Finally found the perfect contractor?
Have you finally found the perfect contractor after sifting and vetting through all the phonies And all those referrals that just weren’t good and now it’s time to get started working with them On your renovation project? Well keep watching and I’ll share with you five tips You should know before getting started working with your general contractor on your renovation. Hey y’all, Dara here, real estate investor and entrepreneur out of Atlanta, Georgia And as you saw in the intro I’m gonna share with you five tips on what you need to know before getting started working with a general contractor.
Let’s get right into it. First First first first first In no particular order, but this is the first one I’m sharing: be specific and detailed with your scope of work So I would recommend getting an inspection on a property that way the inspector gives you a Laundry list of what’s wrong with the property, and from that laundry list, you can devise your scope of work Do you want to incorporate or include your contractor when you create this scope of work? Sure, you can But what I’ve been told and this is also what I’m sharing with you from my own experience is that You’re there to do the thinking for the contractor. This is no shade or no disrespect to any general contractors or anything out there working But as the investor, as the person who is hiring that independent contractor It is your job more or less to do the thinking for them.
You don’t want to leave any room for your contractor to say “Oh, I thought…” No, no because everything should be explicit and in writing and detailed. Be so specific I cannot stress that enough Again coming from my own experience You don’t want to have to, at the back end, have all these change orders or your punch list is longer than your scope of work was originally You know, so be very very detailed, very specific in your scope of work. I’m talking: Hey, if you say “Breathe.” You can’t just say, “Hey, I want you to breathe.” “I want you to first inhale through your nostrils And exhale through your mouth.” Or whatever. You can’t just say breathe; you have to say inhale then exhale. So for instance, we had a situation where on the scope of work, it said install new closet doors Okay We found out that it should have said install new closet doors, including handles and hardware Don’t think that anything is a duh or obvious Don’t leave anything up in the air for chance, for questions or thinking.
You have to do the thinking for your contractor. You have to spell it all out as Elementary or remedial as you think it may be Just do it. You rather be more detailed that way There’s– they’re never gonna have to come for you– come to you for questions. You rather be that way than Every other day they’re calling you, “Hey, did you want… hey did you mean… did you mean this?” No. Just be specific and detailed Upfront in writing. Always always always in writing. And that’s even to the down to the dimensions and Spacing of things You know, just be Detailed so nobody can come back and question and tell you “I thought” and who was right or who said he said she said Because it’s right here in the contract in the scope of work. Number two: You want to visit the site Daily. What? I gotta be there every day? Why am I hiring a general contractor? Because you just don’t know I mean if this is your first Renovation or even if it’s your second third, whatever it is If you’re not a hundred and ten thousand percent (110,000%) comfortable with this general contractor and his crew and his subcontractors, then yes, You want to be there every step of the way when new things are happening to your rehab.
Why, because we came Across a situation on one of our projects where Although we had the architectural drawings with the measurements and this is where this new doorway should be carved out We went and thank God we did. We went in the beginning stages when they were doing the framing and realized that it was a hair too short It was like a hair over How did we know? Because it was in writing. It was on the drawings It was in writing on the measurements, and we were able to stop it Right– we nipped it in the bud because Before they put up the sheetrock, we were able to say Hey, you need to move this over so that the doorway is open this wide and Not shifted wrongly. So you definitely do want to visit Visit it daily.
Also because there’s gonna be times a lot when the contractor calls you Hey, this is wrong. We didn’t know this was expected da-da-da-da-da, and if you’re there every day then you’re there You don’t just have to go by what they’re saying. You get to see oh okay, yeah, you’re right You’re not just charging me or trying to put in a change order for more money in your pocket. You’re right. These– there are termites or there are issues with the floor joists and things like that So definitely visit the site daily until you’re at a point where you’re so comfortable and they know you you know them and you Tried and true and tested. If that’s not the case, be there. You yourself. I know people want to delegate and hire a project manager Or somebody else to go and do it. But again, I mean so many eyes were on our Project and missed the doorway being off by, you know, some inches so If you want it done right, do it yourself Sometimes.
Tip number three: ask questions and ask them often and ask them until you receive a Satisfactory answer Okay? If there’s something Maybe in the scope or something in writing where it’s initials and it’s contract or language or jargon– again, if you’re new, You’re not gonna know what PT lumber is, right? You got– you can look it up in Google and sure find out from that way to save face or whatever, but no I’m just all about asking questions right then and there. If I don’t know what you’re talking about Explain it to me. Explain it to me until I’m able to understand and we’re now on the same page and cool, we’re moving forward So yeah Don’t be afraid to ask your contractor questions. Any kind of questions: questions about their past projects, their current projects in addition to yours, Questions about, you know, good bad ugly maybe advice, you know, things like that But the main thing is to ask the question and to get the answer until you’re satisfied Tip number four And I need you to pay very close attention to this Don’t ever Ever ever ever write a check, don’t ever pay your contractor until You are satisfied, a hundred percent (100%) Satisfaction With whatever work they’ve completed Of course, you’re gonna have a draw schedule or a payment schedule whether it’s pay them every Friday or pay them 30/30/30 Whatever kind of percentage or Schedule payment that you have with your contractor, make sure it’s not just oh yeah I said I’ll pay you every Friday here it goes.
