If you are thinking of buying a rental property, maintenance or renovation will always be on your “must do” checklist. It makes no difference whether it’s a small property or a large number of properties they are both going to require ongoing maintenance. It’s common for many landlords that have the time to fix the small things themselves or have a handyman make the repair. But when you need to do some improvements or fix some major parts and don’t have the time, tools, or experience to complete a home repair or renovation project on your own, it’s time to call the “Contractors”.
A contractor is an independent expert or company who can design, install, repair, replace, remove, or build parts of or parts within a house. Whenever any major maintenance is needed for the property the landlords have to hire a contractor for the job. Hiring a great contractor can make your life much easier. But the question is how you will find a good contractor who will do a good job for a reasonable price.
You must keep in your mind that, real estate is a team job. You will need qualified people helping you in all aspects of your investing. Contractors are a critical component of your team. So always remember that you should find a long-term team member who can help you in fulfilling three specific needs:
- Time Frame
Here are some easy tips for you on how you can improve your chances of selecting a great contractor the first time.
- Make a list with at least three to five general contractors in your area. You can count referrals from friends, relatives and neighbors. This can be helpful but to ensure the best deals you must look into what each company is offering you.
- Make sure your potential home contractors are licensed and insured. You can call your local state business licensing board for license verification. You can request a copy of both the license and insurance as a part of the documentation you ask for.
- You can talk to some of your contractor’s previous clients and references. This is the best way to evaluate potential contractors If there is a chance to view some of the work that the company or contractor has done then don’t miss it. Gather accurate information by asking the references specific questions regarding communication, project time-line, surprises, budget, etc.
- Insurance is an absolute requirement for every contractor. If a certain contractor doesn’t have insurance, you’ll have to take all liabilities for any accident that can occur under construction premises while work is going on. Get a copy of the contractor’s insurance certificate from their provider as a part of documentation before starting any project. Make sure the information is current.
- You can search online for contractor reviews and complaints. Call your local state business licensing board and ask about any complaints that have been issued against your potential home contractors. You can check out the Better Business Bureau site or other sites such as Service Magic or Angie’s List.
- Create and sign a contract that will protect the interests of both parties. Specify the tasks that need to be done, the duration of the project, its cost, the payment dates, their responsibly, insurance requirements, change orders. Don’t forget to be specific with the details. This is usually where the conflicts occurs.
- Sometimes contractors will want to have some funds up-front. In that case, be sure that the construction draw process is clearly documented in the contract to avoid future misunderstandings. Also be careful of contractors who request more than 50% of the work up-front.
- Time frame is a major factor for any project. As per rule speed of construction is a major consideration. Always be sure to define the start date as well as expected completion date in the contract clearly. Otherwise it will cost you more than it will save.
If you follow these processes it may take more times but in the end what’s important is that you’ll get the best deal for your investment. Sometimes the lowest bidder may be a good choice for you. In that case I want to say that never select a contractor based solely on money select a contractor who is not only skilled and reliable but who is someone you can get along with for a long time.