Everything to Consider When Hiring a Bathroom Remodeling ContractorJuly 10, 2022 | Bathroom
According to a recent survey, more than 72% of people are planning to tackle some type of home remodel this year. Specifically, more than half of the respondents want to make over their bathrooms, which topped the list of projects.
Are you thinking about giving your space a refresh? Over the course of your lifetime, you’ll spend hundreds of days in the bathroom, so you want to make it as attractive and appealing as possible.
These projects can be extensive and time-consuming, so it’s best to let the professionals take the reins. A bathroom remodeling contractor can help you turn your visOur Cost pageion into reality, but it’s important to choose wisely.
Today, we’re sharing a few considerations to keep in mind as you research local companies, so you can find the best team for the job.
Ask About Experience
It’s true that everyone has to start somewhere. Still, you don’t want your project to be the very first bathroom remodel that a crew attempts.
Rather, look for a team of experts who are well-versed in the remodeling and renovation space. Then, ask about the number of bathroom projects they’ve completed.
The right team will include design professionals who can walk you through every stage of the process, from the initial design and brainstorming stage to the actual construction and even post-construction stages.
This isn’t a skill that someone can hone overnight. Ask how long the company has been in business, and how much bathroom remodeling experience their team members possess. You can also ask for a list of references, and contact those homeowners directly to learn more about how their projects went.
Ensure License and Insurance
Any team that performs work at your home should hold a valid, up-to-date business license, as well as insurance. If you request to see copies of these documents, they should be willing to share them with you.
As you ask for this information, don’t just take the company’s word for it. Ask them to provide their contractor license number as well as their certificate of insurance.
A business license means that the company is valid and reputable. It indicates that they have completed the steps required to officially form their entity, and they are both knowledgeable and competent.
A certificate of insurance gives you peace of mind that if any type of personal injury or property damage occurs during the project, you will not be the one responsible for covering the associated costs.
Remodeling work is physical and often requires the use of heavy-duty machinery. It comes with its own sets of risks and liabilities, and you don’t want to be the party who has to shoulder that responsibility.
Review Photos and Videos
While it’s important to ask about experience, don’t stop there. Next, request to see pictures that show how the team can transform a room. If possible, ask if there are any walkthrough videos that will allow up to see the space from a closer and more detailed perspective.
Often, reputable remodeling companies will offer these images directly on their website. For instance, you can find a full collection of photos on our Bathroom Remodeling page! Here, you can also access a narrated time-lapse video that shows you a complete walkthrough of one of our recent bathroom remodels, giving you a front-row seat to the full process.
Ask About a Consultation
Be wary of any remodeling contractor that provides you with an estimate or plan for your bathroom without meeting with you first. A consultation is the ideal time to share your dream for the space and talk about the features that are most important to you.
This gives you time to learn more about the company, and make sure they’re a good fit for you. At the same time, the company can gauge whether your project is one they’re comfortable accepting.
At Michael James Remodeling, we start all of our projects with a no-charge initial consultation. This can be a phone call, virtual meeting, or in-person meeting at our Gainesville, GA office. At this time, you’re encouraged to share your needs and wants, as well as what type of contractor you are looking to hire.
If we decide to move forward together, then the next step is to perform a fee-based in-home visit. This allows us to get a better understanding of your bathroom layout, so we can begin to take measurements and put a plan into action.
Understand the Project Team
During your initial consultation, ask how the company works on each project. Are the people you’re speaking to the same ones who will show up at your house for the in-home visit? Do they only use in-house employees or do they outsource some of the work to third-party contractors?
There isn’t necessarily a right or wrong answer, but transparency is key. You should be aware of exactly who will be working on your project, and the size of the team that will be assigned.
Check Industry Associations and Memberships
When reviewing your options for remodeling contractors, ask about any industry certifications that they hold. This includes memberships in trade associations, such as the National Association of Home Builders of the United States (NAHB).
Membership in NAHB allows remodeling teams to stay connected with what’s going on in the industry, so they’re always up-to-date on the latest trends. It also gives them access to educational opportunities and training programs, so they can excel at their craft. When contractors become members of NAHB, they automatically join their state’s home builder’s association as well.
In addition to the NAHB, it also helps to find a contractor with specific certifications in the bathroom remodeling niche. This includes membership in groups like the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) as well as the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI).
