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How Urban Renewal Impacts Contracting Businesses

There are a few modern concepts that can have a big impact on contractors and contracting businesses in a given area, and one that’s especially relevant for contractors around Utah currently is known as urban renewal. What exactly does this term refer to, and how should contractors around the state be thinking about it?

At Contractors School, we’re here to offer numerous services to contractors around Utah, from licensure exam courses and DOPL applications to many elements of running a contracting business. Let’s look at what we mean when we talk about urban renewal, how it impacts contracting needs in both residential and commercial spaces, and what contractors should be thinking about when their location is experiencing a period of urban renewal (like Utah is currently).

Defining Urban Renewal

The concept of urban renewal dates back to the industrialization of the country in the early 1800s, and speaks to what happens when common and or major buildings in a given city get old or outlive their usefulness. In an effort to create a better living environment for citizens, or to fulfill certain commercial needs in the area, urban renewal projects are often created with the aim of revitalizing old structures and updating them into much newer versions of themselves.

Urban renewal can impact structures up and down the spectrum, from single-family homes and business structures, to entire neighborhoods that are in need of a facelift. This process is often initiated by the government or an overseeing party, with the aim of improving existing infrastructure while also creating jobs for contractors in the area.

In Utah, for instance, the last few years have seen a dramatic uptick in urban renewal projects being initiated. This means that for contractors, there have been more opportunities than ever to get involved in these types of projects and help improve living conditions and/or commercial infrastructure throughout the area. Our next few sections will go over some general concepts to be thinking about here.

Determining Which Fields Are in Highest Demand

Contracting is a broad umbrella that’s made up of numerous different sub-fields, each of which can have very unique needs when it comes to urban renewal projects. To ensure you’re getting involved with the sorts of jobs that are in highest demand, and will be most easily attainable for your particular skillset, it’s important to do a bit of research into what kinds of infrastructure are most in need during an urban renewal period.

For instance, perhaps the neighborhood you’ll be working in most is mostly made up of residential structures that are in need of a facelift. In this case, you may want to focus your search for jobs on things like construction, roofing, plumbing and other areas related to home renovations.

On the flipside, if it’s commercial infrastructure that’s being targeted for updates during the urban renewal period, you’ll want to look for jobs in areas like building construction, electrical work, HVAC systems and so on. Apart from the general research, it’s also wise to solicit advice from experienced contractors and business owners who have experience in this field. This will provide a more targeted look at what kind of urban renewal projects are most in demand in your key services.

Positioning Yourself Ideally

Here are a few broad tips for making sure your contracting business is in position to reap rewards from urban renewal in your area:

  • Focus on skills that help you win bids: If you’re competing for urban renewal jobs, make sure your business and staff have the necessary qualifications that will give you an edge over other bidders.
  • Build relationships with key decision makers: Personal connections can be a great way to ensure your company is considered when bids come out, so invest time in networking and building relationships with municipal officials who are involved in these projects.
  • Leverage the latest technology: Urban renewal is all about modernizing and updating existing infrastructure, so make sure your company can offer advanced services such as mobile home renovation services or digital construction design tools.

Your Own Office Costs May Rise

Urban renewal is a process that often leads to rising costs in terms of housing and office space. This means that for a contractor, the cost of renting, buying or leasing an office could go up significantly over time.

It’s important to factor this into your budget when you’re planning your business plans around urban renewal projects – and also consider whether or not it makes sense to move away from locations where rent prices may be rising faster than you can afford.

Ultimately, urban renewal is an important concept to understand as a contractor in Utah and other areas that are undergoing revitalization efforts. By keeping these concepts in mind and staying up-to-date on the latest developments, contractors will be well prepared for success during this period of transition. Whether it’s for residential or commercial projects, understanding how to position yourself for the best opportunities can make a huge difference in your contracting business.

Of course, if you need help getting up-to-date on licensure or other requirements during this time, Contractors School is standing by with a wide variety of services and resources to help keep your business running strong during periods of urban renewal in Utah and beyond. Reach out to us today to learn more!


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