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Old 02-11-2008, 08:41 AM   #1
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Recession?


Do you think we are in a recession? Have you contractors slowed down. Have you DIY consumers pulled back on yor spending for home projects?



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Old 02-11-2008, 10:02 AM   #2
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There are many "contractors" in my area that are slow. I hear it all the time from others, and I am constantly asked about how business is going with our company, because of this.
Our phone rings constantly ....with workers (not our own) begging for any work we may have for them.

The reality is this: New Home Construction has, for a fact, slowed. Because the new housing market (sales) are so slow, most builders and developers are stopping or slowing down too, so as not to get ahead of themselves (and have a large backlog of unsold, newly-built homes on inventory). The lumber Supply Houses will tell you that their sales are slower. One told us they were down 30%...and all of it was in their New Home Construction Materials Sales.

However, this is the other reality: Residential Remodeling, Residential Additions, Commercial & Industrial work (malls, stores, shops, offices, hospitals, schools, businesses) are still expanding and need work done. In addition, people still need "repairs" done (water/moisture damage).

Our Personal Company work situation: We are fortunate enough to be busier than ever. We are booked into summer. And calls keep coming in. We are regularly loaded down with estimates to get out too. I have 10 ("word-of-mouths") from this past week alone, that I looked at, and now need to write out. In fact, I just got a call for a salon remodel this morning (past customer). Bare in mind, we don't advertise.
To give you an idea of what kind of work is happening out there, we are booked on: Decks, additions, remodelings, stores, offices, repairs, doors, windows, roofs, etc...

We, sadly lost out on a bid for a past customer. A well known sports company relocating into a new building (multi-million dollar remodeling contract)....The point being, that there are companies growing out there...and, Yes, there is work out there.

I spoke to a successful, articulate, professional General Contractor that we do some work for. He made this observation: "The guys that are slow, are slow for a reason. There's work out there, but there's a reason "why" they can't get some of it....The guys complaining to me about being slow: They don't carry themselves right and they don't know how to talk to or how to deal with people/customers."

Another area of growing work is property-maintenance/repair/remodeling for Realty-Investment-Companies. These companies own large multi-unit rental apartment complexes.
This sector is BOOMING. Several companies, we do work for, are building new 600-unit complexes in my region right now...and there are others (that we don't do work for) building complexes too.

The point of all this is that, although New-Home Construction has slowed, there is ALOT of other work out there. We are fortunate enough that we are not feeling, nor seeing, a recession in the area/sector of the construction Industry that we function in.

Now...is there a recession out there? I don't know.
However, aside from public finance and bank reports, I do believe that the majority of the American Public bases their opinions and beliefs on whatever the concensus touts. And that concensus is very much influenced by what the media says, what it hypes, and what it slaps onto headlines.....


Last edited by AtlanticWBConst.; 02-11-2008 at 04:57 PM. Reason: grammer
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Old 02-11-2008, 04:54 PM   #3
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Recession?


Atlantic:

No slow down here in Toronto, Canada.
But, like they say, when the USA "sneezes", we get the flu.

I wonder what is going to happen here.
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Old 02-11-2008, 11:10 PM   #4
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Recession?


Quote:
Originally Posted by dyier View Post
Do you think we are in a recession? Have you contractors slowed down. Have you DIY consumers pulled back on yor spending for home projects?


Yes
This area has
Big time
There will always be work I'm sure, but many contractors have scaled way back
Many are scared

There are 13 houses on my street
When the latest one vacated, that made 6 total
Just packed up and left....
There is one other still lived in, but up for sale
That's pretty much 1/2 my street either vacant, for sale, or in active foreclosure
That's not good
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Old 02-12-2008, 08:40 AM   #5
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Recession?


Quote:
Originally Posted by slickshift View Post
Yes
This area has
Big time
There will always be work I'm sure, but many contractors have scaled way back
Many are scared

There are 13 houses on my street
When the latest one vacated, that made 6 total
Just packed up and left....
There is one other still lived in, but up for sale
That's pretty much 1/2 my street either vacant, for sale, or in active foreclosure
That's not good
Sorry to hear that Slick.

