Monthly Archives: June 2021

Getting Out of a Rut In Your Contracting Business Marketing

Marketing is one of the best ways that customers can find you. But if you’re not investing time into it, you might find that you’re not getting a very good return. It’s tempting to set up your marketing and hope it will run by itself, but without occasional changes, sometimes you get stuck in a rut. Here’s how you can get out.

Get Data on Your Marketing Efforts
The first thing that you need to do is figure out what is working and what isn’t. In many cases, business owners start to gather data on their marketing strategies and discover that only some of the parts aren’t working. For example, your marketing might be driving lots of people to your website or your social media, even if it doesn’t lead to conversions. You don’t want to drop the first in favor of the second. There are a handful of free data-collection services that you can take advantage of, but it may be worth investing in a paid version that provides detailed insights that you can use to tweak your strategy.

Rethink Your Marketing Approach
There are a few things that you should know about marketing, including the fact that the most popular approaches change on a regular basis. This means that if you are taking marketing tips from five years ago, or even ones from last year, they may not be very relevant today. Regardless of your clientele, you’ll probably need to do more than rely on word-of-mouth or minimal advertising. This will likely require you to invest a bit more, usually in the form of money but also time. The good news is that trying out new methods gives you more information to make your marketing work more efficiently.

Look for New Sales Channels
In order to tailor your marketing strategy, you need to consider all possible sales channels for your business. The right ones depend on the type of business that you do. For example, if you work primarily with non-business clients, you might want to market your services directly or through an intermediary. An intermediary is a company that offers an auxiliary product or service through which you may be able to secure new customers. If you’re having a hard time getting clients by marketing to them directly, this may be a practical approach.

Try New Advertising Formats
Marketing may seem like one of the driest, most boring aspects of running a business. But it doesn’t have to be. In fact, improving your marketing and sales can sometimes be much more interesting and engaging than you expect. If you’ve gone through traditional advertising approaches and you’re not getting a big return, there isn’t much risk in trying something completely new. Create a YouTube channel with tips for consumers. Market your business on TikTok. We might be surprised how many new prospective customers you find.

Create Customer-Focused Marketing Plans
In some ways, marketing may be simpler than you think. Realistically, your primary goal is to ensure that your marketing efforts reach the customers most likely to pay for your services. This means you have to figure out where they spend their time and how your advertising can reach them. Keep in mind that the type of advertising depends on where prospective customers are in the decision-making process. If you focus too much of your advertising on discovery and not enough on persuading them to hire you, you might have leads but no sales. If you spend too much time pushing them to choose you, they may feel overwhelmed and back away. Plan to formulate different types of marketing and make sure that you’re covering potential clients at every stage of the process. That way, they won’t feel like you’re drowning them or leaving them out in the cold.

Changing up your marketing strategy is a great way to get out of a rut and get more sales. First, you need to be a licensed contractor. To find out how expert exam preparation can help you, contact CSLS today!

Collaborating with Third Parties in Your Contracting Business

On a regular basis, you may need to work with other professionals who aren’t clients, employees, or subcontractors. For example, you may need an inspector to provide approval before you can move on to the next stage of construction. These interactions can be simple and quick, but sometimes they’re full of conflict. The good news is that most of the time, they don’t have to be difficult. Here are a few ways you can navigate it.

Do Your Research
Part of running a contracting business involves knowing when you have to hire or schedule other professionals outside of your company to perform work. After a few years, this may feel like second nature, but it’s always good to follow up and make sure that the guidelines you remember are still current. Researching in advance is a great way to avoid conflict because you will already know your obligations and rights. You have probably had experiences where someone you were working with failed to investigate what they needed to do for a particular task and tried to make it your problem when you corrected them. Thankfully, this is easy to avoid.

Stick to the Schedule
As a business owner, you know what it means to keep your commitments. You have to run a reasonably tight schedule, otherwise, you can fall behind and disappoint your clients. Other professionals are often in a similar situation. If you need to have somebody from a utility company identify lines or access points, you may have to schedule a time to allow them onsite. And just like you, they probably have other commitments that they need to meet as soon as they’re done with your task. Keeping track of the time and ensuring that you are ready to meet them at the designated appointment helps everybody to move forward.

