Winter Work........ - Sandblasting - Contractor Talk

Winter Work........

 
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Old 12-02-2010, 08:21 PM   #1
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Winter Work........


What does everyone do for work in the winter?? We "normally" sell construction equipment online (Ebay) as main source of income but that is about non-existant for the past year unless you want to give equipment away and make no $. Been hanging on hoping things would change and/or get more business blasting. Just wondering what you all in the areas that get alot of winter weather do besides blasting to keep paying the bills???
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Old 12-03-2010, 06:49 AM   #2
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Re: Winter Work........


The past two years, I tried to go with just blasting, but last year was too slow.

This year I got a full time, 40 hr services tech with an oil company doing furnice burners.

seems to fit the low spot great. Oct/Nov - March? really no set time when I can leave for the summer. I know owner's well.

I didn't close down blasting, we still have about a job a week going ,
so I have My boy blasting the stuff, and I'm helping him on the weekends with the big things if they come in.

next year might be different, but the burner tech fits good, might go get my lience for it this summer.
another good job is driving Oil trucks....

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Old 12-03-2010, 07:21 AM   #3
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Re: Winter Work........


Thanks, Jim.... that got me thinking of "what businesses around here could I tap into to bring in a little work that might lead to MORE work later??" In our town of around 20,000 we have 3 boat manufacturers but they all slow down alot in the winter, too. But don't know of anything they would need blasted anyway. There is a military base up the highway 45 minutes. Might run up there and look around. Would be nice to get in on some of the goood gov't. money!!
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Old 12-03-2010, 10:15 AM   #4
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Re: Winter Work........


I have a few blasting jobs lined up right now but seeing as i am a outside blaster its making them dificult. i have a normal 50hr a week job truck driver/mechanic plus the blasting on the side. i dont think i could support myself on just the blasting.
would like to rent a shop to blast in but hate to pay rent when the jobs are not coming in.
i used to sell alot of mopar muscle car parts on the net but same deal, economy goes bad you dont play with your toys.
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Old 12-05-2010, 07:56 PM   #5
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Re: Winter Work........


For October and a good part of November I did sprinkler blow outs. It was quick, extremely easy money. It was a great way to use something we all have that most people don't (including lots of landscapers)... a big compressor. It just took about $40 in some new hoses and parts to be 100% ready to go. I put a free ad in the local online ads and got quite a few calls. It was so easy that next year I will put out fliers in some neighborhoods. My cousin has been doing this for years where he works and was the brains. We charged $8 per zone with a 6 zone minimum. We gave discounts for neighbors signing up together. Lot of homes would have 10-12 zones and we would be done in roughly 15 minutes (including setup and cleanup).
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Old 12-05-2010, 10:57 PM   #6
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Re: Winter Work........


That's very cool John. I have heard of that but I never tried it. What new equipment did you find you needed? Is there any chance of hurting their system that you know of? Also how do you define a zone. In otherwords, give me everything, lol.
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Old 12-05-2010, 11:24 PM   #7
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Re: Winter Work........


I bought a 6' hose with a Chicago fitting on one end and a female hose bib fitting on the other (had this made at a hose place) , a Chicago fitting adapted to pvc pipe fittings to give me the options of attaching to 1/2" and 3/4" male and female pipe straight and 90 degree elbows (all of these pvc pieces came to like $5), and a few metal pieces that allow connection into a back flow. With the above pieces I can connect my air into any sprinkler system, multiple ways (faucet connected to system, back flow, or by removing a sprinkler head and tapping in that way).

My cousin has done this for over a decade for a landscaping company that he works for (a few cities away so we aren't competing with his boss). He said the only thing he has ever had happen is that if it is really cold outside he has seen heads pop straight off (easy fix). We did quite a few and didn't have any issues.

We define a zone as 1 station on the timer box (essentially each valve). By charging the 6 minimum, it is still worth our time for the smallest of yards.

I like tapping into sprinkler heads, because then that zone has air flowing through its heads the entire time (preventing too much build up of pressure any where in the system). Then you manually open up the valve of the station you are hooked into to allow your air to flow into the main line, then use the timer box to open up the rest of the zones one at a time. You let the zone go until you hear what sounds like solid air coming out. Cycle through all the zones a couple times and it should be good. It's nice having my cousin, because he knows all the tricks and knows all the different kinds of systems, but even with a basic knowledge you can do it quite easy. On some systems you can manually open the valves and have a few zones clearing at the same time (time is money).

Next year I think we can make a killing on this service. Peace of mind is what sells it. We scheduled all calls for specific days and then hit them in order of location to knock them all out as quickly as possible. I did some for some landscaping companies too (it can get expensive to rent big compressors). I think I'll make some connections with more landscapers.
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Old 12-07-2010, 08:36 AM   #8
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Re: Winter Work........


I've been doing quite a few lawn sprinkler blow-outs this season... Takes between a 1/2 to an hour each for each system.

I'm also offering lawn sprinkler turn ons and sprinkler head replacements in the spring as well as other residential services like stamped concrete surface sealer removal and resealing, Wood Deck paint removal and resealing as well as brick, stone, pavers and concrete cleaning.

It takes me between 30 minutes to an hour each to do a lawn sprinkler system and I charge a $40 minimum or $8 a zone.

It's seems to be generating a lot of spring work for me.

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Last edited by MasterBlaster; 12-07-2010 at 08:38 AM.
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