Your agent may have referrals for you
Unfortunately we cannot give referrals for repairs. We generate so many leads over such a large geographical area that it is impossible for us to maintain a reliable network of contractors to provide to our clients. We recommend asking your agent, broker-in-charge, or agency for referrals as many of them have lists on file.
Smaller project or punch list items – sub-contractors
We generally recommend more established companies with good reviews and the office staff to ensure timeliness and good communication. We have a preference for Asheville based companies because they understand the unique challenges to our area and they support our local economy.
Larger Projects or Renovations – general contractors
When there are a lot of items in the report in different categories we recommend hiring one good general contractor over trying to vet multiple sub-contractors (being your own general contractor). A good general contractor will have relationships with many different sub-contractors (electrical, plumbing, HVAC, siding/trim, etc…) and should be familiar with their pricing- this can save everyone time and trouble. During due diligence it is easier to coordinate a site visit and an estimate with one general or two contractors rather than many different subs. In the real estate environment that we are in currently, be prepared to pay the contractors or subcontractors for their time or estimates.
When to hire a general contractor over a sub-contractor
A good general contractor is not biased toward a specific repair or solution. A specialist or sub-contractor might be great at addressing their area of expertise but they might miss the big picture and omit important/related defects. We recommend finding an experienced, reputable licensed general contractor with good reviews, references, a broad network of sub-contractors and a portfolio of previous projects to view. We recommend to follow up with their references, especially with their clients that had similar projects. Their clients should be asked how their renovation/repairs have held up over the years?
For those that want to be their own general contractor
For those that decide to be their own general contractor (generally not recommended) they should get multiple estimates/opinions. 3 different subcontractors might give you 3 different opinions as to the cause of the issues, 3 different scopes of work and 3 different prices. After the first round of estimates it may be necessary to solicit another round of estimates or revised estimates so that the numbers and scope can be compared similarly or ‘apples to apples’.
Which subcontractor/solution is the best? Which sub is honest, reliable, competent, or fair? Buyers trying to weigh these questions are playing the role of the general contractor. For those brave souls that are still ready to charge ahead as their own general contractor I would recommend they consult a dis-interested general contractor, knowledgeable friend, or other experienced contractor to review the sub-contractor estimates and to help them choose a direction.
Good, Better and Best repairs.
For many repairs there will be a ‘good’, ‘better’ and ‘best’ option. A ‘good’ repair is low quality and low price. A ‘best repair’ is high quality, longer term and often the most expensive option. It can be helpful to use these terms with your general contractor or subs– ask them what the good, better and best repair is and what the differences in price and what the long-term outcomes might be.