Architecture is an incredible art—it’s brought us structures like the Colosseum, St. Basil’s Cathedral, and the Taj Mahal. People come from all over the world to see these buildings, so it’s no wonder people aspire to follow in the footsteps of the great architects before them. But is there another position to fulfill that is equally important as the architect?
Building contracting is another option you may consider, especially if you have experience in the construction industry already. But what is freelance contracting, and how do you know it’s right for you?
What is Freelance Building Contracting?
A building contractor oversees all tasks in a commercial or residential project. They hire subcontractors and organize all the suppliers. Some contractors are self-employed, while others work for large corporations.
Contracting requires a license in many different states. The NASCLA Building Contractor Exam covers 15 states for commercial contracting, and 11 for residential. Before you register for the exam, you can study for it like any other test. Contractor Training Center has many options for live or pre-recorded classes to prepare for the NASCLA exam.
Also Read: Best Advice For Qualifying As An Architect
So why choose to contract? Here are a few thoughts you may want to consider.
You Make Your Own Schedule
Many building contractors do freelance work after obtaining a license. This means you can choose which projects you want to undertake, and how your schedule is laid out. This can be a great route for someone who doesn’t want to answer to anybody else.
Create Your Own Contracts
If you work for a larger company, your employer probably doesn’t have a contract with you, unless you are part of a union or you are a well-paid executive. But when you work independently, you should have a contract with every client or business you work with.
A written contract can define pay rates, what happens when, and what happens when a party can’t fulfill their obligations. This is a great tool to keep clients from swindling freelance building contractors. Many disputes can be avoided with a good, handwritten contract in place before work commences.
Deductible Business Expenses
If you become an independent contractor, any purchase you make for your business can be deducted as a business expense on your taxes.
You can get money back on your home-based business costs, as well as any travel expenses you may accrue. To receive this, you must file a business tax return, Schedule C.
Unfortunately, one of the biggest drawbacks of freelance work is the lack of benefits. When you work full-time for a company, your employer may pay for your health care.
Though you can still receive health care with an independent company, you will have to take on the full cost yourself. This deters many people from pursuing this path. There’s no way of predicting how often you will work in freelancing, so paying for health care when first setting up a company could prove to be difficult.
Independent contracting is the ideal situation for those who prefer to take the reins on their work themselves. Setting your own schedule, creating contracts, and certain tax breaks can be attractive to those working on their own. Therefore, many people consider the drawbacks, like lack of health care, to be worth pursuing a career as a builder.
Tax and legal advisors are available to help you make the decision to become an independent building contractor. Jumping into the world of construction can be intimidating, but professionals are there to help you achieve your goals.