Get Rid of Bad Contractors FAST
In the business world, I was taught to “hire slow, and fire fast.”
Same thing applies with contractors. We never skip a single step in our evaluation process when we’re looking to bring a new contractor on board.
And I never hesitate to get rid of one, either. It’s always business; it’s never personal.
If they’re constantly late, or doing anything else that is unacceptable I let them go quickly.
Specify Quality of Materials
I learned this the hard way.
There’s been more than a few times that I’ve been pissed over the bad quality of the work, only to have the contractor point out to me that it was my own fault for not letting them know the quality of materials I expected.
Specify Quality of Work
When it comes to having quality work done, the quality of the materials is just half of the equation.
The quality of the work needs to be specified as well, especially if you’ve just started working with a new contractor who may not be familiar with how you want things done.
Let’s say you’re paying them to paint.
Is prep work needed to make it look like a quality job? If so, what kind of prep work is necessary?
Do the walls need nail holes covered and sanded? After that, do they need to be textured? What about primed?
All of this needs to be documented in the scope of work, and put into the schedule.
Again, if you don’t specify things like this, you might show up at the property severely disappointed in the
quality of the work, when it was actually your fault for not specifying the quality of the work you expect.
Since most of the houses we rehab are the same kind of single family “starter homes,” we use the same materials on all of our properties, for the most part.
Same paint brand, door knobs, and more are all the same.
To make things easier on ourselves and the contractors, we developed a materials list.
It lists-out the brand name and description of each item.
Our contractors know to use the same exact materials each and every time they work on a house for us.
There are only three occasions when we deviate from the items on the list:
1. If we find out from our contractor that an item has been discontinued
2. If they find a comparable item for less in the clearance section at The Home Depot or Lowes
3. If we can find a comparable item at the salvage warehouse
Makes Life Easier
We started doing this about five years ago and I wish we started doing it long before then.
We get way fewer calls from contractors from the store asking us what to get, because it’s all on the paper.
I love this, because it allows us to focus on other things during the day.
It also reduces the amount of time they’re at the store, and maximizes their working hours, because they’re able to spend more time working on the property instead of shopping.
One thing we’ve started to do, is order items online at homedepot.com, use the “Pick Up In-Store” option, and have our contractor go pick them up. That way, they spend even less time in the store, and even more time onsite working on our property.