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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I never really meant to strike out on my own. A little over a year ago I signed on with a friend for a gut-remodel and he said he could pay me more as a subcontractor, so I got my insurance, opted out of WC, and just like that I was self-employed.

Well we finished the gut-remodel and I never slowed down. Repairs, renovations, painting, patios - I rarely turn down a job. He called me about scheduling a new house for the spring and I realized that I've been making it work for a year now.

I always figured I'd keep working on my own until the work dried up and then I'd find something new. These days I'm considering making an actual go of it. I'm 25 years old with arthritis creeping down my right arm, though, so if I make a go of it, I can't plan on doing all the labor forever.

That brings me here. I feel like I know some of you pretty well already - thanks for the advice you didn't know you were giving me.

With what I've been uncovering in the last few weeks, I ought to have some gems for the wall of shame uploaded soon.
 

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Butcher of wood and metal
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Welcome to CT. What part of the country are you from ? Makes it easier to give advise if we know you where you are . Good luck with being self employed. It can be a hard but rewarding. If you are doing remodels and gutting out hope you are up on the Lead paint thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Randy Bush said:
Welcome to CT. What part of the country are you from ? Makes it easier to give advise if we know you where you are . Good luck with being self employed. It can be a hard but rewarding. If you are doing remodels and gutting out hope you are up on the Lead paint thing.
I'm in Maine, mostly working in the Portland/Casco Bay area. I am not up on the lead paint thing, it's something I have to research.

Maine does not require licensing for builders, and I don't think I'm required to be certified for lead removal unless I'm the GC. I'm wading through the paperwork now as I shift myself into an LLC.

Roofcheck, I'm sure I am too cheap. I'm charging more than I took home as an employee but not a lot. It's been enough until now but the expenses of tools and time spent shopping for materials is adding up.
 

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I'm in Maine, mostly working in the Portland/Casco Bay area. I am not up on the lead paint thing, it's something I have to research.

Maine does not require licensing for builders, and I don't think I'm required to be certified for lead removal unless I'm the GC. I'm wading through the paperwork now as I shift myself into an LLC.
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It does not matter if you are a GC or not. If you work on any pre-78 homes you need to be a Certified Lead Renovator , Be trained and work under some that is or have the home tested and cleared for the lead paint. I don't know if Maine is Federal or State run , but the fines can be enough to put you out of business. Word to the wise if doing this kind of work I would make sure of what is required in your state.
 

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Randy is right. If you're looking to be legit, you gotta play by all the stupid rules. You're never going to see an EPA agent, nobody is ever going to ask if you're certified, nobody is ever going to care, and you're probably never going to follow all their stupid regulations to the letter of the law. Still, get the stupid certificate and keep it in the truck so that if you lose the crappy RRP lottery and somebody does stop by your site you at least look like you know what you're doing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Thanks, Randy. I agree, I need to do my research. Sounds like I haven't broken the rules yet, post-1978 only this year.

I do want to do things the legitimate way. If I'm going to build things right I might as well build things legally while I'm at it.

I have spent a lot of time in harm's way working for employers who cut corners because they'd never get caught.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
OnTheMend said:
Agility, It is required in Maine. Here is a link with all the info you should ever need for it. http://www.maine.gov/dep/waste/lead/index.html Here is another link that will tell you everything to work on lead abatement or remodeling practices in the state of Maine. http://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/rules/06/096/096c424.doc Good Luck! :thumbsup:
Tons of information there. I nearly signed up for a training session next week but it costs $175 and I'd have to push a client back at least a day. Hopefully I can do it in January. I only have three months or so until I start a new house on a virgin lot - hopefully an ICF/stick hybrid. A pre-78 reno probably won't jump into my lap so I feel okay postponing a bit. Thanks for the links!
 
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