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How to Become a Home Contractor and Why?

A home builder, also called a residential contractor, constructs new homes and takes on major remodeling jobs.

A home builder is typically the owner of a residential construction company.

Housing demands in your community determine how many workers you need and whether you should specialize in one area of construction or adopt a general contracting platform.

Being a home builder is a lot of work but if you enjoy construction and love building houses, it might be the right career for you.

6 Steps to Become a General Home Contractor

While construction work may seem straightforward, it is a physically and mentally challenging career. There are plenty of skills and traits construction workers need to possess in order to be successful in their work.

Construction jobs come with a wide range of tasks and working conditions, from navigating tight spaces and hazardous heights to operating heavy equipment in inclement weather. However, the rewards and pacing of this career can be rewarding for many professionals.

The modern construction worker needs a mix of technical knowledge, physical endurance, and effective communication skills. Here’s our list of the most essential construction traits that workers and contractors need to acquire to succeed in the industry.

Follow the following 6 Steps to Become a General Home Contractor;

Step 1: Build your Contractor Skills

There’s just no way around it – learning how to become a general contractor takes time. You need the skills and experience to manage construction projects from start to finish, and they don’t happen overnight.

There are two main paths for this experience: higher education and hands-on work.

 

Many home builders learn through on-the-job training or by apprenticing with master carpenters or contractors. Some employers might seek job candidates who hold an associate’s degree in construction management, which includes courses on estimating, project scheduling, building codes, and construction materials. A bachelor’s degree in construction management might be required to advance in this field.

Like to work with your hands? Have a creative mind? Are you good at organizing crews and meeting deadlines? These are just some of the important qualities you’ll need to display as a successful home builder. We reviewed several online job postings and found the following skills to be most commonly mentioned:

      • Physical fitness – home builders must be able to lift, carry, stand, bend, and kneel for long periods of time, which requires stamina and physical endurance
      • Math skills – understanding measurements and simple math operations is essential for home builders
      • Creativity – assisting with the design of practical and modern homes that suit individual client tastes and needs calls for strong creative skills
      • Time management – meeting deadlines and completing homebuilding projects on time and within budget is an asset for home builders
      • Attention to detail – home builders must ensure that projects adhere to all specifications and coding regulations
      • Troubleshooting – when any aspect of the homebuilding process runs into trouble, home builders must address these issues and offer viable, effective solutions
      • Analytical thinking – interpreting blueprints, schematics, and drawings calls for above-average analytical skills
      • Carpentry – measuring and cutting wood, laying roofing shingles, and mixing and pouring concrete for foundational footings are just some of the building skills home builders must possess

Step 2: Pass the Contractor Exam

It’s a legal requirement in most states that GCs be licensed – but before you apply for your license, you have to pass an exam that shows you’re ready to be a general contractor.

 

Test requirements will vary from state to state. For instance, Georgia general contractors must pass two separate exams: one on business and law, and one on construction. Other states combine everything into one exam.

 

 

Technical knowledge is just as important as physical competence. About 36 percent of contractors fail due to a lack of adequate training and inexperience with particular types of work. Familiarity with the materials and tools needed to fill a wide range of construction services is invaluable to a worker’s skill set. Some skills you should possess include:

      • Masonry
      • Surveying
      • Ironwork
      • Plumbing
      • HVAC
      • Demolition
      • Building and repair of structures, highways, and bridges
      • Renovations
      • Framing
      • Roofing
      • Knowledge of and experience with building materials
      • Power tools
      • Wallcovering

It’s also important to know and distinguish the different types of heavy equipment needed for various tasks. For example, there are several bulldozer types that are better at handling materials than others.

Step 3: Set up a Business Plan

“The construction industry” is a term that covers a lot of ground – everything from banging nails on a backyard deck, to electrical contracting, to building skyscrapers. A business plan might sound like busy work, but it’s the single best way to see how you can be most successful in this huge industry. Your business plan might comprise of the following elements;

        • EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
        • OBJECTIVES & GOALS, AND STRATEGIES FOR ACHIEVING THEM
        • BUSINESS DESCRIPTION, STATUS, & OUTLOOK
        • MANAGEMENT AND OWNERSHIP
        • MARKET ANALYSIS
        • MARKETING STRATEGIES
        • FINANCIAL PLANS

Step 4: License Bond

Contractor are required by law in most states, and you’ll likely have to show proof of yours when you submit your application for a license. There are different kinds of bonds, of course, but your license bond acts as a guarantee that you will follow all rules related to your work as a general contractor.

 

Contractors are required to get a contractor license bond before they can obtain a license and legally work as a contractor. These bonds protect clients and the public if they can’t fulfill the terms of your bond. For example, if a contractor bursts a pipe in a client’s building and doesn’t fix it, then the client can file a claim with the bond for compensation of the damages. 

It is a legal contract among three parties:

      • The principal, who is a construction professional.
      • The obligee, which is the federal, state, county or local government requiring the bond.
      • The surety, which is the company issuing the bond.

In general, here’s how a construction bond of this type works:

      • If a contractor (or principal) violates the terms of their contractor license bond, the obligee makes a claim against the contractor.
      • If damages are awarded, the contractor is then required to reimburse the surety for any money it distributed to settle the claim.

Depending on the state in which you’re applying for licensure, you may know this surety bond as a “general contractor’s license bond” or a “home improvement contractor bond.” Residential construction professionals in Texas are required to obtain a building contractor’s bond.

