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Steps for Becoming a Construction Contractor in Quebec

Steps for Becoming a Construction Contractor in Quebec

Advice for contractorSteps for Becoming a Construction Contractor in Quebec

Becoming a renovation contractor is an exciting career path. It’s a trade perfectly suited to those who enjoy change and are skilled in manual tasks. Also, there’s nothing like working hard and putting in the effort to complete a construction or renovation project. 

It’s something tangible; you can be proud of helping people transform their homes or execute significant repairs. If you want to be a contractor, you shouldn’t be adverse to physically demanding work or turn a blind eye to marketing to acquire a client base.

Are you considering becoming a renovation contractor in Quebec? We’ve put together this article to help you determine whether this is the right career path for you.

Why become a contractor?

Source: Canva

The first thing to reflect on, when asking yourself whether this is the right profession for you, are the reasons that motivated you to consider this job in the first place. We’ve put together a detailed article highlighting the positive aspects of said profession. 

Here’s a rundown of the key points featured in said article:

  • You get to work in an industry that's vital to the province’s economy

  • A chance to be your own boss

  • Interact with people

  • Experience personal satisfaction in the workplace

  • Manage your schedule

If you want to learn more about it, we strongly suggest reading the entire article: 5 Reasons to Become a Renovation Contractor.

The First Steps to Becoming a Contractor

Source: Canva

Once you have determined the more or less official way you’d like to delve into the renovation/construction industry, you have to consider the steps involved in creating such a business. As a matter of fact, in Quebec, it’s a controlled industry, especially regarding select services.

As a result, there’s no room for improvisation. It’s important to cover yourself and hold the proper licences and certifications, especially when you’re a novice in the matter.  

Perfect Your Knowledge Prior to Jumping In

Don’t expect to be an expert from day one. Note that there are numerous resources available to prevent you from making certain errors and fast-track your specialization process. This is a great asset when meeting clients and organizing projects.

We’ve compiled a bunch of helpful resources to guide you if you're a construction newbie. Training programs, literature, and educational programs are all useful when familiarizing yourself with certain techniques, new materials on the market, and advice on specific aspects that come hand-in-hand with being the head of a company.

If you’re planning on having employees, it may be beneficial to complete human resources and team management training. You may acquire valuable tools to ensure the long-term success of your company.  

What should you know about the RBQ and CCQ?

In Quebec, several trades can only be legally executed when holding a valid licence issued by the Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ), pertaining to the selected services offered.

If you’re hoping to work on certain commercial or large-scale residential projects, you will be required to obtain certification cards from the Commission de la construction du Québec (CCQ).

Resources to Start a Business

First, you’ll want to register your company with the Registre des entreprises du Québec (business registry).

Here’s another, more general article about starting a renovation business in Quebec. You’ll find other useful information to ensure your company is launched under the best possible conditions:

To this day, the construction industry is still largely male-dominated. In fact, a meagre percentage of contractors are women. Change is slowly, yet surely creeping in, that said, several resources have been made available to help women carve a spot for themselves in the industry. 

How to Acquire Clients and Finalize Renovation Contracts

Source: Canva

Once you’ve registered your company and obtained the necessary licences, your next step is to head out and acquire new clients!

There are several marketing strategies to try to help build your client base. Ideally, as an industry rookie, you may need to test a few to determine which works best for you. 

Here’s a list of ways to find projects for a burgeoning renovation business:

  • Network (friends, family, loved ones, former employers)

  • Social media (ads, webpages featuring prior work)

  • Website (to showcase your business and portfolio)

  • Client referral platforms (like

What type of marketing should you prioritize to find clients?

As a new contractor in the industry, pitching yourself to potential clients isn’t always an easy feat. Clients typically want to work with experienced tradespersons who have an impressive portfolio to showcase.

That said, even if you have to fight a little harder to seal the deal, you'll eventually get the hang of it! Once the first projects start rolling in and have pleased clients to refer back to, your marketing process will be all the easier.

