25 Jul 5 Tips on Hiring a Bathroom Remodeling Contractor
The bathroom is one of the most commonly remodeled and renovated rooms in the home, second only to the kitchen. As such, it should come as no surprise if most of the people you know have already had their bathrooms remodeled or are thinking of it. If you fall into the latter category, you should know that hiring the right bathroom remodeling contractor is crucial.
It’s a daunting process, but it’s not at all impossible. Here’s a quick checklist of what to do when you’re ready to jumpstart your remodel project.
Not All Bathroom Remodeling Contractors Are Designers
A common misconception regarding all bathroom remodeling contractors is that their services include designing the bathroom and sourcing the materials. While many contracting companies do indeed offer all-inclusive services, just as many remodeling contractors don’t. Many of them only handle the construction aspect of remodeling, and thus require their clients to come in with a professional design plan that includes the measurements and layouts before they agree to the project.
This is why it’s a good idea to interview your prospects before hiring them. If you have a vague idea of what you want from the remodel but you don’t actually have any blueprints or design plans, you might save more money by hiring a remodeling company that follows a comprehensive design-build approach rather than working with both a contractor and a designer separately.
Referrals Are A Good Place To Start, But Make Sure To Branch Out
Most homeowners usually hire the same bathroom remodelers that their friends or neighbors recommend—especially if they like what the remodelers did with their bathrooms. And while referrals and recommendations are a great way to narrow your options down, make sure you actually have other options.
As mentioned earlier, it’s important that you do a bit of thorough research of your own for the sake of a successful design remodel. You’ll want to have two or three backup contractors to contact, just in case your first choice doesn’t pan out.
Check Their References
If you’ve chosen a bathroom remodeling contractor that was recommended to you by your neighbors or friends, take the time to ask them about their experience with the company. By doing so, you’ll at least have an idea about the contractor’s character, work ethic, efficiency, and so on.
Ask them if they met expectations, if they were easy to communicate with, or if they made the remodel project stress-free. Also ask if there were any delays, miscommunications, errors, or other problems throughout the course of their partnership. It’s important that you hear both the good and the (potential) bad about the contractor, as such knowledge will help you make important decisions.
Verify Their License
Another common misconception about contracting companies is that as a business, they must be licensed. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Some states or localities do not require remodeling contractors to be licensed before doing business.
Ergo, it’s in your best interest to ask for a copy of their license to see if a.) they are, indeed, licensed, and b.) the license is valid and up-to-date. This might require double-checking with the appropriate agencies, but it’s imperative that your remodeling project is handled by a professional.
Supply Your Own Decorations, But Be Open To Suggestions
As mentioned earlier, some contractors will source the materials for the remodel. Others will recommend stores or brands that best suit the project.
While you don’t necessarily have to go out and buy the construction materials yourself, you’ll save a lot more money on commission fees if you purchase the furniture and decorations you plan to use, such as tiles, floor rugs, and mirrors. Every purchase the contractor makes is another couple digits added to their overall fee.
That being said, there’s also no harm in taking their suggestions into account. Like we said, your bathroom remodeling contractor might recommend furniture with a specific finish or tiles from a specific brand—especially if he/she is a design-build contractor. As long as you do the actual purchasing yourself, you won’t have to worry about extra commission fees tacked on.