14 Profitable Construction Business Ideas

14 Profitable Construction Business Ideas

Like any other sector of the economy, construction has been deeply impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. However, this situation has brought new opportunities to a traditional sector that was already immersed in a process of modernization, adopting a wider use of technology.

It may take a bit of time to recover normal activity, but these new changes in regulations and behaviors will bring opportunities.

Have a construction-related business and want to get added to this list? Submit to share your story here.

Below we have listed the stories of some entrepreneurs that have thrived in the construction industry and have been kind enough to share their stories so future entrepreneurs can learn from their stories. Check them out:

1. Crm for construction companies ($60K/mo)

Erick Vargas started Followup CRM, a CRM for construction companies business. They are now doing $60,000/month.

  • Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA
  • Revenue: $60,000/ month
  • Started: about 22 years ago
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 0

Case Study

Our CRM is designed by construction professionals for construction professionals. We have a small cohort of clients that direct the product roadmap of our CRM. There are many CRM out there on the market but due to the uniqueness of the construction sales and bidding process, there was no solution that was a great fit for this industry.

We are a project centered, meaning in other CRM you would need to bid to multiple clients and create duplicate opportunities in other CRMS. We use the terminology leads, bids, and projects which is construction focused.

The evolution of Followup CRM


2. Miniature cinder blocks ($20K/mo)

Jared Waters started Mini Materials, a Miniature cinder blocks business. They are now doing $20,000/month.

  • Location: Portland, OR
  • Revenue: $20,000/ month
  • Started: about 8 years ago
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 2

Case Study

I realized that not many people do this, so I decided to make my own product. I also wanted to incorporate a wood pallet for when I ship the bricks. It would also double as a coaster!

I had never done 3D design before, so I practiced playing around on sketchup and designed 3D bricks so that I could make a mold. I used www.3Dhubs.com to find a local 3D printer to make one for me:


3. Efficient custom home building ($500K/mo)

Michael J Parnell started MPC Builders, a Efficient Custom Home Building business. They are now doing $500,000/month.

  • Location: Manasquan, New Jersey, USA
  • Revenue: $500,000/ month
  • Started: almost 11 years ago
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 3

Case Study

Startup costs were lean and mean, as I was a solopreneur for the first 9+ months. I just had to cover my monthly living expenses, and that was the goal month in and month out. I didn’t have targets for the years ahead, I was just taking it one month at a time in sort of a “proof of concept” stage of the company. Initially, I was trying to be a “consultant”, in the form of an Owner’s Rep on projects.

I’d manage the project, for a fee, and the subcontracts for each trade would be directly between the client and the subcontractors… but within 6 months of starting the company, every client I met was looking for a General Contractor to give them a lump sum price to build their project, they weren’t interested in taking on the risk of overruns or contracting directly with subs.

So, based on the demand of the market, I shifted my position and turned the company into a General Contracting firm. I registered as a GC, got all of the necessary insurance policies in place, and started taking on at-risk general contracting work from that point forward. We’ve been general contractors ever since…


4. Construction inspection online training ($125K/mo)

Gabriel Kramer started SI Certs, a Construction Inspection Online Training business. They are now doing $125,000/month.

  • Location: Eagle Mountain, UT, USA
  • Revenue: $125,000/ month
  • Started: about 12 years ago
  • Founders: 4
  • Employees: 1

Case Study

Today we have 11 courses but when we were just starting out, I focused on creating the first course. I targeted the most popular Special Inspector certification exam, Reinforced Concrete. It took me around nine months to create the course.

The course was 11 modules, or lessons, long. After each module, I created quiz questions to help people evaluate how well they understood the material. Also, I included a practice test at the end of the course.

I spent around 10 hours each week working on the course. Most of that time was during the weekend since I kept my full-time job. I was responsible for course creation but from the start, SI Certs has always been a team effort.


5. Pool products and services ($8K/mo)

Dan Stewart started Dundas Valley Pools, a pool products and services business. They are now doing $8,000/month.

  • Location: Hamilton, ON, Canada
  • Revenue: $8,000/ month
  • Started: almost 7 years ago
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1

Case Study

We started the business as lean as possible. We got our website made for $300 through a random conversation I had with a tow-truck driver. The original door-to-door flyer that we used was done 100% on Vistaprint. I didn’t even outsource someone to make the design— I just did it myself using their in-page design tool. It may have looked “basic” but it got the job done. Regardless of how bad I was at design, the postcard (and the conversation I would have with prospective customers) got the message across: we’re a small and caring business that takes pool openings seriously and are looking for great customers in the area. Like I said, it got us our first 20 customers.

When we first secured those customers, we didn’t even have pool equipment. What’s the point in buying a bunch of pool equipment if we aren’t even making money yet? For the Spring opening months (and the subsequent Fall closing months), a friend of a friend lent us a 2” submersible pump with hoses. We used this to lower the pool water in order to do the necessary procedures for openings / closings. The most efficient way of getting this part of the job done would have been to purchase a gas trash water pump , but we couldn’t afford one so we used a submersible. It took 2-3x more time to use an electric submersible pump than using a 3” gas trash pump, but we worked with what we had and nonetheless got the job done (Do things that don’t scale!).

