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10 Revealing Questions: You Must Ask To Find The Best Contractors

Sunday, December 03, 2023

Primary Blog/10 Revealing Questions: You Must Ask To Find The Best Contractors

Key takeaways you'll learn in this article:

  • Discover the 10 revealing questions to help you choose the best contractors for your property rehabs.
  • Be confident in your chosen contractor's ability to handle problems and deliver you consistent results.
  • ​Learn how to overcome the fear and uncertainty of choosing the wrong contractor for your next property rehab.

Read on for the whole story and master the art of contractor selection.

When it comes to profitable property rehab projects, choosing the right contractor is crucial for your success as a real estate investor.

However, finding a reliable and competent contractor can be a daunting task.

To quickly gain confidence in their ability to successfully complete your projects and avoid the mental pain of costly mistakes, consider asking these ten revealing questions:

1. Can you provide references of past clients whose projects are similar to mine?

Before handing over the reins to your property rehab project, it is essential to understand if the contractor has prior experience in projects similar to yours.

This question will help you gauge their familiarity and expertise in handling the specific challenges that may arise during your project.

By speaking to previous clients, you can get a sense of the contractor's track record and their ability to deliver successful outcomes. Ask specific questions about the project's scope, timeline, budget, and overall level of satisfaction.

Hearing directly from those who have hired their services will give you an additional level of confidence in their ability to complete your project successfully.

2. How do you handle project delays or unexpected issues?

All rehab projects come with unforeseen challenges.


By asking this question, you can gauge the contractor's ability to think on their feet and their problem-solving skills.


You want a contractor who can adapt and overcome obstacles without compromising the quality of their work.


A competent contractor should have a systematic approach to handling delays, such as contingency plans, effective communication strategies, and access to alternative resources to minimize the impact of these unexpected bumps in the road.

3. What professional certifications or licenses do you hold?

A contractor who holds relevant certifications or licenses demonstrates their commitment to professionalism and expertise in their field.

These requirements vary from State to State, so it’s important to contact your local Chamber of Commerce for clarity.

Look for qualifications related to the work being performed, such as certifications in electrical, gas, and plumbing.

4. How do you ensure the safety of your workers and comply with local labor regulations?

Safety is paramount during any construction project.

Ask about their safety protocols, worker training, and compliance with local building codes and regulations.

A contractor who can detail their company’s safety protocols is likely to be more organized and responsible than a contractor who can’t.

5. Can you provide a detailed project timeline with milestones and deadlines?

A clear and well-structured timeline ensures that both you and your contractor are on the same page regarding project progress and completion.

It helps establish accountability and allows you to track the contractor's performance against the agreed-upon schedule.

A contractor who is diligent about meeting timelines is more likely to provide a successful and satisfactory outcome.

6. What are your standard payment terms, and are you open to negotiation?

An open discussion about the payment schedule, including milestones and amounts, can help manage expectations and prevent financial disputes.


Ensure that the contractor is open to negotiation and willing to customize the payment terms based on your project's unique requirements.


And absolutely never under any circumstances provide a large deposit upfront.

7. How do you handle change orders and cost overruns?

Change orders are inevitable in property rehabs.

However, unexpected cost overruns can significantly impact your project's profitability.

Understanding the contractor's policy and approach to these changes will prevent any surprises or disputes down the line.

A contractor who handles change orders professionally and transparently will ensure a smooth collaboration.

A good contractor should discuss their approach to managing such situations, including cost transparency, proactive communication, and obtaining written approval before proceeding with any changes.

8. How do you select and manage subcontractors?

For larger rehab projects, subcontractors are often involved. Some contractors may subcontract certain aspects of your project, such as plumbing or electrical work.

It is essential to know who will be working on your property and their level of expertise.

If you’re planning to hire a General Contractor, inquire about the contractor's process for selecting and managing subcontractors, ensuring they have a system in place to monitor their performance and quality of work.

9. Can you explain your warranty policy and post-project support?

Understanding the contractor's warranty policies and post-project support can give you peace of mind and assurance that they stand behind their work.

Ask about the warranty duration, what it covers, and their responsiveness to addressing any post-project issues that may arise.

10. How do you maintain open and transparent communication with your clients?

Ask the contractor about their preferred methods of communication, frequency of updates, and their commitment to promptly addressing any concerns or questions you may have.

Effective communication is key to a successful working relationship.


Now, here's your assignment:

  • ​Research and gather a list of potential contractors in your area.
  • ​Prioritize contractors who specialize in your specific project needs.
  • ​Contact the contractors and request references from past clients who had similar work done within the last 6 to 12 months.
  • ​Reach out to the provided references and ask specific questions about their project's scope, timeline, budget, and overall level of satisfaction with the contractor.
  • ​Check if the contractor holds any relevant professional certifications or licenses. (NOTE: Check with the local Chamber of Commerce for requirements in your area)
  • ​Ask about the contractor's safety protocols, worker training, and compliance with local building codes and regulations.
  • ​Inquire about the contractor's approach to handling project delays and unexpected issues.
  • ​Inquire about the contractor's approach to managing change orders and cost overruns.
  • ​Ask how the contractor selects and manages subcontractors for larger rehab projects.
  • ​Inquire about the contractor's warranty policies and post-project support.
  • ​Discuss the contractor's preferred methods of communication, frequency of updates, and responsiveness to concerns or questions.
  • ​Evaluate the contractor's responses, assess their past work, and trust your instincts before making a final decision if they’re the right contractor for your needs.

Choose the contractor who best meets your criteria and has a successful track record.

By asking these ten revealing questions, you will gain a deeper understanding of a contractor's capabilities, professionalism, and compatibility with you and your property rehab project.

The key is to find a contractor who aligns with your needs, vision, and of course, project requirements.

Carefully listen to their responses, evaluate their past work, and always listen to your gut.

The contractor you hire is ultimately an investment in your success as a real estate investor, and with thorough research and a systematic approach, you can confidently separate the good ones from all the rest.

Choose wisely, and happy rehabbing!

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Michael Emanuele

(a.k.a. ""The Real Estate Rehabber")

​Bestselling Author, Real Estate Investor, and Entrepreneur

I want to empower new and seasoned real estate investors alike to navigate the challenges of property rehabbing with confidence.

These resources include essential tips and insights, that every real estate investor can use to excel in the competitive world of property rehabbing.

​Whether your goal is to flip houses, create long-term rentals, or execute the buy-rehab-rent-refinance-repeat strategy, "The Real Estate Rehabber" will educate viewers on how they can plan and manage property rehabs.