5 Tips For Hiring a Contractor
You’ve found the perfect investment property for your next project, and now you’re gearing up to give the space a much-needed glow-up. You’ve already binged all the remodeling shows, found inspiration on social media (ahem), and solidified your design vision. All that’s left is to hire a contractor to make your dream a reality, right?
Wrong. This is where your dream can quickly turn into a nightmare. Renovating a home is a big job, and you’ve no doubt heard horror stories resulting from partnering with the wrong contractor. Whether it’s them failing to show up, discovering hidden costs, or the work being sloppy, hiring the wrong contractor can be infuriating and costly. Don’t worry, we’ve rounded up the best advice from those that have been through it to help you skip all that and find the right person for the job.
Make your flip a success with these 5 tips on how to find the right contractor:
1. Shop around and compare
You’re the one in the driver’s seat here. Be proactive in researching potential contractors. Doing your homework will save a lot of stress in the long run. Ask friends or other investors in your network for recommendations, and try to get estimates from at least three different contractors before making any decisions. Also, be clear about your vision for the rehab and what your goals are to make sure you and your potential contractor are on the same page.
2. Do a background check
Ensure that potential contractors have the right credentials and check for any formal complaints. Have they had lawsuits against them in the past? Are they affiliated with professional associations? The last thing you want is to hire someone without the right expertise. Pay attention to your instincts. Look at how your interactions with them have been up to this point, and if something feels off, go with your gut and look elsewhere.
3. Get everything in writing
Once you’ve narrowed down your choice, don’t rely on a verbal agreement. Always insist on a written contract. This not only safeguards your interests but also shows whether your contractor is professional. And be wary: a contract should be printed, not handwritten. Ensure it details all aspects of the job, from tasks to timelines. For added security, consider having a lawyer review the contract before you sign. Word to the wise: be cautious of any contractor asking for cash or full payment upfront. Finalize the contract before any money changes hands.
4. Have a strategy for resolving differences
The contractor you choose will be a significant presence in your life for the foreseeable future. It’s essential to find someone you can communicate with openly and trust completely. In your initial interactions, discuss how you want to go about handling any unexpected issues or inevitable differences. This discussion will provide insights into their work ethic and communication style. If you’re left with vague responses, they might not be the right fit.
5. Stay involved
After making your choice, be an active participant in the process. Regularly check in and walk through the property. Requesting updates and seeing the progress firsthand ensures that the work aligns with your vision and standards. Address any concerns promptly to avoid delays or expensive mistakes.
For real estate investors, hiring the right contractor for your next flip or rental property is paramount. The quality of the contractor’s work will greatly influence the overall value and allure of the property. By following these steps, you’ll be better positioned to find a partner who delivers quality work, on schedule and within budget.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not legal, financial or investment advice. To obtain advice tailored to your particular circumstances, you should consult a licensed professional advisor.