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  1. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    manitowoc wisconsin
    I think you lost your marbles!Resi work is a pain in the butt!I am glad we do not have alot of resi work at the shop I am at.It seems way harder to me-No panels to remove for acess,Pigs with trash all over around the equipment,dogs nipping at you,kids getting in the way,white carpets,price quoting for a $2 part-etc.etc.etc.I could go on all day!
    Take your time & do it right!

  2. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Under my tree


    I have a conscience, dont know if thats a bad or a good thing nowadays. When your doing residential your taking money from people that sometimes might not have it and your directly effecting their lives. I see a few of these guys on here raking the customer over the coals, $1000 for a cond fan motor and a cap. $50 for a pound of freon. I understand that you need to make a profit to stay in business, but geeze you dont need to make it all on one call. I couldnt rape the customers like some of these guys due. OK doctors, lawyers, and that type of scum let the bills rip, your probably not getting paid anyways.

    In comercial/industrial work for the most part your not directly effecting people like ourselves. I have no problem billing out top dollars for quality work.
    Originally posted by markwolf
    I think you lost your marbles!Resi work is a pain in the butt!I am glad we do not have alot of resi work at the shop I am at.It seems way harder to me-No panels to remove for acess,Pigs with trash all over around the equipment,dogs nipping at you,kids getting in the way,white carpets,price quoting for a $2 part-etc.etc.etc.I could go on all day!

  3. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    ive considered the same thing .doing commercial work i get tired of collecting the bull**** and f-ups from poor designs screwed up ddc problems, engineers writing sequences of operations from another planet,covering for lazy ass building engineers,seems like every other slob gets a break when things arent right exceptus.i have a hard time keeping positive attitude when most reps of equipment owners (building engineers,property managers) .expect you to be held at a different standard than themselves or there people .but i have 20 years in u.a. cant move now

  4. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    I have done my share of both commercial and residential.I aggree with some of the others.There are good and bad to both sides.Commercial has more responsability.Residential seems to cause more headackes from the customer.Its my opinion that both are very profitable.

  5. #18
    Y'all have given me a lot to think about. I'm really not seeking to move for the money, as much as the reduction of stress. As far as gouging customers goes, i had that opportunity years ago, and turned it down. One look in the price book would make me sick. I cant see ripping people off, much less the ones that could least afford it.

    I also do not look forward to the prospect of residential work, I do have vivid memories of dog bites, wasp attacks, collecting actual money from customers, including bad checks. I do remember being a lot happier, and not being the "only one on call". I've been offered a service mgr. position, but really dont want that either.

    Maybe i can tough it out for another six years, i'll be eligeable for retirement then, I figure the union money can subsidise my fishing habit untill the SSI kicks in.

  6. #19
    pilot is offline Member- bad email - server kicked back
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    alb new york
    It can get ugly, ive seen commecial hvac guys try to retire to res service and it was not good. The mind set for the most part seems to be the problem, over time, 2 am calls to fix junk and so on. I would love to jump in to commecial work full time but im still feeling things out befor I make that leap.

  7. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    You could not pay me enough to work on residential units.I definately would not take a job for 50.00 an hour to work on that or light commercial.I do chiller stuff too and never get stressed out, my average commute is 200 miles a day and I get 36.00 an hour for driving it so use that time to unwind, laugh at Bob&Tom in the morning and have a quiet cup of coffee.You just have to realize that if they don't have the capacity with one chiller down that its not your fault, you never designed it.I have been on round the clock teardowns on 10-40 story buildings in the middle of summer where it was there only chiller but nothing I could do about it, worst thing that happened was that people got hot and chocalate bars melted.It is all in the mind set and mine is at the point now where I have pretty well have a zero stress level.

  8. #21
    I can SO appreciate what you are talking about. I left an 8-yr relationship with a large supermarket not too long ago when my side jobs were getting so large and so many that I could afford to.

    I am so much happier now, and my wife is too. She hated the every-other-week on-call BS, especially when I was fixing what the other tech had hacked. Here is a guy who logs in 80+ hours a week, but runs his mouth all day long, so he gets his work done during OT.

    Since the area I cover wth the other tech is so far away from the major city, we aren't specialized. Everyone else has one job, either A/C or Refrigeration. My job? I did it all. Including changing out ballasts, fixing automatic doors, hanging advertisements, fixing the toilets, etc.

    I had 6 stores to cover -- 12 stores on-call -- and when they decided to add 6 more, all of them over 50 miles away, I knew it was time to go. They said those stores weren't getting coverage out of the major city. Yet these stores are less than 15 miles from there!!

