Hiring a contractor to work on your home is one of life’s necessary evils and is pretty much unavoidable. My heart has a permanent ache for everyone from Albany to Zambia, that has to make that dreaded call for home project. After almost 20 years in the building and remodeling business I have learned 1 thing and 1 thing only. Keep your eyes open! No matter who comes through … [Read more...] about You’re a fool if you hire this contractor!
In my business of custom home building and design build remodeling, everything has been done. From the granite counter tops and stainless steel to the shabby chic reclaimed pallet coffee table in the Soho loft with exposed brick, it’s all been done, over and over again. For the last 40 years we have watched the process unfold. Starting with The PBS “This Old House” TV show … [Read more...] about Nothing New Under The Sun
“Empty lake, empty streets, the sun goes down alone. I'm driving by your house, though I know, you're not home”Don Henley- "Boys of Summer" This is what comes to mind when I think back to last week. Driving into work and back each day. The highways, streets and stores are empty. The machine is shutting down. Not unlike my $2000 lawnmower in my garage that died last year … [Read more...] about Classified Listing: Country for sale, not running, 90% off OBO. Must pick up. Cash only.
I remember Zig Ziglar saying that an airplane breaks down faster when it stays grounded opposed to being in constant service. I was reminded of this fact again, while following recent stories surrounding the problems with the Boeing 737 and how even when the issues are fixed, all the planes will have a whole new set of problems from being on the ground for too long. I mentioned … [Read more...] about 2 Roads Diverged….Behind The Gym
When I chose to leave professional baseball behind 18 years ago and start my 2nd life as a carpenter and contractor, I really had no idea what I was getting myself into, let alone any real idea of HOW to run my business. My only background in construction watching This old house and a handful of sod and sprinkler installation jobs I had as a teenager in, Glendale CA. Now, … [Read more...] about Kinda Like The Pete Rose of Contracting…
As we enter the final month of 2019, I am again amazed at how time continues to fly by. The end of the year is a month away and the books will close and the report cards will be issued. How well did I do? Not just in my business, but in all the orange Homer buckets that hold my life? Work, family, health, finance, etc. I want to get a head start on closing out the year by … [Read more...] about 2020 All Clear Ahead
As we gather around our collective tables this holiday season, many of us will remember the old adage that "You can't choose your family" so even though you didn't get to pick the family you were born into, you do have a choice when it comes to selecting a general contractor for your next project. We contractors come in all shapes and sizes just as the family around your … [Read more...] about Contractor Hell and Homeowner Purgatory
The list of “to do’s” in the life of an owner operator contractor can seem endless and many day’s you might want to curl up into a ball and suck your thumb, while Pink Floyd’s "Comfortably Numb" plays on loop inside your over saturated brain. Friday's we don’t have that luxury and somehow we muster up the courage to soldier on and close down the week with a little bit of order … [Read more...] about The 3 Things Contractors Must do Every Friday
James Lawrence aka The Iron Cowboy I watched “Iron Cowboy” the other day. For those of you not in the know, this is a documentary about James Lawrence and his attempt at a 50/50/50 which was to complete the equivalent of 50 Ironman triathlons, in 50 states in 50 days. 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, topped off with a 26.2 mile marathon, every single day, for 50 straight … [Read more...] about Is Your Business Made of Iron or Glass?
Everything I know about business, I learned from Mike Mulligan Mike ran a small excavating business, many years ago in a big city (I don’t exactly remember which one) and then ended his career in the town of Popperville. He interacted with countless customers and worked alongside other contractors, where he was on sites that varied from residential houses, to large … [Read more...] about Everything I Know About Business, I Learned From Mike Mulligan
Dishington Construction circa 2004 What type of contractor should you hire for your next remodeling project? This may not be a question that you even thought needed to be asked, but believe me, it does. Remodeling contractors come in many shapes and styles and unless you know what they are, you will be rolling the dice on who you end up with and ultimately the quality of … [Read more...] about Chuck & His Truck
I’ve always wanted to sail the 7 seas. I used to watch Pippi Longstocking and Swiss Family Robinson shows as a kid and imagined life on some distant South Pacific island. Then when I was 20, I found the book Dove, in some second hand book store in South Carolina. Dove, is the real life story of Robin Grahams' journey of sailing around the world at age 16. To this day, that is … [Read more...] about Pirates of The Home Depot
Success obtained on an easy road will not last and will not bring fulfillment. I recently attended a weekend football camp in Orlando with my 16 year old son put on by @NFA Quarterback Camps. We attended in Boston last year, where I learned that the camp is much more than just the fundamentals of football. The leadership make it very clear that their values center around the … [Read more...] about Suffering Before Success
Being a homeowner today and needing a contractor for any type of job, for lack of a better word, sucks. The cost of remodeling today is sky high and the pool of quality contractors, available to perform the work you need is drying up daily. I feel sorry for anyone, that has to cast their net into this deep blue ocean of tradespeople and see what type of catch they pull in. … [Read more...] about 12 Red Flags to Spot a Bad Contractor
If you are anything like me, you probably started your own contracting business because you didn’t want to work for someone else. You wanted the autonomy to control your days and make all the decisions. In other words, you wanted freedom. The irony however, is that self employment and freedom are sometimes worlds apart. Although you are free in how you choose to handle the … [Read more...] about Run Your Contracting Business on Process, Not Feelings.
Why are you in business? Regardless of whether you hate your job and drag your ass to work or jump out of bed at 4:30 every morning like it’s Christmas, your goal at the end of the day, is to make money. Yet most contractors stink when it comes to all matters pertaining to capital. We can’t estimate, budget, save, job cost, pay taxes, pay vendors, pay subs or pay ourselves with … [Read more...] about A Successful Contracting Business Starts With Understanding Overhead
If you are considering a home remodeling project, whether a large addition or a small bathroom remodel, the cost is probably your biggest deterrent from actual getting started. The cost of renovating your home has never been more expensive and the short supply and high demand for skilled workers in the building trades has been the biggest factor. As the availability of skilled … [Read more...] about 10 Ways to Save You Money on Your Next Remodeling Project
I've been married for almost as long as I’ve been a contractor and like both endeavors they have their ups and downs and require constant work and adjustment in order to keep them running smoothly. I Recently came across an article titled 40 Things Husbands Should Stop Doing. The list was eye opening and humbling as I reflected upon my role as husband and how many things on … [Read more...] about 15 Things Contractors Should Stop Doing
My friend Andrew wants to build a passive income stream. He's read countless books, attended seminars on how to create unlimited wealth and he has even tried following the false prophets of prosperity who either offer life on a tropical beach for only 4 hours of work per week or promise, you too can flip houses in your spare time. Yet, something was still holding him back from … [Read more...] about Write Your own Passive Income Story
One recent morning I emailed a trade partner of mine and asked if he had a moment to talk about an upcoming project. He runs a small plumbing shop and does a nice little business with several employees. I hadn't heard back from him by the afternoon, so I sent him a text asking if he had a minute to chat. He texted back several hours later with, “I'm afraid not, call me … [Read more...] about Don’t be that Guy
If you are a contractor or in the building trades and you don’t own investment property, you’re an idiot. Working inside and out of buildings every day as your primary job, regardless of your particular trade gives you a distinct advantage over the average real estate investor and if you are not leveraging this advantage then you are missing out. Your ability to work with your … [Read more...] about The Contractor’s Advantage with Investment Real Estate