Episodes

  • We open the show with no song, we have David Cairns the VP of Business Development at Ridley Windows and Doors and he was caught off guard…wink wink Jim.

    Then we really open the show with some terribly sad insider info about the lumber industry and what’s really going on, Jim and Manny have to share this with the listeners and the industry. You must listen to what we discovered and prepare your business for more increases and possible hardships ahead. We run the gambit of all of this madness, and we even get into assisting the new trades, the young trades in the hope to help them prepare for the potential of a recession…there is a very good chance it will happen guys. The guys even bring up the Ford Pinto as your go to work vehicle, look it up listeners.

    Now we get back on track, this show is all about relationships, this is show about making mistakes and how you handle those mistakes, nobody is perfect, and you have to admit that to yourself, your crew, your clients but you have to make sure you step up when things do go wrong, this is one show not to miss.

    We get talking about windows and doors and how Ridley has come a long way since opening up in the mid 80’s. They handle all types of windows and doors and have worked on a number of Historical or as Jim puts it, Hysterical society, Ridley windows blend in as if they were original but they meet or exceed today’s standards. They won’t give out pricing over the phone, they are not interested in offering a product or service solely based on price. Clients should make the time and effort to walk in and discuss the units, discuss their home, discuss their lifestyle and figure out what they really are looking for when it comes to windows and doors for their home.

    The topic of reno tv shows comes up and we discuss it, David brings up some good points and Jim and Manny bring up more good points.

    Being a contractor isn’t always about the actual build, focus on building the relationships, those relationships will get you enough work to last a career.

    Thank you, David, for an amazing chat about construction, lumber, windows and doors and construction relationships. Reach out to Ridley at www.ridley-windows.com his email dcairns@ridley-windows.com, on social at FaceBook @ridleywindows and on IG @ridleywindowsanddoors

    Find Jim Caruk @jimcaruk and @carukhallconstruction and Manny @hardcorerenos

    Want a sticker, contact Manny at info@theconstructionlife.com or info@hardcorerenos.com or DM Manny @hardcorerenos He will mail you a sticker free of charge anywhere in the world.

    This is The Construction Life

    www.theconstructionlife.com

  • Let’s begin. Jason from @propertymaxdevelopment_corp discusses the pandemic and how there isn’t more support from so called “influencers” on social media. Jarrett from @pacificwildgeneralcontracting from Winnipeg brings up a new bullshit bylaw the city will be presenting to go after homeowners who didn’t get a permit. Andrew Maida from Georgian Renovations loves the show, would love to find the remaining seasons of Real Renos on Canadian Amazon Prime and would love to have a coffee with us to talk shop. We have Amy Perl from @amypeakson and @mydreamprep reaching out with a number of questions and all about her situation and we love it. She asks about union way, school, mom and pop shop or renovation co and she reminds us she’s 47 years young and has 3 kids. Thanks, Amy, for reaching out. Chris Goodwin @chrisscg82 sent Manny a pic of a lumber robbery at a local Home Hardware yard. It’s getting bad out there. Joe Rosselli shares his story about an opportunity to work for a company with full security vs staying on his own and building his own business and brand.

    Josh @onhive asks will they shut down construction for 4 weeks? @rusty_carpenter reached out for stickers and thanked us for a great show. @matthewvincenttbg from Matthew Vincent Building Group since us a bunch of price increases. Jason from @thekeystonecontractor wants to be a part of and help out with the association coming soon and we share some exciting news about our association. M. A. P. @dlcinstalations a great comment about our show. Thank you, brother. @glenwoodconstruction with a couple of questions, how should we handle past clients contacting our trades and bypassing us? And should we breakdown our estimates even further? Ray from @buildingpassive and the fine work he’s doing on those side-by-side new builds. Jay McDonald from @elitehomerenovationsca has some big news coming and we support him with it and all the best Jay, we will shout it out when you’re ready. Griffin McCabe from @gcmccabe loved Manny’s interior van video and gave him ideas how to organize his trailer, plus he asking about security and how to protect your work vehicle investment.

    @countryoakscontracting sent us a meme about a Fast and Furious stunt involving stealing lumber off a moving train. Shout out to Chris Mendolia, started at 16, he’s 18 now, OYAP student, huge fan of the show and he’s learning to build his skills. Find him @christhecanadiancarpenter. Filipe Juliao @filjuliao asks us would we rather hire a fresh kid or someone slightly older that is changing careers? Justin Misna @clearchoice_construction has a sad story to share about wanting to giveaway his older corded tools and the fiasco that unfolded online.

    Kevin Soto from @ksinteriorllc asking clients need to speak up with us for lumber pricing. Ross Tyrell @tyrellconstruction sent Manny an image of distribution yards full of lumber and questioning what shortage. @craig7890 CDM Plumbing and Heating out of San Francisco, lumber is going crazy over there. Jarrett is back on the same show, twice, we love it, @pacificwildgeneralcontracting shares a story about a recent job and client, and her actions to hire another person while he was already on the job.

    Find Jim Caruk @jimcaruk and @carukhallconstruction and Manny @hardcorerenos

    Want a sticker, contact Manny at info@theconstructionlife.com or info@hardcorerenos.com or DM Manny @hardcorerenos He will mail you a sticker free of charge anywhere in the world.

    This is The Construction Life

    www.theconstructionlife.com

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  • We open the show with a Portuguese classic Fabio belts out, thank you sir for such an amazing opening number.

    We are at the Mare’s Carpentry and Construction Inc. Workshop and Jim and Manny are very impressed. Gary is back on the show, @marescarpentry the one and only email him at marescarpentry@gmail.com and this time Gary has brought Fabio Andrerde from FNA Custom Woodworking @fabio.andrede51 and email him at Fabio.andrede.en69@gmail.com Fabio has been in Canada for 6 years, we have 2 finish trim carpenters on the show and we are going to be open and honest about the trade and the industry. Even the Old Man, the OG, the GodFather of woodworking shares a few words during the show as he hangs out for the conversation.

    We begin by an upcoming giveaway from @bosshammerco we have 4 hammers to giveaway, stay tuned on how we are giving those away. Jim is disqualified from entry.

    We talk about old school and new school, tricks and toys, we even discuss how Gary and the Old Man shaped a recent poplar jamb extension for a project for @wicklowcarpenter using his belly.

