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Old 05-14-2009, 07:55 AM
 
Location: Montana
193 posts, read 408,040 times
Reputation: 86

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Just kicking around ideas here. We may be moving as soon as this fall and I would like to stay self employed. I have all the tools and I am well versed in carpentry, plumbing, electrical, mechanical and light escavation (have a small skidsteer). Have done everything from replacing a storm door to remodels up to 5400 sq ft. I am thinking of setting up a small enclosed trailer with all my tools and offering to do home repair, light remodels etc for a good price. This would be a second income so I would not need a huge per hr wage. I am aware of all the people of these kind of trades that are looking for work right now, but do you think there would be work in the more rural areas or smaller towns once I earned a good reputation??

Please give me your opinions.

Thanks!
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Old 05-14-2009, 10:04 AM
 
Location: Larkspur, CO
189 posts, read 716,648 times
Reputation: 72
Get yourself licensed/bonded, do a quality job and get some word of mouth about your work and I'm sure you'd have plenty of work. If you have a "portfolio" of previous work that show off your skills, that would help too.
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Old 05-14-2009, 10:13 AM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
7,544 posts, read 12,612,957 times
Reputation: 2954
What mthawki said. Also, I'd make a point of bidding by the job, not charging by the hour. One of the problems with the handyman industry is that when paid by the hour, you get slow-moving workman syndrome. I've learned to get a flat fee for a job quoted up front and make 'em stick to it. In fact one of the reasons I picked the roofing company I did (a one-man band who does everything from 5-minute fixes to complete construction) was because he quoted me a total price and didn't argue about piddly stuff that went a little beyond what he expected. He did good work, and he'll get my next home repair job, too.
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Old 05-14-2009, 10:14 AM
 
Location: Montana
193 posts, read 408,040 times
Reputation: 86
Agreed, Thanks! Here is one for the portfolio.. Pretty much needed a complete make over. Was a great home when done.






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Old 05-14-2009, 10:22 AM
 
Location: Montana
193 posts, read 408,040 times
Reputation: 86
Here would be another....






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Old 05-14-2009, 11:47 AM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
7,544 posts, read 12,612,957 times
Reputation: 2954
That top one looks like it started life as a kit house (my own house is a U-Build-It kit from 1956!) Sure cleaned up nice. Yep, that's the sort of thing that makes a good portfolio. Interior shots, especially bathrooms, kitchens, and entryways, are also excellent.

Nowadays you can string up a basic website and save the cost of printing brochures, too.

Just for a reference on what that will cost for the basics, I use 1&1 for my major hosting, I don't even have the cheapest package and it costs me all of $5/month for more space than most people would ever need, even for tons of photos.
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Old 05-14-2009, 12:12 PM
 
Location: Montana
193 posts, read 408,040 times
Reputation: 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reziac View Post
That top one looks like it started life as a kit house (my own house is a U-Build-It kit from 1956!) Sure cleaned up nice. Yep, that's the sort of thing that makes a good portfolio. Interior shots, especially bathrooms, kitchens, and entryways, are also excellent..
Actually it was a stick built and was an awesome home on 40 acreas to begin with. It had a great pond in back too. One older gentleman owned it and could not keep up. After he left I bought it and rolled up my sleeves. It was one of the most enjoyable I have done. Definatly brought it back from the dead. Complete refurbish in and out. The new owners love it and it is an awesome aceage.

Thanks for the website idea. That would be great as I have tons of photo's of finished projects.

.
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Old 05-14-2009, 12:27 PM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
7,544 posts, read 12,612,957 times
Reputation: 2954
40 acres and a pond.. I'll be right over!

Kit houses ARE regular stickbuilt houses -- you just ordered everything as a kit, pre-cut and labeled so anyone halfway handy could knock one together. The trusses came intact and everything else came as parts and pieces. You would never know that mine was a kit except the original owners got a building permit (even tho it wasn't necessary in 1956) and the permit records that it was a "U-Build-It" kit -- which cost all of $5000!

You can tell with mine that they neglected to use levels when setting the frame -- a number of walls slope in contrary directions. You can't see it (unless you're really looking and have a good eye) but if you put a square up to the wall, then you can see that they slant this way and that!

If you have a Sears kit house or barn, especially one from about 1910 or before, the Historical Register wants to hear from you. Sears kit houses are considered historically valuable. They can be identified by a brand and datestamp burned into one of the trusses.
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Old 05-14-2009, 01:42 PM
 
989 posts, read 3,133,389 times
Reputation: 632
Quote:
Originally Posted by Broz View Post
I am thinking of ... offering to do home repair, light remodels etc for a good price. This would be a second income so I would not need a huge per hr wage.
For a second income thing you could do pretty well. If it were a primary income thing I would say definitely not. Your main target area would probably need to be over in Helena, but you would get jobs in the smaller areas around as well.

I see a few people who advertise to do this type of work but I have never used them so I don't know much about your competition.
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Old 05-16-2009, 07:28 PM
 
Location: Western North Carolina
4,954 posts, read 7,887,434 times
Reputation: 10427
Hey Broz:

I have a suggestion for you. I lived in Montana in the Missoula area for two years. The house/land prices were so high out there, that the best I could afford while living out there was a mobile home in a nice park with lot rent.

If I'm not mistaken, there are quite a few people living in mobile and manufactured homes in the Helena area as well. Mobile homes being what they are, frequently need repairs and updating/remodeling. But in my experience while owning one, trying to get someone out for that type of small job was next to impossible. There are so many rich people moving into Montana and building huge McMansions that home improvement companies and remodeling people have their pick of large jobs to choose from. They dopn't want to mess with your little mobile home project or repair. But ONE man had found his niche advertising himself as specializing in Mobile Home Repairs. Well, everytime you tried to call him, he was abolutely booked SOLID for weeks on end. I'm sure he was making a great living doing this. Just a suggestion.
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