Contractor Talk - Professional Construction and Remodeling Forum banner
41 - 60 of 65 Posts

·
Punching above his weight
Joined
·
11,462 Posts
Man, can any of you geezers even remember being 23? ;)

Let the man live.

I started in the trades 6 years back working for a GC who owned rental units. He'd let me take care of stuff that needed taking care of in there as side work, pretty much exactly like homeboy here is describing. I didn't have a license, and yes, I touched pipes and wires. Nobody died. Nothing exploded. Luck had very little to do with it. It's basic stuff that every idiot homeowner deals with. At least this kid will have the phone number of somebody(his GC boss) that he can call if he needs an assist.
This is basically how I got up the skills and confidence to go out on my own. You do all of your learning when it's your own money on the line. Seriously.

OP, definitely take the opportunity, but definitely don't do it for $20/hr 1099. They're gaming you.
This messageboard frowns on talking numbers because everyone's position and location is different so it doesn't end up being valuable to see what other people are making. That said, look around this forum for a while, use the search features, track down Ethan B and read the link in his signature. There are comprehensive guides on this website that will more or less tell you how to run a business. If you're willing to put in the time reading this website as though it were your job, you'll be good to go. Seriously.

Lastly, get the numbers of your GC's plumbing and electrical subs so that you can call them in case of emergency. Seriously.
 

·
Particulate Filter
Joined
·
4,430 Posts
Business wise, it just takes experience to burn it into a young mans wallet that little jobs lead to big headaches. Here are the rules of little work...

People with low budgets have high expectations. You think to yourself I gave them a great deal it doesnt have to be great. They think I gave him a fortune it should be perfect.

Seemingly simple things like fixing a leaking sink can easily cost you everything you have if for example your repair fails and a leak runs into an adjoining apartment and say fries the computer of a professional photographer. How much is his lifes work worth? How will you defend yourself?

You can often do a 'large' project in the same amount of time as a 'little' project.

Realtors and apartment managers can be great, usually they are awful.

No good deed goes unpunished.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,136 Posts
You're 23 and not an expert in the trades. The pay is pretty much equivalent to what you are earning now, without overtime pay. Nothing wrong with making a few extra bucks to put away or buy some tools with.
 

·
Punching above his weight
Joined
·
11,462 Posts
He said he makes 16 an hour on the books. $600 is a significant portion of his annual income. It's also the price of a compressor, a nail gun, a sawzall, and a cordless drill combined. Just saying.
 

·
Maker of fine kindling
Joined
·
6,199 Posts
Do the work

Keep the books straight

Have fun
 
  • Like
Reactions: Agility

·
Registered
Joined
·
257 Posts
Haha well guys this is why I'm on here I don't think the or going to go 35. It might just be more of a head ache for me then worth it. I make 16 an hour at my job now and get as much ot I want depending on how busy but I guess I don't NEED to do this idk...I want to cause I like the experience and I'm the kind of person that doesn't pass up cash money so it is what it is.
Yes it will be more of a headache for you if you don't get paid enough. First forget about taxes, would you be afraid of winning the lottery because of the taxes you're going to owe? Of course not, just worry about making a good deal for yourself. The worst thing you can do is go in low and then dread working there, you'll just end up burning a bridge.

Your hourly rate with GC is different he gives you 40 a week. This job, they might call you for an hour. Do you really want to drop everything your doing and drive over with your gas and your tools for $16. ?

As a businessman because that's what you will be you get the most money you can not how much they would like to pay you. If they have to call a plumber to unclog a toilet or clear a disposal, what's he going to charge? At least a 100. An electrician same thing. Most guys don't want this kind of work therefore it makes you valuable.

Make the deal worth your while and it will last. Remind them that you will sometimes have to leave complex to pick up supplies and that you will still be on the clock. I would also charge more for emergency service after say 8 and Sundays etc. Good luck!
 

·
Knucklehead in charge
Joined
·
102 Posts
Now that the big boys beat you up and you're still standing I say go ahead and do it, even if it's for a month.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Don't look at it as a money making venture, but as experience for running your own job. You really can't get hurt, they will pay you an hourly salary and purchase all materials.

The lessons you will learn will be priceless. You will receive a list of repairs, assess what needs to be done, figure out what materials needed and go do it. Then realize nothing is what it seems and you missed a few important elements and require another trip to the the hardware store, but when you get back to the site you realize you left a tool you need home, and the list of lessons will be endless.

Over time you will become very efficient with your time realizing nothing is straight forward and everything right down to replacing a wall switch cover could take 20 minutes because the friggin switch doesn't sit correctly in the wall and requires a longer screw which you don't have.

