Talking Trades Episode 3: Exploring Carpentry’s Opportunities and Challenges

Foreword by Ian Thompson, Editor

Exploring Carpentry: Opportunities and Challenges

Welcome to the third installment of our Talking Trades Carpentry edition. Today, we journey into the ever-evolving world of carpentry and building trades. For those who believe a desk job isn’t their cup of tea, prepare for an interesting and honest discussion. Imagine a career that changes scenery almost each day, brimming with diverse tasks and the potential to transform into a lifelong profession. Picture working with a team committed to delivering tangible, rewarding results every single day. You leave work seeing the fruits of your labours.

In this discussion, our host Matt sits down with Zach, a highly organized and efficient carpenter who embarked on his journey at a young age. We explore the wealth of opportunities the carpentry trade presents for young people, examining potential career paths, pay scales, and the crucial role of continuous learning and adaptability.

This video isn’t just about mastering a trade; it’s about sculpting a fulfilling lifestyle that breaks free from the confines of a desk. Carpentry offers the thrilling prospect of setting up your own business someday. So, whether you are a young viewer curious about the building trades or know someone who might be interested, we encourage you to share this video and join us as we delve into the boundless opportunities for growth and achievement.

We hope this video inspires and motivates you or someone you know to consider joining the trades – an exciting path that allows you to craft a lifetime career filled with variety and constant learning.

And now, let’s dive into the conversation with Matt and Zach.

Video Transcript

All right, Zach. We cleaned this place up, looks good, man. Looking a little better, right? Kind of looks like a fun studio. How about we sit down and do a little interview time now that we’ve spent some time on the job? We’ve seen your shop, how you organize things.

Man, you are literally the most organized, efficient guy I’ve ever met. It’s been really fun to spend a couple days with you. It’s been great having you. I’ve really enjoyed it, but let’s let’s sit down now and let’s tell these guys what the opportunity is for young people in the carpenter trade, what it looks like, what’s the pay scale, what’s the path? And I know there’s multiple paths, uh, let’s spend a little time kind of digging into your past. Sound good? Let’s do it.

All right, guys. We’re talking trades, we’re talking carpentry. Build Original series, hosted by Matt Risinger, talking trades brought to you by Front Door and Sashco.

All right, Zach, so first off, we talked a little bit about your uh, uh, your roots in the trade, and I think you’re so fascinating that you got started at such a young age as a carpenter. But let’s let’s take a step back and think about other people that you know that are in your same trade. Uh, talk to me about the uh, the path. You know, I know there’s a million paths to get to where you are today, but what do you foresee for the high schoolers maybe watching this? What’s a way that they could get into the carpenter trade?

I think there’s a couple different roads to doing it, and like you said, there’s no right way. But I think the road looks a lot different now than it did when I started, because of all the information that’s available, um, that wasn’t available to my generation.

That’s a great point. Um, I was sort of my world was the trades people I worked with and the opportunities that were within that world, y’um, and I feel like I would have hit the ground running a little quicker had I known, um, what was possible and some of the projects that were being built that maybe were a little more complex or a little more well-designed than what I was actually working…

Yeah, yeah, more well-thought out, let’s say. Yeah, more durable, right?

But, um, you know, I I still think education’s important, you know. Uh, I never graduated college, but I did do six years, um, in various College programs after I uh, graduated from homeschooling. But I was still running my Remodeling Company, so I only went to college part-time.

But just that critical thought is hugely important, and I think a lot of people, um, think of the trades as an alternative to college, and I don’t necessarily think you can throw out one without the other, because a lot of the skills I learned make me a more well-rounded Carpenter, and I have more critical thought.

Yeah, so I definitely think some sort of higher education, even if it’s small, helps you, helps you at least break away from whatever your parents taught you. No matter what your parents taught you, having that diluted information from other people is is extremely valuable, and that definitely helped me.

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I would agree, but to get into the trade specifically, I think there’s always passion, but you really have to rely, if you want to make money, you have to rely on your competencies. What is what is easier for Zach to do than other people, and go after that. And for me, what what’s easier is to look at something, understand how it’s assembled, how it works, and then make it.

