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Contractors, An Educational Series

By Author: Unknown Member
Total Articles: 78

This is my first foray into the blogosphere. After 30+ years in residential contracting in one form or another I have finally put pen to paper (well sort of) in an attempt to share information & educate whomever cares or is intrigued to learn more about contractors.
Us contractors are an eclectic lot, each with his/her own style & talents that get used and shared with clients. We not only make a living doing this but we also enjoy it at one level or another. We perform different trades but ultimately we are the same at the core. Personally I view contracting as an art form, it’s a way for me to express my creativity in all aspects of the endeavor. Whether it is maximizing efficiency of my crew or building a quick scaffold for a high ridge roof frame install, the freedom and mental creativity in achieving a contracting goal is ever changing and a continuing challenge everyday….all day. On top of all of that, another attractive quality of being a contractor is that we are on different job sites interacting with different people for our entire careers, that variety is very appealing.


I think I speak for most contractors when I say, We can’t imagine working with the same people everyday doing the same job & tasks everyday with little room for creativity and even less reward for effort. There is a trade off for this freedom and I think it was captured in a phrase my Dad once shared with me one day as he was describing the life of a tradesman. He said, “the tradesman starts everyday off at zero”. In other words, you don’t get paid unless you produce. Unlike your typical corporate salaried job where the checks keep coming, where there are sick days and “bennies” (benefits), the tradesman knows not of this world. I guess that is what I truly love about it, I love being around these people because of all of that. Think of the modern baseball player or athlete who gets the big contract as compared to the kid who is on a 1 year contract, nothing guaranteed, struggling, putting it all on the line, who would you rather watch??


Most of the following will be strictly “my opinion”, I can’t and won’t produce any documentation or statistics to prove my opinions. The opinions are based on years & years of real world experience ranging from hands on experiences as a carpenter to operations & dealings as a subcontractor & General Contractor. A lot of what I will share will be my frustrations with “the way it is”.


My plan is to create a series of blog posts that addresses such topics as:
• My personal story of 30 years in the trades
• How a contractor comes into existence
• The training & educational requirements for a typical tradesman & General Contractor
• The licensing & insurances requirements, how contractors comply with them
• What functions a contractor performs & how he/she calculates prices
• Where contractors make mistakes and fall short
• How to identify a good contractor
• And more…….

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