    Joe from @uniquetouchcarpentry was scheduled to join us but things happened, we will schedule another show and have Joe on the show talking more finish carpentry, we miss you Joe. We dive even deeper into the world of adhesives and @akfixna and their line of products is shared and why. Pricing, we discuss pricing and how they don’t price off the drawings, the Old Man wants to go to the site and see the current state of the job site before submitting any price and they never do a price per square or linear foot. Who wins when it’s price per foot? How do you handle the extras? Since your tools are here, can you please…? Then everyone discusses the painter, where the clients make the mistake of hiring the wrong painter based on whatever budget is left over. You can’t…CAN’T. You need a professional painter to professionally paint the skilled trim work that has been recently completed. The talk even turns to stained wood trim carpentry with walnuts, white oaks, exposed material where you as a Trim Trade have to be perfect.

    Towards the end of the show a huge special shout out to Tony from @tc.installations.inc and Jim said on the mic he will be calling you for some upcoming work. Thanks brother. We discuss how the rates of a finish carpenter has not risen as quickly and or fairly as most other trades, finish carpenters have a lot of liability with risk on the tools, risk hitting plumbing lines, electrical lines, the machinery they need to have for any given task. Finish carpenters should be compensated more than they are currently. Gary and the Old Man have always been about working together, building a construction community, other finish carpenters are never competition. A few more shout outs, Aaron from @wicklowcarpenter Andrew from @carpenteronsite Joel from @lanewaycustombuild Tony from @thetimbertailor great bunch of tradespeople and please reach out.

    Thank you, Gary, aka 2nd in Charge, to the Old Man, the OG, the Godfather and Fabio for an amazing chat about finish carpentry and the invitation to your shop. Reach out to them both for your next project, you will not regret it.

    Want a sticker, contact Manny at info@theconstructionlife.com or info@hardcorerenos.com or DM Manny @hardcorerenos He will mail you a sticker free of charge anywhere in the world.

    This is The Construction Life

    www.theconstructionlife.com

  • We are at the Skilled Trades College of Canada where Ralph started a hands on school for pre apprentice electricians, pre apprentice plumbers and he even started a introductory home reno course. With 65-70 student in each of the three school in the Toronto area, Ralph is adding to the industry. A little bit of background atmosphere as the classes are still going on when Jim and I arrive there to record a special show. Find the school at www.skilledtradescollege.ca on IG @stc_canada and email to reach Ralph or anyone at the school info@skilledtradescollege.ca

    We get the students to step up to the microphone and Ask Jim and Manny anything they like to know more about. The questions and answers will add to the already growing positive vibe The Construction Life has created.

    Ralph has been doing this school for 14 years now and he still runs his own electrical business, Neutron Electrical Contracting with a staff of 20, not bad for a small business.

    On with the questions.

    Samantha asks us – what is a typical day on site for us?

    Chico asks us - What benefits do we think having these skills can contribute too the industry?

    Savenish asks us – How valuable is renovating a basement before listing your property?

    Kyle asks us – When you’re starting off what’s the biggest day to day battle? And When did we feel it was time to go off on our own? And how do we build a clientele?

    Omar ask us – about being ripped off by General Contractors and how to avoid that?

    Ron asks us – a two-part question, at 45 how tough is it for someone to start a career so late in life? How do we price our jobs?

    Joseph asks us – about career changes early on?

    Paul one of the instructors asks us – have we been able to upgrade our motorcycles from all the money we are making off the podcast? LOL. Paul does have a legit question even though Jim and Manny felt the motorcycle question was 100% legit. Paul wants to know if there is a way to weed out the bad flippers, the ones that don’t care and fly in and out to make a quick buck.

    Eberhime asks us – How has Covid affected the materials costs for electricians?

    Stevie asks us – where do we see electrical going in the near future? How big was the code book back in our day? LOL

    Casey, asks us – What’s Jim’s favourite and lest favourite things about the Trades?

    Eric asks us – what peeked our interest to get into trades?

    If we had to start all over which trade would we choose?

    Clive asks us – what are some good tips we can offer fresh out of school trade students? How do we stay motivated to go to work everyday?

    Robbie and Callum ask us – How should we and when should we open up your own business? What tips could we share and what risks to avoid?

    We end the questions with Frank the plumbing instructor at the school, a lot of the students speak highly of.

    Thank you Ralph for the invitation and meeting all of the great students you are educating for the future of the construction industry.

    Want a sticker, contact Manny at info@theconstructionlife.com or info@hardcorerenos.com or DM Manny @hardcorerenos He will mail you a sticker free of charge anywhere in the world.

    This is The Construction Life

    www.theconstructionlife.com

  • A minor technical glitch at the start of the show, 2 mins and then we get back to normal. Must be Manny with way too much on his plate these days. We discuss the rising costs of material, from lumber to metals, to everything is seeing increases and we begin with the why.

    We begin the show with stats on how high lumber prices have gone from the 80’s to as recent as 2020 and how the USA is Canada’s #1 customer followed by China as #2 and that leaves next to nothing for the Canadian industry. Canada is a world leader when it comes to softwood and our government officials made deals to give it all away and that is the real reason why we are now paying for an $8 2X4.

    Time for a RENOLUTION!!!

    At the beginning of 2020 Jim and Dan of Caruk Hall decided to downsize after they invested into a new office space and they even had to let a few people go and consider where things were heading and Jim feels it will not be “normal” until 2022. As contractors we have to anticipate where the markets are heading and consider standing your ground with your labour rates but you also have to consider reducing your profit points, maybe lower 1 or 2 even 4 points that way we can still get the job and everyone has work.

    We end today’s show on an interesting question, more of a four/five part question…how would you describe the perfect client and how would you describe a bad client? How would you describe a good or bad GC and what is your threshold for staying or walking away from the scope?

    Thank you to everyone for adding their comments and two cents for this show.

