If you are contemplating some new construction or a remodel you might find this article, by guest blogger Albert Adams, helpful.
The Qualities of a Successful Building Contractor
A building contractor is much more than a boss who sits back and watches things happen. They’re a key player in the success of the construction project and they have to wear many different hats, so to speak, to perform a wide range of jobs both on site and off. They are basically the ‘go-to’ person for customers, subcontractors, inspection staff and suppliers; the building contractor on any site needs to be flexible and ready to move at any instant.
It is a demanding career choice but plenty of people are up to the challenge and it gives you the chance to manage your own business and have the satisfaction of seeing all your plans and hard work come off when the final project is complete. There are some important skills and characteristics which make a good contractor and we’re taking a closer look at those below.
People skills are completely essential to the success of a building contractor. Building contractors are obliged to meet potential clients on a regular basis and need to be able to relate to their aims and goals for their project whilst also making sensible and insightful construction-based comments and therefore decisions. All kinds of personalities will be encountered so therefore diplomacy will be required and patience too will be a key quality necessary as you deal with the more testy clients and colleagues.
Although as a contractor it’s unlikely you’ll ever be seen with a hammer in your hand it’s still important you have a basic understanding of quality building techniques from foundations to frameworks to finishing. It is essential you’re familiar with building codes and zoning laws and you must be able to understand architectural blueprints. Some contractors have been carpenters or builders and worked there where up whilst others have no hands-on experience but still have studied to understand.
You’ll be dealing with so many people as a building contractor that you’re bound to hit a few snags. If your plasterer doesn’t turn up or your client changes their mind again you need to be ready and willing to make any necessary changes in quick time. Organization means you should have a wide contact base as well as the flexibility to make changes to the job when needed. High levels of organizational skills are essential to keep projects running smoothly.
As a contractor you’re likely to be self-employed. This means you need to keep a handle on your business completely, including the administration side of things. In time you may be able to hire office managers and accountants but a sensible contractor should be sure they have a basic understanding of payroll, tax, liabilities and insurance. You could even consider studying business administration to benefit your company as a whole.
Contractors will find themselves dealing with numbers on a daily basis. From costs to measurements, a good head for numbers will certainly stand you in good stead. Of course calculators are available but a decent degree of mathematical intelligence goes a long way too.
With these skills behind you there’s no reason you can’t become a fantastic building contractor.
Daniel Kirkcaldy is a building contractor from Leith. He has been successfully winning and completing large contracts for several years and has had considerable success with Glenigan construction contracts.