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What is your trade/ specialty?

Viewing 20 posts - 41 through 60 (of 143 total)
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  • #461538
    cranbrook2
    Pro
    Belgrave, Ontario , Canada

    I’m retired now, dabbling in woodworking.

    I started in a lumberyard in HS, got hired by a carpenter that did tract fencing on the side. Went to college, got a civil engineering degree. No jobs in Calif. at that time, so I started my business.

    40 years as a carpentry contractor, specializing in decking, siding, and pergolas. For about 8 years we were subs to a paper general contractor doing commercial work. Essentially we were his employees. Did a lot of TI work and restaurant work during that period. His son signed a huge baseball contract and he retired to manage his son’s finances, so I was back on my own full time.

    Over the years, we did a lot besides carpentry. I’m pretty proficient at tile, drywall, concrete and flooring. I can paint too, but I avoid it if I can. My lead guy had a electrical background, so he handled electrical and plumbing and I stayed out of the way if I could.

    That is one thing I have never done is tile work but that will change soon when I do my house .

    #462071
    crotalusco
    Pro
    west bend, wi

    Currently am a commercial framer, steel studs and drywall. I have done most carpentry from rough residential to finish, have even worked in a few cabinet shops making and installing.

    #462117
    Doobie
    Moderator

    I’ve always been good at math and problem solving. Always had an underlying feeling to build things too and work with my hands. Tried a variety of things and ended up in the financial sector. When I first got into this area after being accepted with a financial institution in their recruiting program, a year later I just had the feeling like all they wanted me to do was screw people. I went independent and have been an independent since then working from my home for the last 25 years.

    I’ve become a rarity of sorts. There’s a very small percentage in my field that do not answer to a BOSS. I do answer to bosses of sorts but not in the traditional sense. My bosses are restricted to Regulators/Government (No way of getting around that stuff which a lot of it is just pure crap and additional paperwork which does squat frankly in protecting anybody) ; my conscience; my clients; my wife; and of course The Big Man upstairs! I can sleep nights knowing I’m not peddling crap to people because someone or a company is telling me I should or have to.

    I’ve gotten all sorts of designations and levels of proficiency in my field that I used to think in my mind were so important to have, and once I did, I realized they were more for me than for my clients. Go figure!

    Basically, what I do is look at peoples financial situations and advise them. I have a unique ability to take a situation and almost always find a better solution that puts money in people’s pockets.

    OK, so what is it I do? Hehehehe!

    I first started in the life insurance industry as an agent. Still have that license, but don’t sell hardly any insurance any longer. Over the years I gravitated towards asset management and financial planning. All the while early on, I was an understudy of sorts working during tax season with another veteran adviser helping to do tax returns. Initially I hated doing taxes like most people, but after years of doing them, I got really good at it.

    The idea was that in understanding how taxes work and keeping abreast of different tax changes, it makes you a better adviser and it was also a way of finding new prospects way back then. People never wanted to talk about insurance, but tell them you do taxes and you’re their best friend suddenly.

    Becoming highly proficient with taxes really does make you a better adviser/planner. Most people out there advising people on money matters are woefully inadequate in coupling these two areas for the benefit of their clients. This becomes exponentially true once you enter your older age. There’s a lot of stuff going on with ones taxes and how income will affect it along with various credits and benefits related to older people. Any monkey can tell you where to park money in the accumulation phase of life. Very few know how to advise properly and negotiate most effectively their assets in the withdrawal phase.

    Insofar as my inclination to do woodworking and renovations, well that’s always been a bug in me since I was younger. Not from my dad, he was not a real DIY guy at all, but from spending time with a few family members where I spent summer holidays as a kid and would eagerly look to help with their big projects. Whether it was pounding in nails as a ten year old helping build a cottage, or helping smooth a concrete slab on another uncle’s farm, I just knew I liked to build things at a young age.