Offer Professional Courtesy
When you have a frustrating interaction with someone in a professional capacity, it’s tempting to blame them for having a bad attitude. But in reality, it’s much easier to offer professional courtesy and, if nothing else, the benefit of the doubt. It’s true that people can have a bad day and take it out on others who are completely uninvolved. This isn’t a good professional behavior, but it happens. In many cases, you may have to interact with third parties repeatedly, to the point that you know each other by name. Offering everyone a basic level of kindness will help to relieve a lot of the stress present in the situation.

Keep Interactions Simple
Most of the time, someone who arrives to inspect your site or mark utility lines isn’t looking for a long, drawn-out process. This is fortunate because like you, they just want to finish this step and keep moving. If the result of the meeting isn’t what you were hoping for, you may find yourself trying to drag it out in hopes of a renegotiation. In that case, you’re unlikely to get what you want. Start with the assumption that you will allow them to complete the task fully, even if that includes time afterward to prepare a report and submit it. That way, you can get all of the information without rushing them or causing an argument.

Maintain Contacts
Sometimes, you will need to follow up with third parties to get more information about the task or the results. The last thing that you want is to contact a large organization with no information about the person who just completed the work. When someone arrives onsite, confirm that you have their name and basic contact information. Check to see if the phone number they provide leads directly to them or to an operator. With these details, you’ll have an easier time following up as needed.

Interacting with other construction professionals is a common part of your contracting business. Once you get your license, you can start building that experience. To learn more about expert exam preparation, visit CSLS today!

5 Safety Tips You Might Miss in Your Contracting Business

When you do work for your contracting business, it’s common to follow the standard safety practices for each task. If you know that you are taking each step seriously, you can avoid injury and ensure that you get to the finish line with as little hassle as possible. However, there are other aspects of your business or personal safety that you might not think about as often. Here are five to remember.

Jobsite Security
If you’re working as a contractor on a jobsite, you need to make sure that the site will be safe and secure while you are there. It’s also important to consider how secure the site will be, if you have to leave equipment and materials for the day. Ask the property owner about security features of the site, including:

  • Fences
  • Surveillance equipment
  • Locked doors and gates
  • Pest deterrents

Protection is important, and you want to make sure that somebody is attending to it. You don’t want to enter the jobsite and find an unfamiliar person any more than you would like to find a snake or a mountain lion.

Construction Vehicle Safety
When you think about safety, it’s tempting to focus on the safety tasks you need to complete onsite, whether that’s a client property or your own workspace. But you should also think about the safety of the transportation you take to get to and from work, especially if you use your own vehicle. Many people find that they forget about vehicle upkeep, until something breaks. Schedule regular maintenance for your work vehicle, and more often if you use it to travel to client sites regularly. Replacing the brakes when appropriate could be the difference between life and death.

Guest and Visitor Safety
For yourself and your employees, your business probably has a set of safety practices that everyone needs to follow. You might offer training and have everyone practice routines on a regular basis, to ensure that they remain sharp. Of course, all of these practical tasks do not relate to onsite guests or visitors. If you’re going to be having someone come to the site, whether it is a property owner, client, or inspector, you must ensure that they know the possible hazards. Confirm that you can provide adequate safety equipment for anyone who will be visiting the site on a given day.

Visibility
When you are engaged in a particular task, it may be difficult for you to think about all the things that are going on around you. And yet, that is a common source of jobsite injury. A worker is using a piece of equipment, not realizing that there is another worker around the corner or behind them. Increasing visibility and awareness is an important task to ensure the safety of the entire site. Increase lighting and add windows or mirrors as needed to ensure that people can see what they are doing and the environment around them.

Information Security
You may not think of the security of your business information as a safety task, but it certainly is. Your business’s ability to keep your information, and that of your clients, safe is a matter of security. Without it, you could be at risk for identity theft, property theft, as well as other personal threats. Make sure that you are keeping sensitive information in a secure place. If you’re not sure how to do that in a digital format, you may want to search for companies that can manage your data and encrypt it so that people cannot break in and gather that information for other uses.

