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How to become a general contractor?

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Posted by: from Markham
6/15/2017 at 9:31:57 AM

Hi,

I want to learn how to do basic Reno/contracting jobs (lay flooring, framing, different wood cuts etc). I'm 4'11 girl, so not your ideal contractor, but I want to start doing things myself in a professional level. No experience at all. I'm wondering where I go to learn?

REPLIES (5)
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Thomas from Trusted Trades in Cambridge
Date/Time6/15/2017 at 10:14:09 AM

Hey Tom Here with Trusted Trades.

No disrespect but if you have no experience then I wouldnt get into things right away.

Doing this stuff on your own requires a great amount of problem solving, experience, time management, and business skills.

The best place to learn would be to apprentice or work for a successful contractor. Try and pick up these skills from them, you can take renovation programs at most colleges but your hands on experience is going to be the strongest foundation.

Note that you can find yourself in trouble, improper qoutes can cost you money. Making mistakes all come out of your pocket as a business owner and being on your own. My recomendation would be work for a contractor for 2 years and gain experience. During that two years learn peoject managment and take a bookkeeping course.

Head to your small business center and take the classes offered there, they can be an incredible and underated service. Marketing, taxation, financial forcasting,determining rates. Your small business center can teach you all of that.

Just know doing things on your own requires dedication and time. You will in the beginning do nothing but build your business model. 60+ hours a week. It's a big commitment and you have to stick to it, otherwise you are just wasting your time and money.

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Karl from KGR Renovations in Winnipeg
Date/Time6/15/2017 at 10:22:08 AM

College would be good start to become red seal certified and a business admin course to learn how to run a business.

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Date/Time6/15/2017 at 10:43:05 AM

Hi Ka,

I would definitely start by taking an apprenticeship. If you are a small contractor you need to have the hands on skills that won't come any other way. That's how I started. From there you start to make connections in the industry, and you can find new jobs. The other thing you should do is pick up a business course and an estimating course from a local college. These will help you SO much in the long run.

Cheers and all the best!

Marc Beintema

Trade-Marc Carpentry and Consulting

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Date/Time6/15/2017 at 10:44:10 AM

If you want to relocate to Grande Prairie Alberta we are hiring "green" labourers who want to learn the trades. We are a full service company so you would be exposed to carpentery, plumbing and electrical. We are a growing bathroom renovation company and also do commercial, oilfield and residential building maintenance.

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Date/Time6/15/2017 at 10:46:50 AM

And becoming a "General contractor " just doesn't happen. I am a plumber trade of 25 years and own a renovation company (15 years) and I am still learning something new everyday.

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