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#41992 - 09/14/04 12:26 PM construction vs maintenance

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 178
Loc: toronto canada
Lets see, hmm maitenance not very physical but little change of scenary,construction not as mind bending but very back breaking.Your preferences and why? And typically where do you make more money?

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#41993 - 09/14/04 04:35 PM Re: construction vs maintenance
royta Offline

Registered: 09/03/04
Posts: 136
Loc: CA
I'm certainly interested in the answers.

As a new EC I'm currently doing residential remodel work. Until I give up the day job, I can't get into the new work. Unfortunately, a lot of homeowners will hire Methamphetamine Electric in order to save a few bucks. I specify exactly what I will be installing, but they don't want to be bothered. They just think that since I'm a licensed contractor, I'll install what's right. Unfortunately, they also think the same about Meth Electric, so if their bid comes in at 15% cheaper, they will more than likely get the business. It's actually quite frustrating.

It's also frustrating losing out on jobs due to lack of time. I don't think I have enough calls coming in to justify quitting the day job, but then again, I am losing out on calls due to the day job.

Until I go full time, it's really nothing more than a well paying hobby.

[This message has been edited by royta (edited 09-14-2004).]

#41994 - 09/14/04 04:43 PM Re: construction vs maintenance
HotLine1 Offline


Registered: 04/03/02
Posts: 6791
Loc: Brick, NJ USA
Parking lot & site lighting maint can account for 1/3 of our business. Service/maint calls at the comm accts is another 1/3 and comm reno is the balance basically. (Resi is very minimal)

I keep 4 guys busy. Yes, we have the "slow" times like we all do, but a "great" customer base helps.

Basically, I had the same decission that you face about 19 years ago. Hey, if it don't work out, you can always go back to the day job, right??


#41995 - 09/14/04 04:59 PM Re: construction vs maintenance
Electric Eagle Offline

Registered: 04/20/02
Posts: 928
Loc: Alpharetta, GA
My company is about 50/50 service and new work. Most of our new work is actually high end residential remodeling. Personally, I like the service work better, but both can be profitable. I like knowing that we can go to a job, do it, bill it and have a check all the same day. We have done some larger projects and houses, but the profit margin is lacking and takes longer to get.

royta, when I got started I kept my prices very reasonable and worked whenever the customer wanted the job done, even starting jobs at 8 or 9pm to accommodate them. It kept me busy and paid me enough to slowly grow. Once I built up a good customer base my price eased upward. You will find that if you give Mrs Smith a good deal and she likes you and your work, when she refers you to Mr Jones, Mr Jones won't get a quote from Meth Electric, just you. Basically a new customer can be a hard sell, but a referral is almost a guaranteed job.

#41996 - 09/14/04 06:08 PM Re: construction vs maintenance
harold endean Offline

Registered: 02/16/02
Posts: 2248
Loc: Boonton, NJ
My business was 50% maintenence, we would work for a lot of schools, restaraunts, churchs, etc. However when they wanted you, they wanted you NOW!, not 10 min. from now. The good things was that there was always work and money would keep moving. The bad thing was NOW!. I have been out on every holiday you can name. I had atleast 1 or 2 service calls on those days. The rest of mu business was resi. work, we worked for several GC's, 1 or 2 new custom new homes a year, and the rest just customers who want an extra outlet here or there.


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