The Inner Life of a Contractor, Part 2: Why you need a craftsman’s heartby Steve Maxwell
“The craftsmanship I’m talking about here is possible given any budget and any time constraints.”
The Inner Life of a Contractor, Part 1: Are you just molecules or more?by Steve Maxwell
“The extent to which you thrive or wither as a contractor ultimately comes down to who you are inside. Nobody talks much about this, but some of us think about it, at least from time to time.”
Contracting and telling “white lies” to clientsby Steve Maxwell
Steve Maxwell writes about why ANY white lies in the contracting business are going to come back to hurt you.
A contractor is a machine: Are you revving too high – or too low?by Steve Maxwell
Different contractors work at different intensities. But like any engine, there is a sweet spot for the most efficient output. Have you thought about yours?
Good guys versus bad guysby Steve Maxwell
Ethical and profitable contractors operate in particular ways. Here are some of them.
A tale of two foremenby Steve Maxwell
Foreman Ray ordered a 20 litre plastic bucket, containing 70 lbs of mortar, to be hauled high above the sidewalk
Lessons learned from a Chinese dirt bikeby Steve Maxwell
Quality is often about the small details – not the big ones
The best hand-guided trowel work I have ever seenby Steve Maxwell
The skilled trade workers I met in South Africa were supremely skilled at precise, hand-guided work
Re-engineering a moisture-damaged floor built on top of bedrockby Steve Maxwell
A contractor named Cam sent me an email about his challenges with this. Together, we tag team engineered a solution.
Two reasons good contractors are good diplomatsby Steve Maxwell
Diplomacy is a vital skill if you aspire to get better as a renovator or home builder
The best reason to be a contractor: “The right kind of freedom”by Steve Maxwell
Had a bad day? Wondering why you ever became a contractor? THIS is why.
Air nailers versus hammers… lessons from historyby Steve Maxwell
New technologies provide windfall profits for early adopters – but only for a very short time
Why do we throw new tradespeople under the bus?by Steve Maxwell
Way back in the past, Steve Maxwell writes, we used to have an apprenticeship system for trades training that the government kept its noses out of.
Why being a “transparent” contractor will help your businessby Steve Maxwell
“In a world where the public is scared of contractors, intentional and complete transparency is the ultimate marketing tactic. As long as you’re up to the reality of being transparent, that is.”
Why good help is hard to findby Steve Maxwell
“My university degree was the biggest waste of time and money in my life,” Steve Maxwell says. Only when he pursued his passion for building did he feel complete.
Avoiding the young contractor trapby Steve Maxwell
“Every young contractor I’ve ever met figures he was as tough as new rebar.”
Saving clients from their (cheapskate) selvesby Steve Maxwell
Read this column by Steve Maxwell if you want a good perspective on how to sell quality
That little voice that says “No!”by Steve Maxwell
“Contracting is like getting married again and again, every time you shake hands with a new client.”