Keeping your business and everyone in it safe sometimes calls for the unexpected. With these tips, you’ll have a better idea of what you should do. To discover the benefits of running your own contracting business, contact CSLS today!

5 Reasons to Sign Up for Exam Preparation for Contractor Licensing Exam

When you’re getting ready to take the contractor licensing exam, you may wonder if it makes sense to sign up for expert preparation for the test. It’s tempting to think you can save the money, but you could be making a big mistake if you do. Test preparation is more than simply reviewing concepts. It also helps you know what you can expect during such an important task. Here are five reasons you’ll be glad you made the investment.

You’ll Know What to Study
When it comes to preparing to be a licensed contractor, there are many subjects that you will have to master. But in order to pass the exam, you need to understand how the test works as well. There’s no point in investing all of your time into specific subjects that don’t tend to get a lot of coverage from the test. Additionally, it’s a good idea to have a sense for what you will need to know in order to pass it. Exam preparation isn’t a replacement for the years of knowledge and experience you’ve developed for each subject. It simply refines your expertise in a way that will make you more successful once you get your license.

You’ll Understand Your Strengths and Weaknesses
Studying and practicing on your own can be an excellent way to review the things that you’ve learned and make sure that you understand them in a way that makes sense to you. However, individual study does not necessarily give you the benefit of assessment. In other words, you’ll know what you know, but you may not know what you don’t know. Exam preparation has a way of revealing your strengths and weaknesses. It’s useful knowledge to have, because it will help you target your studies to the subjects where you need the most help.

You’ll Get More Practice
There’s a reason that most professional exams have different types of courses that you can take to help you prepare for them. Quite a lot of people struggle to take tests, especially if they don’t know what to expect. You don’t usually just sail in one morning and blow everything away, especially if you don’t even know what the testing format will be. With expert exam preparation, you often get an opportunity to take sample tests as a way of learning more about your test-taking style. That way, you’re not caught off-guard on the day of the exam.

You’ll Get Help from Experts
When you start working in construction, you’re typically working under someone who has years of experience in the type of job that you’re going to be doing. This type of expert or mentor relationship can provide you with tips and ideas that can expand your understanding of the subject, as well as the practice. Exam preparation comes from people who have real knowledge of the field, as well as experience in helping others to get ready for the exam. You can take advantage of their assistance in ensuring that you have everything you need to do well on the test.

You’ll Have More Confidence
Many test-taking experts will tell you that confidence is a major determiner of success on an exam. Simply put, if you think you will do well, you’re more likely to do better than if you are convinced that you will not do well. Years of study and education can help to prepare you for the exam. Signing up for an exam preparation course will give you the confirmation that you have the skills necessary, which is an added benefit on test day. You walk in knowing that you have done everything that you can to get a great result, and you’ll be more likely to get it.

Taking the contractor licensing exam is so much easier if you have an expert team to help you prepare. For more information about our courses, contact CSLS today!

How to Fit More Studying for the Contractor Licensing Exam Into Your Day

Studying as an adult can be a lot trickier than it was when you were a kid. You’ve probably got a full-time job, and you may have other family obligations too. All that adds up to a day that is often more full than you think. And yet, you can still find opportunities to study. Here are a few ways to take advantage of quick moments to help you get ready for the contractor licensing exam.

Focus Your Goals
Most experts in productivity will tell you that you must have focused goals in order to achieve them. For example, if you simply plan to “get some studying done,” you might not achieve nearly as much as you’re hoping to get. Instead, take a moment to think about certain topics that you would like to study, and make a list of the ones you want to start with first. If you’re not sure how to refine your goals, try setting broad ones and then breaking them down into pieces. You’ll have a better time estimating how much time they will take that way.