I’ve always been taking my toys apart from a young age, taking buildings apart, doing the work in my parents’ house, and that really lent itself to Building Homes, because not only do I like uh to do the physical work, but it’s really enjoyable to uh, learn about Plumbing, learn about HVAC, follow people like you and learn about high performance building and how Vapor travels in different climate zones. And I think, you know, that curiosity is what makes me good at my job.

I think that’s a great point, that that uh, that lifetime learning, you know. It doesn’t go away just because we don’t go to college, let’s say, doesn’t mean we don’t stop learning. And in fact, I think for you and I, a big part of our success has been work all day, and then at night when we’ve got some free time, that’s where we do our learning. Right?

And sometimes that’s YouTube, sometimes that’s been trade magazines, uh, sometimes maybe that that is truly a uh, a college class or a graduate class, especially as you and I have run businesses too. Uh, you know, my guess is you’ve had to learn a lot more than just carpentry. You’ve probably had to learn QuickBooks, you’ve had to learn spreadsheets, you had to learn all these other systems to manage your business, uh, which is far more than just running a chopsaw.

Yeah, for sure. Now you and I don’t have a union background, but I’m curious if you know the union carpenter path and can give any advice for folks that might be in a place where they they could join a union Apprentice type program for carpentry.

So I don’t have firsthand experience. A lot of the tradespeople I work with come in and out of the unions because we’re located right now, we’re sitting you know, eight miles outside Manhattan, so there’s a lot of Union work in the city. Um, but I don’t have any on the job understanding.

But I think there are certain people who maybe are more risk averse than I am that, um, will thrive in a union environment, because uh, you can, you can start, you can sort of pay your dues, work your way up, and um, the Union’s going to watch out for you, and they’re going to take care of you, and you’re probably going to have, um, a more reasonable income without having to learn QuickBooks, without having to learn how to run a business. So that probably allows you to pick up a hobby, which I don’t have a lot of, probably gives you a little bit more free time.

However, um, you are somewhat at the mercy in certain unions to not having work, because uh, it waxes and wanes, and a lot of the uh, trade Partners I hire have a union background and decided to start their own business because of that frustration they were having with with sort of the lack of consistent workflow coming through the union.

So that’s interesting, that’s something I’ve I’ve heard, uh, but I can’t speak to it personally. But I I think there’s a there’s a lot of opportunity there, especially if you’re not the type of person who wants to be having all of these dis different disciplines that it takes to run a business, and you just want someone advocating for you. And that’s I think that’s a wonderful thing.

I’m curious, you know, we met Kayla, one of your Apprentice Carpenters, who’s really a true Carpenter now. He’s kind of graduated from that Apprentice position. When you think about Kayla when you first met him, what qualities really stood out to you for him, thinking about a job with you and you going, “I think this would be a good person to hire as an apprentice?” And I’m, I’m thinking, how do we translate that to our viewers? What qualities do you look for in a young Carpenter, in a Young Apprentice?

I think I look for the Curiosity, and like, a a a wide range of knowledge about how things are going to work, because if you’re doing carpentry, you’re obviously doing math, you’re doing geometry, um, and and a genuine curiosity about how that works serves you well.

And you have to understand how different species of wood will react to weather and moisture, yeah, and so all of those variables lend it to when I ask questions about things, a lot of people will, a lot of carpenters will freeze up and say, “If you, you know, do you cope or Mor your crown?” is the question, and what’s the correct answer? And the correct answer is, it depends.

Uh-huh. And uh, if someone says, “cope,” they’re probably not a good fit. If someone says, “miter,” they’re probably not a good fit. But if they say, “Well, is this pre-finish ground? Then I’m mitering, right? Is this unfinished C?R, then I’m coping. What what type of wood is it? Uh, is it a small crown? How much is the budget?” Right? Awesome.

So he’s, he has all of those uh, traits of being someone who’s curious and and interested, and he also has enough confidence to put his all into a task. Um, and not self-doubt, because um, in remodeling, you’re rarely using the same molding in the same house more than once. And um, I know there’s probably production Carpenters who work in similar houses maybe, um, like repetitive models, but that doesn’t exist in my uh, area of work, right?

