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Where's The Work?

 
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Old 01-06-2011, 03:34 PM   #1
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Where's The Work?


Hello amigos, I find myself in the dreaded winter slowdown here in an ultra-rural part of the mid-west (Southern Illinois). I began my young business of residential framing, remodel, repair, etc. a couple of years ago. I've worked in this field for 14 years, my skills are honed for the most part, and my customers are happy. It began great, but now the demand just isn't there. I'm facing the possibility that relocation is in the picture. I'm willing to go where the work is, although I know I would have to relive some of the pains of starting over.

The question I would like to pose is: what areas currently have high demands for residential construction? ...where could a small outfit have a good opportunity to quickly begin picking up sub work from the big boys? Are there areas like this in Colorado (I have relatives there)? Thanks in advance for any comments.
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Old 01-06-2011, 05:36 PM   #2
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Re: Where's The Work?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sawblade View Post
Hello amigos, I find myself in the dreaded winter slowdown here in an ultra-rural part of the mid-west (Southern Illinois). I began my young business of residential framing, remodel, repair, etc. a couple of years ago. I've worked in this field for 14 years, my skills are honed for the most part, and my customers are happy. It began great, but now the demand just isn't there. I'm facing the possibility that relocation is in the picture. I'm willing to go where the work is, although I know I would have to relive some of the pains of starting over.

The question I would like to pose is: what areas currently have high demands for residential construction? ...where could a small outfit have a good opportunity to quickly begin picking up sub work from the big boys? Are there areas like this in Colorado (I have relatives there)? Thanks in advance for any comments.

What areas currently have high demands for residential construction? You are teasing us right? Have ya heard? The USA is in the deepest depression since 1928 and most non govt anal-ists say it's worse.

It's not a winter slowdown. This slowdown is 3 years old now and still deteriorating. Traditionally January has always been a good month for most of us. Things have changed.

More to your question. The only real demand is in Washington DC and all it's commutable suburbs. Those I talk to say walking through malls there is like the roaring 20s again. Everyone is carrying shopping bags with merchandise, uneffected by the long unemployment and food lines elsewhere.

There are a decent number of new subdivisions in these areas too. You know why. Good ol ever bulging govt work force and we all know they are enjoying massive paychecks with guaranteed raises as well as benefits most of us would trade our left nut for. Oh and job security unheard of in the modern world. Job security where you can get caught stealing and keep your job still. And better yet, get re-elected after serving a jail term.

Relocating sucks as you say because you have to start over. In past economic downturns, families traditionally would relocate to where there was work. During these depression times there is no place to go. Well China is booming. I mean really booming in the construction trades. I'd rather live on these streets begging for quarters to eat then live in that hell hole though.

Oh you still find some who will deny there is anything wrong. They have work and paying their bills. But make no mistake. We are in a heep of trouble and I wish you all the luck my friend.

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Old 01-06-2011, 05:51 PM   #3
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Re: Where's The Work?


x2 to that statement
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Old 01-06-2011, 06:30 PM   #4
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Re: Where's The Work?


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What areas currently have high demands for residential construction? You are teasing us right? Have ya heard? The USA is in the deepest depression since 1928 and most non govt anal-ists say it's worse.

It's not a winter slowdown. This slowdown is 3 years old now and still deteriorating. Traditionally January has always been a good month for most of us. Things have changed.

More to your question. The only real demand is in Washington DC and all it's commutable suburbs. Those I talk to say walking through malls there is like the roaring 20s again. Everyone is carrying shopping bags with merchandise, uneffected by the long unemployment and food lines elsewhere.

There are a decent number of new subdivisions in these areas too. You know why. Good ol ever bulging govt work force and we all know they are enjoying massive paychecks with guaranteed raises as well as benefits most of us would trade our left nut for. Oh and job security unheard of in the modern world. Job security where you can get caught stealing and keep your job still. And better yet, get re-elected after serving a jail term.

Relocating sucks as you say because you have to start over. In past economic downturns, families traditionally would relocate to where there was work. During these depression times there is no place to go. Well China is booming. I mean really booming in the construction trades. I'd rather live on these streets begging for quarters to eat then live in that hell hole though.

Oh you still find some who will deny there is anything wrong. They have work and paying their bills. But make no mistake. We are in a heep of trouble and I wish you all the luck my friend.
Jim has said it all.
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Old 01-07-2011, 01:40 AM   #5
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Re: Where's The Work?


