hard times

mmike032July 10, 2008

So are there any other professional carpenters here?

If so, are you feeling the crunch yet from the supposed recession?

I have been doing trim carpentry for about 12 years and been self employeed for 2 years now. Things are starting to get scary around here with the lack of work. Theres alot of tradesman here going under due to the lack of work.

No work and no one hiring are bad combinations.

So what are the pros doing to try and make it through these hard times?

Branching out into different areas?

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I retired, but was considering adding DIY instruction to the company services. I used to instruct in the Army, so have some experience teaching. There are lots of folks who would pay for some professional advice and training on DIY projects. Lots of those folks are doing the DIY route due to prices---and because the TV shows make things 'look easy'.

Also, lots of retired folks will pay $25 an hour or so for odd jobs----changing light bulbs, cleaning gutters, lubing windows---and you usually get a good story or two as a bonus.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 8:50PM
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I sell furniture and I'm seeing the crunch. Anyone who thinks we AREN'T in a recession is out of touch with reality. My business, like yours, depends on (1) people being able to pay their bills and (2) people feeling confident about their future income.

For you as a tradesman, your hope might lie in helping people maintain their homes so they at least don't lose value. This might entail helping homeowners with DIY projects, or specializing in small repairs and handyman type work.

And it might entail cutting your rates. I hate to work for less too, but the reality for many of us is to work for less, or not work at all.

I'd get involved in networking groups. Things like chamber of commerce, Rotary, church group, etc. If there's a Habitat for Humanity program in your area try volunteering with them. I'm thinking of doing it to learn more about carpentry. You'll likely meet others like me who could use a hand with our own projects.

I'd also look into teaching. I suspect there is good opportunity there.

I feel for you. Good luck.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2008 at 11:35PM
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I'm still busy (repair business). But a trim carp friend (mostly new construction) is really hurting.

But I hope the two or three McTeardown builders that are raping my town go chapter 7.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2008 at 6:48PM
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I'm a midwesterner, i used to work for a small company that specialized in siding, roofs, gutters, doors and windows...they no longer exist, i was lucky enough to find a decent job with some security. You may want to look into moving laterally into a new job. lots of improvement stores would love someone with carpentry experience for a management position, something esle you might consider- doing technical service. that is if there is some kind of coatings headquarters in your area, they are ALWAYS ready to hire someone with eperience and the pay is generally good, its just a change of pace, and ill tell you from experience- you get a lot less cuts and bruises answering phones then you'll get working with wood...

    Bookmark   July 14, 2008 at 11:45AM
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