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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Been lurking for a while and finally decided to join up.

I'm a former IT manager who suffered from Office Space syndrome and decided to leave cubicle hell for good. I've always enjoyed building things - woodworking is a hobby- and after two years of self-imposed "sabbatical" (best two years ever) I went back to work part-time and became a carpenter's apprentice in the union.

I completed my apprenticeship focusing primarily on commercial door & hardware installation, metal stud framing & drywall. Once I became a journeyman and had run enough jobs for other people, I realized the only way I could run the jobs efficiently and with the personnel I thought were worthwhile was to start my own company.

Ironically, this economic crisis has in some ways helped my fledgeling business. Since there are only a handful of union companies that compete for door & hardware contracts in my area, and since I worked for both of my main competitors for years, I have the knowledge and ability to be extremely competitive in price at a time when my competitors are still trying to figure out how to deal with the decrease in job volume.

Also, since a lot of the good carpenters I worked with have sporadic work, or no work, they are more available to my company than they would have been a year ago.

Currently we make our bread and butter doing commercial door & hardware installation - it's what we know and do best, but we are slowly moving into the residential remodel market out of both necessity (a way to keep working between commercial contracts) and desire (I enjoy residential remodel work more than commercial).

Ultimately, we'd like to grow into a company that focuses primarily on unique, custom homes based on green/sustainable building techniques and materials. I want to be the guy designing and building the tamped earth homes with passive solar heating/cooling, the super-insulated homes with green eco-roofs, etc. It's going to be a long hard road, but it's going to be a great feeling if I can get there.

This site has been a great resource for information (and humor), so I look forward to participating by asking lots of dumb questions and getting lots of sarcastic replies with a sprinkling of meaningful advice. But right now I have to go finish my first full kitchen remodel.
 

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Sawdust Sweeper
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690 Posts
Glad to have more contractors representing the great state of Washington! Where do you hail from?
 
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