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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    katy texas
    Posts
    157
    today i ran into a unlicensed contractor who had just underbid me on a commercial job in downtown houston , what was so amazing was that the general contractor justified the fact that someone else was pulling the permit for JACK LEG A/C is that unbelevable or what !!!!!!!!!!
    last week i was also underbid by one of my subs who contacted my GC and underbid me by 20 k on a 80k job ,such is life in the great state of texas .

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    6,327
    We run into the same thing all the time and it not just from unlicensed contactors. It is contractors that carryon insurance have no employees just use subs and have no trucks.

    They reap all of the rewards of the jobs with little or no cash out lay and put the primary burden of running their business on their subs. The subs have to own and maintain their trucks, insurance if any, tools and all miscellaneous cost for little of the profit. This not just small start-up companies two of the larger companies in Houston one primarily commercial and the other primarily residential do this very thing.

    One company some little start up is doing door hangers that make ridiculous claims. Tells people he will do an air-balance ($250.00 value) for free. The vast majority of the homes in this area can't be balanced because they don't have any dampers in the ductwork.

    It makes it very hard on companies that make an investment in the community by trying to provide good jobs in our field with benefits and good pay. Our installers are paid hourly have insurance 401K retirement plans, vans in good condition and we care about their welfare and families. The same is true of our techs office staff and warehouse people.

    It's companies like the ones you are talking about and I talked about that make it hard to do high quality work be honest and provide quality jobs for our trade.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    6,327
    We run into the same thing all the time and it's not just from unlicensed contactors. It is contractors that carry no insurance have no employees just use subs and have no trucks.

    They reap all of the rewards of the jobs with little or no cash out lay and put the primary burden of running their business on their subs. The subs have to own and maintain their trucks, insurance if any, tools and all miscellaneous cost for little of the profit. This is not just small start-up companies two of the larger companies in Houston one primarily commercial and the other primarily residential do this very thing.

    One company some little start up is doing door hangers that make ridiculous claims. Tells people he will do an air-balance ($250.00 value) for free. The vast majority of the homes in this area can't be balanced because they don't have any dampers in the ductwork. JUst another gimmick to get in the door insted of the old $19.95 tune up.

    It makes it very hard on companies that make an investment in the community by trying to provide good jobs in our field with benefits and good pay. Our installers are paid hourly have insurance 401K retirement plans, vans in good condition and we care about their welfare and families. The same is true of our techs office staff and warehouse people.

    It's companies like the ones you are talking about and I talked about that make it hard to do high quality work be honest and provide quality jobs for our trade.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    3,708
    That was so good classical, I dont blame you at all for posting it twice.It the same here at the ponderosa.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    katy texas
    Posts
    157

    classical

    nice dig at my door hanger , nice dig at using subs , when you started your company i doubt that you started instantly with box vans and 401ks and uniforms . i am building a comapany from scratch and the door hanger was not a bait and switch i actually saved 3 0r 4 people from having to change out systems ,just by measuring static pressure and fixing the poorly designed duct systems that where installed by reputable big companys with 401ks and uniforms !!!!!!!!!!!!!
    i have held a licence since 1983 and i have insurance , if you want to say something to me personally call me on my mobile at 713 418 0181 ,sincerely robin

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    4,995

    Hmm Re: classical

    Where did you get that classical was digging you? Unless he knows your situation personaly which I doubt becuase you gave him a number too call I dont see anything about you or your co in the post. It was a pretty general post about the industry as a whole IMO. Hey but if the shoe fits!!!!
    Originally posted by robinair
    nice dig at my door hanger , nice dig at using subs , when you started your company i doubt that you started instantly with box vans and 401ks and uniforms . i am building a comapany from scratch and the door hanger was not a bait and switch i actually saved 3 0r 4 people from having to change out systems ,just by measuring static pressure and fixing the poorly designed duct systems that where installed by reputable big companys with 401ks and uniforms !!!!!!!!!!!!!
    i have held a licence since 1983 and i have insurance , if you want to say something to me personally call me on my mobile at 713 418 0181 ,sincerely robin

