month or two out, and rarely if ever do I have to write anything that looks like an ironclad contract. Usually a proposal with some general numbers to be legal that my customer and I then fudge up or down as the job moves along. Again, I am extremely lucky that I only work for nice people whom I trust and they can trust me and I always get paid and they are always happy.

That being said, in NJ, you pay $50 and get some liability insurance and you're a contractor. Not sure what the requirements are in Tennessee.

I've spent a lot of time building relationships and a reputation but maybe I'm too old (53) to start over again. I started out late in life doing handyman type work and over the years have grown enough and met enough people to take on medium size projects. Maybe it's time to quit while I'm ahead.

Sorry for the long post, just looking to kick around ideas and get some info. I probably don't have to work right away if I don't want to so I'll have the luxury of time once we find a place to live, if we buy a fixer upper that may be my way to buy some time and vet some good subs.

I always like seeing the perspective of you all on here, I lurk more than I post but by all means, please fire away.
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Old 06-12-2018, 06:34 PM   #2
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Re: Moving To Nashville


why do you want to move?

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Old 06-12-2018, 06:50 PM   #3
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Re: Moving To Nashville


wife got a job offer she couldn't refuse. Where she goes I go.
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Old 06-12-2018, 07:12 PM   #4
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Re: Moving To Nashville


Iím guessing there is no shortage of work in Nashville now, Iíve heard it is booming, might take a few tries to find the right group of subs, but you can probably find yourself in a a similar situation
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Old 06-12-2018, 07:36 PM   #5
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Re: Moving To Nashville


Where in NJ are you moving from?

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Old 06-12-2018, 08:43 PM   #6
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Re: Moving To Nashville


Central NJ Monmouth Junction Princeton area
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Old 06-12-2018, 08:51 PM   #7
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Re: Moving To Nashville


good luck fred...

with your wife working you have a cushion...

have fun & relax, usually when chit starts jumping...
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Old 06-12-2018, 09:16 PM   #8
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Re: Moving To Nashville


Quote:
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Central NJ Monmouth Junction Princeton area
That's just a (sometimes) quick shot up 1 from me, I'm in Ewing.

Best of luck with your move! How soon do you head out?

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Old 06-13-2018, 05:54 PM   #9
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Re: Moving To Nashville


I was born and raised in Nashville and I've never seen anything like it. The whole metro area (which is quite large) is booming. In East Nashville, where I currently live, there are a lot of infill projects. In the outlaying areas new subdivisions abound and downtown is crane-city with hotels, apartments, and condos going up.

I know, in my area at least, new builds seem to be extended out several months due to volume and lack of qualified, skilled labor.

Good luck on the move and I hope you like heat and humidity because we got 'em. This last month was the hottest May on record.
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Old 06-13-2018, 07:59 PM   #10
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Re: Moving To Nashville


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I was born and raised in Nashville and I've never seen anything like it. The whole metro area (which is quite large) is booming. In East Nashville, where I currently live, there are a lot of infill projects. In the outlaying areas new subdivisions abound and downtown is crane-city with hotels, apartments, and condos going up.

I know, in my area at least, new builds seem to be extended out several months due to volume and lack of qualified, skilled labor.

Good luck on the move and I hope you like heat and humidity because we got 'em. This last month was the hottest May on record.
I was there a couple of years ago and could not believe the amount of homeless people in Nashville, they were everywhere. Much more than you see in NYC. How come?

He will be used to the heat and humidity coming from NJ, but a drive to the beach could take a while. Another thing that drove me crazy is the glacial pace of everyone in Tenn. So slow, no hurry for anything, like turtles. That would take a long time to get used to that, if ever.
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Old 06-13-2018, 08:58 PM   #11
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Re: Moving To Nashville


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Another thing that drove me crazy is the glacial pace of everyone in Tenn. So slow, no hurry for anything, like turtles. That would take a long time to get used to that, if ever.
You sort of get used to it. Nashville, itself, is full of a lot of transplants, so it's not quite as slow as the smaller towns. The traffic is HORRIBLE. I don't think you'll have any trouble getting work. I'm not sure about the Metro Nashville Davidson county rules, but in my county, go to the county courthouse and get a license for a few bucks. Then you have to register with the state. You either have to purchase workers' comp or file for a wokers comp exemption. If I recall, it's like $100 for 2 years. https://tnbear.tn.gov/WC/

A buddy of mine does kitchen and bath remodels, also. He gets most of his work in the Franklin, Brentwood area. I'm about an hour and a half from Nashville, but PM me when you get into town. I'll put you in contact with my buddy and he might be able to help you with some leads. He gets too busy at times and turns down jobs.
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Old 06-15-2018, 02:26 PM   #12
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Re: Moving To Nashville


Thanks all. I may go the handyman route for a bit until I get the lay of the land or I may just work on my golf game. It's a shame because it took me a while to get myself sorted out in this business (not that I'm really sorted out here but getting slowly older and wiser) and it will be strange going where I'll be totally unknown and a yankee on top of that.

