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A GC is a middle man right? He charges a certain rate, takes a cut, and pays you, right? Sort of like a boss. Or am I off? Is it profitable to work with a GC and why?

Please enlighten me, I really don't have much experience in this area...
 

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From my expereince for working for about twenty differnt gc, i hate them, and think they are all scum. sorry if this sounds harsh. I have been burnt so bad, by them its not funny, and will never do it again. Im sure their are some good ones out their, but i never found one. They prey on young in expereince hard working guys. And once they get you in, its hard to get out.
I have a huge chip on my shoulder about gc, ill be the first to admitt it. I would not trust them.

thanks
dave mac

ps to answere your question, the last gc i worked for owes me $10,000 in change orders, so i would say No its not profitable to work for them, and their problems becomes yours
 

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It can be but there are a lot of bad apples out there. You have never scored any work from gc's that have done a big remodel or addition?
 

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A general will try to grind your price down so his ad on isn't noticed so much.
And he can/will ad 20 -25% to whatever price you end up at.

All you need to do is your work, and deal with one professional hustler.
IMO, that's easier than doing the work AND dealing with, perhaps a family of people with differring AND unrealistic expectations!
Generals DO earn their money...
r
 

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Born To Be Mild
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I work with a couple and give everyone the same story, my price is the same for everybody.
That said, the one GC takes my price (cries a little) and we sit down and figure how he can save money. Usually stuff like his help removes doors, patch walls, ect. I still make a profit because there is a set minimum, and we agree on a not to exceed number. Worked out good so far, but this is someone my family has known for years.
 

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Born To Be Mild
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Forgot to add, that the GC's I work with do higher end work, so they sell our work to the homeowner. Kind of a quality is seldom cheap thing.
 

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They prey on young in expereince hard working guys. And once they get you in, its hard to get out.
That is their M.O.

If you want to try one make sure you get them to sign a contract. Get paid in installments based on percentage of completion. State that final payment comes after one punchout. Following punchouts are up to you but no money is to be held till they are done.

If you aren't paid in full on one job, never start another one.
 

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For those that can not find enough work on their own having good relationships with a few GC's can not hurt. They find the clients and sell your work for you, for this some of them ask for a discount and then add their mark up. Some of them have subs that screw up and the repairs come out of the GC's pocket. Not all GC's are evil! In the past ten years I have never given one of my subs a bad check, I have never canceled payment on a check, I have payed subs for crappy work and paid for the re-work out of my own pocket.
 

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I don't think that all of them are bad. It would be hard to say that since I am one myself. :)

As a painter I find opportunities to offer other types of work and simply sub it out.

I just explain that I am a GC and was looking for GC pricing. I never try to beat someone down or try to make a killing off of anyone. Since I make my living painting everything else is just a little bonus on top.

In my current job (interior repaint) the lady wanted to install some wood floors. I went to the local flooring store and asked for GC pricing on the flooring. I was able to get $1 off of retail per sqft on a 720 sqft job. I called my flooring guy and he installs wood for $2(.75 less than retail) per sqft. So that was $1.75 per sqft of without trying to beat anyone down.

Hopefully that helps in some way.
 

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In my current job (interior repaint) the lady wanted to install some wood floors. I went to the local flooring store and asked for GC pricing on the flooring. I was able to get $1 off of retail per sqft on a 720 sqft job. I called my flooring guy and he installs wood for $2(.75 less than retail) per sqft. So that was $1.75 per sqft of without trying to beat anyone down.
I also have a limited gc to work here in NC. I don't build houses, but do a lot of remodels. Mostly kitchens and baths.

I rarely sub anything but plumbing and electrical, and have regular guys I use for it.

I have know them for sometime and never beat them up on a price because they are honest hard working guys. I think what crown said is something a lot of pros anywhere lack now-a-days. Integrity

So keep that in mind, and never let anyone get over on you. I learned the hard way doing new construction in my area. There's plenty of it too. Just none of it pays what it should.
 

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Not if you are inexperienced in the field at least.
I think neps hit the nail on the head earlier. If you approach nc or commercial with a resi mindset, you will have problems fast. There is a business component to nc that you have to understand in order to avoid all of the abuse that the above posts describe. Just showing up to paint the house without the business bases covered is a recipe for disaster.
 

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Paint Nerd
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From my expereince for working for about twenty differnt gc, i hate them, and think they are all scum. sorry if this sounds harsh. I have been burnt so bad, by them its not funny, and will never do it again. Im sure their are some good ones out their, but i never found one. They prey on young in expereince hard working guys. And once they get you in, its hard to get out.
I have a huge chip on my shoulder about gc, ill be the first to admitt it. I would not trust them.

thanks
dave mac

ps to answere your question, the last gc i worked for owes me $10,000 in change orders, so i would say No its not profitable to work for them, and their problems becomes yours
Yeah, finding a good GC is right up there with trying to find some good, skilled help nowadays. Although, I think you gotta kinda treat it with the same mindset. Find out EVERYTHING you can about the GC, kinda like interviewing a potential employee. My belief is the that if you do your homework on them, you can save yourself a lot of headaches. Bad vibes from a contractor travel a lot faster thru the grapevine than good vibes. Do your homework, and it might not be too bad.

I think too many contractors are soooo desperate for work that at the first whiff of a contractor they jump on ship. They see the almighty $. What a huge mistake. Not saying you can't make $ working with a GC, but quality relationships should be priority.
 

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Okay, this may sound funny or stupid to some, but i'm telling you it will work. Keep your ear out from other contrtactors about gc's in the area regards to price. Talk to people in the industry, realtors etc.. and find out who the high price guys are. Talk to your customers that you notice have had work done to there house,additions,basements,etc...the guy that was 20,000 higher then everyone else on a basement buildout,etc.. The guys that lose alot of jobs for being to high. These guys are just like us and there are good ones that know how to price a job and there are the ones that just think they are succeeding if they are busy. they may not get tons of work but they will give you quality work. In my area the busiest gc with the most work is the worst one and I wont work for him. The work I get from my gc's is quality, fair priced and steady. Pay structures are not always in their control, keep that in mind. You may be dealing with title companies,insurance companies, etc..

well thats my 2 cents. Good Luck.:thumbsup:
 

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I think neps hit the nail on the head earlier. If you approach nc or commercial with a resi mindset, you will have problems fast. There is a business component to nc that you have to understand in order to avoid all of the abuse that the above posts describe. Just showing up to paint the house without the business bases covered is a recipe for disaster.
Yeah he is right, there is a lot more to running NC then just the painting part, of course you have to be organized for the painting portion too and be able to work well around other trades.
He is also right about NC not being residential which i never really looked at it that way before.
I have seen a lot of good residential guys that can't take the work load of of NC of course some NC guys can't get used to repaints either.
 

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My company does 90% of its work with GC's we work for about 10 GCs all the time. You have some problems sometimes but most of the time you can build a relationship with them. Then they will just tell you what their budget is on a job and you dont even have to bid against other painters. We do very high end new residential and commercial. Dealing with GCs is all about forming a relationship. Just dont let them walk all over you, because if you let them they will. We work for all different quality levels of GCs as well $2.00 sqft all the way up to $30 sqft. Just give them what they are willing to pay for. You have to be able to adjust your quality level up and down.
 

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I have some good relationships with a few GC's. I charge them the same as I do "regular" customers, and even usually upcharge 10% due to having to be paid on net 30, etc.. Its all good. He marks up my work 50%, no idea how he does it, and don't really care.. I have seen the paperwork so I know what he makes.. The jobs usually average $40k, and are high-end commercial like nursing homes, doctor's offices, etc...

They aren't all bad..
 
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