How To Hire And Manage Contractors For House Flipping
Finding reliable and trustworthy contractors is a crucial and challenging aspect of being a homeowner or real estate investor. A competent general contractor may make or break your project.
To guarantee a smooth house flip, it’s important to hire contractors that are experts in every facet of construction. You need to find dependable contractors and get along well with them.
Find out where to look for and how to work with contractors to help you with your next house flip.
Do You Need A General Contractor?
The first thing to think about when planning a house flip is whether you will require the services of a general contractor. If the work goes beyond mere aesthetics, you almost certainly will.
Any improvement that does not change the structure or layout of the building is considered purely aesthetic. For instance, renovating the kitchen or bathrooms, painting the interior and exterior, installing new flooring, and planting new grass and trees are all tasks that a single person or a small team of subcontractors should be able to handle. The work of subcontractors is more specialized; hence they are often hired to handle certain tasks such as plumbing, electricals, and roofing.
More complex projects, including changes to structurally significant areas of the home, should always be handled by a professional general contractor. Significant alterations include expanding the area, demolishing interior walls, constructing new rooms, modifying the structure’s foundation, and implementing various retrofits.
What Does A General Contractor Do?
Hiring an experienced contractor may be a huge help in planning out a house flipping project and gaining insight into what can be done on a certain piece of property. Let’s suppose you want to knock down a wall. A general contractor will be able to advise you whether the wall in question is structurally necessary for the building’s integrity. They can help you decide whether the renovations you plan to do will improve or detract from the value of the house.
Even when you can’t be there to monitor the renovations yourself, a general contractor can keep things going. The contractor’s services should also include assisting with the project’s budget. They should be able to provide an estimate of how long the work will take, how often cash advances will be required, and how much money will be needed for supplies and labor.
The general contractor should also obtain the relevant permits and keep you updated on the timeline for doing so. They will also be aware of the tasks that do not need permits and those that do, thus maximizing the efficiency of the project. The contractor is also responsible for supervising end-of-phase inspections.
Steps To Hiring A General Contractor For Your House Flip
Follow these guidelines for building a construction team for house flipping and be ready for your next projects:
Search For General Contractors
General contractors are fairly easy to find. In all likelihood, you already have a connection that can provide you with a solid reference. If you put in the time and effort, you can find someone competent and trustworthy.
Referrals are the safest and most reliable way of finding a good team. Talk to people you know in the field to find out which general contractors they have worked with and would recommend. Your friends, family, and colleagues will give you a truthful and reliable report of their experiences. Many local real estate investment clubs also maintain official or unofficial listings of qualified general contractors in the area.
One trustworthy subcontractor may know several others who would be willing to work with you. For instance, if you’ve hired the same electrician for a long time, it’s safe to ask for their referrals. If you had a terrific experience with a roofer last year, you should ask them for a recommendation.
Subcontractors have expert knowledge of the industry and the standing of their peers. Get their input on who should be on your team.
Yelp and other review sites are also good places to start your search. It’s important to remember that both the positive and negative reviews you read may have biases. After all, the vast majority of happy clients often don’t give feedback. Negative or positive reviews are more likely to be given when the client is either extremely frustrated or overjoyed. That’s why getting a referral from someone you know and trust is preferable. However, review sites can be helpful if you don’t have any personal recommendations to go on.
An alternate strategy is to drive about the area and check out the worksites of the many houses that are currently under construction. If a contractor crew is currently on-site, you can approach one of the workers and introduce yourself. You can either provide your contact details or ask how to contact the company to discuss a possible project. Alternatively, you can look for a sign bearing the company’s name and jot it down; then, you can look them up on the web.
Verify Previous Work Experience And References
It’s always smart to check references, no matter who you hire. Get in touch with a few references to find out how they felt about the service. The best contractors will have satisfied former clients willing to vouch for them.
When calling references, be sure to inquire about payment terms and timely project completion. You should conduct a background check if you can not verify references or have reservations about the references you were given.
Make sure you ask the same questions of every contractor you talk to. There is no guarantee that the highest bid will get you the best service, and the lowest one will offer the greatest savings. In some cases, a very low price should raise warning flags due to the inevitability of fixed costs like materials and labor. Select the bid and contractor that best meets your budgetary and practical needs.
