Posted 9 months ago

The legend of Pati - part II (The inspections)

Mistake number one:

And I thought this was smart... I’d always used a local handyman for my rentals. Great guy, honest, hard-working and cost-effective. In fact I use him to this day. But this was far too big a project for one guy. Luckily somebody was doing a fix-and-flip right in my own neighborhood. So I walked over and spoke with the contractor. We hit it off and I was sure he could manage the heavy lifting on the project. Also he would soon be available which was another stroke of luck. Another spoiler alert: this was not a mistake. This contractor turned out to be awesome. I hope to use him again, if and when there’s another project…

My idea was that the handyman could do the easier stuff and the contractor, who had a crew, could do the big projects. Learning experience number one. The handyman, while good at what he does, was also a little insecure about others taking “his” work. At first he worried that I’d use the contractor for all the handyman work going forward and forget about him. I should point out that while his concerns were surely for his business, he’s also very conscientious, and identifies with his work. Losing a customer would be a personal failure to him. I had to reassure him often. Interestingly there was no such conflict from the contractor. He spoke highly of the handyman, once commenting “I’ve never seen anyone work like that”!

My other mistake with this was not clarifying who would do what. *THIS IS A HUGE TAKEAWAY* This led to work overlaps, omissions and the handyman feeling even more threatened by the contractor. Although had I known to do this, I’m not sure I would’ve known how. Lesson learned: Next time I’m in this position I’d sit down with each of them and ask which work they want to do. Any overlap I would decide for myself.

Initially the work went smoothly. The contractor replaced the roof while the handyman handled the demo inside. The roof came in slightly over the initial estimate but not bad. I remember those days fondly. I was still sleeping at night, drinking in moderation and my nervous eye twitch hadn’t fully developed yet. Good times…