There’s no, there’s no land, right? So so you’re not building the same house twice. So you really have to be uncomfortable, you have to be comfortable being uncomfortable and doing different things, all doing different things and being close to your vehicle, far from your vehicle, sometimes you have all your tools, sometimes you have a screwdriver, and you got to make it work.

So um, it’s that flexibility, and then it’s also um, you almost need to be, uh, ridiculously positive. If you come in with a bad attitude, the job, um, the grueling, the fact that you’re out in the weather year round, that’s that’s enough to dampen, literally dampen your body, but dampen your spirits. And if you’re not showing up every day with a good attitude, um, then you’re then you’re just going to be miserable.

That’s a great point. And so I need to, it’s almost unreasonable optimism. It has to be, it has to be almost manufactured. And I look for that a lot, because I, I don’t have the bandwidth as a manager to um, work through your problems every single day, and what’s going on with your father, and you know, hips bothering them, and it made you late.

There’s a time for that, but I do need you to be positive and show up, because there will be hard days, and that positivity is what’s going to get you through, because um, unfortunately, our trade doesn’t compensate you, you uh, fairly when compared to other uh, White Collar jobs.

And not only that, but you’re not going to have the sort of leniency in your day-to-day schedule. You’re not going to get an hour lunch, you’re not going to get to hang, play on your phone and know that there’s a salary there for you. That’s those are, you know, fireable infractions in our industry. So if you’re negative about it, the job’s going to get you down, it’s not going to work.

Yeah, 100%. But if you love it, it’s going to be the best job ever. And when you see someone commuting in a suit and sitting inside in their office on a freezing day, you’re going to think, “I pity that person who’s totally, who’s in there and uh, isn’t experiencing the cold air and it’s probably getting a cold from their coworker, you know.”

Yes. You know, Mike Rowe uh, is a bit of a legend in this uh, uh, in his Dirty Job series for promoting jobs that are not white collar office jobs. And so many of us have this, this like, uh, comic feeling. Yeah, uh, and in fact, you know, good, a good portion of what we’ve been doing on Talking Trades, I feel like is in response to what he started.

But he’s got this, is not an exact quote, but I’ve heard him talk about how we have this kind of imaginary job in our mind as maybe a high school student, that’s um, you know, this career that’s out there that’s perfect for me, that I’m going to just fall in love with it, and I’ll be awesome at it. And he kind of talks about how there’s so many jobs in the world, including, I think, carpentry, where you may not know that you’re going to love it, but you get out there and you do it, and in time, you grow to absolutely love it.

And I think that’s been my career path a little bit too, where as I’ve become a builder, I don’t think if I was a high schooler, even though I worked some construction jobs, I don’t think I would have said I was passionate about construction and would love it. And yet, here I am, almost 30 years in, uh, the construction world, I’m super passionate about what I do, I love building houses,

I love the sense of accomplishment. I wonder if your path, uh, is similar, like when you were in high school, you’re a little different, because you really started your company very young, but did you expect to be passionate about that now that you’re in your 30s, uh, or did that come in time, that passion for craft, that excitement for doing things a little better each time and for learning new things?

I think I think maybe I’m a little peculiar, but I’ve always had that. I I sort of knew from 8 on that I wanted to work with my hands and I wanted to build my own house at some point, and it’s always interested me. And the only times I wanted to walk away from it where where I was doing the things that I was bad at, which were mainly Financial, so if I was working for a client who was mean, then I was having a bad time, or if I was working for a client and I didn’t charge enough and I was losing money, then I was having a bad time.

If I was uh, you know, working through an injury or uh, working late on QuickBooks, having a bad time. But I’ve never had a bad experience doing the carpentry itself. It’s always the burden of doing tasks I’m mediocre at that has made my career tough. But I’m never uh, had a bad day on the tools because of the tools or because of the weather or because the the wood wasn’t straight or whatever it was. It’s always, um, doing something that I’m bad at.

Yeah, and um, my big, my big challenge now is how do I build a company strong enough so I can bring in people who can have that same passion I have for carpentry, but for QuickBooks or for uh, client invoicing or whatever it is that you’re not great at, exactly, so we can all succeed together.