Since Obama increased the size of the government. Washington DC is the only area left in the country with a residential housing and commercial boom. No joke! You can look it up! In DC, your tax dollars are hard at work even when the rest of the country is not! Good luck to everyone!
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Old 01-07-2011, 02:00 AM   #6
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Re: Where's The Work?


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Are there areas like this in Colorado (I have relatives there)? Thanks in advance for any comments.
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Old 01-07-2011, 05:58 PM   #7
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Re: Where's The Work?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy Cabinet View Post
What areas currently have high demands for residential construction? You are teasing us right? Have ya heard? The USA is in the deepest depression since 1928 and most non govt anal-ists say it's worse.

It's not a winter slowdown. This slowdown is 3 years old now and still deteriorating. Traditionally January has always been a good month for most of us. Things have changed.

More to your question. The only real demand is in Washington DC and all it's commutable suburbs. Those I talk to say walking through malls there is like the roaring 20s again. Everyone is carrying shopping bags with merchandise, uneffected by the long unemployment and food lines elsewhere.

There are a decent number of new subdivisions in these areas too. You know why. Good ol ever bulging govt work force and we all know they are enjoying massive paychecks with guaranteed raises as well as benefits most of us would trade our left nut for. Oh and job security unheard of in the modern world. Job security where you can get caught stealing and keep your job still. And better yet, get re-elected after serving a jail term.

Relocating sucks as you say because you have to start over. In past economic downturns, families traditionally would relocate to where there was work. During these depression times there is no place to go. Well China is booming. I mean really booming in the construction trades. I'd rather live on these streets begging for quarters to eat then live in that hell hole though.

Oh you still find some who will deny there is anything wrong. They have work and paying their bills. But make no mistake. We are in a heep of trouble and I wish you all the luck my friend.
just brilliant jimmy you have just said what tens of millions of us are thinking thanks
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Old 01-07-2011, 06:39 PM   #8
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Re: Where's The Work?


I'm wondering if you can get a Visa to work in Canada? In the Toronto area, there's really no shortage of work for a seasoned guy. Cost of living is high here, but there are creative ways around that.
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Old 01-08-2011, 07:07 AM   #9
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Re: Where's The Work?


People are building and remodeling everywhere. The problem is that they are not buying from you. This is not a time to move and run away to another city to find work. Now is the time to put your sales hat on and find inovative ways to sell your construction services. This is the time to pick up the phone and start calling past customers, friends, family, etc. Join the lions club or other local organizations. Get involved and get networked.

Mr. Ted Williams the homeless person has found work so why can't you. He did it the hard way. He panhandled on the street. Unfortunately, many of us aren't really willing to do what it takes to be successful in business.

My suggestion to anyone if you're not willing to do what it takes to be successful in business go work for someone else. You'll be much happier.
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Old 01-08-2011, 08:00 AM   #10
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Re: Where's The Work?


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Originally Posted by Jeff Knutson View Post
People are building and remodeling everywhere. The problem is that they are not buying from you. This is not a time to move and run away to another city to find work. Now is the time to put your sales hat on and find inovative ways to sell your construction services. This is the time to pick up the phone and start calling past customers, friends, family, etc. Join the lions club or other local organizations. Get involved and get networked.

Mr. Ted Williams the homeless person has found work so why can't you. He did it the hard way. He panhandled on the street. Unfortunately, many of us aren't really willing to do what it takes to be successful in business.

My suggestion to anyone if you're not willing to do what it takes to be successful in business go work for someone else. You'll be much happier.
Very true, except, 'now' is probably a bit late, the time was 2 years ago. Two years ago we were talking about these things. To cut the fat, get leaner and meaner and start advertising and marketing then. Those who did are probably the ones who adapted through the recession and are stronger for it now.

As I said before framers got hit harder than anybody and were the hardest hit due to new construction taking the brunt of the down turn. I've had hundered and hundreds of them looking to apply for a job. We aren't advertising now for new employees and weekly I am still getting framers submitting online applications. Unfortunately for them, a lot of them are out of the business or really struggling. They were the first to get hit and probably will be the last to fully recover.

We saw the basement finish guys all go belly up too. When they start coming back I think we can see that as a good sign.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sawblade View Post
The question I would like to pose is: what areas currently have high demands for residential construction? ...where could a small outfit have a good opportunity to quickly begin picking up sub work from the big boys? Are there areas like this in Colorado (I have relatives there)? Thanks in advance for any comments.
Colorado as usual weathered the recession better than many other parts of the country. Traditionally we have always taken longer to feel the down turn, and we traditionally take longer to recover. This seems to be holding true here again.