    It wasn’t until about 15 years ago did I discover why the DIY/Woodworking bug was maybe in me though. I was adopted as a baby. Fifteen years ago, my natural family found me. For a couple of years, I learned a lot about this very large natural family I never knew about. Turns out there is a long line of tradespeople and builders in my natural blood line. A lot of carpenters apparently which may explain my adoration of all things made of wood. The natural family has long since been abandoned for a variety of reasons, but one of the few benefits of having them find me and exploring their history was maybe getting an answer as to why I am the way I am with this deep seated desire to want to do things with my hands. No wonder for a few years in high school I would take double shop classes. lol!

    #462235
    58Chev
    Pro
    Etobicoke, ON

    OK, so what is it I do? Hehehehe!

    Kevin,
    Thanks for the long winded life story 😉 , I had wondered what it was you did.
    I’m looking for a new tax man, mine moved out to Grimsby. LOL
    Or maybe it’s cheaper car insurance I need??

    “If you don’t pass on the knowledge you have to others, it Dies with you”
    — Glenn Botting

    #462260
    smallerstick
    Pro
    North Bay, ON

    Basically, what I do is look at peoples financial situations and advise them. I have a unique ability to take a situation and almost always find a better solution that puts money in people’s pockets.

    You are an important guy in your clients’ lives. So many folks don’t have a clue how to properly plan for their future or manage their retirement.

    Good for you, Kevin and thanks for sharing.

    BE the change you want to see.
    Even if you can’t Be The Pro… Be The Poster you’d want to read.

    #462290
    r-ice
    Pro
    Durham region, ON

    OK, so what is it I do? Hehehehe!

    Kevin,
    Thanks for the long winded life story 😉 , I had wondered what it was you did.
    I’m looking for a new tax man, mine moved out to Grimsby. LOL
    Or maybe it’s cheaper car insurance I need??

    lol so do i as i used the same one heh, why oh why did she move to grimsby.

    #462343
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    My first stint at building anything was sand bricks back home, cutting cedar trees for roof rafters. Came to the states and owned a river rafting/kayak outpost in southeast TN at an old olympic venue in my early 20’s, and was on a snowboarding circuit during the off-season. Left both behind when moved to Cincinnati (husband’s hometown) when he retired form military and started the deck company. During the deck off season, would work with my brothers in their valve/acuator business that handles all major power plants, paper plants, etc., from Indiana to the east coast, down to north Florida. As my husband got busier, the more involved with the decks I became, and soon took over all in house operations where he would only have to worry about building. With still getting busier with each year, he knew I knew what materials to use, and where to use them, just needed to teach me how to build the little cookie cutter decks, so he could move on to the custom decks. After my 3rd or 4th deck, was in love with building. Anyway, life throws a curve ball sometimes, so now I am Thomas Decks. Have 2 loyal men that have stuck it out with me, and show my appreciation to them every time I get a chance. I still learn things daily, and with customers putting trust and faith in me, my learning curve has been hitting the dingy bell because I do not want to let them down. So, that’s my specialty, and probably will be the rest of my life. I still hate vinyl siding, I’m terrible at it, but I can crawl inside of a valve the size of a volkswagon and install an actuator motor in no time flat, and if you need a deck, then I’m your gal 🙂

    #462359

    @TaraC thanks for that, great story, hopefully I can teach my daughter all about building stuff, it’s a great accomplishment, and your right it’s also a confident builder. For anybody.

    #462379
    smallerstick
    Pro
    North Bay, ON

    @TaraC It makes me feel good to see a woman succeed in a traditional male role. The gender barriers are coming down!
    Thanks for sharing, Tara.

    BE the change you want to see.
    Even if you can’t Be The Pro… Be The Poster you’d want to read.

    #462403
    yellaD
    Pro

    @doobie, @TaraC, thanks for sharing. Happiness is a moving target but it certainly sounds like you found “it”. 🙂

    #462434
    DirtyWhiteBoy
    Pro
    Honolulu,, Hi.

    how to build the little cookie cutter decks, so he could move on to the custom decks. After my 3rd or 4th deck, was in love with building.

    You are a special woman. Not many like you around. Good on ya!

    Dirty

    A Working Pro since 1988!

