So if you are going to rehab a house, you need contractors. First you might want to read the segment on rehabbing.
Paint and Carpet
For a simple job, that people call paint and carpet, you would just go in and paint the house and either clean or replace the carpet and refinish any hardwood floors if they need it.
If you are going to get a carpet cleaning done, you should go for steam carpet cleaning. It is more effective. Otherwise, check around and get several prices for replacing the carpet.
Regarding refinishing the floor, be careful. Hire a professional who knows what they are doing. We have seen people rent machines and try to do it themselves. It is harder to do than it looks and we have seen many trashed floors with gouges and uneven. It looks so bad that you need to replace the floor, carpet it, or take a hit on the value of the house. Whichever, instead of saving money, you have lost money.
A good painter can be worth their weight in gold. They can make a place look brand new and greatly increase the value with a skillful paint job. They need to prep correctly. It will often save money to use more expensive paint because you will probably only need one coat of paint instead of 2 or 3 and all the time that entails.
You can get a general contractor who will take care of everything and give you a single price for the whole job. This can be an easy way to start out. One way to find them besides online or in the phone book is to go to your local REIA (Real Estate Investment Assocation) and ask for names of good contractors.
But then as you move forward, you want to get to know different specific contractors. You may want to have a general contractor do part of the work but bring in your own plumber or electrician.
It is more work on your part to coordinate the different specialties but you can save money by doing this.
More Complex Jobs
For more complex jobs, one of the most important trades is the electrician because wiring is throughout the house and in almost every wall. If there are problems and you have to start opening up walls to fix them, the costs can mount fast. You need to look and see what condition the electrical system is in. Is it the ancient knob and tube? If so, you probably should replace all the wiring in the house.
Plumbing is more confined and is only in a few areas of the house but is also very important. If the bathtub is scratched or has problems, you can hire a tub refinisher who comes in and puts a new surface coat on the tub and it will look as good as new.
You may need carpenters, although it may be easier to let the general contractor deal with this. Probably more important is someone who can do sheetrock. If you get the right person, they will do it quickly, will do it right and you won’t have problems with nail pops and they will probably be the same in price or cheaper because they know what they are doing.
The roofer is another key person. You may be able to make some repairs or put a new layer of roofing on. In most places, if there are two layers, you can’t put another layer on. You need to tear them off and put on a single new layer.
You may also need someone to repair or replace siding. In some cases, rather than painting and repairing the exterior, it is easier to put siding on.