Finding general contractor.

Hilljackoutlaw

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Jan 15, 2019
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The one red flag, and a reason you may not be getting calls back is "So we have a few projects going on at the house that I have taken as far as I will take them." About the last thing I want to deal with is a homeowner who has done a bunch of work (reality is there's good chance we'll be tearing most of that out) and they're not going to want to hear that. And again, remember our phones ring 20x per day (while we're dangling from a ladder). So before you make that call think hard before you leave that message saying what you NEED from the GC on the end of the line.
I dont say that on the phone...haha. thats like asking to not be called back. Nothing will be getting ripped out either, I'm not a wannabe contractor I do things that I know I can do correctly, but I can see how a GC would probably assume that most people probably don't know what their doing.
 

Gerald Martin

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The only thing worse than being a customer trying to find a GC is being a GC and trying to find subs when the subs you were counting on to do a job decide they have enough work already and don’t want to come through on their verbal commitments.
 

Hilljackoutlaw

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Jan 15, 2019
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The only thing worse than being a customer trying to find a GC is being a GC and trying to find subs when the subs you were counting on to do a job decide they have enough work already and don’t want to come through on their verbal commitments.
And of course the customer does not give two shits about your problems when you have a sub ditch on you. Viscious cycle...
 

Gerald Martin

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And in this environment a sub who picks and chooses can’t be written off because you might need him in the future.

For someone in the trades with competence and a willingness to work, the construction world is your oyster right now.
 

Sytes

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Sep 25, 2009
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Location
Montana
Have a master bathroom plywood floors with electrical and plumbing run... needs rerouting to some degree.

BIL is a general who went strictly framing - he's not a people person but a darn good framer.

He's tried finding quality workers to moonlight and it's a flat out no go there as well. Flathead Valley, MT is flat out booming and according to him he's solid through August next year.

Amazing...

Any flathead Valley electricians, plumbers, tile guys who seek some added moonlight work... we have it for ya. PM if your a credible person. Our family's chalk full in the field and everyone knows everyone. If not or from another state, not interested - thanks.
 

noharleyyet

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Nov 15, 2004
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TEXAS
The only thing worse than being a customer trying to find a GC is being a GC and trying to find subs when the subs you were counting on to do a job decide they have enough work already and don’t want to come through on their verbal commitments.
Gerald we (subs) have written commitments from material vendors that currently aren't worth flatulence in a whirlwind...
 

Steiny

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Sep 4, 2003
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672
Location
North Central, IN (the corn belt)
I was an industrial general contractor my entire career and recognize the value a good contractor brings to a project. We own two out of state properties, one was built from scratch, the other has seen quite a bit of remodeling. If I don't already have a relationship, here is how I do it.

Call the best / biggest, locally owned lumberyard in the area (not Lowes, Menards or Home Depot) and ask to talk to whoever handles commercial sales to contractors. When that person picks up, I explain to them who I am, where I'm at and what kind of project I have coming up. I then tell him I called because I need the name of a good reliable contractor or two I could call to do my project. Also make it a point to let them know I don't care about low price, I want someone solid, that pays their bills and can get the job done for me. This usually gets me a number or two of "pre-screened" contractors to call rather than going through an internet or yellow page search. If I have to leave a message I make sure to tell them Bill over at XXX Lumberyard said I should call you.

When I get said contractor on the line, I go through my story again explaining that he came as a good reference, I'm not looking for a low bidder just someone that does good work, will be fair and honest, does what they say they're going to do, then see if he shows any interest. If he's interested, then we start talking about the project. I also give them an opportunity to first give me a ballpark +/- 20% guestimate on my project cost so I don't waste a bunch of their time estimating something over my budget. If the guestimate sounds doable, we start sweating the details and getting down to firm numbers. I also tell them I'm willing to pay for their time estimating, should the project fall through for some reason. If you get this far and get to a price you're happy with the rest will work itself out, just come up with a progress billing plan you can both agree on.

What you need to understand is that contractors are constantly getting their time wasted by people that think they need multiple bids on everything, want to be their own GC, and think they know a heck of a lot more than they do. Time they spend chasing these dead end deals is time wasted where they could have been caring for paying clients, and it is taking money out of their pockets.

In this day and age with material shortages; people not wanting to work, etc., any contractor worth a hoot has plenty of work booked up. They don't need to waste their time being one of 3-4 bids to someone looking for a low price.
 

Hilljackoutlaw

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Jan 15, 2019
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Finally found a GE. One of my customers is one. Talked to him today while doing some work for him. Might be up to 4 months out but I'm on his list and in line. Thats all I was asking for from somebody.
To be clear to the guys on here thinking I was just looking for bids that was not at all what I was doing. The first guy with at least one functioning brain cell and a hammer to show up or call back was getting the job. There is no excuse for not showing up and not calling or texting I don't care how busy you are. I have 25-35 appointments everyday if I can't make it I call. You know how many calls I made cause I couldn't make it cause I had to meet a GE that no showed and never called? A lot...so spare me the wasting their time schpeel. It's part of the job to give bids.
 

Gellar

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Jan 31, 2014
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The Driftless Area
One of the biggest headaches when we were building was to get contractors to call you back. It didn’t matter what kind of contractor they were either. I was in the mindset if I was spending that kind of money with your outfit I gave them one chance and I wasn’t going to hound them over and over for a quote.
 

Gunner46

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Dec 6, 2003
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Location
Frigid Ohio
Call the chamber of commerce in your locality. Ask them to provide you some solo independents doing business for the work you need done. There are some Great people out there, trying to start up a career, and family, that get little recognition.

I was there many, many moons ago. I worked my way 100% debt free through college by hammering my thumb, instead of a nail, Scrapping & Painting a 3 story house, next job, next job.

You got your $$$ worth because I was local and my family would bear the report of my quality of work......
 
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