Life has presented some huge changes and potential opportunities since my last post. As a result I have had some dramatic shifts in thought. In short we may move from large booming city to small rural northern community. We would be moving into my Grandmothers recently past tense home (grandpa passed away) on three acres. So my question, what will the market bare? What can we charge and be competitive without going broke? How honest are the local trades men going to be when I contact them and quiz them? I took the advice from before and figured out our overhead including the good stuff like holidays and being prepared for down time and I came up with a hourly rate of $40. We could get away with this where we live now but also the cost of living is high. The cost of living where we are going is not going to be a whole lot less – big difference and bonus for us is home ownership and living off the land stuff. So if we charged less per hour we could come out okay – I suppose the wage draw would go down – profit margin too. This is the feedback I have gotten so far – I would appreciate any thoughts or input.
a) First feedback I got was from the economic development board for this region. He responded simply that there was a shortage of skilled trades people in the area and that there should be no problem finding work.
b) Talked to a GC who said he always needs good guys and would pay $23.00 p/h for a guy like my hubby – he stressed that he has never hired a ticketed guy before and that there are none up there. When he recognized my family name he opened up more and expressed that we could go it on our own with ease – the town is booming with new sawmill and two existing. He took the time to really stress that there was a livelihood to be made. In closing he commented that he did not realize my husband was completely tooled up with rolling shop and all. Kids were crying so I did not get to ask what he would pay a guy with tools.
c) Talked to wife of guy who builds – just him and one other guy. Does not hire employees or need any. Laughed when I talked about pay rates and said husband can charge $24.00 and none more. Said that work was steady lately with ups and downs over the years like we all know.
d) Talked to hardware store. They do work and sub the work out. Said again economy is good and they need good guys, particularly jack of all guys – like my husband. Pay rates he said were $20 – $25. Said lots of work for reno guys.
Summarized work is there but are these guys making money? Down the line when our house was paid for we might or when I am bringing in an income or if there was never down time or teeth cleanings or medicare or holidays. So I think $28.00 I could manage that. Do we blow into town market the skill level and experience, use the huge family contacts and charge more and so make money or do we do what the rest is doing. I know there is no crystal ball here but that’s what we would need to make and really that would be a start.
That second guy that would hire my husband today that suggested we go on our own – I think I will call him and ask what he charges his guys out at. I figure if you are doing well in your business you will have no problem with the new guy on the block. I bet he charges more than that $25.00 especially if he could pay a guy $23.00. I suppose I will make some more phone calls too.
Your time and thoughts appreciated.