If you own real estate in Pittsburgh or are planning on buying an investment property in the future, it is critical to find the right contractors for your job. In our latest post, we will provide you with some tips on what to look for and what to avoid when hiring contractors in the Pittsburgh area.
If you have invested in real estate in the past, you know the restoration and renovation processes can be extremely stressful and rarely goes as planned; however, finding the right contractors can make all the difference in your projects. You will want to find contractors who deliver high quality, ethical communication and follow through at a fair price. Most importantly, the contractor you hire needs to be able to get the job done in a timely manner, completing all projects in the time frames promised. Below are some tips to find the right people for the job.
Before signing a contract or committing to hire any construction professional for work on your Pittsburgh property, it is important to have answers to some very important questions. For example, is this contractor properly licensed and insured? Will they be handling the city permit process, pulling permits for all aspects of the job? What will the payment schedule and terms look like? How will change orders be handled? While there are a number of other things you will likely want to ask, knowing these fundamental answers will help you avoid any surprises down the road. Ask all the questions you need to before hiring someone. If they are reluctant to answer or do not have time to provide thorough answers, it might be a sign that they are not doing business at the level you deserve.
Talk To Past Clients
The companies you are considering for the job should be able to provide you with references from past clients, but don’t stop there… Utilize social media and the internet to publicly ask your questions. Look for neighborhood forums on social media platforms where you can ask about the company to your entire local community. Here you are likely to get more honest opinions as opposed to the 5 top references the contractor provides to you themselves. You can also bring your questions to your local real estate and investment groups. At least one of your fellow investors is likely to have experience working with the contractor in you are considering. You will also be able to learn who they use for their projects, providing you with a strong pool of potential contractors for your construction job in Pittsburgh.
Scope Out Their Online Presence
There are many websites available that will allow you to read reviews from past clients. While some negative reviews should be taken with a grain of salt, seeing consistently negative remarks is a bad sign. Check the contractor out on The BBB (Better Business Bureau), your state’s licensing board, Google, LinkedIn and Facebook. There are also sites such as Angie’s List and Home Advisor that specialize in home and construction services. You will be able to find detailed information about the company as well as unbiased reviews from past clients. Look for patterns, and avoid any company with an overall poor reputation.
Don’t Go With The Lowest Bid
Sure you want to save some money, but at what cost? You get what you pay for is a common phrase we have all heard before- and that is normally true as it relates to quality contractor work as well. It is not wise to go with an inexperienced or slightly shady company in order to save a buck or two. Shotty renovations, laziness with the legalities, and an overall low work ethic will end up costing you much more in the long run. While you want to make smart financial decisions, being cheap when it comes to hiring a contractor is not the best choice. In most cases, you really do get what you pay for, which usually means poor workmanship, ugly repairs, and cheap materials.
Look For The Little Things
When working with a local Pittsburgh area contractor, or any business professional for that matter, it is important to look out for the little things. Do they call back when they say they will? Do things change out of nowhere? Are they respectful of their other client’s privacy and information? Your contractor needs to have a strong work ethic and be able to deliver when they say they will. The projects need to be completed with high craftsmanship standards. If someone is not answering when they say they will, is not easily accessible for questions, and does not follow through with the small things, you are at a much higher risk to have problems with the big things.
Before hiring a contractor for your Pittsburgh, Pa area investment property, it is important to take the time to do your homework and properly vet your contractors. Time spent doing this is nothing compared to the time and money you could lose by hiring the wrong people for the job. All too often, investors see their profits eaten away by bad repair work. This can be avoided by some research ahead of time.