Cutting Repair Costs When Contracting Out

As fixer upper rental house business owners,  its good to know how to do as many repair jobs as possible, however, when a job is too technical and beyond your abilities, or too tedious, like a large painting job, it’s time to contract the job out.

The secret in dealing with contractors is that it’s better to pay by the job instead of by the hour. If you pay by the hour, whoever you contract with can bleed you dry by working many more hours than anticipated. If you can get the contractor to set a fee before beginning the job, he absorbs the cost of working the extra hours instead of you.

This technique works well if you are hiring a non-professional, like high school students to paint outside trim work for you. However, it doesn’t always work so well if you are hiring a highly skilled electrician or plumber. Sometimes they’ll give you a set price, but mostly you pay them by the hour.

I have a highly skilled handy man I call in for jobs over my head, and I always pay him by the hour. He often will make repairs at my rental properties at odd hours and respond quickly to emergency situations. Without him, I’d almost have to quit may day job to keep up with repairs. When you have someone like that, you do whatever you have to, to hang on to them.

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2 Responses to “Cutting Repair Costs When Contracting Out”

  1. […] Having said the above, I also think that you should have a good handyman to back you up. Although there are many things that you can learn to do, you also have to know your limitations. There will be times when you can’t make a complicated repair. Someone with experience must be called in. For many things you can be the expert, but for some things you can’t. Ideally you should establish a good working relationship with a true handyman that you trust and is available to help you out as needed, particularly in the first few years of your business. To keep costs reasonable, always pay contractors or handymen by the job and not by the hour. […]

  2. […] usually like to do all fix-up type repairs myself, but this is a case where I let the exterminators (no relation to the California governor) do the work. The first few companies I called would not give me a quote over the phone. The one company that […]

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