Property Rehabbing: Tips to Protect Yourself

Well, here we are again, with me giving you information on how I am getting burned, so that you won’t get burned. Just last week, while working on an addition for one of the duplexes we have, we had some materials and tools walk off the job site. Now, understand that I am in Belton, TX, and theft in the historic district where we live (and also, where this duplex is located) is extremely low. Often, I leave the door to my shed wide open, and have not ever had anything stolen yet. But, even so, we had some 2 x 4 studs and 1 x 4 pieces of lumber that walked off the job site in addition to a ladder, and pry bar. This is very disturbing, considering I did take some preventative steps prior to the theft.

When the delivery truck showed up on the job site, I had them deliver the materials into the back yard of the property, that was not fenced, but did however have many trees, a debris pile and other obstacles that prevented easy access by vehicle to the job site. So, these crooks must have gone on foot to retrieve the lumber, and carry it out to their vehicle. It is a sad day we are living in. So, since we don’t have a secure area to place the materials (other than inside the duplex) we have resorted to placing them on top of the roof. One other note that I will make, it is interesting that the materials didn’t disappear until I was on business out of town. So here are a couple of practical, but hopefully obvious tips:

  1. If possible, store your materials in a secure location.
  2. Check on the job site often.
  3. If possible, have the materials delivered Just-in-Time for use in your project.
  4. This may be the most important one – make sure you know and trust the people that are working for you on the project.

I cannot emphasize how important it is to work with people you trust. In today’s world, there are so many disloyal, unthankful, and back stabbing people out there, you have to build strong relationships with good people. One nice thing about this whole deal is – we only got duped for about $75-$100. Why would someone risk jail time for $100? I’m not really sure. Anyone have any ideas?

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