Bad news on the heat/humidity. My wife swore to me that it was no warmer than here but she would live on the sun if she could while I can't stand the heat so she's going to color it her way and I'd follow her anywhere so I'll suck it up and adapt.
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Old 06-15-2018, 03:22 PM   #13
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Re: Moving To Nashville


Looks likes it mid 70's in Jersey, while it's 92, but feels like 98, in Nashville right now. Sweating my nads off. Don't worry about the Yankee accent. It won't be held against you. My buddy I mentioned is originally from Connecticut and has no problems getting high end work. He has to watch his foul mouth, though. I work in smaller towns and have never had a problem with my "Yankee accent" even though I'm originally from south Florida. The biggest issue here is contractors not showing up when they say they will. As long as your on time and get back to people in a timely manner with your estimate, you'll usually get the job.
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Old 06-18-2018, 07:50 PM   #14
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Re: Moving To Nashville


https://www.wsj.com/articles/as-nash...ast-1529314200
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Old 07-27-2019, 11:20 AM   #15
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Re: Moving To Nashville


Fred, this is my first message on CT. I noticed your thread about moving to Nashville area from NJ. My family and I just bought a house in Brentwood. Ive been doing home remodels, additions in Southern California for the past 20 years, very similar to your story in NJ, and will be basically starting over when we get there. I have never advertised because all my work came from word of mouth, which was awesome, I could always pick the jobs I wanted and never had to “sell myself,” my previous clients always did that for me. My question to you is, how have things gone for you in Nashville in regards to starting over? I just turned 43, so I’m a little younger than you, but my wife doesn’t work so there will be a lot more pressure on me to get things going.
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Old 07-27-2019, 02:15 PM   #16
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Re: Moving To Nashville


The flip side is...are going to go to work for someone else...I think not ?

Plenty of work right now. All these web referral options unlike 20 yrs ago. You won't have any problems....In 12-18 months I think you'll be in the groove.

Another thing. People are extraordinarily nice down this way unlike up in the NE. It grows on you.

Good luck.
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Old 07-28-2019, 09:54 AM   #17
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Re: Moving To Nashville


so far I've just been rebuilding the house I bought, which, without a crew, working solely by myself, is a great reminder of how old I'm getting. Texted my tile guy and my plumber a couple of times lamenting about how much I hate doing their jobs.

For me, the hard part will be finding reliable subs. I was pretty spoiled up North with the guys I had, and I forget that it took a few years to get in the groove.

That being said, there's work here if you want it. I started meeting and talking to people who once they found out what I used to do, would like me to do it again.

I went and looked at a job for a co-worker of my wife and after talking she told me the job is yours for the asking. Full master bath remodel, plumbing, framing, tiling, electrical etc.


She's super nice and realistic and would be a great first job to start up again, and she has an electrician who is licensed and good that she likes and knows so that checks one box.

Tennessee is a little different than NJ as far as licensing goes. In NJ, you need a pulse, $50, and no felonies. I'm sure Cali was a little more difficult.

If I jump back in it will cost me a bit of cash for insurance, and licensing. Then I have to find a good tile installer and a good plumber for a pretty sizable bath remodel.

To be honest, I'm on the fence. I'm 55, started contracting later in life, and was really just getting in a comfortable groove when we packed up and moved.

I liked what I did, but always obsess over the finished product and years later still wonder if the customer is still happy with my work so I thought about switching gears to save my mental health from regular beatings.

There's some good people down here but there's also a lot of hacks because business is booming.

If you're good, and honest, you can probably do well if you can find the right subs.

Brentwood is a great area. If you want to reach out and talk more let me know. I am hardly an expert but I guess I've been here six months longer than you so that's something.

My first plan was doing home inspections, and I haven't ruled that out yet, but I've heard that it is pretty cut throat down here.
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Old 07-29-2019, 12:49 AM   #18
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Re: Moving To Nashville


Fred, Thanks for the response. I have a group of subs here I really like and they know my expectations, no cutting corners-do it right and I always pay. Most my subs don’t even keep track of what they bid my jobs for because they know I do and I’ll pay them what they ask. My plumber once told me that I was one of two contractors he worked for that never looked to cut corners and always wanted things done the right way even if it cost more. I’m similar to you in regards to contracts with homeowners, most my jobs have been a handshake, unless they were huge room additions. I have an amazing tile guy that I will probably fly out to Nashville to do my tile jobs for me. But I will want to find a plumber and electrician for the jobs I don’t feel like doing, I’ve kind of moved past the days of wanting to “do it all” myself even though I have experience doing “everything.” I also build pools out here in California, and am contemplating getting into that out there, but sometimes pool subs don’t like getting involved with “new guys” and I’ll have to learn the new “practices” out there. Thanks for the info.

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