Create Short Tasks
With your list of study topics that you need to master, you can start planning out short tasks. At the very beginning, it may be difficult to estimate how long you think it’s going to take you to do something. That’s why you may need to have some longer study sessions. On the other hand, if you want to re-watch a recorded lecture, you simply need to see how long it is to set an approximate time for it. Make a list of short tasks that last 5 to 15 minutes, particularly if you find yourself constantly strapped for time. Making a little progress at a time is better than letting days pass and realizing you haven’t studied at all. In small blocks, the hours will add up.

Book Study Time
Finding time in the margins for studying can be a way to get extra study time, but it probably won’t be sufficient. When you are new to a topic, you may need to immerse yourself in it for a couple of hours before you have some passing familiarity with the terminology or the processes involved. Short periods of time are better for refining your skills or reviewing in advance of the exam. If you finish every week wishing that you could have planned out more time for studying, you may want to start there first. Set aside a couple of hours once or twice a week to give you that foundation. You’ll find it easier to fit more time for smaller tasks if you feel like you’re making progress.

Use Multiple Formats
The thing about fitting studying into the margins is that you may end up doing it in a variety of places. As such, you’ll need to have multiple formats in which you can study or review. If everything that you do presumes that you have access to a desk with books and a computer, you’ll have a harder time listening to a lecture on your commute. Try to give yourself more than one way to study or review, even if it means recording yourself explaining a concept so that you can listen to it later. Review is a key part of recall, so it won’t feel like wasted time.

Avoid Big Schedule Changes
As with any schedule change, one of the worst things that you can do is to swap your time allocation to the extreme. For example, cutting out an hour of sleep abruptly to buy you more study time isn’t likely to make you more focused. Instead, you may end up more stressed and less inclined to study. Start by making slight changes to your routine, no more than 15 to 30 minutes at a time. Give yourself a week to get used to it before you change it again. You’ll be more likely to build reliable study habits that way, and you won’t up-end your home life as a result.

Finding time to study is a crucial part of passing the contractor licensing exam. For guidance in meeting the requirements to take the exam, contact CSLS today!

5 Ways to Be a Good Contracting Business Owner

One of the reasons people like small businesses is that they are unique. There’s a lot of opportunities to provide a one-of-a-kind service, when you own a small business. Of course, there’s a lot of unpredictability or inconsistency that can happen with small businesses, and it isn’t always a good thing. If you do these five things, you’ll have a better chance of keeping your clients happy.

Stay Organized
Have you ever gone to a business that didn’t seem to have everything together? It’s a nightmare. You ask questions and you worry that you won’t get answers with the right information. As a business owner, you need to stay organized. You should make a plan to attend to administrative tasks, as well as staying on top of each aspect of an individual project. That way, when someone calls you to request a bid or to get updated information about the status of a project, you won’t have to hunt through a pile of paperwork to figure out how to respond. If necessary, it’s worth hiring someone to help you keep track of it.

Return Communications
Experts often say that property owners should get multiple bids for a project before they choose one. In a lot of cases, clients end up going with only one or two because they couldn’t get responses from everyone else. As a business owner, you miss 100% of the sales leads that you don’t follow. You’re also more likely to lose out on repeat business, if you’re not in the habit of responding to client questions promptly and fully. You don’t have to answer the phone 24/7 or reply within minutes. Setting a goal to respond to all client communications within 24 to 48 hours could make all the difference.

Keep Explanations Simple
It’s worth keeping in mind the people are hiring you for your expertise. This usually means that they don’t know much about how to perform the services you offer, and they probably won’t be up on the latest jargon. It might seem like you’re complimenting your customers by refusing to use plain or common language when you’re explaining something to them. But as a result, they may not understand what you’re trying to tell them, and provide inaccurate feedback as a result. Take the time to investigate easier ways to have a discussion, and follow up to make sure the client understood everything.

Aim for Excellent Service
Offhand, you can probably think of several small businesses that you prefer to use more than others. For example, there’s that restaurant not far from you that always gives you great service. People tend to remember things like this. If your contracting business relies heavily on repeat business, customer service is a big factor in a client’s decision to continue. Aim to provide the best service that you can in every step of the process, and set goals to help you achieve it. If you miss the mark on occasion, take the time to figure out why it happened and plan to correct it.

