Marc LeBlanc's Blog
House flipping projects typically take between 45 and 90 days to complete. But when subcontractors have to put your renovations on the back burner, they might incline entrepreneurs serving as general contractors with the right skills to roll up their sleeves. Such scenarios beg whether fix-and-flip business owners are better off going it alone or relying on other construction professionals. It may come as something of a surprise, but the best course of action may lay somewhere in the middle.
What Does A General Contractor Do?
Taking on the role of a general contractor involves coordinating every moving aspect of the construction renovation. Most general contractors provide either blueprints or explicit directions to subcontractors who usually have specialized skills. Examples of subcontractors include:
- Sheetrock Crews
The contractor maintains a master set of plans and answers wide-reaching questions about how to overcome unanticipated obstacles. Experienced subcontractors run solutions by the general contractor because they understand critical next steps and how changes impact other facets of the project.
People in the house flipping industry routinely serve as general contractors. It allows them to track expenses such as material costs and keep the project moving along on time. On the other hand, it’s not unusual for one subcontractor to miss a deadline and disrupt the entire project’s timeline. In such cases, the entrepreneur/general contractor may have no choice but to strap on a tool belt.
When Does It Make Sense For General Contractors To Conduct Renovations?
The previous scenario highlights the fact that sometimes a need arises to get things done. But general contractors must also tread lightly. Stepping on a subcontractor's toes by completing a portion of their work can lead to financial disagreements. Sometimes workers feel like you’ve encroached on their territory. But because house-flipping general contractors don’t necessarily spend all day answering questions and resolving problems, there will be opportunities to take on work and lower labor costs.
For instance, most people with construction experience can take down a non-structural wall with a sledgehammer and Sawzall. Putting tasks on your plate that won’t delay subcontractors makes a certain degree of sense. You can also speed along the process by carrying materials or running out for coffee instead of sending one of the crew members.
These types of efforts also go a long way with subcontractors and crew members who recognize you’re a hard-working individual. That construction "credibility" alone is worth its weight in gold. However, the last thing a fix-and-flip professional wants to do is insert themselves out of necessity.
How To Avoid Doing Renovations Yourself
Nobility, necessity and saving money remain driving factors that prompt general contractors to wade into the fray. But that trails back to general contractors not having their ducks in a row. Subcontractors gravitate to two essential things: Highest paying jobs and consistent work.
House flippers who also serve as the general contractor would be wise to maintain a small orbit of quality subcontractors. Build relationships by providing consistently good-paying work and develop a family-like atmosphere. When subcontractors feel confident that you can keep them busy, they’ll prioritize your business. Then you won’t have to make renovations out of necessity.
For most homeowners, the last thing they’re worried about is the physical roof over their heads. That is until their roof starts leaking after a storm. Once the water is pouring down and you’re forced to bring out buckets, you’re likely to curse yourself for not thinking about roof maintenance sooner. So, how can you prevent this scenario from taking place? The best way to prevent a roofing disaster is to pay close attention to early warning signs and invest in proper roofing maintenance. Keep reading to learn more about the signs of an aging roof and what you can do to improve your property value with a well-maintained roof.
Check the Paper Trail
Unsure of how long ago your roof was replaced? Follow the paper trail to find important information regarding your roof installation, current lifetime expectancy and any warranties that may still be in place. Typically, a traditional asphalt shingle roof should be good for about 20 to 25 years.
Take the time to look up at your roof now and then to check on the condition of your shingles. This is an especially important habit to get into following a big storm or other inclement weather conditions. Your roof shingles should always appear to be laying flat against the roof, if they appear to be buckling, cracked or damaged, then you should reach out to a professional to discuss repair options.
Avoid Roof Rot
Not only does a drooping, saggy roof look terrible, but it can also cause extensive damage to your home if it’s not repaired quickly. Beware of trapped moisture, sagging spots and rotting boards when inspecting a droopy roof. A droopy or sagging roof should be replaced as soon as possible to help boost your curb appeal and improve your overall property value.
Moss can make for a beautiful feature to your garden or dry-stacked wall but it’s not something you want to see growing in the corner of your roof. Moss almost always spells big trouble for a roof, often indicating a sign of trapped moisture. Moss that grows in shady corners of a roof can be cleaned with a stiff brush and the area should also be inspected for additional problems.
If you think it may be time for a new roof, it’s a good idea to look inside the home as well. Head up into the attic armed with a flashlight and take the time to carefully inspect your eaves. You should be on the lookout for any light beams coming through the top of your home or possible water stains and streaks. These can be signs of a leaky roof and indicate it’s time to call in the professionals.
While replacing a roof is no small feat, it can help protect your home from additional damages and boost your property value as well. Avoid falling into the “fixer-upper” category when listing your home and stay on top of regular roof maintenance.
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If you plan to buy a home in the immediate future, there are several concerns that you should address before you embark on your house search. In fact, some of the most common homebuying concerns include:
1. Lack of Home Financing
You know you want to purchase a house, but obtaining financing sometimes is difficult. Fortunately, if you meet with various banks and credit unions, you can review all of the home financing options at your disposal and map out your home search accordingly.
Remember, there is no such thing as a "bad" question to ask a bank or credit union relative to home financing. Banks and credit unions employ courteous, knowledgeable home financing specialists who are happy to assist you in any way possible. These specialists can respond to your home financing concerns, and as a result, help you make an informed mortgage selection.
2. Tight Homebuying Timeline
If you are tasked with relocating to a new home as quickly as possible, you may have to conduct a fast house search. But if you explore ways to maximize your time and resources, you could boost the likelihood of conducting a successful home search, regardless of your homebuying timeline.
Oftentimes, it helps to make a list of homebuying tasks that you need to complete. You then can establish goals designed to help you stay on track with your homebuying timeline.
You also should keep a close eye on the housing sector in your preferred cities and towns. That way, if a great home at a budget-friendly price becomes available, you can instantly pounce at this homebuying opportunity.
3. Establishing Realistic Homebuying Expectations
The homebuying journey offers no guarantees. If you enter the housing market with realistic expectations, however, you can avoid potential disappointments during your home search.
To establish realistic homebuying expectations, it generally is a good idea to make a list of home must-haves and wants. This list will allow you to hone your house search to residences that meet your criteria. It also can help focus on available residences that fall within your price range.
In addition, it often helps to hire a real estate agent before you conduct a house search. A real estate agent can teach you everything you need to know about finding and purchasing a house. Plus, he or she can provide expert insights at each stage of the homebuying journey.
Let's not forget about the assistance that a real estate agent provides when you are ready to submit an offer to purchase a home, either. At this point, a real estate agent will help you craft a competitive homebuying proposal and submit it to a seller. If a seller accepts your offer, a real estate agent then will help you finalize your house purchase.
Ready to embark on the homebuying journey? Address your homebuying concerns, and you can minimize risk as you begin your search for your ideal residence.