How To Find and Select Great Contractors
Hiring a contractor can be a daunting task as a landlord, especially if you're not sure what to look for or where to start.
But finding and selecting a good contractor for your project can make all the difference in the success of your project.
In this blog post, we'll discuss some practical tips for finding and selecting great contractors.
First, however, let's discuss the benefits of hiring a good and trustworthy contractor for your home renovation projects.
Benefits of hiring good contractors
As a landlord, you want your rental properties to be in top condition to attract and retain tenants.
This means making sure that repairs and maintenance are taken care of in a timely and efficient manner. Hiring a good and reliable contractor can be a key part of achieving this goal.
Below, we'll discuss some of the reasons why hiring a good contractor is important and beneficial for landlords.
One of the most important reasons to hire a good contractor is to ensure that the work done on your home improvement project is of high quality.
A good contractor will have the experience and skills to complete repairs and renovations to a high standard, which will help to maintain the value of your properties.
Another important reason to hire a good contractor is to ensure that repairs and renovations are completed in a timely manner.
A good contractor will have the resources and personnel to handle multiple projects at once and will be able to complete work on schedule.
This is important for landlords as it minimizes the time that a unit is vacant, and you can rent it out again as soon as possible.
Sometimes, the location can affect the timely completion of the project, so hiring a local contractor might help.
A good contractor will also be able to provide cost-effective solutions for the repairs and renovations of your construction project.
They will be able to recommend materials and methods that are both high-quality and cost-effective, which can save landlords money in the long run.
Additionally, a good contractor will also be able to work with a budget, and will be able to prioritize repairs based on urgency and cost.
As a landlord, you are responsible for ensuring your rental properties comply with all local, state and federal laws.
Most contractors will have a thorough understanding of the legal requirements for rental properties and will ensure that the work done on your properties is in compliance. This helps to protect you from potential legal issues and fines.
Building a relationship
Having a good contractor that you can rely on can also be beneficial for building a relationship.
When you have a good contractor that you can trust, you can communicate your needs and concerns more effectively. This can lead to better results and a more efficient process for both parties.
How to Find a Great Contractor
Now that you understand the benefits that come along with hiring a good contractor, let's discuss how to actually find one.
These aren't necessarily any particular order, but they're all important parts of the process of making sure you've found a great one, not just any contractor:
1. Get Referrals
One of the best ways to find a great contractor is through referrals.
Ask friends, family, and neighbors if they have any experience with contractors they would recommend.
Check online review sites like Yelp to see what others have said about contractors in your area.
2. Check Credentials
Before you hire a general contractor, make sure they are licensed and insured.
A reputable contractor will have no problem providing you with their license number and insurance information.
You can also check with your local building department to see if any complaints have been filed against the contractor; let's discuss how to check a contractor's credentials below.
3. Checking a contractor's credentials
As a landlord, it is important to thoroughly check a contractor's credentials before hiring them to complete a renovation project. Here are a few steps you can take to verify a contractor's qualifications:
- Check for licensing and certification: Make sure the contractor is licensed and certified to work in your state or city. You can check with the state licensing board to verify the contractor's credentials.
- Check their insurance: Make sure the contractor carries adequate insurance, such as general liability insurance and worker's compensation insurance.
- Look for references: Ask the contractor for references from previous clients, and follow up by contacting them to ask about their experience working with the contractor.
- Check online reviews: Look for reviews and ratings of the contractor on websites such as Yelp and the Better Business Bureau.
- Check for any complaint or disciplinary action: You can check with the state's contractor board to see if the contractor has any pending complaints or disciplinary actions filed against them.
- Visit their current or previous job sites: Visit the contractor's current or previous job sites to see the quality of their work firsthand.
- Verify their credentials by conducting a background check: You can also verify the contractor's background by conducting a background check to see if the contractor has a criminal record.
It is always recommended to get at least 3 bids from different contractors and compare them before making a final decision to ensure the best possible results.
4. Get Multiple Quotes
It's always a good idea to get multiple down payments and full quotes from different contractors before you make a decision.
This will give you a sense of the going rate for the work you need done and will help you to compare the prices and services offered by different local contractors.
5. Read the Contract Carefully
Make sure you read and understand the contract before you sign it.
The contract should outline the scope of work, the job site, the materials and labor to be used, and the payment schedule.
Make sure you understand everything that is included and excluded in the contract, let's discuss how to read these contracts below.
Reading said contract
When reading a contract with a contractor as a landlord, it is important to pay attention to the following key points:
- Scope of work: The contract should clearly define the scope of work that the contractor will be responsible for completing. This should include a detailed description of the entire project and any specific materials or techniques that will be used.
- Payment terms: The contract should outline the payment terms, including the total cost of the project or how many other projects are being completed, and any deposit or milestone payments that will be required.
- Timeline: The contract should include a detailed timeline for the completion of the project, including specific dates for the start and completion of the work, as well as any deadlines for specific tasks or milestones.
- Liabilities and insurance: The contract should specify the contractor's liability in case of any accidents or damages that may occur during the renovation, as well as the type of insurance coverage they have.
- Inspection and approval: The contract should provide for inspection and approval of the work by the landlord or representative before final payment is made.
- Legal provisions: The contract should include any legal provisions that apply to the renovation, such as building codes or zoning laws.
- Dispute resolution: The contract should include a process for resolving any disputes that may arise between the landlord and the contractor during the course of the renovation.
We always recommend seeking legal advice from a lawyer who is well-versed in construction and real estate law before signing any contract.
6. Communicate Clearly
It's important to communicate clearly with your contractor throughout the project.
Make sure you understand what is expected of you and the contractor and that you are both on the same page.
This will help to ensure that the project runs smoothly and is completed on time.
Find the Right Contractor
In summary, finding and selecting the right contractor for your project takes a little bit of research, but it's well worth the effort.
By following these practical tips, you'll be able to find a contractor who is qualified, experienced, and reliable.
Remember to get referrals from former clients, check credentials, get multiple quotes, check their work, read the contract carefully and communicate clearly.