Pittsburgh handyman/contractor referrals?

10 Replies | Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Can anyone refer a reliable handyman/contractor in the Pittsburgh area that offers fair pricing and has worked on rentals in the past?  (i.e. they know how to do a turnover properly when a unit turns over - clean vents, other details, etc..).  I've been through about 5 in the past 4 years.  Thanks in advance.

You'll go through more, and you're going to have to accept a deeply flawed one sooner or later.

The problem in Pittsburgh and many other areas where rental properties are cheap is very simple -- if a good general handyman can buy a rental for peanuts and get paid loads for his work to repair and maintain it once it's rented out, what's stopping him from investing in property himself instead of making you money?

@Ian M. also consider the fact that you may not be paying them enough. We manage 650 units and flip a few homes a month so I feel your pain. We have a good core of contractors but you need to make sure its a win win situation for both parties. Treat them right, hold them accountable and pay them market or above market rates if you want to keep them around

We have 4-5 good contractors but even the goods ones flame out sometimes. And the minimum is $75/hr with many of the guys having a 2 year minimum. So if you have a medium to larger project you should be good but little repairs aren't always worth it.

@Elise Bickel @Alex Deacon   

Great insight.   What all would say a good weekly pay for a contractor/handyman?  I have a guy that has been busting his butt turning over units for us but now we won't have as many big jobs for now.  I spoke with him and said I want to keep him on with us at least 30hr week.  What would you all think a good competitive weekly pay in this area?

Elise was the $75 hr for someone working for you consistently or for a contractor that is coming in to do a big job?

$75 an hour is the going rate for all of the contractors we have for general handyman. We have 3 contractors at this rate.

If you have someone that is really good but you don't have enough work to give them, please feel free to send me their contact info. I manage 200 units and we can surely use additional handyman!!

@Ian M. $75 an hour is very high for a general handyman. BUT if they are good , fast , reliable and honest then thats really not that bad. If you need a days work at an apartment that would take another person 2 days to do at $40 an hour then you are ahead of the game with the $75 an hour person. For flips and rehabs you want to use a contractor and have the Job bid out and hold that contractor accountable. You dont want to pay someone $75 an hour to do an apartment rehab. We have a basic crew of 20-30 guys and they are all over the board as far as quality, quickness, reliability etc.. You will continually go through contractors its just something to get used to but the good ones treat them well and keep them busy. 

We used to call this game all chiefs and no Indians when I was a kid...but the reality being described here is a solid core truth of our area. Not enough guys who know what they're doing and can get it done fast and good.