Unless you have or had your own remodeling business, chances are you cannot pull off a bathroom remodel single handedly. Installing new cabinets, bathtubs, showers, toilets, sinks, fixtures, and flooring take specialized knowledge and skill. That being said, you definitely don’t want to hire just anyone for the job. You want a professional with excellent experience, skills, and who can easily fill in the gaps in your bathroom remodeling knowledge. The key factor is to choose professionals based on the scope of work, their reputation, and your own abilities.
Scope of Work
Depending on how expansive your bathroom remodel project is, you need to look at the specific skills each contractor offers to complete what you need. If you only need a toilet installation and flooring, it will be easier to find a contractor to accomplish that as opposed to one who can handle a complete expansion or rearrangement of your bathroom space. Specialized knowledge of plumbing, electrical, and flooring is required along with the usual bathroom fixture installation knowledge. A good first step is to look through a contractor’s website and see what they say about their experience with specific skills. If they do not have that information on their website, call their business and perform an initial phone interview.
To find out if a contractor can handle your scope of work, sit down with prospective professionals to clearly define your project and its needs. You should spell out explicitly everything you need completed in your project. To make it easier for the contractor to envision what you want to accomplish, provide examples of your ideas. You can find inspiration in magazines and online platforms like Houzz and Pinterest. Create a mini booklet of everything you want done to your bathroom to show the contractor. From there, the contractor will be able to accurately tell you what they can and can’t do, how much time it will take, and an approximate cost.
The contractor’s reputation will speak volumes about their abilities and the potential for them to complete your bathroom remodel on time, on budget, and to your specifications. Here are some ways for you to find out about their reputation:
- Go Online. Check out the contractor on review sites like Yelp, Google, or Angie’s List. Also look through their website to see if they have posted any reviews.
- Verify References. If the contractor supplies you with references, follow up with these past customers and ask them questions to make sure their referral matches up.
- Test Their Communication. In the initial bidding process, there should be a lot of back and forth. If they are quick to respond and easy to get in touch with, then that will be the type of communication to expect during the project. If they are uncooperative, do not have a business address, or ask you to pay cash up front, these are the warning signs of poor trust and communication.
- Make Sure They Are Insured. Some contractors say they are fully insured when they are not. Insurance protects you in case anything happens during your home remodel project. Verify that their insurance or bonding is real and that their policy is active.
If you plan on doing some portions of the bathroom remodel yourself, explain that to potential contractors so you can clearly define abilities and tasks. Not only do you want a contractor who can fill in the knowledge gaps that you are missing, but you also want someone who will not take over tasks you can complete and then charge you for it later. Work with the contractor to create a skills list and to separate out what you will be performing and what he or she will be accomplishing for the project.