Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Big Sky Country
Thanked 930 Times in 466 Posts
Welcome to Preservationtalk!
A list of national/regional companies to work with or not is never an accurate thing to compile. Too many variables based on personalities, coverage areas, who you are dealing with at the service company, etc. . .
Example 1: Someone may have many years of a good working relationship with "Company A", where I may have had nothing but frustration working with them. Example 2: I find that one of the companies I currently work with is extremely fair and easy to deal with, as long as I am talking to the right people there. If I have to deal with the wrong person, I usually end up telling them to search for a different contractor.
As far as tools, preservation contractors are typically required to be ready to perform a wide range of tasks, including home inspections, landscape maintenance, snow/ice removal, locksmithing, plumbing, electrical, carpentry, roofing, painting, janitorial services, general labor, and photographer. And don't forget that most of the time all this work must be completed on houses without electricity. I drive a long box, 4 door, diesel, 4x4, 1 ton truck, and pull either a 16' tandem landscape trailer or a 14' tandem dump trailer with 4'H sides. The 8'L box of my truck is always fully packed with a generator, a gas powered air compressor with winterization tools, thawing and water pumping equipment, and multiple toolboxes containing tools and supplies. One of the trailers is almost always in tow loaded with more supplies (like boarding & safety railing materials), ladders, and landscape tools/equipment, including a 26HP commercial mower ($15K Walker GHS). The cab of the truck is a mobile office equipped with a laptop, iPad, cameras, inverter, chargers, cordless tools, multiple high quality/high lumen flashlights, files full of paperwork, a Yeti cooler, usually a duffel bag full of extra clothes for unexpected overnight stays, and a combination safe to secure both the personal safety items and the piles of money it takes for me to survive in this industry!
Iíve already told you more than I know.