I don’t know if this would really happen or if it’s
just a product of my over-active paranoia, but
as a newbie non-pro DIY rehabber, I can envision being
harassed by contractors that have been in the
business for many years. Has this ever happened to
anybody on this forum? People trying to shut you down,
sick the codes people on you, or whatever?
I fully intend to work by the book when it comes to inspections,
and codes, so I’m not trying to get away with shabby work,
but do DIYers get “dissed” in this field?
I’m starting out too and have done construction work. I’m still looking for that first deal. However, I did do a huge rehab and addition on my own house. My biggest problem was getting estimates for the things which I didn’t do. Those things were plumbing, concrete, excavating, HVAC and gutters. Actually I had tons of HVAC quotes, but getting quotes from the other people (especially plumbing) was a real headache. I have a feeling that they are afraid of not getting paid by the “little guy”. I am hoping that having the LLC and being an investor will gain a tad more respect from the contractors???
If I can add to the discussion. I’m completing my first rehab and have learned a ton thru the process. One that I know is this…I have the money, the contractors want the money, and in the end I make the decision that I feel most comfortable with. Be respectful of your contractors and if they give you guff then they are not going to get your business. Case in point…
For my roof, soffit, facia, and gutters I had a local business give me a quote for 5K. He brought over an album full of pictures of his work, roofing to chose from, the whole nine yards. As a newbie I felt like Patrick on the cartoon SpongeBob. Drooling, not talking right, and saying ok ok you got my biz. A week before he was going to start I got another bid for 4K from a down to earth guy who NEEDED the work cause of the winter months. I asked for his references and they all checked out. He completed the work 2 weeks ago and he did a fantastic job.
Point is that I think the first guy “smelled” the newness and maybe took advantage a little bit. Maybe not. Just get at least 3 quotes from each contractor that is doing the work and then chose who will be more comfortable with. Cause if you feel comfortable with your decision you will sleep better at night and not wonder the 5 W’s.
So true on the quotes Nate. On my addition I had 15 each 30 foot long scissor trusses with a 6/12 top and 3/12 bottom and 2 gable ends. Menards quoted me $1850. I was thinking to myself, “who can beat Menards?”, but I decided to have my local lumber yard quote them too since they have a truss factory in house. I got the whole lot for $1200 with free delivery!
I have found that the best way to get good work and price is to talk to someone doing work on a house in the neighborhood.You will often find the small guys doing the jobs and they are local to the community.I will also make it obvious that I am rehabbing and people will approch me while I am working because they need a job.
I am big on using professionals that are in your industry. I mean don’t use the contractors that are making their living doing kitchens for June Cleaver. Look for contractors that are making their living doing jobs for other investors. They have a better idea of what needs to be in the house and what doesn’t. They also know that if the house does not turn a profit, you will not be a return customer. They understand a timeline and respect it better than the others. You have to stay on top of them also but at least they don’t think you are from Mars when you say you need the job done in 2 weeks.
I understand what you are saying.I am in the Tampa Bay area and it is tough to get a contractor.This is a very hot market right now.The small guys are doing a great job because the are hoping to get alot more work from you.If someone shows up and does a great job I will get them work with others in the area and I will use them again as well.They have a chance to make alot of money here.Remeber that they are selling you a product not a service and you should be able to run your contractors alot like employees(most cases).I’m for the little guy.
whenever possible I try use referrals and I say up front , “I got your name from XYZ”. This is a little ego boost the contractors, but also let him know if he does a poor job I might go back to the person who referred me and say" gee, they did not do good work for me".
I think a lot of small guys understand this “food chain” very well and as such play along.
As for showing newness, I think it important to ask lot of questions and make the contractor explain himself (and his cost proposal). That better to be that way than just sign on the dotted line. Also, a lot of the guys are willing to explain things in as much detail as you are willing to listen to, as they love to talk about their trade/work. I’ve learned a ton of info that way.