Author Archives: CSOA

4 Issues That Can Limit Swimming Pool Contractors’ Success

Swimming Pool Contractors (Blog Cover)

As a swimming pool contractor, you face some unique challenges. You must select your market very carefully and be aware of the best times to push your services. There are a lot of hurdles you have to leap over to make it in this industry. But whether you are just starting or are a seasoned vet, it’s helpful to stay mindful of the most common issues that plague pool builders. 

In the following post, we will be talking about the most common issues that can limit a swimming pool contractor’s success. And if at any time you want to learn more about what you can do to expand your business, improve your services, and reach more people, get in touch with us here at Contractors Society of America.

1) Cost is a Factor

There are many neophyte pool contractors out there that think they are going to break into the market and make a name for themselves by outpricing the competition. And while undercutting costs may earn you some initial business, you will likely have to cut corners to stay within budget. And in the pool contracting business, shoddy work shows quicker than in other contractor industries. Pricing too low can cannibalize your own business. You will earn a reputation for sub-par work, and that initial rush of customers you got will dry up once when people perceive your company as low-quality.

The fact is that people prefer quality when it comes to pools. And while pricing your work at an average or even premium price may make finding initial customers harder, it is more sustainable in the long run. Carefully consider the average price for building a pool in your market. Do your best to offer low prices, but never opt to do shoddy work. 

2) Lack of Experience

Just because you own a backhoe doesn’t necessarily mean that you should get into the pool building business. There is a perception of this work that it is easy. This perception seems to be especially prevalent when talking about fiberglass pool installation. But many pool contractors fail because they lack the skill and experience. 

Contractors get into the business thinking they have all the tools and equipment they need – which they very well might. But they don’t realize that this is serious work that requires a lot of know-how and precision to do well. 

For instance, a lot of general contractors consider offering pool building services. They ask us, “can a general contractor build a pool?” and the answer is almost always no. First of all, if you have never installed a pool before, you aren’t likely to be very good at it at first. Second of all, most states require a separate license for any specialized contracting work over $500 – this includes pool building.

3) Failure to Adapt

For some reason, the pool building industry seems to be one of the slowest to adapt to the digital age changes. Pool contracting businesses that have been around for decades are finding that their customer pool (no pun intended) is shrinking because they are not taking to the internet to market their services and educate the market.

Nowadays, people want to work with contractors who have some authority in their field. And the way they find these authoritative companies is through the internet. If you are not utilizing content marketing or social media to help establish yourself as an authority in the pool contracting business, you will likely lose out on customers. 

4) Unfocused Business Plans

When it comes to swimming pool contractors, you have to find your niche. Most consumers think that all swimming pool contractors are more or less the same and that hiring one isn’t much different than hiring another. Establishing yourself as an expert in one or a few pool building aspects is essential to your success.

If you can make yourself stand out to consumers in one way or another, you will be setting yourself up to thrive. Think about the unique skills or areas of expertise you and your team possess. Are you exceptionally skilled at building vinyl liner pools? Are you the best at constructing concrete pools? Do you have an in-depth knowledge of above-ground pools? Do you emphasize customer consultation to help them decide which pool system is right for them?

Ask yourself these and similar questions and begin focusing your efforts on promoting what it is that makes your business unique. Too many pool companies get lost in the seemingly indistinguishable mix of contractors and end up failing. Don’t let this happen to you.

You can count on us here at Contractors Society of America to provide you with the necessary resources for your business’s success. Become a member today.

4 Healthy Lunch Ideas for Contractors On The Job

Lunch Ideas for Contractors (Cover)

In the following post, Contractors Society of America wants to share some lunch ideas for contractors that will not only help you refuel after excessive calorie burning; but help you regain calories in a healthy way. 

The Calorie Challange for Contractors

Being a contractor, you have a unique problem on your hands. While most of America is struggling with weight gains that come from sedentary lifestyles, you may be finding it hard to get the calories you need every day while on the job site. And perhaps you got into the trades partly because you knew it would be a good way to keep fit while you earn your living. But there is a fine line between keeping fit and wrecking your body.

It is no secret that the trades are demanding. It is estimated that remodeling contractors burn 410 calories per hour, masonry contractors burn 548 calories per hour, and if you are just using heavy hand tools throughout the day, you are burning 573 calories per hour.

To put those figures into perspective, consider the fact that the average office worker burns only 68 calories per hour in the course of their work. And in case you were wondering, it is recommended that most healthy men intake 2,000-3,000 calories per day, and healthy women should intake 1,600 to 2,400 calories per day.

Fueling Your Body (in a Healthy Way)

So as you can see from the figures, as an average contractor, you are probably burning off way more calories than normal. Now, most people would just figure to eat more food to correct this imbalance. And while principally that assertion isn’t wrong, it can be detrimental to your health.

Just because you are making up the calories that you are burning on the job site doesn’t mean you are doing your job any favors. That’s because you can be getting enough calories from your food, but certain foods have too many saturated fats, carbs, and sodium. And too much of these can spell disaster. In fact, too much sodium alone can lead to heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke. 

Making The Right Lunch Choices

So you have to be careful about what you put into your body. You can’t just intake calories willy-nilly and think you will be fine. And as a contractor of any kind, you should know that there are certain foods that will help you perform better. 

