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Contractor Hiring 101: Tips, Tricks, and Red Flags to Avoid

Young couple talking to construction worker about housing design plans at construction siteThe hiring of competent, dependable contractors to handle your property improvements and repairs can be one of the most difficult aspects of investing in Ballard single-family rental homes. Few investors have the time or resources to waste on employing a contractor who would blatantly produce subpar work. In actuality, however, there are con artists and others who will attempt to defraud you of your money and leave you stranded. Fortunately, it is possible to find the trustworthy, reasonably-priced contractors you need for every project if you know a few basic tips and tricks – and what to steer clear of.

Ask for Referrals

As a property owner, you require contractors you can rely on to complete the task. It’s a smart idea to search for industry experts you’ll want to rehire over and over again. By doing this, you can save a ton of time and money. However, in order to locate contractors with whom you can develop long-term business relationships, you must first conduct research. Requesting referrals from respectable real estate agents, property managers, and other property owners is an excellent location to begin. You may look for prospective contractors online as well. Through consumer reviews and even professional recommendations, a number of websites attempt to assist users in vetting contractors.

Ask for References

Another tip for locating an excellent contractor (or two) is to request references. A quality contractor will gladly provide you with the contact information of one or more former customers who can attest to their expertise. Ask specific questions about the contractor’s dependability, affordability, response, and flexibility as soon as you have their name. Did they adhere to the agreed price? How did they handle your issues and changes? It’s best to keep looking if you have any reservations about the responses you receive.

Research Your Top Picks

Do a comprehensive background investigation on a candidate’s credentials and internet reviews before deciding to hire them. Consult your state’s licensing authority and local court records for your contractor’s name. Use of unlicensed contractors is not advised as this may expose your rental property to significant liability. Numerous complaints or lawsuits are an extremely negative indicator. The same remains valid if you cannot get the contractor to answer their phone or return any of your messages. A few missed calls here and there may not necessarily indicate difficulty, but if more than 24 hours go by with no reply, it’s time to go elsewhere.

Other red flags to look out for throughout the bidding process include the following. Consider keeping an eye out for things like negative internet reviews or eerily low costs, and avoid them if you find them. Also, it is recommended to avoid employing any contractor who requires a large deposit upfront. Concern should be raised if the percentage exceeds 15%. The same holds true if the contractor says that they are going to need an unlimited amount of time and materials, or if they make exorbitant assertions about how much they can do within a specific time frame. Finding someone who is continuously realistic about project expenses and completion dates is as important to finding someone who can work efficiently.

Focus on Quality

Once you’ve screened a few possible contractors, get bids from them. The quote will give you an idea of the cost of the job as well as the methodology used by each contractor to determine their rates. Do not accept the lowest offer, particularly if it is substantially lower than the others. Extremely cheap bids may occasionally be an indication that the contractor is trying to entice you with a low price just to tack on extra costs later. They can also indicate that the contractor has no intention of obtaining the necessary work permits. At the same time, it is essential not to overpay for a contractor’s services. Aim for a realistic average bid.

It may take a little while to start looking for the best contractors for your investment property’s repairs and improvements. However, once you determine whom you can rely on to complete the task, this aspect of your property management strategy can become streamlined and effective. You can save yourself time by contacting Real Property Management Uintah, who has established contacts throughout Ballard. Call us at 435-214-4686
for more information today.

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