5 Ways Working in Construction Isn’t Like TV

If you want to work in construction, you should have some idea of what you can expect. Of course, it’s easy to look at construction professionals on TV or in the movies as a starting point. But those depictions aren’t always accurate. Here are five ways that your construction career won’t be like what you see on TV.

You’ll Probably Run Multiple Projects at Once
Licensed contractors on renovation TV shows may invest all of their time into working on one project before shifting gears to the next one. In reality, there’s a high likelihood that you will be balancing several larger projects at the same time. This might not be the case for repair jobs or other fields wherein most of your work can be completed within a day. But you’ll still have to handle things like scheduling and consultations, even in those instances. As such, you’ll have to build experience in balancing the needs of several clients at once.

You Can’t Work 24/7
You know how it is with these budget renovations intended to provide a big surprise reveal at the end: Everyone works nonstop until it’s done. But if you do this as a licensed contractor, you’re going to run yourself into the ground in very short order. In most cases, what you see on TV isn’t even true. They stage it so that it looks like everything is done in a very short period of time. In fact, you may have to stagger the work to accommodate the needs of employees and subcontractors. There’s also the fact that some jobs can’t be done in tandem, so you’re going to have to wait for someone else’s schedule.

Progress Happens in Pieces
If you are a regular contractor, focusing all the progress toward a surprise reveal at the end could be a nightmare. In the real world, clients may want to see progress throughout the project. That’s because it is important to confirm that everything is happening according to specification. The last thing you need is to get to the end and realize that there is something that the client isn’t happy with, and you could have saved yourself a lot of time if you found that out earlier. Instead, you may have progress that happens in stages, with breaks in-between while you work on other projects or continue negotiating with clients.

There’s a Lot of Activity Behind the Scenes
When you own your own business, you’ll have to do a lot of things beyond showing up to a job site and performing a construction task. The TV shows also have a lot of activity going on behind the scenes, but they make it seem as though there isn’t. They want to give the impression that what you see is truly what you get. But in construction, if you don’t do the necessary tasks for administration, permitting, or inspections, you could have a project that fails or a business that can’t keep going. As a licensed contractor, you may have to wear a lot of hats unless you can hire people to do that work for you.

You’ll Need Lots of Practice
It’s a little horrifying to watch the host of a TV show just start slamming into walls or breaking countertops, especially if they don’t have a lot of skills or experience in the field. If home renovation TV has done any damage, it’s the sense that anybody can do construction whether they have the training or not. In truth, people spend years just developing the knowledge that they need to run a business on their own as a licensed contractor. They will also spend their entire careers learning and refining their skills. You may be handy to start with, but you’ll have a lot of room to grow.

When you first start to get into construction, it can be tempting to see it the way it is presented in media. But you’ll soon see how different it is, especially as you work toward becoming a licensed contractor. For more information about courses to help you prepare for the contractor licensing exam, contact CSLS today!

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