Starting a home remodeling company?
In modern times, it’s understandable that most people are being pushed out of home remodeling as a result of the housing bubble and real estate crisis. However, there is always room and business for the top tier professionals with solid referring clients, reputation, and quality of service/craftsmanship. For those passionate about home building here are some paths/advice for anyone with dreams of having their own construction company one day.
Experience or Education?
As a standard most general contractors would agree that experience is education. Most companies will take on apprentices and be willing to teach an eager learner so depending on your game plan you may be able to save a great deal of money if you play the cards right.
- Experience – As a general contractor you will come across multiple issues that you simply just cannot learn in a classroom or book. Organizing all subcontractors while attaining building permits, securing the property, providing temporary utilities on site, managing employees on the worksite, Site survey/Engineering Architects, hauling/recycling of materials, monitoring schedules and invoicing, and having an accurate archive of product warranties, etc. is a skill one truly learns by doing and masters after hours on the job.
- Education– In 90% of cases if you are seeking residential remodeling certifications and 2-year technical degrees (Construction Building Technology, Certificate of Design/Build Remodeling) are the way to go. You will need to pass the California Contractors State License Board test to be a legitimate contractor in California so intensive study courses to prepare may be best for those who already feel confident in their abilities.
Workman’s compensation– This is a requirement in California to protect any workers in the field operating under your company as protection if they are hurt on the job.
Pay taxes- Regardless of fifteen employees or just yourself, you are required to file all taxes as a business owner under the IRS.
Business Name and Registration- Once you take the leap you will need to register your business as a general contracting business with the department of labor
Cyclical earnings– Remodeling is a tricky industry and a smart business owner understands you can triple your typical income one great year and have the potential to flatline or decline in a recession. Re-investment to secure business and monitoring cost efficiency are paramount to success.
Do not expect your exceptional carpentry to get second-story additions– Be prepared to adapt with technology if necessary, maintain superior client service, and be open to client ideas. Nowadays in an information-based society clients can be very demanding and used to have several options to choose from.
Do not take on jobs you cannot hack- If you are in over your head your client will ultimately find out and you risk sacrificing a potential long-term referral/client or even worse monetary damage that your company will have to cover legally.
Home Remodeling is a very rewarding but challenging career choice for those who wish to pursue it. At the end of a Second Story Addition, Kitchen Remodel or Room Addition seeing the entire project come to fruition is a feeling unlike many other professions can replicate. By making clients happy and adding value/equity to others’ homes feels great as well. Have fun, keep on top of industry regulations/trends, keep an open mind and mainly always be honest with your clients. Good Luck!