UNRELIABLE CONTRACTORS. Have you ever met one?

Yesterday my contractor promised me the bathroom would be finished today. ;D

Well today came and now today is almost yesterday. ???


How do you prevent this from happening ? :bouncemulti:

Do the work yourself. Yesterday, I promised myself that I would install new carpet in one of our apartments. I did it! No hassle and saved all the frustration and several hundred dollars of labor that the contractor would have charged.

I have hired people for all this stuff in the past, but not anymore. With rentals, you get all the money at the beginning of the month and see how much you can keep. I can often make (save) $600 to $1,000 per day by doing the work myself. Why? Because I can do the work of 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or even 7 people in the same or a shorter time and doing better, more consistent work. Am I a superman that I can do the work of so many people? NO, however I am competent; I am not a drunk or drug addict; I don’t miss work for days at a time because I’m on a binge; I don’t stand around talking to co-workers all day long; and I’m not lazy!!!


agree with Mike.

plus, if you ever do find a competent, qualified, responsible and honest contractor – treat him well. they’re rare.

To expound onthis (I agree with what Mike said),

My opinion is that the lower tier of the housing market does not demand extremely high quality of workmanship (i.e. rentals, short term tenants, etc.). This tier is more price driven than quality driven. These type of properties benefit more from ‘handyman’ type quality of workmanship. The upper tier is more quality driven and on these properties I would not do the work myself (I do all my own repairs on my own home, so I’m a competent handyman, but I’m not as skilled in any area as a true professional would be). So on these type properties I feel you do get more bang for your buck by hiring out good quality contractors.

P.S. if they are ONE day behind that’s no big deal, even a week isn’t that big of a deal on something like a bathroom remodel. If they are a month, then it’s a problem.

I found that managing contractors is almost as much work and definately more stress than doing most jobs yourself; even if you have to go slow or do rework/scrap some materials becuase of lack of experience.

thus whenever I can, I do it myself

I have done more rehabs than I care to count and have never lifted a hammer in one of them. Ofcourse the old adage “If you want something done right, Do it yourself” comes in to play but that significantly limited the number of deals you can do and thus the money you can make. Finding a good contractor like anything else is a numbers game. My contractors know if they continue to do a good job they will be busy for the rest of their life if they choose. If they screw up something or give me a headache they know I will never hire them again.

To answer your question aak- Try motivating them by offering a $100 bonus for each day the job is done early and $100 penalty for each day the job is late. If the job is late because they took a day off to binge drink or whatever and weren’t working diligently, cut them off.

I have a few contractors who exclusively do work for me. They never have to advertise or do anything to attract other clients. As long as their price is competitive and they work fast and smart they’ll be set forever.

Small contractors’ / handymen are usually small contractors’ handymen for a reason. You need to understand what that reason is. Some can’t work for someone else because they can’t pass the drug test, some don’t want a boss to tell them when they have to be at work, he has a record and some can’t work legally in this country. You need to know what the reason this guy is a small contractor. You don’t want to employ one that can’t pass the drug test because he will take time off to go on a drunken binge every now and then (You don’t want it to be on your job) You don’t want the guy that does not want a boss (on your job you are his boss and you will clash). I don’t on the other hand care that my guy has a record (I just keep my kids off the work site while that pervert is there), If the guy is illegal he will be cheap (they work hard and do as good a job as you make them do…you have to watch them).

In short all small contractors’ have problems, pay them well and on time, but let them know that you are not the one for them to be f___ng with.

With all of that being said, does anyone know any reliable handymen/contractors for small jobs in the San Antonio area? I will be investing from Hawaii, therefore I don’t have the time to do the work myself. However, I will be able to manage a small crew while I am there.
Any help will be appreciated…Shoot me an email.

I have not read any of the responses here jusst reacting out of reflex.CONTRACTORS SUCK. Do the work yourself or expect nothing less than the worse nightmare you could possibly think of.

Put the contractor on a schedule, and dock them when they go off.

Time is money especially when you intend to flip a house.

Someone mentioned a bonus which is a great idea.

I was watching (house flip, on TLC) and a contractor rip out all the kitchen cabients and the investor didnt want the done. The investor sucked it up, and put new carpets in which ate into her profit.

I am trying to think of a clause to put in my contracts, that if contractors does work outside of the contract or doesnt do it to my satisfaction, he doesnt get paid.

In my area (Northern Virginia) contractors are a dime a dozen, but when I do find a good one, he’s mine. Or, Herndon, VA is right around the corner (you probably heard of it for its Day Labors), and I can pick up a day laborer to assist me anytime.

I have 5 rehabs going right now and 2 are fairly big jobs. There is absolutely no way to do the work yourself. I think many investors early in the game think they can do the rehab and play property manager. We quickly learn that it’s a path to early burnout and it does put limits on how many deals you can do. Almost every investor I talk to has been burned by a contractor. I was. Since then, I get everything in writing and most importantly every deal gets treated like a construction loan. I attach a draw schedule for labor and materials to the contract and the contractor signs off on the schedule. If the contractor can’t tell me how he’s going to approach the job by time line, he doesn’t get the job. It’s simple, if the work isn’t done according to schedule, they don’t get a draw PERIOD. There’s some flexibility, but not alot. Often, changes are made requiring more material and more labor. You need to let them know what the procedure is for handling the change. Make them accountable. When they bitch and moan, I just say “fine roll up your shit and leave.” You’re in deep shit when you’ve paid the guy for work that’s unsatisfactory or incomplete. I personally inspect the work prior to a draw. On larger jobs, I visit the job site almost every day. On out of state jobs or jobs that are far away, I hire a competent appraisor to inspect prior to a draw. They charge me $50-$75 an inspection. Most jobs are 4 draws.
Bottom line… control the money and most of these guys stay in line.

Well - all very interesting. Having been a subcontractor and now a custom home builder and a commercial general contractor I now do about $10 million in work a year and you will find that guys like this don’t often have repeat customers. Unfortunately it’s part of the business - just like trying to find good employees. You pay the good ones what they are worth because they will make your life easier as well as make you money and then you cut the bad ones loose. Unforutnately you rarely find a good sub or employee on the first try. But atleast now you have experience on your side as well as alot of great posts that will have you armed for the next guy or project.

As for the current situation - there may be 2 answers. 1 - if you are in a real bind and have to have the bathroom done now you may be stuck with this guy and just be a thorn in his side, calling every couple of hours or just stopping by to “check in”. Option 2 is fire the guy and start over - but you may not have enough money left to have somebody new come in and comlete the job. So if your stuck with this guy, try telling him that for every day that his work is incomplete it is costing you $x.xx. Therefore what is fair to him that you deduct from his payments? He will probably put up a big stink and if you actually go through with it is up to you but atleast this will let him know that you are unhappy with him and he’ll be wondering how much of a hit he’s going to take.

Good luck.