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How To Hire A General Contractor for Your Investment Properties [Checklist]

Looking to hire a general contractor for your investment property – or properties? An experienced general contractor (GC) will help you get the work done before it’s due and within budget. But how do you hire the right GC?

What’s a General Contractor?

A general contractor is the firm or the guy you hire to manage, coordinate and complete a house revitalization construction project. The GC hires and manages sub-contractors – electricians, plumbers, roofers, carpenters, and so on. You pay the general contractor, who pays for materials and hires and manages the sub-contractors. Before you hire your GC partner, check out this checklist:

Get References

> Did you get at least three references? > Are the references someone other than the GC's friends, family and colleagues? > Have you checked his background with the Better Business Bureau?

Get a Measure of the Man (or Woman)

> How long has he been in business, and under what name? > Has he been in business under any other name? > Is he bonded? > Is he licensed? > Does he have general liability insurance? > Have you checked the state licensing board to see if complaints have been filed? > Does he have an office, and where is it? > Has he done similar work in neighborhood? > Is he a member of a professional association, and if so, which one(s)? > Has he declared bankruptcy in the past? > Has anyone taken legal action against him, and if so, what were the specifics? > Does he know how to quickly and properly secure permits and inspections? > Does he listen? > Is he punctual and knowledgeable? Get an Idea of Onsite Behavior

> How much time does he expect to spend on your project each week?

> How many other jobs will he working on at the same time as yours?

> Will he be doing any of the actual labor, or is he in a supervisory role?

> How often will he be on-site, and who'll be supervising during times when isn't there?

> Does his crew clean up after themselves on site? > Are they on time?

> Does he take notes? > Does he offer suggestions about how to make repairs better? > Does he have a work crew on hand, or does he need to hire a new team of subcontractors?

Get Estimates

> Will he provide a detailed scope of work? > How long will it take for him to get back to you? > If there were alternatives discussed, did he provide a separate price? > Do you think the estimate is too low in an effort to get the job, and will then charge for extras? > Does he require a deposit for “labor only” job? > How does he plan on keeping you up-to-date? > How much of a down payment is he asking?

Get a Written Contract

> Do you have a written agreement that specifies the scope of work, the cost, and time of completion? > Will he sign a lien releases or waiver upon each payment to protect you against a mechanic’s lien?

For more information on why your should consider investing in a professionally managed portfolio of single-family homes, please contact Harold Willig at 917-209-4452 or

Harold Willig is the Manager of SpringView Investment Management, LLC, which he founded in 2012. Mr. Willig also served as HFZ Capital Group’s Chief Financial Officer, and was responsible for the oversight of HFZ's Finance and Accounting team. He has over 16 years of finance and accounting experience. Mr. Willig also ran a consulting practice and provided valuation, analysis, and transactional support services to multi-billion dollar real estate companies. Previously, Mr. Willig served as the Senior Controller and Vice President of Financial Analysis and then the Chief Financial Officer of the Athena Group, a multifamily development company and fund manager.

This post does not constitute investment, tax, legal, or real estate advice. It is not a recommendation or an offer to buy or sell. No warranties implied. Past performance does not guarantee similar future results.

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