Owning a rental property takes a significant amount of work, as it gives you a second home to maintain and repair. There could be times when professional assistance becomes necessary, too, because some jobs will fall outside of your expertise.
Hiring a contractor is your best bet when you find yourself in this situation. Expert contractors will reduce your risk and save you time on home repairs and maintenance, keeping your investment property operational and your tenants happy.
The problem is that finding a reputable contractor can be challenging, especially in a major metropolitan area like Washington, D.C., which has countless options. You’ll likely encounter less-than-respectable service providers if you don’t research beforehand, leaving you in a challenging position.
Learning some tricks can help as you seek a contractor to work on your properties. This guide examines how to find good contractors in the metro DC area.
Jobs Contractors Can Handle
There are many reasons you may need a contractor. These workers can handle various jobs around your rental properties, ensuring they’re adequately completed with the utmost care. Work a contractor can assist with includes the following:
The first reason to contact a professional contractor is when you require home repairs. Contractors can assist with HVAC, electrical, and plumbing repairs and can also fix broken appliances, replace drywall, and restore your flooring. You’ll need to select a contractor specializing in the specific job you require for the best results.
You could run into a scenario where substantial renovations are necessary for your rental property, and contractors can help. This scenario could require a general contractor to oversee the project and hire subcontractors to complete individual jobs around the home. Your renovations could include replacing kitchen counters, installing a new bathtub, redoing the floors, or removing a wall, depending on your vision.
Small maintenance tasks can take significant time as your rental home ages, but a contractor can make the process easier. You can hire contractors to replace your furnace filters, winterize your air conditioning unit, and unclog your plumbing fixtures, to name a few. The result is an investment property that stays in excellent condition for years to come.
A landscaping contractor ensures your rental unit’s outdoor area looks great for the summer. You can also hire a snow removal contractor in the winter to keep the property safe. The result is a great looking home with outstanding curb appeal.
Contractors provide essential services for many landlords because of the time they save. You’ll need to carefully select your workers, though, because not all contractors are equal.
Seven Tricks to Streamline Your Contractor Search
You’ll want to avoid cutting corners as you search for a contractor in the D.C. area. The goal is to create a long-term relationship with one or more service providers, so taking your time and doing things right is critical. Some tips for how to find good contractors include the following:
1. Look Online
An online search can provide valuable insight as you search for a contractor. This search allows you to check social media pages and review sites for information on past customer experiences and ask questions through those channels. A contractor with no online presence is someone you should avoid.
2. Ask Your Friends and Neighbors
Asking around the local area provides social proof of a contractor’s reputation. Speak with your friends, neighbors, and family members about their experiences with various contractors and contact anyone they’ve had complete jobs for them in the past. You can also inquire at local hardware and building supply centers because the customer service representatives probably have some information.
3. Meet Them Face-to-Face
It’s important to meet face-to-face with a contractor before making a hire. This meeting allows you to ask questions about their experience, licenses, insurance, and availability and get a read on them before they begin working on your home. Trust your instincts during this meeting, and keep looking if you get a bad vibe from a particular individual.
4. Check References
Get references from any contractor you meet with and take the time to check them. Checking references involves calling people who have past experience with the contractor and asking questions about the quality of the work and the overall professionalism of the job. You can also inquire about pricing and cleanup as part of your background check.
5. Seek Multiple Bids
Receiving multiple bids on the job is advisable because it gives you options as you narrow your search. Getting numerous proposals also allows you to compare quotes and timelines, ensuring you end up with the best possible price and that the timing works for you.
6. Vet Your Candidates
It’s a good idea to thoroughly vet your candidates before signing a contract. This process goes beyond reference checks, as you can look for any lawsuits filed against the company and the individuals working for it.
7. Inquire With a Property Manager
Perhaps the easiest way to track down good contractors for your rental property is by working with a property management firm. Property managers have connections with contractors throughout the area and can ensure you end up with reputable and trustworthy workers at your rental home. Some property managers will handle the repairs and maintenance for you, too, leaving you with one less job.
Searching for reputable contractors can take some time, but it’s worth the effort if it keeps your rental property in excellent condition. The result is a better return on your investment now and in the future when you decide to sell.
Keep Your Rental Home Looking Great
Using a property manager to hire your contractors will save you significant time and could even reduce your costs because these companies can often negotiate better rates with their chosen contractors. You’ll enjoy peace of mind when you go this route because you won’t have to worry about the state of your investment property at all.
Nomadic Real Estate offers property management services in the D.C. area. We can handle all your property repairs and maintenance through our network of contractors and minimize the work that falls on your plate. Contact Nomadic Real Estate to learn more about our property management services.