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Starting A Contracting Business.

 
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Old 07-11-2009, 01:05 AM   #1
 
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Starting A Contracting Business.


I have 15 years of personal handyman experience from plumbing to electrical and drywall, working around the house and building my own basement doing everything possible from framing to wiring. I also have taken some business courses in college. I also have a tidy sum of savings to invest in my business.

I thought Id focus on interior, framing and drywall and get my feet wet with that. I even have tools from years of working on my own that I could use.

I think I have all the basics in place but two questions remain.

1. How and were do i get contracts from, specifically how can I sub-contract for general contractors with large contracts.

2. Can I hire employees on an hourly basis rather than having them as permanent employees? So I can call them when I need them.

Thanks guys
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Old 07-11-2009, 01:31 AM   #2
 
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Re: Starting A Contracting Business.


This is a good read about a guy that started a niche contracting business. A 1 ton dump, a ultra mini-excavator, and a trailer and he's reporting around $125/hour and staying busy.

http://www.heavyequipmentforums.com/...read.php?t=987

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Old 07-11-2009, 06:18 AM   #3
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Re: Starting A Contracting Business.


ignore this post
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Old 07-11-2009, 03:28 PM   #4
 
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Re: Starting A Contracting Business.


does anybody have some words of wisdom on finding contracts and work. thanks
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Old 07-11-2009, 03:32 PM   #5
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Re: Starting A Contracting Business.


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ignore this post
Dont pay any attention to this one either.
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Old 07-11-2009, 03:36 PM   #6
 
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Re: Starting A Contracting Business.


Advertising is a good way to find work.
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Old 07-11-2009, 03:37 PM   #7
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Re: Starting A Contracting Business.


Quote:
Originally Posted by harkkam View Post
I have 15 years of personal handyman experience from plumbing to electrical and drywall, working around the house and building my own basement doing everything possible from framing to wiring. I also have taken some business courses in college. I also have a tidy sum of savings to invest in my business.

I thought Id focus on interior, framing and drywall and get my feet wet with that. I even have tools from years of working on my own that I could use.

I think I have all the basics in place but two questions remain.

1. How and were do i get contracts from, specifically how can I sub-contract for general contractors with large contracts.

2. Can I hire employees on an hourly basis rather than having them as permanent employees? So I can call them when I need them.

Thanks guys
Where do you live and what licenses would be required?
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Old 07-11-2009, 04:02 PM   #8
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Re: Starting A Contracting Business.


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Originally Posted by BobsLandscaping View Post
This is a good read about a guy that started a niche contracting business. A 1 ton dump, a ultra mini-excavator, and a trailer and he's reporting around $125/hour and staying busy.

http://www.heavyequipmentforums.com/...read.php?t=987
Yeah I think that company is called Yard Boi Landscaping.
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Old 07-11-2009, 09:44 PM   #9
 
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Re: Starting A Contracting Business.


I live in new york city. There are tons of city contracts and state contracts and lots of people that live here.

I know I would just need a home contractors license and I can also apply for the women owned minority business category allowing me some more leverage.

If I would start a company, the only problem is that I wouldnt have any sales or clients. And to get subcontracting work from prime contractors they like to see companies who have done some work and have some experience under their belt.

So I'd need a year of work and then perhaps use my W/MBE advantage to bid for work from larger contractors.
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Old 07-16-2009, 09:06 AM   #10
 
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Re: Starting A Contracting Business.


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Originally Posted by harkkam View Post
I live in new york city. There are tons of city contracts and state contracts and lots of people that live here.

I know I would just need a home contractors license and I can also apply for the women owned minority business category allowing me some more leverage.

If I would start a company, the only problem is that I wouldnt have any sales or clients. And to get subcontracting work from prime contractors they like to see companies who have done some work and have some experience under their belt.

So I'd need a year of work and then perhaps use my W/MBE advantage to bid for work from larger contractors.
First of all, do you know how to read blueprints or the basic concepts of estimating? Click the estimating workshop link in my sig just to get an idea of some basic things you will need to know. If you want to do this right then start off the right way by developing pricing that will be used by YOUR business and for YOUR business.

There are planrooms around both online and brick and mortar buildings where you can find blueprints to look at and develop an estimate. It is true that a general contractor will ask about your experience and references but money talks too. You give them a good price and they will look for a way to use you, especially if you carry some amount of professionalism with your proposal.

At first I would question jumping into a large job. Perhaps do a couple of smaller jobs to get the feel of doing the work in a commercial setting rather than in your basement and these jobs can be used as experience and references. You can't expect anyone to give you a job to hang new drywall in a 200,00 SF school with nothing known about your being able to do a job and just as important, complete a job.

The way that the IRS looks at an employee as being an actual employee or a self employed subcontractor is what you need to be mostly concerned with. If they use your tools it will look as if they are employees. There are other critical factors they will look at to see if they are employees or sub contractors.

