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View Full Version : Just spitballing here



Cuda
12-12-2006, 02:07 PM
I've been a tile contractor for 24 years. The last ten years, I've done mainly McDonald's work (95%). McD has pulled the plug on all the projects they had in planning and permitting. I haven't had a crew out in over a month. I've thought about going back into doing residential remodel work, which I hate, but I think I'm getting too old to work more than four or five hours on my knees, and by the third day, I probably could barely walk.

Anyway, there are so many homeowners who want to do their own tile, to save money. I was thinking of running an ad, helping people with layout, lending all the tools they need, and being available when they run across something they don't know how to do. I have enough tools to run three to five jobs at the same time.

Do you think this concept would work?

glashole
12-12-2006, 02:20 PM
what about a "consultant" who is also a distributer/wholesaler seeing as how you probably have contacts in the tile industry

you could also rent out the equipment :)

just a thought

Shea

penbroke
12-12-2006, 02:34 PM
Something like that would be great from the DIY point of view. I know I sure could have used ya a couple years ago. I'm not sure if you could make enough to support your habits though...


Frank

Cuda
12-12-2006, 03:07 PM
what about a "consultant" who is also a distributer/wholesaler seeing as how you probably have contacts in the tile industry
you could also rent out the equipment :)
just a thought
Shea
If they buy from one of the major tile distributors, I have accounts with all of them, and I get about 30% off retail. I would buy the tile on my account, and arrange delivery if they want it. I plan on renting the equipment with my services. I'd sell my service on an ala carte basis. Pay for what you want me to do, and handle all you want to do. Of coures, once they give up, they would have the option of hiring us to do the entire job, or finish what they started, if it's not too far gone.

millhouse961
12-12-2006, 03:45 PM
I think you have some potential insurance issues with renting your equipment out. If someone uses your stuff and cuts off their hand or something, that could be a big mess for you. Why dont you take on the residential jobs and hire some young guys to do the work while you supervise?

Schnook
12-12-2006, 03:50 PM
I think it would be great even as a side business during good times. Make sure you think through the liability issues that putting cutting tools in the hands of strangers could bring. Someone's always looking for an easy buck or 50,000.

glashole
12-12-2006, 04:00 PM
if you rent anything there is obviously the waiver that says "if you are an idiot it is not our fault"

it goes without saying :)

glashole
12-12-2006, 04:06 PM
I would use your discounts and tell customers any tile they can get from a consumer outlet (like Home Depot) you can sell them at 15% - 20% off "depending on the product"

wholesale the product to them and let them give you the prices they get

In my business (windows) our regular retail is almost 20% below what the big box stores sell for

Cuda
12-12-2006, 04:12 PM
One of the first things I show a green helper is that a tile saw won't cut you. I turn it on, and hold my finger to it. You figure rental places rent things a helluva lot more dangerous than a tile saw.

Cuda
12-12-2006, 04:13 PM
I would use your discounts and tell customers any tile they can get from a consumer outlet (like Home Depot) you can sell them at 15% - 20% off "depending on the product"
wholesale the product to them and let them give you the prices they get
In my business (windows) our regular retail is almost 20% below what the big box stores sell for
Any stuff the HD sells, I can't buy cheaper than they do.

glashole
12-12-2006, 04:29 PM
One of the first things I show a green helper is that a tile saw won't cut you. I turn it on, and hold my finger to it. You figure rental places rent things a helluva lot more dangerous than a tile saw.

thats the same thing as a glass saw or glass cutter

I do the same thing

gcarter
12-12-2006, 04:50 PM
So when is MD gonna get cranked up again? They can't stay dormant for long.

Cuda
12-12-2006, 05:28 PM
So when is MD gonna get cranked up again? They can't stay dormant for long.
I emailed the boss man for the GC I work for. He says he doesn't see anything happening until March. :(

tmdog
12-12-2006, 05:32 PM
[
QUOTE=Cuda;396768]I've been a tile contractor for 24 years.


If you have been in the tile business that long, you know the answer.:confused:

Carl C
12-12-2006, 05:38 PM
I doubt that would work out, Cuda. I know 2 other tile guys who are now not young enough to work on their knees and bent over like that. And it's really hard to find help who can do good work. I also out grew my career (auto mechanic) but was able to start a new business in retail. Good luck to you.