A Few Tips to Manage Your Renovation Business Day-to-Day 

Source: Canva

If you’re starting out your career as a renovation contractor, chances are, you have little to no management experience. Some of you perusing this article may already have managed other types of businesses or will have held a management position in another industry. The knowledge you acquired during those years is incredibly valuable, but the renovation industry is a whole other ball game. 

You have to behave courteously and diplomatically with clients, manage employees effectively, organize schedules, and ensure everything goes according to plan and is executed under the best possible conditions. This balance isn’t always easy to maintain, but we have a few tips to pass on. You can try them out and see what works for you and your management style.

How to Legally Protect Yourself as a Contractor

Becoming a contractor also means exposing oneself to risks and responsibilities. You have to legally protect your business, personal finances, and your clients.

The first step is to take out liability insurance. Having such insurance will serve in the event of accidental damages (part of the property sustained damage, or homeowners were injured). 

You also have to legally operate with the CNESST. This organization is stringent with worker and client safety on worksites. Hence the importance of closely adhering to rules and regulations. CNESST inspectors are everywhere, and should you be caught openly transgressing rules and operating unsafely, you will be fined. 

Contracts and Deals: Have Everything in Writing

Renovation contractors tend to overlook the importance of drafting documents. We get that paperwork can be a bore. However, if you don’t have any written proof of client or subcontractor agreements with which you’re doing business, you run the risk of having legal issues.  

Giving Potential Clients Price Points and Signing Contracts

Calculating and presenting a quote is an art form! Not everyone is naturally apt at pitching their services and convincing clients to work with them. Some are ahead of the game as natural-born extroverts with the gift of the gab, while others find it more daunting. However, over time, you’re bound to get the gist of it!

From the get-go, take some time to scrutinize your methods. Ask your clients for feedback, even those who have signed contracts with other contractors. With your newly acquired information, you can fine-tune your strategy until it’s up to par.  

Work and Schedule Management

Managing a work schedule isn’t always an easy feat, especially during high season. Curveballs can throw anyone for a loop and cause delays, especially due to material procurement issues, lack of manpower, or projects not unfolding as planned. 

You can devise plenty of strategies to streamline your business management, such as using online apps. If you have employees, it’s important to ensure they feel like a valuable part of the team and an asset to your company. 

Legal Questions Should You Experience Issues

We all want to avoid any legal-type issues, whether that be on a personal or professional level. However, there may come a time when legal disputes arise between contractors and clients; suppliers; or subcontractors. To avoid waking up in cold sweats in the middle of the night, you should inquire right when launching your company to know what resources are available to you. 

Business Incorporation: Is it Worth It?

On top of registering your company, you should also incorporate it. Incorporating means creating a corporation, which serves, amongst other purposes, to protect your business and enhance its credibility, especially with financial institutions. In partnering with Lex Start, we created a series of articles to highlight the reasons why incorporation is a worthwhile option for you. (French only)

Finding Manpower for Your Renovation Business

Source: Canva

Another challenge of being your own boss and a company owner is finding employees. We already discussed the proper practices to retain employees, but prior to that, you have to find them!

For a few years now, Quebec has been plagued with a labour shortage, and the renovation industry is especially affected. Companies aren’t scrounging for projects, but they’re having a difficult time hiring labourers to execute the work.

However, it’s not a lost cause! There are still plenty of young and motivated workers out there, whether they’re currently working in the industry or pursuing a career change, wanting to learn a construction-related trade.

Knowing ahead of time that finding workers isn’t always easy, we thought we’d lend a helping hand! By joining the platform as a contractor, you can opt to receive resumes from potential candidates. Doing so will allow you to dedicate more time to acquiring clients instead of looking for employees!

And that’s a wrap on our starting guidelines to launch your career as a renovation business owner!

Get new contracts for your construction or renovation company can help you get new contracts. We get new project proposals from clients seeking top-rated and trustworthy renovation professionals like yourself. To get started, simply fill in the form on our homepage (it only takes a few minutes) and receive information regarding potential clients by way of our services.

Dial 1-844 828-1588 to speak with one of our customer service representatives.

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Last modified 2024-03-07

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