Finding the right contractor for your job can be one of the most difficult aspects of your fix and flip or renovation project. The time and worry that goes into choosing the right contractor can leave you exhausted before the real work even begins. We’ve compiled this list of tips to help ease the burden of vetting a contractor so that you can make an informed choice and save yourself the heartache of committing to the wrong contractor.
Verify Your Contractor’s License Info
Don’t get burned by a shoddy job from an unqualified contractor. Not only could it leave a hole in your budget, but it could have legal consequences. Always ask to see licenses and credentials of your prospective contractors. It can be the difference between a job well done and a future money pit.
Read and Re-read the Contract
We know you would never sign a contract without reading it, but giving it a second and third glance can ensure that you don’t miss any details the contractor may have tried to sneak in. Be sure to comb through your contract so you know exactly what you’re both committing to – and don’t be afraid to ask for revisions. If you get stuck with a shady contractor who slipped in a loophole or two and you signed the contract, you may not have many options when it comes to contesting incomplete or wrongly completed work.
Be Specific About What You Want
Knowing exactly what you want before you start looking for a contractor can help save you time and frustration. Be clear about your expectations and know what to ask for, so that when you find a contractor you’re ready to hire, there are no surprises. Spend a couple of days really thinking about what you want out of your relationship with your contractor, what your expectations are, how much communication and involvement you want to have, and what your time expectations are. Compile a list and have it ready before you meet with any contractors.
Check Out Their References and Reviews
One of the greatest perks (and pitfalls) of our mobile-first society is the culture of reviews. Use it as a tool to thoroughly examine a potential contractor’s prior job history. Don’t ignore bad reviews because of a good deal. You can also ask the contractor for references from prior clients. Any contractor that is serious about earning your trust and who has nothing to hide will be happy to put you in contact with people who can verify their work quality.
Be Realistic and Flexible With Your Schedule
We get it, you’ve got a strict timeframe for completing your project and getting it on the market, but if you want to ensure your property is ready to flip on your schedule, start vetting contractors early in your process. Discuss your expectations for project completion in your initial meetings when interviewing contractors and be flexible when contractors try to negotiate time commitments. Ideally you will find a contractor with the availability to fully commit to your project and is open and honest about their deadlines for project completion.