Become a General Contractor

Many landlords encounter challenges with city inspections and permits when they try to do work themselves. You can subcontract out everything, or sometimes it makes sense to take the general contractor’s license exam and become one yourself.

Advantages:
  • If you are a general contractor, you can keep employees busy during slow times with work on own rentals.
  • If you are a rental owner, you are able to get permits and do work without subcontracting as much since remodling requires permits and licensing to do work on rental properties.
However, always subcontract HVAC, electrical, and plumbing work to licensed contractor. Some states only allow liens on property for nonpayment if the work is performed by a licensed contractor. This would apply, and be beneficial, if you were doing work for others.
Disadvantages:
  • Time to study and cost to take test. Depending on your level of experience expect to invest several months getting familiar with the building code books and practice tests.
  • Cost to renew license yearly.
  • Cost of bonded and insured employees.
Also consider: some municipalities or counties may have a remodelers license which may be less expensive to maintain.
For many hands-on landlords it is the next step to take to enable them to have higher margins and expand their professional offerings. For others, the time and cost is not worth the investment. Leave a comment if you want to share what your experience is.

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