How to/How did: build a Rehab team

I’m preparing myself to do a rehab within the new year and I want to know from those who do rehab day in and day out. How did you build your rehab team. What all specialties should 1 have for a rehab team. I know the basic

  1. Electrician
  2. Plumber
  3. General contractor
  4. Clean out crew
  5. Painter
  6. Carpet installer (I will use home depot for that) they have great prices

I pretty much have guys to do all of that, but alot of these guys have regular jobs also. I want to start having a couple etra people on the side just incase, If you were interviewing some potential workers for your rehabs, what are some of the questions you will ask?

Am I missing any other specialty on my list, if so who would you add.

Are you planning on doing any of the work yourself? If you have some basic skills, you can save yourself some money.
Why do you need a GC? The last guy I talked to started quoting an hourly rate for his guys to do some work for me. He said his fee was $50/hour on top of the rate for his workers because “they had to use his tools.” Screw that. I would contact my own electrician, plumber, drywaller, etc and cut out the GC fees.
Be careful when a place like HD or Lowe’s has signs for $139 whole house carpet installation. EVERYTHING and I do mean everything is extra on top of that price.
For Lowe’s specifically:
Tear out carpet - extra charge
Dispose of old carpet - extra charge
Put down tack strip - extra charge
Carpet stairs - extra charge
Get my point? The only way you get the special price is if you have everything ready to go where they only have to install the carpet.

I get referrals for workers. Our plumber, electrician, HVAC guy was a referral from our Realtor (also an investor) that he’d used for several years. This guy has pretty reasonable prices. He treats us well as we’re a pretty steady source of business for him.
The carpenter I use from time to time was a referral from our Realtor as well. When I told the guy I ordered siding from at Lowe’s that this guy was only charging $1k to install siding on an 1100 sq ft house, the Lowe’s guy said he wouldn’t do it for double that amount…

Real investors are going to know where to get work done cheap. Ask around your area.


If you hire a "General Contractor" this entity hires and manages all the sub-contractors, the materials and the schedule on the project.

This is a GC’s profession, generally a GC will handle the project from start to finish, turnkey!

A general contractor, generally charges 10% overhead and 10% profit in a project along with including a residual prudent reserve of 3 to 5% of the project value. For this financial consideration a GC negotiates and writes all the trades contracts on the job as well as writing the scope of work and creating and establishing a critical path schedule.

There are different types of agreements which can be made with a GC or with a sub-contractor such as “Hard Bid”, “Cost Plus” or “Time and Materials”.

This is a fairly complete list of potential sub-contractors:

  1. Architect
  2. Civil Engineer
  3. Structural Engineer
  4. Mechanical Engineer
  5. Soils Testing
  6. Survey
  7. Demolition
  8. Portable Trailer, Fencing & Power
  9. Grading
  10. Excavating
  11. Concrete
  12. Rebar & Steel
  13. Masonry
  14. Framing
  15. Siding
  16. Windows (Glazing)
  17. Mechanical
  18. Plumbing
  19. Electrical
  20. Roofing
  21. Insulation
  22. Drywall (Tape, Mud & Texture)
  23. Finish Carpentry
  24. Specialty Woodworking
  25. Painting
  26. Tile
  27. Flooring (Carpet & Hardwood)
  28. Landscaping

I use small couple of man company’s as I find there pricing more competitive and there service and craftsmanship better quality.

Lowes and Home Depot have good materials but there install services are extremely pricy, I do not recommend using these services.

I ask the trades guys for there referals to other contractors, as if my electrician does good work at a fair price he probable knows other trades people who also follow that line of quality and value.

Good Luck,


Thanks guys, great info and advice. I have used HD for carpet install so yes I know they charge for everything!! so I ended up taking the carpet padding and everything out myself but I did get more carpet compared to another carpet company I had called.

I will be able to cut some cost myself because I can do alot myself, dry wall, painting, some plumbing, some electrical work, carpet work. I can pretty much do everything (jack of all trades, master of none) but I also have a full time job and a family so for the right price I will pay the right man.