As time has progressed, we have grown to have a significantly larger customer base, and a significantly different one as well. As we have grown, we’ve focused more on the ideal customer: a pool owner with a good attitude towards the work that they hire, that makes well-informed decisions on purchases, and has the money to afford the upkeep (and upgrading) of their pool & backyard. Though your ideal customer may change over the course of time you are in business, it is important to work towards always communicating and producing value for a customer that needs it. Whether you compete on price, product, or service quality, the customer has to want what you’re offering.


6. Exterior remodelling services ($350K/mo)

Clifton Muckenfuss started Carolina Exteriors, a Exterior Remodelling Services business. They are now doing $350,000/month.

  • Location: Apex, North Carolina, USA
  • Revenue: $350,000/ month
  • Started: over 12 years ago
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 10

Case Study

The business concept/idea was hatched a few years prior to the Great Recession and when the mortgage market crashed, we saw a few things happen in the market:

  1. Homeowners were less likely to "move up" or into new(er) homes and instead had to stay in their current homes.
  2. Staying in their current homes meant they needed to update, upgrade and protect those investments.
  3. Contractors were pulling out of the market and downsizing - fear caused many of them to diversify into other unrelated segments (i.e. not construction-related).

We analyzed the market based on the above conditions and knowing a lot of replacement contractors were retreating, we saw an opportunity.


7. Energy savers draft stoppers ($135K/mo)

Mark Tyrol started Battic Door, a Energy Savers Draft Stoppers business. They are now doing $135,000/month.

  • Location: Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA
  • Revenue: $135,000/ month
  • Started: about 10 years ago
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 2

Case Study

The insulated stair cover idea stuck with me and I kept thinking about it.

The issue with my prototype was it was very large and too costly to ship. I needed a rigid box that could be folded flat for shipping. Heavy corrugated board (cardboard) could be used and I took this idea to a local cardboard box company and they designed a rigid box that folded flat for shipping.

I did market research to determine the required dimensions and placed an initial order for 100 pieces. I had to purchase a rotary cutting die that is used to cut the part. This investment was about $5,000. I did not have that in savings, so I had to charge this to a credit card.


8. Time management software ($500K/mo)

Jared Brown started Hubstaff, a Time management software business. They are now doing $500,000/month.

  • Location: Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
  • Revenue: $500,000/ month
  • Started: over 9 years ago
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 54

Case Study

We knew early on what the initial feature set for the MVP (minimum viable product) was going to be. We had the advantage of already proving it with the white label solution. We had decided on a basic time tracking desktop widget that you would access from the Mac menu bar or Windows system tray. Therefore we didn’t even need to design any window UIs for it. It would take screenshots and record your keyboard and mouse movements. All of that would be uploaded to our servers where owners and managers could view the data. We would break up a person’s workday into ten-minute chunks of time. You could see a screenshot thumbnail and a progress bar for their activity. This was really the one feature we had, but it proved to be a killer feature.

We spent all of our time building out this initial product from May to Oct of 2012. By mid-October, we started to have something that others could use. The website had a sign-up form where you could create an account, set up your organization, and invite team members. I built a lot of it. We also built an installer for the desktop app.

We had two developers working for us, since May. They are brothers and both worked part-time, just like us. So we were really building all of this at night after our we got home from our day jobs. We’d often times have called at 9 or 10 at night.


9. Rustic decor and furniture ($8.5K/mo)

James Wolfer started Valhalla Wood Forge, a Rustic Decor And Furniture business. They are now doing $8,500/month.

  • Location: Portland, Oregon, USA
  • Revenue: $8,500/ month
  • Started: almost 6 years ago
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 3

Case Study

The first flag I ever made was honestly, not the greatest. I glued on stars and used too thin of wood. I quickly moved into using better, thicker wood and hand carving the stars using a hammer and chisel. I sold the first few flags for dirt cheap to friends in the law enforcement and military communities, which got me great feedback and even better word of mouth referrals.

A typical flag would take me about 10 hours to make. After a while, I moved to use a Dremel and hand-carved the stars and other customizations, which brought down the process to about 5-6 hours per flag. Now, using a CNC to carve the stars, I can do an entire 50-star wood flag in less than an hour. I can work on multiple flags at once, and within two hours, have 2-5 flags done.

I’ve also streamlined the ring process. I bulk order ring blanks, which are the metal rings with a channel cut in them, and then inlay whatever wood and other materials in the channel before finishing it with 10+ coats of a polished sealant. For example, inlaying whiskey barrel into a metal ring involves drilling a hole in a piece of whiskey barrel, sanding it the exact width of the channel in the metal ring, gluing it in, and letting that glue cure for several hours before I am able to sand it down smooth and put the sealant on it. I’ll do “glue-ups” of 5-10 rings on one day, and then the next day, sand down smooth and finish those rings.