    Yes, I travel to the jobs I'm doing now, but the money I'm making is at least double what I made before, and I'm not working for THE MAN.

    Think about whether or not you want to be haapy - or not.

  9. #22
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Seattle, WA
    Did residential for 12 years. The headaches are too numerous to list. I'm much happier now. I'll never go back.

  10. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Windsor ON Canada
    If stress is the issue here, then I agree with acjourneyman. ALl you can do is your absolute best. It is not your problem if a chiller is down and thousands of dollars in production are being lost every hour. At some point some bean counter did the math and figured that the probability of lost production could not justify the cost of another chiller. They like to lay it on you but it is their problem. I bet the guys that work at the production facility don't lose sleep over it. Do your best, go home at night and forget it.....enjoy your family.........tomorrow is another day.

  11. #24
    Join Date
    Sep 2002


    After 30 years, we get tired. With the new era of contractors that push and push mechanics so THEY can make more money it wears quickly on the older workers.
    I put in 40 and got tired and am semi-retired although I have been a contractor for many years. I still design and engineer more exotic projects like cleanrooms, labs, and surgical facilities. I enjoy it and have a sub to do the installations as I am too damned old to continue that area of the work myself. I also fix jobs that have never worked, or don't, in the commercial/industrial field but pick and choose in that area.
    There comes a point in time you begin to wonder what it is all worth to you personally and even your family, money be damned. Our bodies take a tremendous beating and so we even tire more easily as we age in our Industry.
    If I had to offer an opinion I would have to say you would never be happy in residential as there wouldn't be the challenges you've had in the past. But doing commercial and, if you were to choose some industrial, the living is still there but not the hours.
    The commercial field is also not as aggressive when it comes to competition as there are those that do residential for little profit and you just end up beating your head against the wall attempting to secure jobs with a decent profit.
    In the commercial field I also enjoy fixing jobs that don't work and watching the clients smile when the utility bills go down as well as the tenant complaints. Since I won't do business for more than 15 day pay, I also don't have problems getting paid and if I want the maintenance account afterward, I can have it. Those I also pick and choose.
    Whatever you do, as long as you have a game plan to open a business, you should do well if you have the trust in yourself especially utilizing your 30 years. There are a lot of commercial clients out there that are screaming for "just one good company" to keep their a/c equipment operating and don't have to see them because it is in good operating order instead of constantly showing up because of breakdowns and repairs.
    There is a lot of help and information out there to get a business going and a lot of it is at no cost. I also found one thing to be very true when dealing with clients: I had a hard time originally because of youth but as I got older the clients became much more receptive to me in our dealings. They seem to prefer dealing with a little older person when contracting in the commercial field. At least I find it true here in Southern California.
    Let me extend good wishes to whatever your endeavors. I understand where you are because I have been there. I just got tired of the physical part of the work. Actually my clients told me to use my brain and not my brawn anymore so I finally found a sub who will do exactly what I design.

  12. #25
    Man! I cant believe the amount of response from everyone, It kinda makes me realize we all have more in common than we think. This is a lot harder to ponder than i first thought. A lot of good arguements for and against, and even for adjusting the way i approach the work, something i really never considered.

    Tom: I appreciate the suggestion to do something on my own, but unlike you, i probobly dont have a percentage of the mechanical knowledge that you and others here take for granted. I came up in this biz with little formal training, and have learned most of what i know OJT. I have suggested to some people i might have to go this way, and have had excellent response. I've been promised 6 different contracts in the past week, but i feel i'd be trading bad for worse.

    I think now, based on all the responses here, i should modify my present position by demanding more help, and start placing more responsibility back in the hands of the people that signed up for it in the first place. The worst that could happen is i get fired, and have to go somewhere else, which may be the second best thing.

    Thanks to everyone you guy's are better than court ordered therapy LOL.

  13. #26
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    edgewood nm

    Thumbs down going res

    I agree with HW. The local's rates are just the standard minimum. Everything else is up to the boss. With your experience and talent and the fact that your shop just lost a good man, it seems to me that you are in the driver's seat! Don't go to residential from commercial. I tried that recently because I was fed up with all the stress and b.s. Guess where I'm at now, Commercial again. You should get what the situation allows. If your boss is squeezing you just because of union minimums you need to have a talk with him. Working in a pinch is one thing. But working in those conditions and getting screwed is not acceptable! If you have a good boss and you are treated the right way, the stress is easier to let go of. Don't put up with that crap. He's is getting big bucks for your effort and future accounts. He can afford to treat you correctly to make up for the sacrifice. There aren't enough of us to go around. They need us. We can make our own way, well atleast some of it. Good luck.

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