Table of Contents
Updating and renovating your investment properties can be an expensive undertaking that should not be taken lightly. That is why it is essential that you hire the best local contractors you can find to complete your important updates – to save money by making sure the work is done properly the first time.
Of course, finding the best local contractors available is frequently easier said than done. After all, there are plenty of discount trades workers who use their low prices to attract work. However, many of these cheap local contractors deliver final results that reflect their lower rates – often leading you to find someone new to come in and complete the work a second time.
So, to help you find the best local contractors who are going to offer you the best value for their rates, here are five tips you can use to help you assess potential options.
However, before you start assessing local contractors, you should always clear the job with your lender. After all, as long as you have a mortgage taken out against a property, the lender has a stake in the property. Learn more about this process by clicking the link below and booking a free strategy call today.
Assess Their Price vs The Cost
One of the first things you should do when assessing a potential contractor is to conduct a price vs cost analysis. To do this, you first need to pick a task where you know the cost of the materials. This can be countertop replacement, redoing the flooring in a room or any other job so long as you can calculate the price to buy the supplies. Then, ask various local contractors you are considering for a quote to complete the work and compare that to the initial cost.
For example, if you have a bathroom that needs to be retiled start by calculating the cost per square foot of the room. On average, bathrooms cost up to $14 per square foot in order to retile. So, if the bathroom is 40 square feet, the material cost will be approximately $560. From there, you will need to take quotes from your local contractors to compare.
Remember that when you are hiring a local contractor you need to pay for their hourly rate as well as the materials needed for the job, so the price difference will be noticeable. In Ontario, the average general contractors make approximately $32 an hour so for a 5-hour job you can expect to pay about $160 in labour per contractor on average. Of course, prices will vary between contractors based on their own business structure and individual rates.
If you see someone massively undercutting their rates, it may be worth looking into why their prices are so low. Perhaps they believe they can complete the work faster and thus do not need to charge as much. Or they may be trying to outprice their competition to get more work in the long run.
Check Their References
Another key step with assessing local contractors for your investment properties is to call their references. This will allow you to ask their past clients and/or employers about their work. Here are a few questions you may want to ask when calling their references.
- How was the quality of work you received from this contractor?
- Did they complete the work in a timely manner?
- Did they attempt to change their price after their initial quote?
- Would you hire them again?
- Did they arrive on-time for work consistently?
- Did they make effective use of their time?
- Would you work with them again?
If a contractor refuses to supply you with references that is a red flag, and you may want to pursue other options.
Discover How To Flip A House With This Step By Step Guide
Do Additional Research on Local Contractors
You should never take a contractor at their word when you are first working with them. After all, they are going to do whatever it takes to make themselves look good to a potential new client and the references they provide you are almost always going to be their most satisfied clients, even if they have plenty of dissatisfied former clients.
Start by checking for online reviews. Often this will begin to give you a clearer picture of the quality of their work. Pay attention to both the positive and negative reviews. Do the positive reviews sound real? Do the negative reviews sound like legitimate concerns?
Or are they just overblown complaints that do not reflect the actual work that was completed? Then, look up local contractors in your area using terms like “scam” or “rip off” to make sure there are not any serious complaints being leveraged against them that are not included in their public-facing reviews.
You also may want to ask the opinion of local contractors you have worked with before. Often contractors will be more than willing to recommend the services of someone they trust (provided they are not in the same role/field). For example, you can ask your electrician if he knows any good drywallers or your plumber if they know any skilled HVAC specialists.
Verify Their Qualifications
Another quick step you can take to find the best local contractors is to ask to see their license or insurance to make sure they are actually qualified to do the work. If they do not have their license, you need to pass over them for the job to avoid facing any fines down the road.
Interview Your Best Options
Once you have completed the previous steps, you may have a few options to pick from. From there ask each of them to sit down for a brief interview to see how they communicate with you. Ideally, you want to hire someone who you can express your plans and concerns to who will be able to do the work to your specifications and alleviate any concerns you may have.
Always Use a Professional
Beyond property maintenance and renovations, you should still always consider using a professional for everything regarding your property investments to help secure your wealth and protect your investments. That includes getting the best available rates for your mortgages. That is why at LendCity, we work hard to ensure that you are matched up with the best lender for you from our network of experienced professionals. So, if you are ready to get started today, visit us online at LendCity.ca or give us a call at 519-960-0370. Alternatively, click the link below to book a free strategy call with our team at LendCity today.