What Do You Need to Know When Hiring a Contractor for a Bathroom Remodel?
It’s that time of year again. Remodeling season is upon us. What an exciting time. Planning, researching, and living though the disruption of a major remodel can be a chore. But once it’s all over, you’ll finally be able to enjoy the bathroom of your dreams.
Don’t start daydreaming of rainfall showerheads and jacuzzi jets just yet. There’s work to be done. To start, you’re going to need to sort out a few things to ensure that you book the right contractor for your bathroom remodel.
Have a Plan
You may have visualized your ideal master bathroom for your entire adult life. However, daydreaming and getting it done are two entirely different things. Remodels require a lot of thought and preparation. So, taking the time to devise a concrete plan will save you both time and money.
First, you need a budget. I know it’s not fun to talk about money, but renovation costs can really add up if you aren’t careful. Next, figure out the scale of the potential bathroom remodel. Do you need a complete overhaul or would you prefer a few minor updates?
Before you even think about picking up the phone, write down what you want and how much you are willing to spend on it.
The first thing most people do when on the hunt for a trustworthy contractor is reach out to those around them that they trust. You don’t need to re-invent the wheel here. If you have any friends or family members who’ve recently remodeled their bathroom, give them a call and ask for a referral or advice.
Failing that, you can always explore a popular online review site or visit the websites of local professionals to read their posted testimonials. Although you’ll still need to meet whomever you decide to hire, reading reviews and seeking referrals is the only place to start.
Interview Three of More Contractors
Experience levels, costs, and timeline can vary widely from professional to professional. As such, it’s always important to set aside enough time to interview as many contractors as your timeline permits. While this may be a new experience for you, chatting with multiple contractors is an opportunity to learn about the process as much as it is about hiring the right pro.
So, get on the phone, break down precisely what you’re hoping to accomplish, and request bids from every contractor that you speak to. A bid may not be as precise as an estimate, but it will help you better understand the job and get you one step closer to the right contractor.
Ask for References
Meeting potential contractors and asking informed questions is important, but getting the whole story requires following up with their provided references. Timelines, punctuality, cleanliness, and communication should be the focus here. Be sure to ask about the accuracy of their estimate too because bathroom remodels can quickly rack up the costs if you’re not careful.
Verify Licenses and Credentials
Depending on your state, contractors need to be licensed and registered. They should have insurance and criminal record checks too. They may talk a big game, but you should never hire a bathroom remodeler without verifying their credentials and looking into their licenses.
You may want to inquire about their educational background and check if they belong to any professional associations like the National Association of Homebuilders of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. It may seem like a lot of work, but through credential checks can prevent a lot of headaches.
Seek Written Estimates
Getting a verbal estimate can seem like the easier route, but caution against settling for these alone. Verbal agreements aren’t worth much in the court of law.
Written estimates are often more detailed too, providing both parties with much needed insight into the plan, execution, and cost of an upcoming project. Insist on a written estimate from every prospective contractor and once received, keep that document safe.
Sign a Legal Contract
The hiring process isn’t finished until you or your contractor draws up a legal contract and puts pen to paper. Again, ensuring a paper trail is essential to the protection of both parties. Contracts also set the ground rules for the upcoming project and ensure that everyone involved understands what is required of them.
The contract should include:
- Specific details of the bathroom remodel;
- The cost;
- Payment schedule;
- Address of the work site;
- Start and prospective end date of the project, and;
- Anything else that you agreed on.
I know what you’re thinking, hiring a bathroom contractor seems like a lot of a work. But don’t be dismayed. Sure, hiring the right contractor can take time. However, it can be quite easy when prepared with the right questions.
Take your time, do your research, and follow our tried-and-true hiring tips. Not only will you end up with the perfect contractor, but you’ll also end up with the bathroom remodel of your dreams.