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Hello, just wanted to know if you guys ever feel that you are in the wrong trade. I kind of had that thought this past saturday. I'm a painting contractor by the way, and on this particular Saturday I went to help my friend (who is a cement mason) pour a concrete sidewalk and a patio, colored Cement with a stamped finish. In total it was about 6.5 yards of cement. there were five of us on the job. I only worked one hour wheelbarreling the cement to them from the cement truck. The rest of the guys worked a total of about 3.5 hours. The job ended up looking great, and my friend recieved lots of compliments from the owners. My friend ended up paying me $120 just for that one hour, 3 times as much as i make in one hour of painting! I also later come to find out that He bid that job at a grand total of $2500!!! I could not believe that. The entire job didn't take more than 25 combined man hours from building the forms to stamping the cement. I thought to myeself "perhaps i'm in the wrong trade" there is no way I am ever going to get paid $2500 for a paint job that takes only 25 hours." You're looking at about 100 bucks an hour.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy doing my job, I love the indipendence and all that, I even landed a paint job in that neihborhood that day, but it just puzzles me how different trades can vary greatly in terms of income.
 

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I know what you mean....

i think in this case it was about the home-owner wanting a change and an upgrade...an improvement or luxury if you will. when you really want something, sometimes you get a little tunnel vision and the price doesn't matter so much.

Paint is usually something they need. Not many people are looking forward to painting their house. "didn't i just paint this place???".

plus, its price point. its alot easier to come up with $2500 than it is the price of the ususal paint job. you didn't say what kind of home it was you were working on but my guess is it would cost alot more than 2500 bucks to paint it. people start to shop hard when the price approaches 5 grand or more.....

last thing....people like to think they can paint themselves. i know as you do that there is alot more to a quality long lasting paint job than slapping paint on the wall.....but most people don't get it. i sincerely beleive that alot of people hire painters because they're afraid of climbing ladders or have no way to haul a 40 footer back from the home-depot....they have no appreciation for paint of painters...besides, its a published fact that the average homeowner is moving every 5 to 7 years.....why paint, let the next guy do it

good luck
 

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Maybe that day gave you a false impression of how easy concrete is.

My first construction job was as a laborer for a remodeling company. The days we poured footings, slabs, driveways ect were always the most stressful. Everyone would be rushing to make sure things went right and yelling at eachother. It was a mess. I know a contractor who only does concrete would be much better, but the characteristics make it more difficult to deal with than most materials. Finishing concrete well and quickly is an art.
 

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When it is 20 degrees below outside with wind chill and I'm outside plumbing a new house.....and the painter's are across the street in a nice warm house..Yeah, I sometimes wish I was a painter!!

Although money is a great type of insulation :cheesygri
 

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[
QUOTE=saucedo80]Hello, just wanted to know if you guys ever feel that you are in the wrong trade. I kind of had that thought this past saturday. I'm a painting contractor by the way, and on this particular Saturday I went to help my friend (who is a cement mason) pour a concrete sidewalk and a patio, colored Cement with a stamped finish. In total it was about 6.5 yards of cement. there were five of us on the job. I only worked one hour wheelbarreling the cement to them from the cement truck. The rest of the guys worked a total of about 3.5 hours. The job ended up looking great, and my friend recieved lots of compliments from the owners. My friend ended up paying me $120 just for that one hour, 3 times as much as i make in one hour of painting! I also later come to find out that He bid that job at a grand total of $2500!!! I could not believe that. The entire job didn't take more than 25 combined man hours from building the forms to stamping the cement. I thought to myeself "perhaps i'm in the wrong trade" there is no way I am ever going to get paid $2500 for a paint job that takes only 25 hours." You're looking at about 100 bucks an hour.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy doing my job, I love the indipendence and all that, I even landed a paint job in that neihborhood that day, but it just puzzles me how different trades can vary greatly in terms of income.
[/QUOTE]

That stamp job could have gone the other way if the sky opened up or the neighbors dogs took a run across it. I personally suggest to young guys to get into a trade that is licensed and tested and that test being in English.
 

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The only thing i wish is I would've been smart enough to pick 1 trade and just do that only. Being a small general that does everything my licsence will allow calls for ALOT of overhead in tools and upkeep, not to mention the stresses of wearing all the different hats we do.

I am constantly looking at my buddy and his "drywall business", all he does is tape, mud, and texture period. Total of $5K MAYBE in tools, material list: mud and tape.