The paperwork is something that will have to be dealt with, especially with government jobs. Billing can be a nightmare if you don't understand it. Most large commercial jobs use AIA (American Institute of Architects) documents for their contracts, billing and any other communications between you and the contractor and architect. You will need to know about submittals. There are many things that will come up in learning your new business and other things that will come up when growing a business. You might want to think about finding someone that is familiar with the commercial contracting business and these documents that you can hire on a part time basis or in a consulting type relationship to help you out along the way.

It isn't going to be easy jumping into a business that your only experience has been hunnydo jobs but it is possible. I know a guy that stopped working in the oil industry in his 30s to open a paint contracting business and now does work across the nation, several millions dollars a year. I will never forget when one day he was looking at some blueprints when I walked into the room. He looked up at me and asked, what is a "CMU". In case you don't know, that is a concrete masonry unit and is something that even the most basic commercial painter would know. This was long ago and lack of experience and references didn't stop him. I can't see any reason for it to stop you either if you do things professionally and smart from the start.
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Old 07-16-2009, 09:42 AM   #11
 
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Re: Starting A Contracting Business.


Here is another interesting footnote to consider.

I just did a search on jobs in NYC and within 100 miles. I came up with a result of 7 jobs bidding by the end of July. The same search after changing the city and state is as follows.

Detroit, Michigan 55
Houston, Texas 345
Phoeniz Arizona 135
Atlanta Georgia 150

Maybe I need to use something other than New York City, New York but if these results are right then maybe you might rethink opening a contracting business in NYC now. I really have a hard time believing there are so few jobs in NYC. Maybe the search engine I am using doesn't cover much in NYC as of now.
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Old 11-21-2009, 03:24 PM   #12
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Re: Starting A Contracting Business.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidNTX View Post
First of all, do you know how to read blueprints or the basic concepts of estimating? Click the estimating workshop link in my sig just to get an idea of some basic things you will need to know. If you want to do this right then start off the right way by developing pricing that will be used by YOUR business and for YOUR business.............
wow thats a lot of information within that post something to think about for any newbies
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Old 11-23-2009, 09:23 PM   #13
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Re: Starting A Contracting Business.


links don't work for me david
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Old 12-08-2009, 05:38 PM   #14
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Re: Starting A Contracting Business.


Build a website and advertise your business through the distributed web. Internet marketing is a HUGE place for contractors to be right now and it is the most effective way to utilize your time.

Successful general contractors are spending their time on blogs and forums (such as this) looking for individuals to work on a project, learning new techniques in their market and making connections with other contractors.

If you need help, check out my signature. Good luck!
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Old 12-09-2009, 05:45 PM   #15
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Re: Starting A Contracting Business.


Not here to rain on your parade, but normally it goes like this - A person goes through an apprenticeship and aquires a license in a given trade. (for framing and drywall this is carpentry)

Then with experience they may become a foreman or site super. Then with this knowledge behind them they would be qualified to start their own business. Also aquireing some business knowledge.

Electrical and Plumbing are also licensed trades, and here at least it would be illegal for you to do that work.

What will happen if you get hired on a project and they say "build this" and you don't know how?

Most GCs will require licensed tradespeople doing the work. This puts you in the position of business owner, which is fine. But leave the actual work to the tradespeople.
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Old 12-09-2009, 06:44 PM   #16
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Re: Starting A Contracting Business.


The OP has not been back since July...
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in texas with framing and cornish people will do it for 3.00 a foot. What do yall think about that? Just laber
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Old 12-09-2009, 06:49 PM   #17
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Thanks. Now don't I feel like the idiot.
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Old 12-18-2011, 01:38 AM   #18
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Re: Starting A Contracting Business.


At the beginning, you need someone to the light the way for you, what I mean? Every contractor meets different type of people (sub-contractors, entrepreneurs ..etc) that you have built a good relation with them, spread the word and tell them that you want to perform a contracting work.. and you will find someone who is interested in what you are offering.

In small business, you feel everything is possible. I saw many sub-contractors in Saudi Arabia do not bear any extra expenses towards their labors... e.g. when they grant a contract from the main contractor, they hire some labors temporarily (for that specific work) and when it is finished, they will release them without any further obligations.
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Old 12-18-2011, 02:04 AM   #19
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Re: Starting A Contracting Business.


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At the beginning, you need someone to the light the way for you, what I mean? Every contractor meets different type of people (sub-contractors, entrepreneurs ..etc) that you have built a good relation with them, spread the word and tell them that you want to perform a contracting work.. and you will find someone who is interested in what you are offering.

In small business, you feel everything is possible. I saw many sub-contractors in Saudi Arabia do not bear any extra expenses towards their labors... e.g. when they grant a contract from the main contractor, they hire some labors temporarily (for that specific work) and when it is finished, they will release them without any further obligations.
It's alive, it's alive! I hope that after two years she started that business and doesn't still need advice?
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Old 12-18-2011, 02:14 AM   #20
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Re: Starting A Contracting Business.


I think she might have her hands full and unable to sign onto CT.com to deal with us degens

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