BigGrizzly
12-12-2006, 06:48 PM
Cuda, It all depends on the area your in. Warmer climates do better with home do it your selfers. I think its worth a try, all you loose is a little time.

Schnook
12-12-2006, 07:02 PM
One of the first things I show a green helper is that a tile saw won't cut you. I turn it on, and hold my finger to it. You figure rental places rent things a helluva lot more dangerous than a tile saw.
Wow, didn't know that.

Schnook
12-12-2006, 07:06 PM
if you rent anything there is obviously the waiver that says "if you are an idiot it is not our fault"
it goes without saying :)
Tell that to the people who put 'not responsible for damage or theft' signs on their paid parking lots.

Cuda
12-12-2006, 07:39 PM
Cuda, It all depends on the area your in. Warmer climates do better with home do it your selfers. I think its worth a try, all you loose is a little time.
That's what I figure. There's a little local fishwrap they circulate around here. There are five guys advertising in there this week. I doubt it cost much to run an ad, and that's all I'd have invested in it. If I get calls to do the entire job, I can get guys to help me with that too.

Cuda
12-12-2006, 08:01 PM
Cuda, you wan to discuss the ins and outs of renting equipment, buzz me anytime.. I am a pimp ya know :) :) :yes:
I'll do that if I go this route.

You don't need to open a NE Florida location do you.:wink: :)

vonkamp
12-12-2006, 08:06 PM
I've never done any tile work before but love good tilework and unusual tiles. I think you are on to something and I would probably be a customer. Also, kitchen tile backsplashes are really popular and people are paying big bucks for that (and keep you above floor level).
Do you do artistic tile? a good friend of mine does some really unique tile work on the side. He did this Geko out of broken tiles in the foyer of this house. I think he told me the people paid him like 5k to do that. I'll get a pic next time I go to Sarasota.
Good luck, I think you can make it work. :yes:
Barry

Cuda
12-12-2006, 08:10 PM
I had some really cool pictures of some mosaics we have done out of broken tile. If I can get someone to draw it, I can tile it. I have absolutely no artistic ability. :(

p729lws
12-12-2006, 08:39 PM
Sounds like you're working with one GC that has an in with the corporate Ronald guys? Why not find some work with some other GC's to keep your crews busy when Ronald's not building?

22billyzx
12-12-2006, 10:07 PM
I`m in the drywall biz (30yrs),and alot of people think they can make it look good. They`re are tricks to every trade,and having the proper tools is a must. I have always done residential,and it can get quite competitive,especially when things slow down. I thought about a video for homeowners.....drywall for dummies....what ya think?

gold-n-rod
12-12-2006, 10:19 PM
I`m in the drywall biz (30yrs),and alot of people think they can make it look good. They`re are tricks to every trade,and having the proper tools is a must. I have always done residential,and it can get quite competitive,especially when things slow down. I thought about a video for homeowners.....drywall for dummies....what ya think?

Hah. It's like watching porno..... never the same as the real thing. I've read and looked at more "how to" material about finishing drywall. Yet, when it come to doing it, it's practice, practice, practice. I can NEVER get it to look like you pros do. The "drywall for dummies" book would have to be at least 26 volumes big..... just like the encyclopedia.

Cuda
12-12-2006, 10:32 PM
Sounds like you're working with one GC that has an in with the corporate Ronald guys? Why not find some work with some other GC's to keep your crews busy when Ronald's not building?
That's what I've been doing. The problem is, most gc's have the same subs they use for years, just like mine did. They know what they are getting. I'm just kicking around of something different. I've been sending out quite a few bids, but they are generally projects that are in planning or permitting, which would take a couple months before they are ready for tile.

p729lws
12-12-2006, 11:28 PM
That's what I've been doing. The problem is, most gc's have the same subs they use for years, just like mine did. They know what they are getting. I'm just kicking around of something different. I've been sending out quite a few bids, but they are generally projects that are in planning or permitting, which would take a couple months before they are ready for tile.

Keep working all the GC's you can and follow up on all those quotes and I bet something will come through. It's a matter of time until one of those GC's gets pissed at their "favorite" tile guy and decides to see how green the grass is on the other side of the fence. Your the kind of guy the GC's will come back to after you do that first job with them.

Diversity is the key in the contracting, sales and consulting engineering gigs. Its only a matter of time before the restaurant, military, condo, single family residential, school, commercial or industrial construction markets go dormant for a while.