Starting A Home Renovation Business Overview And Resources
If you have an eye for home improvement, enjoy demolition and construction work, and have excellent project management and business skills, then a start a business in home renovations is something to consider.
An essential function in this business is to transform existing homes into something appealing with improved functionality and is better than the homeowner expected.
There are many hidden issues in the home renovation business because you won’t be able to see certain problem areas until you tear down the old construction.
Another issue is you have to be accurate when you give a quote. You need to account for the unseen, or you will have a lot of unhappy customers and potential lawsuits.
In addition to the unseen, when giving a quote, it’s not money alone, it’s a deadline as well. You are better off taking more time and finishing early to account for the unseen than promise a two-week job and end up finishing after four weeks.
Plan correctly, create beautiful renovations at affordable prices, and become very successful with this type of business.
Skill Set and Traits:
- An eye for design
- Excellent planning skills
- Excellent scheduling skills
- Effective skills in safely tearing down old construction
- Effective skills in building, new additions, walls, etc.
- Troubleshooting skills
- Excellent people skills
- Project management skills
- Common Business Skills
Employee & Job Consideration During The Start-Up Phase or In The Future:
- General labor
- Floor and tile specialists
- Structural engineers
- Common staff positions needed to run some businesses
Approximate Daily Hours Needed:
Working hours are usually 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., but keep in mind you will run into days when you are running behind and you may need to work more hours.
Equipment and supplies during the start-up phase or in the future:
- Pickup truck & trailer
- Power tools — Drill/driver, circular saw, routers, jigsaw, reciprocating saw, miter saw, portable table saw, sanders, portable planer
- Electric generator
- Air compressor and accessories
- Pneumatic nail gun
- Pneumatic staple gun
- Hand saws
- Tool belts, tool chests, and a variety of portable toolboxes
- Measuring Tapes
- Laser Tape Measure
- Speed square
- Framing square
- Carpentry pencils, chalk, and crayons
- Hammers — framing, finishing
- Utility knives
- Retractable chalk line
- Pliers, vise grips, and wrenches and socket sets
- A variety of levels
- Laser Level
- A variety of chisels
- A variety of lights and flashlights
- A large supply of nuts, bolts, nails, drill bits, saws, sandpaper, glue, screws, etc.
- Pry bars and nail pullers
- A variety of clamps
- Ladders of various sizes
- Extensions cords of various sizes
- PPE — gloves, steel toe shoes, safety goggles, hard hats, sanding and fiberglass respirator.
- Clean tools — Magnet wheel, brooms, waste bins, heavy-duty garbage bags, wet/dry vacuum
- Pickaxe, shovels, rakes, wheelbarrow
- Various hand tools
- Specialized tools you will be needed once your business takes off
Monthly Expenses and Operating Costs To Consider:
- If running out of your home, you won’t have a lot of monthly expenses other than your wages, fuel, maintenance, and repairs. On the other hand, if you have an office, you will have added expenses, such as utilities and lease or mortgage payments.
- List of Monthly Business Expenses
- Country, states, and provinces have different laws — you will need to check with state/provincial and local governments to ensure you have the correct licensing. For business licenses, we have a wealth of information on our page for licenses and permits
- The best type of marketing you can do is word-of-mouth in your area. In order to have good word-of-mouth, you need to do extraordinary renovations.
- To get your business started, you may need to do a few small jobs for no profit. Even better, find a project where you could renovate for public use — this way, you contribute to society and you will get free press and radio exposure, which works better than advertising.
- You could do a radio show or a monthly column for renovation tips for homeowners. This type of exposure will build trust, authority, and expertise as a home renovator.
- Create deals with local suppliers that sell the material you use. For example, here is a “no money involved” joint venture — You will use their materials, and they will send you customers that need installation. Deals are not easy to make — in order for them to work, both parties must benefit. Also, keep in mind you won’t strike a deal with every supplier, but you only need one to get started.
- Give free quotes. People that want a quote aren’t usually just wasting time — they want the work done, but they probably just want to see if it’s affordable.
- Create an alliance with a lender so that you can help your customers acquire credit so they can have monthly payments. You probably want to get a low-interest rate provider for customers with good credit, and you’ll want to deal with a lender that provides high-interest, high-risk loans for people who have bad credit.
Pros and Cons:
- Allows you to unleash your creativity
- Can be highly profitable when you give accurate quotes
- Is a stable industry with little room for change in the foreseeable future
- You can be your own boss
- There are unseen issues behind old construction that won’t show up until the old construction is torn down
- With unseen issues, it’s hard to meet deadlines
- A lot of older houses have mold and asbestos that needs a specialist to come and remove the unsafe material. This costs time and money.
- Deadlines are hard to keep with unseen circumstances
- Staying on budget is difficult with unseen circumstances
- The weather conditions affect your work
Profitability and Revenue Considerations:
Your profitability depends on how accurate your quotes are, the type of jobs you take, and if you are doing the job yourself or getting help.
Profitability also depends on how quickly you can get the job completed. If you have quoted a flat rate and it takes you longer than you expect, you can’t charge more — but, if you complete the job sooner, it’s more profit for you.
Start-up Cost Considerations:
- When starting off, it would be wise to use subcontractors for a lot of the work that you don’t specialize in. For example, you may need a plumber, but instead of hiring one, in the beginning, you could subcontract that part of the job. Keep in mind when working with skilled trade people that the price you pay is discounted because they expect a lot more business from you.
