How to Start a Bricklaying Business
Demand for bricklaying services is high, with employment of bricklayers and stone masons projected to grow 34 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. To start a bricklaying business, you must have practical building skills, experience of working on-site, and the ability to take responsibility for planning and managing a bricklaying project.
Build Your Credentials
Deep experience of the industry is essential so you can discuss projects on a professional level with clients, suppliers and other construction workers. By joining an association such as the Construction Industry Research and Information Association, you can keep up to date with technical developments in construction, develop your management skills through training resources and also access important business and technical documents.
Establish a Base
You can operate your business from home, if you have the space to store tools and equipment. Alternatively, rent a yard where you can store materials and equipment. Contact real estate agents to find yards with good access for delivery of bulk materials and lock-up facilities for valuable equipment, such as mixers and ladders.
Obtain Your Equipment
Contact suppliers, including brickyards, scaffolding firms and building supply outlets. Open an account with suppliers of materials you buy regularly, such as bricks or cement, so you can order and pay monthly. If you are working on renovating older buildings, look for reclaimed brick suppliers. Purchase a truck to transport your equipment and materials to building sites. You may prefer to buy a used truck at the outset, or lease a vehicle on monthly installments to lower upfront costs.
Complete Business Administration
Complete a state or local business license form to register your company. The U.S. Small Business Administration offers a Business Licenses and Permits Search Tool to help you find your local license requirements. Contact an insurance company to arrange public liability and professional indemnity coverage. You also may have to comply with local or state building regulations. In many states, the Division of Building Standards and Codes or its equivalent is responsible for regulating construction work through legislation like the Uniform Building Code.
Look for Growth Markets
Check research sources such as the United States Census, which publishes monthly trends in construction, to identify growing market sectors. You may decide to focus on working as a subcontractor on new home building sites, or tackle small home improvement projects, such as patios or extensions. If you have specialist experience, you could build a business renovating brickwork in historical buildings.
Market Your Business
Depending on your market choices, you may plan to work for construction firms as a subcontractor or work directly with your own clients on small building projects. Set up a website, describing the type of work you do and showing examples of finished projects. Put the website address on any flyers you distribute and on any promotional material like newspaper or directory advertisements. Encourage other small firms, such as plumbers, builders, decorators and plasterers, to recommend your services to their customers and offer to refer your customers to them.