New contractors who want to branch out on their own and start their own business may be able to take advantage of the robust construction market and find success. Starting a new small business is a monumental task, but if you have passion for the industry and skills in contracting, you may be off to a good start.
The construction industry continues to make gains each year, with a 1.8% rise in spending in 2021 and an expected 3.1% boost in 2022. Residential building and remodeling are booming, with that portion of the sector rising 10.9% in 2021. Low inventory and lots of demand from home buyers have pushed the residential industry into new territory. Businesses that specialize in building and contracting may have more opportunities to make higher profits due to the strong demand for new homes, building projects and home improvements.
If you want to get into this industry, you’ll need some solid construction business ideas for beginners.
Best Construction Business Ideas for Beginners
The ideal way to start a new small business in the construction industry is to look at construction business trends and think about what customers need. Focus on a niche service in the field where you can use your experience and knowledge to make an impact.
Once you determine which type of business you want to start, draw up a detailed business plan and reach out to organizations like the Small Business Administration to get a startup loan. Here are the best small construction business ideas for new entrepreneurs.
One of the easiest construction business ideas for beginners to start is a landscaping company. There are two great landscape business categories: new landscapes and maintenance. You could do both, or specialize in one area.
Companies who install new landscapes fit very much into the overall construction process of a new home or commercial building. They are also solicited for upgrades to existing lawns, backyards, common areas, and landscapes.
This type of landscaping involves the design and construction of these areas. Complex or high-budget designs are often outsourced to landscape architects. New landscaping can involve sourcing materials, excavation, and running heavy equipment at times.
A maintenance landscaping business focuses on offering lawn care, weeding, irrigation systems, and yard maintenance to residential or commercial customers. This type of venture is often seasonal, depending on the climate of your location. Warmer areas may have more of a demand for lawn care all year long, while places with more seasonal climates may not see many customers requesting grass cutting in the winter. One option for a landscaping business in a more seasonal area is to also offer snow removal during the winter to keep business booming.
Starting a landscaping venture is relatively easy, even if you’re a sole proprietor. Most companies start with lawn care and landscape maintenance and then move into installing new landscaping.
You can start by mowing lawns in a neighborhood that has a lot of homes. Customers may want mowing services once a week or every other week, so choosing a group of homes that are close to each other makes it more convenient for you to provide services quickly. As you gain more customers, you can expand your services and eventually hire more help.
2. Professional Cleaning
The next business that may be easier to create for a beginning business owner is a cleaning startup. Businesses that offer cleaning services don’t need to get their workers licensed as general contractors or certified in any specific programs or skills. A cleaning company is also an easy venture to start if you are doing everything on your own in the beginning.
If you want to provide specific cleaning services, you can also market yourself to the type of customers you prefer working with, such as cleaning for construction crews, new home builders, residential homes or businesses. Most new homes require cleaning throughout the project, in particular, right before the keys are handed to the buyer. Some cleaning companies specialize in this phase of construction and find well-paying steady work.
Construction workers with experience in the field can reach out to their former contacts and bosses to start building their customer list. Working for a cleaning company also gives you the option to set your own hours. For residential cleaners, you may be working during the weekday when clients are at work. Business customers prefer cleaners to come after hours.
3. Handyman Repairs
A handyman repair company is another solid entry on the list for construction business ideas for beginners. Like the first two small construction business ideas, this venture can also be started by yourself. This is a great way to gain more experience working on smaller projects and build up a list of clients.
A handyman business focuses on small repair jobs for homeowners and commercial customers. Usually, handyman companies don’t offer major remodeling or renovation work, such as building additions or replacing big-ticket items like an HVAC system. Instead, these companies may provide services like mounting televisions, hanging pictures, fixing leaks, repairing drywall, patching a roof or setting up a smart home system.
Related: What Services Do Professional Handymen Provide?
Following construction business trends can help you determine other popular projects to advertise.
4. Custom Woodworking
If you have a passion for carpentry, another small business idea that would work for a new entrepreneur is a custom woodworking business. Custom woodworking companies produce a variety of products, such as cabinets, wood furniture, trim or built-in shelving. Contractors who have skills and experience in woodworking can put their knowledge to use by starting a new venture in this field.
It may be best to focus on one type of product for your woodworking business, such as kitchen cabinets or dining room table production. If you are planning to offer built-in woodworking items, such as cabinets or shelves, you’ll need to do on-site visits to your customers’ homes or properties to take measurements and ensure a proper fit. This could be time-consuming or require more personnel. You’ll also need to calculate accurate estimates for your time and materials.
Another option is to do custom wood furniture and sell your products online via Etsy or another consumer platform. You could start small with your product selection and eventually expand as you build up a name for yourself.
5. House Painting
The next idea that works for entrepreneurs looking for construction business ideas for beginners is a house painting venture. Painting is a relatively easy service to provide, with a short learning curve. Depending on your state and the amount of work you plan to do, you may need to get a contractor’s license to offer interior or exterior painting services.
Related: General Contractor License Requirements: State-by-State Directory
Once you get the proper paperwork filed, then you can determine which area of painting you want your business to specialize in. Look at construction business trends in painting to see if there are any opportunities for niche painting services, such as eco-friendly painting, stenciling or other decorative techniques.