It’s challenging learning what those foods are. And the harder part is working them into your busy schedule. Check out some of the best options below:

1) Protein Shakes

Protein is as important to a construction worker as it is to a bodybuilder. Your body needs ample protein to rebuild muscle tissue that is being broken down when you exert energy on the job. We talked to many of the contractors in our community, and so many of the swear by protein shakes.

They like them because they are quick, easy, and provide enough protein to get them through the day. While they should not be used to replace your entire lunch, they are a great way for busy contractors to get the protein they need; and all you have to do is throw a small carton in your lunch box.

2) Pasta

Pasta is another lunch idea that came up a lot when we pooled our own community of contractors. Tradesmen like the fact that you can prepare a bunch of pasta pretty quickly on a weekend and pack it for lunch a couple or every day of the following week. But you can’t just cook any pasta.

The most important thing to remember when preparing pasta for lunch is that you choose whole-grain pasta. Whole-grain pasta is lower in calories but higher in beneficial minerals and fibers to help keep your digestive system healthy. Plus, you can easily make up the calories by adding some sausage, mushrooms, and bell peppers to your pasta.

3) Chili

Chili is another favorite because it’s simple to eat on the job site. Chili with navy beans, kidney beans, or adzuki beans is preferable because these beans are high in protein. In fact, adzuki beans can pack up to 37 grams of protein in a single cup! Be sure to add some ground beef, onions, or any other protein/vegetable combo you prefer.

4) Combo Snacks

What is a good lunch for a construction worker? That question has a lot of answers because everyone is different. But basically, you are going to want anything with a lot of protein, a decent amount of calories, and minimal sodium. To that end, a healthy conglomeration of snacks isn’t a bad idea.

Consider throwing some trail mix, a banana, maybe a couple of protein bars, and a small sandwich (with whole wheat bread) into your lunch box for a healthy hodgepodge lunch.

Other Lunch Tips for Contractors

Fast food is a mainstay on the job site. Why? Because contractors are very busy people, and sometimes you just need something that will fill you up fast. But as much as possible, avoid fast food for lunch when you are on the job. Here are some of the tips that our contractors live by:

  • Meal Prep – This is a huge one that not only saves a lot of time; but a lot of money too. Prepare one or two big meals on Sunday before the work week that you can easily store in the fridge and bring with you to work throughout the week. Pasta, chili, and even pizza (opt for thin crust or whole-grain dough) are great meal prep ideas because they will keep all week and are easy to pack.
  • Stock up on Healthy Snacks – Make a Costco run and get protein shakes, protein bars, nuts, yogurt, vegetable platters, or any other healthy snack you prefer. 
  • Carefully Review Menus – If you receive a restaurant gift card as a gift or someone takes you out to eat, make sure to identify nutritious menu items.
  • Take a Lunch – This may seem simple and overdue, but it can’t be overstated. Taking a lunch you prepared at home will almost always be healthier than eating out.

We are always posting helpful articles specifically for contractors, and we have a wealth of resources to aid your business too. Become a member today.

Should Contractors Advertise on Nextdoor?

Nextdoor Advertising (Blog Cover)

As a contractor, should you be advertising on Nextdoor? That question can be phrased in a different way: “Is local advertising important to your contracting business? The answer then becomes an emphatic, yes! Local advertising is absolutely critical to your contracting business because contracting is a local profession.

The people in your city need to know about your company and your services. Take the following statistic into consideration: over 46% of all Google searches performed have local intent. That’s quite a revelation for those interested in online promotion.

But what is local intent? Local intent refers to searches that specify an area in direct proximity to the searcher. For example, “plumbers near me” is an example of a search with local intent. But what does any of this have to do with Nextdoor?

In today’s post, we are going to show you why you need to utilize Nextdoor advertising in 2023.

What is Nextdoor?

At its heart, Nextdoor is a social media platform. But it isn’t like Facebook and Twitter. It is a locally-focused social media network on which members need to be verified as to their home addresses. Once someone verifies that they actually live in the area they claim to, they have access to a wealth of neighborhood resources such as message boards, community news, local business directories, and more.

But one of the most useful features of Nextdoor is the Local Recommendations page, wherein real members of the community can review and highlight their favorite local businesses. There is also a forum on which members of the neighborhood can ask other members for recommendations for virtually any kind of service…including reliable contractors.

Why is Nextdoor Important for Advertising?

Nextdoor is very stringent with its verification process. They make it virtually impossible for people who don’t live in your area to infiltrate their online community. That means that all your advertising efforts on Nextdoor will go to the right people. 

The problem with careless ad campaigns is that money gets wasted on targeting the wrong market. The reason why Nexdoor advertising is so important for contractors is that all of your advertising dollars will be spent targeting people in your area. But you may be asking yourself a very important question at this point…

How Popular is Nextdoor?

Advertising on a platform that no one uses is pointless. But the numbers about Nextdoor don’t lie. According to Scripps News, Nextdoor is now used in 1 of every 3 households. To put that figure into a more tangible form, the same article reports that about 36 million people actively use Nextdoor.

There are also 260,000 active neighborhoods on Nextdoor and growing. That is a lot of people using Nextdoor every day. There is no question about Nextdoor’s popularity and its viability as an advertising platform, but what else does it have to offer?

Nextdoor Reviews

Nextdoor allows its verified users to leave reviews of local businesses. And local reviews carry a lot of weight with consumers. According to a PR Newswire report, a colossal 97% of consumers will read reviews of a local business before making a purchasing decision.

And according to Bright Local, 91% of the all-important millennial market trusts online reviews as much as a word of mouth recommendations. And all the more if those reviews come from someone in their neighborhood.

