5 Tips for Vetting a Contractor

**This is the first Guest Post provided by real estate professionals from across Chattanooga and around the country**

No matter what specific type of real estate investing you pursue, it will inevitably involve hiring contractors to maintain or improve the property at some point. There will come a time to bring on PROFESSIONAL contractors to add value or secure the existing value. Whether the investment strategy is a quick turnaround or longterm, the profitability of them will largely depend on the effectiveness of the contractors selected.    

As property owners, you’ll know that the major costs typically come in the form of unwanted gifts from Mother Nature—Rain. Moisture problems are typically the most common, beyond major destruction from fire or vandalism. This can cause mold, making the property inhabitable, and accelerate the decay of building materials. Hopefully it stops there, but Mother Nature can also shift causing structural problem. 

Equally as common, investors are simply faced with property that is in desperate need of a cosmetic facelift. Whether it’s outdated décor, decaying paint or wood, overgrown greenery, crumbling parking lots, etc. getting the right contractors to advise and execute can make or break an investment. Here’s a list of a few preliminary vetting strategies to ensure you’re dealing with a PROFESSIONAL contractor:

Contractor’s License:  It doesn’t take much in regards to barriers of entry to become a small residential contractor. This is not the case for commercial projects. A contractor’s license is required to bid or execute on any project $25,000 and above. Request a copy of the license to ensure you, as the property owner, do not subject yourself to legal ramifications. Check out this link to ensure they have the correct license for the project. 

Equipment & Plan: Ask the contractor what type of equipment will be used for the job. This will require them to explain how they’ll approach the job and ensure they have a strategy for completing on time and on budget. This is especially important when minimizing disruption to the flow of the property or other contractors’ schedules is a priority. 

Insurance: Protect your investment at all costs. You’ll want to request a certificate of insurance from the contractor to be attached with the proposal. If selected, ask to have your name/company be put as the certificate holder and as additionally insured on the policy.  Ensure the limits are adequate for the project size. 

References: Ask for at least three addresses and contact information for RECENTLY completed projects for similar scopes of work. Talk is cheap, double check they have the experience and expertise necessary to complete your project. The lowest bidder should not always be the winner. 

Have a written Statement of Work or Statement of Objectives: Underbidding a job to get a contractor’s foot in the door on a large project is common. If the work to be completed is not written down in detail, you’re exposing yourself to large change orders.  

Nick Murray is the owner of the local CertaPro Painting Business and available for all your painting needs. Give him a call to get a great – and fast – paint job.   Direct: 859-512-7464  Office: 423-414-1252  Website: https://chattanooga.certapro.com/