There is plenty of work going on, in the larger metropolitan areas and the affluent mountain areas, but if you are looking for small and rural again, you'll be back in the same boat.

As always it's all relative. If you're savvy and sophisticated in your approaches you'll probably find it relatively easy to succeed. These economic conditions do not reward the opposite no matter where you are located.

Last edited by Mike Finley; 01-08-2011 at 10:23 AM.
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Old 01-08-2011, 09:57 AM   #11
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Re: Where's The Work?


I have a contractor friend that has had his best year as long as he can remember in '10. He does mainly city/gov work in rehabbing homes in the inner city. Obama money has been good to him.

I personally don't want anything to do with it but his success speaks for itself.

The problem is you have to float all your subs and materials, do the work then wait for 30days or so to collect. If your not able to do that, try finding work for a company that does work like this.

It may not be your cup of tea but it's work.
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Old 01-08-2011, 10:07 AM   #12
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Re: Where's The Work?


Who gives a flying #$%@#$ what the economy is doing, the only question a business owner needs to ask is "How can I make my business adapt and be successful".

I get so sick and phucn tired of people pointing out the obvious, yeah were in a recession........can we move past this and focus on what to do about it?

Right now...this very moment...a contractor in your area/state is doing well. I doubt if this individual is spending anytime dwelling on the economy I imagine he/she is busy adapting his company.

Pretend this economy will NEVER EVER recover. Pretend this economy is NORMAL and get on with #$%@$#%@ life and deal with it.

Here is a test for you folks having a bad year

Grab a pencil and paper and start going door to door. Ask only one question.

"If you had to remodel a house/bathroom/kitchen/business/store/whatever, WHAT COMPANY WOULD YOU CALL TO DO IT?"

On the piece of paper write down a hash mark for every person who says your business name or even mentions your business name. Also make a hash mark for every person who mentions another company. Then make a third place for hash marks where the stranger says " I have no idea"

Once you have done that come back on the forum and report your findings.

Blame the economy when the piece of paper has all the hash marks in your favor and you still have no work.

Sorry guys, it just gets a little old hearing about how the economy is bad, it's no different than a weather report that says "it's currently raining outside".

Instead, lets focus on the umbrella and make some money.

Mike



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Old 01-10-2011, 10:13 AM   #13
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tough love! it's the truth tho... it isn't going to get better for most of us for a long time. i know a few people that say they are doing so much better than they ever have. the last year or so has been their best ever. their spouses say different =)
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Old 01-11-2011, 12:47 AM   #14
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Here we go again, As I've already pointed out, It's like a game of musical chairs: as long as the music is playing there are no losers
Someone needs to turn the music back on and put back the chairs. It was attempted with the fed and the bailouts so the banks are sitting on some money, but I don't think they want to play the construction game anymore, it reached critical mass, now you have vacantcies everywhere and until they are filled all you are going to get is the low hanging fruit, I don't care how optimistic you are thats the fact jack. Are people going to tap home equity for a new kitchen, siding or bathroom, not many, not likely. You will have to reinvent to survive that much I agree with, and it's going to be a tuff go, most will not make it
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Old 01-11-2011, 01:04 AM   #15
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Re: Where's The Work?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sawblade View Post
Hello amigos, I find myself in the dreaded winter slowdown here in an ultra-rural part of the mid-west (Southern Illinois). I began my young business of residential framing, remodel, repair, etc. a couple of years ago. I've worked in this field for 14 years, my skills are honed for the most part, and my customers are happy. It began great, but now the demand just isn't there. I'm facing the possibility that relocation is in the picture. I'm willing to go where the work is, although I know I would have to relive some of the pains of starting over.

The question I would like to pose is: what areas currently have high demands for residential construction? ...where could a small outfit have a good opportunity to quickly begin picking up sub work from the big boys? Are there areas like this in Colorado (I have relatives there)? Thanks in advance for any comments.

There are too many pigs for the tits. The economy is going to get much worse. Our "representatives" in Washington can't even identify the problems let alone do anything about them.

