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When you hang out your shingle as a general contractor, it says something about your skill level. You’re the guy (or gal) who knows enough about everything to ensure that a building project will go off without a hitch and that your structure will pass every inspection, from footing to occupancy. What Does it Take to Get Started as a General Contractor?
What do YOU feel it takes to get started as a general contractor?
 

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Years and years of experience working and managing jobs in the field and knowledge as it pertains to construction codes and practices and general knowledge and practices related to most construction trades you will be hiring on your jobs.

The biggest failures in business and jobs going sour I have seen throughout the years when people, being Homeowners, Contractors or Architects trying act as their own GC's was lack of knowledge when working in the field and general work practices.
 

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I agree with Greg. I had 9 years of full time trades experience when we got started, 7 or 8 as some kind of boss, and was close to experienced enough.

Luckily my dad is a hell of a mentor, and I took every education and training I could find. It also helped starting the business off doing small (tiny) remodel and repair projects, and progressing into large renos, custom homes and custom boat docks. Lets the experience catch up.

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Without some varied real real world experience, sometimes even with that ....

:whistling Massive amounts of alcohol, fantasy and a crap butt load of money & time you don't need :laughing:
 

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Experience, plain and simple.

As a sub, I have run into many GC's that I could tell right away severely lacked that. I am smart enough now to usually run away from those jobs. If they are humble enough, and the money is right, I will sometimes take a small job for these types, as I know enough to walk them through it. Even then, I know that I will basically be "acting" as GC for the duration I am there.
 

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My story of becoming a GC home custom home builder started with me working summers, weekends, even after school for a framer while I was in high school. A few years later at age 23 and working in a totally different field, I wanted to start my own business and I guess those few short years of construction work pointed me to becoming a home builder.

Having said that, observing the most successful home builders over a 45 year period, it appears 100% of them did not start in the trades. And those I know who did work in the trades and became GC's were less successful than those who came from other professions and businesses. Long term success comes more from business skills than trade skills.
 

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The key is experience. In my case, I graduated with a degree in Civil Engineering and went to work for a big GC. Two years later, they decided to open an office in Florida. Two of us went to Florida to take the GC test. We passed. I was only about 23, and was smart enough to know what I didn't know about construction. The test, like a lot of professional tests, is about books, not practical experience.

I worked as a Project Engineer on a 16 story building for about 14 months, then spent time in the office, and it just went from there.
 

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Generically speaking... Experience, Business / Management Skills, Sales Ability, Funding and the determination to make it all work...

Each person is different and comes from different paths and backgrounds...
 
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