I’m going to start looking for contracts, that I can store in my system b/c I’m going to put alot of clause in with these guys b/c I heard so many stories about contract working going bad and my church is building a new church worth 3mil and I don’t think our lawyer did a good job w/ our contract b/c these guys are screwing up sometimes and then we have to pay them to fix it even thought they have the plans and the forman and the architect on site.

Try the referrals and start your own Rolodex of contacts. My experience is… you will get burned. Be prepared. Be ready to pull the plug on a non-performing contractor or trades worker.

I have encountered the shower tile guy who got his first check and went on a drunk. It’s hard to get another guy to step into the middle of a job.

The plumber who came up with a $5,000 bill on replumbing a house, when the initial bid was $1800 or so. My response–“Here’s the $1800. See you in court if you want more money!”

The roofer who didn’t finish the job. Got the city building inspector after him.

The rehab contractor who got sick half-way through the remodel, and returned to Mexico, never to be seen again.

Spend your efforts on GOOD CONTRACTS, with non-performance clauses if necessary. Also on GOOD SUPERVISION. Show up every day on the jobsite, several times a day. Don’t sign off on anything without a final inspection.


I haven’t been able to beat HDs price for carpet (and that includes quotes from as many as three or four different installers), as long as I do the tearout myself, or pay my little brother or something a couple bucks to do. $139 bucks for install for the whole house is a STEAL, again as long as you tearout yourself, and when im rehabbing the whole place is empty anyway so it only takes a couple of hours of grunt labor…saves me a TON!

as for the rest of the stuff, I like working with guys that can do a little bit of everything. houses that I rehab aren’t mansions, so I’m not asking for super-custom high end anything! so if they can do basic carpentry, some plumbing, some electrical, blahblahblah, it REALLY saves me the hassle of dealing with ten different contractors! Now, if I happen to come across someone that I like in one particular area that stands out in price, quality, (hopefully both) then I might go out of my way to use them more often. And whoever told you to get a GC is an idiot! YOURE the GC!

Also, if youre just starting, YOU DO the tearout and cleanout work! a good way to learn how a house works is to deconstruct it!

If you want to save money on your next renovation, here is some good advice.

Hire workers who have solid work experience in multiple renovation areas. For example,
if you’re working on a basic clean and paint project, you want to hire 2-3 guys for the whole job.

These guys should be able to do the removal, the repairs, the repaint and the replacement. It’s your job
as a real estate investor to define the project and make a good contract labor agreement with the people
you hire. Remember, the more work you have to sub out, the higher your renovation expenses will be.

And as your expenses increase, so does your investment risk.

I like to be working on something while the hired people are there also.This lets them know that you too have skills and can work.You can’t just hire someone to do your rehab,then show back up and it’s perfect(as seen on TV).You MUST be there as much as possible and preferably be educated in what the codes are to know how it’s supposed to be done.

It’s alot easier to do some"adult babysitting" now then to get burned by an inspection later.Talk to some fellow rehabbers to get leads on people you could use,see how many times they’ve used them.Best of luck to ya.

I plan on being around while the rehab is in process and I plan on stopping by daily, but what do you guys do if you have a full time job? wouldn’t be in your best interest to also make 1 of the contractors the point person.

JakeRodgers: your so right I used HD for 1 of my house and you can’t beat 139. I had impire come by w/ there price, for cheaper capet and not even doing the full house they couldn’t even get they were already at HD full price the the entire house.

I plan on visiting HD more and talking to some contractors.

I found a couple of rehab contracts i’m looking over to see what I like and don’t like. Anyone has any recommendation on where I can find more contracts or contracts more legally geared towards protecting the investor?

PS: Unless i’m overlooking it which I don’t think I m, there’s no way for me to upload the 2 contracts I found to share with you guys is there?

FWIW- In some places a licensed and insured GC is required to pull a building permit depending on the work done. Your project can come to a screeching halt if the building inspector sees that 30yd. dumpster on the property with no permit.


I never pull permits and have never had a problem. Sometimes its better to be lucky than good.

I think it would be best if the OP at least knows a GC just in case.