Mh. Um, let’s get down to the Brass tax a little bit. What opportunity is there for high school kids in terms of what could they make on either an hourly or maybe an annual basis starting out in this field, from what you’ve seen both in, in your kind of metropolitan area or maybe your friends ac across the country? And then where can they get to over five or 10 years?

So I would say, um, well, we’re going to talk about being an employ, uh, not being a Sub sub trade, but you’re going let’s talk both, really. All right, so you’re going to be able to start umat, probably no skill, around 18 an hour, I would think, picking up trash, sweeping, and absorbing as much information as you can from those trades people. Eventually, you’re going to be holding the end of the tape, eventually, you’re going to start picking up, uh, you’re going to be able to use a saw, etc.

Um, I think it’s pretty easy to move someone to 20 an hour, um, who picks up the skills of being able to use a drill, drive screws, can start putting a tool belt on for sure, laying out 16 on an inch centers for framing. Um, you’re to push into 22 when you basically got the hand tools mastered, and you’re able to be left on a job and understand how to clean up and be trustworthy.

Into 25, um, you should be able to accomplish tasks on your own that are pretty not super high stakes, but you know, maybe run some base, patch and floor sand, prep things. Moving into 28 territory, you should be able to be laying out stairs, understand stringers. Is sort of, I think stairs area great, um, tipping point from that that sort of, uh, apprentice Carpenter to Carpenter, because you have to understand the floor thicknesses, and a lot of people mess it up.

So I think you know, if you could say, “Hey, build this little deck in stairs and do it productively,” meaning, um, you should be able to do a task like that a day alone, right, in a good Pace, um, is important. Uh, unfortunately, there, the downfall of a lot of Carpenters is they want to do the more glamorous things.

So they want to do the steps, they want to do all that stuff, they want to do the crown molding. But they don’t really want to do all their cuts at once, they don’t want to put the garbage can next to the miter saw, right, because then your off cuts are going there. So instead of being an effective worker, they’re doing what they’re seeing people do on Instagram, they’re doing the work, but they’re not applying a process to it, which is how we make the money to pay them.

That’s how we pay the workman’s comp uh, Insurance line item, that’s much larger than their white collar. So it’s like hitting us when we’re down, right. $21 of every hundred I’m paying these employees is going right to workman’s comp insurance line item that’s much larger than their white-collar counterparts. It’s like hitting us when we’re down.

$21 of every hundred I’m paying these employees is going right to workman’s compensation. So there’s this massive responsibility on their shoulders right away, and as they make more, that responsibility grows. They need to be exponentially more productive and effective, and that’s why you see a lot of people hiring people off the books and coming up with ways around following the rules. Then that drives the whole quality of the industry down and gives us a bad name because not everyone is playing by the same rules.

Now, it’s important to know that certain states are better about forcing people to play by the same rules. In other states, that’s not the case. So for whoever’s watching this, this may not be directly relevant to what’s the case in their state. But in general, you do as an employee have the right to be covered by workman’s compensation should you hurt yourself. You also have the obligation to your employer to work safely, and your employer has the obligation to protect you.

Unfortunately, the first thing a lot of employers would like to do is not provide you with PPE, not protect you, because they have had a lot of turnover because they don’t run good businesses, and they’re really not worried about your long-term health. They’re worried about making enough money so they can take care of their family.

As you frame those stairs, you’re getting $28. The next thing is you’re probably pushing into $30, and you’re beginning to think of your Carpenters as you’re backing away from the project. When I hired you, it was like there’s dust on the floor and there’s a broom, and then it was oh there’s some tools and there was like I can do something with this.

And now we’re getting further away. Oh, I’m going to accomplish this task of this job. And now, oh look at there’s all these other people working here. We’ve got plumbers, so we’re backing up a little bit more. And now you’re a lead Carpenter, and you’re managing all those as well as doing your trade.

When you’re jumping from $30 to $40, all of a sudden, you’re saying, “I don’t need to think about what I’m doing right now. I need to think about what’s happening tomorrow so I can order this material now. What’s happening next week? What are we doing now to get ahead a month, 2 months, 6 months, 2 years?”

