which contractor would you pick?

12 Replies

talked to a couple contractors, 

contractor 1

30 year old who got into the remodeling because he wants to be a flipper, his dad is a GC, his prices seem to be pretty low, we got along great, has experience but not a ton.  never worked with an investor.

contractor 2

a bit older and has a ton of experience, he's the typical GC: tough, manly, and a little less social, a bit more expensive, says he has worked with an investor and he used to be one.

obviously GC 2 seems great although I wonder why he doesn't invest any more, but i like the interest in the first GC, he seems to be driven and will go out of his way to help me with anything.

@Ken T. what experience does Contractor 1 have? Does he have photos he can show you? References? Will he do the work cheaper if you show him the ropes on becoming a flipper? He might have a smaller work load and be so interested that your project becomes a top priority. BUT, is he getting in over his head? 

@Mark Gallagher I checked out photos on his site, its pretty standard stuff, good enough to flip.  I am worried that this is over his head however If hes a hard worker that can be overcome. 

He just sent me a detailed reference list so I'll look that over now.  

Interesting to know that he might be willing to discount, honestly if he works well I'd happily partner with him on future flips.

thanks for the insight

@Ken T.

sounds like you're heading in the right direction with him. Contractor 2 probably works 9:30-3:30 and takes off on his birthday (my pet peeves!) 

how big is the scope?  If you're only doing finishes then what's the problem with a less experienced guy who knows what he's doing. If you have a full fledged addition with foundations, etc then maybe you need to pay for more experience.  Why only 2 contractors?  Rule of thumb, get a minimum of three bids even if it's just for comparison's sake. I like to get at least 5 for major scopes of work. Based on what you have told us, I'd lean towards contractor 1. I like guys who have enough experience to be competent, but inexperienced enough to be hungry. 

@Emilio Ramirez agreed!, I contacted several, only a couple got back and since I don't have the contract signed I didn't want to go crazy,  I'll be looking at the place tomorrow with the agent.  Contractor 1 wanted to come out and look so i can start with his estimate to decide if the place is a good value.

Originally posted by @Ken T. :

talked to a couple contractors, 

contractor 1

30 year old who got into the remodeling because he wants to be a flipper, his dad is a GC, his prices seem to be pretty low, we got along great, has experience but not a ton.  never worked with an investor.

contractor 2

a bit older and has a ton of experience, he's the typical GC: tough, manly, and a little less social, a bit more expensive, says he has worked with an investor and he used to be one.

obviously GC 2 seems great although I wonder why he doesn't invest any more, but i like the interest in the first GC, he seems to be driven and will go out of his way to help me with anything.

Are they both licensed .  It takes more money to do it over , than do it right the first time.Now somebody has to give the young guy a shot . I was there once , screwed up at least once , maybe twice . Buy always made it right . Look at both of their contracts ,

One possibler eason why contractor 2 does  not  invest anymore . The money is good in home improvements .  I make better money contracting than investing , contracting does not tie my money up , investing can .  

Check those references thoroughly. The last thing you need is a "beer money" contractor.
Sound like your asking the write questions. We tradesmen can be a finicky lot.

Check those references thoroughly. The last thing you need is a "beer money" contractor.
Sound like your asking the right questions. We tradesmen can be a finicky lot.

@Ken T. I would suggest posting the scope, that will give us a good measure on which you need to take. However, GC2 might have its own reason why, I myself are trying to get into the RE market and see for myself what is there. Construction is easy, but has a lot of downsides and upsides, like downtime etc, but yeah, if he is your typical GC, then you might be safe, but look at also your profit and savings, even if you are going for a redo, it will still get it done on budget, and probably the same time. It might also be that GC1 is low because he doesn't have too much overhead, I am probably on almost the same boat, trying to break the ice (tho not new to const), but I would agree to a time and material(cost-plus) contract, which I would never do on commercial contracts.

Who do you feel will communicate better with you and take direction?  Which contractor has dedicated all of their resources to your project?  In other words, does not have 3 other projects going at the same time.  Which will follow your timeline? Sometimes someone with "too much" experience will want to do it "his" way and not necessarily the most cost effective way.  Contractors that are used to getting retail pricing are not interested in lowering their pricing for investors (opportunity cost).  Disclosure:  I am an investor and contractor.  As a contractor, I will always take a retail remodel over an investor.  I take on rehabs/flips to keep my guys working.

@Brian Ortins "Sometimes someone with "too much" experience will want to do it "his" way and not necessarily the most cost effective way"

thats is exactly what I'm worried about.  thanks!

My thoughts find out who is the lowest costing and delivers work seems like #1 than add a clause stating if he finishes the project ahead of schedule then his company will get X amount as a bonus. I think this a great tool to see if they mean business, can deliver and on top of that tell him straight out what your goals are. You can't replace the drive, if #1 is driven he will learn what needs to be done to be successful and this day and age Google knows everything. :)  

That is how I approach my team of assistants, workers and etc. My team's job is to help me double my income so I can pay them more, cut and dry that simple, if that doesn't work for them no problem on to the next. I only want driven, passionate, hungry, committed, and winners. 

As far contractors, I tell them straight up this year's goal is 4 properties, are you the contractor that wants the jobs or not. 

Hope it helps and good luck. 

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