What to Know About Hiring a Contractor

You have decided to hire a bathroom contractor to complete your renovations because you know that it is just too much of an undertaking for you, and your family, to complete. Just like there are varying qualities of materials there are some contractors that are better than others. There are some things you should look for when deciding to hire someone to complete renovations in your home.

Get Recommendations

Word of mouth is the best advertising a company can do, and it is completely free. If you have friends who are also homeowners chances are that someone, at some time has done home renovations. Ask them who they hired, were they happy with the job that was done, was it done on time, etc. There are small details that people will notice about how a job was completed and they can pass on their honest review and overall impressions.

Pre-Screen the Potentials

Once you have a few names of companies you should start by calling them. Have a rough idea of all the work that needs to be done for your renovation. Some contractors might believe your renovation is too big, or maybe too small, for their regular projects. This will also give you a chance to ask them for photos of previous projects they have done so you can screen some of their work. This is also the time to ask for any subcontractors they use, and what their expected timelines are like.

Set up a Meeting

Once you have narrowed the list down further based on phone calls you should set up a meeting with the potentials in your home. This gives them a chance to see your home, and you can meet the contractors face to face. If there is something off about them, such as they are late to the meeting or reschedule it multiple times, it gives you the opportunity to feel them out before committing to a contactor. You can also ask some questions to make sure they have all applicable licenses or registrations in place.

Make and Share Plans

The right contractor will to see all of the plans you have for your renovation. They will ask questions about materials and finishes. This will be a time for you to get bids or final estimates if you have not narrowed it down to one contactor, too.

Set up a Payment Schedule

Once you have signed a contract for completion you should take some time to talk to your contractor about payment. This is not a small purchase, so you want to make sure the expectations for how you will make the payments and when match what your contractor expects from you. They may want 50% upfront and the rest upon completion, or they may ask for installments along the way. Either way it is really important to make sure everyone involved is on the same page.

Don’t Go Cheap

There will be some contactors that come in significantly lower in bids or costs than others after you have called around. If there is one that is much lower than others, with the same timeline, it might be an attractive option but ask yourself why they are so much lower. They may not have the right licenses or registrations, or they may cut corners in building code or installation. Good work, and proper installations, will not be cheap so expect to pay for quality.

Get it in Writing

If you have come to an agreement you are comfortable with get the exact agreement in writing. This includes total costs, a breakdown of costs including labour, materials used and a timeline. It might also be helpful to include any rules or regulations about if they do not deliver on time. A contactor is not on the up and up might flinch at a past deadline penalty, but most will be understanding about it. Don’t be too tight about this, though, some surprises might come up that are just unforeseeable and might add to timeline or budget, or both.

This is a major investment in your home and you definitely do not want to throw your money away, or give your money to someone who is not going to deliver. Take the time to ask around, talk to companies and show them your plans. If you do not feel right about hiring them then don’t; your gut instinct will help you on this one. It is really important to trust the person you are allowing in your home and trusting to complete a renovation on a room that is used every day. Overall, hiring a contactor to complete your bathroom renovation is going to save you a lot of headache and will provide you with a bathroom you can proudly show all of your friends and family.

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