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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Portland, Oregon, United States
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    194
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    Residential vs commercial service

    I've been strictly residential and there's a very good chance I might be switching from residential service to commercial service only. Any pros, cons, things to consider as far as what to expect or the differences? This would be a huge opportunity for me to grow and develope more skills in the trade.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    3,663
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    Residential is much more chill, less stress, as long as you don't mind a customer hovering over you every now and then. If a furnace breaks down at 4pm on a Friday, it's easy to say see you on Monday with the part. If a server room unit breaks down at 2am, you roll out of bed and stay on site until it gets fixed - and work a full day after that.

    Commercial is technically challenging. That can either mean a lot of fun or a lot of stress, however way you take it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Phoenix Arizona
    Posts
    1,408
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    Residential sucks, commercial doesn't, but chillers > all...
    "If history repeats itself I am so getting a dinosaur"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Western Wa.
    Posts
    2,690
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    Did resi work for 25 years and commercial/industrial the last 5. I like commercial better for most everything except the relationships I built up in 20 + years with some customers.
    Commercial is much more vast.
    UA Proud

    "Phfft! Facts. You can use them to prove anything." Homer Simpson

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Tyler, Texas
    Posts
    21
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    Ive been in commercial work for 3 years now and love it. But it really pushes you a lot further on knowing the trade. Before that I was residential for 2.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G890A using Tapatalk

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Manor, Texas
    Posts
    56
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    Worked commercial since I started out love the work and the chalenges it brings.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Lewiston, ID
    Posts
    127
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    I work at a company that does both. I personly am more interested in commercial applications, but do more residential right now due to being new. I dont see why taking some residential calls is so terrible. Seems like a good stepping stone.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    WA
    Posts
    1,387
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    I like the pressure that goes with working on large equipment. Working on big refrigeration, industrial burners, and large HVAC systems is my favorite stuff to work on. Both resi and commercial have a lot of pressure, just different kind of pressure. In resi you're pressured to get it done quick. On the big stuff you're pressured to get it done right, no matter how long it takes. Light commercial is pretty much the same as resi though, just on rooftops.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Portland, Oregon, United States
    Posts
    194
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    Thanks for the reply everyone. I'm going to take the leap and join commercial. I'd be starting the lighter stuff like smaller rooftop units and a bunch of water source heat pumps but definitely want to get into the big stuff at some point. It seems like commercial has much more to offer.

  10. Likes James Holden, tborn, buttwheat liked this post
  11. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Western Wa.
    Posts
    2,690
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    Join the UA and work on all the good stuff http://ua290.org/
    UA Proud

    "Phfft! Facts. You can use them to prove anything." Homer Simpson

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    in a tree looking in your window
    Posts
    1,317
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    If your going to be an owner I would say residential, the residential guys around here are killing it, once they figured out people would pay flat rate pricing they have been on fire charging about whatever they want. Then once in the door they offer "club membership" discounts like you were going to the grocery store. Very smart of those guys, they get paid daily, no waiting 30-60 days to get your money and for the most part it's pretty easy work, if they screw something up they are only out about $1500 bucks for a new cond unit or furnace.

    I've done nothing but commercial/industrial stuff my whole life so that's where my customer base is, I hardly ever get paid in 30 days usually more like 60 and that seems to be the norm. If I screw up and blow up a $40k motor in a $150k chiller, I'm going to be extremely pissed. I really love what I do so I'm happy where I am but if I was starting over knowing what I know now, if your going to be an owner residential is where it's at.

    If your going to be a mechanic I say do what you you enjoy, the commercial guys make a more on the hour than the residential guys, but the way some residential outfits have come up with incentive programs for their guys they are doing much better than the past. Life is to short to be miserable doing something you are not happy with, so go do something you like.
    If you dont stand behind our troops, please feel free...........to stand in front of them.

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