How to Become a Drywall Contractor
Before learning how to become a drywall contractor, you must know what drywall is. Drywall, or plasterboard, is commonly used for covering interior walls. Drywall serves to cover insulation, dampen sound, hide plumbing and wires, and provide fire resistance to a certain extent. A drywall subcontractor, or hanger, is in charge of installing the drywall and hanging the panels during construction.
The work of a hanger includes measuring each panel of drywall, making the appropriate cuts, and then fastening the sheets on the wall with nails, screws, or glue. Once the panels are hung, the drywall contractor must seal the joints and layer each panel with a sealant. After all of that is complete, they must sand the walls and smooth them down. Physical strength is a general requirement for a drywall subcontractor. On the job, you will be lifting large sheets of drywall and putting them into place. If you have an interest in the field of construction, consider becoming a drywall contractor. Here is some information to understand more about the process of becoming a drywall contractor.
Have the Proper Diploma
Becoming a drywall subcontractor doesn’t require a college education, but you may need a high school diploma to enter specific apprenticeship programs. Individual high school courses such as mathematics or shop can help provide a basic understanding of the concepts necessary for drywall installation.
The first job that you should be looking to get is one with an employer who will provide you with on-the-job training. An entry-level position begins with training that usually gives you one year of experience. A recommended route to explore right away is to get an apprenticeship. An apprenticeship lasts approximately 3-4 years and will offer more in-depth training and involves a classroom aspect as well. In the classroom, you can learn different aspects of the construction industry, such as learning building codes and interpreting blueprints. An apprenticeship will also provide you with the skills to improve your drywall installation skills.
Obtain the Proper License
Depending on where you reside and will be performing work, you will need a license. Each license requirement varies from state to state, so be sure to obtain the proper one. Some states require you to complete a certain amount of experience, have a higher level of degree, or pass a standardized test.
Here’s an example of the requirements for a C-9 classification license in California. You must have a minimum of 4 years journeyman experience as well as pass a two-part exam issued by the Contractor State Licensing Board.
To get an exam date in California, you must meet the following requirements:
-Be at minimum 18 years old
-Have a social security or ITIN number
-Have a valid drier’s license or a US-issued identification
-Cannot currently be on probation or parole
California offers a study guide for the exam as well. Other states may offer this, depending on the exam and the region. The Contractors State Licensing Board can inform you of the requirements for other states and regions.
Licensing boards worry that contractors will take a client’s money and leave or will run out of money to complete the job. Individual financial specifications are required and are a standard part of the licensing process. For an example of these specifications, in Florida, drywall contractors must submit their credit reports along with their credit score. The licensing board will review it, and if your score is under 660, you must either provide a bond from a surety company or a letter of credit to ensure clients are paid if you default. The bond protects the consumer and the contractor in the case of a disagreement. If you take a course of financial responsibility, it can lower the amount for which you must be bonded.
Liability and property damage insurance are also required to purchase in the amounts that the licensing board requires. Once you become a drywall contractor and begin to hire workers to help you, workers’ compensation insurance is also required. This insurance ensures that your employees can get paid in the event of an injury.
Finally, once you are certified and have all the proper financial and insurance specifications, you have some options. You can start your own independent drywall business, or you can begin to bid jobs. Drywall contractors typically work for general contractors who oversee the entire construction project. The general contractor looks at bids from different contractors and decides on the one that is the best fit for each construction project. To get jobs, you must begin to submit bids.
The process of submitting a bid:
-Educate yourself on the construction plans and create a general idea of how your company will complete the project
-Estimate all the material and labor costs to drywall projected space, and try to stay as accurate as possible
-Submit a bid that is lower than your competitors, but still high enough to make a profit, and finish the job done with quality work.