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Old 08-24-2017, 12:22 PM   #1
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Default Tell me about 2008

As a small shop, how did the 2008 recession affect you and your friends ?


I was working for the union then and I knew good guys That didn't work for 18 months.

Sure they probably did side jobs and collected unemployment but it's still a pretty scary thought
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Old 08-24-2017, 12:52 PM   #2
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A lot of places went under because they were high on new home construction around here....and they lost everything.... many just closed up and walked away from everything they had built up over the years......

basically it was like clearing out the deadwood and only the strong survived..


I honestly think the year after 2001 and 911 was a worse slow down compaired to 2008

get ready because we will probably go through all this again in a few years
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Old 08-24-2017, 03:15 PM   #3
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I weathered it, but just barely. Work in this area had stopped. I had 1 small commercial account left that was still active. We had just finished up a church for him & he owed 25K.
He told me that the building hadn't closed yet, and that everything would be current by the end of the month. One week later, one of his guys called me on Mon. morning & told me the GC had sucked off his pistol the night before.
All his assets were in other people's names. No bond on the project. Sin loi.
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Old 08-24-2017, 05:33 PM   #4
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'08 is when I got back into the trade working for a hack. Because he charged $70 for a secondary line and $90 for a main and performed unlicensed plumbing we did pretty well. The vast majority of our work was in college town and a recession means little there.

My current Master tells me he enjoyed it. A year after he went solo, it was a nice break only getting a few jobs a week versus 10-15 hour days.
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Old 08-25-2017, 03:36 AM   #5
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Service work doesn't (and didn't) care about the economy. The residential remodel side of my business actually picked up and the light commercial work we do didn't suffer either.

A couple of small shop friends of mine restructured as best they could and never went back to new residential.
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Old 08-25-2017, 08:06 AM   #6
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Service work doesn't (and didn't) care about the economy. The residential remodel side of my business actually picked up and the light commercial work we do didn't suffer either.

A couple of small shop friends of mine restructured as best they could and never went back to new residential.

what you say is 100% true...

we did not feel a thing when it all fell apart because I was 100% service and were there to pick up the pieces when many of the bigger companies in our town went belly up..

They folded up owing everyone BIG money and could not pay fica taxes or phone bills and they literally walked away from their buildings, trucks, and even their telephone numbers and all the good advertising they left in tract homes they plumbed around town over the years..like their names and their STICKERS on heaters.

We bought 6 companies disconnected telephone numbers from Ameritech for practically nothing and we typically get a few service calls a week from them.. Its a win--win....
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Old 08-25-2017, 09:01 AM   #7
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recessions are inevitable. If you survive, the competition is less (for as while) on the rebound. Here in the SF Bay Area, we are experiencing quite a bubble. My strategy then as it is now was to load up on as many long turn jobs as possible and hopefully they will carry us through the worst of the next one. That worked last time for about a year and a half. 2010-11 were tough years.
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Old 08-25-2017, 07:56 PM   #8
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What we experienced during the Recession was the Large companies like Boeing Vertols Helicopter Plant laid off or cut back the hours of a lot of their Maintenance Employees and now they were doing quite a bit of "Side Work" and they had know Idea of what to charge Because they were Collecting and still receiving Full Benefits. Customers that never normally asked us what something would cost now started asking because they could get it cheaper now. It was not only Boeing though,many other Large companies laid off Maintenance Employees and if they had a pick up Truck they were Taking our work. See, their is a lot of industry in our area. Also if a guy was out of work he or she would be Reluctant to spend money if it was not absolutely necessary. Problem is the guy with the pick up truck is still hanging around and will not go away
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Old 08-26-2017, 09:23 AM   #9
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What we experienced during the Recession was the Large companies like Boeing Vertols Helicopter Plant laid off or cut back the hours of a lot of their Maintenance Employees and now they were doing quite a bit of "Side Work" and they had know Idea of what to charge Because they were Collecting and still receiving Full Benefits. Customers that never normally asked us what something would cost now started asking because they could get it cheaper now. It was not only Boeing though,many other Large companies laid off Maintenance Employees and if they had a pick up Truck they were Taking our work. See, their is a lot of industry in our area. Also if a guy was out of work he or she would be Reluctant to spend money if it was not absolutely necessary. Problem is the guy with the pick up truck is still hanging around and will not go away

I had totally forgotten about the increase of laid off union plumbers doing side work while sitting on the bench for a year or two....

One thing I did notice was that all of a sudden we did not get any frozen pipe calls during the blizzards that blew through during that time period... I dont care for that kind of work and it was all eaten up by the laid off union guys. These were the same guys who were too high and mighty to even carry their own tools or materials on a union job site and had to have an apprentice do it all...

Any time someone else wants to freeze their balls off under a trailer or in a wet crawl space is a-ok with me..........maybe it was a humbling experience for them..
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Old 08-26-2017, 01:51 PM   #10
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I had totally forgotten about the increase of laid off union plumbers doing side work while sitting on the bench for a year or two....

One thing I did notice was that all of a sudden we did not get any frozen pipe calls during the blizzards that blew through during that time period... I dont care for that kind of work and it was all eaten up by the laid off union guys. These were the same guys who were too high and mighty to even carry their own tools or materials on a union job site and had to have an apprentice do it all...

Any time someone else wants to freeze their balls off under a trailer or in a wet crawl space is a-ok with me..........maybe it was a humbling experience for them..
LMFAO! So true!
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