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Hanging out the shingle

mspg97's picture

 Just as the title says I am looking to start my own company.  The market I hope to tap is the general contractors that are running with small crews/solo operations that need that occasional hand to get the job done.  I am hoping to avoid the heavy work load that comes with constant bidding as I do not want to get bogged down in the pricing wars currently taking place. I know there are others guys out there doing the same thing so I am looking to find out the pitfalls of working in this manner on a day to day basis.  If you’re a contractor that uses subs in this manner I would like to know how it has worked for you and what are some of the most common problems you deal with i.e. scheduling, customers, people not showing up.

 So you have some idea where I am coming from I have been in construction for almost 20yrs.  I started out pushing a broom; I have worked on framing and remodeling crews and before the crash I had been managing large scale remodeling projects in the northeast. Any feedback would be welcome.

ms (post #205791, reply #1 of 4)

Well now, there's a new idea to me-so take this with a grain of salt.

In our relatively small market of NW Oh, I don't think I have ever heard of this being done.  Other than a specialty contractor be it counterguy, glass guy, finish stripper, shower door install..............etc.

I would think that especially now-there's plenty of day labor if necessary.  I certainly could be wrong.


My take on why I never sub'd out any work nor did I try to, from general contractors are that for the most part-those that might I had heard were slow to pay.   Do a couple days for one and then wait forever to get paid.  I framed b/4 a re-roof for a roofer that I had referred a couple times.  It took him 3 yrs to settle the 550.00 bill I gave him.  Never again.



as an aside-I lost him a whole lotta business in the 20 yrs since when people would ask me who to call for a roof..............

paybacks are a bit ch.


Best of luck in your venture.

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


There's a certain amount (post #205791, reply #2 of 4)

of that in this market, small as it is. There are guys who work solo and who make the circuit helping other solo guys or crews.

I don't hire carpentry subs due to the IRS and work comp rules around that... it's too easy to accidentally break the law and it's also very easy for me to add someone to my payroll when I need them on the job.

So, while I would not hire you as a sub, I might hire you as a well-paid temp employee if I needed the firepower. With the economy up and down and the big jobs more scarce, I scale up and down all the time.

Recommendaion (post #205791, reply #3 of 4)

Good luck starting your own business. My wife and I recently were looking into construction companies to do some door and door frame work for us. I assume you have the skills to do the work to be a contractor. What is lacking in a lot of t hese construction companies is customer service. We had guys from ?  in Miami do the work we needed, but they did the work in a way that has left an impression on us. They did an entire estamate for free and also shared what a few other competitors would charge (some lower) but they persuaded us that they would do the work the best. That was good enough for me, and now we are happy they were the contrators we contacted. So be sure to put your best face first, and let your work follow. Good Luck.


edit:   Someone deleted the shameless spam address I tried to post in the body of this message.