Work in the Winter months?

For those of you who work in areas that get freezing temps in the winter seasons, what do you do to remain profitable? This is my first year in this line of work and I’m trying to find different ideas for making myself useful in the winter season. Thanks in advance

Christmas lights or snow plowing seem to be the typical options around me.

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I hibernate, keeps my expenses down. Most contractors around me line up interior work for winter. The rest are plowing or hibernating.

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I prefer to be a bear in the winter.

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Travel….enjoy the time off. More to life then work, right. We work hard for about 6 months, that’s more than enough.

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Christmas lights… easier sales, more profitable, and a massive repeat rate. It spawned another full-time business for us. Depending on where you are and what typical contracts look like, plowing can be super-stressful and rough on the truck.

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Something new I am going to try to get into this year is shrink wrapping.

My main customer base is in a lake community with tons of boats, the local marina has limited storage and will only shrink wrap of customers bring their boats to them. I spoke with the operator there and he agreed to let me help with some to learn first hand.

Apparently shrink wrapping patio furniture is a growing market that I would like to get into as well. Rather than moving everything in their garage, or a storage unit, or just leaving it out in the weather, people are paying to have it all wrapped up.

The christmas lights look interesting to get into, I have listened to a number of podcasts talking about it, I am just not sure what my state regulations are regarding electrical wiring, plus insurance for that type of work.

Snowboarding takes up the most of time, and has now become something I look forward to all year.

@Dallsheep want to chime in?

I’ve thought about a lot but done very little. :joy: Xmas lights is still on my radar. I think I will buy snow removal equipment for roofs because usually there’s a few weeks period where everyone is worried about snow loads. I could probably make a fair amount of cash that way.

Truthfully this year business has been so pitiful that my dreams/aspirations of quitting my regular job have been pushed back.

You will find me this winter in Ketchikan shipyards trying to stay there and get as much OT as I can in order to pay off debt. Business has been absolutely terrible. Even competition is complaining about it so it’s not just me :joy:

Bad news is I ordered 5k worth of SH and the phone stopped ringing. Hope it will last until next year :grin::grin::grin::crossed_fingers::crossed_fingers::crossed_fingers:

In general the regs are going to be similar to what would be needed to plug in a lamp you assembled (generally slim to none) for anything temporary.

Insurance could be another ballgame altogether.

Hit up @PMG he does roofs in winter, posted a few pics. I think he uses a steam jenny or equivalent but I can’t remember. They get a little snow up his way.

I usually just save up and hibernate for the winter. But I’m thinking about offering basic indoor handyman stuff one or two days a week this winter. Simple stuff like changing high lightbulbs, building people’s Ikea furniture, etc, and charge flat rates for it. I’ll advertise on nextdoor, front porch, and a FB page for local service businesses.

My expenses are low, so a few extra hundred a week would give me enough to get by without dipping into savings as much.

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Before house washing I did handyman work on the side. Most of the time it was fine, but you quickly realize that some simple jobs turn into a huge pain. Builders cut corners and hide issues, homeowners try to do stuff on there own and make bigger issues, simple jobs turn into a huge pain. Some handyman jobs you’ll think will take 30 minutes, turns into 2 hours and runs to the hardware store or home for a tool you never thought you’d need for that job.

Just one good example: I was asked to swap out a microwave. Done a good number of them, no problem, gave a good flat rate price on it. Get the old one off and found the bracket on the wall was installed with a combination of wood screw, lag bolts and drywall anchors. The lag bolts were sunk into the bracket and wall so deep you couldn’t get a socket on them. The screw heads were all stripped, and the drywall anchors spun and took huge chunks out of the wall. Then of course the mounting holes and plug cord location are never the same, so used to that, but still a pain. To top it off, they tiled a backsplash up to the bottom of the old microwave and the new one was ¼” taller. Diamond blade and cutting down ceramic tile makes just a bit of a mess…

Good luck to you, but if you can afford to stay home, I’d do that lol

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Man I hear you loud and clear, 7 out of 10 jobs are normal, the other 3 will kill you. I get asked all the time for small things, I have a hard time not helping old people out but I am learning.

I still have some people that I did work for 8 years ago ask for help with stuff. There are a few that I still help from time to time because I’m too nice to say no, especially when they’re older couples or single moms on a budget. I just don’t charge them anymore. I’m actually looking at fixing an outside spigot for a lady later today.

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Never heard of shrink wrapping outdoor furniture. Did a quick search and found Mr Shrinkwrap in Prospect Park PA, sells equipment supplies etc. Any idea for pricing? You can buy a decent table and chair cover for a few hundred bucks, will last for a few years from Amazon. I guess the process prevents anything from getting in so no rain, spiders, mice, dust etc. What part of the country are you located?

I’ve heard of him, think I watched some of their tutorials for boat wrapping on Youtube.

I have been asked by a few customers to just tarp their boats and I just charged time and material to make a few bucks in December.

From what some people I talked to that have had it done at the local marina it is usually about $500-$600 and that was the 22-23 season. From doing some other research I’ve seen some prices at $25-$30/foot, which sounds about right based on most of the boats were 20 footers.

It shouldn’t cost all that much to start up, you have shrink plastic, strap binder, strapping, some odds and ends in specialized hardware, and what seems to be the biggest investment and that is the specialized blow torch.