We slowly managed to remodel the unit that we were living in – kitchen, bathroom and bedrooms. I soon learned how important hands-on training would be in the career of a contractor. Experience is everything. Not everything goes as planned, and it’s never as easy as the books lead you to believe. After that unit was brought up to par, we were ready to move onto our next challenge: rehabbing an entire single family house.

We then purchased a run-down property in La Mesa and went to town. Everything was ripped down and rebuilt: kitchen, bathrooms, flooring, lighting, exterior siding and stucco, landscaping, plumbing and electrical. Thanks to the coaching from my in-laws, my knowledge of construction trades increased dramatically and my thirst for knowledge of codes and construction techniques grew by the day. After a long 10 months, we had finished our first whole house remodel. We had done nearly all of the work ourselves; the only subcontractor used was for the granite countertops. It makes me laugh now to think how long that took; We Build recently finished a whole-house remodel of a house nearly twice that size in 4 months.

After that, I teamed up with my in-laws and built a single story addition. That was such a great experience that we did another one. The only trade that we subcontracted was stucco; all other work was self performed.  At that point I was hooked. I knew that I had to branch off on my own to pursue a career in building. I had attained enough knowledge and experience to take the state contractor’s license exam.

In my next post, I will discuss the California State Contractor’s License Exam and my experience with it…