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Painting And Handyman, Should I Simplify?

 
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Old 04-12-2009, 01:41 PM   #1
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Painting And Handyman, Should I Simplify?


Any thoughts on this?

I have a business called reliable painting and handyman service.

vancouver-renovator.com and reliable-handyman.bc.ca

I do carpentry, painting and renovation.

For most of the time I've been in business I worked on my own. I liked the freedom and the hands on work and didn't particularly like employing people. Also at times in the off season I've taken off travelling for a month or more.

Nowadays I borrowed some money to buy a house off my sister and ran into some hard times with family etc, and raked up some credit card debt.

Because of this I have to earn more than I did in the past when I was working on my own.

Another development is that I have become allergic to paint fumes, so much so that 2 days on a paint job even wearing a respirator most the time and my sinuses are messed up...bit of asthma etc.

Also, I'm getting older and had an accident with a nail in my eye a while back. That really made me think about the whole running up and down ladders and the dangers of construction... effects on my health of working with dust and chemicals over the long term.

I thought OK, I'll expand the painting side of things, hire painters and I'll do the carpentry etc...

However what I'm finding is that it's a bit more complex than that.

I'll get one job that needs maybe 3 painters ... and then I'll get another job that requires say 2 carpenters and maybe one painter, or maybe no painters. Maybe another that requires a bit of drywall, tile, paint, carpentry, minor plumbing and electrical. (eg, bathroom fix up)

So I'm finding that I cant really offer steady employment to people because my next job might not need them. And so I end up doing them myself, which isn't making me much more money and of course I'm breathing the paint fumes again.

I figured I have a few options; and I put the downside to the options in brackets.

A/ just focus on a painting business and me completely off the tools.

( I would miss the hands on carpentry and the opportunity to travel in winter, also I'm not sure if its realistic, I think I'm more of an artisan/ creative design type than a full on business owner)

B/ become a GC and use subs

( I don't really know the GC game particularly well, not sure who I'd learn it off or if I'd like it/maybe find it's a bad fit?)

C/ find a niche, say bathroom remodels and stick to that, use plumber and electrical subs.

(could be OK, I like design, would involve time learning more about bathrooms? maybe take design course and offer design build?)

D/ give up on construction and get into another business, I've been in it for 30 years and maybe it's time for something else?

I've worked with people who got squashed, fell off roofs and died and lost toes in accidents, so maybe I should get out of it while the goings good??

(not sure what I would do? also I feel like I have a lot of knowledge and experience that I'd be giving up on?, 8 years with BBB A+ rating...could be the best move though)

At the moment I feel like I'm vacillating/flip flopping a bit... but at the end of the day I just want to make something that works and isnt going to end up in a disease or accident.

Anyone have any thoughts on this? Anyone out there have a painting and remodel business and can give me a few pointers?

All replies greatly appreciated.

cheers, Dave
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Old 04-12-2009, 04:15 PM   #2
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Re: Painting And Handyman, Should I Simplify?


With 30 years exp., and no serious injuries, I'd say its time to delegate more of the hands on work.

Find a team of hard working subcontractors. They must be hard workers like yourself. This is important. They must believe they have a valid stake in your overall picture to be a successful business. When you find the best subs you can find, Pay them well. Except no less than the best for the wages you pay.

With that being said, figure out what you need to make as a company to stay solvent.

The only way I see it , with your experience, is b) become a gc and use subs as needed. That way no employees to manage (make sure the subs know their sh#t). No worker's comp to pay( they would just provide their own). Still sell those jobs- but at a fair, premium price now.

Good luck.

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Old 04-12-2009, 08:02 PM   #3
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Re: Painting And Handyman, Should I Simplify?


If you get a good paint mask you should not smell or taste any thing . I think the painting is the easiest thing to sub.
My painter costs me about 225 a day per man (2 or 3 guys )
Ive been working since the late 70s and Ive never been hurt except whacking a finger off in a table saw last month , and once in the 80s .
I love to work what would you do ?
I love hot dogs with chili and onions i want a hot dog wagon bad but I'm saving that for retirement .
I have worked with 20 guys and with just a few . Now i just have 2 guy + my self and i make the most money with a 3 man crew . I have worked with my guys since the 80s . If i get busy i can hire 6 men and work 3 3man crews . We can just stay small for now . I do any thing that happens in a house and i use the same guys .John
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Old 04-12-2009, 08:25 PM   #4
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Re: Painting And Handyman, Should I Simplify?


Quote:
Originally Posted by englishdave View Post
Any thoughts on this?

I have a business called reliable painting and handyman service.

vancouver-renovator.com and reliable-handyman.bc.ca

I do carpentry, painting and renovation.

For most of the time I've been in business I worked on my own. I liked the freedom and the hands on work and didn't particularly like employing people. Also at times in the off season I've taken off travelling for a month or more.

