So, you’ve decided it’s finally time to renovate your dated, impractical bathroom. If you’re like most people, you’re going to need the help of an expert to get started. With a project of this scope, we always recommend meeting with a few contractors before you make a hiring decision. Here are 5 questions you should always ask a bathroom contractor before you hire.
1. Can you put me in touch with your past clients?
Companies will make big promises when they’re trying to close a job, and it can be hard to rely on what’s said during a pitch. That’s why we suggest getting in touch with past clients. Past clients will fill you in on the quality of their work and the level of customer service you should expect. Keep in mind that their priorities might be different from your own, so try to get details on what they liked and disliked about their experience.
A pro’s reaction to this question is also very telling. This might seem obvious, but if they’re unwilling to put you in touch with past clients (for whatever reason), you should cross them off your list. Don’t forget that you can also use HomeStars to read testimonials and see customer-uploaded photos of the company’s past projects. Using photos for reference is a great way to show a pro what you want, and more importantly, gage the price of your project.
2. Are you licensed and insured?
You may think it’s safe to assume that companies that come highly recommended are always covered and up to date on the right licences, but this is not always the case. Give yourself extra peace of mind by asking to see a copy of the company’s licences and making sure they’re insured. Construction can be dangerous, and if a company isn’t insured, you will be held liable for accidents on site.
3. Is your work guaranteed?
While the details should be included in your contract, you should always ask about your project’s warranty in your initial meeting. If a company seems a little foggy on the details of their warranty or just says that they’ll be around for post-project fixes, they’re not the contractor for you. Make sure you ask specifically what parts of your projects are covered, for how long, and some examples of when you would be entitled to repairs. Remember to get all of this information written down and signed off on in your contract or it will be hard to enforce.
4. Will you handle the permits?
If you or someone else will be working on your home’s electrical, plumbing, or gas, you will need a permit. While the property owner is technically responsible for getting the right permits, your contractor can do it on your behalf. Permits are extremely important and can be difficult to obtain, so having a contractor who’s willing to go through the process for you is a major plus. If a contractor’s response to this question is that you don’t actually need them, start looking for another pro.
5. How much do you think my project will cost?
Of course, you’ll also want to discuss pricing and payment during your first few conversations. A bathroom pro should be able to give you a ballpark figure if you outline the scope of your project. If a contractor is way out of your price range, you’ll want to know early on in the process so you can A) look for another pro, or B) scale back your project. Being upfront about your budget will be a major time saver for everyone involved. Keep in mind that any numbers mentioned during these first interactions are not firm – an itemized quote will give you a fuller idea of the final cost of your project.
Now that you know the right questions to ask, it’s time to get in touch with bathroom experts in your area. When you’re ready to start your project, just use the banner below to get matched with reviewed and rated pros in your area. Pay close attention to their answers to these 5 questions and you’ll have a beautiful new bathroom in no time!