with Greg Carter
In Episode 2 of The Quit Getting Screwed Podcast, the business owner of ICE Residential, Greg Carter, sits down with Karalynn to discuss the ins and outs of Retail and Commercial construction. Together, they tackle some of your most pressing questions. How do Residential and Commercial industries compare to one another? What differences can you expect? Why might a contractor prefer one route over the other?
Learning on the job
Carter has been in the construction industry for more than two decades, and in this episode, he shares the answers to these questions and more as per his own experience. Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, Carter spent 25 years fighting fires and saving lives before getting into the construction industry in 1997. His first position in the industry was as a contract administrator for a stucco company. His work included pouring over contracts, adjusting them as needed, and sending them back to the owners and GC’s who had sent them in the first place. After some time in this position, Carter was headhunted by another stucco company seeking a vice president to oversee their operations. The opportunity was exciting but called for quite a lot of on-the-job learning.
“At that point, I had never put any stucco on the wall. I just knew paper, so it was a learning experience to take over [the company’s] operation and not only run the administrative side but also learn and run the field side,” Carter said about the new position. Despite the challenges presented, he worked to master the work’s many assets, tackling projects both in the field and behind a table. This experience allowed him to gain a multifaceted perspective and skillset and acted as the catalyst for his next move. After another three years or so in the vice-president position, Carter finally decided to begin working for himself in 2003.
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The move to residential construction
ICE did not begin as a residential company, despite what its current name may suggest. Carter and his business partner, Paul Ivory, began stucco work in commercial construction and operated strictly on commercial products for multiple years. Carter only began to include residential repair work in his scope when his wife lost her job as a researcher. He wanted to find additional sources of income, and residential repairs seemed like an excellent opportunity to pursue. Upon completing a year of residential projects alongside his commercial ones, he realized that many of the qualms he had developed with commercial construction were mitigated, or even entirely eliminated, in residential repair. Using the past year’s success as a testament to the numerous pros, Carter had to convince Ivory that making the transition to a full-time residential repair company was a good choice. Fortunately, he managed to do precisely that. Carter and Ivory’s partnership has lasted a whopping 14 years and has stayed strong throughout multiple transitions, finally resulting in ICE Residential as it is today.
Carter goes on to share a surplus of other stories. He shares lessons he’s learned and integral points he wishes he had known when he began in the industry. He even has a thorough conversation about the good and bad in commercial and residential contracts. His expertise and intel are unique in that they come from multiple perspectives; that of the contract administrator, the fieldworker, and the business owner are all addressed. This variety of perspectives makes Carter’s advice invaluable and the perfect listen for industry professionals at any level of their careers.
To hear decades’ worth of experience in stories, jokes, and incredibly thorough advice, consider tuning in to the second episode of the Quit Getting Screwed podcast. Carter is as charismatic as he is insightful and is the perfect balance of experience and enthusiasm, making for an equal parts educational and entertaining half-hour. Tune in to Episode 2: The Dos & Don’ts of Running a Business to hear it all today!
Make sure to subscribe to the Quit Getting Screwed Podcast, so you don’t miss the next episode. A new episode, packed full of industry leaders sharing their advice and experiences, releases every two weeks, so tune in! If you want more information about what we do or a full transcript of the episode, you can find us at subcontractorinstitute.com. We’re also on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram, and the book is available on Amazon.