Invest In Your Industry
When you start your contracting business, you may have a lot of current knowledge about the latest trends and techniques in the industry. Over time, without investment, that knowledge will become obsolete to some degree. The best small businesses are the ones that are paying attention to best practices and implementing them in their processes. It doesn’t mean that you have to chase all the latest trends and radically change your Business from one year to the next. Instead, making a regular investment in your industry allows you to evaluate changes and determine which ones will be best to apply to your business directly.

Being a good contracting business owner will help set you up for an excellent career. To get started on the road to becoming a licensed contractor, visit CSLS today!

Tips for Working With Family and Friends in Your Contracting Business

When you think about starting a contracting business, it’s tempting to consider involving family and friends in the endeavor. After all, you know them and they know you. If you have a pretty good idea of their work ethic and what to expect, it can be a great partnership. It might also not work out the way you think. Here are a few things to consider before you make a choice.

Balance Skill Sets and Knowledge
Having a partner who can balance out your knowledge and experience is ideal. If you’re trying to do a complicated task, it’s smart to have two people who each have expertise in different areas. Two people who know the same things may find that their effort put together isn’t sufficient. If you’re thinking about going into business with a friend or relative a few years from now, you can tailor your education to suit it. That way, you can ensure that all the requirements for your business are met by one person or the other.

Identify Goals for the Business
Bringing two people with a long friendship together to build a business can be excellent if you have common goals. It’s a wise idea to sit down and outline what you expect to get from the business, as well as how you feel about taking risks. Misalignment on these basic aspects can lead to serious conflicts, and they may not take long to show up. It’s wise to be wary about a partnership of two people who are a lot alike. Sometimes, it’s harder to challenge a decision made by someone who acts just the way that you would. And it can also make you less likely to think about things from a different perspective. You want to partner with someone that you have a lot in common with, but perhaps not everything.

Evaluate Conflict Management Styles
When you evaluate a partner for your business, you might wonder how they act when they are under duress or facing a significant conflict. With a friend or family member, you probably have a good idea of what you can expect. This can be a good or bad thing, depending on how their conflict management style meshes with yours. If you love to address a conflict head-on, you may struggle to engage with someone who needs to think over it. Similarly, if you like to take a day or two to calm yourself and think about a resolution, you might find it difficult to resolve conflict with someone who demands an answer right now.

Set Clear Expectations
With friends and especially with family, it’s tempting to bypass a lot of things that your business actually needs to run. You would never agree to a job without a clear, written expectation of requirements and payment. When it comes to a family member, it might be easier to let things slide. Instead, you should make sure that you are running your business much in the same way that you would with someone that you don’t know very well. This means that you should:

  • Set clear expectations for the business
  • Outline requirements for each job
  • Provide details in writing

That way, you don’t have to worry about anger or hurt feelings based on a misunderstanding that you can’t clarify.

Get Outside Opinions
Going into business with your best friend or a cousin you’ve known from childhood may sound like an amazing idea. It’s wise to get outside opinions on that. If you have a lot of people in your social circle telling you to reconsider for various reasons, it’s a good idea not to ignore them. Going into business is a big endeavor and it can cause a lot of stress for people in the first few years. If you notice a lot of signs that you and your partner won’t be a good match to run a successful business, it is better to know that before you get embedded in all the responsibilities.

Starting a business with a friend or family member is a common choice, but you have to do it wisely. To learn more about running a contracting business, contact CSLS today!

How to Handle Price Hikes in Your Contracting Business

The longer you work in the construction industry, the more you’ll understand the changes in supply pricing. Periodically, you’ll notice a steep rise in the cost of steel, lumber or other materials you need on a regular basis. At times, you’ll need to consider raising your own prices. Here are a few factors to remember as you make a plan.

Research Pricing Trends
The best way to start evaluating effects on prices is to research trends. When the price of a particular material seems to go up practically overnight, you want to have a sense of why this is happening. Sometimes, there is a disaster or conflict that makes it more difficult to source materials that must come from a particular location. In these instances, you’ll need to figure out how long prices will be higher and if you need to adjust your estimates as a result. This is also a good time to evaluate your supply chain and build in a few ways to get materials when supply is harder to find.