    @mas_araz @kyle1302 @jordanvers @versahomes @IamYodaOk @kb007 @nestorbarsllc @longjonggingers @homestarroofing @rahulderrodra @cluelessframer @viawoodworking @blucontractors @captainlirp @gibsoncarpentryinc @marleausactionmaintenance @dkmay87 @lewiswoodworking @yo.prmn @nickelgeneral @greekbuilder @blders.ca @tilebychristoppher @integrabell @e6analytics @upperlevelfinishes @b.curriecontracting @thejakedekker @electricallocal69 @ryanmatthews411 @lonewolfdrywall @ryanaberin @rjhattonrenovations @tonygdcontracting @mackconstructionsinc @fortunatos @cullenmch @stonesthrowconstruction @brydonperryconsinc @matthewvincentbg @khan.kharpentry @ksinteriorllc @binsplusdisposalsolutions @blackbroncoconstruction @nickoulton @northridgecorp @catarquiconstruction @renosbybill @cafecoccoalatte @mselyan @sever_homes @carpenteronsite @joemconstruction @baruchbuilderscorp @joefraschini @vanhoornscustom @ritewayconstruction @mikemooresold @macneilconstruction @gonellhomes @philbarbosa30 @hardworkcanada @righteouscontracting @sidde @rahulderodra @khan.kharpentry @nwoplumber @cascoagency @sheetmetalsteve @vivhosking @franksflooring @kylescustomwoodworks @tacobelli14 @jpstile @daytonhardwoodco

    To all of our listeners, old and new, thanks for all the support, the kind words, the emails and messages about our little podcast. The word is spreading, tell your friends, family, subtrades, suppliers, tell everyone and anyone about The Construction Life.

    Want a sticker, contact Manny at info@theconstructionlife.com or info@hardcorerenos.com or DM Manny @hardcorerenos He will mail you a sticker free of charge anywhere in the world.

    Don’t forget to find Jim @jimcaruk @carukhallconstruction www.carukhall.com info@carukhall.com 416 546-8602. Lastly, find Manny @hardcorerenos www.hardcorerenos.com and info@hardcorerenos.com 416 433-5737

    This is The Construction Life

    www.theconstructionlife.com

  • We are back at the R Club recording another great podcast with my guest co-host John from Craft and Clerk and Stones Throw Construction, we open the show with a few shout outs and a special shout out to the wine that John brings, thank you Sir.

    Find Joe from Napa Valley Developments at www.napavalleycontracting.com and joe@napavalleycontracting.com and he is not on social media and Manny is very happy to hear that. The bell is wrung when Joe presents the truth behind a lot of social media images on construction business pages, are they really their work? The conversation gets a bit hot under the hood especially when Joe brings up TV renovations and how he refuses to discuss parallels with TV and a real construction to a potential client. Joe brings up his back story where he was the construction team on a show from the early 2000’s called Mondo Condo about renovating small spaces and he hated how TV pushed him, he worked for free and he disliked how TV always painted a negative image of contractors. Manny wonders where he has heard this before? Hmmmm. The stigma of “you’re just a contractor” sparks a debate across all three men and all three bring up some great points about how clients, designers, architects, the public perceives contractors.

    John began his career in construction in 1982, working in subdivision track building as a labourer for a framing crew, framing 1100 sq ft homes in 4 days and the shit that he went through would literally make the new trades of today cry. The abuse he was subjected to would have child services on speed dial, but that’s how the industry was then and some people feel it should go back to that way, because things got done, and people were tested, confirming construction was for you.

    Joe takes us down his construction path, from framing, to renos, to custom homes, to duplexes, triplexes, commercial, boutique condos builds and more, Joe has the skills to pay the bills, as John would say. These days Joe is actually comparing wood framing to concrete building for his triplexes and concrete is about par to wood and even if he was 15-30% more for concrete, he would still go with concrete because of the fire separation and added expense to safely secure wood framing for fire code. Things to consider these days.

    What changed things for Joe was his Drive, his passion to move forward and while he was working, starting a family, he was driven to buy a place and flip it, so he did, then he bought a restaurant and partnered with his Uncles, bought more places and flipped them and still to this day he is still buying, working on them and selling them, even in today’s ridiculous real estate market. Joe says there is opportunity everywhere, just do the work and find them and besides he looks for places that most don’t want, whereas Joe has the skills to buy something that is not over his head.

    What an amazing talk, thank you Joe. Loads of construction, old school, new school, restaurant building, cooking, handling clients and crews and so much more. Thanks you Joe for being on the show.

    Want a sticker, contact Manny at info@theconstructionlife.com or info@hardcorerenos.com or DM Manny @hardcorerenos He will mail you a sticker free of charge anywhere in the world. This is The Construction Life

    www.theconstructionlife.com

  • Our first guests from outside of the Greater Toronto Area. We chat with two builders from Calgary, and we discuss how they build and what motivated them to begin Builders and Brews.

    Here is the contact info.

    Adrian: @uniqueprojectsyyc https://www.uniqueprojects.ca/

    Byron; @brookwright_construction http://brookwright.ca/

    Both involved in @buildersandbrews https://www.buildersandbrews.ca/ and @home_upkeep

    http://homeupkeep.ca/

    We apologize for the bad connection as we tried a new mixing board and were using Bluetooth connection with a mobile device. Future shows will not be like this and I am sure the guys will be back on the show soon.

    We don’t open the show with our guests singing, instead we close thew show with our guests singing and you don’t want to miss that tune.

    Jim opens up about your appearance, your brand, your face, and how to establish yourself to attract those million-dollar clients. The group discusses a very important detail in construction, site cleanliness and how it’s never beneath any GC to maintain a clean site. Byron shares a story of his site super, Brian and how some trade left the onsite toilet a mess and Brian went around to find out who and everyone was dick punched until he found the guilty party. At Brookwright there are a few company policies, such as Bum Touching Thursdays, and other great ways to build moral on the job site.

    Adrian and Byron began looking at ways they could work together instead of against each other and that is how Builders and Brews was born and it’s been growing ever since. We discuss paying yourself again, because this needs to be understood. We discuss bridge loans and bank construction loans and lines of credit, milestones in construction to achieve next draw funds, we discuss, client relationships, where to find more clients and use “Mom” web sites and or committees to source out your next client, we discuss getting paid and why do we always have to feel bad about asking for money earned? We even discuss paying your trades what they ask because in the end will they have integrity, will they drop everything to handle any issues, will they be there for you?

    Absolute pleasure speaking with Adrian and Byron and getting a better understanding of contractors out west, we all have similar ups and downs and the guys have great ideas on how to build better and build the construction industry. Thank you Gents.

    Thanks for all the support, the kind words, the emails and messages about our little podcast. The word is spreading, tell your friends, family, subtrades, suppliers, tell everyone and anyone about The Construction Life.

    Want a sticker, contact Manny at info@theconstructionlife.com or info@hardcorerenos.com or DM Manny @hardcorerenos He will mail you a sticker free of charge anywhere in the world.

