How to Manage Contractors Throughout the Renovations

Timely, quality renovations are the key to any successful house flipping endeavor. Once you’ve hired a reliable contractor and/or subcontractors, it’s advisable to proactively manage them during the rehab phase. That way, the project is less likely to get off track and exceed the allocated time and budget. Keep the following tips in mind:

Use your itemized job list as a guide.

If you’ve prepared properly, you’ll have created a list of all the tasks that need to be done and agreed upon a timeline with your contractor. Use it to keep track of the start and end dates of the various tasks, as well as any specifics such as who’ll obtain permits, who’ll order and pick up materials, etc.

Establish good communication channels.

You need to be reachable, and so does your contractor. Exchange phone numbers so you can always reach each other. If any changes are made to the scope of work or the timeline, follow up in writing, either by email or with a hard copy letter.

Check in at least twice a day.

It’s ideal to check in before work starts in the morning to determine what will be done that day and touch base at the end of the day to monitor progress.

Make sure you’re notified of any problems or delays immediately.

It’s not uncommon for rehab projects to run into delays due to unforeseen issues. There could be a problem with the building itself like mold, severe weather that slows the project down, or some other issue. Regardless of what the issue is, instruct your contractor to notify you immediately so you can adjust the schedule accordingly. That way, you’ll minimize downtime and extra costs.

Don’t give the contractor permission to go over budget without your written authorization.

Exceeding your budget should only be necessary if you run into unforeseen issues—but that doesn’t mean you should give your contractor the freedom to rack up additional hours and purchase materials without shopping around for the best deal. Always make sure you have the final say on adding to the budget—and remember, a reputable contractor will agree to this.

Only sign off on projects when the work has passed a final inspection.

Even if the contractor has more experience than you, it’s critical that you perform the final inspection on every job. Ultimately, it’s your investment, so the sooner you recognize when something’s done well or needs additional work, the better.

Always be respectful.

Establishing a good relationship with your contractor and/or subcontractors goes a long way to building a strong fix and flip team you can work with in the long term. Pay attention when your contracting team wants to discuss something, and always remember to thank them for their hard work.

If you keep these tips in mind, you can greatly enhance your chances of successfully managing your fix and flip project. And once you’ve established a solid relationship with your contractor, you’ll have a productive team in place if and when you decide to invest in another property in the future.