DIY renovating has been a trendy pastime for a handful of years now, but starting a professional career in renovations is also a popular choice. People who enjoy working with their hands have the opportunity to begin a fulfilling and lucrative career, if they follow the right steps.
With home renovations, there really isn’t a lot of room for error, so it’s important that you are highly skilled when you embark on your career and start doing work in people’s homes. It all begins with an education.
There are plenty of “learn-as-you-go” type contractors out there in the world, and if you have learned by experience, there’s nothing wrong with that. However, if you do have the opportunity to get a formal education in the more common home renovation skills, don’t hesitate to take it. Many colleges, universities and trade schools provide practical training and schooling for all of the various trades.
Some of the most in demand skills that prospective customers want you to have are general woodworking, concrete pouring, cabinetry, hardwood floor installation, tile installation, HVAC, plumbing and electrical wiring. As you know, many general contractors know a bit of everything, while other renovations experts specialize in one area. What you decide to do depends on your own preference, skills and opportunities for employment.
Some of the careers available in the home renovations industry include electricians, plumbers, air conditioning techs, skilled carpenters, builders and cabinet makers. As computers become and bigger and bigger part of the common workforce, fewer people turn to skilled trades when formulating their career plans.
Regardless of what happens with technology, these “blue collar” renovation careers will always be part of society, and if you’re willing to learn the skills and do what’s necessary, you can have a career that will last. Many people tend to look down on those who are involved in trades like plumbing or electrical work, but you can make a handsome living by using your hands, you just have to learn the skills and take action.
How to Be In Demand
Along with mastering the actual skills you’ll need in order to excel, it’s important to figure out what you need to do so you’re in demand by employers and customers. You may want to work as an independent contractor where you work for yourself, or you may want to work for a larger company, so you don’t have to assume any of the liability or risk. Either way, you want to be in demand so you get continuous work in your field.
Obviously, the first step is to master a skill that’s in demand, but after that there’s still a lot you can do. Take a look at some of the qualities that other successful renovations experts have and try to emulate them. This might include always being on time for jobs, providing a guarantee on the work you do, giving free estimates or having the most affordable prices.
Generally, the concept of under-promising and over-delivering always works well because it makes the customer feel as though they are receiving a little more than expected and more than they paid for. You’ll never get away with doing lackluster work in the home renovations industry, but these other qualities are also very important to make people ask for you when they have a job that needs doing.
Starting a Business
At some point, your career in home renovations may lead to you wanting to start your own
business. You will already need the appropriate licenses and certifications to work in the industry at all, but if you want to start your own business you’ll need even more. As a renovation contractor of any type, you’ll have to assume a high degree of professional liability, especially if you have other contractors working as employees. You’ll need the right business insurance to protect yourself, your workers, the customers and the customer’s property. Many insurance companies specialize in this type of insurance, so it shouldn’t be hard to find what you need.
Before all that, you’ll need a business plan, marketing plan and you’ll probably have to apply for financing to buy all the equipment you need to operate. Starting your own renovations company does have upside, too. You’ll be your own boss, running the company how you see fit and doing the type of work you love. Just like when you were starting out in the renovations field, you’ll have the opportunity to help and advise young people coming up, so they can have a long and rewarding career, too.
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