And if you are worried about how active users are on Nextdoor in terms of giving recommendations, Business Wire reports that as of 2017, there were more than 17 million unique, user-generated local recommendations made. And the community has only become more active since then. 

The Big Caveat with Nextdoor

We’ve spent a lot of time talking about the benefits of advertising on Nextdoor, but these benefits come with a sizeable caveat: you have to have the money. If you are a local contractor, you will be required to spend a minimum of $15,000 per month in advertising billings with Nextdoor. 

The reason for this is that most local businesses cannot generate the ad revenue that a social media platform as large as Nextdoor would need to cover costs. It is kind of ironic, then, that a locally focused network, by and large, cannot be sustained with the ad revenue of small local businesses.

The Bottom Line

The good news is that you don’t have to necessarily advertise in the traditional sense on Nextdoor to get seen by locals. By simply claiming your business on Nextdoor, you can put your business in front of the eyes of the people in your community. And if you treat your customers right and offer quality service, you will earn more recommendations and positive reviews. 

For more information on how you can advertise your business, contact us here at Contractor’s Society of America

Can I Repair Asphalt Roads During Cold Weather?

Can I Repair Asphalt Roads During Cold Weather?

You might wonder, “can I repair asphalt roads during cold weather?” Whether you are a paving contractor just getting into the game or simply a concerned homeowner, you may have asked yourself at one point or another, “Can you patch asphalt in the winter?”

In fact, as a contractor, this is an extremely important question. After all, you may want to shy away from a trade that you can’t work in when the temperature drops – especially if you live in the Northern climates. 

So right off the bat, to allay your fears and concerns, we here at Contractor’s Society of America want to say yes, you can repair asphalt roads during cold weather. But there are a few caveats that go along with this answer. Like many aspects of the trades, answers aren’t always as simple as “yes” or “no.”

To help you better understand Winter asphalt repair and the questions that surround it, we have drawn from the vast pool of knowledge of our own members here at Contractor’s Society of America.

Can Winter Weather Damage Roads?

It’s important to first understand why asphalt roads and driveways seem to incur the most damage during the winter months. The science behind this phenomenon is actually very simple, actually. It has to do with the freezing and thawing cycles of winter.

As precipitation ramps up during the winter months and rain soaks asphalt surfaces, the low temperatures freeze the rain. When water freezes, it expands. This expansion is what makes asphalt uneven and cracks it.

The problem gets worse when the frozen water thaws and re-freezes in the same spot. When the expansion and contraction process is allowed to occur multiple times in the same area of pavement, the damage gets worse.

And even when asphalt is able to avoid cracking due to freezing and thawing, the low winter temperatures can make it brittle. At that point, all that is needed to create a pothole or crack is a heavy vehicle to drive over it. 

Asphalt damage in the winter months is almost unavoidable, but there is good news; asphalt damage can be repaired as soon as it occurs – even in the winter months.

Hot Mix and Cold Mix

“Can I repair asphalt roads during cold weather?” Yes and no. You can make patches and fix individual potholes in roads and driveways during cold weather. But if you are trying to repave an entire road in winter, good luck. To understand how you can repair asphalt damage in cold weather, you need to understand the difference between cold mix and hot mix asphalt.

Hot mix asphalt has been around for ages. How mix is what is used to pave and repave entire roads because, quite simply, it can be paved. As the name suggests, hot mix is transported and applied hot. Then, it Is paved over to a smooth finish. But when you try to apply hot mix in temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, it will not bond properly.

Cold mix was introduced in 1995 and revolutionized the paving industry. Cold mix performs well in cold temperatures, but it cannot be paved. It is usually used straight out of the bag or container and tamped down with hand tools. Because of this, it is ideal for spot asphalt repairs in the winter but not for paving entire roads.

So you can make individual spot repairs of potholes and cracks during cold weather so long as you use cold mix asphalt.

Other Caveats

As you may have guessed by now, there are certain circumstances that would allow you to use hot mix asphalt (and therefore perform entire paving and re-paving jobs) in the winter. Hot mix asphalt will still adhere and pave correctly so long as the ambient temperature is 55 degrees Fahrenheit and rising.

So if you do plan to do some repairs in January, you will have to plan the day very carefully. Not all the days in winter will be freezing cold, but you have to make sure the day you plan your repairs is set to be 55 degrees or above for at least half the day. As such, the best time to start these projects will be just before noon.

Ask a Professional

You may have other questions about asphalt paving, such as how to clean asphalt and other tips. While research is always helpful, sometimes you need the help of a professional to make the right call. Here at Contractor’s Society of America, we have the expertise and a brimming directory of professional contractors. We can help you answer any question and complete any project.

Contact us today. CSOA aims to provide contractors with the most relevant and up-to-date information in the industry.

Why Contractor Safety is so Important in the Workplace

Contractor Safety Blog Cover

It should go without saying that contractor safety is important at all times. But seemingly menial considerations are being swept under the rug these days. This fact is demonstrated by the following statistic: the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there are roughly 150,000 job site injuries that occur every year. So, as you can see, we are not the safety-conscious workforce that many people believe us to be. 

And while most contractors take the necessary safety precautions for themselves and their crews, there are certain things that you simply cannot anticipate. Evens still, there are a minority of contractors that actually don’t make safety a top priority. And here at Contractors Society of America, we consider it our duty to inform the contractors of this nation and bring to the forefront of their minds the top industry issues of the day. We offer a plethora of resources that are geared towards helping contracting business in the United States run more effectively, win more bids, do better work and stay safer.