Nowadays I borrowed some money to buy a house off my sister and ran into some hard times with family etc, and raked up some credit card debt.

Because of this I have to earn more than I did in the past when I was working on my own.

Another development is that I have become allergic to paint fumes, so much so that 2 days on a paint job even wearing a respirator most the time and my sinuses are messed up...bit of asthma etc.

Also, I'm getting older and had an accident with a nail in my eye a while back. That really made me think about the whole running up and down ladders and the dangers of construction... effects on my health of working with dust and chemicals over the long term.

I thought OK, I'll expand the painting side of things, hire painters and I'll do the carpentry etc...

However what I'm finding is that it's a bit more complex than that.

I'll get one job that needs maybe 3 painters ... and then I'll get another job that requires say 2 carpenters and maybe one painter, or maybe no painters. Maybe another that requires a bit of drywall, tile, paint, carpentry, minor plumbing and electrical. (eg, bathroom fix up)

So I'm finding that I cant really offer steady employment to people because my next job might not need them. And so I end up doing them myself, which isn't making me much more money and of course I'm breathing the paint fumes again.

I figured I have a few options; and I put the downside to the options in brackets.

A/ just focus on a painting business and me completely off the tools.

( I would miss the hands on carpentry and the opportunity to travel in winter, also I'm not sure if its realistic, I think I'm more of an artisan/ creative design type than a full on business owner)

B/ become a GC and use subs

( I don't really know the GC game particularly well, not sure who I'd learn it off or if I'd like it/maybe find it's a bad fit?)

C/ find a niche, say bathroom remodels and stick to that, use plumber and electrical subs.

(could be OK, I like design, would involve time learning more about bathrooms? maybe take design course and offer design build?)

D/ give up on construction and get into another business, I've been in it for 30 years and maybe it's time for something else?

I've worked with people who got squashed, fell off roofs and died and lost toes in accidents, so maybe I should get out of it while the goings good??

(not sure what I would do? also I feel like I have a lot of knowledge and experience that I'd be giving up on?, 8 years with BBB A+ rating...could be the best move though)

At the moment I feel like I'm vacillating/flip flopping a bit... but at the end of the day I just want to make something that works and isnt going to end up in a disease or accident.

Anyone have any thoughts on this? Anyone out there have a painting and remodel business and can give me a few pointers?

All replies greatly appreciated.

cheers, Dave
Are you talking about "fine" painting or just repaints and touch ups? I feel that repaints and touch ups do well in the Handyman catagory but finer painting should have its own division/ marketing.
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Old 04-12-2009, 08:30 PM   #5
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Re: Painting And Handyman, Should I Simplify?


I worked as a painter and that's decent work. Mostly I am a GC. I also did all the handyman work for Silvertree including punch list ect. I don't have an answer for you but I can say this, we all hire guys that are great at some things and not so hot at others. I would base what I'm selling to what I can successfully delegate.
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Old 04-12-2009, 08:33 PM   #6
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Re: Painting And Handyman, Should I Simplify?


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Originally Posted by silvertree View Post
but I can say this, we all hire guys that are great at some things and not so hot at others. I would base what I'm selling to what I can successfully delegate.
Listen to Paul - That is the Key to success right there
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Old 04-12-2009, 11:44 PM   #7
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Re: Painting And Handyman, Should I Simplify?


Thanks for the replies. Sounds like I need a couple of good all rounders to work for me.
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Old 04-13-2009, 12:57 AM   #8
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Re: Painting And Handyman, Should I Simplify?


Quote:
Originally Posted by wellbuilthome View Post
Ive been working since the late 70s and Ive never been hurt except whacking a finger off in a table saw last month , and once in the 80s .
John
???? You running short on fingers or were they able to sew them back on?


Dave,

The Handyman business is where it's at. Maybe you could look at finding a couple of really good Handymen, get a good marketing program going and run your business, let them do the trade work.

Anything I can do to help, send a pm. I don't have all the answers, but we can run ideas by each other.
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Old 04-14-2009, 05:45 PM   #9
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Re: Painting And Handyman, Should I Simplify?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Handymanservice View Post
???? You running short on fingers or were they able to sew them back on?


Dave,

The Handyman business is where it's at. Maybe you could look at finding a couple of really good Handymen, get a good marketing program going and run your business, let them do the trade work.

Anything I can do to help, send a pm. I don't have all the answers, but we can run ideas by each other.
Tell me about it, The dam thig still hirts like hell .
I think the real problem is my eye balls , i cant see s--t any more it time for glasses .
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Old 04-14-2009, 06:19 PM   #10
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Re: Painting And Handyman, Should I Simplify?


Quote:
Originally Posted by wellbuilthome View Post
Tell me about it, The dam thig still hirts like hell .
I think the real problem is my eye balls , i cant see s--t any more it time for glasses .
No its time to back away from the saw and pick up a clip board. If I lost a digit that would be it for me. I would be chief pencil pusher from then on out

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