Starting A Construction Business

Starting a construction business can be a way to utilize your skills and be your own boss!! 

Especially if you can identify a niche, such as bathroom remodeling, and focus on being the best at that niche.

Are you a tradesman looking at breaking out on your own, or a project manager who wants to create their own business?

Utilize your skills and your industry connections by starting your own business.  Either way, as the recession is winding down there is a market for talented, reliable construction services at a reasonable prices.

The best way to get started may be to begin with a few small projects.  Work with your family and friends to help them with their remodel job.

Make sure to complete the job on-time and within budget and ask for some positive referrals you can use on your marketing materials. 

And think about documenting your projects with photos (before/after) to show the quality of your work and place this information in a portfolio to market your skills. 

One area which is crucial when starting a construction business is the pricing and estimating process.  Clients will want an idea of what it will cost for their project and how long it will take you to complete the project. 

Account for material costs, labor costs, any overhead costs and of course your profit when providing your  quotes.  Also, allow for potential contingencies or make clear to your customers what is covered and if unknown repairs come up those costs will be above your initial quote.  

Talk with your attorney about developing a simple contract which covers the scope of work, how/when you will get paid, the expected schedule for the project, and how any changes to the project will be handled. 

It can be easy to get "scope creep" when first starting a construction business.  You will want to please your client, but don't do it at major expense to your business. 

It is key you have excellent communication skills to keep the client informed on the project status.

Make sure you know and understand local regulations with regards to building permits and other requirements.  Contact your local government agencies to apply for the necessary licenses and permits. 

Developing relationships with your local municipalities is important to your success when starting a construction business.

N2 - Niche Notes

Niche Notes!!

How about adding some of the following:

1)  Specialize in one trade area such a framing, carpentry, or shett rock.  Sub-contract with other construction companies.

2)  Become a Project Manager.  Work for others to run the entire construction job, managing the different sub-contractors, the project budget, schedules, etc.  Help your clients get their projects done on-time and within budget.

3)  Speciailize is specific types of properties such as residential homes; commercial office, industrial, or medical; multi-family properties, or mobile homes.

4)  Focus your efforts on renovating existing homes -- either for homeowners or foreclosure properties.

5)  Utilize your painting services to offer more benefits to your clients.

6) If you're good an interior design, incorporate this into your business to help your clients get the full effect of their new renovation projects or use staging to sell the properties.

Starting A Construction Business - What's It Take?

Painting Business

Cleaning Service

Lawn Painting

NOW is the Right Time

If You Must, YOU Can!!


  • Skills in a construction trade (e.g. carpentry, engineering,
  • Ability to use tools, work with your hands, and provide quality workmanship
  • Knowledge of how long it will take to complete construction tasks.
  • Organization skills.
  • Communication skills


Starting a construction business will require you have the tools to start and complete the work.  You will need a good estimating tool -- either software or worksheet -- to assist you with the estimating process. You will also need "tools of the trade" to complete the work.  You will need a truck or trailer to haul your equipment to the job site.  As discussed above, you will need a detailed contract so expectations on completing the project are well defined.

You'll also want to have good quality suppliers who can provide you with terrific products to provide a terrific finished product for your customer.  Your suppliers also need to be able to deliver their products on-time so you can completed your jobs within the timeframe you establish with your customers.

Work with your attorney to create an easy-to-use, comprehensive contract that identifies the scope of the job, who will pay for what, and the timeline for each milestone and project completion.

Time Required:

10-15 hr/week part time; can work full time 30- 40+ hrs/week


Utilize the construction skills you have developed. Take classes at a technical/community to gain trade additional trade skills.  Volunteer for an organization such as Habitat for Humanity.

Contact construction businesses, identify mentors in the industry, and network with others who are in the business for training/advice to get ideas about your specific trade and how to start a construction business.


Homeowners, property management companies, landlords, other General Contractors.

Home Based: Yes

Internet:  No

Location: Local, regional

Start-Up Costs: $5,000-50,000 depending on the trade, the tools you already have and the service you will provide.

Minimizing Start-Up Costs:

Utilize the tools you have already when starting a construction business. Rent expensive tools or hire a sub contractor who already owns the correct tools for the project.

Request payment for materials upfront to minimize your cash outlay.  Use word of mouth advertising and volunteer your services to let customers know you're in business.  Identify "freeware" or "shareware" to assist with your estimating, scheduling needs and your ability to accept credit card payments.

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Starting A Construction Business to Mobile Business Ideas . . .