From doing every type of trade I know the advantages and disadvantages of all. There are always going to be good paydays and poor paydays, more than likely your freind paid you so well since it was a one time thing. Usually when I have buddies help for a day or an aspect I figure minimum of $100 regardless if they work an hour or spend the day on sight since I they only do very minimal grunt work-no thinking involved.

Best business would to be have your backbone removed and become a salesman: they tend to make more money than anybody and dont lift a finger unless it's picking up a contract or a check:)
 

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I don't know where you're located saucedo80, but 2500 bucks for a stamped and colored concrete job sounds incredibly cheap. At 4" deep, 6.5 cubic yards will cover 520 square feet. That equates to $4.81 a square foot to pour, place and finish. Plus, you didn't mention if the contractor had to remove and replace an old patio/sidewalk. A good concrete contractor that is skilled in stamp work gets about $15.00 a square foot in my neck of the woods.

Concrete is a tough business. You only get one chance at it to get it right, and the ways to screw it up are immeasureable. Keep in mind, concrete is also seasonal. I doubt your guy is pouring every single day bringing in revenue. A concrete contractor also has overheads that most everybody on this board is all too familiar with.

The grass isn't always greener.
 

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saucedo80 said:
...In total it was about 6.5 yards of cement. The job ended up looking great, and my friend recieved lots of compliments from the owners. I also later come to find out that He bid that job at a grand total of $2500!!! I could not believe that. The entire job didn't take more than 25 combined man hours from building the forms to stamping the cement. I thought to myeself "perhaps i'm in the wrong trade" there is no way I am ever going to get paid $2500 for a paint job that takes only 25 hours." You're looking at about 100 bucks an hour.
$2,500 is cheap! If it was 4" thick 6-1/2 yards covered about 532 SF or 59 SY. Around here that would have brought at least $5,000.

The jobs that go right make good money. It's the one's that go bad that cost. What'ya think it costs to redo stamped concrete that doesn't come out just right? Probably more than putting on another coat of paint.
 

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saucedo80 said:
Hello, just wanted to know if you guys ever feel that you are in the wrong trade. I kind of had that thought this past saturday. I'm a painting contractor by the way, and on this particular Saturday I went to help my friend (who is a cement mason) pour a concrete sidewalk and a patio, colored Cement with a stamped finish. In total it was about 6.5 yards of cement. there were five of us on the job. I only worked one hour wheelbarreling the cement to them from the cement truck. The rest of the guys worked a total of about 3.5 hours. The job ended up looking great, and my friend recieved lots of compliments from the owners. My friend ended up paying me $120 just for that one hour, 3 times as much as i make in one hour of painting! I also later come to find out that He bid that job at a grand total of $2500!!! I could not believe that. The entire job didn't take more than 25 combined man hours from building the forms to stamping the cement. I thought to myeself "perhaps i'm in the wrong trade" there is no way I am ever going to get paid $2500 for a paint job that takes only 25 hours." You're looking at about 100 bucks an hour.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy doing my job, I love the indipendence and all that, I even landed a paint job in that neihborhood that day, but it just puzzles me how different trades can vary greatly in terms of income.

100 bucks an hour is good but try chaging out condensers. Here a 3 ton new unit will cost you $1500. You can but one for less than 600. So you are making 900 dollars in less than 3 hours!. I have friends who do it all summer long and clear an huge amount of extra cash after their day job.
 

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I love concrete! It works the dog sh*t outta ya!

What we are talking about here is a specialty known as "Hardscaping". It's different, highly specialized.
 

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I had those feelings of being in the wrong business many times throughout my life. That is, until I started painting. Odd as it may seem, painting was like a light going off for me. I had finally stumbled upon something FUN to do. I actually enjoy painting and all that goes with it. It's probably one of the last things I ever thought I would be doing, but once you've found something that actually gives you joy to do, I feel your success is inevitable. I have a rare passion for painting. I enjoy being in the field flexin' my skillz with a brush, sprayer, or roller. I love the instant gratification that I get when paint somethign and stand back to look, and get the WOW effect. It took me a lot of searching to find something I enjoy, and now I wouldn't give it up for the world.

There is plenty of money to be made in painting, and you'll have one hell of an easier time than masons will, I prommise. I believe the income is limitless, it's just about how you plan to obtain it. It may take more crews to pull the kind of profits you're dreaming of, but just take it one step at a time.
 
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