So you want to renovate your rental. Updating your investment properties is a great way to build their value and find the quality tenants who are willing to pay top rental dollar.
I’ve spoken before about the need to treat your rental property as a business. And just as there are experts who handle various departments and tasks within an organization, the same should hold for your income property. If you’re skilled in the trades, then by all means bring your expertise to bear, but a major renovation is not the job for a weekend DIY-ers. Here are some tips to finding great contractors and getting the job you want done right the first time around.
Ask friends and trusted family and neighbours for their good (and bad experiences). Word of mouth is the way most contractors and build companies build their client roster. If you don’t know anyone personally you can ask, join an online forum. Neighbourhood facebook groups, Meet-Ups and the like are a great way to solicit recommendations and experiences from people in your immediate area.
Take your search online. Look up reviews on sites like Homestars. Bring your critical eye to what you’re seeing and try and search for a company that’s been around for some time. It’s easy for someone to start a fly-by-night business with a van, some tools and an out-of-the-box website. So be sure to look for certification in their trade and for member status in good standing with organizations like the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Renomark, and the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA).
Before inviting folks to work in a home you own, be sure they’re certified and insured professionals. This should help you rest easy at night, knowing they have the skills to get the job done. It also helps limit your liability should something not go according to plan.
Be sure to get a detailed quote and ask for transparent billing. You want to agree on a budget and understand exactly where your money is being spent. If the scope of the project must change, line-by-line quoting will allow you to make informed decisions about how best to spend your money and still come in on budget.
Most reputable contractors and renovation companies offer a two-year warranty, guaranteeing the quality of their workmanship. This is the industry standard and you should look for companies that make this guarantee in writing from the end of the project.
Following these tips should help ensure you find a reputable contractor who will make the experience a good one. Choosing to renovate is always a big decision that comes with a hefty price tag, but it can be the best way to ensure you increase the value of your investment properties. Best of luck!