Hiring a contractor for a bathroom remodel is a lot like marriage. You want to hire someone you can get along with and trust.
That person will be in your home for most of the day and could be working on the project for several weeks. If you don’t like that person, you won’t want to have them in your home.
Before you settle down with another person, you probably have a checklist of your wants and needs. When hiring a contractor, you will want to do the same thing.
Here’s some things you should know before hiring a contractor.
Get Recommendations from Friends and Family
Before you start doing research on contractors in your area, talk with friends and family about their different experiences. It’s also smart to talk with a building inspector who will know which contractors meet code requirements. Or you can take a visit to your local lumberyard. It will know the contractors who buy quality products and also who pays their bills on time.
Once you’ve made a list, take some time to call each of your prospects to ask them some general questions.
These questions should include:
Will you be doing other projects during the same time?
Are you willing to provide financial references from banks or suppliers?
Can you give me a list of your previous clients?
Contractors Aren’t Always Designers
Some bathroom remodeling contractors are all inclusive which means they help you with every aspect of the remodel. From the initial design to the final nail that is hammered into the wall. However, other bathroom remodel contactors want you to have the design ready for them to execute.
Save Money by Supplying Your Own Materials
Most contractors don’t mind if you purchase items on your own. These could be more decorative towel bars, mirrors, toilets or light fixtures. Be aware that every item the contractor purchases gets his/her commission tacked onto it.
Once you’ve picked out your perfect contractor, it’s time to look forward to your project. A diligent contractor will want a complete set of blueprints and also a sense of what you want out of your project and the estimate cost. Materials typically account for 40 percent of the cost while 15 to 20 percent accounts for the profit margin.
A payment schedule can say a lot about a contractor’s work ethic and financial status. There’s a good chance that if they want half the bid upfront then they have financial problems. A schedule typically starts with 10 percent at contract signing then three payments of 25 percent evenly spread over the duration of the remodel. The final 15 percent is paid out once the project is completed.
Price Isn’t Everything
Don’t let the price be your final decision maker. Just because a contractor offers a low bid, doesn’t mean you have to choose him. The communication between you and the contractor is imperative to this process. Sometimes it’s better to spend more to get someone you’re more comfortable with.
Put Everything in Writing
Before the contractor starts the project, be sure to draw up a contract for every step. This includes payment schedule, proof of liability insurance, worker’s compensation payments, specific materials being used, start date and completion date.
And remember to make note of any changes made during the project!