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Livin the dream...
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6,624 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am 17 and I hope to start a constructon business a couple years after high school.

I would like to know what the the requirements are to be a general contractor in Indiana.

Is there an age limit?
How difficult is the test?
Who would I contact to get a license?

Anything you can tell me about being a licensed General Contracor would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Repair/Remodeling Tech.
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1,645 Posts
I don't know the answer to any of your questions, but I do have something to add, if you'll allow me :) .

Slow dowwwwwwnnnnnn...how much do you know about construction? How much have you actually DONE it? What all have you done?

You would probably do yourself a huge favor by working for someone else for a few years (at least) before going out on your own. See how things are done. Even if you plan on subbing EVERYTHING, you should know how the systems of a house work and work together, if for no other reason that to make sure your subs are doing their jobs right. It's your name that will be on the completed package, and most subs can tell if they have a college educated (as opposed to real world educated) GC on their hands. Some will take advantage of it, some won't. You're 17, so you're talking about owning by 19. With all due respect, most 19 year olds I know aren't ready for the responsibility of owning a business (especially a construction business). Hell, when I was 19 I wasn't either, it's not just you. The owner's job isn't just going in late, leaving early and getting that big check every week, at least not at first. The owner of a new company is the one who works twice as hard as the employees (or subs) and makes half the money.

I'm not trying to discourage you from EVER starting your own company, I'm sure we'd be proud to have you among us, but what's the hurry? Get some experience on someone else's profit (meaning...don't be learning and spending your own money while you do it). Maybe even work for a few companies over a number of years. A year at each one, see how several crews do several jobs then figure out which way works for you. See how the company works their subs, scheduling, how much is subbed and how much is employee work, etc. Talk to the owners. Most (not all, but most) GC's are fairly forthcoming about what works and doesn't work for them. You'll probably find some of them even go out of their way to get any info you need and will help you get to a point to go out on your own. The best owners understand that some people just don't have it in 'em to be employees, and they'll help you make "the change" as easy as possible.

A final thought and reason would be this: Maybe you will decide you want to speciallize after you have some time doing (roofing, framing, finishing, whatever) a certain aspect of building.
 

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Livin the dream...
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6,624 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for your advice jproffer. I truely appreciate it.

I don't want you to get the impression that i am just some kid that thinks maybe he wants to be a construction business owner after high school. I am probably more dedicated to achieving this goal than you can imagine. I have worked for 2 general contactors(1 year each) , both of which are very good teachers and friends and I have 2 years in a vocational building trades class at my school. I have been studying construction and fully understand the systems of a house but as you said I have only 2 years under my belt and lack a great deal of first hand experience. As for your thought on specialization in one trade I have done it all and love it all, granted I like some things more than others but my goal is to become a well known home builder.

My current situation is that the General Contractor that I currently am working for wants to start a different type of business and has offered to sell me his equipment and teach me everything he knows about how to run his business. I don't necessarily want to be a business owner when I am 19 but rather when I have enough money saved to start and when I feel that I have enough knowledge of the building trades and of business to be successful.

Hopefully this explains my situation and goals a little bit clearer. I would appreciate any other tips and advice that you would like to give me.
 

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Hey if you live in Northwest indiana there are some guys on this forum who are looking for good help up on the northshore of Chicago. :Thumbs: If you did and might be interest just say hey maybe they will be intouch.
 

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My wife is from Indiana and from my experience all you have to say is "Moo!"

Voila! You got a license, lol.
 
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