I don't think relocating is a good option. Very few areas of the country are doing well. Don't listen to Mikeplumbing and Findley. They are Tony Robbins flim flam types full of positive thoughts and B.S. topped off with a layer of condescention. Dealing with reality is the most important thing right now. If your resources (money) are slim right now, do you really want to squander them on worthless advertising??
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Old 01-11-2011, 01:15 AM   #16
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Here we go again, As I've already pointed out, It's like a game of musical chairs: as long as the music is playing there are no losers
Someone needs to turn the music back on and put back the chairs. It was attempted with the fed and the bailouts so the banks are sitting on some money, but I don't think they want to play the construction game anymore, it reached critical mass, now you have vacantcies everywhere and until they are filled all you are going to get is the low hanging fruit, I don't care how optimistic you are thats the fact jack. Are people going to tap home equity for a new kitchen, siding or bathroom, not many, not likely. You will have to reinvent to survive that much I agree with, and it's going to be a tuff go, most will not make it


This may sound strange on this forum, but, I think there was too much remodeling going on. Irish, above you mentioned people getting a home equity loan for a kitchen remodel. People were making less money and making up for it by borrowing.

A new kitchen is a luxury as long as the old one didn't catch fire or something. Why were people doing things like borrowing against a home that was not paid off to have unnecessary work done?? Stuff like this was going on, yet incomes for the middle class were shrinking. Things were out of whack.

This country needs to bring it's manufacturing back, so we can create some wealth again. Not play games by shuffling worthless paper and false appraisals around.
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Old 01-11-2011, 01:24 AM   #17
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Framing isn't a trade it's a G-D subset of Carpentry. Anyone that says it is a trade in itself is a moron.

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Old 01-11-2011, 01:45 AM   #18
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This was the whole reason I was going to post.

I'll tell you what I know is Seattle's stimulus projects are about to break ground this year. I hear a gang form with my name on it calling me. I don't care if it's a PERI,DOKA, or EFCO. Or even maybe some handset. I don't give a flip.

Do you know what a she-bolt is? Or if you should grease it or not?
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Old 01-11-2011, 02:06 AM   #19
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It's pretty sad, when Americans are wondering where to move to find work. What we are now calling an economy, is beginning to look like the progression of a 1st rate country turning into a service oriented paper trading 3rd world economy, yet we are told we don't need to produce what we consume. Let's just get another trade agreement signed that will send what that country needs of ours over there ASAP, forget the damn ensuing debt and bills, and unemployed, and worsening conditions. This is America we are exceptional in this nature, no other country would allow it to happen in the first place. The answer to all of this madness is in our wallets. It's called the FEDERAL RESERVER NOTES we call dollars. After these traitors bought off our congress in 1913, they devalued the dollar by 98%, that is why everything costs so much more then it did back then. Go further back and you will realize prices never changed, except go down, increasing the American living standard. We were once printing real dollars, backed by something, gold. They were treasury notes, before 1913. Research it and learn what is coming.
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Old 01-14-2011, 07:58 PM   #20
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Are there areas like this in Colorado (I have relatives there)? Thanks in advance for any comments.
There is so much work out here that you need to get here now! It's been so insane that I relished the two slow (20hr) weeks I had around christmas.

What might shock you though is the difference in cost of living. Although the cost of living is higher wages are not necessarly going to match that.

Every year we get a crop of people who move out here to live in the mountains, get their hands on high end work, and live the dream. Everyone was commenting on how there seemed to be alot more "foreign" plates around town with contractor written on them. Don't know where they are now cause you could throw a bowling ball through the local hardware store and barely hit anyone.


A few people stick it out and become sucessfull. Others struggle and walk away after a year or two cursing the mexicans, the good ole boy network of whose who, your place in line, the outrageous cost of living, the long cold winters, the isolation from friends and family back home, and worst of all is the arms length distrust that many "locals" will give you. Till you stick around and prove your worth no one will want to give you a leg up in the world. I was told by a wise old contractor that only two people come to the mountains: those who want to recreate and those who want to hide.

New construction prices have been beaten into the ground by those who want to keep their contracting business going. Sq footage rates that haven't been seen since 1990 are being payed out. Around town right now there is probably 12 to 15 new homes under construction all of them easily appraised above 1 million. Plus a rumored 10-20 more for the spring. (everyone holds their cards tight now, instead of boasting about how many project they have)

So come on out man, make the move, 1 out of 10 make the cut every year. Like I said most go back home with a really bad taste in their mouth. It's sad but true.

Picking up and starting over is a beast no matter where you want to go. If it's easier to focus on work at home and building a client base there go for it.

I struggled and dealt with the bs and now I'm in a happy spot, some of the work I do is over the top hands down mind blowing but most of it is boring work that isn't anything to get excited about. Can you say drywall???

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