Home improvement repairs can be the make or break moment for real estate investors. For some investors, the home repair portion of this process is the most fun. You have the opportunity to redesign a home and make it beautiful again. You can make the place fit for a family, or turn it into a spacious single’s abode, or whatever would sell best in that area! It requires getting down and dirty, rolling up your sleeves, and really getting a job done; with clear and obvious results after all of your hard work. What’s not to love? Well, there is the intense physical labor. And while some of us may have honorary Handy Man degrees, there’s plenty of others who stopped attending class after learning how to hang a picture on the wall or flip a breaker switch. The fact is, home repairs and construction are not for everyone. This shouldn’t stop you from flipping houses.
TIP: You can familiarize yourself with much of what you will need and how basic repairs are done by walking around your local home improvement store. Many Home depots and Lowes even offer classes. As a last resort, you can always ask the employees what advice they can offer when say, a home needs its windows or moldings replaced. Never be afraid of accumulating more information, even if you plan on hiring a contractor to do the actual work. This could keep you from overspending on a home that needs a lot of repair work that you are unfamiliar with.
The Benefits of a Getting a Contractor for Home Improvement Repairs
- Less time and labor on your part
- You don’t need extensive construction knowledge
- The job can usually be finished in less time
- You don’t run the risk of improper repairs, which must be redone
- They have knowledge you need (such as what are the most important issues to fix)
Even if you’re already a pro when it comes to most home improvement repairs, depending on the extent of damage in the home, you may still need to contract some help. There are a number of home repairs for which you must have a licensed specialist to deal with. These types of repairs include:
- Heating and Air Conditioning (HVAC)
These tradesmen are licensed, insured, and generally charge you greater fees for their services. This means you may want to back away from a property that needs this type of work, at least in the beginning.
Other general repairs, which may be done with or without a license, include general handyman work (such as replacing cabinets), painting, flooring, pressure washing (decks and home exteriors), and landscaping. In the case of painters, your lender may insist on using licensed painters. This is because there’s always the chance of injury when you have any trade that involves tall ladders. If you think you need help with the repair process, unlicensed and semi-skilled contractors can usually be found for about $10- $15 an hour. Professional contractors will cost more.
Finding the Right Home Improvement Repairs Contractor(s)
If you’ve decided to hire a contractor, make sure you know whom you’re getting and what they are really capable of. Whether they are licensed or unlicensed is not necessarily an indicator as to their actual skill or level of honesty. Laborers can generally be found by searching through online listings or in local classified ads. If the job you require help for is larger, and/or you want a contractor with his or her own team who can provide multiple services, you should contact multiple contractor companies and collect bids from each of them. If their estimates are far off from each other in terms of what they feel needs to fixed, and for what price, you’re going to have to do some research. Look at their references. Ask lots of questions and have them explain their answers in detail.
The more questions you ask, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to find an honest contractor who will work for a reasonable price.
Preferably, you will be able to complete your repairs in a month or less. However, depending on the amount of home repair that is necessary, you may find it takes longer to get a home in shape, even with the help of various contractors. Be prepared for this, as it will affect your holding costs and ultimately, could severely dent your profit margin. Check out our page on common home flipping mistakes for more information about what you should avoid during the home repair phase of this process.
Finally ready for the final step? Continue to Step 5: Selling Your Property