Real estate investors who don’t proactively build relationships with building contractors can wind up out on a limb when a problem rears its ugly head. We can quickly find ourselves at the mercy of unscrupulous or agenda-driven plumbers, electrical contractors, roofing contractors, or other repair and construction pros.

Cultivating these relationships early in a fix-and-flip or rental income business gives us valuable access to a contractor’s experience when we need it most. A list of good building contractors provides added safety, and ultimately saves us time and money. Good contractors also come with insurance and provide warranties on work. The key takeaway here is: source them now before you need them to bail you out.

To find the best pro for all the different building contractor categories below, ask other investors for their recommendations, get bids from several, and make sure your pro of choice is licensed and insured. You can also ask at local home improvement stores to see which contractors do the most volume.

Electrical

A good electrical contractor can quite literally save a real estate investor from disaster. A master electrician will have 3 years of experience and offer a one year warranty on any work he does.

Plumbing

Plumbers are one of the most overlooked (but vital) building contractors for real estate investors to have on tap. One shoddy fitting install can destroy a property’s interior. Check a plumber’s license online and ask for several bids on a project to get a good price baseline.

Building

Access to a professional building contractor can save a real estate investor from the hassle and lost time of managing lots of different contractors at once. A building contractor will have a list of the best electricians, plumbers, and other contractors to hire for each job. They do add cost, but they make an investor’s life much easier.

Roofing

A leaking roof can cause property damage, upset tenants, vacancies, or even lawsuits. Make sure your roofer is insured and local. A good roofer will not only help with a major remodel or fix and flip, but can prevent issues from happening in the first place with regular inspections.

Home Inspector

While not a building contractor per se, a reliable home inspector can put off the need for hiring any of them. Home inspectors notice problems in their infancy, in several key areas of home repair. Regular inspections by a competent home inspector can mean you end up spending dollars instead of thousands (or tens of thousands). Home inspectors are great sources for the best other kinds of building contractors as well.

HVAC

When HVAC goes wrong, it costs money, especially with evolving SEER standards and regulations. Regular checkups by a seasoned HVAC contractor can stave off costly upgrades. Having that seasoned pro on your side can also mean the upgrades are less costly when they do inevitably arise.

Painting

A painter can be one of the most valuable building contractors to know, when it comes to saving money for investors or increasing the value of a home. New paint is one of the most effective and cheapest curb-appeal boosting methods. A painter can make old kitchen cabinets look new and a grubby apartment more inviting.

Landscaping

While not technically a building contractor, a good landscaping pro is your best, cheapest bet for improving and maintaining good curb appeal, a big factor in attracting buyers and tenants to a property.