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Mobile Home Rehab: 5 Tips For Working With Handymen

We rehab a lot of mobile homes, but it wasn’t always easy. When we first got started, we actually got taken advantage of by a few handymen and it just wasn’t fun because we didn’t know what we didn’t know. We wasted a lot of time and money, and we want to save you guys from all the frustration that we had to deal with when we first started.

So, in this blog we’re going to give you our top tips for hiring, managing, and paying handymen.

Tip #1: Communication is key

You want to make sure you have a written plan to outline what tasks need to be done, what the deadlines are, and how much you’re going to pay them. This could be super simple. It could just be an email that you send over to them, but you want to make sure you have something to reference back to and make sure they’re doing what they said they’re going to do. And that they’re reliable.

This is also about giving them a few small tests first. You want to make sure that they’re on time. You want to make sure they communicate well. You want to make sure this is the right fit for you and your project before you just start working with anybody.

Tip #2: 30% or less upfront deposit

Do not, I repeat, do not give the handyman you’re working with more than 30% to start that job. We realize that they’re going to need money to get to and from the work site, and even some additional tools. And we know that we’re responsible for the material costs. But guys, you don’t have to give more than 30% for them to start the job.

Don’t get taken advantage of.

What we like to do is we like to give 25% to start the job, 25% after phase one, and then the remaining 50% after we’ve walked through and it’s all complete.

And another big tip is to try to make payments online. Try to set up some sort of bank transfer. That way every time you pay them you don’t have to run out to the site and do all of that. It makes it a lot easier and a lot smoother to get those payments done.

Tip #3: Vet the handyman

You want to ask for referrals, actually call those referrals, and be sure about who you’re working with. Another big thing we do is we ask for pictures of their past work, just to make sure that the quality is up to the standard of what you’re actually looking for.

And even make sure that they have 1 to 2 years of experience working in mobile homes because working in mobile homes compared to single family homes on the rehab is completely different.

With mobile homes they’re tighter spaces, some of the parts are different, and some of the parts are going to need to be customized. So, you want to make sure that your handyman has some experience by asking to see their work with some pictures and checking over their resume. This is all part of that vetting process. It’s very crucial guys.

Tip #4: Be the Boss

You’re the boss. You call the shots. Make sure you have a written game plan of what needs to be done. Make sure you have a copy, and your handyman has a copy. And just stick to that script.

Some handymen try to tell you certain things that need to be done that’s not on the list and try to make the project an HGTV project. We’re not doing that. We’re not going to be spending extra money just so the handyman can pocket more. We’re only fixing the major repair items that need to be done. And any cosmetic work, the end buyer usually ends up fixing those things. So, stick to the script.

And do not allow them to fix the entire house. That’s a mistake that we made going into this. We just let them run free. Do not do that.

Give them one small project at a time so that you can make sure that they can follow instructions. And that they can meet deadlines. So have them fix a toilet. And then once they fix the toilet correctly, have them do some flooring.
And then once they do that correctly give them more tasks. Build that relationship step by step.

Tip #5: Ask for progress pictures

This is going to be really important because it ties right back to communication. You want to make sure you’re staying up to date with the status of your project, of your rehab. And the best and easiest way to do that is with pictures and videos because you don’t want to have to be driving to the home each and every day.

We’re really big on protecting our time. So, this is going to allow you to make sure the project is still moving forward each and every day. Protect your time and make sure that you’re establishing some good communication with your handyman, just in case you want to work with him or her on a project in the near future.

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