Skills Every General Contractor Should Possess

Skills Every General Contractor Should Possess
  • Opening Intro -

    General contractors—much like doctors—are always in demand.

    A lot of people choose to become a contractor because they often don't need a college degree, and they enjoy working with their hands.


The problem, however, is that being a general contractor requires several skills. These skills are relatively easy to learn but are difficult to master. If you’d like to learn which skills every general contractor should possess, be sure to read on.

Basic Handyman Skills

Unsurprisingly, you’ll need to know how to complete whatever job you’re hired for. Most general contractors will learn, well, general skills.

The skills you should possess include carpentry, drywall, and masonry. This is because most general contractors are typically hired to perform the basic construction work before specialized tradesmen, such as electricians or plumbers, come in.

That said, if you can learn enough about plumbing and electrical to perform basic jobs such as repairing a pipe or installing an outlet, you can earn much more money.

What’s important is that you master the fundamentals before getting into more specific skills and trades.

Excellent Communication

Whether you’re a lone-wolf or you have a small team working beside you, your communication skills have to be on point.

You should be able to clearly and concisely communicate what your team needs to do. You’ll also need to communicate issues and solutions to the homeowner or landlord.

Part of mastering communication skills as a contractor is the ability to explain what’s the problem is and how you’re going to fix it in simple terms. Most homeowners don’t possess your knowledge, so you’ll need to explain things to them in plain language.

Evolving Building Codes

Every state, county, and even city has its own building codes. You’ll need to interpret the building codes and follow the guidelines accurately. Otherwise, your work may be prohibited by municipalities.

Likewise, you’ll also need to become familiar with the process of obtaining a permit. You could have the homeowner obtain it, but most contractors will take care of this step because it’s better customer service.

Learning building codes is rarely a one-and-done process. There are always new safety requirements and home trends to be aware of, such as composite decks or cable railings that have specified codes.

You’ll have to be on top of the trends so you can be aware of changing codes. Additionally, knowing the trends and what people want will give you more business opportunities.

other valuable tips:

Project and Time Management

Many general contractors struggle with project and time management. The good news is that project management is often delayed only by the contractor’s lack of knowledge.

By learning the skills every general contractor should possess, you’ll rapidly improve your efficiency. Moreover, homeowners and landlords don’t want to wait long periods for you to complete the job—set a realistic deadline and stick to it.

Ideally, you’ll set the deadline further out than you think you need and complete the job before that date. This way, your customer won’t be antsy waiting for you.

Everyone will need a general contractor at some point, and you want to be the first person they call. Practice these necessary skills and start with your local area; you’ll be on your way to a successful career before you know it.

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