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House Painting

Get out your old painting jeans and ladder to start a house painting business.

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Business At A Glance

House Painting

Startup Costs: Under $2,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

One of the hallmarks of a well-kept home or prosperous business is afresh, professional coat of paint. But most people hate painting–ittakes a lot of time and skill to do the job right–plus you have tospread drop cloths over everything, climb around on ladders orscaffolding, and hope you don’t get paint in your hair.

But if you likepainting–you love the transformation as a dingy room or buildingbecomes clean and new–and you’ve got the talent and experience todeliver a first-class job, then this could be the business for you. Theadvantages to this business are that you can work from a home base,your startup costs can be relatively low, and if you like the feelingof accomplishment that comes from a good day’s physical labor, it canbe both rewarding and lucrative. You’ll need experience in paintinginteriors and exteriors and in working with different types of paintsand primers. You’ll also need some people skills in dealing withvarious personalities and the ability to estimate a job and come out onthe winning end.

The Market

Your targets will be homeowners, apartment buildings and condominiumcomplexes, businesses large and small, interior designers, and realestate agents who may need help with a vacant property. You may want tospecialize in certain types of painting–homeowners and interiordesigners will go for decorative treatments like sponge-painting, fauxaging or stenciling–or, if you live in a historic area, you canspecialize in ‘painted ladies,’ those glorious, gaudy Victorians,Colonial homes, or whatever suits your neighborhood.

Using authentichistoric colors for antique homes is very popular these days, so youcan offer color consultation and expertise as part of your historicalservice. To sell to this type of client, send brochures to historichome associations or introduce yourself to homeowners and contractors.To target other types of prospects, send brochures; leave fliers onhomeowners’ doorsteps; and network with interior designers, contractorsand real estate agents. You can also place ads in local papers. If youspecialize in decorative-painting techniques, get your company writtenup in local publications, give talks to local groups and volunteeryourself as a guest on a local radio chat show.

Needed Equipment

You can start off with a couple sizes of ladders, an assortment ofbrushes, rollers and paint trays and perhaps a sprayer and a breathingmask. As you grow, you can branch out to heavy-duty sprayers andcompressors and a set of scaffolding. You’ll also need a pickup truckto carry you and your equipment to jobs.

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Seamless Gutters

Find your flow with a seamless gutter business.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Seamless Gutters

Startup Costs: $10,000 – $50,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

Seamless rain gutters are quickly becomingthe eavestroughing of choice for most contractors, architects, andhomeowners simply because it’s inexpensive, quick to install, andavailable in a wide range of designer colors. The best aspect aboutstarting a seamless gutter service is the fact that it requires littleexperience.

There are no portable roll form machines available thatwill form the gutters in the desired profile right on the customer’sjob site. In a nutshell a coil of aluminum metal in the chosen colorisloaded into one end of the machine and the finished rain gutter comesout the other end.  Currently, gutter installation contractors arecharging in the range of $2.50 to $3.50 per linear foot of gutterinstalled, $1.50 per linear foot of downpipe installed, plus a premiumfor jobs that require extensive ladder work or have numerous inside andoutside corners. As a way to increase the average selling price, manygutter contractors also quote to install aluminum fascia and soffitwhile on the job site. Promote the products and services by way oftraditional print advertising and by establishing alliances with newhome contractors, renovation companies, and siding roofing contractors.Many gutter installation contractors work exclusively on a subcontractbasis for the above-mentioned companies.

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Fence Panels

Add the finishing touch to any yard or field by offering fence panels.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Fence Panels

Startup Costs: $2,000 – $10,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

Almost all new wooden fences that are being installed today are constructed from prebuilt fence panels in 4-, 5-, and 6-foot heights. Typically these prebuilt fence panels are constructed from pressure treated wood or from cedar wood, and are available in a wide range of styles.
 
To get started building and selling fence panels you will need a homebased workshop, basic power and hand tools, and some design plans, but that’s about it. The fence panels can be sold to fence installation companies, landscape contractors, to do-it-yourself building centers, or directly to homeowners by placing advertisements in your local newspaper.Once established, and the manufacturing bugs have been worked out, there should be no problem averaging $20 to $30 per hour for building the fence panels.

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Mirror Installations

Can you see yourself being successful? All you have to do is look into a mirror.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Mirror Installations

Startup Costs: $2,000 – $10,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

Mirrors are required for just about everyresidential and commercial washroom application, and a mirror sales andinstallation business can easily be operated from a home garage. Allthat is required is a truck with a basic glass rack, a few tools andthe ability to cut glass (or hire an assistant who can cut the glass).

The current rate to install bathroom mirrors is in the range of $5 to$7 per square foot, while the wholesale cost of the mirror is only $2per square foot. Your math skills do not have to be good to know thatleaves around $4 per square foot just for installing the mirror.
Forexample, if the average installation job is four mirrors with anaverage size of nine-square feet per mirror, then this would leave youand a helper $150 for installing the mirrors, which would take about anhour to do. Once you have established the business, you can begin tomarket the services to commercial and residential constructioncompanies, and it should not take long to build up a solid customerbase.

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