If you’re ready to invest in a bathroom renovation, then you’re going to be forking out a lot of money and entrusting a huge job to a virtual stranger. Even more than being someone who must handle the finer details of one of the most expensive changes you can make to your home, your contractor will also be someone who you will likely have to “live” with for days–or maybe even weeks–at a time. It goes without saying that you should be choosy when it comes to committing to a contractor for the project; however, what is less certain is how, exactly, you should go about finding your right fit. Here’s what to look for when choosing a contractor to remodel your bathroom:
A contractor may look great on paper, but that doesn’t really mean anything if you can’t verify that contractor’s work ethic, professionalism, skill, customer service, and attention to detail, and your contractor’s reputation with previous clients is the best way of gauging those qualities. The most effective way of learning about what it’s really like to work with a contractor is to contact references who can tell you, first hand, what it’s like. Also, be sure to do your research on the web, where you can find everything from customer reviews to Better Business Bureau complaints.
There will be many building contractors out there, clamoring to bid on your project, and it’s likely that many of them have been in business for many years. However, bathroom remodels are a special breed and you need a contractor who has plenty of experience tackling the many challenges that are unique to such a project. Before you hire a contractor for your bathroom renovation, make sure that contractor has plenty of experience doing bathrooms. If you have specific design needs (new plumbing, electric wiring, or custom glasswork, for example), then your contractor should also be able to prove ample experience in those areas, too.
As you are probably well aware, there are a number of things that can go wrong on the site of your bathroom remodel, from slip and fall accidents to damage to your home. Your contractor of choice should be able to provide proof of insurance to cover any of the wide range of unexpected mishaps that can happen along the way. This should include liability, property damage, and worker’s compensation coverage, at the minimum.
Verify that your contractor is properly licensed, according to state regulations. Additionally, search the websites of industry associations like the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), the National Association of Homebuilders (NAH), and the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) to check that your contractor maintains affiliations that are indicative of high standards and continuing education. Can they work with the materials you want, like toilet seats from bidetking.com, or can they only work with their own suppliers?
Choosing a contractor for your bathroom remodel isn’t necessarily a simple or easy task. However, the effort you put into this major decision can save you immeasurable amounts of time, money, and labor down the road.