No, that comes along with you being there every day, right? So you want to make sure that you are you are going to bed happy at night because hey I went to the project today And it looked great. Cool, I can’t wait to pay him on Friday. I can’t wait to pay him When all this chunk of work is done, you know? So you want to make sure that you are completely Satisfied with the renovation work before you pay for it Think about it, when you go to– hmm, I was gonna say a restaurant but you’ve got kind of gotta pay regardless But certain things, you know, you want to make sure that you are satisfied. When you go get your hair done, if it’s not Right, you’re gonna sit in that chair until it’s right and then you pay, right? Or is that just me? Anyway moving on, the last and final tip.
Tip number five Avoid crossing the line between business and friendship with your contractors Again, be human, be personable Build rapport, because you can really only do great business with people you like, know, and trust. So Of course you have to like your contractor, you have to build rapport and get to know them and you Do have to trust them and vice versa, but trust me There is a very fine line that you don’t want to cross between being buddy-buddy, chummy, that’s my homie and *cracked whip sound* cracking the whip because you did not do something right. Right? So you are still their their employer, you know, they’re an independent contractor you signed the forms and the documents to say that they are Working for you on this job, right? So you still have to have that sense of authority and that sense of hey Don’t smile up in my face and I’m not gonna smile up in your face when I know this work is not standard It’s not up to my standards.
Okay? So yeah, you can go take them out to lunch and eat you can go whatever whatever but just cross just don’t cross that line In fact I was even told don’t do that either, don’t go to lunch with them, don’t do this that and the third with them Don’t even smile and show teeth with them. But that’s, again, up to your personality, up to your discretion. And of course that relationship that you have with your contractor, but I’m just stressing that you don’t want to be so homie Buddy that they’re like Oh, no, you know it’s just gonna be another 5,000 just for that, you know You gotta do it. You know, when you get to talking like that with them then That’s a problem. When you get to like man now, you know, or they’re talking to you like that Then that’s a problem, because we’re not friends. Don’t get it twisted. We’re not friends. Yeah. Sure Definitely treat You know Treat people with respect. The better you treat people obviously the more likely they are to come back and repeat business with you and Do a great job and fight for you and have that loyalty to you, but Just know where that line is and not to cross it You know, I know some people who bring their contractors food for their lunch break so that you know, They can either save money or save time not having to run to the store or take so long in their lunch break But, you know, you break bread with them in that sense, but Again, just don’t be homies don’t That’s just my personal opinion and my personal tip because you know, do you do business with your friends? A lot of people realize or a lot of people know that doing business with friends and family kind of goes like this Right? So imagine a stranger who is A general contractor that you turn into a friend and now you’re trying to still do business with them and it’s gonna– it’ll get ugly Before it gets better So definitely have a great working relationship with them and that’s the key word working relationship You want to build the rapport and the trust, but you don’t want to be their friend, homie, lover, any of that So so once you’ve found and vetted the contractor, these are the five tips that I suggest that you follow before working with them.
Again, number one: be so Specific and detailed with your scope of work, can’t stress that enough. Number two: visit the site daily until you’re at a point Where you are just– you’ve done.. I want to say 50 transactions with them; you’ve done 50 different projects and rehabs with them. Until then (50 I just pulled that number out of nowhere) but you have to be extremely Comfortable with them and their work and their work ethic Before you don’t have to visit the site as often Number three is ask questions. Ask questions. Ask questions Keep asking until you get your satisfactory answer Tip number four is do not Shed a penny A dime, a nickel don’t spend anything until you are 110% satisfied With the work that they have completed thus far to earn that payment, you know? And then my last and final tip, tip number five is don’t cross the line between Business and friendship when it comes to working with your general contractor I hope these tips help.
If you liked what you heard, if you liked the tips that I’ve shared Like it if you like it. If you have any other tips or questions Maybe there’s five more, ten more that you’re like, hey, you should tell the people that this is what they need to know before working with a contractor Leave a comment. If you want to share it, share it and do subscribe to my blog if you feel so moved to… Alright guys, that’s all I got. See you in the next one
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