Which Construction Jobs Are the Hardest?
While home improvement shows make work look easy, CraftJack's recent survey reveals what contractors and consumers consider to be the toughest jobs
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Home shows have a way of making even the messiest, curse-worthy demolitions and tricky renovations look deceptively easy. They do, after all, need to fit weeks or months of work and filming into 30 minutes or less.
Contractors who are dripping in sweat digging out rock, surrounded by sawdust crafting the perfect fireplace mantel, or contorting themselves running new wires or pipes know home renovation reality is much more grueling and potentially dangerous than it looks on TV. And this is not always something consumers fully grasp.
To find out what tradesmen and women and homeowners perceived as the hardest jobs — physically demanding as well as demanding in ability — CraftJack, an online site matching consumer projects to available contractors, decided to survey more than 1,600 contractors and about 650 consumers. It ranked 32 types of work, from plumbing and junk collecting to masonry, doors and windows.
Overall, carpentry rose to the top. This specialty seemed to draw the greatest respect, acknowledged as physically difficult while requiring expertise and thorough training to master it.
Demo, Roofs Rank Tough on the Body
When it came to the most physically demanding work, contractors and consumers agreed on the top two jobs: demolition and roofing. Each requires plenty of strength, balance and caution to safely and successfully complete the task.
Contractors voted carpentry and drywall/insulation tied for third among the most physically demanding jobs. Consumers, however, went with drywall/insulation and excavating, followed closely by landscaping.
Painters, carpet cleaners and electricians also self-ranked their specialties as physically demanding.
Electrical, Carpentry Rank High for Training
Electrical work led the pack for home improvement jobs requiring the most rigorous training and expertise. It had 23 percent of the vote from contractors and 35 percent from consumers. Carpentry, HVAC and creating cabinets and countertops followed. Trailing behind those was plumbing. Contractors listed plumbing at eight percent, tying it with masonry and drywall and insulation.
Flooring and cleaning specialists also considered their crafts among the toughest to learn.