Whether you’re renting or flipping, a used mobile home that needs a little TLC can be stressful. As an investor, you’re probably busy working on the financial side of things. But to be able to bring that second-hand mobile home up to its highest potential, you need a construction expert. You need a contractor to help you get this project across the finish line. After all, only once you reach the finish line will you see a return on your investment. So getting the work done well and in the shortest amount of time possible is critical.
But one question begs to be answered: how exactly do you screen contractors in order to find the right one for your project? And this question is especially important if you live far away from your project’s location. How do you know a contractor has a good work ethic, possesses appropriate experience, and is reputable overall?
Today we’re going to talk about 5 savvy ways you can screen contractors to find just such a person.
#1 Head to the Web
After you hear of a contractor who might fit the bill, either by word-of-mouth or online, do some digging. Punch his name or the name of his company into the search bar on your computer and see what you come up with. If he has a website, read his “About” page, look at his portfolio, and check for positive reviews. Does he have an Instagram or Facebook account where he posts photos of completed jobs? Scroll through those.
If it looks like this contractor has good reviews and has the skill set to complete the job you have in mind, it’s time to get in touch with him.
#2 Listen up!
After you contact a contractor, be sure to either meet in person, over the phone, or via a video call. If you’re conducting the project from out of state, and can’t meet in person, phone and video interviews are great options. Email and text messages won’t cut it. You need to be able to listen to the contractor and interact with him.
Besides general screening, here are a few things to listen for:
- Does the contractor share your vision?
- Is the contractor offering ideas and giving professional advice?
- If building permits and inspections are applicable, is the contractor committed to obtaining those and abiding by local laws?
- Has he worked with his subcontractors for a long time? Does he trust them?
#3 Interview multiple people
Don’t be content with interviewing only one person. To get the best value, and the best contractor, it’s important that you hear multiple opinions and get several different cost estimates. If one contractor offers a high estimate and another low-balls, this will give you the opportunity to find someone who is right in the middle (and may be more reputable than the other two).
Plus, getting each contractor’s unique perspective and advice should make it clear which one would bring your mobile home vision to fruition.
#4 Get references
Before you hire a contractor, ask for a list of references. If a prospective contractor doesn’t want to give a list, that’s a red flag. Cut ties with that person and move on. But, assuming that he gives you a good-sized list, call or email those individuals or companies and start asking questions. “Were you happy with this contractor’s work? Was he professional? Did he clean the work area regularly, or leave things a mess? Did he show up on time?” Questions like these can reveal the true character of a contractor.
#5 Ask about insurance and licenses
Two of the most important things to check on when hiring a contractor are insurance and licenses. Insurance makes sure that if something goes wrong on the worksite, you won’t be held responsible to pay damages. Be certain your chosen contractor also holds the proper licenses for his work and the area that he’ll be working in. Don’t hesitate to ask to see proof of insurance and any applicable licenses. It’s crucial that you know for sure that the contractor is aboveboard.
Get the job done right
After you’ve thoroughly screened contractors and selected the best of the best, you can draw up a contract. Congratulations! Now you can have peace of mind that your mobile home renovation project is in good hands. Yes, even if you live out of state and can’t visit the property.
In order to make the profit you need, sometimes it’s necessary to hire an expert to get the job done right. The last thing you need, however, is a contractor who is lazy, works on his own timetable, or does a terrible job. Screening mobile home contractors is important. It can make or break the deal that you have spent so much time and money on! We hope these 5 tips for screening contractors will help you in your search.