Contractor license bonds are different from construction bonds needed for public jobs. You should learn more about what a contractor license bond is to understand why you need one.

 

Below, you’ll learn about the types of bonds, requirements, costs, and benefits you’ll need in addition to a contractor license bond.

 

 

Types of Contractor License Bonds

There are a few different types of contractor license bonds that can be required depending on which state you’d like to conduct business in (requirements can even vary by municipality), and the type of contracting work you perform. Some of the most common bond types include:

        • Local (county/municipality) contractor license bond
        • State contractor license bond
        • General contractor license bond
        • Electrical contractor license bond
        • Plumbing contractor license bond

Step 5: Prepare the Paperwork

Ok, we admit it: Figuring out exactly what you need to apply for a contractor’s license can be challenging.

Licensing might be managed by your city, county, or state. Some ask for professional references. Others require a background check. And everyone wants you to have construction experience – but the number of years will vary.

 

Here’s how Contract Terms is used in Building Contractor jobs:

      • Negotiated contract terms and conditions relating to specific project operations, functions and tasks; including, payment terms and collections.
      • Communicated contractual rights and obligations and provided clarification of contract terms and conditions to business clients.
      • Interpret and explain plans and contract terms to administrative staff, workers, and clients, representing the owner or developer.
      • Maintained constant cognizance with respect to technical compliance with contract terms and conditions on the part of contractors.
      • Assisted in negotiating contract terms with vendors with oil spill crisis – Served as liaison between vendor and corporate
      • Monitored contractors’ progress and performance to assure compliance with all contract terms and conditions.

Step 6: Build your General Contractor Reputation

Ok, you’ve honed your skills, passed your exam, written your business plan, gotten bonded and insured, and obtained your contractor license – you’re almost there!

The last step to becoming a general contractor is to build a strong professional reputation. What does this mean?

 

Form a community: Keep in touch with contractors and other construction pros – and network to meet new ones. Networking helps establish you as an expert in your industry. Plus, the stronger your professional community, the more possibilities for word-of-mouth business

 

Prove yourself: Develop a rock-solid work ethic, and show clients how dependable and hard-working you are. Pay close attention to detail on any project – including careful review of all completed work.

 

 

Be a leader: Learn how to motivate workers and bring out their best efforts. When problems come up (and they will!) offer solutions quickly and decisively. Communicate effectively, and learn to manage other people’s expectations.

 

 

Never stop learning: Stay on top of changing codes or regulations. Keep abreast of emerging technology in your industry. And add new contractor skills whenever you have the opportunity.

 

One more insider tip: Don’t be afraid to get help from experts when you need it. We all have our areas of expertise, right? For instance, the experts at Simply Business can help you decide on the right insurance coverage for your GC business – so you can focus on what you do best as a general contractor.

Home Builder Duties and Responsibilities

While a home builder’s day-to-day duties and responsibilities are determined by where they work, there are many core tasks associated with the role. Based on our analysis of job listings, these include:

Perform Contractor Duties

Homebuilders are involved in the physical labor aspect of construction, such as framing houses, installing sheathing and subfloors, building foundations, and installing roofing. They also perform finishing work, such as flooring, trim work, and installing doors and windows.

 

Supervise Work Crews

It is often the responsibility of home builders to ensure that all workers and subcontractors are completing their assigned tasks. Homebuilders inspect daily work, ensure that work meets building codes, oversee safe working practices, and assemble work teams.

 

Prepare Job Estimates and Project Schedules

From estimating new construction or remodeling projects to setting deadlines and schedules, home builders handle every aspect of project management associated with this industry. Homebuilders price and select building materials, determine staffing, create project budgets, obtain necessary permits, arrange material deliveries, and revise schedules as needed.

 

Assist in the Design of New Homes

Homebuilders are sometimes involved in designing aspects of new home construction. They work with architects and home designers to lay out structural details, survey land, review blueprints, and modify layouts based on client needs.

Advantages of being a Home Contractor

  1. Large Network of Subcontractors

One of the biggest benefits of hiring a general contractor is that they have a large network of subcontractors working for them. This ultimately speeds up the project timeline. General contractors need to know how to effectively manage subcontractors to ensure that the project is completed efficiently.

 

  1. No-Hassle Services

Another advantage of hiring a general contractor is that you won’t have to be bothered by the construction process – General contractors are responsible for managing the execution of your construction project, which includes obtaining building permits, purchasing supplies, scheduling inspections, and hiring and supervising subcontractors such as carpenters, roofers, and electricians to ensure that the job is done efficiently and to your satisfaction.

 

  1. Insurance Coverage

When you hire a general contractor, you can rest easy knowing that your project is covered by insurance. With general liability insurance, you won’t be liable for any accidents or damages that happen on your construction site.

 

  1. Time Efficient

In a similar vein, because general contractors have built up these relationships, a perk of being a preferred seller is that they can get those materials on request. Overall, this will save you time, help you avoid delays, and move your project forward quicker

Hire a General Home Contractor and Build Your Dream Home

Now that you know the benefits of hiring a general contractor, you can decide on hiring one to build or remodel your dream home. Whether you’re starting from scratch, or want to update the interior or exterior of your existing home, general contracting services are a crucial component to your project’s success. 

About the Author

This article is written by Engr. Mohammad Ali.  

Who is a Civil Engineer by Profession.

He loves to write ‘Technical Reports‘ in his leisure time.


(c) Some Rights Reserved.

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