Good Luck
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,308 Posts
Mr Knucklehead said:
You will receive a list of repairs, assess what needs to be done, figure out what materials needed and go do it. Then realize nothing is what it seems and you missed a few important elements and require another trip to the the hardware store, but when you get back to the site you realize you left a tool you need home, and the list of lessons will be endless.
Yikes, that sounds all too familiar!
 

·
Contractor of the Month
Joined
·
26,075 Posts
Well I talked to this lady and she was thinking 20 per hour and they will 1099 me. I'm not sure it's worth me doing that because I will owe at end of year
I'd tell them to shove their offer so far up their ass.

I do. I don't have to worry about what might happen at an audit this way.

I know many don't and it makes me :censored:
Never swapped out a plug and snagged a few bills forgetting to write an invoice?:whistling
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,308 Posts
Consider setting a daily minimum, either in terms of hours or dollars. Either they get enough work lined up to make it worth a full day or they pay extra to get small jobs completed quickly.

If you don't think they'll go past $20/hr, tell them you need 6-10 hours of work lined up to give them a day in your schedule.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
242 Posts
I'd tell them to shove their offer so far up their ass.



Never swapped out a plug and snagged a few bills forgetting to write an invoice?:whistling
That was my point. Everyone does it or did it to some extent. Im new here but I have quickly noticed my bull ----- radar hits the peg often. Im starting to think I will read the responses with a boulder sized grain of salt.
 

·
Contractor of the Month
Joined
·
26,075 Posts
That was my point. Everyone does it or did it to some extent. Im new here but I have quickly noticed my bull ----- radar hits the peg often. Im starting to think I will read the responses with a boulder sized grain of salt.
Welcome to the internet.
 

·
Accidental Painter
Joined
·
2,292 Posts
O.P. :

Sounds like your gonna do weekend service calls. So charge them accordingly. Me and my fellow handymen charge $45/hr for service calls, min of 2 hours. Think about it, most of your work will be done within an hour or two.

As another poster stated, do you want to kill your weekend for $20-30? Heck, for most of us that's just gas money.

Charge for your time and charge high enough that they respect your time. Because if you don't value your time, no one else will.
 

·
Contractor of the Month
Joined
·
26,075 Posts
O.P. :

Sounds like your gonna do weekend service calls. So charge them accordingly. Me and my fellow handymen charge $45/hr for service calls, min of 2 hours. Think about it, most of your work will be done within an hour or two.

As another poster stated, do you want to kill your weekend for $20-30? Heck, for most of us that's just gas money.

Charge for your time and charge high enough that they respect your time. Because if you don't value your time, no one else will.
Handyman work should have a higher rate than the average contactor because you are acting like a service company. Try to find a handyman that bills out more than 5 full hours in a 7.5 hour work day. You have to account for all the time you spend pissing around between calls.

Hit them with a fee to show up, something like 60 or 75 bucks for the first half hour, then you can give them a reduced rate after that by the hour.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,458 Posts
Business wise, it just takes experience to burn it into a young mans wallet that little jobs lead to big headaches. Here are the rules of little work...

People with low budgets have high expectations. You think to yourself I gave them a great deal it doesnt have to be great. They think I gave him a fortune it should be perfect.

Seemingly simple things like fixing a leaking sink can easily cost you everything you have if for example your repair fails and a leak runs into an adjoining apartment and say fries the computer of a professional photographer. How much is his lifes work worth? How will you defend yourself?

You can often do a 'large' project in the same amount of time as a 'little' project.

Realtors and apartment managers can be great, usually they are awful.

No good deed goes unpunished.
Well said. "Thank you" x 3.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
573 Posts
20 dollars cash, no checks. Honestly they should put you on the books. 600 dollars monthly is small. That's 4 days worth of work. I am starting to wonder about these people that tell you not to take it. What do they have to fear? I have been doing this for almost 20 years. Form work to finish carpentry. I don't claim to be a expert but I can hold my own. :thumbsup: There is two types of people in this biz. Those that started after college and those that didn't. All I can say is I don't have a government subsidized loan and I don't love the machine.

I do remember being in my early 20 thinking I knew it all. :laughing:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
573 Posts
Well I do visit a couple other forums and the bull*** level doesn't seem as high there that's all. as well as all of the "perfect" people.

Truth is if you didnt' do a few side jobs over the years and then became a contractor. One probably went to college where they learned what the "real world" of construction is.
 
41 - 60 of 65 Posts
Top