Contractor & 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.


What is a (Construction) Contractor?

A construction contractor is a firm or an individual that performs construction work on a contractual basis.

What is a General Contractor?

A general contractor is a licensed professional who plans, coordinates, and oversees a construction project.

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


What is a (Construction) Tradesperson?

A Tradesperson (also called a tradesman, tradeswoman, or tradesperson) is a skilled worker that specializes in a particular construction trade.

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

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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.

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.