Contractors

10 Replies | Houston, Texas

I'm on my third property.  First one I renovated myself (but was extremely time consuming...although fun).  Second one I interviewed 7 contractors (excruciating).  Some flaked out and took weeks to respond to basic questions.  Others had no idea what "investor pricing" was all about.  I finally found a contractor but not sure he will work out on this next property.  So looking for recommendations.

The last property was a $40k reno.  But this one is a much smaller job.  Closer to $11-12k.  Most of the job is flooring, paint, appliances, and some basic kitchen and bath updates.  I really don't want to take this on myself (or at least all of it).  Am I better trying to give this to a "handyman" or act as the GC and hang out at Home Depot looking for subs?   

@Tony Castronovo I don't have any rehab experience but attended a meet-up session in Katy few months back and they had Elijah Randall from Fastrack remodeling that does GC work and it felt with his business model he knew what he was talking about. You may want to take a look at their website, I know he is not on BP as I asked him. 

Keep us posted, I am also interested to find out what your outcome would be. (Following the topic)

@Kami S. Thank you for the tip.  Haven't heard of any meet-ups in Katy lately.  I went to one a few months ago too (maybe last fall actually) but haven't seen any recently.  So I reached out to Elijah after checking out his website.  Very professional and sounds like he has a great business going.  Not sure if we will end up doing business on this property, but maybe.  And good to have options for future properties.  Will keep you posted.

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People who try to gc themselves usually think it's easy. It might be simple but it's not often easy. A professional gc should have everything lined up and ready to go because they know how long thing take and who to call next.

For example, John Doe who is "general contracting" the build of his own home will wait until the foundation is done to call the framers. Where as a professional will have the framers lined right up and ready to go the day the foundation is finished.

You might save a little money on the bill by calling the subs yourself but if your project is time sensitive, call a professional. (All of this is assuming you have a good gc)

@Chris Weaver I do not disagree.  Being a GC can be very time-intensive.  And I don't have a lot of time to spare.  Honestly, I like doing the rehabs myself...but forced myself to hire a contractor on the last one because that is necessary to scale (otherwise the projects would take too long and likely single-threaded).  The only reason I am even considering it is that the project is small enough.  If I could find a good contractor it would be a no-brainer.  When I say "good"....good work, good communication, good ethics, and good price.  Not easy I know.

im a gc who flips my own properties. I have long time subs that are good at what they do, they answer their phone everytime i call,they show up when they are suppose too and are always looking out for me ,to point out issues or things that can save me money. They are happy to answer any questions or help figure out problems that come up. For me its all about the relationship . You have to put your self in their shoes. Are they thinking that this is a one and done job or are they thinking this guy has his stuff together and is going to bring me a lot more work. All my subs come to my flips and talk trash about all there other jobs and how they getting jacked around by other gc and home owners. You have to remember that if they show up to work on your job and can not, its you that is costing them time,which is money. With all this being said i would say with only 10-12k of work that a good gc would be the way to go. You might make less money on the deal,but if you dont have good /trusted subs at your disposal you are going to be in for a rough ride.just seams like a big risk to me. I know i could find cheaper subs to do all my work,but im looking at building long term relationships. The good subs dont usually lower their prices for anybody. Especialy on the first job they do for you. The good subs lower their price because they know you are going to call them on your next house and your jobs run smooth as possible and you are not calling and yelling at them to get the job done and want it done for nothing. Its like a machine ,if one gear(sub) is not moving ,the machine (job) is not moving forward. If you beat up every sub on price and exspect them to bend over backwards you are in for a rockey road. Hope some of this helps and good luck.

On the subject of GC, can you guys help with communication so that I don't upset the people that I did not select to work on the projects?  I called 3 out to give me quote on a small project ($4K), how do I turn down the other 3 politely so that I can call them for bids again next time?  I haven't worked with any of them before so I am basically taking a chance on any of them.  I don't want to burn any bridges, would like to built relationships long term with GC but then again, you can only use 1 for any given project.  

Appreciate your input/suggestion?

@Tony Castronovo

Tony, if you have any good contractor with reasonable price, please share.  I am looking for one as well.  I do have good contact for HVAC if you need some names.  Asian HVAC guys are $500-$1000 cheaper sometimes for 3 - 5 tons brand new ACs.

@THU NGUYEN I have limited experience with contractors....hence my post. I did have a decent experience on my last flip. But some pros and cons. If you are interested in the details please message me directly.

@Nick Feyereisen I totally agree with your comments. It's about relationships and partnerships. Essential in this business! It seems to me like this job is too small for most GC's to get excited about...putting me on the low end of the priority list. But finding good subs can take many years. Sounds like you've built some great relationships.