When you decide to change your bathroom, you open up a box of possibilities limited only by your creativity and the skills of your local bathroom remodeling contractors. Hiring help for a bathroom restoration, renovation, or remodel can be intimidating because no one wants to become the main character of a renovation horror story. Knowing the questions to ask, the qualities to look for, and the right words to use when describing your project can help when it comes to hiring the right bathroom contractor for you.
Here are a few tips and tricks to help with finding legitimate bathroom remodelers near you:
The Difference Between Restoration, Remodel, and Renovation
Knowing what you want and getting it first comes down to using the right words when describing the kind of project you have in mind. The better you can discuss your envisioned dream bathroom, the more the contractors can help coming up with the design.
If you ask for a bathroom restoration, you are asking to have the room returned to its original condition. In other words, you want to maintain the look and feel of the bathroom. This is great if your bathroom has irreplaceable elements, like an old footed tub or a customized faucet. Everything will be refurbished and made to look new again without losing the qualities that appeal to you already.
A renovation does not place the same restrictions on the project. Though some elements may remain the same, a good portion of a room is changed, often on a much smaller scale than a remodel.
This means that while a renovation might mean swapping out a toilet for a new one or replacing moldy flooring or tiles around the bathtub and remodel of the bathroom means stripping everything and starting over from scratch. Walls might be removed, layouts may be changed, and so on.
Depending on what you want done, the cost, length of the project, and other variables will change.
Things To Keep In Mind When Hiring Bathroom Remodelers
Bathroom remodeling contractors are not designers, but they do know how to take a design and make it work for a renovation. However, it is always recommended that you go to a bathroom designer to finalize the floor plan before you begin the project because their insight can save you from unneeded headaches later on.
In order to convay want you want done clearly, have a wish list of things you want. Spend some time writing down the “wants” and “needs” of the project. For example, are you just changing out fixtures? Removing an outdated tub? Replacing plumbing? Adding a vanity? Once you have the list, you can start coming up with a budget.
Budgeting 101 For Your Bathroom Renovation
Having a budget before you call contractors is a good playing card. The better you can communicate what you can afford and what has to be done, the more information they can give when you call or meet for a consultation. The things to consider when forming a budget include the elements you will do yourself, the cost of materials, the projected duration, appliances required, permits needed, and so on.
Tips For Hiring Local Bathroom Remodelers
With a budget and design outline in hand, you can start the search for the best bathroom contractor for the job. Here are some tips to help:
There are a few ways you can do research—so don’t limit yourself. Research includes asking friends and family who recently had bathroom renovation work done in their home who they used and why. You can also use sites on the internet, such as Google (and Google Maps), Thumbtack, Angie’s List, and others to help you with finding the best local bathroom contractors near you. Once you have the names of the best remodeling companies in your area, you continue by scouring the Web for more reviews and experiences.
Modern technology is great, because if someone has had an experience worth talking about with a company—whether that experience was good or bad—you can usually find their opinion online. Other things you will find online include:
- The bathroom contractor’s website and project portfolio with before and after photos
- Accounts of social networking platforms packed with customer engagement, photos, and other posts
- Blogs and informative articles
- YouTube videos about projects, tutorials, and demonstrations
Follow the footprints these companies have made to see which ones are best for you.
Once your online research and recommendations lead you to local contractors, you narrow down the choices to about 3-5 companies. Check once again that these contenders are fully experienced, skilled, and have no foreseeable issues with licenses and insurance.
When you call for the interview, ask if their team members are trained to handle things like electrical wiring, plumbing, carpentry, and more. Check if they are compliant with the rules and regulations of your city.
Another thing to look for is the contractor’s local standing. Read testimonials. Investigate how they are perceived by local supply companies, and check for a Better Business Bureau rating or remarks. You want to make sure that the company is doing well financially.
Look At Payment Options
Although paying by cash might seem like a good idea at first, there are plenty of scam artists who play the “fly by night” card and disappear as soon as you make good on the first payment. Cash payments are dangerous, so avoid them.
However, that doesn’t mean you are limited in the ways you can pay for such a service either. Most local contractors will be able to set up payment plans and work within your budget. In the end, you should be paying for results that you like and are satisfied with. Never feel pressured to purchase something that you dislike or doesn’t meet your expectations.
Contacts and Warranties
Reputable contractors are going to provide warranties on top of manufacturer warranties. Discuss those before sealing the deal. On the day you sign the contract, you should feel at ease with your choice. Make sure the responsibilities of both parties—you and the contractor—have been laid bare and are written in a language that is understandable to you both.
- Read over the contract, including all the fine print, and make sure it features the following points:
- Description of the project, including all procedures
- The project cost, fixed or estimated
- Explanation of potential additional costs
- A list of anticipated jobs or services to be completed
- The payment option and schedule
- Workmanship and satisfaction warranties or guarantees
- The contractor’s license and insurance information
- Contact information of the contractor
- Terms for cancellation of agreement
- Terms for force-majeure scenarios
- Life of the contract
Get Multiple Quotes
As mentioned earlier, you should always narrow down your choices then get in contact with the candidates. Interview them. Ask questions about their experiences, whether they have taken on projects in the past that are similar to yours, if they are confident about being able to pull off the job if they can procure permits, and how long they believe the project will take. You need to listen for professionalism and assuredness. The more comfortable you feel with speaking to the contractor, the better.
Next, after you have completed the initial interview, consider obtaining multiple quotes. The estimate should include the materials that are required, the cost of those supplies, and the price for the projected labor hours. Remember, the cheapest option will not always be the best option. Think about the price you pay as an investment. Are you willing to pay less and tempt needing repairs down the line? Or will you pay a little more for a more experienced and thorough contractor?
Signs Of Bad Contractors
Some states have a limit on how much is required for a down payment, so do some research on the requirements of your state. Down payments are not uncommon since this secures you a place in their schedule and guarantees that you are a trustworthy customer. However, if you think the amount is too high, such as 90% of the estimated final cost, something may be wrong. You should never be forced to overpay upfront. Also, never agree to pay in cash. This is a sure sign the individual is trying to scam you because cash means there will be no paper trail.
Be sure to look out for contractors who do not post their credentials and who are not insured. If you use an uninsured bathroom renovator and they get injured while on the job, you could end up footing the entire medical bill.
Discuss The Details Thoroughly
Before the project ever begins, you should know several key factors. Even small projects can generate a lot of mess and confusion, and depending on the scale of the restoration, renovation, or remodeling, the project may last for days, weeks, or months. So you should be fully aware of the following:
- Who you can contact in the event of questions or concerns
- Who will be in contact with you during the course of the project
- How the contractor is going to pull the required permits and what is required of you for that
- How the contractor plans on containing the mess and disposing of debris or if that is your responsibility
- The measures that will be taken to protect your property and belongings from potential damages
- The possibility of incurring additional fees
- Any guarantees or warranties that are included in the service
As you can see, there are multiple steps that need to be taken when choosing to redesign or renovate your bathroom that happen well before the project ever begins. Finding a trustworthy bathroom contractor may seem like a lot of work, but you will be better off knowing you choose an experienced and reliable professional to help make your renovation dreams a reality.
Looking for professional bathroom contractors? You have come to the right place. Send us your questions, comments, and requests by filling out the contact form, and we’ll be in touch shortly.