Contractor Talk - Professional Construction and Remodeling Forum banner

Career Advice

3113 Views 21 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  paintwallpaper
Hello, everyone.

I am a small house flipper that's been doing this for several years. I'm learning a lot but I've realized that I am just completely clueless on some basic things. For example, I have no clue how a basic electrical panel works.

As my projects get bigger and bigger, I am thinking maybe I should take some classes in construction management. That way I know what the contractors are saying when they talk to me. Because right now, a lot of times, I just nod my head when they explain what they are doing but in reality, I have no clue what they just said.

I was initially going to take a house inspection course but I'm starting to think that this doesn't go deep enough. So, was wondering if a construction management degree at a local college is the way to go. It's not only project management classes but it looks like they teach things like building materials, mechanical equipment, etc.

Any advice?
1 - 4 of 22 Posts
I'm a REI too. Are you managing your own subs or using a GC?
As you may or may not know, being a GC can be a complex job drawing on at least a basic understanding of a lot of different disciplines. There are other implications an REI exposes themselves to (IRS, labor laws, insurance, legal structure, etc) many don’t understand. A good one can save an REI time and money, liabilities, so they can focus on REI. If you find a good one that is willing to help you with your renovation cost analysis, jobs, knowledge, etc, treat them and pay them well. If you have a good line of communication with one they will also walk you through the basic renovation process enough to formulate a deal.

A REI acting as a GC I always get a kick out of, most can’t or do a poor costly job of it. There is just no way an REI can keep up with the market and technology and be full time REI with all its complexities. It is well worth your time to delegate here and pay a pro. Use the money you would have spent on college to do so.

You don’t need a college degree to communicate with a GC you have a good relationship with. If it is small items (paint, stain, etc) you have knowledge of, you may be able to manage them yourself, but don’t forget about building that relationship with the GC and business they may be interested in may help you hold onto the good ones.

Other than that if there is something you don’t know like how an electrical panel works look it up on the internet then get with your GC or electrician for more in depth applicable knowledge.

Good luck!
I see what you are saying. First, be careful with “over seeing” what your GC’s are doing….Get familiar with Fed and your states labor laws with regard to subs (assuming your GC’s are subs). If you really want control I’d suggest, along with learning construction, to start building your own company as I have. Mine is a LLC with commercial and liability insurance. Hire in GC as employees on a salary exempt or, get a license and become one since much of what your need to know are codes. From there hire production and project managers as employees and let them manage other employees and subs, while you focus on managing the company’s and REI. I’m looking at getting my RE license and launching another separate REI-LLC to keep assets separate and protected. The construction company and REI company work well together and you can build a huge empire with passive income.

I guess it depends on your mechanical and electrical aptitude, some pick it up with little instructions, others need more help. The broad array of knowledge you are referring to I doubt will come out of a management course, building an enterprise like I described above might. You’ll learn though as you grow you won’t be able to keep up with it all (finance, REI, engineering, hvac, plumbing, electrical, investments, corporate structure, etc)… you’ll need surface knowledge of it all. Anyway, there is no speed course to learning all that is need to understanding in depth general construction, it takes time be patient, not only from text books but hands on experience. Other than that, if you want I’d suggest getting into a trade school for electrical, plumbing, HVAC, framing, but again I think for a person in your position it is unnecessary unless that is something you’d enjoy other than upper management and being a corporate officer/desk job.
  • Like
Reactions: paintwallpaper
I don't think school is going to teach you the same as on the job experience
I'll add a waste of time for business owner that wants to be financially independent. Unless you want list it as a credential on a resume to get a job...Many college grads can not find a job in corporate America these days it's so broken.

Your money and time may be better served doing work for min wage or free or pay for a seasoned pro in the field, if you can find one to take you under their wing.
1 - 4 of 22 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.