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So I have subbed out all framing in the past and we are tired of letting subs make all the money. I have a potential framing crew about to start and want to put together an efficient set up for the crew of 4 guys. I’d like the opinion of you guys on what to purchase compressor to guns for this potential crew. I haven’t paid much attention to the crews equipment in the past as long as they got the job done!


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So I have subbed out all framing in the past and we are tired of letting subs make all the money. I have a potential framing crew about to start and want to put together an efficient set up for the crew of 4 guys. I’d like the opinion of you guys on what to purchase compressor to guns for this potential crew. I haven’t paid much attention to the crews equipment in the past as long as they got the job done!


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Sounds like one of you knows how to charge appropriately and make money... YOU are in command of what you charge your customer no matter what the subs charge... that's like saying "we are tired of letting the material suppliers make all the money"... :no:

The subs are just another line-item in the project that you have to charge appropriately for...
 

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Goin' Down in Flames....
Highwayman
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Makita Air Compressors.

Max Superframers.

Flexilla hoses.

Skil Mag77 worm drives, unless you make the crew bring those.

Bigfoot 10 1/4" Worm Drive saw.

Wall Jacks.

Tele-Handler.

Boom Lift.

Slings.

Fuel truck or tank (for Tele-Handler and Lift).

Generator?

Truss Spacers.

Rotary Laser.

Cross Line Laser.

Plate Level.

8' Level.

Fall Arrest Kits.

Hard Hats.

Socket Set.

Drill Motors.

PP or Palm Nailer.

Crow Bar.





Crew Tools:

Hammer

25' Tape

100' Tape

Framing Square

Chalk Box

Cat's Paw

Flat Bar

Speed Square

Big 12 Speed Square

Chisel

Stringline

CM Calculator

4' Level




200K or so should set you up.


:eek:




As I remember more, I'll post more. :laughing: But I'm having a cocktail at the moment.
 

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I use all Hitachi NR83 nailguns, Max staplers and coil guns, Ingersoll Rand 2475 5hp compressor, Porter Cable 3.25hp routers, and Makita 36v rear handle saws.

Everything else can pretty much be whatever, but if I couldn't have the above mentioned items I'd probably just quit and find some other line of work.

Also you need the biggest box truck or trailer that you can afford/ fit onto jobsites. The more space you have for tools the happier you'll be, even if you don't use all the room.
 

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Get cordless everything that you can. The only thing I ever get a cord out for anymore is the router. And one to run to the trailer to charge all the batteries.
 

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Makita Air Compressors.



Max Superframers.



Flexilla hoses.



Skil Mag77 worm drives, unless you make the crew bring those.



Bigfoot 10 1/4" Worm Drive saw.



Wall Jacks.



Tele-Handler.



Boom Lift.



Slings.



Fuel truck or tank (for Tele-Handler and Lift).



Generator?



Truss Spacers.



Rotary Laser.



Cross Line Laser.



Plate Level.



8' Level.



Fall Arrest Kits.



Hard Hats.



Socket Set.



Drill Motors.



PP or Palm Nailer.



Crow Bar.











Crew Tools:



Hammer



25' Tape



100' Tape



Framing Square



Chalk Box



Cat's Paw



Flat Bar



Speed Square



Big 12 Speed Square



Chisel



Stringline



CM Calculator



4' Level









200K or so should set you up.





:eek:









As I remember more, I'll post more. :laughing: But I'm having a cocktail at the moment.


You forgot the mile of extension cords that you will need.
 

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And the extra workers comp. fees.

And for some reason, " subs making all the money", never came up in the conversations I had as a sub for the 10 years or so I did it.

Just have them blow it out, add 20-30 percent and move on. The problem with not having a sub do the work, is you will have to.

So if the subs frame it in 3 weeks and your crew takes 5, did you save any money?

I dont know how good your new crew will be, but it may take them a while to get efficient. Especially if you dont have any gear.

I assume you dont do any other carpentry? How do you not know the basic tools needed?

I'm not a framer, and have all that stuff. Minus the heavy machinery.

What do you do now?

It also makes a difference if you are doing high end customs, or crackerbox tract homes.

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Way too big of a broad Range post here.. there so many many variables in what you be framing.. 2000' or 10,000' house's additions and so on..

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Sounds like one of you knows how to charge appropriately and make money... YOU are in command of what you charge your customer no matter what the subs charge... that's like saying "we are tired of letting the material suppliers make all the money"... :no:

The subs are just another line-item in the project that you have to charge appropriately for...


Kap here in Florida you have to be competitive to actually get jobs. I’ve been in this business long enough to understand mark up. I’m not in the business of paying subs 50% markup (which is going rate right now). As a small two man General Contractor it has always been easiest to sub everything, but if we have an in house crew, not only does it save us money, but we don’t have to wait on availability which will make is more appealing to customers as they don’t have to wait as long.


