If you’ve successfully DIY’d a few home improvements around your house, you might be wondering how to become a contractor. After all, why hire someone to oversee renovations when you can just take on the role yourself? You might even turn it into a profitable side business! If you’ve ever wondered just what it takes to become a contractor, read on.
Accumulate work experience in residential construction.
As a home improvement contractor, you’ll be expected to handle every aspect of a homeowner’s renovation project. The best preparation for this expectation is to accumulate experience working in construction. Options include working as a carpenter for a large general contractor and working as an assistant to an established home improvement contractor. Aim to earn at least a few years of relevant work experience before trying to start your own business.
Consider having formal education.
Educational programs in construction are varied and widely available. Completing a certificate or degree program in a field related to residential construction will improve your credentials, give you additional experience, and help you network with other people in the field. Anything from a technical diploma or certificate in a building trade to a bachelor’s degree in construction management will prove useful.
Incorporate your home improvement business.
Formally creating a business is a fairly straightforward process, usually involving filing articles of incorporation with your state and paying a fee. The limited liability company, or (LLC), is an ideal structure for small businesses like home improvement contracting. This structure protects your personal assets as well as providing a favorable tax impact.
Do contractors need to be licensed or certified?
Many jurisdictions require home improvement contractors to obtain and regularly renew builder’s licenses. There are a few compliance requirements that you would need to get in place when starting a construction company.
Let’s start off with the basics. You need to apply for your company registration with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC).
Once you have all the original company documents in place you can open a bank account and register with SARS for income tax, VAT and employee tax.
Get your first few clients.
Marketing your fledgling home improvement business to those first few clients can be a challenging effort. Take steps to make your business known in the local area, such as signing up at FindHire, taking out ads in newspapers, etc. Consider mailing coupons or flyers to some past clients you may have worked with in a prior construction job. Once you have obtained your first few customers, encourage them to recommend you to friends.
Build your home improvement business gradually.
Maintaining a base of loyal customers will become easier with time if you perform quality work. Growing your business may mean hiring additional laborers, and building relationships with subcontractors.
Findhire introduces you to customers in your area. By signing up on Findhire, you’ll create a profile page where you can describe your business and share photos and reviews.