Balance Short-Term Price Increases
Keeping your pricing relatively consistent is a good idea. It’s not always possible, but it makes sense to keep your strategy such that you can easily replicate it for most estimates. If the price increases on materials or services are limited and temporary, you may be able to balance them out without having to raise your prices. Many contractors choose to offer a variety of services, some of which have lower margins while others have higher margins. This way, you can avoid cutting into your own profits too much without having to notify clients about price increases that won’t last more than a couple of projects.

Avoid Underestimating Costs
Ultimately, you have to keep your business profitable so that you can continue to do it. The best way to do this is to set a minimum margin you need to make off of various types of projects and stick to it. In an industry where the contractor who bids the lowest often gets the job, it’s tempting to trim your margins down to nothing, especially after material price increases. But over time, you may notice your profits dwindling down as a result. Try to build a little padding into your estimates for price fluctuations, so that you’re not always having to eat the difference when it comes time to get paid.

Decide When to Increase Estimates
Increasing your prices due to material price hikes is a strategic decision. If you think of it this way, you’re less likely to feel like you’re taking advantage of your clients. Inflation naturally increases the prices for goods and services over time. It makes sense that you may need to increase your prices as well. After researching pricing trends and investigating what you can reasonably expect for your services in your area, you can set new prices. You’ll want to give yourself some time to roll out the price changes. For example, you may choose to wait until you complete a certain number of projects before you move to the new pricing model.

Notify Regular Clients
Once you come to the conclusion that you need to raise your prices, you need to publish this information anywhere your old pricing system was available. You will also need to notify regular clients who may expect to use the old prices. Keep in mind that increasing your estimates is a natural part of running a business. Explain to your clients how your prices will change, and when they can expect those changes to go into effect. Reaffirm your commitment to providing a quality service. These steps will minimize hassle or confusion once you get to payment.

Figuring out how you want to handle price hikes is an important component of running a contracting business. For advice on the best path to get started, visit CSLS today!

Are Distance Projects a Wise Choice for Your Contracting Business?

As they say in business, you have to go where the money is. And sometimes, the money isn’t plentiful close to where you live or work. In this case, you might consider taking on a few distance projects to make you more money. Here are a few ways you can evaluate distance projects for your contracting business.

Evaluate Your Travel Options
To start out, you should get a sense for where you are willing to travel. For example, you might decide that you are willing to drive up to 200 miles, but you don’t want to go any farther than that. Your options depend on your location and other factors related to travel. In order to know where you are likely to travel, it’s wise to do some research into parts of the state with the most development potential. It’s too easy to rule out big urban areas as being already developed, but they are also ripe candidates for urban renewal. Try to get a sense for what the next few years could look like. An area with lots of development on the horizon may pose more interesting opportunities than one that is just about to conclude.

Estimate Travel Costs
Traveling to find work may be a no-brainer if you’re not finding a lot of opportunities close to home. On the other hand, if you have plenty of options in your area, you should balance out the cost and complication of travel with the benefits you can get from completing those projects. Create a detailed estimate with cost ranges for travel, including:

  • Gasoline
  • Wear and maintenance on vehicles
  • Equipment accessibility
  • Accommodations and dining

Expenses depend on the region and the time of year. However, you should be able to come up with some general ideas of what you can expect to pay for a project that lasts one week or two weeks.

Consider Climate and Weather
As you are evaluating your options, it’s important to consider climate and weather. It’s not just a matter of determining whether or not you are willing to work in excessively cold or hot temperatures. The climate based on the time of year may affect travel as well as work. For example, if you expect to travel regularly for work, you may need to factor in things like wildfire season, and have plans to be able to get to the project on time despite delays. You also have to be ready to work in the region, even if it is 115 degrees or buried in snow. It’s worth doing research into safe practices for extreme temperatures before you make a choice.