    Don’t forget to find Jim @carukhallconstruction www.carukhall.com info@carukhall.com 416 546-8602. Lastly, find Manny @hardcorerenos www.hardcorerenos.com and info@hardcorerenos.com 416 433-5737

    This is The Construction Life

    www.theconstructionlife.com

  • Another great Question & Answer show with Jim and Manny. A jam-packed show with another long list of questions, comments, inquiries and more all about The Construction Life.

    We open the show with Jim mentioning @renosforheroes and how the pandemic has made it tough to get donations to help our wounded soldiers. Jim and Manny as asking for tradespeople to go to the web site www.renosforheroes.organd donate any amount. Thank you so much for the support.

    On with the show!!

    Here is who reached out to us and thank you everyone for reaching out.

    @hayesnulmandesigns wants to know how to scale up his business

    @rabenbuilt – Does he partner up or continue to sub contract?

    Tim from Ohio email comment

    Updates from our good friend - @upperlevelfinishes

    Tim Reed from Christiansburg, VA he left the business, now at 42 wants back in and wants to know how to ease back in

    Danny Valado – a labourer for a large high rise builder would love to share his story on the show

    @brook.peel – side hustle real estate opportunities

    @libramplumbing – wants to learn how to improve his plumbing trade

    Ryan Connolly – a 21 year old tradesperson would love to be a on the show and share his Millennial story.

    The ASSOCIATION or should we be calling it a Mentorship. It is coming soon.

    @mishaaksel – asks, what should a trade thinking about going on their own have?

    Chris Goodwin from @chriscg82 – he’s 38 and wants to get into trades and thinks he might be too old.

    @topline.painting – Increases in painting materials

    Mr. Smith is Back with more insight into the building code and inspections.

    Adam from @ozoconstruction – wants to know should he as a GC apply for permits?

    @kiraveedesignbuild – clients keep asking him to itemize his estimates and they begin to cost compare trades.

    @jake_buckman – Working exclusively for one builder, good or bad idea?

    @hamiltondrywall – being robbed, truck broken into.

    Lorenzo from @supersevengroup – Would love to see the Roundtable return, was curious about what Jim was up to and his google search found the podcast.

    Aaron from @eastidohocarpenter – much respect for Jesse and the younger trades that step up.

    @mas_araz Landscaping Company - The rising material costs

    Stay tuned for a follow up show where we tackle the crazy rising costs of material and how an early morning story post on IG woke up 100’s of trades on line.

    Thanks for all the support, the kind words, the emails and messages about our little podcast. The word is spreading, tell your friends, family, subtrades, suppliers, tell everyone and anyone about The Construction Life.

    Want a sticker, contact Manny at info@theconstructionlife.com or info@hardcorerenos.com or DM Manny @hardcorerenos He will mail you a sticker free of charge anywhere in the world.

    Don’t forget to find Jim @carukhallconstruction www.carukhall.com info@carukhall.com 416 546-8602. Lastly, find Manny @hardcorerenos www.hardcorerenos.com and info@hardcorerenos.com 416 433-5737

    This is The Construction Life

    www.theconstructionlife.com

  • Let’s get dirty, we are talking about those heavy big boy toys full of all kinds of dirt, and concrete materials, we are going to dive into this world and the world that Laurie has been a part of for 22 years, and Parkview has been in business since 1995 and she doesn’t take any crap from anyone. We open the show by talking about her Dad, the person who built the business because nobody was doing what he needed done so with a few interesting phone calls to friends and family, Parkview Building Supplies was born. Welcome to Stone Therapy with Laurie.

    We get right into all the different types of material they offer and the purposes behind each one, always comparing the bad vs the good trades out there. Why is that the yard once they open and the first trades walk in for material the place smells like a skunk, 7am pot smoking landscapers?

    Back in 95, Laurie and company started seeing a shift in construction and felt it was time to shift gears from old school dinosaur mentality and bring things to a new more efficient way of offering customer service. Clients really have no idea what outdoor construction really costs and when they have finished the interior the budget that is left over in truly a fraction of what they really require.

    We discuss the rising costs of material and how has the current world climate affected Parkview. When you have costs of containers going from $1300.00 last year to higher than $6000.00 and its turned into the container mafia with bidding overtaking everything. Time to look in our own backyard but then we have to deal with trends and clients requests.

    Manny asks the question, where are clients going wrong when it comes to outdoor construction? Laurie tells us straight up what they are doing wrong.

    Enjoy the great secrets that are shared about planting tomatoes. And lastly we discuss Nona and how Nono was going to be a nun and now she makes Nono meat on Fridays, something Laurie wished she never heard. Magically Laurie reveals the calculation for yardage, please write this down. The depth in inches, divided by 12, multiply by the square footage, and divided by 27 and that’s how you get the volume.

    Thank you so much Laurie for being on the show and highlighting the wonderful world of building materials, keep doing what you’re doing, passion with fashion. Find her at www.parkviewonline.ca email her at laurie@parkviewonline.ca 416 752-4748 and www.romalaltd.com for their shoring and excavation part of the business.

    Thanks for all the support, the kind words, the emails and messages about our little podcast. The word is spreading, tell your friends, family, subtrades, suppliers, tell everyone and anyone about The Construction Life.

    Thank you to John my Guest CoHost from @craftandclerk and @stonesthrowconstruction and www.craftandclerk.comand www.stonesthrowconstruction.com

    Reach out to Joe and Trevor at the following info. www.venturesxcanada.ca find them on Social Media @venturesxoakville reach them at 289 644-2393 and email oakville@venturesxcanada.com

    This is The Construction Life

    www.theconstructionlife.com

  • Joel, like Noel, is Laneway Custom Builds, a red seal framer from North Bay came to Toronto nearly a decade ago and jumped into urban construction. Joel has come across almost every type of “urban” scenario, neighbors, deliveries, inspections, tradespeople, working in very tight lots and spots, did we mention neighbors? Getting started with garage building, with his own being the first due to the neighborhood arsonist being kind enough to set his car on fire. Joel had absolutely nothing to do with the fire. He built his garage, another neighbor wanted a garage, and another and off he went with his construction business.