- Especially when starting out, be sure to specify in your quote and remind the customer that you can’t quote the unseen and make sure they are prepared for issues that might show up, like asbestos, mold, plumbing problems, wiring, structural problems, etc.
- In the beginning, you may do all the work yourself, but as time goes on you may need to create crews in order to take on jobs that come in at the same time.
Full-Time or Part-Time Business:
This type of business can be a part-time business that can grow into a full-time business.
You can easily run this business as a home-based business, although it’s recommended to have a separate area to meet with clients and plan jobs.
Home Renovation Owners Interviews:
A Conversation with Home Renovation Expert Bob Vila | National Trust for Historic Preservation
An Interview with Michael Manzola of Manzola Carpentry | Massrealty.com
Expert Interview: Diane Foreman of Neil Kelly on Historical Renovations | Reliable Remodeler Blog
An Interview with Brian of Brian S the Handyman | New Hampshire Homes.com
An Interview with David Schmerin of Bingham Development | Michigan homes.com
Home Renovation Market Research:
Home Improvement Statistics & Market Research | Nielsen Local Insights
Home Improvement Research Institute | HIRI.org
Remodeling in the US Market Research | IBISWorld
Home Improvement – Statistics & Facts | Statista
Home Renovation Trends:
Economic Outlook/RRI | Remodeling
Home Remodeling Market Remains Strong | US News
17 Top Kitchen Design Trends | HGTV
Home renovation trends for 2016 and years to come | Gialluisi Homes.com
Interior Design Trends – Elledecor.com
10 Best Bathroom Remodeling Trends | Diynetwork.com
Opening a Home Renovation – Startup Tips:
Starting a Business as a Remodeling Contractor | Entrepreneur.com
Helpful tips for opening a remodeling company | Remodeling.hw.net
So, You Want to Start a Home Improvement Company | Pro Remodeler
5 Simple Steps for Starting a Home Repair Business | Handymanstartup.com
Tips to starting a successful renovation business | Exclusive.multibriefs.com
What to Know When You Start a Remodeling Business | Dreammakerfranchise.com
Renovation Nation: Remodeling Startup 101 | Startup Nation
Home Renovation Article Mix:
50 Questions You May Be Asked As A 50 Contractor | Ask the Builder
Contractor Tips: Top 10 Home Remodeling Don’ts | Houzz.com
10 Tips For Working With A Renovating Professional | Styleathome.com
10 Steps To Building A Successful Construction Company | Shawnmccadden.com
Learn How To Run A Construction Business From The Rich Contractor | Rich Contractor.com
5 Traits of a successful Renovation Business | LinkedIn
Home Renovation Business making renovating for profit a blast | Renovating Riches.com
Marketing A Home Renovation Business:
Which Advertising Tactics Work Best for Home Improvement Contractors? | Replacement Contractor
Ten Advertising and Marketing Tips for Contractors | Small Town Marketing
Marketing Strategies That Are Working…? | Remodeling.hw.net
4 Direct Mail Marketing Ideas for Home Improvement Contractors | Quantum Digital
5 Small Business Marketing Strategies for Home Improvement Companies | Reputation Defender
Training Tips & Resources:
Online Home Remodeling & Repair Classes | Penn Foster Career School
Where Can I Learn Home Improvement Skills? | Lifehacker.com
Home Renovation Equipment:
The 20 Tools You Need for Remodeling | Popular Mechanics.com
Must-Have Tools for Every Skill Level | This Old House
Log Building Tools | Timber Tools.com
Tools & Equipment | Builder Magazine
Home Renovation Software:
Best Home Design Software of 2016 | Top Ten Reviews
23 Best Online Home Interior Design Software Programs (FREE & PAID) | Home stratosphere.com
10 Best Free Online Virtual Room Programs and Tools | Freshome.com
Home Renovation Insurance:
Construction Insurance | Progressive Commercial
Handyman Insurance and Liability Coverage | Nationwide
Handyman Business Liability Insurance | Trusted Choice
Established Home Renovation Sites and Business:
Home Renovation News, Industry Publications & Popular Sites:
Remodeling Ideas | HGTV
House trends Kitchen & Bath, Landscapes, and Interior Décor | House Trends.com
Contractor Magazine | Contractor Mag.com
Residential architect Magazine | Residential Architect
Ask The Builder | Ask The Builder.com
Reliable Remodeler | Reliable Remodeler.com
Building Products, and News for Home Builders | Builder Magazine
FineHomeBuilding | Fine Home Building.com
Home Renovation Books:
Home Renovation Glossaries:
Home Improvement Glossary | Repair Home
Glossary | Bob Vila
Home Renovation Associations:
Home Renovation Franchise Opportunities:
Top 10 Home Improvement Franchises | Entrepreneur.com
Home Improvement Franchises for Sale | Franchise Opportunities.com
House Doctors | Handyman Franchise | Home Improvement Franchise
Home Services Franchise Opportunities Guide | Franchising.com
Home Repair and Renovation Franchise Opportunities | The Franchise Mall.com
Home Renovation Businesses For Sale:
Construction Businesses For Sale | BizBuySell.com
Remodeling Businesses for Sale | Globalbx.com
The Latest Home Renovation Related Videos:
Home Renovation Forums:
Home Renovation on Social Media: