How to Become a Remodeling Contractor in West Michigan
Oct 04, 2022 | Hometown Development
Could becoming a remodeling contractor be your next career move? Find out what the job entails and what it takes to get there below.
What Is a Remodeling Contractor?
A remodeling contractor is a specialized construction professional who property owners hire to remodel, restore, or renovate their homes and multi-family complexes. They’re a bit more specialized than general contractors, as they focus on updating existing homes rather than building new ones. Whether you want to transform your unfinished basement into a cozy guest suite or knock down some walls and completely change your floor plan, they’re the ones to call.
Remodeling contractors are also commonly referred to as home improvement contractors, home repair contractors, remodeling carpenters, and — the trendier, more recent term — house flippers.
Is a Remodeling Contractor Job a Good Fit for You?
Remodeling contractor jobs can be highly rewarding. If you like working with your hands, learning new skills, and turning visions into reality, it may be a good fit for you. Below are a few common remodeling contractor requirements and skills. See if you meet the qualifications!
Common Remodeling Contractor Job Requirements
For most entry-level remodeling contractor positions, the requirements are pretty standard. Here are a few that you’ll likely come across:
- At least 18 years old
- High school diploma or GED equivalent
- Ability to read blueprints and plans
- Basic math skills
- Willingness to learn new things and work with other contractors
- Ability to lift construction materials and work in a construction environment
Other Skills & Traits That Are Nice to Have
- Experience in some or all aspects of residential remodeling (preferred)
- Experience with hand tools and heavy equipment (preferred)
- Attention to detail
- Passion for real estate and construction
- Willingness to travel
How to Become a Remodeling Contractor in West Michigan
So, let’s say you meet most or all of the remodeling contractor job requirements. Now how do you actually become one? Here are five steps to becoming a remodeling contractor in West Michigan.
1. Get Educated
In most cases, a high school diploma or GED equivalent is the only educational requirement for an entry-level remodeling contractor position. This is a great route for individuals who want to start their career instead of committing to however many more years of schooling.
If you’d like to stand out a bit more and get more specialized training, you may choose to continue your education through one of the following options:
- Earning an associate’s or bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
- Attending vocational school (trade school) to get technical skills like carpentry, masonry, electrical, and plumbing
- Complete an apprenticeship program with a skilled, experienced remodeling contractor
2. Gain Hands-On Experience
Most remodeling contractors must acquire some hands-on experience before being considered for a project. You can get this experience by attending trade school, completing an apprenticeship, or even playing the role of handyman in your own home.
However, there are also some remodeling companies that will hire individuals without any experience to be remodeling contractors. As long as you’re eager to learn, they’ll take you and train you on everything you need to know.
3. Obtain Your Contractor License
To work as an independent remodeling contractor, you must get licensed by your state. These are the general steps to acquiring a contractor license in Michigan:
- Apply for your license with the Michigan Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) department. The application costs about $200.
- Pass the Michigan Contractor’s Licensing exam.
- Pass a criminal background check.
- Depending on the type of remodeling work you’re doing, you may need to prove that you have contractor’s insurance.
Keep in mind that these requirements only apply if you’re hoping to become an independent remodeling contractor or start your own business. If your goal is to get hired at a remodeling company, your company will be responsible for obtaining the license.
4. Create or Find Your Company
As far as contracted remodeling goes, you have two options for work: start your own business and be an independent contractor or be hired at a remodeling company. There are pros and cons to each option, so there’s not a right or wrong answer — it just depends on your specific wants, needs, and capabilities.
For instance, if you have many years of remodeling experience and prefer to work on your own, you’d probably be best off with an independent contractor gig. But if you don’t have as much experience and want to work with like-minded individuals that will help you learn and grow, it’s probably in your best interest to get hired at an established remodeling company.
5. Continuously Grow and Improve Your Skills
That’s it — after completing those steps, you will have officially become a remodeling contractor. But your work isn’t done there.
A job in the remodeling industry requires continuous learning and growth. You’ll always learn new skills and techniques, and you’ll always want to keep up to date on the latest trends in home design. In our opinion, this is part of what makes the job so fun!
Join Our Remodeling Contractor Team at Hometown Development
Think becoming a remodeling contractor is a good option for you? Check out our open job opportunities at Hometown Development! We’re always looking for hardworking individuals to join our team, and we offer great benefits like: competitive salaries, retirement plans, health insurance, fuel stipends, and opportunities for professional development. Apply today!