On our website, you’ll find logos that illustrate our memberships in various industry associations. Michael James Remodeling is a proud member of:
- Home Builders Association of Georgia
- Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association
These memberships show that our team members are dedicated to growing their skill sets, networking with others, and remaining competitive through continued education.
Read Online Reviews
While every homeowner’s experience is unique, it can help to hear what others are saying about a contractor that you’re considering. Often, companies will post reviews, feedback, and testimonials right on their website, as we’ve done.
This is a great way to learn more about the company plus gauge how your own experience might go. As you read through the comments, look for key repetitive themes. For instance, you might notice that multiple reviewers compliment a team’s professionalism or impressive timeliness.
At the same time, look for negative feedback that could be a red flag. While these same issues might not occur during your project, you don’t want to unknowingly hire a company that exhibits poor communication, untidiness, or disrespect.
If you can’t find the information you’re looking for on the company’s website, you can also conduct an online search of their business name. This will display their Google Business Profile, which includes a range of information, such as:
- Contact details
- Physical location
- Website address
- Hours of operation
On each profile, you can also read user reviews. Most will also include images associated with the business. Studies show that 84% of people now trust online customer reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends and family members, so be sure to take advantage of this information.
When there are multiple local teams to choose from, a key part of your research will be comparing remodeling costs. While you don’t necessarily want to go with the lowest-priced bidder, you also want to make sure you’re entering into an investment that you can afford.
Once you’ve narrowed your selection down to a few top contenders, you can start crunching numbers. As you do so, keep in mind that there are a few different factors that could affect the bottom-line price of your bathroom remodel. These include:
- The size of your bathroom
- The extent of the remodel
- Any special luxury features you want
- Any underlying problems that will require correcting
- The grade of materials you select (e.g. cabinets, counters, and fixtures)
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all price that you can expect from each team you meet. Our Cost page breaks down the details a little more, explaining these variables in greater detail. While the price for a standard, major bathroom remodel is around $28,000, this number can increase to $80,000 or more if you add high-end touches, like a steam shower.
When you compare your options, don’t make your final decision based on price alone. You should also take into account the contractor’s experience, and their ability to complete your job according to the specifications you provided.
This is why it’s important to interview several different companies. This way, you can determine an average price, and choose the team that checks all of the boxes, not just the budget one.
Check the Schedule
Before signing on the dotted line, make sure the contractor you hire can start on your project when you need them to. If you’re unsure about the official date, ask for clarification.
Keeping in mind that issues like material delays could affect the overall timeline of your project, look for a team that is willing to work within your schedule parameters. Make sure that you’re both in agreement before you move forward.
Request a Breakdown
It’s important to understand exactly what the contractor plans to do during your bathroom remodeling project. Simply stating that they’ll renovate it isn’t enough. Once you’ve chosen a contractor, ask for a detailed scope of work that includes all of the smaller, sub-projects such as:
- Switching your light fixtures
- Replacing the flooring
- Adding new cabinets
- Painting the walls
- Changing your shower design and layout
- Removing or adding a bathtub
All of these projects will come with their own price point and labor requirements. Make sure the final quote you receive breaks these components down so you know exactly what you’re paying.
As mentioned, the initial consultation is a great way to get to know a potential contractor better. Go ahead and call each team you’re eyeing, even if they don’t offer this service up-front.
During this initial phone call, try to assess how the rapport will be. Is the person on the other end calm, friendly, and willing to answer all of your questions? Or, do you feel rushed and disrespected, as though you’re pestering them?
Remember that this is the team you’ll be interacting with on a regular basis throughout the duration of your project. While the person answering the phone might be different from the person who comes to your home, pay attention to the way they make you feel.
Understand Payment Requirements
Make sure that you clearly understand how the contractor expects you to pay and the structure you need to follow. Will you pay as each sub-project is completed? If there are subcontractors, do you pay them directly or go through the contractor?
This might seem like a small detail at first, but it will matter once you’re ready to start the project. You don’t want the timeline to lag because there’s a misunderstanding around the payment method.
Hire a Bathroom Remodeling Contractor You Can Trust
A newly remodeled bathroom can become your personal oasis. You deserve a space that makes you feel calm, tranquil, and clean. A professional, experienced bathroom remodeling contractor can help you get there, no matter how your space looks right now.
As you work through this list of considerations, you’ll find that our team exceeds each expectation. We’re proud of the reputation we’ve built, and we’d love to help you transform the home you’re in.
When you’re ready to discuss more details about your project, contact us, and let’s talk!