I am planning to start Home Renovation Technician diplama from humer college. Do you think it is good idea to polich my skill and to learn more. My wife is becomming an interior designer, doing her degree from Academy of Design. Do you think we will be able to run a great buniss in future?
I need answers from experienced renovators and people who attended school for this purpose not from handmen like myself :)
If I could provide you with some advice regarding your future plans it would be this. To truly experience what it means to be a contractor you will need much more than schooling. You need to get out in the field to see what it is all about and learn from a professional. There is much more involved than most people think. And when I say this, I mean learning to do the work right and not cutting corners. You not only need to understand the mechanics of construction but you need to know how to plan correctly and deal with customers in a professional manner, as well as how to deal with issues that come up...big or small. Also a great contractor is only as good as his team...Get to know the other trades and what they do. It will help you in understanding the bigger picture.
School will only provide you with so much knowledge but it will not compare to the real world experience of how tough it really is to do this work properly, build your business and earn that customer referral and future jobs to come. So, along with school, see who is out there that will take you on as a helper. It will work towards your future goals.
Best of luck.
Thank you so much for a valuable advice.
You are right that real world is different than schooling. I am working as a handyman right now. I dont do big projects but limited to small jobs. And ofcourse understanding customers is the key to gain success in any business. I want to attend the school to learn the codes and conducts and technical aspects of this business. my educational background is business and commerce which was not my passion but it will help me for lifetime.
To confirm, the other two comments are your first concern. Also, do either your wife or you have any accounting background? You will also be required to develop and be consistent with your books (on your own at least on a monthly basis to keep costs down). The quotes and project cost analysis are extremely important, along with your excellent problem solving and customer relations skills, and will determine a large amount of your success and future growth.
Most importantly, if you and your wife are going to work together you will need to determine who will be in charge of what and not to cross those lines with each other. You will have growing pains but if you concentrate on supporting one another in each of your talents and responsibilities then you will be alright. Your success is due to both of your hard work and not just one or the other. And keep in mind, you will bring your work home with you! Yes, no matter how much we say that we will leave it at the door ... it does come home. It is all about the communication with each other and how you deal with the issues at hand.
Not one person totally controls everything ... for example: my husband is the Installations Specialist and I am the Professional Designer. His responsibility is to manage what can and cannot be installed or rebuilt in the space. My responsibility is to manage what our clients dream renovations are going to be in the end result. Our responsibility as a team are to manage each others quality control. For example: When Dan installs something I look closely at it and if there are any discrepancies I help him fix it. Remember also, both of you will need to work hand in hand beside each other throughout the complete project ... demolition, design, rebuild. Especially when you are just starting out.
And it is important for a Designer to realize that she cannot have whatever she or the client desires as there are construction barriers at times. It is the Installations Specialist responsibility to know these variables and to clearing communicate them to the client.
You have a real opportunity to be successful as a team ... but you must get over the whole "me, mine" and work with the attitude of ... "our success, our growth, our future".
You can do this ... just research and develop a definite plan.
Good luck and if you need anything ... we, Dan and Cindy, are here to help!
Dan and Cindy,
You just mentioned the most important issue of a "husband and wife" business. draw the line of limits are very important as you said. I wanted to start the interior design degree program with her. my drawing is good and i have a great interest in this field. The only reason i didnt start the interior design degree with her that we discussed it and figured that its no gona work :) i love doing renovations. started with my own house when i bought it i didnt have funds to renovate it. so i started myself and i did great! :) So i decided to work in renovations and get some formal education and experience to polish my skills. this way we can run the same business with very few chances to interfare in eachother's work.
Thank you so much for the valuable words and i will keep these things in mind all the time.
In my opinion, college is a waste of time. Maybe not for computers or anything like that but for construction industry to get good you have to work work and work. So instead of wasting your time and money on college, i would suggest you start working as a helper in the industry you want to get proficient at. Your pay will grow proportionally with time and you will get yourself new contacts and connections, probably even clients(like i had my first client- my landlord in about a year after i started working in construction).
Whatever your choice will be, i wish you best of luck- its a hard trade but if you contribute the benefits are great.
I am curious to know what path you followed in the end? Did you do the program at Humber? How have you fared? I asked because I have just been accepted into the same program and am deciding whether or not to pursue it. I would love to hear back from you about your experiences.
To the others who posted replies: Thank you as well for your insights!
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