10. Portable pressurized showers ($150K/mo)

Chris Crawford started RinseKit, a Portable Pressurized Showers business. They are now doing $150,000/month.

  • Location: Vista, California, USA
  • Revenue: $150,000/ month
  • Started: about 8 years ago
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 3

Case Study

The manufacturing process took a lot of time and a lot of attention. I had initial concepts from models I had made, but going into mass production required redesigns, constant testing, and a lot of back and forth with our manufacturers. Our product relies on a tool that is created out of something called a CAD file. The CAD file is essentially a 3D digital design model for an object. It took months for us to build the CAD file and design a product that functioned well and looked good.

Once we had approved design, I actually flew out to China where our product is manufactured. While I was there, I got to see the product being made, test it, and make changes in real-time. There are so many things that come up during the production process, it’s nice to be there in person to troubleshoot problems and brainstorm changes. I actually got to be there for the creation and refinement of the product- and that was big for us!

Once a small amount of the product was made, we began to test it to try to stretch the limits of what it could do and test for possible failures or defects. It takes a while to do a quality test on a new product, but it’s so worth it.


11. Junk removal ($41K/mo)

Sal Polit-Moran started A+ Enterprises Junk Removal & Demolition, a Junk Removal business. They are now doing $41,000/month.

  • Location: West Pittston, Pennsylvania, USA
  • Revenue: $41,000/ month
  • Started: over 5 years ago
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 3

Case Study

When I first started this business, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. The only advertising we did at first was spamming Craigslist with ads. Originally, I was not concerned with branding, company image, or legitimacy. We were a cheap company servicing cheap people, and it started to work.

Due to being extremely cheap, we did not do anything legitimately. We had no insurance, no licensing, no LLC, etc. Just about the only legitimate thing we did was properly dispose of all junk we removed at landfills!

Part of my reasoning for running the business such as this was it was strictly a side-hustle at this time. Only after being in business for almost 8 months did I finally get the proper insurance & licensing. Looking back, this was an extremely risky decision on my part for many reasons.


12. Drinkin bibs/overalls ($40K/mo)

Garret "Buddy" Lamp started Knee Deep Limited LLC, a Drinkin Bibs/overalls business. They are now doing $40,000/month.

  • Location: Holstein, Iowa, USA
  • Revenue: $40,000/ month
  • Started: ago
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 0

Case Study

The hardest part of this entire journey was getting a prototype made. It was nearly impossible to convince a clothing manufacturer or designer to give us a chance. No one wanted to work with us small-town boys with no clothing apparel knowledge. After six months of calling and emailing over 100 companies, Earl finally was able to have someone make us a prototype. That was back three years ago in 2017.

The trouble did not end there. The one company that gave us a chance seemed to have no idea what overalls were. It took them nine different prototypes to get to a design we agreed on. This cost us a lot of money. Earl flipped a house during this just to pay the designer fees. On top of that, we began paying lawyers to file patents and trademarks for us. We had no capital raised so all the costs came straight from our personal pockets.


13. Employee's time & gps tracking ($185K/mo)

Dean A. Logan started Labor Sync, a Employee's Time & GPS Tracking business. They are now doing $185,000/month.

  • Location: New Jersey, USA
  • Revenue: $185,000/ month
  • Started: over 13 years ago
  • Founders: 3
  • Employees: 12

Case Study

Joe took the role of CTO based on his extensive background in tech while I took on the role of CEO with my background in business management.

We wanted to design a very simple user-friendly interface to allow anyone to easily use the application regardless of education level or native language. This meant using universal symbols (i.e. green means go, red means stop, etc.). Learning from the leader in tech, we made the interface very similar to Google products and therefore easily adaptable.

We were spending a lot of time and money designing features that it turns out our customers didn’t even use. Now we ASK our customers what THEY want. Our customers are truly the best place to get new feature ideas.


14. Hand-held bidet ($10K/mo)

Ahmad Iqbal started Nadeef Bidet, a Hand-Held Bidet business. They are now doing $10,000/month.

  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Revenue: $10,000/ month
  • Started: almost 8 years ago
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0

Case Study

First things first, I searched through Alibaba’s directory to find any suppliers that manufactured hand-held bidets. I found some suppliers who I thought were good and ordered a sample from about 5 of them. Once the samples arrived, I installed each one over the course of a couple of weeks and tested it on a daily basis for quality. After about four months, I found one design which I thought was really good and the had the best quality. When it comes to plumbing type products, you don’t want to risk anything because leaks can be very costly to a homeowner. Quality was a huge concern.

After I figured out which supplier I liked, I created my store on Shopify, and went live with sales. I knew a little about Facebook advertising, so I just published an ad targeting immigrants in my suburb. I didn’t have any inventory because I couldn’t afford it. I just wanted to know if people would buy. And it turned out a lot did.

I placed my first inventory order after I made about 20 sales. By the time I received that shipment of 100 units, I had already sold the 80 that were left over.


Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story
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Pat Walls

I'm Pat Walls and I created Starter Story - a website dedicated to helping people start businesses. We interview entrepreneurs from around the world about how they started and grew their businesses.

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