    Laneway approval is only a couple of years old in Toronto and the city is starting to make things a lot easier for more and more homeowners to apply and construct more laneway homes. Visit the web site https://www.toronto.ca/city-government/planning-development/planning-studies-initiatives/changing-lanes-the-city-of-torontos-review-of-laneway-suites/

    We get into all the utilities attached in building the laneway and how all of it has to come off the main home. Best to review all the options and possibly handle these upgrades and changes before the building permit is even issued. Joel even scopes all of the drains to see what they may be up against and the homeowners might consider upgrading the waste lines at that point. From there the construction begins and it’s conventional building, 2x6 framing, batts, mechanical run throughs. Joel is finding working with forward thinking architects and homeowners is allowing him to take the conventional to new levels and build more efficiently. Joel is currently working with Solares Architecture https://www.solares.ca and what are the odds, there office is at 1113 College Street, the home where Manny used to live as a kid.

    Joel introduces the listeners to a new way to do a slab on grade, ICF slab on grade by http://www.legalett.ca well worth checking it out. This product was used at the University of Toronto laneway homes and that is how Joel heard about it.

    Joel has a new title given to him by his trades, #Air Boss, it’s all about air leakage and making sure trades do not make unnecessary holes and correctly seal any and all necessary holes. We discuss design layouts and really thinking outside the drafting box. We also chat about costs and realizing that laneway building is a premium construction budget and clients should understand that when they research. Laneway Homes are a great idea and time to move away from the fact only cars live back there.

    Thank you so much Joel for finally being on the show and sharing your day to day. Love to have you back talking a lot more about construction. Find Joel @lanewaycustombuild on IG, www.lanewaycustombuild.ca and email him for your next project hello@lanewaycustombuild.ca

    Want a sticker, contact Manny at info@theconstructionlife.com or info@hardcorerenos.com or DM Manny @hardcorerenos He will mail you a sticker free of charge anywhere in the world. This is The Construction Life

    www.theconstructionlife.com

  • We have a great show for our listeners, let’s talk about buying that second property for yourself or to rent out, a place to getaway, a place to experience, a place to fixer upper. Steve is an expert in purchasing these types of properties and he has a lot of great information to share.

    Find Steve @steve.haid on IG his website www.stevehaid.com his email stevenphaid@gmail.com and his phone number 416 277-6604

    The wine is on the table, a bottle for each of the three nationalities represented on the show today, Portugal, Italy and Germany.

    On with the show.

    There is a massive push for 30- and 40-year-olds to purchase fixer upper waterfront cottages from the aging population. You would be surprised, there are a lot of cottages on the market. Steve recently purchased his own place up there last year, a 1900 two story that needs a lot of construction love and right off the bat, Steve’s budget doesn’t line up with construction reality, but the guys discuss what it would really cost and what type of contractor you will attract the lower your budget goes. You honestly get what you paid for.

    Steve walks the listeners through the key steps involved in purchasing that property and it might not be a cottage on the lake, it could be rural, it could be a condo as the market grows up in cottage country. Steve is talking about a potential 20-30% return on your real estate investment. The conversation deviates into Manny never wanting to own a place up there himself because Manny is not an outdoorsy kind of guy and you will never catch Manny portaging or shitting in a thunderbox. The guys talk about working with all of the governing agencies up there and how particular they are when it comes to shorelines, wildlife and wearing camouflage pants.

    We discuss tech and how everyone is now on wifi and data networks and how those details are assisting with security and home office functionality for cottage owners. Then Steve hijacks the conversation back to his own place and asks how long the renovation will take, Steve thinks a month, that way he can disappear to Costa Rica and return to a completed reno, not the case as Manny and John enlighten Steve on the truths of timelines. Steve speaks openly about how badly clients up in cottage country desperately want a “hands off” experience and want the contractor to take full responsibility over everything from the permits to design. John and Manny even suggest Steve should consider renovating his home into a passive home, especially after hearing that Steve spends over $1000 per month on electric heat.

    So much to consider when it comes to cottage country living. Thanks so much Steve for walking us through the ups and downs of cottage purchasing, renovating, and living. John shares his latest and greatest phrase…Skills to pay the Bills. Use it guys.

    Thank you to John my Guest CoHost from @craftandclerk and @stonesthrowconstruction and www.craftandclerk.com and www.stonesthrowconstruction.com

    Want a sticker, contact Manny at info@theconstructionlife.com or info@hardcorerenos.com or DM Manny @hardcorerenos He will mail you a sticker free of charge anywhere in the world.

    This is The Construction Life

    www.theconstructionlife.com

  • We open the show with a phone call to Adrian in Calgary Alberta chatting with him from @uniqueprojectsyyc giving our listeners a brief glimpse into what the great folks out west are doing with @buildersandbrews along with @brookwright_construction stay tuned for a whole show with them. There is a lot more to share on the great construction and contractors going on across Canada.

    After the call with Adrian we shift gears on the already scheduled Q&A show Jim and Manny had planned, Jim wants to say something about a good friend he recently lost from Covid and work related unawareness regarding PPE back in the day. Due to not wearing the proper respirators, Jim’s friends was recently diagnosed with damage to 50% of his lungs from all of that overhead hammer drilling into concrete and silica dust inhaled over the years of working. Jim is asking that every tradesperson wear the proper PPE, all the GC’s make sure everyone is wearing the proper PPE, all the tradespeople make sure your coworkers are all wearing the proper PPE. The only person that will truly help you, is yourself.

    Stay safe on the job site. It’s a very long Construction Life.

    A bunch of shout outs from our listeners, @upperlevelfinishes @vkum @renosbybill @brollyrenos @filjuliao @schaeferwm @buildingpassive @youngelectric @btlcontracting @byurbangray @newwaycontractors Thank you so much for listening and sharing the show with so many other tradespeople, like-minded people that truly want to change the industry.

    Questions from so many listeners, @neilrmols @carpentermuncey @electricallocal69 @propertyrehab @symmetreerenos @nw_kitchenandbathsplus @ygjaws @jpaulitzki So many great questions and Jim and Manny try to answer all of them to the best they can and hey everyone that listens, Jim and Manny may not always be right but they may offer up some ideas that could point you in the right direction. It truly is about adding more into the industry and making this Construction Life stronger and better.

    Jim and Manny discuss, trades talking crap, working in construction is it all worth it, finding your price for your skills, side hustles should you, should GC’s have a test to pass, dealing with clients that only want to hire the low bid, using Tyvek on the backside of a basement framing wall and our thoughts, red seal certification and is it worth it, another great show and another great listeners with everyday construction life questions.

