Looking for good Contractors Central NJ

4 Replies

I'm about to close on my first house to fix and flip in the next 2 weeks. I was wondering how to go about finding good contractors. Or if anyone could recommend a few that would be great also. I need a good carpenter , plumber , roofer ect any references would be great. Thanks

-Wayne

Wayne, are you planning to GC the project yourself or do you do you want someone to run the project for you?

How fast do you want to complete the project, and what is your budget, and how much time are your going to spend at the project?

There are lots of different ways to attack a rehab and it depends on your goals and your means. 

If you dont have another job you need to be at, and you are comfortable negotiating with people, and your lender will allow you, you can call 3 trades for every piece and self manage the entire project. 

On the spectrum you can find an experienced GC, and let them manage the subs, negotiate prices with vendors, ect. If you have a good GC your project will go alot faster than if you were managing it yourself and you will have way less stress, but that comes at a cost. Also if you get a bad GC your life will be a nightmare. 

I own a general contracting company and we work with some flippers who do volume and cant afford to take a long time on projects or manage all the projects and keep their pipeline filled with new acquisitions, so they are happy to pay for quality service. 

If you have time managing your own project can be a great learning experience, but not everyone is up for the task, and often frugality causes investors (especially newbies) to work with unqualified guys because they are the cheapest price. 

What are you looking for?

Hi steve,

I am planning to GC the whole project myself. At least for my first few flips anyway. Later on if i could get the deal for the right price, and have someone else GC it that would be great.

I am just wondering how much would i save myself GC my own job? Say the rehab will be around 30-40k. how much more would a GC cost me on that kind of work 10k? I plan on trying to get to around 7 or so flips this year. So having a good GC might be better down the road for me. And again thanks for the response.

-Wayne

It all depends on the GC and the scope of work, and the quality of who you use for subs.

There are some contractors who might be very cheap (generally pseudo GC, they know how to do everything and with a helper or two will do every stage of your renovation) but you will have nightmares getting done on time, and generally get sloppy cheap looking workmanship.

There are some GC's that are crazy expensive and you could never flip a house for profit using their pricing.

We found from reference of our higher volume clients that we are about 10% more expensive then when they GC themselves, but about 50% faster in terms of turnaround time, and very few failed inspections because they have a GC who is running the process and holding subs accountable for work before building inspectors ever have a chance to.

For about a 10% markup (of real prices) you can generally find a decent GC to run your project for you. You will learn a ton if you do it yourself but lots of that knowledge will be from the school of hard knocks.

Most GC's spend years building their team, learning their craft, and building a network of quality vendors and subs, and odds are a good GC will do a better job at running your project than you, but it comes at a cost.

One of my favorite concepts from one of the Rich Dad books was that his rich dad was willing to 'pay the price' to have things like security, etc. Many new investors (and in this case the poor dad) did not see the value in paying the cost (for things like qualified CPA, Attorney, maybe GC, ect) and thus didn't get the same outcome as someone who had been willing to pay.

When starting out you may not have the ability to 'pay the cost' but I have found in the past that being cheap is very expensive in the long run.

@Steve Wilcox

Hi Steve,

What is the name of your general contracting company? Do you do ground up new Construcion? 

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