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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Guys,

I introduced myself on the introduction forum but decided to post here as well. I am currently a third year business management major at Pitts' Greensburg campus, and I would like to be a home builder/real estate developer (probably to evolve into light commercial such as hotels and small shopping plazas).

I have no real formal construction experience, other than volunteering with Habitat for Humanity. I love framing (rough carpentry), and have been trying to find somebody to frame with part time (probably a problem to not be a full time worker. I'd love to be, I just don't have the time right now).

I am lucky that my mom is a professor at my local community college, so I get to take there classes for free. Now that I am so close to finishing at Pitt, and she wants to retire, I have been alternating between here and Pitt. I take classes related to the field (drafting, surveying, estimating, etc...) every other semester. This at least gives me experience to understand the concept of things, not so much hands on experience. I am close to getting an associates in arc. drafting & design so I am slowly working towards that as we'll.

My local vo-tech offers adult night classes on the different parts of the trade (such as carpentry, masonry, HVAC, plumbing, electrical) that I have been trying to sign up for, however due to the lack of interest the classes have not been available. I think this would be perfect for me right now if they actually ever have them.

I got my real estate license last year and have been working for a real estate company. This is a nice job to have while in school, because while it is hard work I am on my own time and have to manage my own business, and make my own business, all on my own. The work pays off in the end and it's nice to be able to do other things and still work. This is real world business experience I am lucky to get that just doesn't apply to real estate sales, and I am lucky to get for my age.

My sister is an architect, and has been generous in getting me into various workshops in Pittsburgh. My last set of workshops were at the carpenters union, which I really thought were helpful. I thought long and hard about becoming an apprentice, and even tested into the program, but decided to not go forward with it because of how close I am to being done at Pitt, and the other things I want to do at my moms school.

Sorry for the long post, I'm just a little clueless as to what I should be doing right now.

Thanks,

Andrew
 

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Repair/Remodeling Tech.
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1,645 Posts
Opinions vary, but mine is this:

Taking college classes wont make you a good framer, or finisher, or plumber, or anything else. It's nice that you want to take classes to get the book knowledge....the theory, so to speak...but in real life, theory rarely works. If you really want to do this, get yourself onto a jobsite ASAP. Through the apprenticeship, or by other means (it may not happen as much anymore, but a lot of people walked on to a job one day and asked for a day's chance to prove themselves...and that's how they started).

Now, if you're THAT close to finishing a degree, I would never recommend that you stop that. It wont hurt to have it. And if you like learning, I don't want to discourage you from taking other classes either, but that's not what's going to matter most if you decide you want to have a life in the trades.
 

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Remodel
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29,585 Posts
If you want to be a developer, concentrate on finance, design, and marketing. There will be a real estate sales team you work with, but you don't have to do the sales your self.

Financing keeps you in business, marketing tells you what to build and where, design tells you what it will cost to hit your market.
 

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General Contractor
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8,051 Posts
Get a job working for GC, this way you can learn sub contractor scheduling, material breakdown and estimates, the overall general construction process, building codes, how to get job ready for inspections, etc.
Learn and watch how different trades work, how they do things and why, ask questions, etc.

That is the only way to get to become a successful GC or a Builder or what ever. Without all that knowledge, you will lose money, contractors will rail road you, and you be out of business before you blink an eye.

Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the feedback, that's pretty much what I thought but I wanted to hear it from somebody in the business. I know knowing the trades by the book is not the same as hands on experience, and that's why I have been trying to find somebody to work with. I am eager to learn, it's just a matter of finding consistent work to learn.
 

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Love me some Concrete
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1,834 Posts
Maybe your sister can help.
Does she know somebody that needs a hand every once in a while.
OMG, damn near fell off the chair on that one! I had to go back and read the OP to make sure my dirty mind wasn't right for once...unfortunately it was not:whistling
 
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