How to Find Great Contractors for Your Real Estate Investing Renovations

July 21, 2008 | By | 2 Replies More

How to Find Great Contractors for Your Real Estate Investing RenovationsOnce you find a potential contractor for your renovation, your work is far from over. You’ll want to do background checks, call their references, review their accountabilities, determine their expected pay and method of payment, among other things.

When I’m interviewing potential contractors, I rely on my gut feelings more often than not. If a contractor pulls up in a brand new truck with lots of fancy tools and gadgets, that’s been a good indication that he may not be the contractor for me. It’s been my experience that contractors like that will be looking for a raise even when they’re the highest paid person on site. I prefer a contractor in a beat up old truck who works hard all day for a modest wage and is grateful to have work.

I’ve also found that a contractor with a working spouse and/or child is a huge plus. I’ve had contractors telling me they need more money because they are paying the bills for “three people at home.” I do my best to help out my contractors if they are in need or have an emergency, but I’m not sure why some contractors think that simply having non-working family members should affect how I pay them.

One indicator of a poor quality contractor has been the one that constantly talks and says they know how to do everything. They’ve worked in every trade known to man. Once you give them the job, you find out that they don’t know how to hang a door or replace the inner workings of a toilet even though they were a plumber for 5 years. I would much rather have contractors that know their limits and are not afraid to disclose those limits up front.

I recently hired a contractor who “knew everything.” He showed me pictures of work he had done and bragged up how great his work looked when it was done, but when it came time to work, it took him five hours to hang a door. Plus this contractor was the most expensive person I had (out of seven) on the job site.

The bottom line is this . . .

Contractors living modest lifestyles that know and communicate their limitations usually work out best.

Next time, we’ll talk about defining your contractor’s responsibilities up front to avoid the most frequent contractor “gotchas.”

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  1. Tage says:

    That’s a great point. Having someone tell you their strengths and weaknesses up front can be an indicator of good things. An honest communicator hopefully means that they are more likely put in an honest effort on the job!

  2. Patrick Riddle says:

    It’s tells a lot about a person when they can admit their weaknesses and not be the everything man. It’s a good indicator of character.

    One of my main contractors always tells me what a terrible painter he is and that he hates doing it. I know what to hire him to do and what not to.