How do you find reliable contractors

4 Replies

I'm new to flipping properties and what to know how do you go about finding reliable contractors to do the work. 

Updated 12 months ago

I'm new to flipping properties and want to know how do you go about finding reliable contractors to do the work.

This is the million dollar question! I used to invest in Ohio where I had a big network of contractors and if one couldn't do the work, I was able to pick up the phone and have someone onsite that weekend. Now in San Francisco, I don't have that network and am finding a way to build it up. Here are a few of my suggestions:

1) Ask your realtor/bank. They should have some contacts in the area that could help.

2) Go to and see if there are any local real estate investment groups. Go to an event and ask around

3) Search the internet. Use Google to find contractors in the area and pick up the phone. Have them come and take a look at your property. 

4) Scope out a local construction site and ask some of the guys there if they'll do side work after work or on the weekends. 

As always, remember to get multiple bids. Don't go with the first guy because he seems nice. Get multiple bids, understand the work that is going to be done and make sure you are aligned on how payment is going to work. NEVER pay the contractor up front. They need to do the work first or else you won't see them again. 

Get a bunch of bids, decide on an order, hire the first, after you fire them go to the next, keep the number of the one that works.

Its completely hit or miss, even with "glowing" reviews or recommendations.

My mom and I leave messages on Craigslist job boards.
Then we ask for rec's.

Also, ensure they have insurance / are licensed. So you aren't liable if something goes wrong!
*heaven forbid*

Also, we usually pay at the end of each day for small gigs and after milestones for larger projects, because some of them need to eat and that's all they have.

(Eg: we like to do milestones so such as X for the framing, and X for the drywall.)

You can also ask around as you get quotes and people will tell you how they work to get a feel for the norm.

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