A few questions about GC's/ Contractors

3 Replies

Hey guys! I'm pretty new here so I'm sure I will be pushing the limits of "There are no stupid questions".

1) Right now I am only planning on having 1 flip going on at a time. Is it worth finding a General Contractor? Or would you try to find a painter, people for flooring, people for cabinets, carpenters, etc. (trying to stick to mostly cosmetics for the first one)

2) At what point in the process do you start getting quotes from contractors? I guess this is where utilizing my knowledge from "The Book on Estimating Rehab Costs" comes in. So, do you guys typically walk through with the realtor/inspector and come up with a number in your head, purchase the house, and THEN get contractors to quote? What happens if your estimates aren't accurate? What happens if issues come up during the inspection that are too expensive? Do you just back out?

3) Last one, when picking out cabinets/fixtures/carpet/flooring/paint colors do you just provide all this information to the contractors? Or do you purchase everything and bring it to the job site? Or, like on all the TV shows, do you go to the store with the contractors and point out what you want?

Looking forward to hearing some responses and getting to know some of you guys! thanks in advance for taking the time to help out a noobie.

1 - It depends on how much time you're willing to invest in running your projects, and how complicated they are. Having a competent design-build firm will make life a lot easier if you're running multiple jobs or timed sequential jobs.

2 - As soon as you have a defined scope of work, or as soon as you're ready to pay for someone to define your scope of work and give you a quote.

3 - Depends on the contractor you hire. At the low end of contractors, or working with subs directly, you can pretty much expect to provide them with all finishing materials (but not building materials)... at the upper end of the spectrum (GOOD GCs or design-build) materials will be procured by the contractor (although the process for SKU level specification can vary)

@Jeff Ashachik , @Aaron McGinnis answered all the questions well.  I would add something to #3.  Some contractors or tradesmen will prefer to choose the items.  Not saying you should let them choose color or style.  Just that they might appreciate a little foreknowledge of exactly what you're buying so they can provide some insight that might be useful (and cost effective) to you.

For instance, my plumber prefers I allow him to purchase faucets.  He is very particular about installing low quality faucets on his jobs because they break quicker than better quality faucets and landlords/owners sometime fault him for the early fail of the product.  Not just that, but he think it detracts from the overall quality of his jobs.  For instance, he doesn't like any of the less expensive and store brands at the big box stores, preferring to shop at plumbing stores like Ferguson's.  Before he retired, my previous plumber felt the same way.

So, I usually ask him if such-and-such brand is okay.  Or, if I'm fixated on a particular style, I'll just let him see a picture and tell him to get something similar that he approves of.  The stuff he buys doesn't really cost much more than what I would have bought.  It's just of superior quality.