So with today’s post, we thought we would reiterate why contractor safety is so important in the workplace. Contractor safety goes well beyond keeping your crew healthy and active; it’s about maintaining a profitable business as well. Take a look at just a few of the reasons why contractor safety is important in the workplace.

Customer Assurance

Having the faith of your customers can make or break your contracting business. In a report conducted by Marketing Charts, it was found that 8 in 10 consumers will patronize a business that they trust and that brand trust affects their patronage habits. One of the most effective ways to instill trust in the minds of your clients is by running a safe work site. No one wants to hire a company they think might cause an accident on the job. Likewise, the way a company treats its employees says a lot about trustworthiness in the mind of a customer. 

Therefore building trust through contractor safety is important to retaining customers, winning new bids and earning repeat business.

Compliance with Employee Safety

As a contractor, you will probably have to work in tandem with owner-employees at some point. We had an electrical contractor tell us a story about one such situation. This contractor company operates in the heart of California’s wine country. They were hired to run electricity about a mile and a half from the main facility to a field house. The client was a multi-national winery and it was a huge contract.

The job needed to be done in very short order and as such, the contractor’s employees were not briefed on the safety regulations of the winery. They were working side by side with winery employees who were wearing more safety gear and following stricter safety practices than that contracting team. This did not reflect well on the electrical contractor. Once the job was done, the winery did not work with the electrical contractor again even though the winery needed much more electrical work done.

The contractor lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in projects; all because he did not make sure his team was complying with company safety policies. This happens a lot with contractors. You will have to work in tandem with owner employees at some point and you will have to adhere to their regulations if you want to keep contracts.

Cost Control

When an owner undergoes a construction, renovation, or expansion project there is a lot that goes into cost calculation. One of those things is contractor safety. When an accident occurs on the worksite, the money to address it will not always come out of the pocket or from the insurance of the contractor. 

So when an owner s looking for a contracting company to help them complete their project, they will look at the safety record of the contractor to help them calculate costs. This is what is sometimes referred to as the cost of doing business. If your contracting company is perceived as “high risk,” even if an owner hires you, you may not make as much as you would on the project as if you were perceived as “low risk.”

Cost calculations take into account what is likely to happen throughout the course of the project since no one can tell the future. Therefore, the safety record of your contracting company could be the difference between a fatter bottom line and being paid pennies on the dollar for a project.

Maintaining A Quality Work Force

Finally, contractor safety is important to maintaining a skilled workforce that can go on to prevent worksite accidents. The truth is that it is already hard enough for contractors to keep a skilled and experienced work staff these days as interest in the trades is waning. In a recent study, 2,500 contractors were surveyed and 80% of them reported difficulty filling open skilled labor positions. 

There is already a shortage of experienced workers on the job market, so why take the risk of having one of yours injured and incapacitated? By ensuring safety for yourself and your team, you are ensuring continued quality. Your foremen will also be more experienced with safety regulations so keeping them healthy and on the job site will make every project they are a part of that much safer. In this sense, contractor safety perpetuates itself when it is maintained properly.

Your Safety is our Priority

And of course, contractor safety is important in the workplace because, well, it keeps you safe. The health, productivity, and prosperity of you, your crew, and your company is the greater good here. And we can help provide you with the resources you need as a contractor to maintain a high level of safety on the job site. 

Here at the Contractors Society of America, your safety and prosperity is our priority. Find out more about how we can help you today.

Is Finish Carpentry A Good Career?

Is Finish Carpentry a Good Career? (Cover)

Finish carpentry can be a good career, depending on your state of employment. For example, in New York, you can make about $50,600 per year. However, in other states like North Carolina, the average annual salary is $37,000. Of course, money is not the only consideration, and ultimately, the value of any career is subjective.

Benefits to a Trade Career

Although a hampered economy may slow trade work, the trades are always among the first industries to come roaring back after a recession.

One of the most attractive prospects that the trades have for young people is that these jobs never die. The trades are one of the safest bets in terms of job security. No matter what the economic climate is, people will always need structural repairs, plumbing repairs, electrical services, and other types of projects.

What is A Finish Carpenter?

A finish carpenter is one who specializes in the finishing touches of a structure construction project. Finish carpenters are typically hired to install molding, hang windows, and drywall, hang doors, install stairs, install flooring, and do other lighter-duty work.

They essentially come in after most of the work is done and handle the more delicate aspects of a construction or remodeling job. Finish carpenters work in both the residential and commercial sectors. 

Why Would Anyone Want to Be A Finish Carpenter?

Finish carpentry tends to be less taxing on the body. In fact, a lot of tradesmen who have been in construction for a long time often shift to finish carpentry because it is physically less demanding.

If you are interested in the trades but aren’t too keen on doing a lot of dirty work, finish carpentry might appeal to you as well. Most finish carpentry jobs are done in cleaner environments and don’t require the presence of large crews.

There is also the potential for market growth. The job demand between 2016 and 2026 for all carpenters (including finish carpenters) is expected to increase by 8%. So there is also a job security factor at play here. 

What Can I Expect to Make as A Finish Carpenter?

The average annual earnings for all carpenters (including finish carpenters) hovers between $44,000 and $46,500. Of course, these are mean figures. They represent an income that is slightly below the national average.