Create a Travel Plan
Once you’ve decided which scenarios would make you willing to travel, you need to make a travel plan that works for you and your employees. After all, you’re not going to make a sudden commitment to work for a week hundreds of miles away. Devise a notification system that provides enough time to prepare for travel, without compromising your existing projects. You may need to tweak it over time, but you should have a rough plan in place before you accept the first distance project.

Avoid Cutting Corners
You wouldn’t cut corners on any of your projects, whether they were local or far away. You should also avoid cutting corners in your business travel. It’s tempting to go for the cheapest accommodations and try to live off snacks to save money. But in the long run, you’ll find that this approach can make you dread the idea of travel, and make it harder to do good work while you’re there. Be reasonable about your expectations, and set a good example for your employees. As a result, you’ll find the experience more rewarding and do a better job.

Building a successful contracting business involves evaluating all your options. Getting your contractor’s license is another important step. To discover the benefits of expert exam preparation, contact CSLS today!

Ventilation Needs for Your Contracting Business

While you’re on the job site, there will be times when you are working inside a building or a space that isn’t well-ventilated. Without the right equipment, you could be putting yourself or your employees at risk. Good ventilation is the best way to protect your health, especially when you’re working with chemicals. Here are a few things you should think about when planning ventilation for your construction projects.

Common Types of Ventilation

The type of ventilation that you need depends on your working environment. In many cases, a building may have certain types of ventilation systems already in existence. There are a few common types of ventilation that you should know about, including:

  • Natural: Using windows and doors to provide fresh air
  • Exhaust: Using a fan to draw air out of the building
  • Balance ventilation: Provides a fresh supply of air at the same rate as exhaust

It’s worth keeping in mind that a structure that is enclosed but only partially finished may not have adequate ventilation. You should also know that natural ventilation is often insufficient, especially if you are working with anything that produces harmful exhaust.

VOCs and Chemicals
Although any business may have to deal with the side effects of VOCs and certain types of chemicals, construction makes both much more common. Building materials can off-gas VOCs like formaldehyde for years after construction is complete. However, they’re more likely to do so at the very beginning. As such, you should have a plan to air out rooms at various points in the construction process. This is also true for areas in which you will be using noxious chemicals. It may be necessary to use spot ventilation techniques and additional personal protective equipment to protect yourself and others working on the jobsite.

Fuel-Burning Appliances and Tools
Fuel-burning appliances and tools are popular on the construction site. They offer a higher amount of power without the need to connect to an electrical system. You might use them to provide heat on cold days. The chief concern is that fuel-burning equipment produces exhaust, which can turn into carbon monoxide. Certain appliances and tools are rated for indoor use because they contain a sensor that will turn them off of the oxygen level gets too low. However, sensors can fail, and you should not assume that an enclosed space is safe for using this equipment. You should plan to use spot ventilation and PPE whenever you’re using anything that burns fuel without an exhaust venting directly outside.

Spot Ventilation Options
In most cases, you’re going to want to take advantage of spot ventilation. You’ve got a variety of possibilities, and you may need more than one:

  • Built-in exhaust fans
  • Portable fans
  • Open windows and doors
  • Air purifiers

Keep in mind that fans come with different levels of power, and the right one depends on the amount of circulation that you need. In some cases, a circulating fan that you might use at home would be helpful. In other cases, you’ll need a high-powered fan that can circulate hundreds of cubic feet within minutes.

Additional Personal Protective Equipment
Ventilation does a couple of things for the air quality of the job site. The first is ensuring that the workspace is generally free of harmful fumes. The second is protecting people who are in the workspace at the present moment. The efficacy of the second depends heavily on the type of ventilation, as well as what you’re doing. In many cases, it may make sense to use masks and ventilators with breathable filters during construction work. After all, ventilation can remove contaminants, but the system may not be able to neutralize the risk immediately. Your use of a mask or ventilator may prevent injury or long-term health concerns, in addition to any steps you take to increase ventilation.

Ventilating your workspace is one way that you can keep yourself and your employees safe. To learn more about how to run a contracting business, visit CSLS today!