A window contractor is someone who arranges for the installation of windows either in existing buildings or in buildings that are under construction. Some contractors might install the windows themselves, and others will hire subcontractors or laborers to do the actual work of installation. If you want to become a window contractor, you will need to understand the local market, follow all of the legal requirements in your area, have the right supplies for the job and diligently seek out new customers.
Your first step in your quest to become a window contractor is to understand the market for your services. Contractors can request free quotes from competitors to set their prices. These quotes reveal the minimum and maximum hourly rates for window contractors in your home market. Your research into the local housing market reveals demands for window replacements from prospective customers. It also is critical to study state and federal tax credits for window remodeling projects that increase energy efficiency.
Another stepping stone as you become a window contractor is to stay updated on building techniques and trends. Your initial lessons in window replacement and maintenance might come from a local vocational or technical school. These technical programs range from weekend seminars to certificate tracks. Local and regional hardware stores often host lessons for general contractors to promote their window products. Home builders and construction companies might schedule sessions on the latest window offerings to preferred contractors.
It also is important to look into local and regional licensing requirements before completing window replacements. Your municipality likely requires a local license for contractors and small businesses in the construction trade. Regional governments also feature licenses and permits for construction trades to ensure contractor qualifications. You also must acquire local building permits for each project to meet municipal zoning and safety requirements. You should carry copies of permits and licenses to each project in case of inspections.
Your job as a window contractor is made easier with the right tools and supplies. Window contractors often own full vans and pickup trucks to carry windows and accessories. Your tool box should include items such as a caulking gun, utility knife and wood chisel.
The most important supplies as you become a window contractor are window treatments, shades and curtains. You need to develop relationships with window wholesalers to keep your costs low while finding the latest products. Your list of suppliers should include building supply companies and retailers that offer different inventories from wholesalers.
You are ready to seek out clients for your window contracting business with all of the aforementioned criteria in place. Your attendance at local and regional building events creates networking opportunities as you become a window contractor. You can drop off posters with referral cards at local hardware stores and public libraries to generate business. Window contractors also need basic websites with customer testimonials, work samples and price lists. Your contracting business can expand quickly if you offer discounts to past customers for referring their friends and neighbors.