But the local market will be a major factor in how much you can expect to make every year as a finish carpenter. For example, the average annual income of a finish carpenter in New York is about $50,600 while the average annual income of a finish carpenter in North Carolina is only about $37,000. 

Carpenters, in general, however, can earn up to 70,000 dollars per year if they are exceptionally skilled and service a robust market.

What Does it Take to Be A Finish Carpenter?

The main requirements you will need to cover to become a finish carpenter are 144 hours of technical training and 2,000 hours of job training. All of this can be covered in a 3 to 4-year apprenticeship program. In most cases, exceptionally skilled carpenters who have been in the trade for years make the leap to finish carpentry naturally. 

But aside from qualifications and certifications, you need to have a firm grasp of math. Finish carpenters often follow the blueprints of a general contractor to complete a job. These plans need to be carried out to a tee since someone else came in and did most of the work, which will dictate how you go about the work. 

Finish carpentry also requires a keen eye for detail. The best finish carpenters – the ones who earn the lion’s share of the work – will also place a high emphasis on craftsmanship as well. Remember, your job as a finish carpenter will be to put the last crowning touches on a construction job.

More often than not, finish carpentry is at least 50% cosmetic. And while there isn’t as much heavy lifting involved in finish carpentry as there is with regular carpentry, you will still have to be able to bend, stretch, and work your body in physically exhaustive ways.

Final Considerations as a Career

So is finish carpentry a good career? Now that you have the important facts, you are more suited than anyone to answer that question for yourself. What may appeal to others may not appeal to you. Like so many things in life, the answer to this question is subjective.

But a lot of people gravitate towards finish carpentry because, at heart, they love the artistry of it. It is a great way to be expressive through trade, even though you will be following a blueprint most of the time.

It can save your body a lot of wear and tear too. If you would like more information on finish carpentry and other trades, become a member of the Contractors Society of America.

6 Construction Statistics to Consider in 2020

Construction Statistics Cover 2020

Looking for updated construction statistics?

The first quarter of 2020 is officially over and with its departure; we are privy to some statistics that every construction contractor needs to know. Staying abreast of the latest developments, trends, and helpful statistics is what we do here at Contractors’ Society of America. And we are excited to bring you this list of crucial construction statistics in 2020. 

The first quarter of 2020 was a doozy and it is certain to go down as one of the pivotal periods of the modern era. It has been very challenging for construction contracting businesses and has surely forced many of them to change the way they operate and fill open positions. 

But to help you make some sense of it all and keep you ahead of the curve we have curated some of the most relevant statistics for construction contractors. The entries on our list will cover a cross-section of topics that pertain to construction projects, staffing, and the state of the market. Also, please be aware that our list will feature entries from before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. You can find lots more helpful content on our blog page which features articles geared towards keeping today’s contractors informed and their businesses competitive. 

1) Staffing 

The first important construction statistic that we have to discuss comes to us from Construction Dive. The Associated General Contractors of America recently conducted a survey of 2,500 contractors regarding their staffing prospects. 80% of the contractors who responded reported that they are finding it difficult to staff hourly positions in their crews while 56% of them cannot find enough candidates for salaried positions. This statistic is alarming because it points to a general shift away from interest in the construction trade. In order to compensate, savvy contractors have invested in in-house training. This allows them to take unskilled candidates and turn them into craft-workers. Other contractors have simply provided more hours to their existing crews as needed.

2) Women on the Job Site 

Our second statistic comes courtesy of the National Association of Women in Construction.  They inform us that only 9.9% of the construction workforce is made up of women. Construction has always been a predominantly male trade. But with so many other industries equalizing in terms of gender ratio, why is construction lagging behind so much? One reason is that construction work environments have not typically been welcoming to women. But this stat sort of goes hand-in-hand with our previous one. In order to salve the staffing crisis that the industry is now facing, contractors should make it a point to attract women into the trade. Making your company more inviting to women could open up a whole new market of skilled workers that can help compensate for the apparent lack of construction interest.

3) Single-Family Residential Construction is Still Profitable 

After our last recession was over, one of the industries that experienced an immediate boom was single-family home construction. This is evidenced by FMI’s figure that estimated the single-family construction branch of the industry was worth $282 billion dollars in 2018 – the era right after the recession. It is unclear what impact the COVID-19 impact will have on our economy but most experts predict another recession. But that $282 billion figure represented a 4% increase in the previous year – the era right before the recession. So no matter what comes of all this, it is likely that when the dust settles and the smoke clears, developers and investors will need a slew of single-family residences built. 

4) Construction and Technology 

Technology represents another arena in which the construction industry has underperformed. In a study conducted by Autodesk, we can see that only 18% of construction firms utilize modern technology like mobile apps to help manage their projects. In an era where so many things are uncertain, you would think that contractors would be looking to gain any edge they possibly could. And some have. Numerous surveyed contractors stated that they use cloud storage technology to assist with their administrative duties. But this is another way that contractors could be streamlining work, getting projects done faster, and helping more clients that many of them seem reluctant to adopt. 

5) Off-Site Construction Acceptance is Slow 

Prefab and modularization have changed the game for a lot of contractors. With these modern methods and products, they are able to get jobs done faster, easier, with leaner crews and at lower costs. But the interest in this type of construction seems one-sided. In an FMI study, it is apparent that owner organizations are reluctant to accept projects done in the modern off-site style. We read that only 38% of hiring owner organizations are highly accepting of off-site construction methods and a whopping 50% of them still prefer the traditional method of designing, bidding, and then construction. The issue is that many organizations are simply unaware of the advantages of this relatively modern approach. But no matter what the cause may be, it is obvious that owner organizations still want things done the old-fashioned way in 2020.

