In the battle for worst people to work with, contractors give lawyers a run for their money. It seems that every house flipper has horror stories about contractors who fell way behind schedule, delivered shoddy work, or simply didn’t finish the job. Finding a great contractor is like finding the golden ticket – it can make all the difference in the success of your flip.
Fortunately, finding a great contractor isn’t nearly as hard as it used to be thanks to the wonder that is the internet. Now, you can use free resources like Angie’s List to compare multiple contractors side by side, read reviews, and check business licenses.
So the challenge these days isn’t necessarily finding a good contractor but finding the right contractor for your job. Here are our top suggestions for choosing a great contractor:
- Shop around. Don’t hire the first contractor that you contact. Get in touch with at least three contractors and compare prices. You should also compare their terms – will they sign a contract, or do they work based off of handshake agreements? How long do they say the work will take them, and how precise are they with their projected costs? Remember that there is a huge difference between “it should cost” and “it will cost.”
- Read reviews. Be wary of reviews that might be written by the contractor themselves. Look for a variety of reviews that are honest and thorough, not just singing praises but actually discussing details. The best reviews come from people you know, so ask around.
- Check their work. Ask to see pictures of similar jobs. If they’ve never done a project quite like yours before, that should be a red flag. If they’re not willing to show you pictures, that’s another red flag. In any samples that you look at, pay close attention to detail. Look for what they might not be showing you.
- Consider breaking things up. It might make the most sense to hire one person for the floors and another for the cabinets. General contractors are convenient because they can handle everything, but you’ll likely end up spending more by using a general contractor over specialists.
If you have more questions about how to choose a contractor or want more house flipping tips, give our office a call anytime at (559) 326-2509. We can also tell you about our current house flipping loans and the latest market trends.