Contractor Talk - Professional Construction and Remodeling Forum banner

1 - 20 of 48 Posts

·
Administrator
Community Manager
Joined
·
5,077 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
ct-tips.jpg

What tips have you learned in your experience as a contractor that you wish you knew earlier? What simple things do you do that save you time, effort, money, or just makes life easier for you?

Let's learn from each other and share our tips! To keep this thread going come back each day to share a tip and read the latest posts.
 

·
Administrator
Maker of Fine Sawdust
Joined
·
51,695 Posts
Always use a detailed contract for every job. Especially when you have discussed multiple options, people tend to remember what they want. The detailed contract keeps both parties honest.
 

·
Administrator
Maker of Fine Sawdust
Joined
·
51,695 Posts
When shooting with a nail gun keep your fingers/hand away from the area at least the length of the nail you are shooting.
 

·
Radical Basement Dweller
Joined
·
25,844 Posts
Before investing too much time in estimates and such, try to get an idea of the customer's budget for the project.

If a customer is thinking a $5000.00 job will only cost $500...a waste of everyone's time may be in the immediate future.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Cricket

·
Administrator
Maker of Fine Sawdust
Joined
·
51,695 Posts
If you shoot a nail and it doesn't sink in, remove the rack from the gun and reposition the gun over the proud nail and shoot again. It should sink it below the surface.

Or use a spring punch if you have it.
 

·
Administrator
Maker of Fine Sawdust
Joined
·
51,695 Posts
Your gut is something you should listen to most times.
 

·
Kowboy
Joined
·
2,265 Posts
Life isn't fair. You will be given several painful a$$-whuppin's in business. Do not fight them. Keep them to a minimum, man up, and move on.
 

·
Contractor of the Month
Joined
·
26,075 Posts
Read the quantity column of your bid before you email it off, sometimes your dumb ass can forget a 0 after the other numbers and you end up buying the client a nice system.
 

·
Contractor of the Month
Joined
·
26,075 Posts
Always be on time, and if you can't be on time be early.
No, if you can't be on time call them and tell them you are running late. I showed up to a job early once because it was booked at 10 and I thought it was booked at 9. After ringing the doorbell and waiting a few minutes the client answered the door and boy was he mad. I apologized and said I would come back in an hour and he said "don't bother you're here now".

I have no idea what I interrupted but he sure wasn't happy about it.:laughing:
 

·
Radical Basement Dweller
Joined
·
25,844 Posts
Yup...if I'm literally running 60 seconds late...I call. Everyone appreciates it and it gets you some points.
 

·
Contractor of the Month
Joined
·
26,075 Posts
Yup...if I'm literally running 60 seconds late...I call. Everyone appreciates it and it gets you some points.
I believe in a 15 min window, if I'm later than 15 minutes I will call. If you can't wait 15 min, then you are far too impatient and I don't wanna deal with you.
 

·
Radical Basement Dweller
Joined
·
25,844 Posts
Firm handshakes and eye contact goes a long way also.
Nobody is expecting any of us to speak like an English teacher but proper grammar is important. I seen that for myself.
 

·
Radical Basement Dweller
Joined
·
25,844 Posts
I believe in a 15 min window, if I'm later than 15 minutes I will call. If you can't wait 15 min, then you are far too impatient and I don't wanna deal with you.
I think that's way too long. If you said you were going to be there at 10 AM and it's 10:14 with no phone call...you've started out your relationship with a lie.
Not good.

Many people might be happy you are running late...getting out of the shower...bathroom visit, etc. Telling them you are late and will be there in 10 minutes gives them a heads-up.
 

·
water re-locater
Joined
·
7,511 Posts
Yup...if I'm literally running 60 seconds late...I call. Everyone appreciates it and it gets you some points.
I actually park a few blocks away and call and tell them im going to be a few min late every now and then even though i could have been on time. I agree with the butt kissing points. Add that to a brief" thank you for letting me bid on project" in the email body and hopefully everything combined helps with the sale.
 

·
Radical Basement Dweller
Joined
·
25,844 Posts
When doing a job with many tools out, when done with it carry it back to the truck. Never walk out with your hands free! There is trash/something to carry. Saves time at quitting time!
I'm a [STRIKE]brown-nosing type[/STRIKE] complete gentleman...I bring in their trash can if it's been emptied and get the newspaper if it's in the driveway.
 

·
Administrator
Maker of Fine Sawdust
Joined
·
51,695 Posts
I call before I leave and tell them it should take me such and such a time to get there. If there is traffic involved I'll mention it just in case I get held up. It gives them a heads up I'm on my way and more of a definite time for my arrival.

As much as I'd like to be a Marine and knock on the door just as the second hand hits 12, I'm a contractor and there is more than enough wrenches in the gears during the normal day to have to figure out how to be perfectly on time.
 

·
Head Light Bulb Changer
Joined
·
847 Posts
Always -

Do WHAT you say, WHEN you say you're going to do it.

I follow the '10 and 10 rule'. Don't be more than 10 minutes early and call if you're going to be more than 10 minutes late. I try to be early. I will park and wait down the street until the appointed time.

Keep your fingers away from the business end of a nail gun, saw, router, etc.

Have an iron-clad contract.

Document EVERYTHING. I have a manilla folder for every job, no matter how small, and everything get notated.

Keep your vehicle clean (outside is most important) and yourself groomed. Presentation is half the battle and you don't get a second chance to make a good first impression.

Don't kick homeowners children (unless absolutely necessary) :laughing:

Act like you know what you're doing. There is always Google if you don't know WTF you're dealing with.

There's more, but that's all I feel like sharing :rolleyes:
 
1 - 20 of 48 Posts
Top