And as the pay increases, the further you’re getting back. Probably by the time you’re going to make a split at some point, you’re either going to take the route of being a skilled trades person in one discipline, and you’re going to become so good and competent at that, that you’re going to push into the $67 to $87 range per hour. You’re going to be an A-level cabinet installer, an A-level Plumbing Tech, an A-level electrician, an A-level Carpenter – someone who I can send to a 4,000 foot house and pay $87 an hour and know that they’re going to productively pretty much trim that thing themselves and not need to look at it.

They’re going to make a good living; they’re going to make $100,000, which here isn’t really a good living unfortunately, but they’re going to make six figures. But they’re going to be employees at that point, so that’s still not even the hassles of dealing with QuickBooks at night and getting new customers and that sort of thing, although the work could vary in terms of always having work to do and a paycheck.

Since 2008, I haven’t seen someone with those types of skills ever have a great not have work a day. In the last 15 years, you and I have seen those really A-level Carpenters never miss a day at work. And in fact, if there was a job slowdown, there’s five other people that would love to have them on that job to work for them.

I could see the economy take a turn for the worse, and it being slightly tougher, but we’re at such a deficit right now. I could see people who are at an $87 an hour mark right now saying, “Man, I’m going to have to charge $67, but they’re still going to survive in the bad times. Costs come down, and we all make it through together.” But I can’t imagine they’re going to be sitting home.

If you want to make double the six-figure income, the path is to keep backing away and keep having more people under you on larger projects and try setting those people up for success. That’s sort of where I’m at now, where there are people working for me that I’m teaching, but I’m also looking at my projects in terms of months and years out. How are we framing this so that the tile guy who shows up in six months is going to be successful?

And if we can shave two days off that timeline, maybe where fixed costs, maybe my tile person will charge less. I’m going to keep that profit. The client’s going to get the job on time. The professional photos are going to look better than my competition because my competition isn’t going to have the layout as good.

The problem with that is, if you’re not someone who enjoys the complexity of constantly learning and being wrong a lot of the time, then you’re going to be frustrated. I think it’s interesting that you mentioned that kind of I love that analogy of this is my task, and as I back away, I make more valuable, I make more money.

And then there is that final jump back where you’re looking at the job from the street. And that’s kind of where you and I are now, and I’m 15 years older than you probably, so I’ve got a bigger team. You’re looking at the job from the highway, and I look at the job from the highway.

If you want to make $200,000, $300,000 a year, there is a path for that, and it starts in a lot of that starts in carpentry. I’m not an unusual Builder, but I would suspect that at least 50% of the really successful Builders I know who do the really detailed, the really cool, the really interesting jobs, they got their start just like you, making $18 bucks an hour as a carpenter. And less than half of them, I suspect, have a college degree.

I followed the opportunity, which is kind of Mike Rose’s quote, “Follow the opportunity, the passion, and the money will come.” And that’s my story. I worked hard, I followed the opportunity, and the passion is absolutely there for me. But I think following your path, following that path of a carpenter and getting better and better at that trade and backing up further and further, there’s at least 50% of the amazing builders that I can think of that have taken that path and have been super successful, run very big businesses.

I think so much of what we do and so much of what people connect with in our industry is really good carpentry work. I was thinking about that the other day because I got a call from a local Builder who was like, “Matt’s in town. Oh, my gosh, and his jobs are superior to mine in many ways. His budgets are bigger.”

And I was thinking, like, “Man, to be him and to have his success financially and the complexity of his jobs, it’s got to be like, ‘Why is Matt Rising? You’re visiting that College Dropout Carpenter?'” And I think it’s about you’re here because I’ve been committed day one to this trade, and you like, “I’ve never followed the money. I followed the opportunity.” And the money came, and the money came.

I think another thing we have to discuss is social media is great for educating people, but you’re going to have a lot of success in social media if you’re pumping up financial gains, if you’re pumping up the greatest tool. I like to tell the story of I’ve had all these insecurities about being a carpenter.

Carpenters are way cooler now than they were when I started. It was I remember going to parties, telling people what I did, and then being like, “Cool,” and backing away. And then it was sort of like, “Oh, look who’s wearing Carhartt. You know, look what’s fashionable now.” And the DIY movement came out, and everyone was like, “Oh, you’re a carpenter. I check out this pallet furniture I made,” and I was like, “I could have made that if I was, you know, with my eyes closed. Like, that’s not exciting.”

