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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 Saratoga Springs single-family rental homes. Few investors have the time or resources to hire a contractor whose work is merely substandard. However, the truth is that there are con artists and other people out there who will attempt to scam you of your money and then abandon you. 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 good idea to hunt for industry experts you’ll want to work with on a regular basis. This will help you save a ton of time and money. But you have to start with research in order to choose contractors with whom you may develop enduring business ties. Requesting referrals from respectable real estate agents, property managers, and other property owners is an excellent location to begin. Online research of prospective contractors is also possible. 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 a list of references who can testify to their experience. Ask specific questions about the contractor’s dependability, affordability, response, and flexibility as soon as you have their name. Did they charge the agreed-upon amount? How effectively did they address your concerns and make adjustments? If you have doubts about the answers you receive, you should continue searching.

Research Your Top Picks

Before deciding on a candidate, it is essential to examine their credentials and online reviews thoroughly. Check with the state licensing board and local court records for the name of your contractor. You should avoid using unlicensed contractors because doing so could expose your rental property to significant liabilities. A high volume of grievances or legal actions is very negative news. The same applies if you can’t get the contractor to pick up the phone or return your messages. Even while a few missed calls might not necessarily indicate danger, if more than 24 hours go by without a response, move on.

During the bidding procedure, there are additional red flags to watch out for. Consider keeping an eye out for things like negative internet reviews or eerily low costs, and avoid them if you find them. Additionally, it’s wise to stay away from any contractor who requests a sizable upfront deposit. Anything above 15% should be cause for alarm. 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. Not only do you need someone who can work efficiently, but you must also discover someone who is consistently realistic regarding project costs and completion times.

Focus on Quality

Once you’ve screened a few possible contractors, get bids from them. The quote will give you an idea of how much you may expect to pay for the service and how each provider determines their rates. Do not accept the lowest offer, particularly if it is substantially lower than the others. Very low bids can indicate that the contractor is trying to get your business by offering a low price only to tack on extra fees later. This may also indicate that the contractor has no intention of obtaining the necessary work permits. Nevertheless, it’s crucial to avoid paying too much for your contractor’s services. Aim for the realistic average bid.

Starting out, it may be time-consuming finding the highest-quality contractors for your investment property’s renovations and restorations. 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 Utah County, who has established contacts throughout Saratoga Springs. Call us at 801-224-0033
for more information today.

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