    Jim shares a great story from one of his earlier clients, the president of a bank and how he could have built whatever he wanted but that’s not what this client wanted. Another great show with a mixed bag of construction topics.

    Thanks for all the support, the kind words, the emails and messages about our little podcast. The word is spreading, tell your friends, family, subtrades, suppliers, tell everyone and anyone about The Construction Life.

    Want a sticker, contact Manny at info@theconstructionlife.com or info@hardcorerenos.com or DM Manny @hardcorerenos He will mail you a sticker free of charge anywhere in the world.

    Don’t forget to find Jim @carukhallconstruction www.carukhall.com info@carukhall.com 416 546-8602. Lastly, find Manny @hardcorerenos www.hardcorerenos.com and info@hardcorerenos.com 416 433-5737

    This is The Construction Life

    www.theconstructionlife.com

  • Mike opens up the show with a funny onsite story that involves this opening song, the avocado!!! We have Mike and Jessica from Belley Renovations, find them on IG @belleyrenovations and www.belleyrenovations.com Navigating the wonderful world of dream kitchen and bathrooms.

    There is a lot of thought put into the design and functionality of bathrooms and women dictate the start and finish line on that design and function. Manny just lets it all out and starts the conversation down a very interesting path discussing the luxury bathroom. We dive deep into the myth about “she” has the final say, Mike and Jessica agree that it doesn’t exist any longer. This show is revealing a number of ways to approach your current and new clients, pay close attention to the cues.

    We are recording the podcast at their home that is under renovations, shoemakers at their best. We get right into waterproofing and how it’s just put into the budget, not even giving the client any opportunity to question proper waterproofing for all of their wet areas. Construction is in the family, Mom was a site super for track residential, Grand Dad was a plumber, Uncle in HVAC, Dad was an Electrician, another Uncle that does Finish Carpentry, and Mike never thought he would get into construction and hated construction and during the family get togethers, it was always construction talk at the dinner table. Mike went into the culinary arts and cooking in some of the finest restaurants and was one of the best moves Mike ever made. The comparisons of being in culinary to construction are so similar and Mike learned a lot and it all prepared him for construction.

    Shout out to @livingstoncabintry and @binnerswasteremoval

    We dive into all types of good and some bad plumbing fixtures, why they work with for them and their clients. Our last conversation is about food, what tradespeople are eating and why and what they should be considering for lunch, breakfast and snacks during the workday and how Uber Eats isn’t really helping the industry and how it’s adding to social pressures to today’s generations. Things get a little heated in the kitchen. We discuss what tradespeople eat, what they put inside their bodies, how what you eat makes you the person you are on so many levels and it really is about a lifestyle, Mike and Jessica are Vegans and it’s something to consider for your construction life.

    Thanks Jessica and Mike from @belleyrenovations for such an amazing talk about cooking, construction and caring. Keep up the awesomeness.

    Thanks for all the support, the kind words, the emails and messages about our little podcast. The word is spreading, tell your friends, family, subtrades, suppliers, tell everyone and anyone about The Construction Life.

    Want a sticker, contact Manny at info@theconstructionlife.com or info@hardcorerenos.com or DM Manny @hardcorerenos He will mail you a sticker free of charge anywhere in the world.

    Don’t forget to find Jim @carukhallconstruction www.carukhall.com info@carukhall.com 416 546-8602. Lastly, find Manny @hardcorerenos www.hardcorerenos.com and info@hardcorerenos.com 416 433-5737

    This is The Construction Life

    www.theconstructionlife.com

  • We have an amazing show today, we have a very special guest, Matthew Bradley from OYAP. Matt works for the TDSB for the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program Department. Before OYAP he was a carpentry teacher, before that he was carpenter, before that he was a cabinet maker, and from leaving high school Matt went to study philosophy in university and not really knowing why he did that. LOL.

    Matt began his career in finance in the UK but working in finance wasn’t satisfying. Left London and moved to Calgary and transitioned from finance to web, and all of this relates to his construction path. A failure in the web allowed Matthew to be packaged out and use that money to study cabinet making at Humber College.

    Now Matthew began his construction career, working on all sorts of projects and learning so much more. From there with the help of his wife who discovered teaching and went through the programs to be able to teach. Matt has gotten a very good perspective on tradespeople getting in, staying in and thriving in the construction industry. We discuss the entire program and how to find the right apprentice for the right employer and it’s truly the employers that OYAP needs more of, they have plenty of students with the desire to work.

    We discuss taking the students on after the coop period and making them your employee. The students are PPE prepared and aware, they arrive on site ready and safe. They are informed of the latest tools and toys but they need a jobsite to keep learning. All of this is funded by the Ministry of Labour Training and Skills Development, one great thing the MOL is doing for construction. A recent approval by the MOL are construction coaches, this is an amazing new platform for all students.

    There are 144 different trades that these students can study for, we typically know about the most popular ones but there are so many more. We discuss the Step In Construction program, a hugely successful program within OYAP. So much to learn about the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program and I am sure Matt will be back one day. Watch for Jim and Manny to do more work with OYAP.

    Thank you so much Matt for shining a lot of light on teaching, apprenticeships, the construction industry and more. Really appreciate it. Find Matt at www.oyaptdsb.com and oyap.com is the provincial site www.oyaptdsb.com/employersmatthew.bradley@tdsb.on.ca 647 467-9744 and on social IG and Twitter @tdsboyap

    Thanks for all the support, the kind words, the emails and messages about our little podcast. The word is spreading, tell your friends, family, subtrades, suppliers, tell everyone and anyone about The Construction Life.

    Want a sticker, contact Manny at info@theconstructionlife.com or info@hardcorerenos.com or DM Manny @hardcorerenos He will mail you a sticker free of charge anywhere in the world.

    Don’t forget to find Jim @carukhallconstruction www.carukhall.com info@carukhall.com 416 546-8602. Lastly, find Manny @hardcorerenos www.hardcorerenos.com and info@hardcorerenos.com 416 433-5737

    This is The Construction Life

    www.theconstructionlife.com

  • Very explicit conversations in this show and a few jabs at DeWalt and Milwaukee.

    Let’s open the show with some Shabba and some reggae from Carlos and this is how as all construction podcasts should open. LOVE IT!! We have a special Co Host to join Manny, John from Craft And Clerk proposed the idea of joining the show and here we are. Manny is interested in doing more Co-Hosting, so anyone interested in filling in the seat, please reach out to Manny.