6) The First 5 Years

The first five years of construction are the most crucial. As we read in this Fundera article, only 65% of new construction businesses make it past their second year. And only a dismal 35% make it through their 5th year. Getting started as a construction contractor can be extremely hard. It can be hard to find ways to get work when you just start out but if you do make it past 5 years, statistically, you have a great shot at sustained success.

Final Words

We hope you have found our list of construction statistics insightful. It is important to leverage construction statistics like these in order to traverse these uncertain times. Staying in the know now can make all the difference in the future. Use these construction statistics as a guide to understanding current trends for the sake of future success. 

How to Find Work as a Contractor: The Ultimate Guide

Want to know how to find work as a contractor? Contractors Society of America has developed The Ultimate Guide.

How To Find Work as a Contractor Blog Cover


As a contractor, you most likely already have a considerable degree of gumption and bravery. Striking out on your own as a contractor is a major challenge, and some people simply aren’t cut out for it. We have known extremely skilled merchants in our time that should have started bidding on their own jobs and building a team under them years ago. But they never did because the prospect of drumming up their own work was simply too overwhelming for them. 

So if you have your contractor’s license and are actively looking for work, congratulations. You are already more courageous than many people can be. But now is when the hard work really starts. How do you even find work as a contractor? How do you make your workflow sustainable? How do you drum up new leads? These are scary questions but nonetheless, ones that can be answered. With a bit of due diligence, hustle, and tips, you will be able to find work as a contractor. 

If at any time you would like more information or resources to assist you in your efforts, simply get in touch with us here at the Contractors Society of America. We provide lots of industry resources for contractors of all kinds. 

Part I: Networking & Relationship-Building

1) Get to Know Local Businesses

If you do commercial work of any kind, you are going to want to get plugged into the local business community. Check around to see if your city has a business or professionals’ club you can join. These are usually low-obligation, casual organizations that gain members and meet once a month or so for networking events. 

We knew a contractor just starting out with his handyman business in a sleepy town in Northern California called Santa Rosa. His landlord was actually a real estate agent, and she invited him to join the local business owner’s club of which she herself was a long-standing member. Through her personal references and people he met through the club, this newbie contractor grew his business to 20 employees in just over a year.  

Business clubs like these are a great way to get know other business owners who may need your services as a contractor face to face. Being able to establish a rapport with potential customers and making your name prominent in their minds means that they are that much more likely to remember you when they need a contractor. Plus, if you do good work, you will already have a referral network that could grow your job rate exponentially.

2) Make yourself Available in Multiple Capacities

We know the glamour of the General Contractor title is alluring. But when you are just starting out, it can be hard to win bids against already established companies. You are probably starting out as the little guy in a sea of Goliath’s and you may miss out on a lot of bids in your early days. There is no shame in it – it happens to all of us. 

But that is why it is important to keep yourself open and available in your days as a neophyte general contractor. Do your best to win bids. Do your best to find out who you are bidding against. But when you don’t win bids as a general contractor; seek work as a subcontractor. 

When you lose a bid to another company, reach out to them and let them know that you are willing to help them on the project as a subcontractor. It may not be your ideal but when you are first striking out on your own, you may need all the income you can get. 

A mistake that many contractors make is not even considering doing work as a subcontractor. They don’t go the distance because they don’t make themselves available for paying work – even if it isn’t as a general contractor. Taking work as a subcontractor will help you supplement your income, get your name out there to clients and other contractors, and provide you with the opportunity to show people what you are capable of. It isn’t a demotion so try not to view it as one.

3) Understand (& Learn) Your Clientele

You can’t generate leads and win bids if you don’t know who your clientele is. Your client base will consist of anyone that would ever use your service. For example, if you are going into housing construction, one of your potential clients would be local land developers. If you are in commercial construction, it would be a good idea to get in touch with commercial realtors. If you offer handyman services, your client base could consist of property management companies.

The beautiful thing about being a contractor is that you have no shortage of clientele. But you should make a list of the types of commercial entities and private consumers who are most likely to need your services. This will help you focus your energies on the hottest leads and make the most efficient use of your time. 

4) Scout Prospective Clients

As a contractor, one of your prime objectives is to secure sales. This includes marketing and meeting with potential clients. But how do you find potential clients? One of the easiest ways to find potential clients is to use Google. Your search will depend on the kind of contractor service you offer. For instance, if you are a commercial electrician, you may do a search for “businesses near me.” If you are a remodeling contractor, you could do a search for “real estate offices near me.” All kinds of businesses large and small need electrical services and real estate agents are one of the leading customers for renovation contractors.

Your search will turn up a sizeable list of potential clients and all you have to do is jot their names, addresses, and phone numbers down. But that is not the end…

Part II: Getting Official Clients

1) Sell Yourself & Your Services to Clients

Again, as a contractor, much of your efforts will have to be devoted to securing clients. In many cases, that means pursuing and meeting with clients. Once you have a good list of potential clients in your area, take a day or two to go out and meet with them. Visit them at their place of business, make FaceTime with their secretaries and staff, leave your business card with them etc. If you can meet with them face-to-face, let them know how your services can help their business or improve their property. This may be out of your nature as a tradesman but remember that this is part of your job description now if you want to be a successful contractor.

