New to forum and Germany looking for help.

3 posts in this topic

Hello All.

After a decade living in rural France as a self employed builder renovating old properties, I now find myself, for various reasons, living and working in Germany. I'm a plasterer by trade. But have been involved in every aspect of the building game over the last ten years. Anyway. The reason im posting is because im looking for any help with understanding the German way of doing things, particularly when it comes to plastering and rendering. I'm working with a gipster crew at the moment. But due to my lack of German and their lack of english im not really able to ask them why they do things the way they do. And because i want to get back to self employment as soon as possible, the sooner i increase my knowledge of how things work in Germany, the better. So, if there is anyone who can help me, maybe someone in the trade or a DIYer with experience. Or if there is someone nearby (i'm in between Karlsruhe and Rastatt) with a project going on that i could come and look at and pick their brains. Any help would be much appreciated and repaid as best i can. Plus it might be a good way of meeting new people. 

Thanks
 

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I was in a similar situation when I first came to Germany, albeit in a different trade.  My best advice is keep working for others, at least until your German is up to speed.  There were are a lot of differences between what I was used to in Canada versus how things are done here, and my experience working for others was invaluable.  I know, it's annoying working for others and you just want to get out there, but patience is the name of the game.  I first felt ready to go self-employed after four years working for others here.  Looking back, I probably could have done it sooner, but not that much sooner.

 

You absolutely must be fluent in German to some degree in order to make the leap to self-employment, there is no getting around it - accept it and get on it.  Get your language skills up to speed as fast as possible, total immersion on the jobsite backed up by evening classes helped me.

 

You also have to expect that it will take a long time to build up your customer base until it starts to snowball.  Advertising is not effective for trades businesses, new customers are won almost entirely through word-of-mouth, and that takes time.

 

The regulations surrounding self-employment are difficult, and you need to get up to speed on that too.  There is loads of good information on that theme on this forum, just run a search for it.

 

Good luck with it!

 

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You Tube has quite a few videos showing German products and application. I'm sure you will adapt in no time. They are all in German so might be useful for learning trade terms. They seem to like doing things the hard way. 

 

Have a look on Google maps for trades people and you can quite clearly see the borders and lack of self employed in Germany due to the paperwork requirements covered elsewhere. At least you now have joined the health insurance train, one of the big downfalls for self employed expats. 

 

An online site

MyHammer: Handwerker finden bei Deutschlands Handwerkerportal has job offers. I had one reply when looking for a plasterer builder? My roof I fixed myself after no one got back to me. The demand is out there. 

 

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