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Unread 12-26-2006, 09:27 PM   #1
MNTileGuy
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Texas Tile Guys Revisited

Hi all. I last posted here last spring picking the brains of all the Texas tile guys that hang out here. My wife and I are still considering moving to TX, which we've narrowed down to the greater Austin area after visiting a few times.

From what I've gathered between responses to my previous post and talking to others in the area, it sounds like there's plenty of work to go around (unlike here in MN), but the only niche where there's any money to be made down there is in remodeling or high end new construction.

My question is this: Does anyone know any reputable installers doing this kind of work that might be looking for help? Even the names of some of the more reputable tile stores in the area that I could contact regarding this would help me out. I'm not sure I'd want to go on my own, especially being new to the area. I need to find out if there's enough $$$ to be made even in the high end to make the move doable.

Any words of wisdom you guys can offer is most appreciated.

Thanks, Brad
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Unread 12-27-2006, 05:37 AM   #2
tileguytodd
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Quote:
it sounds like there's plenty of work to go around (unlike here in MN),
Theres Plenty of Work In Minnesota and has been for many years.

Somebodies Lying to you!!!

I'm up North and while it did slow up some, its started to pick back up again.I am scheduling for Late March.

Guys who are established are getting the lions share of the work. Younger guys trying to break in have had a tough time of it this last 8 months or so.

Grazzinni's in Mpls is always Hiring if you need work.........Or, you could try Vinge Tile....Mike & Jodi might have something for you!!
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Unread 12-27-2006, 01:44 PM   #3
MNTileGuy
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Todd- For what it's worth, we're not looking to flee MN due to a lack of work, but it sure isn't helping anything.

Things are BAD at the company I work for right now. Two and a half hours yesterday, today off and likely the rest of the week off. There were close to 30 installers at our company as recently as a few months ago. Now we're down to the dozen or so "core guys" and we still can't stay busy. If there's work out there, our company isn't finding it.

If you know of anyone in the Twin Cities area, espcially south, or s. MN looking for help, please let me know. I'm not sure what your personal relationships are at Vinge Tile, so I'll leave it at I've heard nothing but negative things about them from many people who have worked there previously.

As far as Grazzini, I'm pretty sure they're union and I'm not sure if that's the route I want to go, but if this keeps up I may change my mind.

THanks, Brad
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Unread 12-27-2006, 04:22 PM   #4
tileguytodd
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Quote:
I'm not sure what your personal relationships are at Vinge Tile, so I'll leave it at I've heard nothing but negative things about them from many people who have worked there previously.
Well, I know Mike & Jodi from many many years ago........Mikes originally from up Hibbing way, he married into the family (Jodi)
I understood they took over there about 10 years ago (leastwise thats what I heard) I havent seen Mike since about 1991 or 92 He and Jodi were recent newlyweds at the time. I heard Mike lost his eyesight.

He was the Chief installation Bidder (I wont say he was Project Coordinator even though that was the actual title ) for Bob Rucker @ "The Tile Shop" back in those days.
Ive been out of touch in the cities for quite some time.......Last I heard it was 60 hour weeks for qualified tile guys down your way and you still couldnt keep up!!
Things are picking up here............maybe your just getting a bit slower start........hang tite till March, you'll be Busy again
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Unread 12-27-2006, 05:02 PM   #5
smokingtable
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LOTS of work in SA

Todd,

The new Toyota plant here in San Antonio has caused a home construction boom, and lots of people are looking for quality installers. There's a post board at Interceramic with like 20 post-it fliers looking for good tile people. There's quite a few crappy installers, so quality work travels by mouth real fast here. The pay in SA probably isn't as great as Austin or anywhere in yankeeland, but everyone I talk to works as many hours as they can handle.


Jerimiah
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Unread 12-27-2006, 10:28 PM   #6
Chris the Rep
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Grazzini Bros., Twin City Tile, Harrison Tile are all good sized commercial shops in the Cities...Have you contacted anyone affiliated with the Independent Tile Contractors Association in Minneapolis? Lots of quality guys there who may need good help.

Fairibault....Isn't Voss the kahuna there?

Chris
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Unread 12-29-2006, 12:49 PM   #7
MNTileGuy
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Todd,

I haven't heard Mike and Jodi's names ever associated with the company, so it's very possible they're not involved with it any more. It's my understanding that Doug V. owns/runs the company now and has for at least several years. For what it's worth, most of the negative I've heard involved the sups Doug has working for him. Never heard a bad word about Mike and Jodi. I'll leave it at that before I get myself into trouble!

Yep, we were busy up until a few month ago and then things went in the tank. Hopefully you're right and things will start to rebound come spring (if I haven't made it to TX by then).

Chris,

You are correct about Vohs floors. I talked to Karl and Ann yesterday and it sounds like there's the possibility they may have some work for me. They also suggested I contact some of the big boxes in the area (Menards, Lowes, Fleet Farm, etc...). I know what alot of the guys here think about the big boxes, but if it can produce some work, so be it.

Jeremiah,

My biggest concern about the SA are is the pay. Granted, I'm sure once a guy builds a reputation you can make a little more, but from what I've heard Austin pays better. So, that's where my wife and I are focusing our attention.

Brad
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Unread 12-29-2006, 12:58 PM   #8
sgrandjean
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Brad,
Having lived and worked all over central and south central Texas, I can tell you that the cost of living is less in the San Antonio area than it is in the Austin area. Plus the traffic sucks...I'd rather drive in Houston rush hour traffic than risk my life in daily Austin traffic.

Cheers.
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