Face-to-face meetings are ideal since it allows your potential clients to put a face to the service you offer, which, in turn, makes you more memorable than an email or business card. But if you can’t get any FaceTime, emails and phone calls can’t hurt. Reach out to them by any means and let them know the service you provide and that you are ready to go to work for them.

2) Use Lead Generation Services

If you don’t have a lot of time to spare and you can afford it, lead generation services are extremely helpful for new contractors. The best lead generation services are well-established networks that connect owners, land developers, investors, and the like to contractors and subcontractors. 

Their databases are massive and millions of potential clients go to their website every day in search of all kinds of contracting and sub-contracting companies. While many of these lead generation services charge an annual fee and a small fee per each contract won, some of them offer free trial periods that you can use to get started. Keep in mind that there are commercial and residential lead generation services and those that are industry-specific so be discerning with which one you use. 

3) Optimize Your Web Presence

Even if you have just a basic website up for your contracting company, Search Engine Optimization is crucial for business in the modern world. There are tons of SEO guides that are readily available online for free and many of the practices to help your company appear in more Google searches are things that you can do right now. 

You can use Google Ads to find out which keywords are trending in your particular trade and utilize them in the content of your website. 

Pictures with good descriptive captions are another SEO tool that will help you rank higher on Google searches. If available, post a picture of your past work on your website so that Google will be able to find your site easier and pull it up when someone makes a search relevant to your company. 


Even as you start to win bids and work on more projects, you should still be in the hunting mindset. Don’t be afraid to ask for referrals from people you have worked for or are working for. Contact architects, mall management companies, construction management firms, and interior designers and let them know you are ready to work. 

Starting out as a contractor isn’t easy but if you aren’t afraid of hard work and venturing outside your established skill sets, you have a great shot.

The Best Power Tool Brands for Contractors (2020 Update)

Best Power Tool Brands for Contractors Graphic

Knowing the kind of tools you will need for a job is only half the battle. If you need to procure tools for yourself and your team, you have a lot to consider as a contractor. Reliability, durability, cord and cordless options are all important factors with power tools. And oftentimes, a company will stake its name on these specific factors.

Contractors Society of America has comprised a list of the best power tool brands based on the firsthand experiences of other contractors, brand reputation and of course, personal experience. The brands we have chosen here also represent versatility. In other words, these are the brands that have the most use across a broad range of contractor fields. Whether you are an HVAC contractor, a roofing contractor a remodeling contractor or any type of contractor of the like, you will surely find a use for the tools made by the following brands.

Keep in mind that in this list, we are focusing on the brands that make the best power tools for professional use. While many of these brands also emphasize consumer and DIY usability, we are going to be focusing on professional contractor use.


If you have been a contractor in the last century, then you know the name Milwaukee. Milwaukee was established in 1924, and they are innovators when it comes to cordless power tools. In fact, they were the first power tool manufacturer to integrate rechargeable lithium-ion battery technology into their power tools. 

This is one of the things we like best about the Milwaukee brand. As a contractor, we don’t have to tell you how handy cordless power tools are. But reliability and charging are always an issue. Milwaukee power tools charge quickly, stay juiced for a long time and the batteries don’t burn themselves out as quickly as other of the best power tool brands. 

We personally loved the Milwaukee 2896-24 18V Combo kit which includes an M18 Fuel Sawzall. This sawzall is a beast. Whether you are cutting through vinyl fascia or the nails that secure them, this thing maintains its power via the innovative M18 Fuel power system that Milwaukee has garnered tons of industry praise for. The set comes with interchangeable spare batteries which is always helpful on the job site. 

Another great thing about Milwaukee power tools is that all of their modern products run off of one of four battery systems. So you can use the same battery for your Milwaukee hex impact driver as you do for your Milwaukee hammer drill.


Craftsman may not be the first name you think of when you think of the best power tool brands for contractors, but that is only because they have brands under them. Craftsman is actually part of the Stanley Black & Decker family of products so right off the bat, you know they are manufactured to strict standards of quality. 

But the main reason we included them in our best of the best power tool brands for contractors is that they manufacture perhaps the widest array of power tools, hand tools and outdoor equipment of any other brand; which means this brand is useful for a variety of contractors. 

For instance, did you know that Weedwacker is actually a Craftsman brand? It’s true. Weedwacker has become a general term for all kinds of string trimmers but the specific name is a registered trademark of Craftsman.

If you are a landscape contractor then you couldn’t do too much better in terms of a string trimmer than a Weedwacker from Craftsman. 

Aside from tool versatility, Craftsman has also become known for power versatility. They offer a generous line of corded, cordless, battery and gas-powered tools. So no matter what your preference is or what your line of work calls for as a contractor, Craftsman will more than likely have a set of tools you can get great use out of.


We couldn’t forget about our plumbing and HVAC contractors out there. That’s why we have included Ridgid in our list of the best power tool brands. Ridgid is known for reliability. The company was founded in 1923 and began specializing in quality hand tools like pipe wrenches. But in our personal experience, Ridgid makes some of the best drill kits and impact drivers we have ever used. 

They last a really long time and maintain consistent performance no matter how hard you work them. But let’s get down to brass tacks. The Ridgid brand will be your best friend especially if you are an HVAC or plumbing contractor. Their hand tools for these specific trades are world-renowned and although they offer just a limited line in terms of power tools, even they are a solid choice. 

