How to Start a New Career as a Builder


There’s something deeply satisfying about building, creating, and making things to a set of specifications. That’s why we enjoy Lego and other construction toys as children, and why we derive so much satisfaction from DIY projects, too. If you’ve always loved getting out the tools to work on a home renovation project, becoming a contracting builder – visiting homes in your neighborhood for paid construction jobs – can be a wonderful and satisfying career move. This article is all about how you’ll do it: building a new career as a builder.


A builder isn’t made successful through their tools or materials: what they absolutely need, without a doubt, is a way to transport them from job to job. Your old station wagon isn’t going to cut it if you need to transport long lengths of wood over dozens of miles: you’re going to need a truck or a van. This is a high up-front cost, but it’s essential as your first step towards becoming a successful builder.

The specific type of van you choose will likely depend on the jobs you’re training in. A typical builder who will be transporting sizable and heavy materials will need a large truck; an electrician or a plumber may get away with a smaller van.


When you’re invited into someone’s home to be introduced to some work they’d like to pay you to undertake, you’ll be expected to give a quote. That quote comes in two parts: one part labor, or how long you expect the job to take, and one part materials, or how much the job will set you back in terms of wood, paint, nails and other key materials. When it comes to the latter, it’s important to know what you ought to be charging.

In these cases, you’ll want to be well acquainted with trade material websites such as Here, you’ll be able to access materials fast, familiarize yourself with their prices, and have them delivered to the home you’re working on. Get used to searching through their pages and filling baskets: it’s a huge and important part of your new career as a builder.


As well as materials, which you’ll buy in for each job you undertake, you’ll also need to buy tools which you’ll keep at home and will bring to the jobs you’re working on from day to day. As well as your van, this represents another high up-front cost, as power tools are often several thousand dollars to amass for every building need. But they pay for themselves in no time. As a builder, you’re not just being paid for your skill; you’re being paid for access to your brilliant tools, which perform tasks that a human hand isn’t able to do. With these tools, you can up your rate, reflecting the value you’re bringing as a builder. So, power tools and other highly useful devices are an important and worthy investment as you start your new career as a builder.

Making a career move, with the right tools and materials, can be incredibly satisfying – you just need to invest in the right equipment before you get going.