Companies in this industry contract to perform construction work in a wide variety of trades, including site preparation, concrete, electrical, HVAC, plumbing, and painting. Major companies include APi Group, Comfort Systems USA, EMCOR, Performance Contracting, and Quanta Services (all based in the US), as well as Bilfinger Berger (Germany) and Chicago Bridge & Iron (the Netherlands).
Demand is driven by new residential and nonresidential construction activity, as well as corporate profits and local government budgets. The profitability of individual companies depends on accurate project bids and efficient operations. Most specialty contractors earn revenues from fixed price contracts, and companies must estimate total costs for projects. If actual material prices or labor costs differ from the estimates and cannot be recovered through change orders, profitability could be reduced. Large companies have advantages in being able to offer a variety of services over a geographically diverse market at competitive prices. Small companies can compete effectively by offering niche services or by building relationships with customers in individual markets.
Products, Operations & Technology
Electrical power installation and service contracting accounts for 14% of US industry revenue, HVAC contracting for 11%, plumbing contracting for 6%, and concrete contracting for 5%. Services provided by specialty contractors include the design, construction, installation, repair, and maintenance of a wide variety of systems and structures.