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Unread 12-22-2018, 03:30 PM   #16
KiwiTiler
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I've been working on my own for the past ten years, recently contracted under a company who supplied me with their labourer. Had to keep an eye on him, but having someone there to assist with lifting, running your cuts and other errands. Even being ready to go as soon as the last tile is laid, without that half hour+ cleanup at the end of day is worth it alone.

Finding someone willing to learn and put in the effort, staying off the substances and being honest is the difficult part. I have no problems if they're going to be late once in a while, even hungover on (the odd) Monday as long as they don't cover it up or lie. If they want the mindless work, that's fine as long as they'll be happy to get paid appropriately. If they want to learn, even better.

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Unread 12-23-2018, 08:16 AM   #17
Simplyjames
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Do you have full time helpers?

That is the other thing to consider. When they are good enough to be helpful, some leave. Sometimes they’ll come back after realizing they don’t know enough to run a full project alone. Setting actual tile is only like twelve percent of the game.
I’ve hated most of my helpers and tolerated the rest. Currently my helper situation is going really well. I have never been more efficient.
Full disclosure though, my helper is now my son. He thinks just like me and is very driven by detail. When I become frustrated by a crazy cut or tediously choosing pebbles to perfectly maintain pitch around drain, he’ll do it happily.
And yap. He’s leaving too. He’s already said he’s planning to work with me two years and then will be looking to find something else.
He is wanting to find a company or situation where he can do more intricate stupid stuff, like spending crazy time on two square feet kinda stuff. Maybe murals or fountains or something? He’s fine with travel work too. If anyone knows of any apprenticeship type things anywhere let me know.


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Unread 12-24-2018, 03:42 PM   #18
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I pay him full time.... not sure he works full time.....
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Unread 12-26-2018, 07:51 PM   #19
Diaz.victor@aol.com
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Helpers

All of us started as helpers and im sure our installers said the same then
I had a kid at 19 so I was very hungry but I know I tried a lot of the same tricks these guys try now like a 10 minute bathroom break and etc
I mainly do new construction and my houses range from 6k-20k ft. I really depend on my helpers and try to treat them as good as possible but I feel the same frustrations u all feel. I have 3 helpers and 2 installers full time and have been lucky to have the same 3 helpers for over 2 years now. 2 of the helpers are over 40 and they just want a full time job without having the responsibility of being installers. The other helper is my son and he is helping 2 days a week and school 3 Right now things are going well with the helpers
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Unread 12-29-2018, 04:54 PM   #20
irish tileguy in michigan
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Have a helper for last 6 years, does all my running, mixing, grouting, wetsaw cuts, sets up in the morning and tesr# down in the evening.
He just told me he may be considering a career change. I’m now realizing how much I depend on him lol
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Unread 12-30-2018, 03:13 PM   #21
tilemanct
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Steve you were lucky to get 6 years out of him.
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Unread 12-30-2018, 07:02 PM   #22
irish tileguy in michigan
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Totally agree Dave, great guy just a helper was as far as he was going to get.
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Unread 12-30-2018, 07:20 PM   #23
Raymond S
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And not a thing wrong with that.
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Unread 12-30-2018, 07:52 PM   #24
irish tileguy in michigan
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Exactly Raymond, I wasn’t looking to pay a setters wage.
Just wanted a helper and he was good with that,
I got lucky I think
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Unread 12-30-2018, 09:57 PM   #25
Lou_MA
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Steve - did he want to become a setter? Or he wasn’t interested in it?
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Unread 01-08-2019, 10:20 PM   #26
irish tileguy in michigan
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Lou,
He really wasn’t intreasted but don’t think he had that precision in him.
Great at grouting, great with customers, very good on the wet saw, setting up, cleaning up ect
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