Partnering with anyone in business always carries potential risk and reward. If you plan to renovate a property, it’s likely that you need to hire one or more contractors. While these contractors may be technically working “for” you, in another sense they are partnering with you on the project. Many factors of the contractor’s performance are going to affect your project’s performance, your company’s reputation, and future headaches down the road.

For example, Jerry the general contractor (GC) comes into the house, assesses the state of the property, asks you what you want done, and comes back with a quote. He mentions he’s not too busy right now and could really use the work. His quote comes back even lower than you expected. Score! Or is it?

Before you make a move and hire him on the spot, ask some more questions. Is this contractor taking into account your full scope of work? How do the different components of labor and material breakout for each major part of the project? What kind of schedule will he be able to keep? At the cost of private money, every day matters. Who are his hired hands? Are they hardworking, reliable and trustworthy? If not, the neighbors might grow weary and you could encounter additional security issues.

Most importantly, who have they worked for in the past and can you get in touch with them? Checking out contractor references is a very valuable way to spend your time. You can learn a lot about the person that will either reinforce your decision to hire or provide major warning flags.

Spending time screening contractors will make the difference between a project where you are hunting contractors down, dragging them to the jobsite to finish, and losing money day by day in the process or one that’s on schedule and profitable where you sleep well because you know the contractor is getting the job done right.

Get more insider information about hiring and working with contractors from the book Stunning Secrets of the House Flipping Business.