It’s preferable if bids are submitted in writing and cover the same specifics. It might be difficult to compare the prices of various contractors fairly if some things on the list were added or removed by different contractors. Make a detailed spreadsheet and add the bids from each contractor to it so you can easily see the disparities.
Check Licenses And Insurance
Ensure that the contractor has the proper licensing and insurance before accepting any bid. This includes mandatory legal requirements like worker’s comp and state licenses. By taking this precaution, you may be assured that the contractors working on your house flip are true experts in their field.
Speak With The Best Candidates
Here is your chance to rate the contractor on how professional they came across to you. If they were late by 30 minutes, that could mean they have poor time management skills. When you call, do they treat you rudely? If so, it’s possible that they won’t be approachable as the project progresses. Get them to address your worries by asking them pointed questions and observing their responses. Moving on to the next person is probably best if a candidate makes you feel uneasy.
Timelines, costs, and compensation should all be discussed during the interview. You should be on the same page regarding who will buy materials, how much money will be needed, and when it will be paid. An experienced contractor will know how crucial timing is for a successful home flip.
A reputable contractor that comes highly recommended is your best bet for making a profit on a house flip, but a legally binding agreement is also important to have, just in case. That way, you can offer an incentive for completing the assignment by the due date and a penalty for falling behind.
A lawyer can draft a basic contract for you, or you can get a head start by asking other house-flippers for a sample contract to use. It’s smart to consult a lawyer before committing to any agreement. If there are any discrepancies in the contractor’s documentation, they will be able to point them out.
Occasionally, contractors will have pre-made contracts that you can sign. Purchases, payments, and bonuses can all be modified at this point to better suit the needs of the project. Keep in mind that you should always have an attorney look over the deal before signing it.
A contract isn’t strictly necessary if you’re working with a competent contractor, but it can help set reasonable expectations for the project from the get-go.
How To Manage Your General Contractor?
Here are some of the fundamentals of managing contractors for a house flipping project:
Maintain Open Communication
Communicating freely with your contractor is crucial to ensure that both of you are kept on the same page. Stay connected with one another by exchanging contact information. Don’t assume everything is well if you haven’t heard from your contractor in a while.
Building a reliable fix-and-flip crew over the long haul requires laying the groundwork for a positive working relationship with your general contractor. Listen carefully when your contractor’s team has something to say, and never forget to express gratitude for their efforts.
Regularly check in on the status
You’ll save time and money if you regularly check in with the contractor. Get in touch with your contractor by phone to find out the latest status of the project and consider making an unannounced visit to the site. If you have concerns about the contractor’s progress or budget, don’t hesitate to voice them.
Arrange walkthroughs to check in and ensure everything is moving forward according to the planned schedule. Keep track of which tasks are on schedule and falling behind during inspections.
Create a Detailed Checklist
The secret to a profitable house flip is meticulous planning. Put the to-dos on paper in as much detail as possible. Each item on your list should include an estimated completion date and the party responsible for the task. For instance, it should specify who is in charge of obtaining building permissions and picking up building materials.
Unfortunately, many inexperienced property investors do not use a detailed job list when carrying out renovation, which contributes significantly to their problems.
Ensure That You Are Updated on Any Issues
You should urge your contractor to call you directly in case they encounter any issues. This will allow you to change the timeline and finances accordingly.
Find out from your contractor if the scope of work has changed since the bid was submitted. Some contractors will make changes or add more work to a project without consulting their client, and any adjustments must be documented in writing.
Never Agree to Additional Expenses From Your Contractor Without Clearing It With You First
It would be a terrible idea to give your contractor the green light to go out and purchase materials and ramp up their hours of operation without first getting your approval. It is important to make it clear to your contractor that you will have the final say in all matters.
The Bottom Line
Hiring contractors for house flipping can ensure that everything runs smoothly. They’ll make sure everything goes exactly to plan and gets done on schedule. Working with a reliable general contractor might mean the difference between making money or a loss on a home flip. We hope that this guide for building a construction team for house flipping can make the search easier for you.
Trustworthy and competent Hawaii house flipping contractors like us at Pacific Construction Builders will preserve your budget and timeline, allowing you to flip houses for a profit even if the process is time-consuming and challenging.
After more than three decades in business, Pacific Construction Builders has earned a solid reputation as one of Hawaii’s go-to construction firms. We go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that each and every one of our clients is happy with the work we do for them. Get in touch with us today to schedule your initial consultation.
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