Ultimate Guide to Rental Property Contractors & Tradespeople

Last Updated: April 2024

Once you decide to make significant changes to a rental property, you will likely be working with a contractor. Smaller and more specific construction jobs can alternatively be handled by a skilled tradesman. Understanding who these professionals are and what they can do for you is important for every rental property owner to be successful. Below we take a deep dive into contractors, tradespeople, and how they can help your rental real estate construction endeavors.

Rental Property Contractors Explained

How to Hire a Contractor for a Rental Property

Construction jobs can quickly become very complex with many moving pieces. Contractors are the coordinators and laborers that perform and oversee all activities to ensure successful project delivery.

What is a Contractor?

A construction contractor is an individual person or company responsible for managing and overseeing construction projects on a contractual basis. They coordinate all aspects of a construction process, from planning and design to execution and completion. Contractors can specialize in specific trades and often hire subcontractors for specialized tasks.

What is a General Contractor?

A general contractor (GC) is a licensed professional or company responsible for overseeing the entire construction project from start to finish. They can hire other contractors (called sub-contractors) and are in charge of managing day-to-day operations, including supervising subcontractors, coordinating materials and equipment, and ensuring work is completed on time and within budget.

What is a Subcontractor?

A subcontractor in construction is a specialist in a specific trade or skill, such as plumbing, electrical work, or roofing, who is hired by a general contractor to perform particular tasks within a larger project. Subcontractors typically work under the supervision of the general contractor and are responsible for completing their assigned duties according to the project’s timeline, budget, and quality standards.

Types of Contractors

Licensed contractors usually specialize in different trades. Below we take a look at the most common types of trades that a contractor will specialize in:

  • General Contractor 
  • Carpenter
  • Electrician 
  • Plumber 
  • Painter 
  • Heating and Air-Conditioning (HVAC)  
  • Mason
  • Roofer 
  • Landscaper 
  • Ironworker 
  • Steelworker 
  • Tile Setting 
  • Glass and Glazing 
  • Special Trade Contractors

Rental Property Tradespersons Explained

Contractors and Tradespeople

Tradespersons play an essential role in every construction project ​​by performing specialized tasks that require specific trade knowledge and expertise.

What is a Tradesperson?

A tradesperson (also called a tradesman or tradeswoman) in construction is a skilled worker who specializes in a specific trade or craft, such as plumbing, electrical work, carpentry, or masonry. Tradespeople undergo extensive training, often through apprenticeships, and may hold certifications or licenses in their respective fields.

Types of Construction Trades

Tradespeople usually specialize in specific trades. Below we take a look at the most common types of trades that a contractor will specialize in:

  • Masons
  • Carpenters
  • Flooring Installers
  • Building Inspectors
  • Drywall
  • Electricians
  • HVAC
  • Landscaping/Gardening
  • Painters
  • Plumbers
  • Roofing
  • Pest Control

Rental Property Handyman Explained

How to Hire a Handyman for a Rental Property

A rental property handyman can be one of the most important vendors that you hire as a landlord. They are skilled workers who perform maintenance, repairs, and minor improvements on rental properties, such as apartments, houses, or commercial spaces.

Handymen often have a diverse set of skills, handling tasks like basic plumbing, electrical work, carpentry, painting, and landscaping. Rental property handymen are typically responsible for addressing routine maintenance and tenant-reported issues, ensuring the property remains functional, safe, and visually appealing for current and future occupants.

Where to Find Contractors and Tradespersons?


Who does the construction work on rental properties? Finding the right professionals to work on your investment property can actually be a much harder task than one may anticipate. The best way to find quality contractors has historically been word of mouth from other real estate investors but a new alternative has come to light in recent years. Online home service directories now allow you to find, review, and chat with local service professionals for real estate projects.

Hiring Rental Property Contractors and Tradespersons

Before you set off to hire a contractor or tradesperson for your rental property, it is a good idea to have an understanding of the hiring process, to set realistic expectations and ensures smooth job completion. Our guides below dive into what to expect and best practices to hire construction pros for your rental property:

Rental Property Contractor and Tradespeople FAQ

Should I Always Go With the Lowest Bid When Selecting a Contractor or Tradesperson?

While cost considerations are very important, the lowest bid shouldn’t be the sole deciding factor. It’s essential to assess bids based on the scope of work, materials, the contractor’s experience, and proposed timelines. Often, a slightly higher bid may promise superior quality or reliability. Always weigh the overall value and potential long-term benefits against the immediate cost.

Where to Buy Building Products and Materials?

Builders FirstSource
ABC Supply
Home Depot

Building product and material suppliers provide construction professionals with the essential products needed for new developments, renovations, and maintenance of rental properties. Their products often range from lumber and roofing, to plumbing and electrical supplies, and more. Beyond sales, these suppliers can also provide expert advice and logistical support, ensuring that projects, are completed efficiently and up to standard.

How Do I Handle Disputes or Subpar Work With a Contractor?

Addressing disputes with a contractor should begin with open dialogue, discussing concerns directly and constructively. If challenges persist, consult your contract for any outlined resolutions or agreements. While mediation or legal routes are options, finding a mutually beneficial solution is often most advantageous. Continuous communication and setting clear expectations from the start can preemptively reduce potential conflicts.

More Rental Property Construction Guides

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