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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Greetings CT,
This is my first post and apparently I'm still a newb after building for some time, so bear with me as I try to learn. After dealing with college, I realized I would never be able to have a desk job. I've loved building since I was a kid.

I've been building 'things' for many years, and got into residential carpentry and finish work in the last year. Previous experience includes doing complete landscape builds, fences, decks, sheds, tile installation, bath remodel, unfinished basement builds, climbing walls, stone patios, stone walls, retaining walls, flood restoration, light electrical, and probably missed a few others. I've basically worked for small companies and small wages doing a wide variety of work as a 'jack of all trades' (ie, working with the owner on a 2 man crew). Basically, you can show me something once, and I can do it pretty well. After that, I get quicker with the same process.


Cheers, TB

some old pics, going with the 'jack of all trades' theme:

1st pic, Full landscape job with retaining wall rebuild, rock and sod.
2nd pic, new bath. I helped with framing and set maybe 50% of the tile (first tile job:eek:) came out nice with the staggered pattern. I've done a few others in the last year.
3rd pic, stone and mortar retaining wall built maybe 5-6 years ago.
I'll have to get some more recent pics off my phone.
 

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Great job on the dog statue. He looks real. It can be a hard business and alot of guys think they know more than others but you just have to learn to look past it. Do what you need to do, get paid, then go home.
 

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Get on a different crew. There are guys out there who are much easier to work with. It's tough to break out of greenhorn status. Hang in there if this is what you really want to do. And get any education about building you can. I wish I had done more professional training when i was younger.

I lived on Marine St a long time ago, and could ride a wheelie on my mtn bike from the bottom of the Hill to the top.
 

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Welcome to ContractorTalk. A fair number of small construction sites are like that. Finish the job, get paid, and move on.

Where in Boulder (approximately) are you working? I have relatives there, so I'm just curious. And, is it cold enough yet?
 

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Are there a few terms in particular that keep slipping you up? Depending on your area, sometimes we call common things differently.

How about a list of the top 10 things that have baffled you as far as terminology. I'll bet we'll have those answered in less than 20 minutes for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Dude asks me how a freshly set beam looks at my end. My response, "the bottom of the beam needs to go south a bit toward the line."
His response, "use construction lingo!" (this coming from a guy that asks for something to be moved 'a scosh')

Looking at my response above, maybe I'm using too many words in my descriptions... It took me a few days looking around the place to know what they were talking about with TJ's, LSL, LVL, and RFPI. Like I said, never done a whole house build.

I'm sure I'll have more by the end of the week:rolleyes: If they keep me!
Anyway, I appreciate the support and responses.

@SFO, up off Linden in the foothills, pretty big custom house.
@Artisan, I used to live off Grandview back in my crazy days, talk about stomping grounds! And yeah, lots of busy crews around here.
 

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Dude asked for 'a' piece of 1/2 and 3/4 cut at some dimension. At this point I'm walking on egg shells anyway, and didn't want to ask what he meant by 'a' piece of 1/2 and 3/4, so I just cut him something I knew would work better (more solid blocking that would accept nails better, instead of a stupid flap). Being new at the site, I didn't know we even had 3/4" sheet material...
Dude flipped out. This was a task that I had organized and started without him, and now he's yelling cuts at me! (IMO, cantilevered ply material makes poor blocking, especially when trying to nail the full sheets to it.)


Another instance, dude asks me how a freshly set beam looks at my end. My response, "the bottom of the beam needs to go south a bit toward the line."
His response, "use construction lingo!" (this coming from a guy that asks for something to be moved 'a scosh')

Looking at my response above, maybe I'm using too many words in my descriptions... It took me a few days looking around the place to know what they were talking about with TJ's, LSL, LVL, and RFPI. Like I said, never done a whole house build.

I'm sure I'll have more by the end of the week:rolleyes: If they keep me!
Anyway, I appreciate the support and responses.

@SFO, up off Linden in the foothills, pretty big custom house.
@Artisan, I used to live off Grandview back in my crazy days, talk about stomping grounds! And yeah, lots of busy crews around here.
Part of this treatment is they are testing you, trying to bust you...

As the new guy get what is asked for not what you think they need.

