Rental Property Contractors & Tradespeople Explained

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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.


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 the 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

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.

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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

What to Look for in a Contractor and Tradesperson?

The ideal service provider would be dependable, honest, affordable and deliver quality work. Unfortunately, this is seldom the case. On average, most are a combination of the few but seldom all in one. If possible, meeting in-person at the job site to assess the scope can usually serve as a basic gut-check test.

Rental Property Handyman

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. They 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.