Find the Best Contractors for Your Next Home Project

1 min read     •     September 1, 2021

Tips to Finding Contractors for House Flips and Rentals

Tips to Finding Contractors for House Flips and Rentals

For those who are into real estate or homeowners, you can agree with me that finding a great contractor is not only important but can be very difficult. It is not easy to find a contractor and they are usually expensive, it takes them a long time to execute a job, some even quit halfway through the job. If you can find a contractor who is great at the job, has wonderful communication skills and excellent work principles, you are lucky. Buying a house cost a lot of money, but repairing it can drill a hole in your pocket because it can be even more expensive. Without the service of a contractor to help with home maintenance, you will spend so much more to get it fixed.

What is the first step?

To find a great contractor can be quite difficult, you will end up doing a lot of trial and error. In my opinion, it would save you a lot of stress if you ask friends, family, and colleagues for recommendations of contractors first, before trying any other source. You should know that a contractor that was recommended for you isn’t a guarantee that he or she is great at their job, it just helps give you where to start. But most of the time, recommendations give you a better chance of getting a good contractor than advertising. Some of the people that can have contact with great contractors are builders, real estate agents, and property managers.

Fact is, a homeowner must have used the services of a great contractor at some point, so feel free to ask your family or friends. Following up with the contractor is necessary to ensure they are doing their job in totality. As a property owner, if you don’t oversee the job the contractor you got are doing, things could get out of hand, especially if the contractor is a new one.


Don’t just trust a recommendation

A couple of years back, I used a new contractor. The thing is because of the number of projects we have ongoing, we tend to always try out new people. So my broker and some other agents where I work recommended someone. We met and he was not just a contractor but a builder as well who seemed well-grounded in his area of expertise and gave great detailed bids. So I gave him two house flips to work on at once since I had a few other properties that I needed to start work on. He said he and his crew can take on as much work I had to give them. In the end, he was only able to finish one project on a budget (it is very important to get a bid first), and the second project was left unattended for over two months.


In my mind, everything was going on fine as he assured me, and even though the property was just 40 minutes away from my location, I had not gone to see with my eyes if he had started work yet. I was to blame for this because I didn’t oversee the job neither did I visit the site. I got the greatest surprise when I decided to visit the property that I had thought was almost done and realized that nothing had been done.


I contacted the contractor, and all I got were excuses that his hands were tied because he had other jobs to handle and that his workers kept falling ill. Before I went to the site, whenever I called to ask him how the project was going, he assured me that all was fine and that the job was almost done. So it either means he was telling me lies or he wasn’t monitoring his workers properly. Eventually, the job was finished four months after it got started and about three months after it was meant to be done. That was the first and last time I used that contractor, and this wasn’t because the job too long to get finished, but because he lied to me about almost finishing the job.


Other ways to find contractors


Box Stores

One way to come in contact with contractors at big stores is by going to the store in the morning and look out for who came to buy supplies in large quantities. Most of the time, people who come to buy materials are probably contractors and could also be ready to do more jobs. I mean it is obvious that they already have a job(s) at hand since they came to purchase materials. Some stores don’t mind giving you the names and contacts of contractors they know. But here’s the catch, you have to be a regular customer at such stores because they normally are not meant to give out any names or contacts.



Craigslist is where most contractors go to advertise themselves, I have personally hired a lot of contractors from Craigslist. However, because it is free there are a lot of contractors who post there so you have to be careful. You will have a vast range of people to interview, and they can be quite affordable too.


Angie’s List

Here is another site that you can find contractors. The difference between this and Craigslist is that contractors have to pay to be listed. And so the possibility of hiring good contractors here is high, but this isn’t a guarantee that all of them are good.



HomeAdvisor is another site where contractors are listed, and for you to find the good ones you must be very careful with your selections.



There is a high chance of finding good contractors on this site, you would still need to be careful in your search because there are bad contractors here as well.



Facebook is yet another place you can find contractors. You will mostly find them in real estate investor groups or in places where they advertise their services. With Facebook, when you find a potential contractor you can dig some more into their profile and see what they are really into and what they are posting.


How to Supervise a Job

Whether you are working with a contractor for the first time or you have worked with the contractor many times before, it is advised that you keep an eye on the job. From experience, I can tell you confidently that the more you communicate and oversee a project you have given a contractor, the better result you will get.


Just recently I had to lay off a contractor whom I had worked with previously on many properties and had done a wonderful job. He had stopped checking on his worksites and started telling lies about completing jobs when they weren’t. Then he increased his prices and took more time to complete jobs because he became nonchalant toward the jobs and stopped supervising his workers.


Sadly this happens a lot, contractors become proud and careless or decide to increase their charges or think it's ok to do whatever they want not minding how it affects the job or the relationship with the client. A lot of other businesses face this too, not just with contractors. It doesn’t matter your years of experience in a job, if you are not available to oversee how things are being done you can’t assume it is being done right.

Below are tips you can follow to ensure your contractor is doing his job well:

Visit the property as often as possible.
Be in constant communication with the contractor.
Make sure you get a written bid first.
Ask for an estimated time with which the job will be done.
Do not pay in full for an undone job. Contractors will usually request for part payment to enable them to purchase necessary materials to start the work. This is ok, but do not pay for the entire job.
Assist your contractor in picking out material and paint colors.
How to Interview a Contractor

Most of the time contractors are found online. We carry out a strict interview process before anyone is hired.


Get a Resume

The first thing we ask for is a resume or an idea of their area of expertise. We ask for this information when we first communicate or through an ad. There are some basic questions we ask contractors and those who fail to answer already eliminates them. I provide a checklist for available contractors to be used by my coaching students.


Phone Conversations

Those who can answer the questions we ask, we contact them over the phone and have a conversation before eventually having a one on one meeting with them. This is so that we are sure they know what they are talking about, as well as get an idea of their charges. A contractor should be able to tell you what he charges hourly, the number of people in his crew, and how long it takes them to finish an average job. Furthermore, I will use this as a medium to know their customer base, how many jobs they have done in the past, and how many they are currently working on.


Schedule a Physical Meeting

If I am pleased with our phone conversation, I will schedule a one-on-one meeting with the contractor either at my office or at lunch. Then I will look out for punctuality, if the person is mobile (I’ll check to see if he drives under the influence), and then your personality. I wouldn’t want to work with someone that I cannot get along with.


Get a Bid

If I am satisfied after the meeting, my next move will be to agree on a time for us to meet at the job site. Then I will let him know what I want to be done and request that he prepares a bid for me. If you are new to real estate and not familiar with how to find contractors, then get more than one bid, this is to ensure you are not being cheated. Be in constant communication with your contractor, get to know him personally. Because from personal experience contractors talk a lot and when you engage them in a conversation it will help you decide if he is the right man for the job. I once interviewed a contractor who admitted he had recently driven under the influence and even during one of his jobs.


So after I meet with the contractor, I will ask him to prepare a bid and either send it to me via email or call me when it is ready. This is yet again a test to see how fast he gets back to me with a bid if he gets back to me at all. I had an experience with two contractors who after we met never sent me a bid or even called me back. It was easy to rule them out because if they couldn’t even send me a bid how would they do the job?


I won’t rush into given him a big job, I prefer to start with a small job or make him part of a big job and watch to see how he delivers on the job. This way I don’t get into trouble for giving him a massive job that he cannot see through.


Finally, your ability to understand your project needs and clearly state what you expect is very important when starting your project. You can contact us if you would like to get a quotation for your next project. We will be more than happy to help you with your next project.

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