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While making strides to bolster the residential side of my company in both gas, and soon, water heater sales and installs, I've also been trying to break into the commercial side of gas plumbing. Unfortounately, I've Been getting totally stonewalled.

The fact that every general wants a mechanical contractor who will handle not only the gas, but also all plumbing and HVAC on basically every commercial job I come across leaves me looking to sub from a mechanical contractor. Obviously the problem has been the fact that they bid it because they actually want to do the work, not to just piece it out.

This leaves me with the option to either abandon the idea of getting into the commercial side, or bidding the entire mechanical portion of a job. These being my only two options, eventually, I will pick option two. My question is... does anyone with any experience in mechanical contracting have any advice for me as I begin putting together the framework for that side of my business?

Sorry for the long drawn out post, thanks for your time.
 

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dont be so quick to jump from the pan into the fire, comm work is complex and involves quite a bit of thinking.

Next chance you get stop by any commercial boiler room and just try to bid it, thinking of all the aspects. Electrical, plumbing,boilers, HWH, sheet metal, drywall, paint.

To jump from resi to comm, is not just a step. Its a jump.

BJD
 

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Thanks for the response. I totally agree with you about how complicated this can be. Honestly, what I want to do is use an estimator for doing bids, and am in the process of looking for a "hired gun" type of mechanical guy that would be willing to work with us job by job as we get them. I may be way off the mark with this, but in theory, it seems like the best way to branch into this type of work.
 

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DGR,IABD
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There are three large mechanical contractors in my area. One got into commercial work by being in business almost 100 years and adding to their workforce over that time until they had enough in-house skill and manpower to do commercial mechanical contracting.

The other two are interesting. A VERY LARGE mechanical contractor went bankruupt 20 odd years ago, and these other two had enough foresight to pick up almost every one of the bankrupt firm's employees and bought most of the firms equipment at the bankruptcy sale. Sort of gave them both an instant start into commercial mechanical contracting.

My opinion only.... unless you have or can get some very experienced commerical guys on your payroll, you're just spinning your wheels and wishing. You need to add to your workforce slowly over time, or pirate a few hotshots from other local firms. (and get more equipment from somewhere). You can't build a commercial business with resi guys or guys from Labor Ready.
 
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