You can feasibly start a small painting business by yourself with a handful of clients if you only focus on smaller projects instead of whole-house painting jobs. Eventually, as you find more success on a small scale, you can branch out and hire painting crews to take on more work.
Another business idea that may be easier to start and viable for the long term is a waterproofing company. Construction companies that focus on waterproofing services can help homeowners and business property owners keep moisture and water from damaging their buildings. Someone new to the industry may want to start with small jobs, such as applying waterproof seal paint to basement spaces in residential properties.
Then, as business picks up, you can offer more products and services to your customers, such as installing sump pumps, French drains and dehumidifiers. You can also get work in fixing foundation cracks and problems in the basement that lead to water coming in.
For this type of business, you’ll most likely need to get licensed in your state and purchase commercial liability insurance to protect your customers and your assets. Once you get a few clients and make a little profit, aim to expand your company with more employees and offerings to your customers.
7. Interior Designing
If you have an eye for design and a desire to help customers make the best use of their spaces, consider starting an interior design company. This is a great option for construction business ideas for beginners. Many people who operate an interior design business have specific credentials, such as a degree in interior design from a four-year college. A degree is not necessarily a requirement to get started for small business construction ideas.
Someone with a vision and skills for designing gorgeous, functional spaces may be able to turn a profit in the industry. You’ll need to reach out to all of your construction connections to get a start in interior design. Interior designers work with homeowners and commercial clients to help remodel and redesign spaces. Some designers partner with general contractors who perform all of the construction tasks and renovations. If you have a good relationship with specific general contractors in your area, you may be able to make this arrangement work.
8. Home Insulating
The next easy business to start if you are just getting into the construction industry is an insulation company. Companies that specialize in putting insulation into homes and businesses can be profitable ventures for someone dedicated to putting in the time and effort to get up and running.
The first step to owning and operating a home insulation business is getting a contractor’s license in your state of residence. It’s important to check the state’s regulations regarding home insulation businesses and follow the requirements for exams and application fees.
An insulation business may provide different types of insulating products to property owners, such as blown-in insulation, spray foam insulation and rolls of insulation. Companies that do insulation work also need protective gear for their workers, such as coveralls, masks, gloves and goggles. You may need to do some legwork and reach out to potential customers to advertise your services when you first open your operation.
The fence building industry is another place where there may be opportunities for those looking for small business construction ideas. Fencing companies specialize in providing fences to homes and businesses.
A fence business may need more than one worker to get off the ground, since installing a new fence is a labor-intensive activity. If you have limited resources and capital at the start of your venture, you can try doing only fence repair when you first open.
Businesses that install fencing may provide their customers with several different options, such as wood fences, chain link, vinyl, steel or wrought iron. Some companies only install basic fencing to help homeowners mark the perimeter of their yard.
Another option is to go for custom fencing for corporate clients and install driveway entry gates, decorative fencing and other one-of-a-kind builds for customers.
10. Custom Garages
Construction companies that provide customized garage building, renovation and repair services are another place to look at when considering construction business trends. Contractors who have any type of building experience may be able to start their own garage construction and organization company.
When you’re first starting out, you can begin with smaller jobs in the garage, such as:
- Installing new garage doors
- Insulating a garage
- Putting in epoxy and other specialized floor materials
- Installing garage organization and storage systems
These jobs are all perfect for a one-man crew seeking fast and small construction business ideas.
Later, after your garage construction business begins to take off, you can book more complex work, such as converting a garage to living space, renovating a garage or reconfiguring it.
Garage construction companies can also provide building services for residences and businesses that need a freestanding structure added to their properties, such as a shed or a shop.
New entrepreneurs may also want to consider opening a carpet installation company. When it comes to simple small construction business ideas, carpeting may be less of a hassle for those who don’t want to deal with applying for a general contractor’s license. In many states, installing carpet doesn’t require a license.
Unique designs for flooring, sustainable products and durable materials are top construction business trends. For a new business dealing with carpet installations, you should aim to follow the trends and differentiate yourself somehow since there are many established carpet companies in most regions. You may want to focus on installing high-end carpets, eco-friendly products or stain-resistant carpets.
Additionally, if you have yourself and one or two employees, you may want to start slowly with carpet removal jobs first. Then you can graduate to installations and upgrades in homes and eventually business properties.
12. Dumpster Rentals
Finally, dumpster rentals can be a great inroad to building a local construction company. This requires a little capital up front, but you can start small and grow organically.
The idea is that you buy one or more dump trailers, the kind with somewhat high walls and ideally hydraulic lift systems that make for easy dumping at the landfill. You rent the trailer out by the day, week, or month. This appeals to residential and commercial construction managers who need somewhere to throw the scraps and trash that come off their project. They fill up the dumpster, then you pick it up and haul it to the landfill to dump it.
This can even be a great side hustle since you can drop off and pick up trailers early in the morning or late at night. You usually leave them there for several days and can dump them on the weekend.
As you earn more revenue, you invest in more trailers, and eventually trucks, until you have grown a dumpster rental empire.
Every construction project produces trash, so this business will always be in demand. And not just by construction managers, homeowners often rent dumpsters for DIY projects or to dejunk when they move.
These 12 construction business ideas for beginners may help you move forward with making your idea for a new company come to life. Contractors with a vision for small construction business ideas could find success starting these small ventures and build their reputation in the industry.
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