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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    82
    Like alot of you guy's I do some "side work" to make ends meet. After reveiwing some of the competitionns pricing it got me thinking, am I cutting myself short? I mean after all it is an ever changeig market with the cost of materials and equipment changeing all the time. I have used a couple different methods for bidding jobs and was just interested on some of you guy's experiances. Also, can anybody recomend a good estimateing software?

    [Edited by irishfan#1 on 07-19-2006 at 09:41 PM]

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    14
    its guys like you ruin the trade, 10-15 new trucs around now no commmercial plates, no lic. prob. no liability ($4,000) a year, and work for cash Iam soooo sick of getting calls system put in last summer no refrigerant leak, thye call there side guy hes up in Maine at cottage on boat no where to be found, then other thing a part goes they wnat me to warranty iy! POUND SAND! I loose alot of work to cash side guys my expensises one man show $5,000 a month, figure it out yourself!!!!!!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    6,959
    Side work...ain't worth the hassle. A good technician who cares about quality should not need do sidework to make ends meet. The demand for good technicians in my area is very high and the pay for those willing to prove themselves is sufficient so they don't need to do it. What happens when your "side" customer has an emergency and your working your regular job? Our policy is no side work...if you do it and get caught it better be worth your job.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Chicago, N/W burbs
    Posts
    8,004
    My landlord who we rent the house from needed a new system. I told him he buys equipment and supplies, I installed it for one month's rent $1100.00. was ok but I don't normally do sidework.
    R2B4BTU

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Memphis
    Posts
    2,502
    I've had to tell more customers this year "I cant compete with a apartment maintenance man who is moonlighting out of his beat up truck." I hope this isnt the way the market is headed.
    Life is like a jar of jalapenos. What you do today might burn your ass tomorrow.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Slacking off right now
    Posts
    7,546
    You should charge as close to possible to what your reg contractor charges and use all your own equip ins etc

    The thing is most people whom are willing to use side jobbers do not understand what it costs to be in business and/or don't care and just want to get a cheap cash job. thus they are really only wanting something for nothing or next to nothing. They will end up burning you and everone they can
    www.vetopropac.com - The best tool bags on the market - The offical tool bag of choice by techs everywhere

    Arguing with some people is like wrestling a pig - eventually you realise the pig actually enjoys it

    Gonads serve a useful purpose but are no substitute for brains

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    657
    I'm sorry but I don't see anything wrong with doing side work if it is done properly. (Or hobby business as some of you have called it before.) My regular job isn't Heating and Air Conditioning so my employer doesn’t care. I do have liability insurance and have the EPA certification, I run it as a business and pay taxes on it. I don't have to be licensed, as the town I work in doesn't require it. I stay out of towns that do require you to be licensed in. My customers know that I have a regular job and I do this on the side. If they can't wait for me to get to them they know they can call someone else.
    I will tell you some of the big advantages of doing side work is your the boss. If I don't want to work in a crappy crawl space with no room to maneuver or an attic that that is 130°F I can tell them no.
    I have also learned not to get into things that are over my head. There is no shame in saying I don't know what is wrong and you need to call someone else that has more experience. I have found that most people will respect you more for telling them that, than someone who acts like they are an expert and the customer comes to the conclusion that they are a moron.
    Am I ruining it for the rest of you? I doubt it. I do recommend my competitors for thing that I don't want to do, or am not comfortable doing.
    As for doing a shoddy job, I have looked at the Wall of Shame and don't think my worst job is anything close to some of the “Professional Installs” seen there.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    ohio
    Posts
    381
    lakeman1234---- I agree with you as I too am in the same situation as you. My regular job has nothing to do with hvac, I am fully insured and certified. I pick and choose the jobs I do and all my customers know my situation. Is this considered doing it on the side or a part time buss.?
    i CAN spell i just cant type

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Bennington, Vermont U.S.A.
    Posts
    13,864
    Our company pays 100% for medical insurance for our employees and their families.

    My office manager told me that the medical insurance company is raising the rate by 11% on September 1st.

    That will make our payment for medical insurance over 100K a year.

    The way I look at it-- you either work for the company or you work for yourself. If you want to work for yourself I will be glad to use you as a sub-contractor. You figure how much you want for the job and I'll give you a PO# and a 1099.

    Let's not get emotional here. Its all about business. Don't be a sneak, you will lose.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    469
    Originally posted by benncool
    Our company pays 100% for medical insurance for our employees and their families.

    Bennie,
    In this day and age you are the exception to the rule.
    You must be a good boss to work for.


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    82
    Thanks for all the input everybody, and for those of you that I pissed off, sorry but I am going to do what I need to do to take care of my family and I really dont care if some guy 1500 miles away approves of it or not. I guess that I should have mentioned that I am certified and also carry a contractors lisense that allows me to work in my state as such.

  12. #12
    I bet the guy you work for doesn't approve of it either, is he 1500 miles away too?
    Hope ya don't mess up, without insurance you could be putting your fam in jeopardy.
    Your job already is in jeopardy.
    Hey cockroach, don't bug me! ©

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    www.Pennwood-HVAC.Com

    Bring Em Home....

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    657
    kritic said Is this considered doing it on the side or a part time buss.?

    Some have called it my hobby business. I still consider it side work.

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