    Carlos a little nervous to be on the show opens up as the bottles of wine go down. We get off to a slow start but boy does the conversation ramp up fast.

    Right out of high school Carlos got into landscaping, choose a hard career path and loved it. A decade and half of working for others Carlos made the move to go out on his own and he chose early 2020 to make the move, right smack at the start of the pandemic. Talk about a challenge? Most of his friends, family and coworkers told him to wait, not to take the risk, Carlos listened but he still moved forward, and he had a great start to his new business.

    We get talking costs to run a business and what to expect with the crews and even going as far as discussing Uber Eats and all of those fees vs losing a guy to go get coffee and lunch. Things get heated and not from the microwave. Carlos was very lucky out the gate, his first job was in a higher end neighborhood of Toronto and we joke about that area.

    John takes the show to a side tangent by asking Manny all the behind-the-scenes work involved with The Construction Life podcast and what Manny goes through on a daily basis, on the job site, running the business, producing the podcast and more.

    We discuss ways to optimize your mind, your brain functions, how to be more mentally aleart and Manny discusses Brain Fog, eating coconut oil, mixing in MCT oil and Ghee Butter into his morning coffee and making his Bulletproof coffee, look it up guys, it will help you mentally and physically.

    Back to landscaping.

    We discuss the many ways your new business can and should be profitable, it’s important to have those goals but they need to always be attached to profit. We discuss tools, all kinds of tools, we even get a chance to upset every tool brand in the process and then the conversation turns to electric pick-up trucks and can of worms explodes. We end the show on quite the porta potty story and a brand new iPhone.

    What a great show and thank you Carlos for sharing your ups and downs and all the best to you and your new business.

    Give Carlos a follow, contact him for your next landscape project, @cavemen_landscapes and follow John @stonesthrowconstruction doing more tham just landscaping www.stonesthrowconstruction.com and please contact him to organize your business with @craftandclerk and www.craftandclerk.com Thanks John for being my cohost on The Construction life.

    Thanks for all the support, the kind words, the emails and messages about our little podcast. The word is spreading, tell your friends, family, subtrades, suppliers, tell everyone and anyone about The Construction Life.

    Want a sticker, contact Manny at info@theconstructionlife.com or info@hardcorerenos.com or DM Manny @hardcorerenos He will mail you a sticker free of charge anywhere in the world.

    This is The Construction Life

    www.theconstructionlife.com

  • The show opens with a mic check and a bottle of wine, Pinot Grigio this round. Back at the evening podcast recording session and Jim and Manny are answering a lot of listener questions. We have a great show for everyone, talking about all details of construction and Mr. Smith returns with more information from the wonderful world of the Ontario Building Code.

    Let’s open the show with a classic scenario where a sprayfoam trade is being asked by the client to provide documentation for her occupancy final but the client never paid the GC but the GC paid the spray foam out of his pocket and we are asked what should the spray foam trade do now that the GC has submitted a legal claim against the client?

    And now the questions.

    Do we struggle not being on the tools?

    Jobsite vacuums?

    Jobsite garbage, who is responsible?

    Are GC’s expected to shovel snow off driveways?

    Trade hovering, should you or shouldn’t you?

    Should you commit time to social media?

    When designer ideas don’t and can’t match real onsite construction, how to handle that?

    When does the finished flooring get installed? Before or after trim?

    Trades and the GC are not allowed to speak to the clients directly and without the designer?

    Why do custom trades expect payment asap, the e transfer has to happen right away?

    Mr. Smith got back to our last show and he has some very interesting replies and a few more questions and Jim brings up more questions.

    What if the homeowner doesn’t want the inspector on their property?

    Why do inspector question manufacture specs?

    Who pays for inspector’s wage?

    Why do we need to and must build to the exact way it is drawn?

    Why are permitted drawings issued and not approved?

    As much as contractors as inspectors to have on site experience well contractors should have building code experience, two-way street?

    Back to other listeners and more questions.

    What should a new guy start at regarding wage?

    How accurate can young tradespeople get with their quoting?

    Jim and Manny wrap up the show discussing the “association” a new endeavor that Jim and Manny are preparing to begin, a new way to change the construction industry.

    Thank you everyone for listening and the everyday support.

    Don’t forget the Shout Outs - @elitecustommillwork @whiteoak.construction @kestrelrenovations @upperlevelfinishes @pacificwildgeneralcontracting @foamit.ca @fortunatos_ @customandqualityinc @blders.ca @procustompainting @timberwolf.carpentry

    Thanks for all the support, the kind words, the emails and messages about our little podcast. The word is spreading, tell your friends, family, subtrades, suppliers, tell everyone and anyone about The Construction Life.

    Want a sticker, contact Manny at info@theconstructionlife.com or DM Manny @hardcorerenos He will mail you a sticker free of charge anywhere in the world.

    Don’t forget to find Jim @carukhallconstruction www.carukhall.com info@carukhall.com 416 546-8602. Lastly, find Manny @hardcorerenos www.hardcorerenos.com and info@hardcorerenos.com 416 433-5737

    This is The Construction Life

    www.theconstructionlife.com

  • What a great show we have today, Edward talks to us about being taught all the wrong lessons and he will be the first to admit the stereotype behind Asians and construction, how it’s always fast and cheap is the best and only way to renovate.

    Edward talks about going to post school, leaving in his 2nd year, he didn’t think school was right for him, but he did end up finding a network of likeminded tradespeople that he eventually turned into Ridgewood. Edward felt school was too simplified and they needed to teach him more and more about all aspects of construction.

    The guys go through a gambit of different construction topics from building a brand, building wealth, setbacks, people complaining, millennials and establishing money after you have gotten close to establishing your brand. We discuss entry level pay rates and what the new trades should be asking for and the why behind the rate, more importantly the opportunities behind that rate. Edward reveals some of his epic downs and ups in his construction career and as he states, the ups only happen because of the downs, embrace those losses and build from them.

    Lastly we have the 12 questions of construction.

    Thank you, Edward for being on the show and all the best with all your endeavors. Find Edward through Ridgewood Building Group at www.ridgewoodbuildinggroup.ca and on IG @ridgewood_group and email at info@ridgewoodgroup.ca.

