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Starting a construction business on St Croix

ContractorDan
January 30, 2018 08:18PM

Registered: 26 days ago
Posts: 1

I am considering a move to St Thomas or St Croix in the next 4-5 years and as a current general contractor skilled in new construction and renovation, I am trying to get a feel for the environment. I am very particular about my work and do a majority of it myself, I do however currently have a 2-3 man crew. I understand that the methods of building in the Islands differs from that in Kentucky but projects like renovations shouldn't be that much different. As a contractor that is somewhat ocd about his work and his product....... I am looking for as much input and advice to help me evaluate my success of operating this type of business there.


Helpful topix

Current construction climate due to most recent hurricane.
Availability of skilled labor ( with hustle )
Availability of high-end projects
Accessibility of tools, equipment, and material


Thank You for helping me make a more informed decision.

Dan Smith

Re: Starting a construction business on St Croix

AandA2VI
January 30, 2018 09:01PM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 2,102

STJ. You'll make buckets of cash. Any of the islands could use a OCD contractor IMO but you will get VERY frustrated at the way things work and the previous work done by others. Getting supplies here is extremely difficult. Im not a contractor but I have dozens of projects waiting for supplies.

Re: Starting a construction business on St Croix

Scubadoo
January 30, 2018 09:47PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 1,794

Quote
AandA2VI
Getting supplies here is extremely difficult.

On STX it's not difficult, just challenging, time consuming, added cost, and requires pre-planning, weeks or months. If you don't have what you need when you need it you may wait a few weeks to get it. Freight forwarders deliver in a week from Miami and will ship just about anything any size. Some material is available locally but you may need to bring in a lot from off-shore. Even from PR in some cases.

Lot's of construction going on now after hurricanes but there is opportunity in better times.

You'll probably need to work for a local GC for a while to learn the local ropes before forging out on your own. Skilled labor may be a little challenging depending on what you're looking for. Lot's of skilled folks have moved off island over the past few years when economy went south. Specialty contractors are in great demand as we typically had very few and many moved off-island leaving none. Which specialties? Well I don't have a list. The company that did our rubber pool deck for one.

Re: Starting a construction business on St Croix

stjohnjulie
January 31, 2018 04:01AM

Registered: 9 years ago
Posts: 609

I work for a construction company on St John. I agree that it would be your best bet to work with an established construction firm here for a year or two before trying to go out on your own. It is the very best way for you to learn about local code, permitting and licensing procedures, supply issues and work around, and our work force. We have many documented (and in documented) laborers that make up a big portion of the construction trade. Lanuage barriers can be difficult. If you can speak English, Spanish, and patious you would have a huge advantage there.

The DLCA website has some info for licensing procedure. You will have to sit for a test.

We have a lot of concrete construction. That is something that is probably pretty different than in KY. The company that I work for is mainly that, new residential masonry homes. I do the bookkeeping and logistics among other administrative tasks.

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