Starting a Home Remodeling Business

Contractor: that is basically what you become when you start your own home remodeling business. Here are a few tips to help you on your way: try to build up book of sub-contractors that do excellent and speedy work that is affordable to your and your client, focus on the details of the prospective work and your work in progress, and lastly, listen - just listen to what your client wants you to do for them.

Often, successful home remodeling projects lays down the groundwork for this type of business.

Maybe friends of yours saw how nicely you are remodeling your living room and ask you to give their kitchen a make-over. And after that successful attempt, your friends recommend you to other friends who recommend you to other friends and you end up giving new life to old tired living rooms or bedrooms or backyard gardens. In any case, you decide to go professional. So here are a few tips to get you started with your new business venture.

A small home remodeling business is really the job of a well-connected contractor. You cannot hope to perform all the necessary renovations yourself, especially if the homeowners will give you deadlines for completion. A home remodeling business does not really need a large overhead budget or a large office space on the onset. All you mostly need is to nurture your relationship with skilled workers that do excellent jobs at a professional fee that won’t break the bank. Part of your job is to make sure you have back-up support should your ‘contacts’ fail to deliver on their promises. You certainly cannot make excuses to your clients if the house painters did not arrive on schedule or when the flooring suppliers apparently got your orders wrong and shipped in the wrong tiles. You need to be able to balance the work needed to be done, the schedule of your skilled help, and the deadline imposed by the homeowners. Some of your much needed skilled help may include: cabinet makers, carpenters, custom made counter makers, electricians, flooring specialists, furniture makers or repairmen, glass installers and suppliers, house painters, landscape artists, movers, plumbers, textile suppliers, window installers, etc.

Above all, you must have a keen eye for detail. You should be able to see what work needs to be done when you visit a prospective home to remodel. This is also especially helpful when assessing the work you are doing for your client. You, and not your client, should spot the ‘mistakes’ made by your team while remodeling the house; you can and should correct this even before your clients notice anything amiss. If you have any background in architectural design, interior design or decorating, then this shouldn’t hamper you from making intelligent assessments. If you find yourself lacking in this department, but would like to continue with this type of business nevertheless, then perhaps a short refresher course on interior design or decorating is in order. Creating a “make-over” is quite different from overhauling an entire room one wall at a time. You need to know the structural support of the house before even attempting to break down a wall or to install heavy furniture in the second storey bedroom.

Try to listen attentively to what the homeowners want. Sure, you think that the new gold encrusted bathroom fixture would look wonderful in your clients’ shower area, but your client disagrees. Part of being a home remodeling contractor is listening to the ideas of the client, and following (as much as possible) their desires and wishes. Should their wants be too much to handle, then it is your job to make other viable suggestions. In the end, however, the final decision still rests upon the homeowner’s shoulders. If you client likes your professionalism and your performance as a home remodeling contractor, you just might find yourself doing more work for them and their network of friends.

5 Comments

  • willie said on January 21, 2009
    Just trying to find out the steps to start a home remodeling business. Thanks...
  • scotty said on January 31, 2009
    just trying to figure out the business licence and tax part of it. thanks
  • Gianna Sweet said on April 27, 2009
    I like the article it helps. I am an interior designer wanting to start a home based remodeling business. I am wondering about licensing, what i understand my sub-contractors are the ones that have to be licensed, not me. Am i correct or not?
  • Joseph Glenn said on July 26, 2009
    your article really helped me. I am currently Stationed over seas in Iraq and am getting out of the army in less than a year and i'm trying to figure out career path to follow. i have prior training in construction and became a floor foreman in a few months of training. (Tulsa Job Corps) I would really appreciate a few pointers. my point is, I have dreamed of starting my own home remodeling business and have a few friends that are also interested in the same field. With talents ranging that include framing, flooring, roofing, plumbing, electrical, painting, trim/molding, tile-work, and landscaping. how would i start a business with no suppliers? please help me out. A Soldier.
  • Pernell said on December 10, 2014
    Yes I would like to know how to start a remodeling business from the ground. The cost the start of fees.
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