Last edited by AtlanticWBConst.; 02-12-2008 at 10:05 AM.
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Old 02-12-2008, 08:36 PM   #6
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Recession?


Details about recession makes my day gloomy. Arghhh.
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Old 02-12-2008, 10:10 PM   #7
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Recession?


Luckily for us oil States and countries, there is no big squeeze.

But I hope for the sake of the US, and all my friends here, that things turn around.
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Old 02-13-2008, 01:00 AM   #8
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Recession?


Ive got plenty of friends from the US too. It'll be bad for them when the layoffs start.
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Old 02-13-2008, 09:49 AM   #9
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Recession?


One thing I have found in all local sectors of the construction Industry is:

Anyone in some of the specific specialized fields like: Drywall, Painting, Tile Work are slower now. (Again, these are some areas that do better during new-home construction growth)

Tho, my Electrician and Plumber have been straight out busy.
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Old 02-13-2008, 10:32 AM   #10
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Recession?


Quote:
Originally Posted by AtlanticWBConst. View Post

Tho, my Electrician and Plumber have been straight out busy.
Have you ever met one that wasnt? I think its because its harder to find hacks that do that type of work. Where as everyone in their brother thinks they are a roofer and sider. I am even seeing ads from landscaping guys advertising replacement windows.
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Old 02-13-2008, 03:34 PM   #11
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Recession?


recession ? ask general motors.I think what has happened in the trades is that with new housing down,alot of that labor has fallen into the remodel business.people are hungry and thats driving down the bids.Some guys need work ,any work.It's a buyers market but be carful who you hire.
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Old 02-13-2008, 05:40 PM   #12
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Recession?


Quote:
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...I think ....alot of that labor has fallen into the remodel business.people are hungry and thats driving down the bids.Some guys need work ,any work....but be carful who you hire.
Yep. We ran into it on a large multi-unit repair last month. We knew the guy from about 15 years ago. He was building duplexes back then.
He came in and underbid us on about 1/3 of the repairs. We finished all our units in 1-1/2 weeks with 12 of our workers (they want them repaired fast). He and his buddy took 4 weeks to do theirs, plus another 3 weeks of re-doing alot of their crappy work. Needless to say, that complex learned a lesson. They won't be calling them again. (I can't see how he made any money)
The thing that rots is, his stupidity(bidding on an amount of work that he couldn't even handle and pricing the work too low) ....cost us about $25K of work, we could have had.

Last edited by AtlanticWBConst.; 02-13-2008 at 05:47 PM.
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Old 02-14-2008, 06:50 PM   #13
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Recession?


Wow, that's one lesson I'll remember Atlantic I certainly wouldn't want to hire people without doing a background check or even just looking over some references.
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Old 02-15-2008, 08:36 PM   #14
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Recession?


Wow Slick...memories of '81 here.

From what I hear about the housing market in the US it has definitely had an impact on the minds of people up here. Less people are buying "up" and instead are looking to modestly improve where they are.

4 years ago you could buy a 3 bedroom townhouse for around $189K, it has since ballooned to a minimum of $ 550K Absolutely ridiculous! 6 months ago all new developments were sold out before they even cut down the dang trees. Now I see a lot of cutbacks on construction.
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Old 02-19-2008, 10:50 PM   #15
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Recession?


This isn't going to be easy. But if we can make it thru the next 12- 18 months, things'll get back on track. This is very similar to what happened in the late 80's-- early 90's. Every once in a while, the economy needs to readjust itself. Like the theory says-- for every action, there's an equal and opposite reaction. As much as this hurts, it's actually a healthy thing for the economy. it is for the building trades, as well. Over the last ten years there have been alot of people who've gotten into the trades just to make the quick buck, because it was there for the making. Now that things are slowing down, these people are going to either move on to "greener pastures", or go out of business as their reputation catches up with them in the slowing work pool. Either way, they'll be out, and leave the trades to those who really want to be here, and take a real old fashioned pride in their work. It'll be better for us, and it'll be better for our customers, especially now in the "electronic information age", where people can come to a place like this and find out for themselves whether the guy standing in front of them is looking out for their welfare, or just looking to put their money in his pocket. I seriously think you're all going to see changes for the better in the trades within the next year or so, because of the economic downturn.

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