Like some of the guys here I am a contractor. I specialize in remodel,
repair, and custom carpentry.
There has been a lot of good advice passed your way, and should be what
you need to get you going. It will be tough until you get a few jobs
under your belt, as you will be considered an unknown quantity.
I do almost all the custom stuff myself as I can't seem to find "the
guy" I want to do the work the way I want it done. They all seem to be
self employed at this point because they have worked with enough
specialized contractors like me that their work is known and that puts
them in demand. I gladly give the good ones glowing references when I
am called. And I still work with them when I find a job a little to
large for me and a few helpers.
Besides, when when things slow down due to interest rate changes,
building cycles, political climate changes, etc., they are my new best
friends if I have work!
If I were you, before putting yourself at risk for being known as just
another wood butcher with a miter saw, I would think that a couple of
jobs under your belt with a trim contractor would be a good idea.
Setting aside the quality issue, there is a lot to be learned about
material handling, job site prep, what is expected of you, and all the
little things that make your work go faster, smoother, and turn out a
better job. You can learn a lot from folks that have been doing it for
a while, some of it good, and some of it bad, but all of it valuable.
You need to know which nailers you will need (should I shoot this on
with the 15ga or 16 ga nailer?, which hand tools to bring, which saws
to bring out (no need to cut shoe mold with a 12" saw or a 10" slider)
when to put a little liquid nails behind your trim (just in case) or
simple stuff like where you can sneak in a shim to make that joint
All the theories in the books and classes are great when everything is
square, plumb, level, and straight. Where the rubber meets the road is
where a real trim guy gets paid. Of the four above mentioned
conditions you should be pleased to get two. Many times you get none;
it is your job to make the project finish out like nothing was ever
wrong. You can only learn this with practical, onsite experience.
Besides, if you do work for someone for a while to learn the ropes,
then you will be building your resume and references for when you do it
I wish you were in San Antonio... I would sure love to learn to weld
(correctly!)in exchange for woodworking lessons.
Geez... and to have someone that actually wants to learn... I'm
getting misty eyed here...