Author Topic: Making Money By Starting Building/Carpentry Business  (Read 1305 times)


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Making Money By Starting Building/Carpentry Business
« on: March 28, 2018, 07:42:33 PM »

I've been reading the site for a few years now, and figured this would be a good community to turn to for advice.

I'm considering starting a contracting/building business in upstate NY but the numbers seem discouraging to me.

A little background- I have strong carpentry skills and currently work for a top furniture designer. I'm also in the process of fixing up a cabin- which has involved lifting the whole thing 2', pouring a new foundation and all plumbing... to start. I have figured out and done all work myself. So while there are many areas that i lack experience in, I am confident I could figure out the technical aspects of the job.

I'm less confident about the financial aspects and would be interested in hearing success stories or just from any experienced contracting/ woodworking business operators. I saw a post where MMM describes making 80k a year from his contracting business and this is a bit hard for me to imagine.

Some very rough numbers... I would like to be able to pay myself min $25/ hour and enough to pay a partner the same. (or if not always a partner, maybe 2 low wage helpers. Then I can easily see shop overhead/misc expenses running 10% and say another 10% percent taxes (I haven't looked too much into these numbers, but imagine that if anything they are much higher).

So that puts me:

$400 a day labor
round up to $500/day to make it work
or $2500/week in net needed.
so with material costs the business would need anywhere from ~$3k up ~5k week in billing to exist at even this very low level- nothing close to making 80k a year. This seems tough.

But maybe not? interested in hearing thoughts- or just good resources for preparing a viable business plan.



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Re: Making Money By Starting Building/Carpentry Business
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2018, 07:49:10 AM »
I've always thought one should work in a given business before trying to start a given business. Do you have any friends or acquaintances in the business that would be willing to take you on and show you the ropes?


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Making Money By Starting Building/Carpentry Business
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2018, 08:02:08 AM »
Pete built and remolded a couple of houses before he had a carpentry 'business.' So I would start there, buy a house to flip, do lots of the projects yourself, learn the Code, get good a detail and design. Someone will admire your work and ask you to do something for them. If they are willing to pay you what you think is worth it (extrapulated out to $80k or whatever a year) then do it.