It’s cool now, but you have to understand that your path is your path. And whether you are the guy who shows up on the job in the truck full of poop to pump out that Porter John, you’re more impactful to the job’s success than the architect is at that point.

If you don’t show up, literally, people are walking off that job. And you have to you have to ignore the hierarchy and figure out what your success looks like and decide that you’re going to have a positive day, that you’re going to make it happen, that you’re going to go to work, and then you’re going to come home and spend time with your family, and you’re not going to be a grump at home.

You have to practice empathy because if you look at that designer and you think, “Wow, what a jerk,” or if you look at that designer and say, “They’re just disappointed that their cool idea is not going to work out, and they’re seeing you as the reason that the client’s not going to pay for it,” that’s not the case.

That doesn’t take any value away from me. I’m totally worth that $80 an hour, $400,000. I’m as worth as as much as people are willing to pay for my services, and that person’s just saying something stupid. They don’t mean anything by it. We’re going to keep moving. You’re not going to go complain to Matt Risinger about it in an interview.

Well, Zach, I want you to hear it from me. You know, I’ve known you a long time, but I haven’t spent a ton of time with you in person. And spending the last two days with you on the job in your shop, getting to really spend time with your wife, who works with you in the business by the way, and meeting your kids, I’m really proud of you, man.

You built a fantastic life, and as opposed to maybe your friends that are commuting into New York City, dealing with all those major stresses in that corporate world, you know, maybe they drive a fancier car or a fancier house, but I can tell you that they are not as successful in life as you are.

And you have been an incredible success at your age, and I’m really excited to see where this continues to take you because you run a great business, you build a great house, you build with integrity, and you’re giving a great value to your clients. And along the way, you’ve built a great life for yourself. I’m really proud to be your friend.

Oh man, tears are coming. Matt, it’s been awesome to spend a couple days with you, man. I appreciate that so much. Likewise, and if you want to see more and hear more from Zach, he’s of course shooting videos on a weekly basis. He’s also absolutely hilarious on Instagram, and I love his van videos that he makes while he’s driving home or driving to the job site.

So go check out debenmore101 on Instagram and follow Zach. And like I said, if you’ve got a young person at home, if you’re a mom or dad watching this, sit down and watch the series with them because I think Zach is a great example of someone who graduated from high school, did some college but maybe didn’t graduate from college, and yet has built an incredible life for himself and for his family.

As I said earlier, I’m so proud to shoot videos with Zach, and I think that if you consider a career path that involves carpentry, you could build a similar incredible life to what Zach has done. Guys, it’s been a really fun journey with y’all, having a chance to get around the country and see some really talented trades people and to see what that trade has brought them, not just for their financial gain, but for their life gain.

I’m really proud to be a part of the Build Show Network that has brought this series to you. And my hope is that now that you’ve had a chance to watch the series, maybe rewatch it with that high schooler, with that junior higher, maybe even with that elementary school kid who might be on your couch, because this is a series that we need to get out there, and we need more people to see, because the cliff is coming.

We’ve got so many talented trades people that are retiring, that have retired, and we need those people. The opportunity in our business in this construction trade is vast, and for your young people to consider that trade, we really want them to think about this.

I also do want to make mention that we want you to finish high school if you’re watching this and you’re a high schooler. Zach and I use so much of what we learned in high school on a daily basis in carpentry and specifics. You need some math, right? You need some good math skills. You need to understand how to multiply and do it in your head without having to pull out a calculator.

You need to know your all of your multiplication tables. I’m talking to my son here as well. It’s important, so graduate high school. And the last thing I’d leave you with is carpentry, in particular, and some of these other trades, there are some availabilities for summer internships or just working in the trade for the summer. Forget the word “internship.”

My 15-year-old worked on my work crew as a laborer this summer, and he did everything from picking up jobs to taking trailers to the dump, to shop backing, to sweeping. He got to do some basement waterproofing, and at the end of the summer, he absolutely loved getting a paycheck. He loved getting dirty and sweaty, even in 100-degree Texas heat.