    Thanks for all the support, the kind words, the emails and messages about our little podcast. The word is spreading, tell your friends, family, subtrades, suppliers, tell everyone and anyone about The Construction Life.

    Want a sticker, contact Manny at info@theconstructionlife.com or DM Manny @hardcorerenos He will mail you a sticker free of charge anywhere in the world.

    Don’t forget to find Jim @carukhallconstruction www.carukhall.com info@carukhall.com 416 546-8602. Lastly, find Manny @hardcorerenos www.hardcorerenos.com and info@hardcorerenos.com 416 433-5737

    This is The Construction Life

    www.theconstructionlife.com

  • We turn the topics over to our listeners and they have sent in great questions for Jim and Manny to answer and they don’t hold back. From dealing with Building Inspectors to how to price low to high end jobs, to what can trade schools do better when educating for RED Seal, to losing out on the job, to shadowing other contractors, to how to set your pricing and is pricing a constant evolving thing, to clients not willing to pay that final payment, to staying a sole proprietor or make the move to incorporation, to going back in time to our early years in construction and what we would do differently and the same. Manny shares the continuing Toronto Hydro Saga and something interesting came up on site, a construction life lesson regarding book smarts vs on site smarts. And our good friend Nick Andrew sends Jim and Manny a DM over IG as we are recording, just in time to make it into this week’s show and the guys are presented with a great question Nick asks, don’t want to miss this final segment of the show.

    Lastly, the show ends with Jim and Manny’s perspective on Valentine’s Day, the guys couldn’t be more different.

    Have a listen to another great show.

    Thanks to all the listeners for all the great questions. Jamie from @rabenbuilt

    Joe Rosselli @rossellirenovations @brock.peel Travis D from @black_bronco_construction Kevin from @pardely_woodworking and @I.westminster.purcell

    Thanks for all the support, the kind words, the emails and messages about our little podcast. The word is spreading, tell your friends, family, subtrades, suppliers, tell everyone and anyone about The Construction Life.

    Don’t forget to find Jim @carukhallconstruction www.carukhall.com info@carukhall.com 416 546-8602. Lastly, find Manny @hardcorerenos www.hardcorerenos.com and info@hardcorerenos.com 416 433-5737

    This is The Construction Life

    www.theconstructionlife.com

  • Something a little different on today’s show, Jim and Manny just rapid fire the topics and discuss a variety pack of construction hits and misses. We open the show with a little DATA on our followers and how much we have grown since launching the show back in 2019, over 150,000 total downloads with an average of 17,000 downloads per month, with May of 2020 being our biggest month ever, over 30,000 downloads. Thank You to all of our listeners and spreading the word, letting everyone know about The Construction Life and how we have great, honest, interesting, passionate conversations about construction.

    Jim gets right into the permit process and how the “C” word is killing the slow and steady workflow currently going on, the government needs to address our concerns otherwise construction is heading into a slow period this year. Jim is optimistic that things will get better but there needs to be a give and take on ours and the governments sides to continue the construction growth.

    Jim and Manny dive deep into what your profit should be, what percentage should your business be looking at? These are key points for any contractor and business owner. Talking 20 points for 100K or smaller renos but then closer to 15-12 points for million-dollar projects and that could drop to 8%. You have to be aware of every penny being spent and how those pennies take away from those profits.

    Cost of materials and how that could contribute to clients not moving forward, thinking things will get cheaper and favor the homeowner which both Jim and Manny disagree with, costs will always go up.

    Jim and Manny discuss how the younger trades can make the right choice when it comes to, who to work for, who will teach me, guide me, help me move forward on my construction career path. What a great question and a huge concern of many young trades out there. Great story about a sheet metal great friend of Jim’s with 4 thumbs, crusty as hell but would teach you the hard lessons.

    Leads us to on site etiquette, what a world of worms that opens up. We discuss how clients always leave an empty coffee cup mess after a site meeting. We discuss music on site and music levels. We discuss how GC’s should be charging clients for parking tickets. Then we talk about not getting paid by clients, by GC’s and how to handle those situations. What a great show we have touching upon a number on construction details.

    We wrap up the show with a little bit on the reno TV industry, the so-called influencers on social media and how the real construction world isn’t the way these people who say they represent us, really don’t because they really don’t live a real construction life. Stand up and be a man and if they want to talk smack about anyone, say it to their face.

    Thank you again to all of the Listeners and followers, thank you so much for making our little construction podcast one of the best shows online.

    Don’t forget to find Jim @carukhallconstruction www.carukhall.com info@carukhall.com 416 546-8602. Lastly, find Manny @hardcorerenos www.hardcorerenos.com and info@hardcorerenos.com 416 433-5737

    This is The Construction Life

    www.theconstructionlife.com

  • We open the show with a few construction terms and the origins of these terms, from Journeyman, the imperial measurements to plumb.

    Let’s get talking about your next construction office space, the Oakville location has 18, 746 square feet with 63 private offices, 3 boardrooms, a café, a lounge, and a flexible workspace. There are currently 5 locations in the GTA, this Oakville location, 3 in Mississauga and 1 in Richmond Hill with more expansion into Etobicoke, Ottawa, and out West into BC coming in the next few years. Ventures X is a global brand and well worth enquiring about the option to start your next construction officer space with them.

    The freedom to have a private office space, have access to the café, lounge area, free parking, set up boardroom presentations with clients, tradespeople, architects, and designers, a professional business address. Plus, the added advantage of flexibility of term, you can rent a space for as little as 60 days, there are no long-term leases here. You don’t have to worry about those fixed costs, heat, hydro, wifi that is all included in the space.

    Signing up to one location allows you to access the other locations globally, now that makes a lot of sense when you have clients across the Greater Toronto Area and can schedule meetings closer to you, or closer to your client. Even get a virtual office and use VenturesX professional address to run your business.

    We wrap up the show with the guests turning the questions onto Manny and asking him his thoughts on some great details of construction, things that have not been expressed before.

    Reach out to Joe and Trevor at the following info. www.venturesxcanada.ca find them on Social Media @venturesxoakville reach them at 289 644-2393 and email oakville@venturesxcanada.com

    Don’t forget to find Jim @carukhallconstruction www.carukhall.com info@carukhall.com 416 546-8602. Lastly, find Manny @hardcorerenos www.hardcorerenos.com and info@hardcorerenos.com 416 433-5737

    This is The Construction Life

    www.theconstructionlife.com