In my Foundation Program for beginners I teach about how important creating a team is to your success as a real estate investor. Having skilled tradesmen are critical to managing your rental properties and renovating your flips.
There are several ways to find a contractor but before you do be very specific about what your needs are from that individual.
I hired a general contractor to renovate a property that I owned one hour from my core investment area. Because of this I wasn’t able to view the daily progress of the project. I had asked around the area for someone who could do plumbing, drywall, electric, framing, cabinet installation, ceramic floor installation, – the general contractor stuff.
The contractor came with a 3 ring binder showing me several renovations that were quite impressive. He was also recommended from another renovator who used him on a few of her properties. We came to an agreement about the work that needed to be done, the price for the labor and time frame. Sounds good so far doesn’t it! The strange thing is he kept saying that he wasn’t so good with finish work. I wasn’t sure what that meant so I asked him to explain. For some strange reason it felt like he was speaking a foreign language because I still wasn’t clear exactly what he wasn’t good at. Was it that his miters weren’t tight, was it that he did good work but made a mess in the process, was it that he didn’t tape seams well or sand them to finish,………………….not sure.
HHD which stands for hard head Deb decided to “ignore” the lack of clarity because I wanted to get going on the project. Each time I came-up the work was going well, I liked the quality of what I was seeing and we just kept moving along.
Until…………………I missed a few weeks during the “finishing” stage – remember that word. I was so excited that that the framing was complete, the wiring was done, the plumbing had been moved, the new drywall had been hung, the trim had been installed and now it was time to “finish” and paint.
We were almost through the last stage of renovation – the paint! Well at least I thought this was the last stage. Not being good at “finish” work meant he wasn’t good at doing the final sanding and detailed caulking that are critical before applying paint. If this isn’t done right you will have a heck of a mess on your hands trying to remove globbed on caulk and hardened joint compound that now is trapped under a few coats of paint.
I have a powerful intuition that when listened to serves me well. It took several hours and days to redo these areas, sand, scrape and paint again. Needless to say I didn’t have this contractor “finish” the job.
Inspired by Deb Cleveland
They say you can’t expect what you don’t inspect. In this business it is paramount to evaluate the progress of each step of the project. This is especially true when working with someone new. Also intuition is a powerful tool that when listened to grows in it’s ability to give us direction. My intuition kept telling me to understand what not being good at “finishing” work meant. If I had insisted on knowing more I would have avoided a costly mistake.