Your response about the bottom of the beam sounds right off a Saturday morning DIY show...."My way a hair" or whatever fine unit of measure you are using. Scosh works just fine...

You have been "building things" for 10 years. Shouldn't be much jargon you don't know. What is RFPI?

3/4 sheet material is cabinet shop lingo...

It can be brutal for a new guy...

bark back, or bite once or twice...:laughing:
 

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Getting picked on as a greenhorn is par for course. And all of us here have been in those shoes when we first started. Hang in there. If you hustle and learn from watching you will be ok. Sense of humor goes along way. If you can make them laugh it makes the day better for all. I think you said you are trying to learn finish work. Installing crown moulding ect is not easy. Compound miter cuts then coped long to long ect. Good luck aahhh... Brings back memories of the day I was kid on crew taking all the chit :)
 

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You need to work with nicer people. These guys sound grumpy. I don't like working with grumpy people. It's non productive for them not to give you the explanation of what they want from you. It would have taken two seconds to indicate 3/4" plywood, whatever...rather than you cutting what he didn't want. And you would have then learned some lingo...productive on all sides. I believe in a cooperative work environment where all are working towards the same goal- completing a quality project, making the customer happy and getting paid. I've learned so much from my carpenter and together we have created some awesome projects. I know his lingo and he knows mine. I tell him I don't want the trim Goopy ( that's my word for over the top fancy trim) and he tells me to hand him the one-by ( that's 1x2). Oh, and Goopy is my designer language so don't use that one with the guys! Anyway, find a crew with better attitudes, it makes work so much better. Good luck
 

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You need to work with nicer people. These guys sound grumpy. I don't like working with grumpy people. It's non productive for them not to give you the explanation of what they want from you. It would have taken two seconds to indicate 3/4" plywood, whatever...rather than you cutting what he didn't want. And you would have then learned some lingo...productive on all sides. I believe in a cooperative work environment where all are working towards the same goal- completing a quality project, making the customer happy and getting paid. I've learned so much from my carpenter and together we have created some awesome projects. I know his lingo and he knows mine. I tell him I don't want the trim Goopy ( that's my word for over the top fancy trim) and he tells me to hand him the one-by ( that's 1x2). Oh, and Goopy is my designer language so don't use that one with the guys! Anyway, find a crew with better attitudes, it makes work so much better. Good luck
Seasoned guys in the field have a bit of a different way of communicating with each other than those who drive a desk.;)
 

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TB..... You just landed on a disgruntled old crew.... they are probably upset/envious/jelous you went to school.... and a little bitter.

You are probably making 2-3 bucks less then them and they've been working 30 years.... just bitter...

Griz says bite back..... I agree.

the knowledgeable guy is just good... doesn't want to upset his crew.... works and stays quiet.

That exists alot of places.... try as best to not let it bother you... if the GC is the same.... find another place/crew.

Generally, CO people are helpfull and not that way.... most of us are transplants...

If I was still building new, they would not last long on my site.

Good luck.... by the way, just a little south is not a strange term.

And for an old guy..... what is RFPI (request for proposal,,,idiot)?
 

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You referring to real estate below the belly button?...:whistling:laughing:
Well.... I'll admit.... going South has a couple of references....;)

Reminds me of the newlywed kid whose bride asked him to go South.... so he took her to Fla.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
RFPI= manufactured wood I beam used for floors and ceilings.

I do know a lot of the Jargon, and communicated just fine with other employers. Definitely a 'hazing' period going on and some ball busting.
 

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RFPI= manufactured wood I beam used for floors and ceilings.

Roseburg Forest Products Inc.
Just north of me & never seen their products here.


Seems like a bit of a power struggle, as I was hired as 'carpenter', and I'm getting chewed out by a guy with the title 'carpenter's helper'. I did organize the job at hand and get it rolling, only to have the 'lead' taken by the 'helper'. Its a bunch of BS... If he got his stuff in order as a Sub instead of hourly employee he would be making more...
How the hell did a helper "take" the lead from you?

It ain't a race....:laughing:
 

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I don't get it....

If you are the lead & have a helper why are you setting up tools & packing plywood?

You do still have your lunch money, don't you?....:whistling:laughing:
 
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