Ridgid is also an affordable brand if you are shopping for power tools. If you are looking for a basic set of power tools that can be put to multiple uses, Ridgid is a great brand to choose.


Bosch represents one of the oldest companies on our list. The company began in Germany all the way back in 1886. Bosch made our list for a number of reasons. The first of which has to do with the brand versatility. Bosch is known for making power tools for virtually every trade. If you are in residential construction, Bosch has specialized tools for you. If you are a plumbing contractor, Bosch makes a power tool you won’t be able to do without. If you are an electrician, you likely already have some Bosch tools in your arsenal.

We have personally worked with Bosch tools a great deal and on different job sites we have noticed one thing about Bosch power tools: they keep a charge for a very long time. We have seen crews complete multiple projects on a single charge. In particular, we really like the performance of the 18V Bosch drill set. It delivers 1,500 pounds of torque which is enough for metal workers and professional construction contractors alike. And the hammer and anvil system that they innovated for their impact drivers is one of the most impressive we have ever come across. Again, with just one charge, we were able to use this impact driver on multiple projects without losing any impact power. 

In our opinion, their 18V tool sets are the best. The reciprocating saws and hammer drills pack enough power to get a variety of jobs done and you don’t have to fumble around with chargers and batteries as much as you do with other power tool brands. 


If you prefer to use pneumatic tools in your line of work, then you are probably already well-acquainted with the Makita brand. Makita makes some of the best compressed-air powered tools in the industry. Their family of pneumatic nailers represent the acme of durability, precision, and power. 

The interesting thing is that Makita didn’t even start making power tools until the 50s. They make a wide variety of power tools and equipment which were designed for the job site (their industrial fans and radios are some of the best we have ever come across) which is one of the reasons we chose to include them on our list of the best power tool brands for contractors. 

The cordless line of 18V power tools from Makita, which features the incomparable brushless XDT impact driver, is the way to go if you are just getting started with Makita tools. They are never underpowered and provide long battery life that any type of contractor will appreciate. They are designed very well too. We know contractors that have owned a single Makita power tool for over a decade and still use it to this day. 

But perhaps the most impressive thing about Makita power tools is the consistency of quality throughout their product catalog. They make rotary hammers that are the top-choice for many construction contractors we know, power sanders that woodworkers get decades of use from and circular saws that are considered the best by many construction contractors. In short, they are versatile. Many types of contractors can benefit greatly from the consistent performance of a wide variety of Makita power tool. And that’s why we like this brand so much.

Honorable Mentions

There were a few other brands that we wanted to include in our list such as Ryobi, Black + Decker and Kobalt. But if we added any more brands to our list, we would have composed an overly-long blog. Instead, our succinct list features the best of the best. Hopefully we have shed some light on these worthy brands and maybe even helped you with your next purchase. Here at Contractors Society of America, we are always looking to provide helpful resources to our fellow contractors and tradesmen. Feel free to get in touch with us for more helpful information.

What COVID-19 Could Mean For Electricians


COVID-19 for Electricians Cover

As a skilled tradesman, COVID-19 has almost certainly impacted your business in some way.

But for many tradesmen, like electricians, your work is considered essential, and therefore; you can continue working even under stay-at-home orders in many cases.

So what is the responsibility of an electrical company and an electrician during these uncertain times?

Communicate Digitally

Your customers are going to want to know what the deal is. But you can’t answer every phone call since the volume has tripled, in many cases.

Instead, you want to make your stance on COVID-19 accessible online.

There are a few ways to do this:

Google My Business

Perhaps the easiest way to display information regarding coronavirus procedures is through your Google My Business listing. GMB has new features that allow you to specify whether you are remaining open during the crisis. You can also add Google Posts further detailing your points of emphasis.

Company Website

Your main website should have a notice that explains your COVID-19 procedure and whether your company is remaining open. As an electrician, it is likely that you are an essential worker and therefore should demonstrate that in your website notice. The notice should either appear at the very top of your site or should pop-up automatically to visitors so that they don’t miss it.

Exercise Precautions with Staff & Customers

Since the virus is contagious, the last thing you want is to spread it to one of your staff or especially to one of your customers. That’s why you should exercise every precaution before attempting to conduct a service. It starts with staff accountability and a strong message that any symptoms should be taken seriously, and that technician should stay home.

COVID-19 Notice

Follow The Guidelines

Make sure you follow CDC guidelines for coronavirus prevention. After all, you should not trust any non-reputable source to explain how to prevent the virus from spreading. There are lots of opportunists looking to profit off of fear, economic turmoil, and other anxieties spreading across the globe.

Show Leadership in Your Community

How you handle crisis goes a long way towards building your reputation for the future. Studies show that customers remember the performance of services during times of crisis more than in normal times. As an electrician, this means that prioritizing safety and also performance can go a long way.

Ease Customer Concerns

Customers aren’t going to want irresponsible workers coming in their homes during this time of great crisis. The best way to prove your safety is to demonstrate the precautions you are taking, in detail. Whether that is wearing gloves, masks, and other protective materials, to monitoring all staff members for even the slightest symptoms. Make sure your clients know you are taking this seriously.

Looking Toward The Future

Although the future is uncertain for many, running a business requires a bit of foresight. That means electricians are going to have to consider what their business will look like once the worst of the pandemic has ceased. Hopefully, for those members of the Contractors Society of America, they will be in great health, and thriving as leaders in their respective communities, including their digital ones.