A home improvement contractor makes money when they’re building new homes or renovating existing ones. It is a lucrative profession and one in great demand as well. Furthermore, it is something you can do as either a side-business or a full-time job. However, you will need to have the right tools and certifications to operate lawfully and legally in your state. If you want to become a home improvement contractor, here’s what you need to do.
Understand All the Work that Is Involved
As a building contractor, you do far more than buying the materials to build things. You have to work with clients to turn their ideas into a workable plan and then actually build it. You’ll probably have to hire and oversee subcontractors like plumbers and electricians. And it will be your responsibility to obtain the necessary building permits and meet with building inspectors.
Get the Necessary Certifications and Credentials
The licenses and certifications you will need will vary based on where you’re located. Not every state requires a license for general construction contractors, although some cities do.
You’ll almost certainly need a license and bond if you’re doing plumbing or electrical work and most projects require liability insurance. You’ll also need worker’s compensation coverage to hire help.
Research what certifications are required to work in a given field and consider earning additional certifications voluntarily to add to your scope of service.
Certifications can be a selling point with potential clients. For example, you will probably come across a house that was built before 1978. In this case, you might see lead paint, and contractors need to have special certifications to deal with it. This is why we suggest you check out ZOTApro: lead paint certification types so that you know what will be required of you in case you want to work on these types of houses.
The best way to start a home improvement business is to start small. If you’re good at installing tile, start by re-tiling bathroom showers and installing kitchen backsplashes. If you’re a good painter, consider painting walls before you start painting entire homes.
This builds your skillset, generates cash flow and positive referrals, and allows you to determine the demand in your area for what you like to do. It also gives you experience working with clients as well as cost estimation and bidding.
You should also consider taking manager training. You’ll learn how to manage people and projects better. You might even apply for an assistant management position with an existing construction firm while handling smaller projects on the side.
TV shows make it look like anyone can pick up a hammer and turn a run-down house into a mansion. In reality, general contractors have to be able to manage teams and their business if they want to keep the lights on, so make sure you have what it takes to handle it.