And he asked me if he could not go back to school for his sophomore year in high school, and I said, “No, no, son. You need to finish high school. It’s really important for you to finish high school.” When you’re done with high school, though, I’d love for you to consider a career in the trades. And that’s my hope, is that you guys watching this too might pass this series on to those young people who might consider a career in the trades. Guys, really appreciate your time. We’ll see you soon.

Isn’t Zach awesome? I had a super fun time hanging out with Zach for a couple days. He’s got to be one of the funniest people I’ve ever met in my life. Make sure you go follow Zach on social and see his videos on the Build The same is true with all the trades people we visited, but let’s wrap up the series really quick.

So fun to sit down, hopefully with your teenagers and your young people, to explore this opportunity. I’ve got some young teens at home that I’m going to be watching this series with alongside of you. Talk to them about those opportunities, see what local options they’ve got in their high school to get involved, maybe with a trade school program.

Talk to a local HVAC, electrical, mechanical company about whether they offer apprentice programs, and I suspect there’s lots of opportunities for those young people that if you, as an adult, sit with them, talk to them about that, and maybe explore those options, that might be an incredible way for you to help them get into that trade.

You know, we’ve got a lot of great houses that need build, and we need those young people to jump in with us. Our motto at the Build Show is “Know better, build better,” and this fits right in with this. We need those young people to know about these opportunities. So if you enjoyed this series, please pass this along. Let’s get a lot of watch time on this, and let’s get those young people in America to join us in this incredible business.

This has been a build original series Talking Trades. I want to say a huge thanks to my friends at Sashco for sponsoring this talking trade series. First off, if you’re not familiar with them Sashco makes a huge line of PremiumCox and sealant that I use every day on my high performance builds.

They’re a family-owned company that makes their products in Colorado but they also hav ebeen a massive supporter of trade school education. Now if you are a trade schoolteacher watching this video I want to tell you about their class pack program which was designed for you to use in your classroom to educate students about sealant technology and application. 

NowI’ve been through a version of this program and it was really fun and educational. You can enhance your curriculum with their expert resources. Learn more at trades support. 

Now, if you aren’t a teacher, you can still make a difference in this battle to bolster our trade base. Take the Sashco challenge – volunteer at a local trade school in your town, capture the moment, share it on social media and tag Sashco, and your reward will be a free case of Lexel as a token of their appreciation for supporting trade education.

Thanks again, Sashco, for sponsoring these videos. I want to thank our friends at Front Door for sponsoring this talking trade series. If you’re not familiar with Front Door, they are reimagining how homeowners maintain and repair their most valuable asset – their home. As the parent company of two leading brands, Front Door brings over 50 years of experience in providing their members with comprehensive options to protect their homes from costly and unexpected breakdowns through their extensive network of pre-qualified professional contractors.

American Home Shield has approximately 2 million members and gives homeowners budget protection and convenience, covering up to 23 essential home systems and appliances. Now, Front Door is a cutting-edge, one-stop app for home repair and maintenance, enabled by their stream technology. The app empowers homeowners by connecting them in real-time through video chat with pre-qualified experts to diagnose and solve their problems. The Front Door app also offers homeowners a range of other benefits, including DIY tips, discounts, and much more. For more information about American Home Shield and Front Door, visit

Now, as the largest provider of home service plans in the nation and a network of approximately 16,000 independent contractors, Front Door is spreading the word and advocating to bring new talent into the pipeline by creating opportunities for young people as plumbers, electricians, and other highly skilled professions. Front Door has also been sponsoring organizations committed to the advancement of the skilled trades, like SkillsUSA and Be Pro Be Proud.

And lastly, Front Door is launching a new initiative that helps students further explore the skilled trades through a “Trade Along” program. Think of it kind of like a “take your kid to work day.” They will experience a day in the life while they will work alongside a skilled trades professional to see firsthand what it’s really like to work in that particular profession. Our hope is that this will continue to encourage young people to join us here in the trades and really fill that gap that we’ve got of skilled trades people in the younger generation.

Talking Trades: Carpentry – Craft, Business and Community Impact

Talking Trades – BUILD Original Series – Episode 1 with Mike and Sherry Holmes