People are always in need of construction, whether it be to build new structures or to repair or expand existing buildings. In Delaware, the unique geographical location and often windy weather conditions mean that construction can be a touch difficult, especially in coastal areas where saltwater may impact structure longevity.
Additionally, Delaware experiences all four seasons, including a wet winter that often halts construction. Because of this, the Delaware construction season is busy and lucrative, while still allowing for construction pros to take colder months off.
If you’re a general contractor in Delaware, at OnePointe Solutions, we can work with you around your construction season to provide you with custom laboratory furniture, industrial furniture, and commercial cabinets.
If you work in construction, have contractor experience, and want to become a licensed general contractor in the state of Delaware, you will be rewarded with plenty of work. To be a successful general contractor, you will need to be assertive, good with other people, and experienced in the world of construction.
Most often, the people best suited to work as general contractors are flexible, organized, and hard workers with a passion for construction.
In Delaware, anyone who “engage[s] in the business of: Furnishing labor or both labor and materials in connection with any part of construction, alteration…demolition of buildings…and every other type of structure as an improvement, alteration, or development of real property” must be licensed. A fairly simple process as compared to other states, Delaware general contractor applicants must apply via the Delaware Division of Revenue, which has established the current eligibility guidelines.
Keep reading to find out exactly what you need to become a licensed general contractor in Delaware:
Job Description: General Contractor
As a general contractor, you will have a wide range of responsibilities. General contractors are essentially the managers of any given construction project, and the translators turn the client’s vision into understandable instructions for the crew. Responsible for everything from the start of a project to the end, general contractors are required to be extremely knowledgeable and familiar with every aspect of construction.
Before a general contractor can begin working on a project, their bid must first be accepted by the client. General contractors examine the plans and specifications for the project, then work with a construction estimator to create a bid that includes estimated costs for everything including materials, equipment, and labor. To create an accurate bid, general contractors must be able to consider every detail of the project, and know where to look for pricing and estimating potential costs.
If the client accepts the bid, the general contractor can then move on to organizing material sourcing, equipment, and an on-site crew. If the contractor prefers to be on-site, they may also act as forepersons, overseeing the execution of each step of the process.
For example, if a bid is created for a shipping and packaging plant, a general contractor may come to us for a variety of industrial furniture including packing stations and custom workbenches for the day-to-day tasks, mobile or still storage options to keep the plant organized and to have materials within reach and even stainless steel, maple block and even phenolic resin for the work surfaces as well.
When not directly managing construction, general contractors delegate to maintain safety and efficiency. In all cases, it is the responsibility of the general contractor to keep all members of the team safe and working according to local guidelines and regulations.
General contractors are in charge of the following:
- Crew safety
- Equipment and site safety
- Permits and street closures
- Anticipating weather conditions and scheduling accordingly
- Enforcing quality and safety standards
Special Skills & Qualifications
In Delaware, there are some specific qualifications hopeful licensed contractors must meet. However, some special skills are universal and apply to general contractors across the board if you hope to become a success.
Some of these requirements are skills that can’t be taught, while others depend on your experience. No matter what, having these skills will make you more attractive to future employers:
- Ability to read building plans and blueprints
- Building/construction skills
- Excellent time management and organizational skills
- Attention to detail
- Strong interpersonal and communication skills
- Budget and purchasing experience
- Comfortable working with new people
- Able to learn quickly and in stressful situations
- Concern for the wellbeing of others and a touch of perfectionism
Qualifications to Become a General Contractor in Delaware
As mentioned, Delaware general contractor license hopefuls must file their applications through the Delaware Division of Revenue, but the process is fairly straightforward and inexpensive. Once you are licensed, you can begin to create bids for any kind of project, including residential and commercial construction, demolition, and improvement projects.
All general contractors will go through approximately the same application process, which requires you to meet the following qualifications:
Unless you have a personal aspiration to attend college, there is no need to receive a college degree before beginning to work in construction. To qualify for most entry-level construction positions you will need to be at least 18 and have earned a high school diploma or GED.
Once you have completed basic education, you can enter construction immediately. If you do choose to go to college, a degree in a relevant field like engineering, construction management, or architecture may be beneficial for your future career in construction.
General contractors are not required to provide any proof of experience to earn their license, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get experience first. The work of a general contractor is difficult and requires a depth of knowledge that can’t be acquired without proper experience.
Once you are ready to begin working, apply for entry-level construction positions and accept as many as possible. Try working in a variety of fields to get a good idea of what the full process entails, and to give you a better understanding of what it might take to manage a project.
If you are a business owner, you will need to register your business with the state of Delaware. Luckily, Delaware makes it super easy to register with their one-stop licensing and registration portal. In addition to your application, you will need to supply certain documents before you are granted a business license.
Federal Employer ID
To qualify for a business license, you will need to apply for a federal employer ID number through the IRS. During this process, you will disclose the number of employees on your payroll and may be required to supply evidence of their payment.
All business owners will need to purchase and provide proof of general liability insurance and worker’s compensation insurance, and non-residents will be required to acquire a surety bond.
Once you have met all the requirements listed above you will be eligible to apply for your general contractor license. Delaware offers only two types of license for general contractors:
- Resident Contractor License: contractors who maintain a place of business in Delaware
- Non-Resident Contractor License: contractors who maintain a place of business outside of Delaware; must secure a surety bond
Applicants can register and apply all at once using one form. In addition to your application, business license, insurance, and financial information, you will be required to pay a nonrefundable fee of $75 for a one-year license. Annual renewals cost $75 each.
Delaware General Contractor Licensing Fee Overview
All Delaware general contractor applicants all pay the same basic fees, which are relatively low as compared to licensing fees in other states. Here’s what you’ll pay to become a general contractor in Delaware:
- Business Registration – $15
- Licensing fee – $75 (one year)
- Annual License Renewal – $75
Average Delaware General Contractor Salary & Benefits
Delaware construction isn’t the highest paying in the country, but with plenty of opportunities available, contractors can take on enough jobs to make a good earning each year. On average, Delaware general contractors make around $30,000-$60,000 per year.
For resident contractors, working in Delaware comes with the built-in benefit of living in a beautiful country with splendid ocean views.
The Path to Become a General Contractor in Delaware
Now that we have covered the details of what it takes to become a general contractor in Delaware, let’s take a look at the full process. Here is a simple explanation of a general contractor’s path to becoming licensed in The First State:
1. Complete Basic Schooling
Before you will be accepted into entry-level construction jobs, you will need to turn 18 and complete a high school diploma or GED. If you choose to go to college you can, but it is not required to qualify for entry-level positions.
2. Work In Construction
Get as much experience in construction as possible. You will need to work in a variety of positions to gain enough knowledge and expertise required to manage full construction projects. As you gain experience, be sure to maintain the connection you make. Connection in construction will help you to build future teams and qualify for future positions.
3. Form & Register a Business
Once you have worked enough to gain the confidence and experience needed to be a general contractor, you will need to form and register a business. Registration is simple and costs just $15 per location of your company. During this step, you will be asked to provide your Employer ID number from the IRS as well as information regarding your employees.
5. Provide Proof of Insurance
Business owners will need to provide proof of liability insurance and worker’s compensation.
6. Apply for General Contractor License
Once you have completed all the basics, it is time for you to apply for your license. If you have completed all steps before this and have already gathered insurance and financial documents, the licensing process will be quick and painless.
7. Pay Fees
The final step is to pay your license fee, which covers a one-year license. Each year you wish to renew, you will need to pay an additional $75. Once this step is completed, you can begin creating bids and seeking out construction projects.