Choosing An Installation Market


From original questioner:

I've been in the northeast high end cabinetmaking business for 18yrs from fabrication to installation as an employee and owner. I'm looking to pursue more installation work. What the best market to pursue - pros and cons.

1. Other local shop 2.highend showroom / designers 3. Contractors 4. Residential 5. Commercial

I have extensive experience as a millworker, cabinetmaker, installer, and good knowledge of other trades. The right tools /trams & insurance and most of all the right personality for all kinds.

From contributor Ri

Please read your post objectively and think how you might respond. Pretty ambiguous, isn't it? Suggest you post your own objective analysis of your situation and then ask for feedback.

The shortage of good tradespeople now means no shortage of job opportunities.

From contributor To

Thank you for replying. My interest in doing installation work is to increasing my income. I am keeping the shop because I own my tools and have very little overhead. I do feel that millwork/cabinet installation work is much more productive over meeting, selling, designing, ordering, manufacturing, finishing, wrapping, delivering and everything that's needed to do the above, you get my point!. I'd like to start advertising myself to the mentioned list but before I waste resources narrowing down or chasing the wrong target market I'd be greatful to hear input/advice from those who are doing it!

here's my take on the list

Shops: I've done it in the past with mixed results some are great and don't mind paying for a good job. Others only care about the bottom line I get that and make the adjustments. The downfall is a lot of shops do there own installs.

showrooms: I have very little experience in dealing with them.They have the jobs coming in and do all the leg work with direct ties to contractors/owners who may need installers.

Contractors: they need installers but not often, I don't mind doing trim etc on occasion, but would prefer not expand to far off from cabinetry, to be more efficient.

Res v's Comm. I've done very little commercial for tax, insurance reasons. My take is you need capital to wait for payment. I don't want to compete with the large crew's installing 100 cab. a day . Maybe I could specialize in the high-end comm. millwork /veneer installs.

From contributor Ri

Hopefully you will get other useful suggestions with the additional information.
Unfortunately the way Woodweb is set up, if someone read your initial post, they are unlikely to see the additional info.

Based on what you have stated, I suggest you generate a focused project description, and target kitchen dealers, offering to work on a project basis. If you are focusing on quality, homeowners care more about what is in their home than commercial or institutional owners, unless it is a showroom or boardroom. Cultivate a number of shops, and maybe one will become full time as you feel each other out.

Another option is to consider is installing for a laminate closet company. Less detailed installs, although more work unloading. Today the range of projects in the industry is pretty vast.

Good luck!

From contributor ca

I would seriously contact some GC's and showrooms. A lot of times they get in a bind and will pay for quality work on short notice. A couple of showrooms and couple of g.c.'s should keep you good and busy

From contributor La

I have a commercial only shop. Most of the jobs are too large for a single installer and the GC's take care of it. But there are often smaller jobs that need a few days install. It is often hard to find someone I trust to do quality work. I will work as a go between for the owner and the installer but they work out the schedule, price etc.