    Member since January 26, 2013.

    #462447
    Doobie
    Moderator

    OK, so what is it I do? Hehehehe!

    Kevin,
    Thanks for the long winded life story 😉 , I had wondered what it was you did.
    I’m looking for a new tax man, mine moved out to Grimsby. LOL
    Or maybe it’s cheaper car insurance I need??

    Sorry. Don’t do the home and auto stuff. Life, disability, etc…

    Tax stuff, no problem. Will be getting bombarded with it in another month or so. I still take on new clients, but it’s all word of mouth pretty well. I haven’t done any marketing in over ten years. I’m in south Ajax if that’s not too far for you.

    #462882

    A few more months and I will be a journeyman plumber/gas fitter.

    Congrats that’s a great accomplishment . You will always have work weather Union or no-Union .

    I’ve been in the general construction trade since I was 16 years old . I’ve done roofing , siding , metal framing and wood , millwork , tile , concrete , kitchens , bathroom , plumbing , electric .
    Only thing I really don’t do is HVAC work . When a license sparky or plumber is needed they do it . Being able to do different trades keeps the mind going and not in a rut .

    Always willing to learn .

    #463451
    kurt@welkerhomes.com
    Pro
    Owatonna, MN - Minnesota

    I have been around building and woodworking all my life. my father was a carpenter when he was young then went to college and became an accountant. he was not in the construction business when I was growing up, but built the homes we lived in and did small renovations to them and woodworking.

    I worked for a contractor in the summers during college and ended up getting a degree in construction engineering. I worked for a couple of large general contractors then went over to the owners side managing construction for a couple of large retailers. I have been on my own for about 17 years now and love it.

    I would say our basic trade is carpentry, but we will try anything. I love the Challenge. We have developed a lot of residential lots and a couple rental properties. We also do small earthwork projects as we have a small excavator , skid loaders and dump trucks. The more I can apply my engineering background to a project, the more I like it. We have done a lot of homes and remodels over the years. in the last several years we have done a lot of everything. Things have been a lot more interesting.

    #463457
    brianpeters
    Pro
    Murray, KY

    I have been in construction since I was 16, started out on a crew building chicken barns. When that ended I helped a drywall guy for a while, also did some roofing. Worked on steel buildings for a few years, then my brother and I started building houses.

    Now I work by myself mainly small remodeling projects, some decks, etc.

    Not sure that I have a specialty, I’m 40 years old and feel like I’m still trying to figure it out!

    #463468

    Does anyone regret that they went the trade route over a state or government job after college . For better benefits , packages and less damage on the body .

    Always willing to learn .

    #463469
    utopia78
    Pro
    Toronto, ON

    Does anyone regret that they went the trade route over a state or government job after college . For better benefits , packages and less damage on the body .

    Sometimes I look at my health and other people stuck in an office all day. I seem to be in better shape keeping active in the trades as long as I don’t suck back to much dust.

    BTW – Welcome back, nice to see you again

    A Working Pro since 2004

    #463474
    cranbrook2
    Pro
    Belgrave, Ontario , Canada

    Does anyone regret that they went the trade route over a state or government job after college . For better benefits , packages and less damage on the body .

    I don’t regret the jobs I did but I sure wish I would of taken much better care of my body back then . I never realized how much it can come back to haunt you when you are older .

    #463478

    Does anyone regret that they went the trade route over a state or government job after college . For better benefits , packages and less damage on the body .

    Not really, I see some of my friends in engineering or other fields,
    I move quite a bit, at 53 this April, I am still playing hockey and working, I think it helps, mind you I am not in the construction field completely, but in the manufacturing side of simulation, but it is a physical job most of the time.

    #463481
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Does anyone regret that they went the trade route over a state or government job after college . For better benefits , packages and less damage on the body .

    Absolutely not. I’d rather dig ditches or pick up garbage all over the city than to be tied to a chair in a closed up space all day. If I keep moving and get fresh air every day I feel good and healthy. When my shoulder blades or lower back hurts, just do extra workouts to loosen up.

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