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    6,327
    A little touchy there robinair I don't believe that we have met and how would I know who you are.
    Like absrbrtek said just a comment about our industry in Houston. That door hanger was one of many that showed up on my door and was actually brought to my attention by a neighbor where we installed a system. I do allot of ductwork to fix problems, when it is necessary. I don't even remember the name of the company on the flier.
    If you resemble one of the companies that I described sorry. If you do then you are as much a pain to me as that pesky sub was to you or that unlicensed contractor was. Your rational that every one starts out small is somewhat valid but it also pertains to that sub and unlicensed contractor.
    It no different to me if you are 40% or 50% lower than my price because you work from the back of a truck. You pile the cost of your business on too your subs, I was there I worked as a sub for many years making others money while I carried the financial burden that they deferred.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Deer Trail, CO
    Posts
    216
    Many many moons ago I started my own HVAC company. First hings first, got the whole insurance package (workers comp, liability etc), got licensed, got a late model used service van and had it professionaly lettered. To be viewed as a professional you must project yourself as one. One lawsuit and you loose everything.
    My best revenge against the little jackleggers was refering the customer who only wanted the lowest price job to these guys, rarely would they stay in business long due to the stress.
    Don't let your ego get in the way of a good decision

  9. #9
    i understand both views but ask yourself what are your goals ...is $90k enough a year to be happy but structered under a system?...dosent seem to be...or do you wait till the irs drops a turd in your lap and asks you to eat it..or when the state audits you and hands you a bill for 14k and you find out your paperwork was not perfect..oh and a fine with it also...or when one of your valued employees sneaks some out for himself and you have to prosecute him and put him away..(yea THAT WAS my ignorance trusting people)..or when you train a guy for 4 years and when he becomes an outstanding tech... he takes your lead installer and underbids you...or when the irs does a 3 month aduit of your last three years ..personal and business..(they billed me $300.00)...or when you have to go to AUSTIN to file complaints against juristdictions that screw you aruond and violate you rights..(4 cases..won them all)..or when you go to AUSTIN to warn the PUC about mold in 1994 and get laughed out because you dont have a phd...do i sound bitter?..no i am ignorant and an engineer who designs..i am now in perfect harmony...employees come and go but 75% of them come back looking to work here again..

    [Edited by airman1 on 06-23-2004 at 07:27 PM]

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    920
    Originally posted by airman1
    i understand both views but ask yourself what are your goals ...is $90k enough a year to be happy but structered under a system?...dosent seem to be...or do you wait till the irs drops a turd in your lap and asks you to eat it..or when the state audits you and hands you a bill for 14k and you find out your paperwork was not perfect..oh and a fine with it also...or when one of your valued employees sneaks some out for himself and you have to prosecute him and put him away..(yea THAT WAS my ignorance trusting people)..or when you train a guy for 4 years and when he becomes an outstanding tech... he takes your lead installer and underbids you...or when the irs does a 3 month aduit of your last three years ..personal and business..(they billed me $300.00)...or when you have to go to AUSTIN to file complaints against juristdictions that screw you aruond and violate you rights..(4 cases..won them all)..or when you go to AUSTIN to warn the PUC about mold in 1994 and get laughed out because you dont have a phd...do i sound bitter?..no i am ignorant and an engineer who designs..i am now in perfect harmony...employees come and go but 75% of them come back looking to work here again..

    [Edited by airman1 on 06-23-2004 at 07:27 PM]
    Thanks for sharing that David. I thought that I was the only one who gets pounded over and over. I have seen some of your trucks in my area and I hve visited your website. I must say that you have my respect. I don't see you as a competitor, but as a college. I see it as the more professional and more value companies offer to customers in our industry, the better off we all are. Bidding wars and cutting throats only leads to the crappy work and unhappy customers.

  11. #11
    comments most appreciated..you learn until you die..and then you learn again!

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