Choosing a Bathroom Remodeling Contractor

How To Choose A Bathroom Remodeling Contractor

Remodeling your bathroom can be one of the most rewarding home improvement projects. Not only can it improve your quality of life; it can also improve your home’s resale value. Whether it’s a new shower or new, beautiful tile, you want your remodel to turn your old bathroom into the bathroom of your dreams.

Often, a bathroom remodeling project can involve a large investment of time and money. With such a commitment, you want to make sure you are getting what you paid for and that your expectations are met along the way. One way to ensure you get the best bathroom remodel is to hire a bathroom remodel contractor with the right experience to see your project through.

A great contractor should be a great communicator, planner, problem solver, and project manager. They should work to understand the vision you have for your remodel and coordinate a team of professionals to build to your specifications within the specified timeframe and budget. Some contracting companies even offer in-house design services to ensure clients, designers, and the contractors are all on the same page.

There are other things you should look out for, too. The following are useful factors to consider when looking for a bathroom remodel contractor.

Ask For Referrals

Word of mouth– whether through reviews or friends and family – word of mouth is one of the best ways to find a qualified professional for the job. If you know someone who has recently had their bathroom redone, ask them about their experience. Ask what made it a positive experience, how their construction company handled any problems during the project, and whether the person would hire them again for a similar job. Their answers to those questions can be quite telling about the quality of the business they worked with.

You can also reach out to member businesses of the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) and the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI). These two organizations work to promote skill development and excellence on remodeling.

Look At Credentials

Once you have a list of recommendations, you can begin to do some preliminary research. This could include contacting the business by phone or visiting their website. A website can tell you a lot about the contractor in question. Some are into general contracting rather than specializing in bathroom remodeling projects. While not a bad thing, a general contractor may not always include design services, which puts you in charge of hiring a designer and managing communication between the two professionals. You also are in charge of delivering the design plan for your bathroom remodel. 

General contractors may also lack the in-depth knowledge of how to do a bathroom remodel efficiently and may not be able to do it as well as a specialized company. Therefore, evaluating potential companies should involve some consideration of their specialties.

During this step of the process, you should also check that they hold all the required licenses from state and local municipalities, as well as any designations from professional associations such as the NKBA and NARI. You should also check that they have the correct insurance coverage, should anything go wrong.

Keep in mind not all certifications are equal. Though not a necessary step, you should consider taking the extra time to learn what the certification is for and the requirements to get it. You want the contractor to have experience needed to do the job right the first time.

Interview Candidates

Narrow down the list of potential candidates and set up meetings. While there is no set number of contractors you should contact, consider limiting it to three or fewer at a time, as too many quotes and interviews could get overwhelming. Of course, contacting more may provide you with a greater range of bids to choose from. Use your best judgement when it comes to deciding how many interviews to set up.

When interviewing, you should provide them with a brief overview of their project and ask some basic questions about their business. Take notes so you can follow up with another meeting later. Scheduling a site visit is also a good idea.

Examples of questions you can ask include:

  • Who will work on the project? And are they employees or subcontractors?
  • May I have a list of references from similar projects you have completed recently?
  • Are you or your employees certified in remodeling, or have you had special training or education in bathroom remodeling?
  • Are you licensed and insured? You can then ask for their contractor license number and certificate of insurance.

How a contractor answers to these questions is important, but so is how they listen. You want to make sure you are hiring someone who will listen to your design wants and needs, as well as any concerns or further questions you may have during the project. This is a relationship between you and the contractor, so you should trust who you hire to do the job.

Check References And Previous Work

Once the contractor has provided you with references, you should check them to make sure they are recent and up to date. You can contact the state licensing board to verify their license number and contact the insurance carrier to confirm they are still insured.

You may reach out to references but keep in mind that these references are often favorite or top clients, so reviews may skew positively. You can make sure these reviews are genuine by paying attention to any red flags that might appear, such as a lack of recent project references, consistently high-cost overruns, or consistently poor courtesy reviews on their website or Google Business profile.

A benefit of reviewing previous work is that you can take note of any projects or features you may want to add to your own bathroom remodel. You can also determine if this contractor is capable of meeting your expectations for your bathroom remodel.

How to Choose a Bathroom Remodeling Contractor

Get Estimates And Final Contract In Writing

You’ve decided on a contractor and are confident in your choice. The next step is to take a look at the documents they prepared, especially their estimates for materials and labor. Verbal estimates mean little, especially in a court of law. Numbers can be forgotten or misheard, even with the best intentions, so make sure you get those estimates in writing, so you are both on the same page. 

The same can go for the final contract. Make sure it is fair and balanced and that everything you have agreed upon is in writing.

As part of your careful review of the contract, you should also look for:

  • A bid price and payment schedule
  • The scope of the work
  • A site plan
  • A change-order clause
  • Written procedurals for close-out
  • An express limited warranty
  • A clause about dispute resolution
  • A waiver of lien, which prevents subcontractors and suppliers from putting a lien on the house should their invoices go unpaid by the contractor

Establish A Project Schedule: Before you sign that contract, be sure to clarify the project schedule with the bathroom remodel contractor. This includes the date the remodel can start and how long the project is expected to take. To make sure you are both on the same page, you should ask the project schedule to be added to the contract so you can review it and note any potential scheduling conflicts.

Sign The Contract: After you have done all the above, you can finally sign the contract. Both you and the contractor should sign the contract and date it. Work will begin on the day agreed and you can look forward to a brand-new bathroom.

Looking To Remodel? Contact Us!

The team at Kaminskiy Design and Remodeling works hard to give you the bathroom you’ve always dreamed about. We offer in-house design services in the San Diego area, including La Jolla, Rancho Bernardo, Poway, and surrounding areas.

Our bathroom remodel contractors have many years of experience and pride themselves on completing project efficiently and on time. We want you to be satisfied with our work and enjoy your new bathroom remodel for years to come. If you’ve been considering a bathroom remodel, contact us for a complimentary design consultation today.

Posted In - Bathroom Remodel on Dec 15, 2021

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