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Kap here in Florida you have to be competitive to actually get jobs. I’ve been in this business long enough to understand mark up. I’m not in the business of paying subs 50% markup (which is going rate right now). As a small two man General Contractor it has always been easiest to sub everything, but if we have an in house crew, not only does it save us money, but we don’t have to wait on availability which will make is more appealing to customers as they don’t have to wait as long.


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I think you missed my point... your materials supplier gives you a price for their goods/services the same way a sub would... YOU charge your customer accordingly when all the costs associated for the project are itemized (which include your pay/compensation) and add a PROFIT margin which you pay your company... ALL costs go through the customer...

Nothing wrong with bringing things in-house... but there are MANY considerations in doing so as it changes the make-up of your business...

One of the things you might want to consider is the ADDED costs that you're STILL going to have to pass along to the customer (i.e. - loaded employee costs/taxes, W/C, equipment, increased business insurance, etc.)... and then there's the management of the employees and the workload progress... not to mention finding qualified employees who stick and also gel with one another... then there's fuel costs, maintaining a schedule of work to be able to keep employing them, IRS quarterly filings, accounting costs, the list goes on...

Hopefully, you have the reserves set aside (minimum of 30 days, 90 days or more ideal) to hire on a crew of employees to be in the position to pay them until they can start making you money...

Hope it all works out for you... :thumbsup:
 

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A good framing crew takes years of working together to be efficient and profitable, many GC’s have tried and failed what you are suggesting.

Take my advice, find a top crew in your area, and pay them what they bid,
Treat them as the professionals they are, pay them on time-always- and you’ll make money instead of trying to recoup your investment in startup tools, and the hours of trying to find a craftsman who can frame- they are like
unicorns anymore.

We still stick frame and hand cut all our roofs here- and there are fewer every year who can- the lumber yards and builders in the 600 to 700,000 range and under are going to panel walls and roof trusses-you don’t need framers for that, just assemblers .
1 mil and up are all stick framed
 

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Highwayman
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I know not every place is the same, but around here, if you're a "GC", and you didn't frame in-house, you wouldn't be in business.

Every specialty contractor tends to think they are God's special gift to the trade, and no one else can do it, but the fact remains, there are VERY many EXTREMELY competent builders, who self perform multiple trades, and do it well enough and fast enough to stay in business, and make good money doing it. :thumbsup:
 

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Yep, they are pushing panels to overcome wage costs and the lack of skilled framers. We just got done with a panel house, starting another this week and then two duplexes afterwards. All ZIP panelized. I'll do more panelized homes this year than I have in the last 20 years total.

The end product of these panelized homes is lesser quality too...

I prefer Rolair. Don't get the new Hitachi Metabo air hoses, unless you enjoy untangling and tripping on hose all day. Those things are practically a liability on the job. My guys won't even get it out anymore.
 

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Need a concrete fastening tool, rotary hammer drill and or 300+ psi pneumatic gun with compressor, or ramset type, for plating to concrete.

We also use multi blow joist hanger nailers along with our palm nailer.
 

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Get cordless everything that you can. The only thing I ever get a cord out for anymore is the router. And one to run to the trailer to charge all the batteries.
 

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A little off topic but aren't panelised buildings a little un-green and non energy efficient? I built my share of panel homes in the past, the smallest being 2800 sf and every time you add a panel you have double studs. Has that changed? I haven't done a panel house in many many years.
I love to frame and am good at it, the last house I just finshed up was 4600 sf and I subbed the framing out and made money doing it. In fact I am thinking of going forward to sub everything out, just have a helper to keep things cleaned up and pick up any odds and ends. The problem around here is you can't take two steps without stepping on a builder or construction truck/van.

I didn't see a saws all on the list of tools to have. You know, for all the odds and ends that need to be cut off and door plates etc.

For those of you framing strictly cordless, how are you cutting studs, headers, jacks, ripping plywood etc with a cordless skill saw? I haven't seen one yet that will stand up to a B&D Super saw cat!
 

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The panelized walls still create double stud unions but some homes are doing 2' O.C. on exterior to reduce overall studs. Some panel factories are offering ZIP sheathing with or without their 1/2-2" foam.

We use a lot of cordless but always fire up the genie for charging batteries and running our 12" chopsaw. Cordless still cant compete with production output, IMO, and especially when mass cutting studs, headers, plates, crips/jacks/laps. I have two cordless 7 1/4" 18v Milwaukee circs, one smaller and the latest larger model. The larger model works best off the 12amp batteries but we do some piece cut with the 9 amp. It has a lot of power with 12amp. If I need to rip a lot of stacked sheathing, I still go corded.

Can't beat cordless for rafter and roof work....unless your gang cutting everything.
 
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